^ The Shway Dagn
imagination, and their lofty ways and sad fortunes wring many a heart. Yet there is always a new element in the play imported by the topical allusions and jokes, the material for which is collected by the actors by listening with attention to the voces populi and noting the misadventures of the day. Jokes of this kind are received with exuberant delight by the assembled people. The plays near the pagoda are organised and paid for by the trustees ; many of those in the town by notabilities of a generous habit. The audience assembles without invitation.
Thus, one by one, the days of the great festival are accomplished; the ox-waggons in which the nearest multitude has come are harnessed again, and the clanging bells of the cattle, the merriment of the occupants, prolong the festivity far into the countryside. Steamers and trains now bear away more
figure of gautama
distant dwellers. Yet even now
many a pilgrim walks a months journey to his home.
The festival passes ; but the life remains. Every day has its harmony of colour, its passion of praise and worship, its unending change. Every day that one goes to the pagoda it has something new to offer, and