Travelling through the provinces then ruled over by the late Sir George Couper and Sir Robert Egerton respectively, until finally Kabul is reached, where Sir Frederick Roberts handed over his powers to the Civil authority, as embodied in the Gryphon. A progress which, as profusely chronicled by the correspondents of the innumerable newspapers, British, Indian, and Foreign, attracted to India by the second Afghan War, is lightly, yet not unkindly, satirized by Aberigh-Mackay under the nom de plums of “Your Political Orphan.” Who also in this article gave expression to the general impression of the day, that by entrusting Mr. Lepel Griffin with the direct negotiations, the position of the then Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, Mr. (now Sir) Alfred Lyall had been somewhat ignored.
Be this as it may, for his undoubtedly great services, in which he was very greatly aided by his intimate acquaintance with the Persian language, still the French of Afghanistan and other Central Asian lands in diplomacy and etiquette, Mr. Griffin was created a K.C.S.I., and shortly afterwards appointed Governor-General’s Agent in Central India and Resident in Indore—where Aberigh-Mackay was Principal of the Rajkumar College—the College for the “Sons of Nobles”—the first “Eton” established under British rule in India. These appointments Sir Lepel held from 1881 until 1888, when he was appointed Resident at Hyderabad, the last official position he held in India.
The article now under elucidation appeared on March 29 1880, in The Bombay Gazette, then edited by the late Mr. Grattan Geary, whose narrative of a journey from Bombay to the Bosphorus through Asiatic Turkey, published in 1878, did much to revive and stimulate interest in those important countries, where happily British trade and other influences are now being actively commented upon by the press of Western India, and developed by the merchants of Bombay, Karachi, and Western India generally.
Mr. Thomas Gibson Bowles, the proprietor of Vanity Fair, who had always warmly appreciated the literary work done for him by Aberigh-Mackay, about this time offered him the editorship of the paper. This post Aberigh-Mackay had virtually accepted.
Shortly before Sir Lepel Griffin took up his appointment as Governor-General’s Agent, gossip, more especially at Indore and in Central and Western India, was very busy with surmises as to the fate in store for the writer of this article, as well as many other paragraphs commenting, inter alia, upon Afghan affairs, and, en passant Mr. Lepel Griffin, which had appeared in The Bombay Gazette from February to December, 1880, under the general heading of “Some Serious Reflections.” These articles, hitherto anonymous, having being republished in book form, with their authorship avowed, at Bombay in 1880, shortly before the new Resident and Governor-General’s Agent arrived at Indore.