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capacity. My visit was official; and my host was the Governor-General of Portuguese India, who extended a lavish hospitality to Lady Curzon and myself.

The visit was marked by incidents, both rehearsed and unrehearsed, which were not without amusing features. The Portuguese Government had provided a gunboat to take us from the port of Mormugao up the river to the town. But they had not made sufficient allowance-whether it was for the shallowness of the channel or the lack of skilled navigation of the vessel, I never clearly ascertained. Anyhow, we lay for an interminable time in midstream immediately off the town, where bands and crowds and guards were to be seen in full view waiting to receive us, while our boat had slowly and laboriously to be warped to the landing-stage. At length we stepped ashore amid every demonstration of enthusiastic welcome from the assembled multitude.

We were presently conducted to a two-horsed equipage in which, preceded by a band and surrounded by a sort of body-guard, we made the slow circuit of the beflagged and crowded streets. I use the word "circuit " advisedly, for it was not till after a little time that I realised, from the astonishing similarity of the mise en scène, that we were going steadily round and round the same streets; in order, I suppose, to sustain the illusion of a more extended city and a larger population. During this procession the salutations of the female portion of the inhabitants who were clustered on the balconies of the houses, whence they threw flowers into the carriage,

were appropriated with much gallantry by the Portuguese A.D.C., who was attached to us, and who occupied a seat in the vehicle. Throwing kisses in bouquets to the feminine beauties of Goa, he was undoubtedly the hero of the hour.

This ceremony over, we drove out to a house, or palace, belonging to the Governor-General on a wooded cape at the mouth of the river, where every effort had been made to entertain us in royal fashion. Baths, of the type favoured by the British in India, being unknown at Goa, a special bath-tub, resembling a wine vat of gargantuan proportions, had been imported for the occasion; and, there being no bathroom in the house, it was placed in the corner of the drawing-room, where the removal of the spigot discharged its contents straight on to the floor.

The heat was suffocating, and when we drove to the state dinner at the Town Palace of the GovernorGeneral, I thought we should almost have expired. Even the staff in their white ducks nearly dissolved under the strain. Afternoon tea with floods of sweet champagne had been a penance; but the sufferings of the banquet, in an immensely long narrow room adorned with full-length portraits of previous Governors-General from the famous Albuquerque downwards, were unimaginable.

The difficulties, or shall I say the humours, of the situation were not diminished by the fact that none of the Portuguese officials spoke a word either of English or French, while none of my party understood a word of Portuguese. This disability did

not, however, prevent an exchange of the liveliest conversation-not the less charming because wholly unintelligible throughout the repast. At length the Governor-General rose to propose my health, and, in an admirable speech, loudly applauded by the whole of the audience, though unfortunately "Greek" to us, descanted upon the historical alliance between Portugal and Great Britain, and the compliment of my visit. I rose to reply, and made a speech which was equally unintelligible to the vast majority of my hearers, though warmly cheered by my own staff, who alone had any idea of what I was saying.

But here occurred the unexpected and stupefying finale. In the latter part of my speech, I, who did not know a word of the language, broke suddenly into fluent Portuguese, and, amid a storm of applause, delivered a glowing and impassioned Portuguese peroration. The audience leaped to their feet and shouted themselves hoarse with delight, and I certainly achieved a triumph in an unknown tongue far greater than any I have ever won in my own. What was the explanation ? Half-way through the banquet I made the agreeable discovery that the Portuguese lady who sat on my right hand had been educated in an English-speaking school, or convent, in the Portuguese possession of Macao near Canton in China. Realising at once the immense possibilities of the situation, I besought her assistance, and, writing down on a paper, unobserved, the later portions of my intended speech, I prevailed upon her to translate them into

Portuguese and to teach me sotto voce the correct pronunciation. Nobly did she perform her part, and not inadequately, I am fain to believe, did I accomplish mine. Anyhow it was her fair hand that placed upon my brow the crown of an otherwise imperfect oratorical career.



Oft-times nothing profits more

Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right
Well managed.

MILTON, Paradise Lost, Book VIII. 571.

An incident occurred at a meeting which I attended in India that suggested to me quite a new train of thought, and a possible innovation in public life.

We are familiar with the spectacle of the Guest of Honour at a public banquet in England, who sits, his face suffused with self-conscious blushes, while his health is being proposed, and the most extravagant compliments are paid to his virtues or abilities or career. Then, when the glasses are raised in his honour, he bows in deprecatory response to the salutations of the company. His attitude throughout is one of modest detachment, as though he were gazing from a distance on the spectacle of his own apotheosis.

On the Continent the thing is done in a less exclusive and more convivial way. The guest, when his health is drunk, frequently rises himself, clinks glasses with his neighbours, and joins, in a spirit of effusive good temper, in the general chorus of congratulation.

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