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man to walk through-an entrance under which ships might sail. The broad flight of stone stairs, twentyfour feet high, is perhaps the grandest in the world. It is however getting fast dilapidated—the annual rains sweeping down the hill are here loosening a slab and there dislodging another. On the right side of the entrance, is engraven on stone in large letters standing in bas-relief, the following passage in Arabic: ‘Jesus, on whom be peace, has said, the world is merely a bridge; you are to pass over it, and not to build your dwellings upon it.'
Nor is the quadrangle in the interior a less grand affair, being a square of 575 feet with majestic cloisters all round. In the centre of the quadrangle stands the tomb of Sheik Salim, a beautiful modest little building, but much too costly over a hermit. The material is all fine white marble, carved with a tasteful elegance. The sarcophagus is enclosed in a latticed screen of marble, and inlaid with mother-of-pearl. To the left is a large mosque, surmounted by three beautiful white marble domes. The old Sheik lived to see the grand works completed. He died at the notable age of 108 Pears.
The Palace of Alber:-It is dilapidated, and mutilated, and reduced to a desert, full of ruins, and fragments of pillars, domes, and porticoes, presenting a sad picture of departed greatness. Near the Hati Durraza -a huge and massive gateway-are seen 'two figures of astonishing elephants of the natural size, carved in stone with admirable skill and truth.' Not fur from
this is a tower, nearly fifty feet high, built, according to local report, of elephant's tusks, 'but actually of composition, moulded and enamelled into a resemblance of those natural substances.' It is much to be deplored that such skilful arts of the Indians bave perished. There is also in existence a beautiful octagonal pavilion, said to have been the emperor's private study. “It has three large windows filled with an excellent tracery of white marble, and all its remaining wall is carved with trees, bunches of grapes, and the figures of different kinds of birds and beasts, of considerable merit in execution.' By Aurungzebe's bigotry the birds and beasts have been disfigured, as savouring of idolatry. Shade of Aurungzebe! why did you spare the trees, when they too are worshipped by many men ?
Nothing is so great a curiosity in Futtehpore Sicri as the raised marble floor, which Akber used as a diceboard, while women were his counters. The platform is pared in squares of different colours, after the fashion of a dice-board. “Here, as legends tell, was played a " royal game of goose,” termed pucheesec, the pieces in which were thirty-two ladies of the zenana, sixteen on each side; the emperor sat as umpire; the nobles stood as spectators; two favoured lords who had been selected is combatants, manœuvred their forces with all the skill and attention of dice-players, and the victor carried off the thirty-two damsels.** This is unparalleled in history. The Ranee of Ravana invented Chess to beguile the martial propensities of her lord. The Pandava princes staked away their wife, and the throw of the dice made her the property of their rivals. Runjeet Sing challenged General Ventura to seduce away a Cashmerian girl from his zenana, promising to put no obstacles in the way, -and ‘in eight and forty hours the lovely Lotus (the girl's name) was transplanted from her royal lover's garden to the Italian's.' But this game of Akber can be accounted for only by the wellknown Mahomedan saying, that women have no souls.'
* The following account of Akber's Pachisi-board is from an od Acta periodical :-* The game is usually played by four persons, tach e whom is supplied with fuur woodeu or ivory ccues, which are called
Our fathers and grandfathers, whose Pierian spring' of knowledge is the Persian, still quote many of the witty sayings of Beerbul, which amused the court of Akber. But the impression that is now abroad is, that he is as much a myth as the Giaffir of Caliph Haroun Al Raschid. Those who want to have their doubts removed about his authenticity may come and see a small but richly ornamented house,' which is pointed out to
“gots," and are of different colours for distinction. Victory consists in getting these four pieces safely through all the squares of each rectangle into the vacant place in the centre -- the difficulty being, that the adversaries take up in the same way as pieces are taken at backgammon, Moving is regulated by throwing “cowries," whose apertures falling uppermost or not, affect the amount of the throw by certain fixed rules. But on this Titanic board of Akber's wooden or ivory "gots" would be lost altogether. Sixteen girls, therefore, dressed distinctively-sar four in red, four in blue, four in white, four in yellow— were trotted up and down the squares, taken up by an adversary, and put back at the beginning again ; and at last, after many difficulties, four of the same colour would find themselves gig. gling into their dopattas together in the middle space, and the game was won.'
have been the residence of Beerbul in Futtehpore Sicri.
Nocember 2.-To Secundra. On the road to that place are still met with a few of the Badshahi coshminars, or milestones. In form, they are solid circular stone obelisks, little larger than our usual milestones. The coshminars were put up to mark the ancient Mogul royal road in India, at the distance of every two miles. Near each of them was stationed a watch-tower, to afford security to travellers. The road was two hundred and fifty leagues from Agra to Labore. Trees, twenty or thirty years old, bad been transported from the nearest woods on the backs of elephants, and planted to shade the way. There were serais to halt for the emperors in their royal progresses, and wells at frequent intervals for the drink of passengers as well as for the irrigation of crops. Tavernier often safely traversed this road with his diamonds. Bernier, too, bears a testimony to its state of efficiency. Fanciful as is the description of 'Lalla Rookh's' progress, it has enough of truth to give an idea of the imperial route of the Moguls. It is not very improbable, that on such a highway, guarded by patrols almost within hail of each other, a purse of gold may have been exposed and found untouched on the next day, to justify the boasts of Oriental historians.
The name of Secundra is probably from Secunder Lodi. The best part of the town is now a wide-extended scene of ruin, telling the mournful tale of the Rebellion. Only a solitary man was ploughing the fields alongside the road, and two little boys came runing on their nimble legs from a grove at the rattling noise of our gharry. In Secundra sleeps the Great Akber his last sleep of mortality. The quadrangle of his mausoleum is enclosed by high embattled walls, to break the monotony of which there are four octagonal minarets at the four corners, and four colossal gateways on the four sides. The space within is laid out in walks, flower-beds, orangeries, and groves of mango. There is the graceful tamarind as well as the mourning cypress to diversify the scene. It was a lovely morn, and the spot was delightful with verdure. The branches of the lime and citron were pendant with crimson fruits. The shrubberies exhaled a sweet perfume, and the silence brooding over the place had a solemn effect. The mausoleum is quite a sorereign building in its magnitude and splendour. There seems to be stamped on it that air of tranquil majesty, which so much distinguished Akber in his character as well as in external appearance. It is as if the architect has exerted his utmost skill in the work of impressing the emperor's features upon it-of making it the medium to reflect an image of his person, and possibly a type of his mind. The noble structure at once calls up before us a stronglybuilt and stalwart man, which his Majesty had been' with a very agrecable expression of countenance and captivating manners.' The building is four stories high, on a pyramidal principle-cach story diminishing in circumference and height towards the top, till at the apes it terminates in a terrace of the utmost grandeur.