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Modern India by William Eleroy Curtis

Part 3 out of 8

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their families after their death. Until 1853 all appointments
to the covenanted service were made by nomination, but in that
year they were thrown open to public competition of all British
subjects without distinction of race, including natives of India
as well as of England. The conditions are so exacting that few
native Hindus are willing to accept them, and of the 1,067 men
whose names were on the active and retired lists on the 31st
of December, 1902, only forty were natives of India.

Lord Macaulay framed the rules of the competition and the scheme
of examination, and his idea was to attract the best and ablest
young men in the empire. Candidates who are successful are required
to remain one year on probation, with an allowance of $500, for
the purpose of preparing themselves for a second examination
which is much more severe than the first. Having passed the second
examination, they become permanent members of the civil service.
They cannot be removed without cause, and are promoted according
to length of service and advanced on their merits in a manner
very similar to that which prevails in our army and navy. None
but members of the covenanted service can become heads of
departments, commissioners of revenue, magistrates and collectors,
and there is a long list of offices which belong to them exclusively.
Their service and assignment to duty is largely governed by their
special qualifications and experience. They are encouraged to
improve themselves and qualify themselves for special posts.
A covenanted official who can speak the native languages, who
distinguishes himself in literature or in oratory, who devises plans
for public works, or distinguishes himself in other intellectual
or official lines of activity is sure to be recognized and receive
rapid advancement, while those who prefer to perform only the
arduous duties that are required of them will naturally remain
in the background. There is, and there always will be, more or
less favoritism and partiality as long as human affections and
personal regard influence official conduct, and I do not believe
we would have it otherwise. We can admire the stern sense of
justice which sends a son to the scaffold or denies a brother
a favor that he asks, but we do not like to have such men in
our families. There is undoubtedly more or less personal and
political influence exercised in the Indian service, but I doubt
if any other country is more free from those common and natural

In addition to the covenanted service are the imperial service
and the provincial service, which are recruited chiefly from the
natives, although both are open to any subject of King Edward
VII. All these positions are secured by competitive examinations,
and, as I have already intimated, the universities of India have
arranged their courses of study to prepare native candidates
for them. This has been criticised as a false and injurious
educational policy. The universities are called nurseries for
the unnatural propagation of candidates for the civil service,
and almost every young man who enters them expects, or at least
aspires, to a government position. There is no complaint of the
efficiency of the material they furnish for the public offices.
The examinations are usually sufficient to disclose the mental
qualifications of the candidates and are conducted with great care
and scrupulousness, but they fail to discover the most essential
qualifications for official responsibility, and the greater number
of native appointees are contented to settle down at a government
desk and do as little work as possible.



The railways of India are many and long and useful, but still very
primitive in their appointments, having been built for utility and
convenience, and not for comfort. The day will come, I suppose,
when modern improvements will be introduced, and the long journeys
which are necessary to reach any part of the vast empire will be
made as pleasant and luxurious as transcontinental trips in the
United States. Just now, however, the equipment is on a military
basis of simplicity and severity. Passengers are furnished with
what they need, and no more. They are hauled from one place to
another at reasonable rates of speed; they are given shelter from
the sun and the storms en route; a place to sit in the daytime
and to lie down during the night; and at proper intervals the
trains stop for refreshments--not very good nor very bad, but
"fair to middling," as the Yankees say, in quality and quantity.
If a traveler wants anything more he must provide it himself.
People who live in India and are accustomed to these things are
perfectly satisfied with them, although the tourist who has just
arrived is apt to criticise and condemn for the first few days.

Every European resident of India who is accustomed to traveling
by train has an outfit always ready similar to the kit of a soldier
or a naval officer. It is as necessary as a trunk or a bag, an
overcoat or umbrella, and consists of a roll of bedding, with
sheets, blankets and pillows, protected by a canvas cover securely
strapped and arranged so that when he wants to retire he need
only unbuckle the straps and unroll the blankets on the bunk in
the railway carriage. He also has a "tiffin basket," with a tea
pot, an alcohol lamp, a tea caddy, plates and cups of granite
ware, spoons, knives and forks, a box of sugar, a tin of jam,
a tin of biscuits or crackers, and other concomitants for his
interior department in case of an emergency; and, never having
had anything better, he thinks the present arrangement good enough
and wonders why Americans are dissatisfied. Persons of ordinary
common sense and patience can get used to almost anything, and
after a day or two travelers trained to the luxury of Pullman
sleepers and dining cars adjust themselves to the primitive
facilities of India without loss of sleep or temper, excepting
always one condition: You are never sure "where you are at," so
to speak. You never know what sort of accommodations you are
going to have. There is always an exasperating uncertainty as
to what will be left for you when the train reaches your place
of embarkation.

Sleeping berths, such as they are, go free with first and second
class tickets and every traveler is entitled to one bunk, but
passengers at intermediate points cannot make definite arrangements
until the train rolls in, no matter whether it is noonday or 2
o'clock in the morning. You can go down and appeal to the station
master a day or two in advance and advise him of your wants and
wishes, and he will put your name down on a list. If you are so
fortunate as to be at the starting place of the train he will
assign you a bunk and slip a card with your name written upon
it into a little slot made for the purpose; the other bunks in
the compartment will be allotted to Tom, Dick and Harry in the
same manner. There are apartments reserved for ladies, too, but
if you and your wife or family want one to yourselves you must
be a major general, or a lieutenant governor, or a rajah, or
a lord high commissioner of something or other to attain that
desire. If they insist upon being exclusive, ordinary people
are compelled to show as many tickets as there are bunks in a
compartment, and the first that come have the pick, as is perfectly
natural. The fellow who enters the train later in the day must
be satisfied with Mr. Hobson's choice, and take what is left,
even if it doesn't fit him. It the train is full, if every bunk
is occupied, another car is hitched on, and he gets a lower, but
this will not be done as long as a single upper is vacant. And
the passengers are packed away as closely as possible because
the trains are heavy and the engines are light, and the schedules
must be kept in the running. A growler will tell you that he never
gets a lower berth, that he is always crowded into a compartment
that is already three-fourths occupied with passengers who are
trying to sleep, but he forgets that they have more than he to
complain of, and if he is a malicious man he can find deep
consolation in the thought and make as great a nuisance of himself
as possible. I do not know how the gentler sex behave under such
circumstances, but I have heard stories that I am too polite
to repeat.

There is no means of ventilation in the ceiling, but there is
a frieze of blinds under it, along both sides of the car, with
slats that can be turned to let the air in directly upon the
body of the occupant of the upper berth, who is at liberty to
elect whether he dies of pneumonia or suffocation. The gentleman
in the lower berth has a row of windows along his back, which
never fit closely but rattle like a snare drum, and have wide
gaps that admit a forced draught of air if the night is damp
or chilly. If it is hot the windows swell and stick so that you
cannot open them, and during the daytime they rattle so loud that
conversation is impossible unless the passengers have throats
of brass like the statues of Siva. In India, during the winter
season, there is a wide variation in the temperature, sometimes
as much as thirty or forty degrees. At night you will need a
couple of thick blankets; at noonday it is necessary to wear a
pith helmet or carry an umbrella to protect the head from the
sun, and as people do their traveling in the dry season chiefly,
the dust is dreadful. Everything in the car wears a soft gray
coating before the train has been in motion half an hour.

The bunks are too narrow for beds and too wide for seats. The
act of rolling over in the night is attended with some danger and
more anxiety, especially by the occupants of the upper berths.
In the daytime you can sit on the edge like an embarrassed boy,
with nothing to support your spine, or you can curl up like a
Buddha on his lotus flower, with your legs under you; but that
is not dignified, nor is it a comfortable posture for a fat man.
Slender girls can do it all right; but it is impracticable for
ladies who have passed the thirty-third degree, or have acquired
embonpoint with their other graces. Or you can shove back against
the windows and let your feet stick out straight toward the infinite.
It isn't the fault of a railway corporation or the master mechanic
of a car factory if they don't reach the floor. It is a defect
for which nature is responsible. President Lincoln once said
every man's legs ought to be long enough to reach the ground.

The cars are divided into two, three, or four compartments for
first-class passengers, with a narrow little pen for their servants
at the end which is absolutely necessary, because nobody in India
travels without an attendant to wait upon him. His comfort as
well as his social position requires it, and few have the moral
courage to disregard the rule. To make it a little clearer I
will give you a diagram sketched by your special artist on the


This is an excellent representation of a first-class railway carriage
in India without meretricious embellishments.

The second-class compartments, for which two-thirds of the
first-class rates are charged, have six narrow bunks instead
of four, the two extras being in the middle supported by iron
rods fastened to the floor and the ceiling. The woodwork of all
cars, first, second, and third class, is plain matched lumber,
like our flooring, painted or stained and varnished. The floor is
bare, without carpet or matting, and around on the wall, wherever
there is room for them, enormous hooks are screwed on. Over the
doors are racks of netting. The bunks are plain wooden benches,
covered with leather cushions stuffed with straw and packed as
hard as tombstones by the weight of previous passengers. The
ceiling is of boards pierced with a hole for a glass globe, which
prevents the oil dripping upon your bald spot from a feeble and
dejected lamp. It is too dim to read by and scarcely bright enough
to enable you to distinguish the expression upon the lineaments
of your fellow passengers. A scoop net of green cloth on a wire
springs back over the light to cover it when you want to sleep:
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The toilet room
is Spartan in its simplicity, and the amount of water in the
tanks depends upon the conscientiousness of a naked heathen of
the lowest caste, who walks over the roofs of the cars and is
supposed to fill them from a pig skin suspended on his back.
You furnish your own towel and the most untidy stranger in the
compartment usually wants to borrow it, having forgotten to bring
one himself. You acquire merit in heaven, as the Buddhists say, by
loaning it to him, but it is a better plan to carry two towels,
in order to be prepared for such an emergency.

As we were about starting upon a tour that required several thousand
miles of railway travel and several weeks of time, the brilliant
idea of avoiding an risks and anxiety by securing a private car
was suggested, and negotiations were opened to that purpose,
but were not concluded because of numerous considerations and
contingencies which arose at every interview with the railway
officials. They are not accustomed to such innovations and could
not decide upon their own terms or ascertain, during the period
before departure, what the connecting lines would charge us.
There are private cars fitted up luxuriously for railway managers
and high officials of the government, but they couldn't spare one
of them for so long a time as we would need it. Finally somebody
suggested a car that was fitted out for the Duke and Duchess of
Connaught when they came over to the Durbar at Delhi. It had two
compartments, with a bathroom, a kitchen and servants' quarters,
but only three bunks. They kindly offered to let us use it provided
we purchased six first-class tickets, and were too obtuse to
comprehend why we objected to paying six fares for a car that
could not possibly admit more than three people. But that was
only the first of several issues. At the next interview they
decided to charge us demurrage at the rate of 16 cents an hour
for all the time the car was not in motion, and, finally, at the
third interview, the traffic manager said it would be necessary
for us to buy six first-class tickets in order to get the empty car
back to Bombay, its starting point, at the end of our journey. This
brought the charges up to a total as large as would be necessary
to transport a circus or an opera company, and we decided to take
our chances in the regular way.

We bought some sheets and pillow cases, pillows and old-fashioned
comfortables and blankets, and bespoke a compartment on the train
leaving Bombay that night. Two hours before the time for starting
we sent Thagorayas, our "bearer", down to make up the beds, which,
being accustomed to that sort of business, he did in an artistic
manner, and by allowing him to take command of the expedition
we succeeded in making the journey comfortably and with full
satisfaction. The ladies of our party were assigned to one
compartment and the gentlemen to another, where the latter had
the company of an engineer engaged upon the Bombay harbor
improvements, and a very intelligent and polite Englishman who
acts as "adviser" to a native prince in the administration of
an interior province.

On the same train and next to our compartment was the private
coach of the Gaikwar of Baroda, who was attended by a dozen or
more servants, and came to the train escorted by a multitude of
friends, who hung garlands of marigold about his neck until his
eyes and the bridge of his nose were the only features visible.
The first-class passengers came down with car loads of trunks and
bags and bundles, which, to avoid the charge for extra luggage,
they endeavored to stowaway in their compartments. The third-class
carriages were packed like sardines with natives, and up to the
limit allowed by law, for, painted in big white letters, where every
passenger and every observer can read it, is a notice giving the
number of people that can be jammed into that particular compartment
in the summer and in the winter. We found similar inscriptions
on nearly all freight cars which are used to transport natives
during the fairs and festivals that occur frequently--allowing
fifteen in summer and twenty-three in winter in some of the cars,
and in the larger ones thirty-four in winter and twenty-six in
summer, to avoid homicide by suffocation.

The Gaikwar of Baroda in his luxurious chariot did not sleep any
better than the innocent and humble mortals that occupied our
beds. We woke up in the morning at Ahmedabad, got a good breakfast
at the station, and went out to see the wonderful temples and
palaces and bazaars that are described in the next chapter.

There are now nearly 28,000 miles of railway lines in India.
On Jan. 1, 1903, the exact mileage under operation was 26,563,
with 1,190 miles under construction. The latter was more than
half completed during the year, and before the close of 1905,
unless something occurs to prevent, the total will pass the thirty
thousand mark. The increase has been quite rapid during the last
five years, owing to the experience of the last famine, when
it was demonstrated that facilities for rapid transportation
of food supplies from one part of the country to another were
an absolute necessity. It is usually the case that when the
inhabitants of one province are dying of starvation those of
another are blessed with abundant crops, and the most effective
remedy for famine is the means of distributing the food supply
where it is needed. Before the great mutiny of 1857 there were
few railroads in India, and the lesson taught by that experience
was of incalculable value. If re-enforcements could have been
sent by rail to the beleaguered garrisons, instead of making
the long marches, the massacres might have been prevented and
thousands of precious lives might have been saved. In 1880 the
system amounted to less than 10,000 miles. In 1896 it had been
doubled; in 1901 it had passed the 25,000 mile mark, and now
the existing lines are being extended, and branches and feeders
are being built for military as well as famine emergencies. All
the principal districts and cities are connected by rail. All
of the important strategical points and military cantonments
can be reached promptly, as necessity requires, and in case of
a rebellion troops could be poured into any particular point
from the farthermost limits of India within three or four days.

As I have already reminded you several times, India is a very
big country, and it requires many miles of rails to furnish even
necessary transportation facilities. The time between Bombay and
Calcutta is forty-five hours by ordinary trains and thirty-eight
hours by a fast train, with limited passenger accommodation, which
starts from the docks of Bombay immediately after the arrival of
steamers with the European mails. From Madras, the most important
city of southern India, to Delhi, the most important in the north,
sixty-six hours of travel are required. From Peshawur, the extreme
frontier post in the north, which commands the Kyber Pass, leading
into, Afganistan, to Tuticorin, the southern terminus of the system,
it is 3,400 miles by the regular railway route, via Calcutta,
and seven days and night will be necessary to make the journey
under ordinary circumstances. Troops could be hurried through
more rapidly.

Nearly all the railways of India have either been built by the
government or have been assisted with guarantees of the payment
of from 3 to 5 per cent dividends. The government itself owns
19,126 miles and has guaranteed 3,866 miles, while 3,242 miles
have been constructed by the native states. Of the government
lines 13,441 miles have been leased to private companies for
operation; 5,125 miles are operated by the government itself.
Nearly three-fourths of the lines owned by native states have
been leased for operation.

The total capital invested in railway property, to the end of
1902, amounted to $1,025,000,000, and during that year the average
net earnings of the entire mileage amounted to 5.10 per cent
of that amount. The surplus earnings, after the payment of all
fixed charges and guarantees and interest upon bonds amounted
to $4,233,080.

The number of passengers carried in 1,902 was 197,749,567, an
increase of 6,614,211 over the previous year. The aggregate freight
hauled was 44,142,672 tons, an increase of 2,104,425 tons over
previous year, which shows a healthy condition. During the last
ten years the gross earnings of all the railways in India increased
at the rate of 41 per cent.

Of the gross earnings 59 per cent. were derived from freight and
the balance from passengers.

There is now no town of importance in India without a telegraph
station. The telephone is not much used, but the telegraph lines,
which belong to the government, more than pay expenses. There
has been an enormous increase in the number of messages sent
in the last few years by natives, which indicates that they are
learning the value of modern improvements.

The government telegraph lines are run in connection with the
mails and in the smaller towns the postmasters are telegraph
operators also. In the large cities the telegraph offices are
situated in the branch postoffices and served by the same men, so
that it is difficult to divide the cost of maintenance. According
to the present system the telegraph department maintains the
lines, supplies all the telegraphic requirements of the offices
and pays one-half of the salaries of operators, who also attend
to duties connected with the postoffice. There were 68,084 miles
of wire and 15,686 offices on January 1, 1904. The rate of charges
for ordinary telegrams is 33 cents for eight words, and 4 cents
for each additional word. Telegrams marked "urgent" are given
the right of way over all other business and are charged double
the ordinary rates. Telegrams marked "deferred" are sent at the
convenience of the operator, generally during the night, at half
of the ordinary rates. As a matter of convenience telegrams may
be paid for by sticking postage stamps upon the blanks.

There are 38,479 postoffices in India and in 1902 545,364,313
letters were handled, which was an increase of 24,000,000 over the
previous year and of 100,000,000 since 1896. The total revenues of
the postoffice department were $6,785,880, while the expenditures
were $6,111,070.



Ahmedabad, capital of the province of Jujarat, once the greatest
city of India, and formerly "as large as London," is the first
stopping place on the conventional tour from Bombay through the
northern part of the empire, because it contains the most perfect
and pure specimens of Saracenic architecture; and our experience
taught us that it is a place no traveler should miss. It certainly
ranks next to Agra and Delhi for the beauty and extent of its
architectural glories, and for other reasons it is worth visiting.
In the eleventh century it was the center of the Eden of India,
broad, fertile plains, magnificent forests of sweet-scented trees,
abounding in population and prosperity. It has passed through
two long periods of greatness, two of decay and one of revival.
Under the rule of Sidh Rajah, "the Magnificent," one of the noblest
and greatest of the Moguls, it reached the height of its wealth
and power at the beginning of the fifteenth century. He erected
schools, palaces and temples, and surrounded them with glorious
gardens. He called to his side learned pundits and scholarly
priests, who taught philosophy and morals under his generous
patronage. He encouraged the arts and industries. His wealth was
unlimited, and, according to local tradition, he lived in a style
of magnificence that has never been surpassed by any of the native
princes since. His jewels were the wonder of the world, and one
of the legends says that he inherited them from the gods. But,
unfortunately, his successors were weak and worthless men, and
the glory of his kingdom passed gradually away until, a century
later, his debilitated and indolent subjects were overcome and
passed under the power of a Moslem who, in the earlier part of
the sixteenth century, restored the importance of the province.

Ahmed Shah was his name.

He built a citadel of impregnable strength and imposing architecture
and surrounded it by a city with broad streets and splendid buildings
and called it after himself; for Ahmedabad means the City of Ahmed.
Where his predecessor attracted priests and scholars he brought
artists, clever craftsmen, skilled mechanics and artisans in gold,
silver, brass and clay; weavers of costly fabrics with genius to
design and skill to execute. Architects and engineers were sent
for from all parts of the world, and merchants came from every
country to buy wares. Thus Ahmedabad became a center of trade
and manufacture, with a population of a million inhabitants, and
was the richest and busiest city in the Mogul Empire. Merchants
who had come to buy in its markets spread its reputation over
the world and attracted valuable additions to its trades and
professions. Travelers, scholars and philosophers came to study
the causes of its prosperity, and marvelous stories are told by
them in letters and books they wrote concerning its palaces,
temples and markets. An envoy from the Duke of Holstein gives
us a vivid account of the grandeur of the city and the splendor
of the court, and tells of a wedding, at which the daughter of
Ahmed Shah married the second son of the grand mogul. She carried
to Delhi as her dower twenty elephants, a thousand horses and
six thousand wagons loaded with the richest stuffs of whatever
was rare in the country. The household of the rajah, he says,
consisted of five hundred persons, and cost him five thousand
pounds a month to maintain, "not comprehending the account of his
stables, where he kept five hundred horses and fifty elephants."
When this traveler visited the rajah he was sitting in a pavilion
in his garden, clad in a white vestment, according to the Indian
code, over which he had a cloak of gold "brocade," the ground
color being carnation lined with white satin, and above it was
a collar of sable, whereof the skins were sewed together so that
the tails hung over down his back.

Among the manufacturers and business men of Ahmedabad in those
days, as now, were many Jains--the Quakers of India--who belong
to the rich middle class. They believe in peace, and are so
tender-hearted that they will not even kill a mosquito or a flea.
They are great business men, however, notwithstanding their soft
hearts, and the most rapid money-makers in the empire. They built
many of the most beautiful temples in India, in which they worship
a kind and gentle god whose attributes are amiability, benevolence
and compassion. The Jains of Ahmedabad still maintain a large
"pinjrapol," or asylum for diseased and aged animals, with about
800 inmates, decrepit beasts of all species, by which they acquire
merit with their god. And about the streets, and in the outskirts
of the city, sitting on the tops of what look like telegraph
poles, are pigeon houses; some of them ornamented with carving,
other painted in gay colors and all of them very picturesque.
These are rest houses for birds, which the Jains have built,
and every day basins of food are placed in them for the benefit
of the hungry. In the groves outside of the city are thousands
of monkeys, and they are much cleaner and more respectable in
appearance than any you ever saw in a circus or a zoo. They are
as large as Italian greyhounds, and of similar color, with long
hair and uncommonly long tails, and so tame they will come up to
strangers who know enough to utter a call that they understand.
Our coachman bought a penny's worth of sweet bread in one of the
groceries that we passed, and when we reached the first grove
he uttered a cry similar to that which New England dairymen use
in calling their cattle. In an instant monkeys began to drop from
the limbs of trees that overhang the roadway, and came scampering
from the corners, where they had probably been indulging in noonday
naps. In two minutes he was surrounded by thirty-eight monkeys,
which leaped and capered around like so many dogs as he held
the sugar cake up in the air before them. It was a novel sight.
These monkeys are fed regularly at the expense of the Jains, and
none of God's creatures is too insignificant or irritating to
escape their comprehensive benevolence.

One of the temples of the Jains, the Swamee Narayan, as they call
it, on the outskirts of the city, is considered the noblest modern
sacred building in all India. It is a mass of elaborate carving,
tessellated marble floors and richly colored decorations, 150
feet long by 100 feet wide, with an overhanging roof supported
by eighty columns, and no two of them are alike. They are masses
of carving-figures of men and gods, saints and demons, animals,
insects, fishes, trees and flowers, such as are only seen in the
delirium of fever, are portrayed with the most exquisite taste
and delicacy upon all of the surface exposed. The courtyard is
inclosed by a colonnade of beautifully carved columns, upon which
open fifty shrines with pagoda domes about twelve feet high, and
in each of them are figures of Tirthankars, or saints of the
calendar of the Jains. The temple is dedicated to Dharmamath, a
sort of Jain John the Baptist, whose image, crowned with diamonds
and other jewels, sits behind a beautiful gilded screen.

Ahmedabad now has a population of about 130,000. The ancient
walls which inclose it are in excellent preservation and surround
an area of about two square miles. There are twelve arched gateways
with heavy teakwood doors studded with long brass spikes as a
defense against elephants, which in olden times were taught to
batter down such obstructions with their heads. The commerce of
the city has declined of late years, but the people are still
famous for objects of taste and ornament, and, according to the
experts, their "chopped" gold is "the finest archaic jewelry in
India," almost identical in shape and design with the ornaments
represented upon sculptured images in Assyria. The goldsmiths
make all kinds of personal adornments; necklaces, bracelets,
anklets, toe, finger, nose and ear rings, girdles and arm-bands
of gold, silver, copper and brass, and this jewelry is worn by the
women of India as the best of investments. They turn their money
into it instead of patronizing banks. As Mr. Micawber would have
expressed it, they convert their assets into portable property.

The manufacture of gold and silver thread occupies the attention
of thousands of people, and hundreds more are engaged in weaving
this thread with silk into brocades called "kincobs," worn by
rich Hindus and sold by weight instead of by measure. They are
practically metallic cloth. The warp, or the threads running
one way, is all either gold or silver, while the woof, or those
running the other, are of different colored silks, and the patterns
are fashioned with great taste and delicacy. These brocades wear
forever, but are very expensive. A coat such as a rajah or a rich
Hindu must wear upon an occasion of ceremony is worth several
thousand dollars. Indeed, rajahs have had robes made at Ahmedabad
for which the cloth alone cost $5,000 a yard. The skill of the
wire drawers is amazing. So great is their delicacy of touch
that they can make a thousand yards of silver thread out of a
silver dollar; and if you will give one of them a sovereign, in
a few moments he will reel off a spool of gold wire as fine as
No. 80 cotton, and he does it with the simplest, most primitive
of tools.

Nearly all the gold, silver and tin foil used in India is made
at Ahmedabad, also in a primitive way, for the metal is spread
between sheets of paper and beaten with a heavy hammer. The town
is famous for its pottery also, and for many other manufactured

The artisans are organized into guilds, like those of Europe in
ancient times, with rules and regulations as strict as those of
modern trades unions. The nagar-seth, or Lord Mayor, of Ahmedabad,
is the titular head of all the guilds, and presides over a central
council which has jurisdiction of matters of common interest. But
each of the trades has its own organization and officers. Membership
is hereditary; for in India, as in all oriental countries, it
is customary for children to follow the trade or profession of
their father. If an outsider desires to join one of the guilds
he is compelled to comply with very rigid regulations and pay a
heavy fee. Some of the guilds are rich, their property having
been acquired by fines, fees and legacies, and they loan money
to their own members. A serious crisis confronts the guilds of
Ahmedabad in the form of organized capital and labor-saving
machinery. Until a few years ago all of the manufacturing was
done in the households by hand work. Within recent years five
cotton factories, representing a capital of more than $2,500,000,
have been established, and furnish labor for 3,000 men, women and
children. This innovation was not opposed by the guilds because
its products would come into direct competition only with the
cotton goods of England, and would give employment to many idle
people; but now that silk looms and other machinery are proposed
the guilds are becoming alarmed and are asking where the intrusions
are likely to stop.

The tombs of Ahmed, and Ganj Bhash, his chaplain, or spiritual
adviser, a saintly mortal who admonished him of his sins and kept
his feet in the path that leads to paradise, are both delightful,
if such an adjective can apply, and are covered with exquisite
marble embroidery, almost incredible in its perfection of detail.
It is such as modern sculptors have neither the audacity or the
imagination to design nor the skill or patience to execute. But
they are not well kept. The rozah, or courtyard, in which the
great king lies sleeping, surrounded by his wives, his children
and other members of his family and his favorite ministers, is
not cared for. It is dirty and dilapidated.


This vision of frozen music, as some one has described it, is a
square building with a dome and walls of perforated fretwork in
marble as delicate as Jack Frost ever traced upon a window pane.
It is inclosed by a crumbling wall of mud, and can be reached only
through a narrow and dirty lane obstructed by piles of rubbish,
and the enjoyment of the visitor is sometimes destroyed and always
seriously interfered with by the importunities of priests, peddlers
and beggars who pursue him for backsheesh.

The lane from the mausoleum leads into the courtyard of the Jumma
Musjid, a mosque erected by Ahmed Shah at the height of his power
and glory. It is considered one of the most stately and satisfactory
examples of Saracenic architecture.

The most beautiful piece of carving, however, in this great
collection is a window in a deserted mosque called Sidi Sayid.
Perhaps you are familiar with it. It has been photographed over
and over again, and has been copied in alabaster, marble, plaster
and wax; it has been engraved, photographed and painted, and is used
in textbooks on architecture as an illustration of the perfection
reached by the sculptors of India. The design is so complicated
that I cannot describe it, but the central features are trees,
with intertwining boughs, and the Hindu who made it could use
his chisel with as free and delicate a hand as Raphael used his
brush. Fergusson, who is recognized as the highest authority on
architecture, says that it is "more like a work of nature than
any other architectural detail that has yet been designed, even
by the best masters of Greece or the middle ages." Yet the mosque
which this precious gem made famous is abandoned and deserted,
and the courtyard is now a cow pasture.



A board of geographic names, similar to that we have in Washington,
is badly needed in India to straighten out discrepancies in the
nomenclature on the maps. I was told that only three towns in
all the vast empire have a single spelling; all the rest have
several; some have many; and the name of one town--I have forgotten
which--is given in sixty-five different ways. Jeypore, for example,
is given in fifteen. The sign over the entrance to the railway
station reads "Jeypure;" on the lamps that light the platform
it is painted "Jeypoor"; on the railway ticket it was "Jaypur";
on the bill of fare in the refreshment-room of the station it
was "Jaipor"; on a telegram delivered by the operator at the
station it was spelled "Jaiphur." If the employes about a single
establishment in the town can get up that number of spells, what
are we to expect from the rest of the inhabitants of a city of
150,000 people, and Jeypore is one of the simplest and easiest
names in the gazetteer. The neighboring city of Jodpore, capital
of the adjoining native state of Marwar, offers an even greater
variety of orthoepy, for it appears in a different spelling on each
of the three maps I carried around--a railway map, a government
map, and the map in Murray's Guide Book. This is a fair illustration
of the dissensions over nomenclature, which are bewildering to
a stranger, who never knows when he gets the right spelling,
and sometimes cannot even find the towns he is looking for.

Jodpore is famous for its forts, which present an imposing appearance
from a wide spreading plain, as they are perched at the top of a
rocky hill three hundred feet high, with almost perpendicular
sides. The only way to reach it is by a zigzag road chiseled
out of the cliff, which leads to a massive gateway. The walls
are twenty-eight feet high, twenty-eight feet thick, and are
crowned with picturesque towers. During ascent you are shown
the impressions of the hands of the fifteen wives of one of the
rajahs who were all burned in one grand holocaust upon his funeral
pyre. I don't know why they did it, but the marks are there.
Within the walls are some very interesting old palaces, built
in the fifteenth century, of pure Hindu architecture, and the
carvings and perforated marble work are of the most delicate
and beautiful designs. The treasury, which contains the family
jewels and plate, is the chief object of tourist curiosity, and
they are a collection worth going far to see. The pearls and
emeralds are especially fine, and are worth millions. The saddles,
bridles, harness and other stable equipments are loaded with gold
and silver ornaments set with precious stones, and the trappings
for elephants are covered with the most gorgeous gold and silver

About half a mile outside the city walls is a temple called the
Maha Mandir, whose roof is supported by a hundred richly decorated
columns. On each side of it are palaces intended exclusively
for the use of spirits of former rulers of the country. Their
beds are laid out with embroidery coverings and lace, sheltered
by golden canopies and curtains of brocade, but are never slept
in by living people, being reserved for the spirits of the dead.
This is the only exhibition of the kind to be seen in India,
and why the dead and gone rulers of Marwar should need lodgings
when those of the other Indian states do not, is an unsolved

In the royal cemetery, three miles to the north, rows of beautiful
but neglected cenotaphs mark the spots where the remains of each
of some 300 rajahs were consumed with their widows. Some of them
had more and some less, according to their taste and opportunities,
and sutti, or widow burning, was enforced in Jodpore more strictly
than anywhere else in India. You can imagine the thoughts this
extraordinary place suggests. Within its walls, in obedience
to an awful and relentless custom, not less than nine hundred
or a thousand innocent, helpless women were burned alive, for
these oriental potentates certainly must have allowed themselves
at least three wives each. That would be a very moderate estimate.
I have no doubt that some of them had forty, and perhaps four
hundred, and we know that one had fifteen. But no matter how
many times a rajah went to the matrimonial altar, every wife that
outlived him was burned upon his funeral pyre in order that he
might enjoy her society in the other world. Since widow burning was
stopped by the British government in the sixties, the spirits of
the rajahs of Jodpore have since been compelled to go to paradise
without company. But they do not take any chances of offending the
deities by neglect, for on a hill that overlooks their cemetery
they have erected a sort of sweepstakes temple to Three Hundred
Million Gods.

At the palace of the rajah of Ulwar, in a city of the same name,
sometimes spelled Alwar and in forty other different ways, which
lies about thirty miles north of Jodpore, is another collection
of jewels, ranked among the finest in India. The treasure-house
contains several great chests of teakwood, handsomely carved
and gilded, bound with gold and silver bands, and filled with
valuable plate, arms, equipment, vessels and ornaments that have
accumulated in the family during several centuries, and no matter
how severe the plague or how many people are dying of famine,
these precious heirlooms have never been disturbed. Perhaps the
most valuable piece of the collection is a drinking cup, cut from
a single emerald, as large as those used for after dinner coffee.
There is a ruby said to be one of the largest in existence and
worth $750,000; a yellow diamond valued at $100,000; several
strings of almost priceless pearls and other jewels of similar
value. There are caskets of gold and ivory in which hundreds of
thousands of dollars' worth of jewels are imbedded, perfumery
bottles of solid gold with the surfaces entirely incrusted with
pearls and diamonds, and hung upon the walls around the apartment
are shawls that are worth a thousand times their weight in gold.
The saddles, harness and elephant trappings are much more beautiful
and costly than those at Jodpore, and in the adjoining armory is
a remarkable collection of swords and other weapons with hilts
of gold, jade, enamel and jewels. A coat of mail worn by Bani
Singh, grandfather of the present rajah, is made of solid gold,
weighing sixteen and a half pounds, and is lavishly decorated
with diamonds. The library is rich in rare oriental books and
manuscripts wonderfully illuminated in colors and gold. It has
a large collection of editions of the Koran in fifty or more
different languages, and one manuscript book called "The Gulistan"
is claimed to be the most valuable volume in India. The librarian
insisted that it is worth 500,000 rupees, which is equivalent to
about $170,000, and declared that the actual cost of the gold
used in illuminating it was more than $50,000. It is a modern
manuscript copy of a religious poem, made in 1848 by a German
scribe at the order of the Maharaja Bani Singh. The miniatures
and other pictures were painted by a native artist at Delhi,
and the ornamental scroll work upon the margins of the pages and
the initial letters were done by a resident of Ulwar.

Nearly all of the capitals of the provinces of Rajputana have
similar treasures, the accumulations of centuries, and it seems
like criminal negligence to keep such enormous sums of money tied
up in jewels and useless ornaments when they might be expended or
invested to the great advantage of the people in public works and
manufactories. Some of the towns need such industries very badly
because, off the farms, there is nothing in the way of employment
for either men or women, and every branch of agriculture is
overcrowded. One may moralize about these conditions as long
as he likes; however, changes occur very slowly in India, and as
Kipling so pertinently puts it in one of his poems, it's only
a fool "Who tries to hustle the East."

Jeypore is the best, the largest and most prosperous of the twenty
Rajput capitals, and is beyond comparison the finest modern city
in India. It is also the busiest. Everybody seems to have plenty
to do, and plenty to spend. The streets are as crowded and as
busy as those of London or New York, with a bustling and stalwart
race of men and women, happy and contented, and showing more
energy than you often see in an oriental country. The climate is
cool, dry and healthful. The city stands upon a sandy and arid
plain, 1,600 feet above the sea, surrounded by stony hills and
wide wastes of desert, but, even these natural disadvantages have
contributed to its wealth and industries, for the barren hills are
filled with deposits of fine clays, rare ores and cheap jewels
like garnets, carbuncles and agates, which have furnished the
people one of their most profitable trades. Out of this material
they make an enamel which is famous everywhere, and has been the
source of great gain and fame. It is shipped in large quantities
to Europe, but the greater part is sold in the markets of India.


Jeypore is surrounded by a wall twenty feet high and nine feet
thick, built within the last century, and hence almost in perfect
condition. Indeed the town, unlike most of the Indian cities,
is entirely without ruins, and you have to ride five miles on
the back of an elephant in order to see one. The streets are
wide and well paved, and laid out at exact angles. Four great
thoroughfares 111 feet wide run at equal intervals at right angles
with each other. All the other streets are fifty-five feet wide
and the alleys are twenty-eight feet. Parks and public squares
are laid out with the same regularity, and the houses are of
uniform heights and generally after the same pattern. The facades
are almost fantastic, being covered profusely with stucco and
"ginger-bread work," so much that it is almost bewildering. The
roofs are guarded by highly ornamental balustrades that look
like perforated marble, but are only molded plaster; the windows
are filled with similar material; the doorways are usually arched
and protected with overhanging canopies, and the doors are painted
with pictures in brilliant colors. The entire city has been
"whitewashed" a bright rose color, every house having almost the
same tint, which gives a peculiar appearance. There is nothing
else like it in all the world. The outer walls of many of the
house are painted with pictures of animals and birds, trees,
pagodas and other fantastic designs, and scenes like those on
the drop curtains of theatres, which appear to have been done
by unskilled amateurs, and the whole effect--the colors, the
gingerbread work and the tints--reminds you of the frosted cakes
and other table decorations you sometimes see in confectioners'
windows at Christmas time. You wonder that the entire city does
not melt and run together under the heat of the burning sun.
The people wear colors even more brilliant than those of their
houses, and in whichever direction you look you see continual
streams passing up and down each broad highway like animated
rainbows, broken here and there by trains of loaded camels, huge
elephants with fanciful canopies on their backs and half-naked
Hindus astride their heads, guiding them. Jeypore was the first
place we found elephants used for business purposes, and they
seemed to be quite numerous--more numerous than horses--and some
of them were covered with elaborate trappings and saddles, and
had their heads painted in gay tints and designs. That was a
new idea also, which I had never seen before, and I was told
that it is peculiar to Jeypore. The bullock carts, which furnish
the only other means of transportation, are also gayly painted.
The designs are sometimes rude and the execution bears evidence
of having been done with more zeal than skill. The artist got the
giddiest colors he could find, and laid them on without regard
to time or expense. The wheels, bodies and tongues of the carts;
and the canopies that cover those in which women are carried,
are nightmares of yellows, greens, blues, reds and purples, like
cheap wooden toys. Everything artificial at Jeypore is as bright
and gay as dyes and paint can make it.

A great deal of cloth is manufactured there, both cotton and
silk; most of it in little shops opening on the sidewalk, and it
is woven and dyed by hand where everybody can see that the work
is honestly done. As you walk along the business part of town you
will see women and children holding long strips of red, green,
orange, purple or blue cloth--sometimes cotton and sometimes silk,
fresh from the vats of dye, out of the dust, in the sunshine,
until the colors are securely fastened in the fibers. Even the men
paint their whiskers in fantastic colors. It is rather startling
to come up against an old gentleman with a long beard the color of
an orange or a spitzenberg apple. You imagine they are lunatics,
but they are only pious Mohammedans anxious to imitate the Prophet,
who, according to tradition, had red whiskers.

About half of the space of the four wide streets is given up
to sidewalk trading, and rows of booths, two or three miles in
length, occupy the curbstones, with all kinds of goods; everything
that anybody could possibly want, fruits, vegetables, groceries,
provisions, boots and shoes, ready-made clothing, hats and caps,
cotton goods and every article of wearing apparel you can think
of, household articles, furniture, drugs and medicines, jewelry,
stationery, toys--everything is sold by these sidewalk merchants,
who squat upon a piece of matting with their stock neatly piled
around them.

One feature of the street life in Jeypore, however, is likely
to make nervous people apprehensive. The maharaja and other rich
men keep panthers, leopards, wildcats and other savage beasts
trained for tiger hunting and other sporting purposes, and allow
their grooms to lead them around through the crowded thoroughfares
just as though they were poodle dogs. It is true that the brutes
wear muzzles, but you do not like the casual way they creep up
behind you and sniff at the calves of your legs.

Siwai Madhao Singh, Maharaja of Jeypore, is one of the most
interesting persons in India, and he represents the one hundred
and twenty-third of his family, descendants of the hero of a
great Sanskrit epic called the Ramayana, while the emperor of
Japan represents only the one hundred and twenty-third of his
family, which is reckoned the oldest of royal blood. The poem
consists of 24,000 stanzas, arranged in seven books, and describes
the adventures and sets forth the philosophy of Rama, the seventh
incarnation of Vishnu, one of the two greatest of the gods.


Siwai Madhao Singh is proud of his ancestry, proud of his ancient
faith, proud of the traditions of his race, and adheres with
scrupulous conservatism to the customs and the manners of his
forefathers. At the same time he is very progressive, and Jeypore,
his capital, has the best modern museum, the best hospital, the
best college, the best industrial and art school, and the largest
school for girls among all the native states of India, and is more
progressive than any other Indian city except Calcutta and Bombay.
The maharaja was selected to represent the native princes at the
coronation of King Edward, and at first declined to go because he
could not leave India for a foreign country without losing caste.
When the reasons for his selection had been explained to him, and
he was informed that his refusal must be construed as an act of
disrespect to his sovereign, he decided that it was his duty to
waive his religious scruples and other objections and show his
esteem and loyalty for the Emperor of India. But he could not
go without great preparation. He undertook to protect himself
as much as possible from foreign influences and temptations,
and adhered as strictly as circumstances would allow to the
requirements of his caste and religion. He chartered a ship to
carry him from Bombay to London and back; loaded it with native
food supplies sufficient to last him and his party for six months,
and a six months' supply of water from the sacred Ganges for
cooking and drinking purposes. His preparations were as extensive
and complete as if he were going to establish a colony on some
desert island. He was attended by about 150 persons, including
priests, who carried their gods, altars, incense, gongs, records,
theological works, and all the appurtenances required to set up
a Hindu temple in London. He had his own stewards, cooks and
butchers--servants of every kind--and, of course, a good supply
of wives and dancing girls. A temporary temple was set up on the
dock in Bombay before sailing, and Rama, his divine ancestor,
was worshiped continuously for two weeks by the maharaja's priests
in order to secure his beneficent favor on the voyage. When London
was reached the entire outfit was transferred to a palace allotted
to his use, and such an establishment as he maintained there
was never seen in the world's metropolis before.

Siwai Madhao Singh was received with distinguished honors by the
king, the court, the ministry, the statesmen and the commercial
and industrial interests of England. He was one of the most
conspicuous persons at the coronation, and if he had been trained
from childhood for the part he could not have conducted himself
with greater grace and dignity. Everybody was delighted with him,
and he was delighted with his reception. He returned to Jeypore
filled with new ideas and inspired with new ambitions to promote
the welfare of his people, and although he had previously shown
remarkable capacity for government he feels that his experience
and the knowledge he acquired during his journey were of inestimable
value to him. One of the results is a determination to send his
sons to England to be educated, because he feels that it would
be an injustice to them and to the people over whom they must
some time rule, to deprive them of the advantages offered by
English institutions and by association with the people that
he desires them to meet. Caste is no longer an objection. The
maharaja has broken caste without suffering any disadvantage,
and has discovered that other considerations are more important.
He has learned by actual personal experience that the prejudices
of his race and religion against travel and association with
foreigners has done an immeasurable amount of injustice. He has
seen with his own eyes how the great men of England live and
prosper without caste, and is willing to do like them. They do
not believe in it. They regard it as a narrow, unjust and
inconvenient restriction, and he is partially convinced that they
are right. The most distinctive feature of Hindu civilization
thus received a blow from which it can never recover, because
Siwai Madhao Singh is recognized as one of the ablest, wisest
and most sincere of all the Hindu princes, and his influence in
this and as in other things is almost unlimited. He expects to
go to England again. He desires to visit other countries also,
because he realizes that he can learn much that is of value to
him and to his people by studying the methods and the affairs
of foreign nations.


In November, 1902, when Lord Curzon visited Jeypore, a banquet
was given in his honor, at which the maharaja made a remarkable
speech, alluding to his experience in England and the benefit
he derived from that visit. In reply Lord Curzon said: "When
I persuaded Your Highness to go to England as the chosen
representative of Rajputana at the coronation of the king, you
felt some hesitation as to the sharp separation from your home
and from the duties and the practices of your previous life.
But you have returned fortified with the conviction that dignity
and simplicity of character, and uprightness and magnanimity of
conduct are esteemed by the nobility and the people of England
not less than they are here. I hope that Your Highness' example
may be followed by those who come after you, and that it may
leave an enduring mark in Indian history."

The palace and gardens of the maharaja cover one-seventh of the
entire area of the city of Jeypore, and are inclosed within a
mighty wall, which is entered through several stately gates.
The only portion of the palace visible from the street is called
the Hawal Mahal, or "Hall of the Winds," which Sir Edwin Arnold's
glowing pen describes as "a vision of daring and dainty loveliness,
nine stories of rosy masonry, delicate overhanging balconies and
latticed windows, soaring tier after tier of fanciful architecture,
a very mountain of airy and audacious beauty, through a thousand
pierced screens and gilded arches. Aladdin's magician could have
called into existence no more marvelous an abode, nor was the
pearl and silver palace of the Peri more delicately charming."

Those who have had the opportunity to compare Sir Edwin Arnold's
descriptions with the actual objects in Japan, India and elsewhere
are apt to give a liberal allowance to his statements. He may be
an accomplished poet, but he cannot see straight. He looks at
everything through rose-colored magnifying glasses. The Hall of
the Winds is a picturesque and unique piece of Hindu architecture.
It looks like the frosting on a confectioners' cake. But it is
six instead of nine stories in height, is made of the cheapest
sort of stucco, and covered with deep pink calcimine. It is the
residence of the ladies of the harem, or zenana, as that mysterious
part of a household is called in India.

The palace of the maharaja is a noble building, but very ornate,
and is furnished with the most tawdry and inappropriate French
hangings and furniture. It is a pity that His Highness did not
allow his own taste to prevail, and use nothing but native furniture
and fabrics. His garden is lovely, being laid out in the highest
style of Hindu landscape art. At the foot of the grounds is a
great marble building, open on all sides, with a picturesque
roof sustained by a multitude of columns, which is the public
or audience hall, where His Highness receives his subjects and
conducts affairs of ceremony. Behind it is a relic of some of
his semi-barbarous ancestors in the form of a tank, in which a
lot of loathsome crocodiles are kept for the amusement of people
who like that sort of thing. They are looked after by a venerable,
half-naked old Hindu, who calls them up to the terrace by uttering
a peculiar cry, and, when they poke their ugly noses out of the
water and crawl up the steps, teases them with dainty morsels
he has obtained at the nearest slaughter-house. It is not a
soul-lifting spectacle.

The stables are more interesting. The maharaja maintains the
elephant stud of his ancestors, and has altogether about eighty
monsters, which are used for heavy work about the palace grounds
and for traveling in the country. In the stud are two enormous
savage beasts, which fight duels for the entertainment of the
maharaja and his guests. These duels take place in a paddock
where horses are exercised. His Highness has erected a little
kiosk, in which he can sit sheltered from the sun while the sport
goes on. He also has a lot of leopards, panthers and cheetahs
(Hindu wildcats), trained like dogs for hunting purposes, and
are said to be as useful and intelligent as Gordon setters. He
frequently takes a party of friends into the jungle for tiger
shooting, and uses these tame beasts to scare up the game.

He is fond of horses and has 300 breeding mares and stallions
kept in long stables opening upon the paddock in which they are
trained. Each horse has a coolie to look after it, for no coolie
could possibly attend to more than one. The man has nothing else
to do. He sleeps on the straw in the stall of the animal, and
seldom leaves it for a moment from the time he is assigned to
the duty until his services are no longer required. The maharaja
has spent a great deal of money and taken a great deal of pains
to improve the stock of his subjects, both horses and cattle. He
has an experimental farm for encouraging agriculture and teaching
the people, and a horticultural garden of seventy acres, with a
menagerie, in which are a lot of beautiful tigers captured by
his own men upon his own estates within twelve miles of town.
They catch a good many tigers alive, and one of his amiable habits
is to present them to his friends and people whom he desires to

In the center of the horticultural garden stands one of the noblest
modern buildings in India, a museum which the maharaja established
several years ago for the permanent exhibition of the arts and
industries of his people, who are very highly skilled in metal and
loom work of all kinds, in sculpture, enameling, in making jewelry
of gold and silver, and varieties of glass work. At great expense
he has assembled samples of similar work from other countries in
order that his subjects may have the benefit of comparing it
with their own, and in connection with the museum has established
a school of art and industry. This at present has between five
and six hundred students receiving instruction in the arts and
industries in which the people of Jeypore have always excelled.
The museum is called Albert Hall, in honor of the King of England,
and the park is christened in memory of the late Earl of Mayo,
who, while Viceroy of India, became an intimate friend and revered
adviser of the father of the maharaja. An up-to-date hospital
with a hundred beds is named Mayo Hospital.

The Maharaja's College is another institution which has been
established by this public-spirited and progressive Hindu, who
has done more for the education of his people than any other
native prince. There are now about 1,000 students, with a faculty
of eighty-two professors, including fifteen Englishmen and twelve
Persians. The college is affiliated with the University of Calcutta,
and has the best reputation of any institution of learning among
the native states. But even higher testimony to the liberality and
progressive spirit of this prince is a school for the education
of women. It is only of recent years that the women in India
were considered worth educating, and even now only about half
a million in this vast country, with a female population of
150,000,000, can read and write. But the upper classes are gradually
beginning to realize the advantage of educating their girls,
and the Maharaja of Jeypore was one of the first to establish
a school for that purpose, which now has between 700 and 800
girls under the instruction of English and native teachers.

We had great fun at Jeypore, and saw many curious and interesting
things, for it is the liveliest and most attractive place we found
in India, with the greatest number of novelties and distinctive
local color. We went about day after day like a lot of lunatics,
kodaks in hand, taking snap-shots at all the odd looking
characters--and their name is legion--that we saw in the streets,
and it was an unusual experience. Everybody hasn't an opportunity
to photograph a group of elephants in full regalia carrying their
owners' wives or daughters on shopping excursions or to visit
friends--of course we didn't know which. And that is only one
of the many unusual spectacles that visitors to Jeypore may see
in every direction they choose to look. The gay raiment worn by
the women and the men, the fantastic designs painted upon the
walls of the houses and the bullock carts, are a never-ending
delight, for they are absolutely unique, and the latter ought
to be placed on pedestals in museums instead of being driven
about for ordinary transportation purposes. The yokes of the
oxen are carved with fanciful designs; everything is yellow or
orange or red. Even the camels are draped with long nettings
and fringes and tassels that reach from their humps to their
heels. The decorative idea seems to prevail over everything in
Jeypore. Nothing is without an ornament, no matter how humble
its purpose or how cheap its material or mechanism, its owner
embellishes as much as money and imagination will allow. Everything
pays tribute to the esthetic sense of the people.

The bullocks are lean animals of cream color, with long legs,
and trot over the road like horses, making four or five miles
an hour. Instead of carrying a bit in their mouths, the reins
are attached to a little piece of iron that passes through a
hole in the cartilage of the nose, and the traces which draw
the load spring from a collar that resembles a yoke. Most of
the hauling is done by these animals. They are used for every
purpose that we use horses and mules. Cows are never yoked. They
are sacred. The religion of the Hindu prohibits him from subjecting
them to labor. They are used for milking and breeding, and are
allowed to run at large. Nobody dare injure a cow or even treat
it unkindly. It would be as great a sin as kicking a congressman.
A learned pundit told me the other day how it happened that cows
became so highly esteemed in India. Of course he did not pretend
to have been on the spot, but had formed a theory from reading,
study and reflection, and by that same method all valuable theories
are produced. He said that once upon a time cattle became scarce
because of an epidemic which carried many of them off, and in
order to recover their numbers and protect them from slaughter
by the people some raja persuaded the Brahmins to declare them
sacred. Everything that a Brahmin says goes in India, and the
taboo placed upon those cows was passed along until it extended
over the entire empire and has never been removed. I suppose
we might apply the same theory to the sacred bulls of Egypt.

We took our first elephant ride one morning to visit Amber, the
ancient but now deserted capital of the province of Jeypore,
where tens of millions of dollars were wasted in the construction
of splendid palaces and mansions that are now abandoned, and
standing open and empty, most of them in good condition, to the
enjoyment of tourists only and an occasional party of pilgrims
attracted hither by sacred associations. The reason alleged for
abandoning the place was the lack of pure water.


The maharaja usually furnishes elephants for visitors to his
capital to ride around on. We are told that he delights to do
it because of his good heart and the number of idle monsters
in his stable who have to be exercised daily, and might as well
be toting tourists about the country as wandering around with
nobody on their backs. But a certain amount of ceremony and delay
is involved in the transaction of borrowing an elephant from an
Indian prince, hence we preferred to hire one from Mr. Zoroaster,
who keeps a big shop full of beautiful brass and enamel work,
makes Indian rugs and all sorts of things and exerts a hypnotic
influence over American millionaires. One American millionaire,
who was over there a few days ahead of us, evidently came very
near buying out Mr. Zoroaster, who shows his order book with
great pride, and a certain estimable American lady, who owns a
university on the Pacific slope, recently bought enough samples
of Indian art work from him to fill the museum connected with that
institution. Mr. Zoroaster will show you the inventory of her
purchases and the prices she paid, and will tell you in fervent
tones what a good woman she is, and what remarkable taste she has,
and what rare judgment she shows in the selection of articles
from his stock to illustrate the industrial arts of India. He
charged us fifteen rupees, which is equivalent to five dollars
in American money, more or less, according to the fluctuations
of exchange, for an elephant to carry us out to Amber, six miles
and a half. We have since been told that we should have paid
but ten rupees, and some persons assert that eight was plenty,
and various other insinuations have been made concerning the
way in which Mr. Zoroaster imposed upon innocent American globe
trotters, and there was plenty of people who kept reminding us
that we might have obtained an elephant for nothing. But Zoroaster
is all right; his elephants are all right; the mahouts who steer
them are all right, and it is worth fifteen rupees to ride to
Amber on the back of a great, big clumsy beast, although you
don't realize it at the time.

Beginners usually do not like the sensation of elephant riding.
Young girls giggle, mature ladies squeal, middle-aged men grab hold
of something firm and say nothing, while impenitent sinners often
express themselves in terms that cannot properly be published.
The acute trouble takes place just after mounting the beast and
just before leaving the lofty perch occupied by passengers on
his back. A saddle is placed upon his upper deck, a sort of
saw-horse, and the lower legs stretch at an angle sufficiently
obtuse to encompass his breadth of beam. This saw-horse is lashed
to the hull with numerous straps and ropes and on top of it are
placed rugs and cushions. Each saddle is built for four passengers,
sitting dos-a-dos, back to back, two on a side, and a little
shelf hangs down to support their feet. In order to diminish
the climb the elephant kneels down in the road. A naked heathen
brings a ladder, rests it against the side of the beast and the
passengers climb up and take their seats in the saddle. Another
naked heathen, who sits straddle the animal's neck, looks around
at the load, inquires if everybody is ready, jabs the elephant
under the ear with a sharpened iron prong and then the trouble
begins. It is a good deal like an earthquake.

An elephant gets up one leg at a time, and during the process the
passengers on the upper deck are describing parabolas, isosceles
triangles and parallelepipedons in the circumambient atmosphere.
There isn't much to hold on to and that makes it the more exciting.
Then, when the animal finally gets under way, its movements are
similar to those of an earthquake or a vessel without ballast in
a first-class Hatteras gale. The irregularity and uncertainty
of the motion excites apprehension, and as the minutes pass by
you become more and more firmly convinced that something is wrong
with the animal or the saddle or the road, and the way the beast
wiggles his ears is very alarming. There is nobody around to
answer questions or to issue accident-insurance policies and
the naked heathen attendants talk no language that you know.
But after a while you get used to it, your body unconsciously
adjusts itself to the changes of position, and on the return
trip, you have a pretty good time. You become so accustomed to
the awkward and the irregular movements that you really enjoy
the novelty and are perfectly willing to try it again.

But the most wonderful part of all is how the mahout steers the
elephant. It is one of the mysteries that foreigners can never
understand. He carries a goad in each hand--a rod of iron, about
as big as a poker, with an ornamental handle generally embossed
with silver or covered with enamel. One of the points curves
around like half a crescent; the other is straight and both are
sharpened to a keen point. When the mahout or driver wants the
elephant to do something, he jabs one of the goads into his
hide--sometimes one and sometimes the other, and at different
places on the neck, under the ears, and on top of the head, and
somehow or another the elephant understands what a jab in a
particular place means and obeys cheerfully like the great,
good-natured beast that he is. I have never been able to understand
the system. Elephant driving is an occult science.

The road to Amber passes through an interesting part of the city
of Jeypore and beyond the walls the broad highway is crowded with
carts loaded with vegetables and other country produce coming
into town and quite as many loaded with merchandise going the
other way. Some of them are drawn by bullocks and some by camels;
there are long caravans of camels with packs and paniers upon
their backs. As you meet hundreds of pedestrians you will notice
that the women all have baskets or packages upon their heads. The
men never carry anything. On either side of the broad highway
are cultivated gardens and gloomy looking houses and acres covered
with ruins and crumbling tombs. The city of Amber, which, as
I have already told you, was once the capital of the province
and the scene of great splendor, as well as frequent strife,
is now quite deserted. It once had 50,000 inhabitants, but now
every house is vacant. Few of them even have caretakers. The
beautiful palace with its marble coverings, mosaics and luxuriant
gardens is occupied only by a number of priests and fakirs, who
are supposed to spend their time in meditation upon heavenly
things, and in obedience to an ancient custom they sacrifice a
sheep or a goat in one of the temples every morning. Formerly
human beings were slain daily upon this altar--children, young
girls, women and peasants, who either offered themselves for
the sake of securing advancement in reincarnation or were seized
by the savage priests in the absence of volunteers. This was
stopped by the British a century ago, and since then the blood
of rams and goats has atoned for the sins of Jeypore.



A gentleman in Bombay told me that 50,000 people are killed in
India every year by snakes and tigers, and his extraordinary
statement was confirmed by several officials and others to whom I
applied for information. They declared that only about one-half of
the deaths from such causes were ever reported; that the government
was endeavoring to secure more complete and exact returns, and
was offering rewards for the destruction of reptiles and wild
animals. Under instructions from Lord Curzon the authorities
of the central government at Calcutta gave me the returns for
British India for the ten years from 1892 to 1902, showing a
total of 26,461 human beings and 88,019 cattle killed by snakes
and wild animals during the fiscal year 1901-2. This does not
include the mortality from these causes in the eighty-two native
states which have one-third of the area and one fourth of the
population of the empire. Nor does it include thousands of cases
in the more remote portions of the country, which are never reported
to the authorities. In these remote sections, vast areas of
mountains, jungles and swamps, the danger from such causes is
much greater and deaths are more frequent than in the thickly
settled portions; so that my friend's estimate was not far out
of the way.

The official statistics for British India only (the native states
not included) for the ten years named are as follows:


Persons Cattle
1892 21,988 81,688
1893 24,016 90,253
1894 24,449 96,796
1895 25,190 100,107
1896 24,322 88,702
1897 25,242 84,187
1898 25,166 91,750
1899 27,585 98,687
1900 25,833 91,430
1901 26,461 88,019
------- -------
Total ten years 250,252 907,619

Taking 1901 as a sample, I find that 1,171 persons were killed
by tigers and 29,333 cattle; 635 persons and 37,473 cattle were
killed by leopards; 403 human beings and 5,048 cattle were killed
by wolves; 1,442 human beings and 9,123 cattle were killed by
other wild animals, and 22,810 human beings and 5,002 cattle
by snakes. This is about the average record for the ten years,
although the number of persons killed by tigers in 1901-2 was
considerably less than usual.

The largest sacrifice of life was in the Province of Bengal, of
which Calcutta is the capital, and where the imperial authorities
have immediate control of such affairs. The government offers a
bounty of $1 for every snake skin, $5 for every tiger skin, and
a corresponding amount for other animals. During 1901-2, 14,301
wild animals were reported killed and 96,953 persons received
rewards. The number of snakes reported destroyed was 69,668 and
2,858 persons were rewarded. The total amount of rewards paid
was $33,270, which is much below the average and the smallest
amount reported for many years. During the last ten years the
amount of rewards paid has averaged about $36,000 annually. The
falling off in 1901-2 is due to the discovery that certain
enterprising persons had gone into the business of breeding snakes
for the reward, and had been collecting considerable sums from
the government by that sort of fraud. Hereafter no one will be
able to collect claims without showing satisfactory evidence
that the snakes were actually wild when killed or captured. It is
hardly necessary to say that no one has thus far been accused of
breeding tigers for the bounty, although large numbers of natives
are engaged in the business of capturing them for menageries and
zoological gardens.

In the maharaja's park at Jeypore we saw a dozen or more splendid
man-eating tigers, which, the keeper told us, had been captured
recently only twelve miles from that city. His Highness keeps a
staff of tiger hunters and catchers for amusement. He delights
in shooting big game, and several times a year goes into the
jungles with his native hunters and parties of friends and seldom
returns without several fine skins to add to his collection. His
tiger catchers remain in the woods all the time, and he has a
pleasant way of presenting the animals they catch to friends in
India, England and elsewhere. While we were in Jeypore I read in
a newspaper that the Negus of Abyssinia had given Robert Skinner
two fine lions to take home to President Roosevelt, and I am
sure the maharaja of Jeypore would be very glad to add a couple
of man-eating tigers if he were aware of Colonel Roosevelt's
love for the animal kingdom. I intended to make a suggestion in
that line to him, but there were so many other things to talk
about that it slipped my mind.

The maharaja catches tigers in the orthodox way. He has cages
of iron and the toughest kind of wood set upon wheels so that
they can be hauled into the jungle by oxen. When they reach a
suitable place the oxen are unhitched, the hunters conceal the
wheels and other parts of the wagon with boughs and palm leaves.
A sheep or a goat or some other animal is sacrificed and placed
in the cage for bait and the door is rigged so that it will remain
open in an inviting manner until the tiger enters and lifts the
carcass from the lever. The instant he disturbs the bait heavy
iron bars drop over the hole through which he entered and he is
a prisoner at the mercy of his captors. Sometimes the scheme
fails and the hunters lose their time and trouble and bait, but
being men of experience in such affairs they generally know the
proper place and the proper season to look for game. When the
watchers notify them that the trap is occupied they come with oxen
and haul it to town, where it is backed up against a permanent
cage in the menagerie, the iron door is lifted, and the tiger
is punched with iron bars until he accepts the quarters that
have been provided for him, and becomes a prisoner for life.

It is a terrible thing when a hungry and ugly man-eater comes
into a village, for the inhabitants are generally defenseless.
They have no guns, because the government does not allow the
natives to carry arms, and their only weapons are the implements
of the farm. If they would clear out and scatter the number of
victims would not be so large, but they usually keep together
for mutual defense, and, as a consequence, the animal has them
at his mercy. A man-eater that has once tasted human flesh is
never satiated, and attacks one victim after another until he
has made away with an entire village.

The danger from snakes and other poisonous reptiles is much greater
than from tigers and other wild beasts, chiefly because snakes
in India are sacred to the gods, and the government finds it
an exceedingly delicate matter to handle the situation as the
circumstances require. When a Hindu is bitten by a snake it is
considered the act of a god, and the victim is honored rather
than pitied. While his death is deplored, no doubt, he has been
removed from an humble earthly sphere to a much more happy and
honorable condition in the other world. Therefore, while it is
scarcely true that the Hindus like to be killed by snake poison,
they will do very little to protect themselves or cure the bites.
Nor do they like to have the reptiles killed for fear of provoking
the gods that look after them. The snake gods are numbered by
hundreds of thousands, and shrines have been erected to them
in every village and on every highway. If a pious Hindu peasant
sees a snake he will seldom run from it, but will remain quiet
and offer a prayer, and if it bites him and he dies, his heirs
and relatives will erect a shrine to his memory. The honor of
having a shrine erected to one's memory is highly appreciated.
Hence death from snake poison is by no means the worst fate a Hindu
can suffer. These facts indicate the difficulties the government
officials meet in their endeavors to exterminate reptiles.

Snake charmers are found in every village. They are usually priests,
monks or sorcerers, and may generally be seen in the neighborhood
of Hindu temples and tombs. They carry from two to twenty hideous
reptiles of all sizes in the folds of their robes, generally
next to their naked bosoms, and when they see a chance of making
a few coppers from a stranger they draw them out casually and
play with them as if they were pets. Usually the fangs have been
carefully extracted so that the snakes are really harmless. At
the same time they are not agreeable companions. Sometimes snake
charmers will allow their pets to bite them, and, when the blood
appears upon the surface of the skin, they place lozenges of
some black absorbent upon the wounds to suck up the blood and
afterward sell them at high prices for charms and amulets.

When Mr. Henry Phipps of New York was in India he became very
much interested in this subject. His sympathies were particularly
excited by the number of poor people who died from snake bites
and from the bites of wild animals, without medical attention.
There is only one small Pasteur institute in India, and it is
geographically situated so that it cannot be reached without
several days' travel from those parts of the empire where snakes
are most numerous and the mortality from animals is largest.
With his usual modesty, without saying anything to anybody, Mr.
Phipps placed $100,000 in the hands of Lord Curzon with a request
that a hospital and Pasteur institute be established in southern
India at the most accessible location that can be found for the
treatment of such cases, and a laboratory established for original
research to discover antidotes and remedies for animal poisons.
After thorough investigation it was decided to locate the institute
in the Province of Madras. The local government provided a site
and takes charge of its maintenance, while the general government
will pay an annual subsidy corresponding to the value of the
services rendered to soldiers sent there for treatment.

While we were waiting at a railway station one morning a
solemn-looking old man, who, from appearances, might have been
a contemporary of Mahomet, or the nineteenth incarnation of a
mighty god, squatted down on the floor and gazed upon us with a
broad and benevolent smile. He touched his forehead respectfully
and bowed several times, and then, having attracted attention and
complied with the etiquette of his caste, drew from his breast
a spry little sparrow that had been nestling between his cotton
robe and his bare flesh. Stroking the bird affectionately and
talking to it in some mysterious language, the old man looked up
at us for approval and placed it upon the pavement. It greeted
us cordially with several little chirps and hopped around over
the stone to get the kinks out of its legs, while the old fakir
drew from his breast a little package which he unfolded carefully
and laid on the ground. It contained an assortment of very fine
beads of different colors and made of glass. Taking a spool of
thread from the folds of his robe, the old man broke off a piece
about two feet long and, calling to the bird, began to whistle
softly as his pet hopped over toward him. There was evidently
a perfect understanding between them. The bird knew what was
expected and proceeded immediately to business. It grasped the
lower end of the thread in its little claws as its trainer held
it suspended in the air with the other end wound around his
forefinger, and swung back and forth, chirruping cheerfully.
After swinging a little while it reached the top, and then stood
proudly for a moment on the fakir's finger and acknowledged our
applause. Then it climbed down again like a sailor or a monkey
and dropped to the ground. I had never seen an exhibition so
simple and yet unusual, but something even better was yet to
come, for, in obedience to instruction, the little chap picked
up the tiny beads one after another with his bill and strung
them upon the thread, which it held with its tiny toes.



In India, as everywhere else, the climate and physical features
of the country have exercised a sharp and lasting influence upon
the race that lives therein. The noblest characters, the brave,
the strong, the enduring and the progressive come from the north,
where the air is keen and encourages activity, while those who
dwell in the south have hereditary physical and moral lassitude.
The geographical names are typical of the people. They all mean
something and have a poetical and oftentimes a political
significance. "The Mountains of Strength" encompass a plateau
called "The Abode of Princes," and beyond and behind them stretches
a desert called the "Region of Death." This country is called
the Rajputana--pronounced Raashpootana--and is composed of the
most interesting of all the native states of India, twenty in
number, with an area of 150,000 square miles and a population
of more than 12,000,000. They are the only part of the empire
where ancient political institutions and dynasties survive, and
their preservation is due to the protection of the British
authorities. Each prince is the hereditary chief of a military
clan, the members of which are all descended from a common ancestor,
and for centuries have been the lords of the soil. Many of the
families are Mohammedans, and they are famous for their chivalry,
their loyalty, their independence and love of the truth. These
characteristics, I contend, are largely due to the climate and
the topography of the territory in which they live.

Mount Abu, the sacred Olympus of western India, a huge heap of
granite rising 5,650 feet above the sea, is in the center of
Rajputana. It is called the "Pinnacle of the Saints," and upon
its summit may be found the highest ideals of Indian ecclesiastical
architecture in a group of five marble temples erected by
peace-loving and life-protecting Jains, the Quakers of the East.
These temples were built about a thousand years ago by three
brothers, pious merchant princes, Vimala Sah, Tejpala and Vastupala.
The material was carried more than 300 miles over mountains and
across plains--an undertaking worthy of the ancient Egyptians.
The columns and pillars, the cornices, the beams that support the
roofs, the arches of the gateways, windows and doors, the sills
and lintels, the friezes and wainscoting, all of the purest and
daintiest marble, were chiseled by artists of a race whose creed
pronounces patience to be the highest virtue, whose progenitor lived
8,000,000 years, and to whom a century is but a day. The purpose
of the prayers of these people is to secure divine assistance in
the suppression of all worldly desires, to subdue selfishness,
to lift the soul above sordid thoughts and temptations. Therefore
they built their temples amid the most beautiful scenery they
could find. They made them cool and dark because of the heat and
glare of this climate, with wide porticoes, overhanging eaves that
shut out the sunshine and make the interior one great refreshing
shadow, tempting the warm and weary to enter the cool twilight,
for all the light they have is filtered through screens made of
great sheets of fine-grained marble, perforated with tracery
and foliage designs as delicate as Brussels lace.

In the center of this wonderful museum of sculpture, surrounded
by a forest of carved columns, which in the minuteness and beauty
of detail stand almost unrivaled even in this land of lavish labor
and inexhaustible patience, sits the image of Parswanatha, the god
of Peace and Plenty, a divinity that encourages love and gentleness
and truth, to whom these temples were dedicated. He is seated upon
an exquisite platform of alabaster, with legs crossed and arms
folded, silent and immovable, engaged in the contemplation of the
good and beautiful, and his lips are wreathed in a smile that
comprehends all human beings and will last throughout eternity.
Around this temple, as usual with the Jains, is a cloister--a
wide colonnade supported by a double row of pillars. There are
fifty-five cells opening upon it, but instead of being occupied
by monks or priests, in each of them, upon a throne of lotus
leaves, sits an exact miniature duplicate of the image of the same
god, in the same posture, with the same expression of serene and
holy calm. A number of young priests were moving about placing
fresh flowers before these idols, and in the temple was a group
of dusty, tired, hungry, half-naked and sore-footed pilgrims,
who had come a long way with packs on their backs bearing their
food and seeking no shelter but the shade of temples or trees.
Here at last they found rest and relief and consolation, and it
seems a beautiful religion that requires nothing more from its

The forty-eight columns which sustain the dome of this temple
have been pronounced the most exquisite examples of carved marble
in existence, and the highest authority on Indian architecture
declares that the dome "in richness of ornament and delicacy
of detail is probably unsurpassed in the world."

Facing the entrance to the temple is a square building, or portico,
containing nine large white elephants, each carved from a monolith
of marble. Originally they all had riders, intended to represent
Vimala Sah, the Jain merchant, and his family going in procession
to worship, but several of the figures have been broken entirely
away and others have been badly damaged. These five temples, with
their courtyards and cloisters, are said to have cost $90,000,000
and to have occupied fourteen years in building, from 1032 to
1046 A. D.

Mount Abu is the headquarters of the Rajputana administration,
the hot weather station for the British troops, and the favorite
summer resort of the European colonies of western India. The
mountain is encircled with well-made roads, winding among the
forests, and picturesque bridle paths. There are many handsome
villas belonging to officials and private citizens, barracks,
schools, asylums, clubs and other modern structures.

In several of the larger cities of the province can be found
temples similar to those I have described; some of them of Saracenic
architecture, equal to that of the Alhambra or the Persian palaces.
The pure Hindu designs differ from the Saracenic as widely as
the Gothic from the Romanesque, but often you find a mixture
embracing the strongest features of both. The rich and the strong
gave expression to their own sense of beauty and taste when by
the erection of these temples they sought to honor and glorify
the gods to whom they pray.

Ajmere, the winter capital of the governor general of Rajputana,
is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of western India,
having been founded only a hundred years after the beginning of
the Christian era, and occupying a picturesque position in an
amphitheater made by the mountains, 3,000 feet above the sea.
It is protected by a stone wall, with five gateways; many of the
residences and most of the buildings are of stone, with ornamental
facades, and some of them are of great antiquity. In the olden
days it was the fashion to build houses to last forever. Ajmere
has a population of about 70,000. It is surrounded by a fertile
country, occupied by an industrious, wealthy, and prosperous
people. The city is commanded by a fortress that crowns a noble
hill called "The Home of the Stars," possesses a mosque that
is one of the most successful combinations of Hindu and Saracenic
architecture of which I have spoken, the conception of some unknown
genius, combining the Mohammedan ideas of grandeur with Hindu
delicacy of taste and prodigality of detail. In its decorations
may be found some of the most superb marble embroidery that the
imagination can conceive of. One of the highest authorities dates
its erection as far back as the second century before Christ, but
it is certainly of a much later date. Some architects contend that
it belongs to the fourteenth century; it is however, considered
the finest specimen of early Mohammedan architecture in existence.
The mosque can be compared to a grand salon, open to the air at
one side, the ceiling, fifty feet high, supported by four rows
of columns, eighteen in each row, which are unique in design, and
no two of them are alike. The designs are complex and entirely
novel, and each is the work of a different artist, who was allowed
entire liberty of design and execution, and endeavored to surpass
his rivals.

There are several other mosques and temples of great beauty in
Ajmere, and some of them are sacred places that attract multitudes
of pilgrims, who are fed daily by the benevolence of rich
contributors. Enormous rice puddings are cooked in eight enormous
earthen caldrons, holding several bushels each, which are ready
at noon every day. The composition contains rice, butter, sugar,
almonds, raisins and spices, and to fill all of the eight pots
costs about $70. The moment the pudding is cooked a bell is rung,
and the pilgrims are allowed to help themselves in a grab-game
which was never surpassed. Greedy creatures scald themselves in
the pudding so badly that they sometimes carry the marks for
life. It is counted a miracle caused by the intercession of the
saints that no lives have ever been lost in these scrambles,
although nearly every day some pilgrim is so badly burned that
he has to be taken to a hospital. The custom is ancient, although
I was not able to ascertain its origin or the reason why the
priests do not allow the pudding to cool below the danger point
before serving it.

Ajmere is the headquarters of one of the greatest railways in
India, with extensive shops, employing several thousand natives
and Europeans. The chief machinists, master mechanics and engineers
are almost exclusively Scotchmen.

In this province may be found an excellent illustration of the
effect of the policy of the British government toward the native
princes. It had good material to work with, because the twenty
independent Rajput princes are a fine set of men, all of whom trace
their descent to the sun or the moon or to one of the planets, and
whose ancestors have ruled for ages. Each family has a genealogical
tree, with roots firmly implanted in mythology, and from the
day when the ears of their infants begin to distinguish the
difference in sounds, and their tongues begin to frame thoughts in
words, every Rajput prince is taught the tables of his descent,
which read like those in the Old Testament, and the names of his
illustrious ancestors. Attached to each noble household is a
chronicler or bard, whose business is to keep the family record
straight, and to chant the epics that relate the achievements of
the clan. As I have said, all the Rajput families are related and
belong to the same caste, which has prevented them from diluting
their blood by marriage with inferior families. It is his blood,
and not the amount of his wealth or the extent of his lands,
that ennobles a Rajput. Many of the noblest families are very
poor, but the poorest retains the knowledge and the pride of
his ancestors, which are often his only inheritance.

These characteristics and other social and religious customs
make Rajputana one of the most romantic and fascinating spots in
India, and perhaps there is no more interesting place to study
the social, political and economical development of a people
who once held that only two professions could be followed by
a gentleman--war and government. But their ancient traditions
have been thoroughly revised and modified to meet modern ideas.
They have advanced in prosperity and civilization more rapidly
than any other of the native states. Infanticide of girl babies
was formerly considered lawful and generally practiced among them,
and widows were always burned alive upon the funeral pyres of
their husbands, but now the Rajput princes are building hospitals
and asylums for women instead, bringing women doctors from Europe
to look after the wives and daughters in their harems, and are
founding schools for the education of girls.


About three miles from the center of Ajmere is Mayo College,
for the exclusive education of Rajput princes, and erected by
them. The center building, of white marble, is surrounded by
villas and cottages erected for the accommodation of the members
of the princely families who are sent there. The villas are all of
pure Hindu architecture, and there has been considerable rivalry
among the different families to see which should house its cadets
in the most elegant and convenient style. Hence, nowhere else
in India can be found so many fine examples of modern native
residence architecture. The young princes live in great style,
each having a little court around him and a number of servants
to gratify his wants. It is quite the usual arrangement for a
college student to live in a palatial villa, with secretaries,
aides-de-camp, equerries and bodyguards, for Indian princes are
very particular in such matters, and from the hour of birth their
sons are surrounded with as much ceremony as the King of Spain.
They would not be permitted to attend the college if they could
not continue to live in regal state. Some of them, only 10 or
12 years old, have establishments as large and grand as those
of half the kings of Europe, and the Princes Imperial of England
or of Germany live the life of a peasant in comparison.



The ancient Mogul Empire embraced almost as much of India as
is controlled by the British today, and extended westward into
Europe as far as Moscow and Constantinople. It was founded by
a young warrior known as Timour the Tartar, or Tamerlane, as he
is more frequently called in historical works. He was a native
of Kesh, a small town fifty miles south of Samarkand, the capital
of Bokhara, which was known as Tartary in those days. This young
man conquered more nations, ruled over a wider territory and
a larger number of people submitted to his authority than to
any other man who ever lived, before or since. His expansion
policy was more successful than that of Alexander the Great or
Julius Caesar or Charles V. or Napoleon, and he may properly be
estimated as one of the greatest if not the very greatest and
most successful soldier in all history. Yet he was not born to a
throne. He was a self-made man. His father was a modest merchant,
without wealth or fame. His grandfather was a scholar of repute
and conspicuous as the first convert to Mohammedanism in the
country in which he lived. Timour went into the army when he
was a mere boy. There were great doings in those days, and he
took an active part in them. From the start he seems to have been
cast for a prominent role in the military dramas and tragedies
being enacted upon the world's wide stage. He inherited a love
of learning from his grandfather and a love of war as well as
military genius from some savage ancestor. He rose rapidly. Other
men acknowledged his superiority, and before he was 30 years
old he found himself upon a throne and acknowledged to be the
greatest soldier of his time. He came into India in 1398 and set
up one of his sons on a throne at Delhi, where his descendants
ruled until the great Indian mutiny of 1857--460 years. He died
of fever and ague in 1405, and was buried at Samarkand, where
a splendid shrine erected over his tomb is visited annually by
tens of thousands of pilgrims, who worship him as divine.

Babar, sixth in descent from Timour, consolidated the states
of India under a central government. His memoirs make one of
the most fascinating books ever written. He lived a stirring
and a strenuous life, and the world bowed down before him. His
death was strangely pathetic, and illustrates the faith and the
superstition of men mighty in material affairs but impotent before
gods of their own creation. His son and the heir to his throne,
Humayon, being mortally ill of fever, was given up to die by the
doctors, whereupon the affectionate father went to the nearest
temple and offered what he called his own worthless soul as a
substitute for his son. The gods accepted the sacrifice. The
dying prince began to recover and the old man sank slowly into
his grave.

The empire increased in wealth, glory and power, and among the
Mogul dynasty were several of the most extraordinary men that have
ever influenced the destinies of nations. Yet it seems strange that
from the beginning each successive emperor should be allowed to
obtain the throne by treachery, by the wholesale slaughter of his
kindred and almost always by those most shameful of sins--parricide
and ingratitude to the authors of their being. Rebellious children
have always been the curse of oriental countries, and when we
read the histories of the Mogul dynasty and the Ottoman Empire
and of the tragedies that have occurred under the shadows of the
thrones of China, India and other eastern countries, we cannot
but sympathize with the feelings of King Thebaw of Burma, who
immediately after his coronation ordered the assassination of
every relative he had in the world and succeeded in "removing"
seventy-eight causes of anxiety.

Babar, the "Lion," as they called him, was buried at Kabul, the
capital of Afghanistan, and was succeeded by Humayon, the son
for whom he gave his life. The latter, on Sunday, Dec. 14, 1517,
the day that Martin Luther delivered his great speech against the
pope and caused the new word "Protestant"--one who protests--to
be coined, drove Sikandar, the last of the Afghan dynasty, from
India. When they found the body of that strenuous person upon the
battle field, the historians say, "five or six thousand of the
enemy were lying dead in heaps within a small space around him;"
as if he had killed them all. The wives and slaves of Sikandar
were captured. Humayon behaved generously to them, considering
the fashion of those times, but took the liberty to detain their
luggage, which included their jewels and other negotiable assets.
In one of their jewel boxes was found a diamond which Sikandar
had acquired from the sultan Alaeddin, one of his ancestors,
and local historians, writing of it at the time, declared that
"it is so valuable that a judge of diamonds valued it at half the
daily expenses of the entire world." This was the first public
appearance in good society of the famous Kohinoor, which, as
everybody knows, is now the chief ornament in the crown of Edward
VII., King of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India. It
is valued at L880,000, or $4,400,000 in our money. Queen Victoria
never wore it. She had it taken from the crown and replaced by a
paste substitute. This jewel thus became one of the heirlooms
of the Moguls, who lived in such splendor as has never been seen
since or elsewhere and could not be duplicated in modern times.

In the winter of 1555 Humayon was descending a stairway when his
foot slipped and he fell headlong to the bottom. He was carried
into his palace and died a few days later, being succeeded by
his son, a boy of 13, who in many respects was the noblest of
the Moguls, and is called in history Akbar the Great. He came to
the throne in 1556, and his reign, which lasted until 1605, was
almost contemporaneous with that of Queen Elizabeth. In reading
his history one is impressed by the striking resemblance between
him and the present Emperor of Germany. Beiram, who had been
his father's prime minister, and whose clear intellect, iron
will and masterful ability had elevated the house of Tamerlane
to the glory and power it then enjoyed, remained with the young
king as his adviser, and, owing to the circumstances, did not
treat him with as much deference and respect as Akbar's lofty
notions considered proper. The boy endured the slights for four
years, and when he reached the age of 17 there occurred at the
court of the Moguls an incident which was repeated several centuries
later at Berlin, but it turned out differently.

Beiram, like Bismarck, submitted to the will of his young master,
surrendered all insignia of authority, and started on a pilgrimage
to Mecca, but before he left India his chagrin and indignation
got the better of his judgment and he inspired an insurrection
against the throne. He was arrested and brought back to Delhi,
where, to his surprise, he was received with the greatest ceremony
and honor. According to the custom of the time, nobles of the
highest rank clothed him with garments from the king's wardrobe,
and when he entered the royal presence Akbar arose, took him by
the hand and led the astonished old man to a seat beside the
imperial throne. Beiram, realizing the magnanimity of his boyish
master, fell upon his knees, kissed the feet of the king, and
between sobs begged for pardon. The king conferred the greatest
possible honors upon him, but gave him no responsibility, and
Beiram's proud and sensitive soul found relief in resuming his
pilgrimage to Mecca. But he never reached that holy place. He
died on the way by the hand of an Afghan noble, whose father,
years before, he had killed in battle.

You must remember Akbar, because so many of the glories of Indian
architecture, which culminate at Agra and Delhi, are due to his
refined taste and appreciation for the beautiful, and I shall
have a good deal to say about him, because he was one of the best
men that ever wore a crown. He was great in every respect; he was
great as a soldier, great as a jurist, great as an executive,
broad-minded, generous, benevolent, tolerant and wise, an almost
perfect type of a ruler, if we are to believe what the historians
of his time tell us about him. He was the handsomest man in his
empire; he excelled all his subjects in athletic exercises, in
endurance and in physical strength and skill. He was the best
swordsman and the best horseman and his power over animals was
as complete as over men. And as an architect he stands unrivaled
except by his grandson, who inherited his taste.

Although a pagan and without the light of the gospel, Akbar
recognized the merits of Christianity and exemplified the ideals
of civil and religious liberty which it teaches, and which are
now considered the highest attribute of a well-ordered state.
While Queen Elizabeth was sending her Catholic subjects to the
scaffold and the rack, while Philip II. was endeavoring to ransom
the souls of heretics from perdition by burning their bodies
alive in the public plazas of his cities, and while the awful
incident of St. Bartholomew indicated the religious condition
of France, the great Mogul of Delhi called around his throne
ministers of peace from all religions, proclaimed tolerance of
thought and speech, freedom of worship and theological controversy
throughout his dominions; he abolished certain Hindu practices,
such as trials by ordeal, child marriage, the burning of widows
and other customs which have since been revived, because he
considered them contrary to justice, good morals and the welfare
of his people, and displayed a cosmopolitan spirit by marrying
wives from the Brahmin, Buddhist, Mohammedan and Christian faiths.
He invited the Roman Catholic missionaries, who were enjoying
great success at Goa, the Portuguese colony 200 miles south from
Bombay, to come to Agra and expound their doctrines, and gave
them land and money to build a church. His grandson and successor
married a Catholic queen--a Portuguese princess.

But notwithstanding the just, generous and noble life of Akbar,
he was overthrown by his own son, Selim, who took the high-sounding
title Jehanghir, "Conqueror of the World," and he had been reigning
but a short time when his own son, Kushru, endeavored to treat
him in the same manner. The revolt was promptly quelled. Seven
hundred of the supporters of the young prince were impaled in
a row, and that reckless youth was conducted slowly along the
line so that he could hear the dying reproaches of the victims
of his misguided ambition. Other of his sons also organized
rebellions afterward and "the conqueror of the world" had
considerable difficulty in retaining his seat upon the throne,
but he proved to be a very good king. He was just and tolerant,
sober and dignified and scrupulous in observing the requirements
of his position, and was entirely subject to the influence of
a beautiful and brilliant wife.

His successor was Shah Jehan, one of the most interesting and
romantic figures in Indian history, who began his reign by murdering
his brothers. That precaution firmly established him upon the throne.
He, too, was considered a good king, but his fame rests chiefly
upon the splendor of his court and the magnificent structures he
erected. He rebuilt the ancient City of Delhi upon a new site,
adorned it with public buildings of unparalleled cost and beauty,
and received his subjects seated upon the celebrated peacock
throne, a massive bench of solid gold covered with mosaic figures
of diamonds, rubies, pearls and other precious stones. It cost
L6,500,000, which is $32,500,000 of our money, even in those
times, when jewels were cheap compared with the prices of today.
In 1729 Nadir Shah, the King of Persia, swooped down upon India
and carried this wonder of the world to his own capital, together
with about $200,000,000 in other portable property.

There are many good traits in the character of Shah Jehan. Aside
from his extravagance, his administration was to be highly commended.
Under his rule India reached the summit of its wealth and prosperity,
and the people enjoyed liberty and peace, but retribution came at
last, and his sons did unto him as he had done unto his father,
and much more also. They could not wait until he was ready to
relinquish power or until death took the scepter from his hand,
but four of them rebelled against him, drove him from the throne
and kept him a prisoner for the last eight years of his life. But
scarcely had they overthrown him when they began to quarrel among
themselves, and Aurangzeb, the fourth son, being the strongest
among them, simplified the situation by slaughtering his three
brothers, and was thus able to reign unmolested for more than
half a century, until he died in 1707, 89 years old. His last
days were embittered by a not unnatural fear that he would suffer
the fate of his own father.

From the time that the Emperor Aurangzeb climbed to the throne
of the Moguls upon the dead bodies of his father and three elder
brothers, the glory and power of that empire began to decay.
He reigned forty-nine years. His court was magnificent. At the
beginning his administration was wise and just, and he was without
question an able, brave and cultured king. But, whether as an
atonement for his crimes or for some other reason, he became a
religious fanatic, and after a few years the broad-minded policy
of religious liberty and toleration, which was the chief feature
of the reign of his father and his grandfather, was reversed, and
he endeavored to force all of his subjects into the Mohammedan
faith. He imposed a heavy head tax upon all who did not profess
that faith; he excluded all but Moslems from the public service;
he deprived "infidels," as they were generally termed, of valuable
civil rights and privileges; he desecrated the shrines and destroyed
the sacred images of the Hindus, and prohibited the religious
festivals and other features of their worship. The motive of
this policy was no doubt conscientious, but the effect was the
same as that which has followed similar sectarian zeal in other
countries. The history of the world demonstrates that religious
intolerance and persecution always destroy prosperity. No nation
ever prospered that prohibited freedom of worship. You will find
a striking demonstration of that truth in Spain, in the Balkan
states and in the Ottoman Empire, in modern times without going
back to the Jews and other ancient races. The career of Aurangzeb is
strikingly like that of Philip II. of Spain, and his character was
similar to that of Louis XIV. of France, who was his contemporary.
Both were unscrupulous, arrogant, egotistical and cruel kings;
both were religious devotees and endeavored to compensate for a
lack of morals by excessive zeal in persecuting heretics, and
in promoting what they considered the interests of their church;
and both created disaffection and provoked rebellion among their
subjects, and undermined the power and authority of the dynasties
to which they belonged.

It is needless to review the slow but gradual decay of the Great
Mogul Empire. With the adoption of Aurangzeb's policy of intolerance
it began to crumble, and none of his successors proved able to
restore it. He died in 1707, and the throne of the Moguls was
never again occupied by a man of force or notable ability. The
history of the empire during the eighteenth century is merely a
record of successive failures, of disintegration, of successful
rebellions and of invasions by foreign foes, which stripped the
Moguls of their wealth and destroyed their resources. First came
the Persians; then the Afghans, who plundered the imperial capital,
desecrated tombs and temples, destroyed the fortresses and palaces
and left little but distress and devastation when they departed.
One by one the provinces separated themselves from the empire and
set up their own independence; until in 1804 the English took
possession of the remnant and have maintained their authority
ever since.

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