It was a sight never to be forgotten that gradually unfolded itself to view as the Knights in grand procession slowly moved up the avenue in solemn and dignified state to the accompaniment of the martial strains of the Royal Marine band playing a different march as each Chief appeared on the scene. They were all arrayed in the long flowing princely mantle and resplendent dress and appointments of the Insignia of the Order.
[Illustration: Photo. by B & S Old view of Government Place, East, showing gates of Government House.]
[Illustration: Photo. by B. & S. Present-day view of Government Place, East, and Old Court House Street]
Each Chief or Prince was attended by a small retinue of retainers, one or two being armed and clad in barbaric garb of mediaeval chain-mail armour, and also a standard bearer who unfurled his banner to the breeze over the head of his own individual Chieftain. As each Chief reached the marquee he was placed in order of precedence alongside the throne. Last of all, the Viceroy and Prince of Wales appeared, escorted by nearly the whole of the bodyguard accoutred in their bright and picturesque uniform, surrounded by a most brilliant and numerous staff of aides-de-camp and equerries (chobdahs heading the procession), and all the other State officials attached to the entourage of both the Viceroy and Prince. The ceremony which took a considerable time was conducted with all the viceregal pomp and circumstance usual on such occasions, and, as I have already remarked, has never at any time been equalled in grandeur and spectacular effect in the annals of Calcutta.
When I first arrived, everything was immeasurably cheaper than it is now, and it will no doubt surprise the young assistants in mercantile offices of the present day to hear that for the first year I received the sum of Rs. 200 per mensem and managed to live very comfortably on it. And when in the following year my salary was raised to Rs. 250