0Monday. 13th [November 1905]—Agra
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13 November 1905 — Agra
Monday. 13th [November 1905]. abt 6 P.M. Major Boisragon was in the train with us & he helped us to arrange with the station master as to our journey on from here & he went on by the same express to Abbottabad. Corise, Nela & I drove to Laurie’s hotel where we had very good rooms made in the Indian fashion—an iron bedstead in the middle of a room with a dressing room behind & a bathroom behind that. The front room looks out on to a verandah where our bearers spread their carpets & slept. In the public dining room we had a table to ourselves & were waited upon by Mohammedans in white garments & white turbans & bare feet. As soon as we had taken a little food we rushed off in a carriage to the Taj which we were anxious to see by moonlight. We passed the Residency where the Viceroy & Lady Curzon were staying with the camp containing H. Excellency’s escort. It made it a pretty & animated sight in the evening. As we drew near the Taj the white tomb rose before our eyes glistening in the light of the full moon. At the gate we found a guard with lanterns & one of these lighted us on our way but the moonlight was so brilliant that we required no other light & one almost feared to speak aloud less the whole thing wd turn out to be a dream & disappear. On entering the tomb itself a lantern was necessary & the effect was very weird. The two small white tombs side by side gleamed in their dark setting for the cupola above them was lost in darkness. When the guardian sang aloud to show us the curious echo it seemed a kind of sacrilege– We were glad to get out again on to the white terrace overlooking the river & see the whole building bathed in soft white light & the 4 minarets at the corners mounting guard over the dead– We were sorry to come away & return to everyday life & thought– One cannot understand those people who tell one that the Taj is disappointing. What higher ideal of purity & quiet can they have had? Such a tomb is a monument worthy of a true wife & good woman. We turned back to the hotel & were glad to get to bed after our late long journey.

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