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begged to be allowed to see me having previously expressed complete indifference to a projected official visit from the Viceroy-and I consented, feeling that if a ruling prince desired, before surrendering his authority, to make any communication to the representative of the Sovereign, he had a right to do so.

I shall never forget the interview. The Maharaja, a man of enormous size, weighing something like twenty-four stone, went down on his knees and touched my feet with his head. Streams of perspiration poured from his face and dropped in big beads from his chin and over his hands. With the utmost difficulty I induced him to resume his seat and to conduct himself with the dignity of a ruler and a prince. When he realised that the decision to accept his retirement was irrevocable, he became more composed, and bargained only for an ample allowance from the state revenues, for permission to reside in future at a country house within the borders of his own state, and for an invitation to attend the impending Delhi Durbar, as a faithful feudatory of the King-Emperor. There was no difficulty in arriving at a suitable arrangement on the first two points. As to the third, I acceded on two conditions—both of which the Prince acceptedviz. that he should comport himself with propriety and decorum while at Delhi, and that he should not announce his abdication (of which nothing was yet known) until after his return. It seemed to me better to trust to his sense of loyalty and selfrespect in both matters, although in view of his

previous aberrations and explosions I felt that I was incurring some risk.

The Maharaja was true to his word. He appeared at Delhi, where he attended all the functions, said nothing to any one about his troubles, and enjoyed himself immensely. As I rode off the parade ground, after the great review, I caught sight of a gigantic and bejewelled figure, perched on the top of a charabanc, swaying to and fro, and cheering at the top of his voice. It was he.

After he had returned to his state, the moment for the public announcement of his abdication drew near. The Agent to the Governor-General was rather nervous as to how this would pass off, and consulted me as to the sort of speech that he should make on the occasion. On the other hand, the Maharaja asked my permission to make the announcement in his own language. Here, again, were serious possibilities of danger. But His Highness had already so fully justified my confidence at Delhi that I once more complied, and informed the prince that I trusted him to make the public declaration in a becoming way. It was not without some anxiety that I awaited a report of the speech. The Maharaja entered the Durbar Hall with his eldest son, a young boy. The nobles and officials of the state, the Agent to the Governor-General, and the British officers were present, and a considerable crowd.

The Maharaja first announced his own intended retirement, and then placed his son on the gadi which he had himself just vacated. Addressing

the assemblage he then requested the Government of India to continue to watch with paternal interest over the welfare of the young prince, so that he might prove himself to be an enlightened ruler, beloved by his subjects and worthy of the approval of the King-Emperor. Turning to the boy he then spoke to him as follows:


On this solemn occasion my earnest injunction to you is to be loyal to the British Government ; and if you have any representations to make to the Government, do so in a courteous and respectful manner. Remain always a staunch supporter of the Paramount Power. In your private and public life follow the marriage and other customs of your country, your religion, and your family, and by earnest attention to your education qualify yourself for the exercise of ruling powers as soon as you may be of age to receive them."

Having delivered this admirable and dignified allocution, which was in fact a confession of his own failure, the Maharaja stalked down the Durbar Hall, without another word, entered his carriage outside, and drove away into private life.

There, on the banks of the holy Nerbudda, he speedily recovered his equanimity, and led a very tranquil and happy existence. He even used to invite me to spend a Saturday to Monday in his country retreat. Having an ample revenue, he developed a taste for travelling about India in a special train; but when he reached his destination, his vein of eccentricity would assert itself, and he would decline to emerge from his railway carriage, staying

there for some days at a time, and eventually returning without having left it. When I was reappointed Viceroy for a second term, he wrote to me to express the hope that my beneficent sway over the teeming millions of his mother country might be continued with perfect health, peace, and prosperity".


So we remained friends till I left India; and not many years after, he himself died. The story is a curious one, in its revelation of a very complex and extraordinary character, in which the good and the evil were mixed in puzzling proportions. But it cannot be denied that nothing in his official life became the prince so well as his manner of leaving it, and that by the dignified character of his exit he went far to redeem the undisciplined errors of his earlier career.



To speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words or in good order.-BACON, Of Discourse.

THE Indians excel in street decoration, illuminations, and every form of ceremonial observance. When the Viceroy or a Governor proceeds upon tour, still more of course if a member of the Royal House visits India, he passes through streets fantastically adorned, and under triumphal arches, built of the slenderest materials (very often little more than bamboo), but often decorated with the greatest ingenuity and taste. A feature of these arches is the inscriptions with which they are as a rule embellished, and the composition of which affords a much-valued scope for the talents of the local babu or university student, who may possess a smattering of European or even classical knowledge, and who is appealed to for a scholarly composition of words. I recall certain of these inscriptions under which I passed in the course of my official tours.

In some cases there would be a half-conscious reflection of the Prayer Book or the Scriptures. It is true that I was spared the particular welcome that was extended to an unusually ugly Governor, who,

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