From Benares, Mr. Law and myself travelled in a post-dock to Allahabad. The distance, which amounts to seventy-six miles, occupies about twelve or thirteen hours. We left the sacred town on the 7th of January, 1848, at 6 o'clock in the evening, and early in the morning found ourselves already near Allahabad, at a long bridge of boats which here crosses the Ganges.

We left the post-dock, and were carried in palanquins to the hotel, about a mile further on. When we arrived there, we found it so occupied by some officers of a regiment on the march, that my travelling companion was received only upon condition that he would content himself with a place in the public-room. In these circumstances, nothing remained for me but to make use of my letter of introduction to Dr. Angus.

My arrival placed the good old gentleman in no little embarrassment: his house was also already filled with travellers. His sister, Mrs. Spencer, however, with great kindness, at once offered me half of her own sleeping apartment.

Allahabad has 25,000 inhabitants. It lies partly upon the Jumna (Deschumna), partly on the Ganges. It is not one of the largest and handsomest, although it is one of the sacred towns, and is visited by many pilgrims. The Europeans reside in handsome garden-houses outside the town.

Among the objects of interest, the fortress with the palace is the most remarkable. It was built during the reign of the Sultan Akbar. It is situated at the junction of the Jumna with the Ganges.

The fortress has been much strengthened with new works by the English. It serves now as the principal depot of arms in British India.

The palace is a rather ordinary building; only a few of the saloons are remarkable for their interior division. There are some which are intersected by three rows of columns, forming three adjoining arcades. In others, a few steps lead into small apartments which are situated in the saloon itself, and resemble large private boxes in theatres.

The palace is now employed as an armoury. It contains complete arms for 40,000 men, and there is also a quantity of heavy ordnance.

In one of the courts stands a metal column thirty-six feet high, called Feroze-Schachs-Laht, which is very well preserved, is covered with inscriptions, and is surmounted by a lion.

A second curiosity in the fort is a small unimportant temple, now much dilapidated, which is considered as very sacred by the Hindoos. To their great sorrow they are not allowed to visit it, as the fort is not open to them. One of the officers told me that, a short time since, a very rich Hindoo made a pilgrimage here, and offered the commandant of the fortress 20,000 rupees (2,000 pounds) to allow him to make his devotions in this temple. The commandant could not permit it.

This fortress also has its tradition: - "When the Sultan Akbar commenced building it, every wall immediately fell in. An oracle said that he would not succeed in its erection before a man voluntarily offered himself as a sacrifice. Such an one presented himself, and made only one condition, that the fortress and town should bear his name. The man was called Brog, and the town is, even at this time, more frequently called Brog by the Hindoos than Allahabad."

In memory of the heroic man, a temple was erected near the fortress, under ground, where he is interred. Many pilgrims come here annually. The temple is quite dark; lights or torches must be used on entering it. It resembles, on the whole, a large handsome cellar, the roof of which rests upon a number of plain columns. The walls are full of niches, which are occupied by idols and figures of deities. A leafless tree is shown as a great curiosity, which grew in the temple and made its way through the stone roof.

I also visited a fine large garden, in which stood four Mahomedan mausoleums. The largest contains a sarcophagus of white marble, which is surrounded by wooden galleries extremely richly and handsomely decorated with mother-of-pearl. Here rests the Sultan Koshru, son of Jehanpuira. Two smaller sarcophagi contain children of the sultan. The walls are painted with stiff flowers and miserable trees, between which are some inscriptions.

One part of the wall is covered with a small curtain. The guide pushed it with great devotion on one side, and showed me the impression of a colossal open hand. He told me that a great-great- uncle of Mohamet once came here to pray. He was powerful, large, and clumsy; when raising himself up, he stumbled against the wall and left the impression of his sacred hand.

These four monuments are said to be upwards of 250 years old. They are constructed of large blocks of stone, and richly decorated with arabesques, friezes, reliefs, etc. The sepulchre of Koshru and the impression of the hand are much venerated by the Mahomedans.

The garden afforded me more pleasure than the monuments - especially on account of the enormous tamarind-trees. I thought that I had seen the largest in Brazil, but the ground, or perhaps the climate, here appears more favourable to this species of trees. Not only is the garden full of such magnificent specimens, but there are beautiful avenues of them round the town. The tamarinds of Allahabad are even mentioned in geographical works.

On one side of the lofty wall which surrounds the garden, two caravansaries are built, which are remarkable for their beautiful high portals, their size, and convenient arrangement. They presented an uncommonly lively appearance, containing people in all costumes, horses, oxen, camels, and elephants, and a large quantity of wares in chests, bales, and sacks.

10th January. About 3 in the afternoon, we left Allahabad and continued our journey in a post-dock as far as Agra, with some short stoppages. The distance is nearly 300 miles.

In twenty-two hours we reached Caunipoor (150 miles), on the Ganges, a town which is remarkable for its English settlement.

The journey so far offered little change, an uninterrupted richly-cultivated plain and an unfrequented road. With the exception of a few companies of military, we did not meet a single traveller.

A party of military on the march in India resembles a small emigration company; and, after seeing one, it is easy to form an idea of the enormous trains of the Persian and other Asiatic armies. The greater part of the native soldiers are married, as well as the officers (Europeans); therefore, when the regiment marches, there are nearly as many women and children as soldiers. The women and children ride, two or three together, upon horses or oxen, or sit upon cars, or go on foot with bundles on their backs. They have all their effects packed upon cars, and drive their goats and cows before them. The officers follow, with their families, in European carriages, palanquins, or on horseback. Their tents, house furniture, etc., are packed upon camels and elephants, which generally bring up the rear. The camp is pitched on both sides of the road - on one side are the people, and on the other the animals.

Caunipoor is a strong military station, with four handsome barracks; there is also an important missionary society. The town possesses some handsome schools and private buildings, and a Christian church, in pure Gothic style.

12th January. Towards noon, we reached the small village of Beura. Here we found a bungalow; that is, a small house with two or four rooms barely furnished with the most necessary and plainest furniture. These bungalows stand upon the post-roads, and supply the place of hotels. They are built by government. One person pays one rupee (2s.) a day for a small room; a family, two rupees. The payment is the same in most bungalows, if the travellers remain twenty-four hours or only half an hour; it is only in a few that it is considered enough to pay half-price for staying a short time. At each bungalow, a native is placed as superintendent, who waits on the travellers, cooks for them, etc. The control is carried out by means of a book, in which each traveller writes his name. If there are no travellers, a person may remain as long as he chooses; when the contrary happens, he cannot stay more than twenty-four hours.

The villages which lie on the road are small, and appear very miserable and poor. They are surrounded by high mud walls, which give them the appearance of a fortification.

After we had travelled three nights and two days and a half, we reached Agra on the 13th of January - the former residence of the Great Mogul of India.

The suburbs of Agra resemble, in poverty, the miserable villages before mentioned. They are composed of high walls of earth, within which are small dilapidated huts and barracks. A change was at once apparent when we had passed through a stately gateway. We then suddenly found ourselves in a large open square, surrounded by walls, from which four lofty gates led to the town, the fortress, and the suburbs. Agra, like most Indian towns, has no inn. A German missionary received me kindly; and, in addition to his hospitality, was obliging enough to show me personally whatever there was of interest in the town and neighbourhood.

Our first visit was to the beautiful mausoleum of the Sultan Akbar, at Secundra, four miles from Agra.

The porch which leads into the garden is a masterpiece. I stood before it for a long time amazed. The enormous building is raised upon a stone terrace, which is approached by broad steps; the gate is lofty, and is surmounted by an imposing dome. At the four corners are minarets of white marble three stories high; unfortunately, their upper parts are already somewhat dilapidated. On the front of the gate are the remains of a stone trellis-work.

The mausoleum stands in the centre of the garden; it is a square building four stories in height, each becoming narrower at the top, like a pyramid. The first sight of this monument is not very attractive, for the beauty of the gateway eclipses it; however, it improves on a more detailed examination.

The bottom story is surrounded by fine arcades; the rooms are plain, the walls covered with a brilliant white cement, intended as a substitute for marble. Several sarcophagi stand inside.

The second story consists of a large terrace, which covers the whole extent of the lower one; in its centre is an open airy apartment with a light arched roof, supported by columns. Several small kiosks at the corners and sides of the terrace give to the whole a somewhat bizarre though tasty appearance. The pretty domes of the kiosks must formerly have been very rich and splendid, for on many there are still to be seen beautiful remains of coloured glazed tiles and inlaid marble-work.

The third story resembles the second. The fourth and highest is the most handsome. It is constructed entirely of white marble, while the three lower ones are only of red sandstone. Broad-roofed arcades, whose exterior marble lattice-work is inimitably executed, form an open square, over which the most beautiful roof - the blue sky - spreads. Here stands the sarcophagus which contains the bones of the sultan. On the arches of the arcades, texts from the Koran are inlaid in characters of black marble.

I believe this is the only Mahomedan monument in which the sarcophagus is placed at the top of the building in an uncovered space.

The palace of the Mongolian Sultan stands in the citadel. It is said to be one of the most remarkable buildings of Mongolian architecture. {177}

The fortifications are nearly two miles in extent, and consist of double and treble walls, the outer one of which is said to be seventy-five feet high.

The interior is divided into three principal courts. In the first live the guards; in the second, the officers and higher authorities; in the third, which occupies the side towards the Jumna, stands the palace, the baths, the harem, and several gardens. In this court, everything is made of marble. The walls of the rooms in the palaces are covered with such stones as agates, onyxes, jasper, cornelian, lapis-lazuli, etc., inlaid in mosaic work, representing flowers, birds, arabesques, and other figures. Two rooms without windows are exclusively destined to show the effects of illumination. The walls and the arched roof are covered with mica slate in small silvered frames; fountains splash over glass walls, behind which lights can be arranged, and jets of water are thrown up in the centre of the room. Even without lights, it glittered and sparkled most marvellously; what must be the effect when innumerable lamps throw back their rays a thousandfold! Such a sight enables one easily to understand the imaginative descriptions of the Eastern tales of "a thousand-and-one nights." Such palaces and rooms may be truly considered works of magic.

Near the palace stands a small mosque, which is also entirely constructed of white marble, richly and artistically furnished with arabesques, reliefs, etc.

Before leaving the fortress, I was led to a deep underground vault - the former scene of numerous secret executions. How much innocent blood may have been shed there!

The Jumna Mosque, which the erudite affirm to surpass that of Soliman's in Constantinople, stands outside the fortress, upon a high terrace near the river. It is of red sandstone, has the same wonderful domes, and was built by the Sultan Akbar. In the arches are to be seen remains of rich paintings in light and dark-blue, intermixed with gilding. It is to be regretted that this mosque is in a rather dilapidated condition; but it is hoped, however, that it will soon be completely restored, as the English government have already commenced repairing it.

From the mosque we returned again to the town, which is, for the most part, surrounded by rubbish. The principal street, "Sander," is broad and cleanly paved in the middle with square stones, and at the sides with bricks. At both extremities of this street stand majestic gateways. The houses of the town (from one to four stories high) are almost entirely of red sandstone; most of them are small, but many are surrounded by columns, pillars, and galleries. Several are distinguished by their handsome porches. The streets are narrow, crooked, and ugly; the bazaars unimportant. In India, as well as in the East, the more costly wares must be sought in the interior of the houses. The population of this town is said to have amounted formerly to 800,000; it is now scarcely 60,000.

The whole environs are full of ruins. Those who build can procure the materials at the mere cost of gathering them from the ground. Many Europeans inhabit half-ruinous buildings, which, at a small expense, they convert into pretty palaces.

Agra is the principal seat of two missionary societies - a Catholic and a Protestant. Here, as in Benares, they educate the offspring of the children they picked up in 1831. A little girl was pointed out to me that had recently been bought of a poor woman for two rupees (4s.)

At the head of the Catholic mission is a bishop. The present one, Mr. Porgi, is the founder of a tastefully-built church. In no similar establishment did I ever see so much order, or find the natives so well-behaved as here. On Sundays, after prayers, they amuse themselves with decorous and lively games; while in the Protestant establishments, after having worked all the week, they are compelled to pray all day long, and their greatest amusement consists in being allowed to sit for a few hours gravely before the house-doors. A person who passed a Sunday in this country among strict Protestants would imagine that God had forbidden the most innocent amusements.

These two religious societies, unfortunately, are not on very amicable terms, and censure and persecute every slight irregularity on the part of each other; by this means not setting the natives living round them a very good example.

My last visit was to the magnificent treasure of Agra, and, indeed, of all India - the famous Taj-Mehal.

I had read somewhere that this monument ought to be visited last, as the others would not be admired at all after seeing this. Captain Elliot says: "It is difficult to give a description of this monument; the architecture is full of strength and elegance."

The Taj-Mehal was erected by the Sultan Jehoe (Dschehoe), in memory of his favourite muntaza, Zemani. Its building is said to have cost 750,000 pounds. Properly speaking, the sultan's memory is more perpetuated by this building than that of his favourite, for every one who saw it would involuntarily ask who erected it. The names of the architect and builder are unfortunately lost. Many ascribe it to Italian masters; but when it is seen that there are so many other admirable works of Mahomedan architecture, either the whole must be considered foreign or this must be admitted to be native.

The monument stands in the centre of a garden, upon an open terrace of red sandstone, raised twelve feet above the ground. It represents a mosque of an octagon form, with lofty arched entrances, which, together with the four minarets that stand at the corners of the terrace, is entirely built of white marble. The principal dome rises to a height of 260 feet, and is surrounded by four smaller ones. Round the outside of the mosque extracts from the Koran are inlaid in characters of black marble.

In the principal apartment stand two sarcophagi, of which one contains the remains of the sultan, the other those of his favourite. The lower part of the walls of this apartment, as well as both sarcophagi, are covered with costly mosaic work of the most beautiful stones. A marble lattice-work, six feet high, surrounding the two sarcophagi, is a masterpiece of art. It is so delicate and finely worked, that it seems as if turned out of ivory. The graceful columns and the narrow cornices are also covered, above and below, with jasper, agate, etc. Among these, I was shown the so- called "goldstone," which has a perfect gold colour, and is said to be very costly, even more so than lapis-lazuli.

Two gateways and two mosques stand at a small distance from the Taj-Mehal. They are built of red sandstone and white marble. If they stood apart, each would be considered a master-work; as it is, however, they lose in attraction by their proximity to the Taj- Mehal, of which a traveller says, with full justice: "It is too pure, too sacred, too perfect, to have been constructed by men's hands - angels must have brought it from heaven; and one imagines there ought to be a glass shade over it, to protect it from every breath and every wind."

Although this mausoleum is more than 250 years old, it is as perfect as if it was only just finished.

Many travellers affirm that the Taj-Mehal produces a magical effect when lighted by the moon. I saw it during a full moonshine, but was so little pleased, that I much regretted, by this sight, having somewhat weakened my former impression of it. The moon's light gives a magical effect to old ruins or Gothic buildings, but not to a monument which consists of white brilliant marble. Moonlight makes the latter appear in indistinct masses, and as if partly covered with snow. Whoever first promulgated this opinion respecting the Taj-Mehal perhaps visited it in some charming company, so that he thought everything round him was heavenly and supernatural; and others may have found it more convenient, instead of putting it to the test themselves, to repeat the statement of their predecessors.

One of the most interesting excursions of my whole journey was to the ruins of the town of Fattipoor Sikri, eighteen miles from Agra, and six miles in circumference. We rode thither, and had ordered changes of horses, so as to be able to make the journey in one day.

On our way, we passed at times over extended heaths, on one of which we saw a small herd of antelopes. The antelope is a kind of deer, but smaller in size. It is extremely delicate and prettily formed, and is distinguished by narrow dark-brown stripes along the back. The herd crossed the road before us without much timidity, passing over ditches and bushes, and leaping more than twenty feet at a time, with such graceful movements that they seemed as if dancing through the air. I was not less delighted by the sight of two wild peacocks. It afforded me peculiar pleasure to see these animals in a state of freedom, which we Europeans are accustomed to keep as rarities, like exotic plants.

The peacock is here somewhat larger than any I had seen in Europe; the display of colours also, and the general brilliancy of the plumage, struck me as being finer and brighter.

These birds are considered by the Indians almost as sacred as the cow. They appear to fully understand this kindness, for they are seen, like house-birds, walking about in the villages or quietly resting upon the roofs. In some districts, the Indians are so prejudiced in their favour, that no European can venture to shoot one of them without exposing himself to the greatest insults. Only four months since, two English soldiers fell victims to this neglect of Hindostanee customs. They killed several peacocks; the enraged people fell upon them and ill-used them in such a way that they shortly afterwards died.

Fattipoor Sikri stands upon a hill; the fortress walls, the mosque, and other buildings can therefore be seen from a distance. On both sides of the road, a short distance outside the walls, lie remains of houses or single apartments, fragments of handsome columns, etc. With great regret I saw the natives breaking many of them, and converting them into building materials for their houses.

The entrance to the fortress and town was through three handsome gates, and over masses of rubbish and fragments. The view which here presents itself is much more impressive than that at Pompeii, near Naples. There, indeed, everything is destroyed, but it is another and more orderly kind of destruction - streets and squares appear as clean as if they had only been abandoned yesterday. Houses, palaces, and temples are free from rubbish; even the track of the carriages remain uneffaced. Pompeii, moreover, stands on a plain, and it cannot, therefore, be seen at one glance; its extent, too, is scarcely half so great as that of Sikri; the houses are smaller, the palaces not so numerous, and inferior in splendour and magnitude. But here a larger space is covered with magnificent buildings, mosques, kiosks, columned halls, and arcades, with everything that was in the power of art to create; and no single object has escaped the destructive influence of time - all is falling into ruin. It is scarcely more than two hundred years since the town was in a flourishing state of wealth and magnificence, and it is hardly possible to divest the mind of the idea of a terrible earthquake having overwhelmed it. Unlike Pompeii, it was not covered by protecting ashes, but laid openly exposed to the weather. My sadness and astonishment increased at every step - sadness at the terrible destruction, astonishment at the still perceptible magnificence, the number of splendid buildings, the beautiful sculptures, and the rich ornaments. I saw some buildings whose interior and exterior were so covered with sculptures, that not the smallest space remained bare. The principal mosque exceeds in size and artistic construction even the Jumna Mosque in Agra. The entrance porch in the fore-court is said to be the loftiest in the world. The interior arch measures 72 feet, and the entire height amounts to 140 feet. The fore-court of the mosque is also one of the largest existing; its length is 436 feet, its breadth 408; it is surrounded by fine arabesques and small cells. This court is considered almost as sacred as the mosque itself, in consequence of the Sultan Akbar, "the just," having been accustomed to pay his devotions there. After his death, this spot was indicated by a kind of altar, which is of white marble, and of wonderful workmanship.

The mosque itself is built in the style of the Jumna Mosque, and has, like that, four enormous domes. The interior is filled with sarcophagi, in which lie the remains either of relations or favourite ministers of the Sultan Akbar. An adjoining court also contains a great number of sepulchral monuments.

The Sultan Akbar passed several hours every day in the Hall of Justice, and gave audience there to the meanest, as well as the most important of his subjects. A single column, standing in the centre of the hall, was the divan of the emperor. This column, the capital of which is marvellously executed, becomes broader towards the top, and is surrounded by a beautifully worked stone gallery, a foot high. Four broad stone passages or bridges lead into the adjoining apartments of the palace.

The sultan's palace is less remarkable for size than for its sculptures, columns, ornaments, etc. Every part is over-richly furnished with them.

I found less to admire in the famous Elephant gate. It is, indeed, loftily arched, but not so high as the entrance gate in the fore- court of the mosque; the two elephants, which were very beautifully executed in stone, are so much dilapidated, that it is scarcely possible to tell what they are intended to represent.

The so-called Elephant's Tower is in a better state of preservation. In some descriptions of this, it is stated that it is constructed only of elephants' tusks, and even of the tusks of those elephants only which were taken from enemies during Akbar's time, or had been captured by him in hunting. This is, however, not the case; the tower, which is sixty feet high, is built of stone, and the tusks are fastened on from top to bottom, so that they project out from it. The Sultan Akbar is said to have frequently sat upon the top of this tower, occupying himself by shooting birds.

All the buildings, even the enormous wall, are of red sandstone, and not, as many affirm, of red marble.

Many hundreds of small green birds have formed their nests in the holes and crevices of the buildings.

On the 19th of January I left the famous town of Agra, in the company of Mr. Law, in order to visit the still more celebrated city of Delhi, which is 122 miles from Agra. There is an excellent post- road all the way.

The country between Agra and Delhi continues tolerably unchanged; there is no elevation to be seen. Far and wide, cultivated land alternates with heaths and sandy moors, and the miserable villages or small towns which lie on the road, excite no desire to delay the journey even for a moment.

A long and handsome chain bridge crosses the Jumna near the town of Gassanger.

On the 20th of January, at 4 in the afternoon, we reached Delhi. Here I met with Dr. Sprenger, a very kind and amiable countryman. Dr. Sprenger, a Tyrolese, has won for himself, by his remarkable abilities and knowledge, a considerable reputation, not only among the English, but throughout the whole learned world. He holds the position of Director of the College in this place, and but a short time since was requested by the English government to go to Lucknau, for the purpose of examining the library of the Indian King of Lucknau, to make known the valuable works, and put the whole in order. He is a perfect master of the Sanscrit, the ancient and modern Persian, the Turkish, Arabic, and Hindostanee languages, and translates the most difficult of them into English and German. He has already made the most valuable and interesting contributions to literature, and will still continue to do so, as he is an extremely active man, and scarcely thirty-four years of age.

Although he was on the eve of his departure for Lucknau, he was, nevertheless, kind enough to become my Mentor.

We commenced with the great imperial town of Delhi; the town to which formerly the eyes not only of all India, but almost of all Asia, were directed. It was in its time to India what Athens was to Greece, and Rome to Europe. It also shares their fate - of all its greatness only the name remains.

The present Delhi is now called New Delhi, although it is already two hundred years old; it is a continuation of the old towns, of which there are said to have been seven, each of which were called Delhi. As often as the palaces, fortifications, mosques, etc., became dilapidated, they were left to fall into ruins, and new ones were built near the old ones. In this way, ruins upon ruins accumulated, which are said to have occupied a space more than six miles in breadth, and eighteen in length. If a great part of them were not already covered with a thin layer of earth, these ruins would certainly be the most extensive in the world.

New Delhi lies upon the Jumna; it contains, according to Bruckner, a population of 500,000, {183} but I was informed that there was really only 100,000, among which are 100 Europeans. The streets are broader and finer than any I had yet seen in any Indian town. The principal street, Tchandni-Tschank, would do honour to an European city: it is nearly three-quarters of a mile long, and about a hundred feet broad; a narrow canal, scant of water and half filled with rubbish, runs through its entire length. The houses in this street are not remarkable either for magnitude or splendour; they are at most one story high, and are furnished below with miserable porches or arcades, under which worthless goods are exposed for sale. I saw nothing of the costly shops, the numerous precious stones glittering in the evening with the lamps and lights, of which many travellers speak. The pretty houses and the rich shops must be sought for in the bye streets near the bazaar. The manufactures which I saw, consisted of gold and silver work, gold tissues and shawls. The natives execute the gold and silver wares so tastefully and artistically, that finer cannot be found even in Paris. The tissues woven in gold, the gold and silk embroideries and Cashmere shawls, are of the highest degree of perfection. The finest Cashmere shawls cost here as much as 4,000 rupees (400 pounds). The dexterity of the workmen appears still more surprising after seeing the simple machines which they employ to produce their beautiful wares.

It is extremely interesting to walk about the principal streets of Delhi in the evening. There may be seen at once the modes of life of both the rich and the poor Indians. There is no town in which there are so many princes and nobles as in this. Besides the pensioned emperor and his relations, whose number amounts to several thousand, many other deposed and pensioned regents and ministers reside here. Their presence gives great animation to the town; they are fond of going out in public, frequently make greater or less parties, and ride (always on elephants) either in the neighbouring gardens, or in the evenings through the streets. In the day excursions, the elephants are decorated in the most costly manner with rugs and fine stuffs, gold lace, and fringe; the seats called the howdahs are even covered with Cashmere shawls; richly fringed canopies keep off the heat of the sun, or else servants hold enormous umbrellas for this purpose. The princes and nobles sit in these howdahs to the number of two or four, and are very gorgeously attired in Oriental costumes. These processions present a most beautiful appearance, and are even larger and more splendid than those of the Rajah of Benares, which I have described. Each procession consists frequently of as many as a dozen or more elephants, and fifty or sixty soldiers on foot and mounted, and as many servants, etc. In the evenings, on the contrary, they are not so pompous - one elephant, together with a few servants, suffices; they ride up and down the streets, coquetting with females of a certain class, who sit richly dressed and with unveiled faces at open windows or outside galleries. Others ride noble Arabian horses, whose stately appearance is still more increased by gold- embroidered trappings and bridles inlaid with silver. Between these riding parties, heavily laden camels from far distant regions walk deliberately along. There are, moreover, not a few bailis, drawn by beautiful white oxen, which the less wealthy people or the above mentioned women use. The bailis, as well as the oxen, are draped with scarlet cloths: the animals have their horns and the lower half of their feet painted brownish-red, and round their neck is a handsome collar, on which bells are fastened. The most beautiful women peep modestly out of the half-open bailis. If it were not known to what class unveiled women belong in India, it would be impossible to tell their position from their behaviour. Unfortunately, there are more of this class in India than in any other country: the principal cause of this is an unnatural law, a revolting custom. The girls of every family are generally betrothed when they are only a few months old; if, however, the bridegroom dies immediately, or at any time after the betrothal, the girl is considered as a widow, and as such cannot marry again. They then generally become dancers. The condition of widowhood is looked upon as a great misfortune, as it is believed that only those women are placed in this position, who have deserved it in a previous state of existence. An Indian can only marry a girl belonging to his own caste.

To the various objects of interest in the streets already noticed, must be added the jugglers, mountebanks, and serpent charmers, who wander about everywhere, and are always surrounded by a crowd of curious people.

I saw several tricks performed by the jugglers which were truly astonishing. One poured out fire and smoke from his mouth; then mixed white, red, yellow, and blue powders together, swallowed them, and then immediately spit out each one separately and dry; some turned their eyes downwards, and when they again raised them the pupils appeared as if of gold; they then bowed the head forward, and on again raising it, the pupils of their eyes had their natural colour, and their teeth were gold. Others made a small opening in their skin, and drew out of it yards of thread, silk cord, and narrow ribbons. The serpent charmers held the animals by their tails, and allowed them to twine round their arms, neck, and body; they took hold of large scorpions, and let them run over their hands. I also saw several battles between large serpents and ichneumons. These little animals, rather larger than a weasel, live, as is known, upon serpents and the eggs of crocodiles. They seize the former so dexterously by the neck that they always master them; the crocodile eggs they suck.

At the end of the principal street stands the imperial palace, which is considered one of the finest buildings in Asia. It occupies, together with its adjoining buildings, an extent of more than two miles, and is surrounded by a wall forty feet high.

At the principal entrance, a fine perspective view is obtained through several successive gateways, which is terminated in the background by a handsome hall. This hall is but small, and is inlaid with white marble and rare stones; the roof is arched over with mica, powdered over with small stars. Unfortunately, these will soon lose all their glittering brilliancy, as the greater portion of the mica has already fallen, and the remainder is likely to follow. At the back of the hall is a door of gilt metal, decorated with beautiful engraved work. In this hall the ex-monarch is accustomed to show himself to the people, who, from traditionary respect or curiosity, visit the palace. He also receives European visitors here.

The handsomest parts of the imperial palace are the universally admired and magnificent audience saloon and the mosque. The former stands in the centre of an open court; it is a long, square building; the roof is supported by thirty columns, and is open on all sides; several steps lead up to it, and a prettily decorated marble gallery, two feet high, surrounds it.

The present Great Mogul has so little taste, that he has had this divan divided into two parts by a very paltry partition wall. A similar wall adjoins both sides of the saloon, for what purpose I could not learn. In this divan is a great treasure: the largest crystal in the world. It is a block of about four feet in length, two and a half broad, and one foot thick; {185} it is very transparent. It was used by the emperors as a throne or seat in the divan. Now it is hidden behind the blank wall; and if I had not known of its existence from books, and been very curious to see it, it would not have been shown to me at all.

The mosque is indeed small, but, like the judgment-hall, it is of white marble, and with fine columns and sculptures.

Immediately adjoining the mosque is the garden "Schalinar," which is said to have been formerly one of the finest in India, but has now quite fallen to decay.

Heaps of dust and rubbish were laying in the court-yards; the buildings were almost like ruins; and miserable barracks stood against dilapidated walls. On account of the emperor's residence, it soon became necessary to build a new Delhi.

On my entrance to the palace, I had observed a group of men collected together in the court-yard. An hour afterwards, when we were returning from our visit, they were still seated there. We drew near to discover what it was that so attracted their attention, and saw a few dozen of tame birds seated upon perches quietly taking their food from the hands of attendants, or else fighting for it. The lookers-on were, as I was told, nearly all princes. Some were seated upon chairs, others stood round, together with their followers. In their home dresses, the princes are hardly to be distinguished from their servants, and in education and knowledge they are certainly not much in advance of them.

The emperor amuses himself with a diversion which is not more commendable. His troops consist of boys about eight or fourteen. They wear a miserable uniform, which in make and colour resembles the English; their exercises are conducted partly by old officers and partly by boys. I pitied the young soldiers from my heart, and wondered how it was possible for them to handle their heavy muskets and banners. The monarch generally sits for some hours every day in the small reception hall, and amuses himself by watching the manoeuvres of his young warriors. This is the best time to get presented to his majesty. He is eighty-five, and at the time of my visit was so unwell, that I had not the good fortune to see him.

The emperor receives from the English government a yearly pension of fourteen lacs (1,400,000 rupees = 140,000 pounds). The revenues of his own possessions amount to half as much more; but with all this, he is not so well off as the Rajah of Benares. He has too large a number of people to maintain: of the descendants of the imperial family alone more than three hundred, as well as a hundred women, and two thousand attendants. If to these are added the numerous elephants, camels, horses, etc., it may be easily understood why his exchequer is always empty.

He receives his pension on the first of every month. It has to be brought to him under the protection of the English military, or it would otherwise be seized by his creditors.

The emperor is said to be very discreet in raising his revenues by various means. For example, he confers honorary posts and appoints officials, for which he requires considerable sums of money; and - can it be believed! - he always finds fools enough to pay for such absurdities. Parents even buy appointments for their children. The present commander of the imperial troops is scarcely ten years old. The most remarkable fact, however, is that the vizier, who manages the emperor's income and expenditure, not only receives no salary, but pays the emperor annually 10,000 rupees for this office. What sums must be embezzled to make up for this!

The emperor issues a newspaper in his own palace, which is in the highest degree absurd and laughable. It does not treat of politics or the occurrences of the day, but exclusively of domestic incidents, conversation and relative affairs. It states, for example, "that the sultan's wife, A., owed the laundress, B., three rupees, and that the laundress came yesterday to ask for her money; that the lady had sent to her imperial husband to ask for the sum. The emperor referred her to the treasurer, who assured her, that as it was near the end of the month, he could not command a penny. The laundress was therefore put off until the next month." Or, "The Prince C. visited at such an hour the Prince D. or F.; he was received in such a room; stayed so long; the conversation was on this or that subject," etc.

Among the other palaces of the town, that in which the college is located is one of the handsomest. It is built in the Italian style, and is truly majestic; the columns are of uncommon height; the stairs, saloons, and rooms are very spacious and lofty. A fine garden surrounds the back of the palace, a large court-yard the front, and a high fortified wall encloses the whole. Dr. Sprenger, as director of the college, occupies a truly princely dwelling in it.

The palace of the Princess Begum, half in the Italian and half in the Mongolian style, is tolerably large, and is remarkable for its extremely handsome saloons. A pretty and hitherto well kept garden surrounds it on all sides.

The Princess Begum attracted great attention at the time before Delhi was under the English dominion, by her intelligence, enterprise, and bravery. She was a Hindoo by birth, and became acquainted in her youth with a German named Sombre, with whom she fell in love, and turned Christian in order to marry him. Mr. Sombre formed a regiment of native troops, which, after they were well trained, he offered to the emperor. In the course of time, he so ingratiated himself with the emperor, that the latter presented him with a large property, and made him a prince. His wife is said to have supported him energetically in everything. After his death, she was appointed commander of the regiment, which post she held most honourably for several years. She died a short time since at the age of eighty.

Of the numerous mosques of New Delhi, I visited only two, the Mosque Roshun-ad-dawla, and the Jumna Mosque. The former stands in the principal street, and its pinnacles and domes are splendidly gilt. It is made famous through its connection with an act of cruelty on the part of Sheikh Nadir. This remarkable, but fearfully cruel monarch, on conquering Delhi in the year 1739, had 100,000 of the inhabitants cut to pieces, and is said to have sat upon a tower of this mosque to watch the scene. The town was then set fire to and plundered.

The Jumna Mosque, built by the Sheikh Djihan, is also considered a masterpiece of Mahomedan architecture; it stands upon an enormous platform, to which forty steps lead up, and rises in a truly majestic manner above the surrounding mass of houses. Its symmetry is astonishing. The three domes, and the small cupolas on the minarets, are of white marble; all the other parts, even the large slates with which the fine court-yard is paved, are of red sandstone. The inlaid ornamental work and stripes on the mosque, are also of white marble.

There are great numbers of caravansaries, frequently with very handsome portals. The baths are unimportant.

We devoted two days to making an excursion to the more distant monuments of Delhi. We first stopped at the still well-preserved "Purana Kale." All the handsome mosques resemble each other much. This one, however, is distinguished by its decoration, the richness and correctness of its sculptures, its beautiful inlaid work, and its size. Three lightly arched and lofty cupolas cover the principal building, small towers adorn the corners, and two high minarets stand at the sides. The entrance and the interior of the domes are inlaid with glazed tiles and painted, the colours are remarkably brilliant. The interior of every mosque is empty; a small tribune for speakers, and a few glass lustres and lamps, constitute the whole decoration.

The mausoleum of the Emperor Humaione, very much in the same style as the mosque, was commenced by this monarch himself. But as he died before it was completed, his son Akbar carried out his intentions. The high-arched temple, in the centre of which stands the sarcophagus, is inlaid with mosaic work of rare stones. Instead of window-panes, the openings are furnished with artistically worked stone lattices. In adjoining halls, under plain sarcophagi, rest the remains of several wives and children of the Emperor Humaione.

Not far from this is the monument of Nizam-ul-din, a very sacred and greatly venerated Mahomedan. It stands in a small court, the floor of which is paved with marble. A square screen of marble, with four small doors, surrounds the sarcophagus. This screen is still more delicate and finely worked than that in the Taj-Mehal; it is scarcely conceivable how it was possible to execute such work in stone. The doors, pillars, and elegant arches are covered with the most chaste reliefs, as fine and perfect as any that I have seen in the most artistic towns of Italy. The marble used for them is of remarkable whiteness and purity, worthy, indeed, of these great works of art.

Adjoining this are several pretty monuments, all of white marble. They are passed by with some indifference when the most perfect of them all has been seen first.

A great deal has been said about a large water basin, which is surrounded on three sides by cells, already much dilapidated; the fourth side is open, and from it a beautiful stone staircase, forty feet broad, leads to the water basin, which is twenty-five feet deep. Every pilgrim would consider his pilgrimage of no account if he did not step in here immediately on his arrival.

Divers plunge from the terraces of the cells to the bottom of the basin, and fetch out the smallest pieces of money which have been thrown in. Some are dexterous enough to catch the coin even before it touches the bottom. We threw in several coins, which they succeeded in bringing up every time, but I can scarcely believe that they caught them before they reached the bottom. They remained long enough under water each time, not only to pick the coin up, but also to look for it. The feat was certainly surprising, but not, as some travellers affirm, so remarkable that similar ones might not be seen elsewhere.

Our last visit on this day was to the beautiful monument of the Vizier Sofdar-Dchang, which is also a mosque. In this monument I was especially struck by the inlaid work of white marble in red sandstone upon the four minarets, it was so diversified and so delicate; so chastely executed that the most expert draughtsman could not have produced it more correctly and delicately upon paper. The same may be said of the sarcophagi in the principal temple, which is hewn out of a block of fine white marble.

The monument is surrounded by a tolerably well-kept garden, laid out in the European style.

At the end of the garden, opposite the mausoleum, stands a small palace, principally belonging to the King of Lucknau. It is at present kept in good condition by the few European inhabitants of New Delhi. It contains a few articles of furniture, and serves for the accommodation of visitors to these ruins.

We remained here over night, and, thanks to the good-hearted and amiable Mrs. Sprenger, found every possible convenience we could desire. The first and most agreeable thing after our long wandering, was a well-furnished table. Such attentions are doubly deserving of thanks, when it is remembered at what a great amount of trouble they are procured. It is necessary on such excursions to take not only provisions and a cook, but also cooking utensils, table-services, bed-linen, and servants, enough in short for a small establishment. The train of baggage, which is always sent on before on these occasions, resembles a small emigration party.

On the following morning we went on to Kotab-Minar, one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings of the Patanas (from which people the Affghans derive their origin). The most wonderful part of this monument is the so-called "Giant's Column," a polygon with twenty-seven sides or half-round corners, and five stories or galleries, whose diameter at the basement is fifty-four feet, and whose height is twenty-six feet. A winding staircase of 386 steps, leads to the top. This building is said to belong to the thirteenth century, and to have been built by Kotab-ud-dun. The column is of red sandstone, and only the exterior is of white marble; decorations and wonderful sculptures are wound in broad stripes around the column; these are so finely and neatly chiselled as to resemble an elegant lace pattern. Any description of the delicacy and effect of this work would be far exceeded by the reality. The column is fortunately as well preserved as if it had only been standing about a hundred years. The upper part leans a little forwards (whether artificially, as in the tower at Bologna, is not decided); its top is flat, like a terrace, which does not correspond with the remainder of the architecture. It is not known whether anything formerly stood upon it. The column was in its present condition when the English conquered Delhi.

We mounted as far as the highest point, and a most charming view of the whole remains of Delhi, the Jumna, and the unbounded plain, opened itself here before us. The history of the people who once ruled Hindostan may here be studied in the ruins of imperial towns, lying one close beside the other. It was a great and imposing prospect.

Many places where magnificent palaces and monuments formerly stood are now cultivated fields. Wherever the ground is broken up, fragments of ruins show themselves.

Opposite the tower or column of Kotab-Minar stands a similar unfinished building, the base of which is considerably larger in circumference than that of the finished one. It is supposed that these two towers belonged to a magnificent mosque, {190} of which some courts, gateways, columns, and walls still remain.

These few remains of the mosque are remarkable for the perfect sculptures which covered the walls, gateways, etc., both outside and inside. The entrance-gateway has a considerable height. The columns in the courts are of Buddhist origin; the bell with long chain is sculptured on them in relief.

In the fore-court of the mosque stands a metal column similar to that at Allahabad, except that there is no lion upon its summit, and its height is not more than thirty-six feet. It is defaced by several marks and slight injuries, which are ascribed to the Mongolians, who, when they conquered Delhi, attempted in their destructive rage to pull down these columns; but they stood too firmly, and all their exertions were insufficient to destroy any of the inscriptions on them.

The remaining Patan or Affghan temples and monuments which lie dispersed among the other ruins, resemble each other as much as they differ from the Mahomedan and Hindoo buildings. The monuments of this kind generally consist of a small round temple, with a not very high cupola, surrounded by open arcades supported on pillars.

Here also, in the neighbourhood of Kotab-Minar, a hospitable dwelling is to be found. A ruined building is fitted up, and three of the rooms are furnished.

On the way homewards, we visited the observatory of the famous astronomer, Dey Singh. If that at Benares has been seen, this may well be passed by. Both were built by the same architect, and in the same style; but that at Benares is well preserved, while the one here is already much dilapidated. Some travellers consider this memorial as one of the most wonderful works of Indian art.

Near the observatory stands the old madrissa (school-house), a large building, with numerous rooms for teachers and pupils, and with open galleries and halls, in which the teachers sat surrounded by groups of youths. The building is rather neglected, but is partly inhabited by private persons.

Adjoining the madrissa stands a pretty mosque and a very handsome monument, both of white marble. The latter was erected by Aurang Zeb, in memory of his vizier Ghasy-al dyn Chan, the founder of the madrissa. It is as perfect in its execution as that of the saint Nizam-ul-din, and appears to have been erected by the same artist.

The palace of Feroze Schah is near New Delhi. It is indeed somewhat in ruins, but there is much to be seen in the existing remains of the building. The fore-court of the mosque was a short time since cleared with great labour of the rubbish and masses of stone which covered it, by the untiring zeal of Mr. Cobb, the esteemed editor of the English Delhi News. It is in very good preservation. In this palace stands the third metal column - Feroze-Schachs-Laht. The inscriptions upon it show that it existed a hundred years before the birth of Christ, and may therefore be considered as one of the oldest monuments of India. It was brought here from Lahore at the time this palace was built.

The Purana-Killa, or the old fortress of the palace of Babar, is much decayed. From the height and style of the remaining fragments of gateways and walls, an idea may be formed of the magnitude of the palace.

The ruins of Loglukabad are in an advanced state of dilapidation, and do not repay the trouble of a journey of seven miles.

The other numerous ruins are little more than mere repetitions of those already described, with which, however, they cannot be compared in size, elegance, and beauty. They may be of great interest to antiquarians and historians; but by myself, I candidly admit, they were not much valued.

I must not neglect to mention the English military station, which is situated upon some low hills near New Delhi. The peculiar formation of the ground renders a journey there extremely interesting: a district of enormous blocks of red sandstone, between which beautiful flowers were growing. There are numerous ruins here, much the same as in Delhi.