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CHANDRESHEKHAR.


CHAPTER IV.
WEEPING.

THE moon was shedding her silver light. Extensive tracts of sandy plain stretched far away on either side of the Ganges. In the light of the moon the sand ranges had assumed a whiter hue and the water of the Ganges had attained a deeper blue. The water of the river was deep blue, the rows of trees on the banks were deep green and the firmament above was a blue sheet set with gems. At such a moment the mind is often affected with a sense of vastness all around. The eternal river, eluding the utmost range of vision, like the dimly visible destiny of man, has faded away into the unknown. The limitless river below, the endless tracts of sand on the flanks, the countless trees on the banks, the infinite sky overhead with its wreaths of stars without reckoning-who ever counts his own personality at such a supreme moment! Is man more glorious than the particles of sand on the bank along which the line of boats was fastened?

Among this line, a big barge could be seen with a guard of sepoys on it. Two sepoys with rifles across their shoulders stood still like carved statues. In the interior, costly carpets of different variety, bedsteads, pictures, figures, and other articles were shining in the soft eflulgence of crystal lamps. Inside were a few Englishmen. Two of them were playing at chess, the third was sipping his glass and reading, and the fourth was playing on a musical instrument.

Suddenly every one was startle.d All at once a piercing wail came shooting across the stillness of the night.