CHAPTER XXI I
IN MANDALA Y THE ARACAN PAGODA
Note. a The charm and the interest of Mandalay are lodged in the Past. No attempt to describe this city could be to any purpose, which did not include a survey of people and events that are no more. But in this book I seek to make a picture of life in Burma as it is. I leave therefore the description of Mandalay to another occasion, and offer this chapter on so much of its life as centres in the Aracan Pagoda ; a shrine which divides with the Shway Dagn the spiritual homage of Burma. It does this because it is believed to contain the only contemporary likeness of Buddha upon earth.
IN 82, Cathedral Street, as I pass down it on my way to the Aracan Pagoda in Mandalay, there is life afoot which tempts me often to linger.
It is the early morning hour when monks go forth to beg, and the street, and all the little alleys leading from it, are full of the men in yellow. In the wayside shops the sandal-makers are busy, the ^//-smiths are hammering, and cabinet-makers are plying their minute vocation. From the lay-schools come the voices of children, like the voices of hedge-sparrows cheeping together ; bullock-carts creak along the road ; ponies, rich withj embroidered trappings, amble swiftly by ; here and there a nun in faded yellow steps gently in the dust.