0Sunday. 31st [December 1905]—Panipat
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31 December 1905 — Panipat
Sunday. 31st [December 1905]. We took a long walk with the Howells in the morng in the jungle & past many peasants tilling the land & every now & then a family of natives going along– The women were invariably doing the heavy work having huge bundles poised on their heads while the men walked before them empty handed. There are numerous wells in all directions & the country is cultivated in great patches. We walked a long way till we reached the big canal & then followed along its banks & made a round back by the road to the bungalow. After lunch we drove out to see the sights of the town of Panipat, first we went to see a primitive glass manufactory. We found 2 men at a small furnace in a shed many idlers male & female. There was wood for fuel stacked up—amongst many low huts in which dwelt the natives. On hearing that we wanted to see glass made a tall fine looking old woman ordered chairs to be brought & set in the shed for us—& the glass blower resumed his work which was the making of glass balls lined with quicksilver. He applied himself to making a very large one to show his skill. He had a very clever contrivance for widening the mouth of his furnace whenever he increased the size of his ball—a large cover hung on one side & was easily moved by his small attendant at the necessary moment by a chain. When he had made the ball a second workman brought a ladle full of hot quicksilver which he poured in to the globe as it was twisted & the ball was done. he declared that no cooling oven was required for the newly made piece, but I observed that the first globe cracked very soon after it was finished. It is evident that this sort of glass was used by the former decorations of Indian Palaces—such as we had seen & admired at Fatehpursikri & elsewhere—as the glass was always slightly rounded & probably the glass blowers could only cover the interiors of their balls with quicksilver—not knowing the how to do the flat glass. When we left the furnace we thanked the workers & offered them backshish at wh they said “Oh you may give it to the old woman if you like.” We drove on up the hill to the town through the one street which is narrow & has many remains of good old houses with nice wooden balconies & with fine doorways—but all dilapidated & many no longer inhabited. We saw many shops with pretty printed cotton fabrics & stopped before one to try to buy some—but every passerby stopped to look on & we soon collected a large crowd round us & the prices of what we desired to purchase rose inordinately so we had to leave the conclusion of the bargain to the Howell’s chuprassie at another time. We went in to see a fine old mosque in a picturesque court & found beautiful lattice work of marble getting into very bad repair. There were also some old Musulman tombs with canopies of Damascus work of wood inlaid with mother o’pearl nearly black with age & incense & lamp smoke. If only Lord Curzon could have seen the place one felt sure he would have ordered it to be repaired & Mr Howell wants me to see what I can do about it when I go to Calcutta. We drove from here back to the bungalow stopping at the tomb of                a simple platform raised high over the plain– We also saw a small pretty monkey & a little Hindu temple with a small garden wh contained little sort of chapel with the figures of the different hideous gods & goddesses. We did not sit up to see the New Year in none of us being sentimentally inclined. How little I thought this time last year that I should be now in India!

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