2021-04-17 12:48:45

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ENGLISH And side by side with history a pleasing legend tells that King Anang-Pal yearned to atone for his faults and redeem the earth from sin. So by the[Pg 220] counsels of a wise Brahmin he caused this vast iron spike to be forged by giants, to be driven into the earth and pierce the serpent Sechnaga, who upholds the world. The deed was done, but because certain disbelieving men denied that the monster was dead, the king caused the weapon to be pulled up, and at the end of it behold the stain of blood; so the iron beam was driven in again. But the spell was brokenthe creature had escaped. The column remained unstable, prefiguring the end of the dynasty of Anang, and the serpent still works his wicked will.HYDERABADAt Srinagar you live under the impression that the scene before you is a panorama, painted to cheat the eye. In the foreground is the river; beyond it spreads the plain, shut in by the giant mountains, just so far away as to harmonize as a whole, while over their summits, in the perpetually pure air, hues fleet like kisses of colour, the faintest shades reflected on the snow in tints going from lilac through every shade of blue and pale rose down to dead white.

BHAWNAGAR[25]

After the death of her eldest boy, the sight of this picture so affected the Queen that she had it removed, taking care to explain to Mme. Le Brun that this was done only because she could not bear to see it, as it so vividly recalled the child whose loss was at that time such a terrible grief to her.

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The most important part of the tour to Mme. Le Brun was her visit to Antwerp, then a medi?val city of extraordinary beauty and interest, which have only, in fact, of comparatively recent years been destroyed by the vandalism of its inhabitants. So striking was its appearance, with its walls, gates, and forest of towers rising from the broad Scheldt, that Napoleon, enchanted with its beauty, said it looked like an Arab city, and he gazed upon it with admiration.In the sacred tank, where Vishnu bathes when[Pg 165] he comes on earth, an old woman was standing pouring the stagnant green water over her body, while others of the faithful, seated on the steps, were piously drinking the stuff from a coco-nut that they handed round. In one corner of this pool was an exquisite bower of floating wreathsyellow, white, and violeta splash of bright colour on the squalid water.HYDERABAD

After passing the temples and tombs that surround the Khoutab, the town of ruins lies scattered over the plain of pale sand and withered herbage.These evening parties were usually delightful; those of the Princesse de Rohan-Rochefort were especially so. The intimate friends of the Princess, the Comtesse de Brionne, Princesse de Lorraine, Duc de Choiseul, Duc de Lauzun, Cardinal de Rohan, and M. de Rulhires, a distinguished literary [32] man, were always present, and other pleasant and interesting people were to be met there.

There are two towns of Peshawur: one a distracted, silly place, with no beginning nor end, straggling along something in the manner of Madras, with an embryonic bazaar and all the amusements demanded by soldiers; the other enclosed in walls of dried mud, which are preserved only "to protect the town from robbers."Whenever there was a pause in the dance the performers, to amuse themselves, sang a scale, always the same, beginning on a very high note, or sometimes taken up from the lowest bass pitch, and marking time with their stamping feet.

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A regiment of artillery was marching into quarters. The Highlanders' band came out to meet them: four bagpipes, two side drums, and one big drum. They repeat the same short strain, simple enough, again and again; in Europe I should, perhaps, think it trivial, almost irritating, but here, filling me as it does with reminiscences of Brittany, especially after the persistent horror of tom-toms and shrill pipes, it strikes me as delightfulI even follow the soldiers to their quarters.A muffled sound of instruments, mingling in confusion in the myriad echoes, came dying on my ear, hardly audible. A gleam of light flashed in the corridor and then went out. Then some lights seemed to be coming towards me, and again all was gloom. An orchestra of bagpipes, of kemanches and darboukhas sounded close by me, and then was lost in the distance, and the phantasmagoria of lights still went on. At last, at the further end of the arcade where I was standing, two men raised green-flamed torches at the end of long poles, followed by two drummers and musicians playing on bagpipes and viols. Children squatting on the ground lighted coloured fire that[Pg 118] made a bright blaze, and died out in stifling smoke, shrouding the priestsa cloud hardly tinted by the torches.

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Apr-17 12:48:45