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In booths between these houses, the gamblers, standing round a board with numbered holes, were watching the ball as it slowly spun round, hit the edge, seemed to hesitate, and at last fell into one of the cups. Four-anna pieces, ten-rupee notesanything will serve as a stake for the Hindoo ruffian in a starched shirt-front, low waistcoat and white tie, above the dhouti that hangs over his bare legs; or for the half-tipsy soldier and sailor,[Pg 28] the cautious Parsee who rarely puts down a stake, or the ragged coolie who has come to tempt fortune with his last silver bit.
COMTE DARTOIS, AFTERWARDS CHARLES X.Japanese girls, too, in every possible hue, with piles of tinsel and flowers above their little flat faces all covered with saffron and white paint; little fidgeting parrakeets flitting from window to window, and calling to the people in the street in shrill, nasal tones.
Seeing a handsome, noble-looking old officer, wearing the Cross of St. Louis, leaning against the corner of a street, with despair in his face, asking for nothing, but evidently faint with hunger, they went up and gave him what little money they had left, which he took, thanking them with a voice broken by sobs. The next morning he and several others were lodged in the Kings palace, no other rooms being forthcoming.Likewise girls at fourteen or fifteen and even younger, who, with us, wear their hair down their backs, their petticoats half way up to their knees, and spend their time in lessons and play, were wives, mothers, court beauties, and distinguished members of society at the French Court of those days.
The regiment is housed under sheds, the horses picketed to the ground by one fore and one hind foot. They are thoroughbred and magnificent beasts, almost all from the prince's stud, and affectionately cared for by the men, who were delighted to be complimented on their steeds.
We must also observe that the parallel drawn by Sir A. Grant between the theology of Aristotle and that of John Stuart Mill is singularly unfortunate. It is in the first place incorrect to say that Mill represented God as benevolent but352 not omnipotent. He only suggested the idea as less inconsistent with facts than other forms of theism.250 In the next place, Aristotles God was almost exactly the reverse of this. He possesses infinite power, but no benevolence at all. He has nothing to do with the internal arrangements of the world, either as creator or as providence. He is, in fact, an egoist of the most transcendent kind, who does nothing but think about himself and his own perfections. Nothing could be more characteristic of the unpractical Aristotelian philosophy; nothing more repugnant to the eager English reformer, the pupil of Bentham and of Plato. And, thirdly, Sir A. Grant takes what is not the God of Aristotles system at all, but a mere abstraction, the immanent reason of Nature, the Form which can never quite conquer Matter, and places it on the same line with a God who, however hypothetical, is nothing if not a person distinct from the world; while, as if to bewilder the unfortunate English reader still further, he adds, in the very next sentence, that the great defect in Aristotles conception of God is the denial that God can be a moral Being.251
The external decoration is broken by broad flat panels, incised in places so delicately that the patterns look like faded fresco, scarcely showing against the gold-coloured ground of yellow stone. In front of the Kailas stand two tall obelisks, carved from top to bottom with an extraordinary feeling for proportion which makes them seem taller still, and two gigantic elephants, guardians of the sanctuary,[Pg 42] heavy, massive images of stone, worm-eaten by time into tiny holes and a myriad wrinkles, producing a perfect appearance of the coarse skin of the living beast.