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Wyoming Monument, A Visit to T. D. Ben-
Wife's Journey, A-J. W. B.......................` 268 Xavier, Francis-Frederic Myers 63
number of the Illustrated London News, which is generally accurate in its illustrations and well-informed upon all subjects that come within the range of its editorial supervision.
Nourajah Shah is about forty-five years of age. He is a lineal descendant of the celebrated Aurungzebe, and has thus far continued in the possession and enjoyment of barbaric pomp and splendor, unequaled by those of any other earthly potentate. He is, in his personal habits, luxurious, licentious, and effeminate. As a master, he has been arbitrary and despotic; not more so, however, than his predecessors; and on the whole, perhaps, for a Mogul, his character and conduct will compare favorably with those of his predecessors.
From an account of an interview vouchsafed by the magnificent Nourajah to a British officer of high rank, we obtain some idea of the etiquette of the court at Delhi, and the humiliation to which those who approach his majesty's august presence are obliged to submit. In approaching the royal presence the whole cortege, mounted on elephants, three abreast, passed through a long corridor. This covered and carpeted passage was about a quarter of a mile in length. On passing this distance, the Europeans were obliged to dismount, and to proceed on foot toward the magnificent throne. The throne was profusely adorned with jewels and precious stones, among which were diamonds of the largest size and of the first water. Gold, pearls, rubies, and amethysts abounded; and the canopy over the throne resembled an immense umbrella of crimson velvet, fringed with pearls, and bedizened with diamonds. After the party had dismounted, and were reverently approaching the august presence of the Mogul, a crier proclaimed that an embassy had come from the land of the Franks to do homage to "the king of the world." The chief personages in the embassy were then provided with suitable dresses wherewith to appear in the presence of Nourajah Shah. The curtain was drawn aside, and on bended knee the commander-inchief, a veritable John Bull, be it remembered, made his offering to the magnificent Mogul. It consisted, on this occasion, of a hundred golden mohurs, each equivalent to fifteen rupees, equal in value, reckoning the rupee at twenty-nine shillings sterling, to about ten thousand dollars.
In return for this present, the King of Delhi bestowed upon the English general a green-painted stick as an emblem of authority, and allowed him thenceforth to beat a drum! How ridiculously absurd, says the reader. Yes, but not more absurd in the eyes of the Mogul's ministers, than to the loyal Briton, the presentation of a black or white wand and the investiture of the garter by the fair hands of Victoria.
The King of Delhi has twelve sons and thirty daughters. His life, in the past, in spite of all his tinsel pomp, and the mock pageantry which surrounds him, has been one of ennui and weariness. What it is to be in the future, or how and when it will come to a close, who shall say? The probability, at present, seems to be, that all his glory will fade away, and that he will be the last of the Mogul dynasty.
THE SILENT MAIDEN. THERE hangs upon my study wall
A sweet and sad, though thoughtful face, And, as the olden legend says,
"She was the last of all her race."
Upon her bosom white and fair
Her tender hands are meekly cross'd; And though rare beauty lingers there,
Her very name and age are lost.
As though she wish'd her fate to tell;
Bow'd down and crush'd by ruthless hate. And cold disdain, and stern neglect,
A sad return for woman's trust, And pure affection thrown away,
And trodden even with the dust. A life that open'd like the rose,
Too soon of all its freshness shorn, Burst prematurely to its close,
The blossom fades and leaves the thorn. Or, her life may have been a dream
Of beauty, happiness, delight,
But in the solemn midnight hour,
As o'er some volume old I pore,
Which hangs upon my study wall;