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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/51

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superb beauty of mournful decay. The structure was erected by Saadut Ali Khan, King of Oudh, for the express purpose of a palatial dwelling for the British Resident at the Court of Oudh, and the king seems to have spared no pains to produce an edifice that, with its subordinate buildings, should possess all architectural characteristics of royalty, and a view of the ruins will not fail to convince the beholder that His Majesty succeeded. During the siege, the spacious tykhana was occupied by the families of Her Majesty's 32nd "regiment. In consequence of the open space around the Residency, the people of the garrison could not leave, or go to the building, without risking their lives, for the clear ground was constantly swept by shot, shell and bullets, and the enemy kept a sharp lookout for any one attempting to pass ; the building itself also formed a convenient target for the rebels to point their guns at, as the result clearly testified. The severe cannonading, to which the Residency was subjected, brought down the roof of the eastern verandah, burying seven men of Her Majesty's 32nd, in the ruins; two of these were extricated alive, the remainder perished. Ensign Studdie of Her Majesty's 32nd, amongst numerous others, was killed here ; poor Miss Palmer, being one of the number.

To the east are to be seen the dismantled and shattered walls of what was once the " Banqueting Hall ;" the massive columns which supported the roof still standing and forming, at a single view, a truly majestic ruin ; many a brave warrior, many a proud statesman and many a patrician beauty have met in courtly assembly here, have joined in the mazy dance, and made the walls ring with merry laughter, little imagining what was so soon to be the sad fate of the noble structure. During the siege, it was converted into a hospital, but, as a two-storied building, it was, on account of its height, much exposed to the enemy's fire : in the words of Sir George Couper :—" Round shot and shell crashed into it from all sides" and the upper story was, in a