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Ch. 2: Adamas, Diamond

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premiership had never been but for the fortune based upon the "lucky hit" of his great-grandfather.
The Orloff Diamond now set in the top of the imperial sceptre of 'Russia, is said by report to have originally formed one of the eyes of the great Idol at Sheringham. A French deserter having literally become enamoured " de ses beaux yeux," by a pretended conversion and a great show of devotion got himself made one of the priests to the temple, and, watching his opportunity, extracted his patron's eye from the socket, and made off with it to Madras.* It is to be supposed that the god whilst waiting for fortune to send him a fellow-diamond to complete his optics had made shift with one of glass in the meanwhile, as only one diamond figures in the story. Its weight is 193 carats, and its pattern a rose extremely high-crowned, in fact much resembling the shape of the " Mogul " in Tavernier's drawing. That it is an Indian-cut stone, Prof. Maskelyne, who lately examined it with care, assures me there can be no doubt ; all the facets exhibit the blunt edges and rounded surfaces that mark the style. Its water
* This bit of romance is given by Dutens, writing at the time. More credit, however, seems due to the account which Pallas (Voyage II.) says he had received from the son of the last vendor, an Armenian named Shafrass. This man had purchased it from an Afghan General, formerly in the service of Nadir Shah. Its original place haed ben amongst the stones decorating that conqueror's throne ; and upon the plundering of his treasury, after his assassination, this enor­mous Diamond had fallen to the share of the Afghan. In outline it so much resembles Tavernier's " Mogul," that if we admit the possibility of some error in his calculation of the weight of the latter, the Orloff may claim to be that long-lost phoenix. Certain it is that Nadir Shah brought it back amongst the spoils of Delhi, along with the Koh-i-noor.
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