Our Author’s knowledge of Lord Lytton’s Indian Administration was necessarily based upon the views—pro and con—expressed by the daily newspaper writers of the period, who wrote, of course, uninitiated in political affairs as a rule, and without those full expositions now embodied in many notable recent publications, official and other, foremost among which we would cite Lady Betty Balfour’s History of his Indian Administration, published in 1899, and her edition of her father’s personal and literary letters, issued in two vols. in 1906.
Verily “Time tries All,” and an impartial and notable summary of Lord Lytton’s services to his country, written by the Reverend W. Elvin, is engraven on the monument to his memory in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was designed and partially carried out by the sculptor, Mr. Gilbert.
+HE WAS A DIPLOMATIST RICK IN THE QUALITIES, OFFICIAL, AND SOCIAL, BY WHICH AMITY WITH FOREIGN NATIONS IS MAINTAINED.+
+A VICEROY INDEPENDENT IN HIS VIEWS, RESOLUTE IN ACTION, LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE.+
+A POET OF MANY STYLES, EACH THE EXPRESSION OF HIS HABITUAL THOUGHTS.+
+A MAN OF SUPERIOR FACULTIES HIGHLY CULTIVATED BE LITERATURE, ARDENT IN HIS AFFECTIONS, TENDER AND GENEROUS IN ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE, LAVISH IN HIS COMMENDATION OF OTHERS, AND HUMBLE IN HIS ESTIMATE OF HIMSELF.+
As a good example of Lord Lytton’s independent views, and tenderness and generosity in all the circumstances of life, the following incident may be quoted:—
Among many changes in Indian administration which he initiated, and which were severely decried at the time, but the benefits of which experience has amply vindicated, was the amalgamation of Oudh with, or rather annexation to, the North-Western Provinces, the final arrangements being completed at the Imperial Assemblage at Delhi on January 1 1877, with the concurrence—which he had sought previously—of all the principal Talukdars of Oudh there assembled.
The great pageant at Delhi (which formed the subject of Ali Baba’s first contribution to Vanity Fair, and which he attended officially as the Guardian of the Raja of Rutlam), so far from being a mere empty show, as then decried by his political foes, enabled the Viceroy to settle, promptly and satisfactorily by personal conferences, a great many important administrative questions. All as recorded by him in his narrative letter of December 23, 1876, to January 10, 1877, to her late Majesty Queen Victoria, which embraced events at Delhi, Pattiala, Umballa, Aligurh, and Agra.
Among the Oudh officials who were dispossessed of their appointments in 1877, some of them with but scanty compensation, was the late Mr. (afterwards Sir) E.N.C. Braddon, a kinsman of the novelist, who held the appointment of Superintendent of Stamps, Stationery, and Registration at Lucknow. Mr. Braddon was an uncovenanted servant of comparatively short service, and eligible for s very moderate compensation. Lord Lytton, unsolicited, took up his case, overruled various objections, obtained liberal terms for Mr. Braddon by which he was able to resign his appointment and proceed to Tasmania, where he entered political life, rising to be Premier and afterwards Agent-General for that Colony in London, and ultimately obtaining, in 1891, his K.C.M.G.