2021-04-14 01:09:47

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ENGLISH Immediately on entering we were in the maze of vaults, sanctuaries, great halls and arcades, where stall-keepers sell their goods, priests keep school, and flower-sellers wander. Statues, repeated in long rows, lead up to temples all alike, of a bewildering uniformity of architecture and identical decoration.

[Pg 245]At the bottom of a wide flight of steps flows the Ganges, translucent, deeply green, spangled with gold. The bathers, holding the little brass pots that they use for their ablutions, are performing the rites, surrounded by large yellow fishes spotted with green. Pink and white stuffs are spread to dry on the steps, flowers are scattered on the stream, long wreaths are floating down the river, curling and uncurling at the caprice of the current.

The train, now travelling northwards again, ran for a long way across the scorched plain through groves of dead trees and sandhills covered with lichen, till, in the golden sunset close to Gwalior, suddenly, at the foot of a hill, we came upon the greenery of fine parks with palaces rising above cool marble tanks.Time passed only too quickly in the happy [20] sheltered life of the gifted child in her fathers house. The days were full of delight as she sat absorbed in the work which was a passion to her in the studio of the father she idolised. The evenings were full of pleasure, interest, and variety, as she listened to the brilliant conversation, artistic, intellectual, and political, of her father and the friends of many different ideas and opinions with whom he associated.

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Society was much smaller, people knew each other, or at any rate knew much more about each other, than could be the case after the revolution. The Comte dEspinchal was the most extraordinary instance of this essentially social life. He passed his days and nights in going from one party or visit to another; he knew all about everything going [53] on, important or trivial. He appeared to know every one not only at the parties to which he went, but in all the boxes at the Opera, and nearly everybody he met in the streets, so that it was quite inconvenient for him to walk in them, as he was stopped every minute. Not only people at court and in society, but grisettes, employs of the theatres, persons of every class; but though a perfect mine of gossip, he never made mischief.

A garden of roses and lilies was the dwelling-place of a very ancient fakir, who had taken a vow[Pg 163] to live naked, and only put on a loin-cloth when ladies were expected. He was venerated by all, yes, even by Abibulla, who knelt before him, touched the holy man's feet and then his own forehead. The old fellow was surrounded by pilgrims wearing wreaths of flowers round their neck; he came to meet me, took me by the hand, and led me under the shade of a kiosk, where he showed me a large book he had written, containing an account of the joys and ecstasies of his life of asceticism and prayer. This old man had a magnificent brow, and the deep gaze of his kind, smiling eyes was fine in a face puckered with a thousand wrinkles. Infinite calm and peace characterized this happy soula naked man in the midst of flowers.

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In the chapel of the building through which I passed to go down to the tomb of La Martinire, two students, seated American fashion, with their feet on the back of the bench in front of them, were reading the Times of India and smoking cigarettes.Rousseau, notwithstanding his assumption of superior virtue, his pretence of being a leader and teacher thereof, his especial exhortations and instructions to parents about the care and education of their children, and his theories on friendship and love, was absolutely without gratitude for the help and kindness of his friends, ill-tempered, conceited, and quarrelsome; saw no degradation in his liaison with a low, uneducated woman, and abandoned all his children in their infancy at the gate of the enfants trouvs.

Heavy coaches with solid wheels, hermetically covered with red stuff patterned with white, were bringing home the invisible but noisy ladies of the zenana.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.

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Apr-14 01:09:47