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continued his prayers, the kid's head was suddenly drawn down and with one blow severed from the body. The virtue of the sacrifice consists in the head falling at the first blow, and so expert do the priests become that at some of the great sacrifices, where buffalo are offered up in expiation of the princely sins, they will take off the buffalo's head with one stroke of the sword. The kid, having performed the office of expiation, becomes useful for the priestly dinner.
Of the palace of Amber the most one can say is that it is curious and interesting as the home of an Indian King in the days when India was ruled by her Kings, and a Hastings and a Clive had not come to rend and destroy. The Maharajah has not quite abandoned it. He comes some. times to the great feasts of the faith, and a few apartments are kept for him. His rooms were ornamented with looking-glass decorations, with carved marble which the artisan had fashioned into tracery so delicate that it looked like lacework. What strikes one in this Oriental decoration is its tendency to light, bright, lacelike gossamer work, showing infinite pains and patience in the doing, but without any special value as a real work of art. The general effect of these decorations is agreeable, but all is done for effect. There is no such honest, serious work as you see in the Gothic cathedrals, or even in the Alhambra. One is the expression of a facile, sprightly race, fond of the sunshine, delighting to repeat the caprice of nature in the curious and quaint; the other has a deep, earnest purpose.
This is an imagination which sees its gods in every form — in stones and trees and beasts and creeping things, in the stars above, in the snake wriggling through the hedges -- the other sees only one God, even the Lord God Jehovah, who made the heavens and the earth and will come to judge the world at the last day. As you wander through the courtyards and chambers of Amber, the fancy is amused by the charac. ter of all that surrounds you. There is no luxury. All. these Kings wanted was air and sunshine. They slept on the floor. The chambers of their wives were little more than cells built in stone. Here are the walls that surrounded their section of the palace. There are no windows looking into the outer world, only a thick stone wall pierced with holes slanting upward, so that if a curious spouse looked out she would see nothing lower than the stars. Amber is an immense palace, and could quite accommodate a rajah with a court of a thousand attendants.
There were some beautiful views from the terrace. The General would like to have remained, but the elephants had been down to the water to lap themselves about, and were now returning refreshed to bear us back to Jeypore. The visitors had only given themselves a day for the town, and had to return the call of the Prince, which is a serious task in Eastern etiquette.
Mr. Borie was much exhausted by his ride and the heat of the sun, and was prevailed upon to make the descent in a chair, as Mrs. Grant had done. Returning to Jeypore the same day, our party were very tired, and early sought rest.
The following day, at Jeypore, the General visited the school of arts and industry, in which he was greatly interested, one of his special subjects of inquiry being the industrial customs and resources of the country. This school is one of the Prince's favorite schemes, and the scholars showed aptness in their work. Jeypore excels in the manufacture of enameled jewelry; some of the specimens seen were exceedingly beautiful and costly. The Mint was visited, and here the workmen were seen beating the coin and stamping it.
At the collection of tigers, a half dozen brutes were cagel., each of whom had a history. There were man-eaters; one enormous creature had killed twenty-five men before
he was captured. Having passed the day in seeing the sights, the party returned to the Residency, and found a group of servants, from the palace, on the veranda, each carrying a tray laden with sweetmeats and nuts, oranges and fruit. This was an offering from the Prince, and it was necessary that the General should touch some of the fruit and taste it, and say how much he was indebted to His Highness for the remembrance; then the servants returned to the palace.
The Maharajah sent word that he would receive General Grant at five. The Maharajah is a pious prince, a devotee, and almost an ascetic. He gives seven hours a day to devotions. He partakes only of one meal. When he is through with his prayers he plays billiards. He is the husband of ten wives. His tenth wife was married to him a few weeks ago. The court gossip is that he did not want another wife, that nine were enough; but in polygamous countries marriages are made to please families, to consolidate alliances, to win friendships, very often to give a home to the widows or sisters of friends. The Maharajah was under some duress of this kind, and his bride was brought home, and is now with her sister brides behind the stone walls, killing time as she best can, while her lord prays and plays billiards. These wives live in cloistered seclusion. They are guarded by eunuchs, and even when ill are not allowed to look into the face of a physician, but put their hands through a screen. It was said in Jeypore that no face of a Rajput Princess was ever seen by a European.
These prejudices are respected and protected by the Imperial Government, which respects and protects every custom in India so long as the States behave themselves and pay tribute. In their seclusion the princesses adorn themselves, see the Nautch girls dance, and read romances. They are not much troubled by the Maharajah. That great prince, I hear, is tired of everything but his devotions and his billiards. He has no children, and is not supposed to have hopes of an heir. He will, as is the custom in these high families, adopt some prince of an auxiliary branch.
The government of the kingdom is in the hands of a council, among whom are the Prime Minister and the principal brahmin.
General Grant drove to the palace at four o'clock, and at once inspected the stables. There were some fine horses, and exhibitions of horsemanship which astonished even the General. He was shown the astronomical buildings of Jai Singh II., which were on a large scale and accurately graded. He climbed to the top of the palace, and had a fine view of Jeypore. The palace itself embraces one-sixth of the city, and there are ten thousand people within its walls – beg. gars, soldiers, priests, politicians, all manner of human beings - who live on the royal bounty. The town looked picturesque and cool in the shadows of the descending sun.
At five precisely we entered the courtyard leading to the reception hall. The Maharajah came slowly down the steps, with a serious, preoccupied air, not as an old man, but as one who was too weary with a day's labors to make any effort, and shook hands with the General and Mrs. Grant. He accompanied the General to a seat of honor and sat down at his side. They all arranged themselves in the chairs. On the side of the General' sat the members of his party; on the side of the Maharajah the members of his Cabinet. Dr. Hendley acted as interpreter. The Prince said Jeypore was honored in seeing the face of the great American ruler, whose fame had reached Hindostan. The General said he had enjoyed his visit, that he was pleased and surprised with the prosperity of the people, and he should have felt he had lost a great deal if he had come to India and not seen Jeypore. The Maharajah expressed regret that the General made so short a stay. The General answered that he came to India late, and was rather pressed for time from the fact that he wished to see the Viceroy before he left Calcutta, and to that end had promised to be in Calcutta on March 1o.
His Highness then made a gesture, and a troop of dancing girls came into the court-yard. One of thi features of a visit to Jeypore is what is called the Nautch The Nautch is a sacred affair, danced by Hindoo girls of a low caste in the presence of the idols in the palace temple. A group of girls came trooping in, under the leadership of an old fellow with a long beard and a hard expression of face, who might have been the original of Dickens' Fagin. The girls wore heavy garments em. broidered, the skirts composed of many folds, covered with gold braid. They had ornaments on their heads and jewels in the side of the nose. They had plain faces, and carried out the theory of caste, if there be anything in such a theory, in the contrast between their features and the delicate, sharply-cut lines of the higher class Brahmins and the other castes who surrounded the Prince. The girls formed in two lines, a third line was composed of four musicians, who performed a low, growling kind of music on unearthly instruments. The dance had no value in it, either as an expression of harmony, grace or motion.
The Nautch dance is meaningless. It is not even improper. It is attended by no excitement, no manifestations of religious feeling. A group of course, ill-formed women stood in the lines, walked and twisted about, breaking now and then into a chorus, which added to the din of the instruments. This was the famous Nautch dance, which they were to see in Jeypore with amazement, and to remember as one of the sights of India. Either as an amusement or a religious ceremony it had no value.
The General did not appreciate the dance, though he remained during its performance. Dr, Hendley, evidently