2021-04-17 12:44:13

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ENGLISH Yet the generosity and kindness of her heart, and the number of victims she saved, outweighed, though without effacing, the disorders of her earlier life, [1] during the latter part of which, as the wife of a Catholic, royalist prince, whose love she returned and to whose opinions she was converted, she deeply regretted the errors of Notre Dame de Thermidor.In the shops the salesmen, to weigh their merchandise, had a strange collection of curious weightsdumps, rings, balls of copper, iron, or lead, stamped or inlaid with symbols and flowers; fragments of spoons to make up too light a weight, even pieces of wood; and they used them all with perfect readiness and never made a mistake.Then there were races of baggage-mules, and competitions of speed in harnessing horses and in striking the tents. Finally the English officers rode a race, and then the prizes were distributedmoney to the men and blue pugarees with gold thread to the native officers.

And once more in a barge on the Ganges. The atmosphere seemed faintly iridescent, like mother-of-pearl, the silence serenely lulled by the distant sound of a flute. The palaces and temples, reflected in the still water, looked in the distance like forts crowned with turrets of gold, and their little windows like loopholes. The broad stairs of the quays, where the priests' umbrellas glitter, assumed a spacious, unfamiliar dignity, the red colour shading paler towards the bottom, where it was washed off by the lapping Ganges, looking as though a fairy hanging of gauze were spread under the wavelets in honour of the Apsaras and the divinities of the river.WHEN Elisabeth Louise Vige was born at Paris, April, 1755, the French court and monarchy were still at the height of their splendour and power.When the road was made through Bunnoo a pile of stones was heaped up in the middle of the village. The Moslems finally persuaded themselves that this was a saint's grave; and they come hither to perform their devotions, planting round it bamboo flagstaffs with pennons, and adding to the mound the stones they piously bring to it day by day.

Down in the streets the houses looked ghostly blue in the moonlight, the cross roads, lighted with the warmer glow of a few lamps in red paper shades, alternating with the black darkness, in which it was just possible to discern cows and goats lying on the ground.As we went further south Moslem tombs became more and more rare; the lingam was to be seen here and there among the rice-fields: a gross idol made of stone and looking like a landmark, set up under a tree or sheltered by a little kiosk. Soon temples of Vishnu were seen, raising their[Pg 104] pyramidal piles of ten stories to the sky. Amid the cool shade of palms and bamboos, close to each temple, was a fine tank with steps all round it; and surrounded by this magnificence of architecture and vegetation Hindoos might all day be seen bathing, dwellers in hovels of plaster or matting, sometimes in mere sheds supported on sticks, within the shadow of the splendid building full of treasure, in which the god is enshrined.

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At the polo-match in the evening the band played, and three ladies were present; in sign of the spring having come, a basket was hung to the branch of a tree, full of straw kept constantly wet by the coolies, and containing sundry bottles of soda-water.Gauze and muslin dresses moved gracefully about against the background of bamboos and roses. Light footsteps scarcely bent the grass; the ripple of talk, with its sprinkling of Indian words, was sweet and musical. Fireflies whirled above the plants making little tendrils of light; there was dreaminess in the airan anticipation of fairyland to which the music seemed the prelude.On the very edge of the Jumna, where russet fields break the monotony of its white sandy banks, is the private state-room, the residence of the sovereigns of Delhi, built of translucent milky[Pg 217] marble, warmed by the reflection of gold inlaid on the columns and merged with the stone that is turned to amber.

When we left he was in a coppersmith's shop, singing with wide open, staring eyes; his face had a strangely sad expression while he sang a gay, jigging tune to foolish words that made the people laugh.

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When the dead are to be honoured in this land each true believer lays a pebble as homage on the tomb, and the dead man's repute is estimated by the size of the pile of stones that covers him.

At the top of the street a caravan of moollahs were performing their devotions at the tomb of a Mohammedan saint, whose sarcophagus was enclosed within a balustrade of marble and a border of lilies, alternately yellow and green, with large full-blown flowers in blue, fragile relics that have[Pg 223] survived for centuries amid ruins that are comparatively recent.M. Geoffrin did not altogether approve of his wifes perpetual presence at the h?tel Tencin, which had by no means a good reputation; and when she also began to receive in her own house a few of the literary men whom she met there, philosophers, freethinkers, and various persons upon whom he looked with suspicion, he at first strongly objected. But it was useless. His wife had found the sixteen years of her married life remarkably dull; she had at length, by good fortune, discovered the means of transforming her monotonous existence into one full of interest, and the obscurity which had hitherto been her lot into an increasing celebrity. She turned a deaf ear to his remonstrances, and after a good deal of dissension and quarrelling the husband gave way and contented himself with looking after the household and being a silent guest at the famous dinners given by his wife, until at length, on some one asking her what had become of the old gentleman [38] who was always there and never spoke, she replied

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Apr-17 12:44:13