[Illustration: Old view of Eden Gardens Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann]
[Illustration: Present-day view of Eden Gardens.]
Lady Mayo had also a very proper and high conception of the dignity of her position and what was due to her as the consort of the Viceroy, and on one occasion she gave practical effect to her views. Her ladyship was one evening going for an airing, and Captain——, an A.-D.-C., who was a great favourite in society, and had possibly been a little spoilt, was ordered to be in attendance. He sauntered delicately and leisurely along to take his seat in the carriage wearing a forage cap. The moment Lady Mayo saw him she very politely informed him that when an aide-de-camp attended on the wife of the Viceroy it was incumbent on him to be attired in all respects as he would be when he was in attendance on the Viceroy himself, and requested him forthwith to make the necessary change. The captain, of course, had to obey, much to his chagrin, and he was never allowed to forget the incident by his friends in Calcutta society.
The next Viceroy to whom I would unhesitatingly award the second pride of place as regards popularity was the late Lord Dufferin, who by his courtly and charming personality appealed to, and won, the hearts of all who had the privilege of any intercourse with him. I very well remember the occasion on which I had the honour of seeing and speaking to him for the first time. I was standing talking to a friend looking on at a game of polo on the maidan. It was only a friendly match between the two Calcutta teams and there were very few spectators present. I happened to turn my head when I saw a gentleman approaching, whom I did not know. He came up to me and smilingly held out his hand, and at that moment it suddenly dawned upon me that I was in the presence of our new Viceroy, Lord Dufferin. He made a few pleasant remarks and then passed quietly on to another part of the ground. He had driven up quite unexpectedly and unostentatiously, and I did not see even an A.-D.-C. in attendance.
In addition to his own charming gifts, Lord Dufferin had the advantage of succeeding a Viceroy (Lord Ripon), who had embittered and aroused the enmity of the whole European community by using all the great powers at his command in obstinately persisting in foisting upon the country the most iniquitous and ill-advised measure conceivable, in spite of the strongest protests, both public and private. I refer, of course, to the obnoxious Ilbert Bill of sinister, worldwide fame.
[Illustration: Photo. by Johnston & Hoffman The Bunyan Tree, Royal Botanical Gardens Seebpur.]
[Illustration: Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann Palm avenue in Botanical Gardens.]