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on low wheels, and is sufficiently broad to admit of four persons ascending abreast. The first ladder was sent hither from Cairo in A. H. 818 by Moyaed Abou el Naser, king of Egypt.

In the same line with the mosque and close by it stands a lightly built, insulated and circular arch, about fifteen feet wide and eighteen feet high, called Bab-es-Salam, which must not be confounded with the great gate of the mosque, bearing the same name. Those who enter the House of Allah for the first time are enjoined to do so by the outer and inner Bab-es-Salam; in passing under the latter they are to exclaim, “O God, may it be a happy entrance !”

On the side of Makam Ibrahim, facing the middle part of the front of the Kaabah, stands the Mambar, or pulpit of the mosque; it is elegantly formed of fine white marble, with many sculptured ornaments; and was sent as a present to the mosque in A. H. 969 by Sultan Soleyman Ibn. Selym. A straight, narrow staircase leads up to the post of the Khatyb, or preacher, which is surmounted by a gilt, polygonal pointed steeple, resembling an obelisk. Here a sermon is preached on Fridays and on certain festivals.

The gates of the mosque are nineteen in number and are distributed about it without any order or symmetry.

pended seven glass lamps, always lighted after sunset. Beyond the poles is a second pavement, about eight paces broad, somewhat elevated above the first but of coarser work; then another, six inches higher and eighteen paces broad, upon which stand several small buildings; beyond this is the gravelled ground; so that two broad steps may be said to lead from the square down to the Kaabah. The small buildings just mentioned which surround the Kaabah are the five Makams, with the well of Zem Zem, the arch called Bab es Salam and the Mambar.

The present building which encloses Zem Zem stands close by the Makam Hanbaly, and was erected in A. H. 1072: it is of a square shape, and of massive construction, with an entrance to the north, opening into the room which contains the well. This room is beautifully ornamented with marbles of various colours; and adjoining to it, but having a separate door, is a small room with a stone reservoir, which is always full of Zem Zem water. This the Hadjys get to drink by passing their hand with a cup through an iron grated opening which serves as a window, into the reservoir, without entering the room. The mouth of the well is surrounded by a wall five feet in height and about ten feet in diameter.

A few paces west of Zem Zem and directly opposite to the door of the Kaabah, stands a ladder or staircase, which is moved up to the wall of the Kaabah on days when that building is opened, and by which the visitors ascend to the door. It is of wood, with some carved ornaments, moves on low wheels, and is sufficiently broad to admit of four persons ascending abreast. The first ladder was sent hither from Cairo in A. H. 818 by Moyaed Abou el Naser, king of Egypt.

In the same line with the mosque and close by it stands a lightly built, insulated and circular arch, about fifteen feet wide and eighteen feet high, called Bab-es-Salam, which must not be confounded with the great gate of the mosque, bearing the same name. Those who enter the House of Allah for the first time are enjoined to do so by the outer and inner Bab-es-Salam ; in passing under the latter they are to exclaim, “ O God, may it be a happy entrance !

On the side of Makam Ibrahim, facing the middle part of the front of the Kaabah, stands the Mambar, or pulpit of the mosque; it is elegantly formed of fine white marble, with many sculptured ornaments; and was sent as a present to the mosque in A. H. 969 by Sultan Soleyman Ibn. Selym. A straight, narrow staircase leads up to the post of the Khatyb, or preacher, which is surmounted by a gilt, polygonal pointed steeple, resembling an obelisk. Here a sermon is preached on Fridays and on certain festivals.

The gates of the mosque are nineteen in number and are distributed about it without any order or symmetry.

THE TAJ MAHAL

BAYARD TAYLOR

were

PURPOSELY postponed my visit to the Taj Mahal I the most renowned monument of Agra—until I had seen everything else in the city and its vicinity. The distance of this matchless edifice satisfied me that its fame was well deserved. So pure, so gloriously perfect did it appear, that I almost feared to approach it, lest the charm should be broken. It is seen to best advantage from the tomb of Itmun e' Dowlah, the Prime Minister of Shah Jehan, which stands in a garden on the northern bank of the Jumna, directly opposite to the city. If there were nothing else in India, this alone would repay the journey.

The history and associations of the Taj are entirely poetic. It is a work inspired by Love and consecrated to Beauty. Shah Jehan, the “Selim ” of Moore's poem, erected it as a mausoleum over his queen, Noor Jehanthe “Light of the World”-whom the same poet calls Noor-Mahal,“ the Light of the Harem," or, more properly, “Palace.” She is reputed to have been a woman of surpassing beauty, and of great wit and intelligence. Shah Jehan was inconsolable for her loss, and has immortalized her memory in a poem, the tablets of which are marble, and the letters jewels :—for the Taj is poetry transmuted

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