李德顺:文化建设任重道远

When the last stone was placed, Shah Jehan sent for the architect and went with him to the top of the mausoleum.

DELHI

The natives, to keep their money safeit is always in coin, never in paper, which is not much trusted in these partseither bury it or have it wrought into trinkets, worn by the women and children. Quite little ones of five or six, and perfectly naked, have round their neck sometimes three or four strings of gold pieces, or pierced silver rods as thick as a fingerand then one evening the child does not come home, and in some dark corner the poor little body is found bleeding, the jewels gone.

[Pg 110]

The night was spent in travelling: an oppressive night of crushing heat, with leaden clouds on the very top of us; and next day, in the blazing sunlight, nothing seemed to have any coloureverything was white and hot against a blue-black sky that seemed low enough to rest on the earth. Wayfarers slept under every tree, and in the villages every place was shut, everything seemed dead. It was only where we changed horses that we saw anyonepeople who disappeared again immediately under shelter from the sun. "What is the Virgin Mary?" A golden mass, an enormous shrine chased all over and starred with tapers, now came forward, borne by a score of naked men. Against the gold background, in a perfect glory of diamonds and pearls, sat Vishnu, decked out with flowers and jewels, his head bare with a huge brilliant in his forehead.

The Viharas, monasteries of cells hollowed out in the hillside, extend for more than half a mile; briars and creepers screen the entrances leading to these little retreats, a tangle of flowers and carvings.