2021-04-17 12:47:50

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ENGLISH The great avenue was a fashionable promenade on Sundays and ftes, and to Lisette and her friend Mlle. Boquet, both of whom grew prettier every year, it was a great amusement to walk there with the mother and step-father of the former. The Grand-Opra being close by, when the performance was over, which then was at half-past eight, it was the fashion, on summer nights, for every one to come out and walk about these gardens, where sometimes until two oclock in the morning it was a scene of enchantment. People belonging to the court and society, bourgeois, actors, musicians, the demi-monde all went there. Every well-dressed woman in the evening carried a large bouquet of flowers, the scent of which filled the air, groups of people scattered about sang or played the harp, violin, or guitar, especially on moonlight nights; amateurs and artistes too, the delicious music of Saint Georges, Alsoredo and Garat often attracted crowds of listeners.One after another I made my salaam to Siva, seated on a peacock; to Ganesa, looking calm and knowing; to Parvati, riding a bull; to Siva again, this time pinning a dragon to the ground with a fork, a writhing reptile with gaping jaws and outspread wings; the same god again, with a child in[Pg 121] his arms; and again, holding his leg like a musket up against his shoulder with one of his four hands, the other three lifting a bull, a sceptre, and a trophy of weapons above his head.

Two days later the roofs were covered with tulips of sheeny white and red, as light as feathers swaying on their slender stems; and the crowd, all in bright colours, went about in muslins in the clean, dry streets. Only a few very pious persons still wore the garments stained at the festival.

Grotesque monument, infame pidestal.Between the tracery of bamboos, behind clumps of cedars spreading their level plumes of fine, flexible needles, we still constantly saw the roofs of temples involved in clouds of tiny phosphorescent sparks weaving their maze of light; and the clang of bells and drums fell on the ear.In the streets the people, all wrapped in long shawls of a neutral brown, were only distinguishable amid the all-pervading greyness by their white head-dress. Men and women alike wear the same costumea full robe of dirty woollen stuff with[Pg 258] long hanging sleeves, and under this they are perfectly naked. The rich put on several such garments one over another; the poor shiver under a cotton wrapper. And all, even the children, look as if they had the most extraordinary deformed angular stomachs, quite low downcharcoal warmers that they carry next their skin under their robe.

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Joseph Vernet had a little son of whose talent for drawing he was very proud; and one day at a party where his friends joked him on his infatuation, he sent for the child, gave him a pencil and paper, and told him to draw.

Above the mausoleum a fort with battlements towers over the pass, "an impregnable position," the guides tell us.When Lisette was about twenty, her step-father retired from business and took an apartment in the rue de Clry in a large house called h?tel Lubert, which had recently been bought by the well-known picture dealer, M. Le Brun.

Her first child, the only one that lived, was born in February, 1780.The little princess had made her way between the seats, close up to us; she was wrapped in dark-coloured gauze, with woven gold borders, so light! scarcely less light than the diaphanous material of the dress. And as I admired this wonderful silk, the Rajah had some bayadres' dresses brought out for me to see: twelve or fifteen skirts, one above another, pleated and spangled with gold, yet, hanging to one finger, scarcely the weight of a straw.

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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.Then, from a bridge across the Ganges, for a moment we had a last glimpse of the sacred citythe gold-coloured umbrellas, the throng of bathers on the steps to the riverand then Abibulla gravely remarked, "If only India had three cities like Benares it would be impossible ever to leave it."Above the road lie dark cliffs; a rose-coloured waterfall of melted snow tumbled mixing with the claypink with lilac depths, and the foam iridescent in the sunbeams. The ruins of a large temple of green stone carved with myriads of fine lines stood in solitude at the edge of a wood, and the background was the mountain-range, the Himalayas, lost in the sky and bathed in blue light. Only a portico remains standinga massive, enduring frame for the infinite distance of snow-capped giants. The stones have lost their hue; they are darkly streaked by the rains and a growth of grey and purple mosses, and russet or white lichens have eaten into the surface.

On the edge of a pool, where, like a huge, full-blown lotus flower, stands a kiosk of sculptured marble, dedicated to the Rajah's mother, we came upon the shoe market, the last survival of a time not so very long ago, when shoemakers, as working on the skins of dead beasts, dared not come within the precincts of a town.Votre profession?

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Apr-17 12:47:50