of the prettiest little girls I ever saw."
" But I am hardly in a state to make a call," said Scott,
looking at the dust on his clothes, and general disorder that
Sayad had tried in vain to right, in the disagreeable carriage
on the branch road.
" I don't mean, to make a call : I mean, to stop there
while we are in Agra," replied Richard.
" Won't it be taking your friend too much by surprise,
especially if I go ? " suggested Scott, who, after all, was over-
joyed with the prospect of seeing an American family again.
" It's a way we have in India," replied Richard. " We
are always glad enough to see any one, to forget about
Mr. Cliffton's house was a little out of the city, and they
found it a most delightful home. In the afternoon they all
drove over to the fort, built upon the banks of the Jumma
River, a branch of the Ganges.
They entered through the famous Delhi Gate, of red
sandstone. It was not particularly beautiful, but was exceed-
OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
ingly strong, rising seventy-five feet high. Over the wall,
that is two miles long, they could see the domes and mina-
rets of the mosque and palace as they approached.
There was a bazaar or market-place outside the gate,
where the booths were covered with kus-kus mats, like the
awnings over the windows of the private houses. A multi-
THE FAMOUS DELHI GATE.
tude of beggars crowded around them as they made their
approach. They were a ghastly set. Some of them had a
leg swollen from the hip till the foot was entirely hidden.
Some had horrible deformities. All of their faces were full
of misery ; and many had their arms full of babies, and most
of the babies were full of a variety of afflictions. They clung
about them with the utmost persistency, in spite of all Mr.
Cliffton's endeavors to drive them off.
AMONG THE PALACES.
" I don't see what makes the beasts hang on so to-day,"
he said impatiently.
" I threw them all the small pieces I had in my pocket,
when they first came up. I thought it would stop them, but
it didn't work worth a cent," said Scott.
" It has worked like a charm, and it always will," replied
Royal Cliffton, laughing. " If you want to draw a crowd of
beggars in India, just give something to the first one that
comes. â€” That's the way; is it not, Raymond?"
" I never knew it to fail," said Richard.
British soldiers were guarding the gate ; and without a
word they roughly pushed Moro and Sayad back, with the
butts of their guns, when they attempted to follow their
Mr. Cliffton came up and explained, that, a year before,
one of the magazines in the fort had been fired through
some mistake ; and, as no one could discover just whose mis-
take it was, they declared with one voice that it must have
been the work of a native, and forthwith issued an order
that no native could safely be allowed to enter this palace
of his fathers ; and all were consequently forbidden.
An enormous court surrounded them, paved with marble
except where beds of gorgeous flowers bloomed ; and here
and there were dark-green arbors. All around them were
marble buildings so beautiful that Scott sought in vain for
words to express himself. Even " great Caesar's ghost " was
inadequate for the occasion. He simply stood in rapt admi-
" Come this way first, and we will go into the mosque,"
said Mr. Cliffton. " They call it the Moti Musjid, or Pearl
Mosque. What do you think of it, Scott ? "
OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
"It's an odd place for a church," replied Scott; "but it
is certainly the finest thing I ever saw, whatever it is."
" Ah ! we Ve something better yet to show you. Wait till
we take you to the Taj Mahal," said Mr. Cliffton.
" Has any one lived here lately ? " asked Scott.
" It was about three hundred years ago that the royal
family went to Delhi," said Mr. Cliffton.
" Three hundred years since they moved away ! " Scott
drew a long breath. " Why, pray, how old is this place any-
way? It is as fresh as though it were built yesterday."
"That is true; for it was well built in the first place, and
the air does not discolor and injure the marble here as it
does in America."
They passed through the magnificent audience-hall where
the Mogul emperor, Shah Jehan, once sat in judgment ; and
where, twice every week, the meanest and lowest in his realm
were allowed to come into his presence, and say what they
chose to him, complaining about any wrongs or injuries they
had received, without any third person to misrepresent their
words. They were just going through a low arch to the left,
on the way to the zenana, when Mr. Cliffton added, "Look
over the river there, Scott. Do you see that white bubble
coming up out of the water and the jungle?"
" I see it," said Scott in a low tone, for the beauty was
something that seemed to rebuke any thing boisterous.
" That is the great Taj Mahal, the finest architectural
work in the world, the most elaborately and expensively
ornamented of any building on earth, the most beautiful
mausoleum ever erected ; and yet it is only the tomb of a
" You can't surprise me that way, a bit," said Scott, as
OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
they went on ; " for I have had my notions about these
heathen women changed a deal within the last few days.
I've found out that they are some pumpkins, and pretty big
" Well, here we are where they lived when in the palace,"
said Mr. Cliffton, as they entered a room, or rather a long
series of rooms that were separated by marble walls, but
walls that were carved through and through with beautiful
open-work designs right in the marble, and magnificent pillars
that were carved from top to bottom, and inlaid with gold and
precious stones in exquisite designs. And there was a marble
aqueduct in the floor, carrying water through the middle of
" This water is brought from mountains miles away," said
" They'd have had hard work to keep out the mosqui-
toes," remarked Scott, looking through the open-tracery walls,
as he followed Richard out upon the balcony surrounding
the zenana that overlooked the fort-wall from seventy-five
feet above the river.
This balcony was surrounded by a balustrade of marble,
carved in open-work geometric patterns, and was shaded by
an awning of thin marble.
" Guess if our Society folks saw this, they would not mind
being harem women themselves on hot afternoons," said
They went through the royal bath-rooms, where mirrors
were inlaid in the marble instead of gold and precious stones,
and where a hundred little fountains played when the em-
peror was in Agra. As they passed a low marble building
on the way out. Royal Cliffton remarked, â€”
AMONG THE PALACES.
" The famous sandalwood gates are kept in there. The
Afghans took them about eight hundred and seventy-five
years ago, and carried them home. The EngHsh prized them
so much that they obHged them to bring them all the way
back again. I should like to show you the gates ; but every
one who sees them must have a special permit, and that
permit is only to be obtained by making personal applications
upon a man who, I believe, is never at home."
Taking the carriage again at the door, they drove for two
388 OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
miles down the strand road, to the Taj Mahal of which Mr.
Cliffton had spoken. The gateway was so beautiful in itself
that Scott thought it impossible for the Taj within it to be
more so. He stopped for a moment on the marble platform,
looking up at the great red-sandstone tower decorated with
THE BEAUTIFUL GATE.
white marble : then he followed Mr. Cliffton and Mr. Ray-
mond under the arch.
" Moonlight is the time to see the outside of the Taj,"
said Royal Cliffton ; " but then one has to sacrifice the inside,
which is yet more beautiful. We'll come again, and see it
Within the gate there was a tropical garden extending
away over broad acres in every direction, and one mass
of luxuriant vegetation, â€” tall palms and twining vines,
AMONG THE PALACES.
flowering shrubs in tropical confusion, with long avenues
leading through it in various directions, bordered with foun-
" There are eleven hundred of those fountains in this
garden," said Mr. Cliffton.
From the gate they walked down a long avenue of
THE TAJ TKOM THE GAEDEN.
cypress-trees, that were trained in an arch above their heads.
Though it was broad day, they seemed to be in twilight.
Here and there a pauper or pilgrim sat in rags and holy
contemplation, or sadly puffing away upon a hubble-bubble,
or primitive and simple clay hookah, by the side of the walk.
When they reached the end of the avenue, they suddenly
found themselves at the brow of a gentle hill, that gradually
fell away, densely covered with a magnificent floral display ;
OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
and over the valley, on the brow of a hill opposite, seeming
to rest on the green forest like an ivory dream, was the
It was of pure white marble, octangular in form. Four
alternate sides were formed of one immense arch each, and
the other four of four smaller arches each. Above the whole,
rose a great heart-shaped dome ; and around it were four
smaller domes, as near like it as a little drop of water and a
larger one ; and every dome was tipped with gold.
" That golden ball on the top of the central dome is two
hundred and eighty-four feet above the platform," said Mr.
Scott held his breath for a moment, then hardly above a
whisper said, â€”
" Fifty feet higher than our big church- steeples ! Whew ! "
This beautiful building stands upon a very large platform
of polished marble, raised sixteen feet above the garden ; and
at the four corners of the platform are four slender minarets.
At a little distance from the Taj, upon each side of it, are two
smaller buildings with graceful Saracenic arches facing it.
"It took twenty thousand men twenty-three years to build
that Taj," added Mr. Cliffton after a moment's pause. There
was a great deal sent in tribute ; and the labor was nearly all
of it the work of prisoners or tributary force, that cost noth-
ing. But the material alone cost the emperor Shah Jehan
what to-day would be worth more than fifty million dollars."
Again Scott looked in breathless astonishment.
As he followed Mr. Cliffton down into the garden, he
" What is the use of the minarets that all Mussulman
mosques seem to have ? "
AMONG THE PALACES. 3^1
"It is from them that the call to prayer is given. Some-
times four Mussulman criers go up to the little nest in the
top; and, joining their hands behind their backs, they throw
their heads back, and all together shout the call. They become
by practice so strong that they send the cry for miles often ;
and every devout Mussulman who hears it should fall on his
knees, and touch his forehead to the ground, at least. It is
a pretty call: ' La-illa-il-ulla-Makamad rusol-il-ulla!"
As they went down into the garden, the Taj still appeared.
It was so arranged as always to appear; but the surround-
ings so continually and completely changed, that it ever
seemed as though one were looking at something new, that,
if possible, was more beautiful than the last view.
Then they entered, and all the beauty without was only
intensified. As they passed under one of the great arches,
they found themselves in an immense circle, in a square of
a hundred and eighty-six feet.
" The entire Koran, the Mussulman Bible, is inlaid in
black marble over the outside of the Taj," said Mr. Cliffton ;
" and, do you see, over this immense interior there is not
a place where you could lay your hand without touching a
"Oh! but what beautiful designs!" Scott exclaimed.
" There are entire vines and leaves and flowers ; and all are
inlaid in their own proper size and shape, and even color, in
these jewels ! And there, see ! there are little pearls for drops
of dew. It would be worth a journey to India, if one had to
walk all the way, and could only see this one wonderful
And now, for the first time, he noticed that there were
no windows in the Taj ; and, looking about him, he discov-
392 OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
ered that the soft reflection that filled the room was stealing
through the very marble walls, where vines of light seemed trail-
ing from the dome, carved through and through the marble.
About the centre of the interior, there was a marble balus-
trade, where all the skill that had been expended elsewhere
seemed to have been redoubled. In the centre of this, were
two large marble slabs. One stood in the exact centre, and
the other at one side.
"Are there two people buried here?" asked Scott.
" This is not where the bodies are laid," replied Mr.
Cliffton ; " but in a vault below, that we will go down into
presently. There are two more slabs directly under these,
that have only fresh flowers from the garden on them, and
nothing inlaid. Yes, there are two bodies lying here. The
sultana Murmtza-i-Mahal, the wife of the emperor, for whom
the tomb was built, lies in the centre. Then the Shah Jehan
ordered the architect to build him a tomb for himself, across
the river, even larger and more beautiful. The architect
began, and the foundations yet remain ; but when they were
raised he died, and no one could be found capable of carry-
ing on the work : so there it stands ; and, when the emperor
died, he directed that his body be laid here too."
The Taj stands directly upon the river, and the most
beautiful view of all was obtained as they were rowed away
toward the city.
"You are sober, Scott. Don't India please you?" asked
Richard, as they had almost reached the landing below the
" I hardly know, Mr. Raymond," he returned : " there are
such extremes, such terrible extremes. India makes you mad
with her, then makes you feel like dying for her if it could
AMONG THE PALACES.
assist her. She makes you sad, she makes you laugh ; she
makes you crawl all over with horror and disgust : yet I feel
as if I had seen enough to-day to make me happy and
humble for a lifetime. She makes me pity her, and the next
moment I think that every civilized mortal should get down
on his knees before her.
I do not know."
In the bazaar Scott
bought an ivory medal-
lion of one of the noble-
men who used to inhabit
" We will drive out to
Futtehpur Sakri to-mor-
row, and drive back the
next day : I want to show
you some more extremes,"
said Royal Cliffton, laugh-
" I am sure I can see
nothing equal to this,"
" You're right," said Mr. Cliffton. " Search the world, and
there is nothing to compare with it. But Futtehpur Sakri is
worth seeing. It was the summer city of the grandfather of
the Shah Jehan."
They started very early, for it was a long day's drive ;
and at four in the afternoon were approaching the summer
city. Nothing could yet be seen of it but a jumble of
glistening walls in the distance, and the high tower of
A EAJAH OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS.
OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
" This Is a very popular road for pilgrims and caravans,"
said Mr. Cliffton as they rode along, " See how the enlight-
ened native dealers have taken up the American notion of
sticking advertisements in stencil - painting on the rocks ?
They are nearly all of them advertisements of some kind of
American inventions. Do you see that large stone there,
with a Hindustani sentence in large letters upon it?"
" Yes : ' Use Perry Davis's Pain- Killer,' " repeated Richard,
translating the prominent
" Well," added
Cliffton, '' they
scratched it out
but a while ao-o
missionary society sent
out a Hindu convert to
paint a lot of Scripture-
texts in the best places
he could find. He could
not read a word, either
of what was already writ-
ten or of what he had ; but he thought that a splendid place,
and he picked out his largest plate to put right under that.
What do you think it was ? ' Thou shalt have no other gods
before me.' And every one who could read, at once decided
that Perry Davis's Pain-Killer was a new god that was setting
up decidedly grand pretensions."
" We must go into the court of the mosque to see the
tomb of the sheik Selim Christi, before it is too dark," said
Mr. Cliffton as they began their walk through the beautiful
marble city. " He is the man, Scott, who was going through
AMONG THE PALACES.
the Indian desert when he found a Httle girl only a few
hours old, and a baby boy, her brother, where their mother
and father had left them to the mercy of God, while they
went on a little way to die alone ; for they were out of food
and water, and a long way from help. He took them to the
court of the emperor Akbar, and there they grew up. The
THE TOMB OF SELIM CHRISTI.
little girl, some say, was the ' Light of the Harem,' that Tom
Moore wrote about in his famous ' Lalla Rookh ; ' and that
the boy married a daughter of the sheik, and their daughter
was the sultana for whom the Shah Jehan built the Taj."
"Isn't that rather mixed?" asked Scott. "I can't see
through it, at any rate."
" Well, it only amounts to this : that the man who lies
396 OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
here rescued from death and gave the world the heroine
of ' Lalla Rookh,' and the heroine of the Taj Mahal, â€” one
of the most beautiful poems, and the most beautiful mauso-
leum, in the world."
" He got a good tomb to pay for it," said Scott; " but it
strikes me that these tombs are the biggest things in India.
If I had been one of these old fellows, I would have lived
in my tomb, and been buried outside."
" So they did live there until they died," replied Richard,
laughing. " These tombs they made their great reception-
halls, and gave immense dinner-parties, etc., here, and tried
to make their friends as happy as possible ; that when they
were dead and buried, and the places closed up, they might
be remembered and missed."
" That was a jolly good dodge. But don't any one live
in this city now ? "
" Not a soul but these beggars. You might if you
wished : no one would stop you, or ask for rent."
" Too lonesome ! too much fancy-work for me : I'd rather
be excused," replied Scott. " But I should think that these
Hindus, who are used to it as you might say, would come
up here for the summer at least."
"It is very strange about this place," replied Mr. Cliff-
ton. " It was built as if by magic, almost in a single night,
to please the fancy of that almost omnipotent emperor.
Here the court came for just twelve years ; and then the
marble city and the old mud village outside the gate were
deserted, â€” absolutely deserted. No one has ever lived here
" How long ago was that?" Scott asked.
" A little over three hundred years."
DELHI, DENNETT, AND DHONDARAM.
DELHI, DENNETT, AND DHONDARAM.
f]S much as Scott longed to be in Delhi, it was with
great regret that he left Mr. Cliffton's hospitable
home, a few days later, and with Mr. Raymond
took the train for Tundla, where they found the
express waiting ; and early the next morning they rolled over
the long stone bridge, and close to the fort-wall, till they
reached the station.
" There are some dhobis tearing some one's clothes to
pieces, and breaking somebody's buttons," said Richard as
they saw several native washermen in the river doing their
work. "That reminds me. â€” Moro, bring us 2i dkobi, the first
thing you do."
" Ha sahib," replied Moro, who understood perfectly,
though all but the word dhobi Richard had spoken in
English. And, as soon as they were located in comfortable
quarters, Moro appeared with the desired washerman ; and he
and Sayad prepared the clothes, and made a list of them,
which they each handed to their respective masters to look
over while they counted their clothes before them.
" This is a precaution which it is second nature for them
to take," Richard explained, laughing as Scott seemed reluc-
tant to appear to distrust the boy who had served him so
well. " They know themselves that they are such thieves,
that they would only think you a fool if you did not keep a
sharp lookout for them."
OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
" I don't believe this fellow would steal," said Scott, looking
'' See that handkerchief sticking out of his girdle," said
Richard. " I warned you to be careful."
Scott looked, and to his horror saw one of his own silk
handkerchiefs peeping from beneath Sayad's girdle.
THE RAILROAD BRIDGE OVER THE JUMNA AT DELHI.
" The wretch ! " he muttered.
" Oh, no!" replied Richard, laughing: " he's just as good
a boy as he was before. He only wants looking after, that
" Every city, so far, is so very different from every other,"
said Scott, as they took their first walk in Delhi. " There
is just a sort of family resemblance, but nothing more. How
broad and beautiful this avenue is, with the line of trees
DELHI, DENNETT, AND DHONDARAM. 399
through the centre, and only the low houses on each side !
such pretty houses, and all so different from any thing else !
And this marble aqueduct, carrying such clear cold water in
an open stream down each side of the street, â€” who ever
thought of such a thing? But how cooling and refreshing it
must be to the tired, heated fellows at their work ! "
" You are quite right, Scott. This water is brought in the
marble aqueduct for eighty-three miles, to supply the city
with water that is cool and fresh when the river becomes
heated and low in the dry season. It was done at the
expense of one of the queens, long years ago ; and when
it was finished, to prevent the rich from ever monopolizing it
in any way, so that the poor could not have the benefit, she
decreed that the two aqueducts should extend the whole
length of this street, the Chandi Chouk, or Street of Silver
light, and that they should always be uncovered for the
" That's not a bad name for a street," said Scott. " But
what is this immense square that we are coming to, with
that â€” what is it ? a mosque, isn't it ? it has minarets â€” on
"Yes, it is a mosque, Scott, â€” the most beautiful public
mosque, and the largest one, in India. Do you see, this wall
extends entirely around it? and there are gates exactly like
this on every side. Over the wall you can see the front of
the principal arch, and the three domes of the mosque, and
" Do they have any Sundays, and sermons in those
mosques ? " asked Scott.
" Friday is the Mussulman's holy day," replied Richard.
"It is as much his Sunday as any day ; but they never have
OUR BOYS IN INDIA.
sermons, except in times of excitement over something.
They often have short lectures by the priests, but they are
chiefly the repeating of the Koran. They beheve in more
Bible, and less expounding of it."
"That's the talk," exclaimed Scott. "I wish they'd come
over and teach that doctrine to some of our ministers. Oh,
how tired I get in church, sometimes ! " he concluded with a sigh.
They went into a little chapel at one corner of the wall ;
DELHI OF THREE THOUSAND YEARS AGO.
where, with great reverence, the priests took out for them
treasure after treasure from their store of sacred relics.
Rolled up in innumerable papers, they had a hair from the
beard of Mohammed, an old crumbled sandal that he once
wore, and a manuscript copy of the entire Koran, written by
his favorite daughter, Fatima.
They climbed one of the minarets, and obtained an exten-
sive view of the immense plain and the ruins surrounding
" How old are these ruins ? " asked Scott.
DELHI, DENNETT, AND DffONDARAM. 401
" That tomb with a dome, yonder, is about eleven hun-
dred years old," replied Richard ; and, while Scott tried in vain
to stretch his imagination, he continued. " But there are so
many interesting places there, that we must find a first-rate
guide, and take two or three days to see them all. There
are ruins there of buildings that were erected over, three
thousand years ago, and some even older. There are relics
of the first Aryan conquerors, and that was nearer five thou-
" Oh, wait a minute ! wait a minute ! " cried Scott. " I
have not got over the first three thousand yet. But the
Aryans, did you say? Why, I thought that we in America
were descended from the Aryans."