Twenty-One Days in India; and, the Teapot Series

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 69, WITH THE KAJA. Try not to laugh, Dear Vanity. I know you don't mean anything by it; but these Indian kings are so sensitive. The other day I was translating to a young Raja what Val Prinsep had said about him in his " Purple India''; he had only said that he was a dissipated young ass and as ugly as a baboon ; but the boy was quite hurt and began to cry, and I had to send for the Political Agent to quiet him and put him to sleep. When you consider the matter philosophically there is nothing per seridiculous in a Raja. Take a hypothetical case : picture to yourself a Raja who does not get drunk without some good reason, who is not ostentatiously unfaithful to his five-and- twenty queens and his five-and-tventy grand duchesses, who does not festoon his thorax and abdomen with curious cutlery and jewels, who does not paint his face with red ochre, and who sometimes takes a sidelong glance at his affairs, and there is no reason why you should not think of such a one as an Indian king. India is not very fastidious; so long as the Government is satisfied, the people of India do not much care what the Rajas are like. A peasant proprietor said to Mr. Caird and me the other day, " We are poor cultivators; we cannot afford to keep Rajas. The Rajas are for the Lord Sahib." The young Maharaja of Kuch Parwani assures me that it is not considered the thing for a Raja at the present day to govern. " A really swell Raja amuses himself." One hoards money, another plays at soldiering, a third is horsey, a fourtli is amorous, and a fifth gets drunk; at least so Kuch Parwani ONE DAY IN INDIA. 01 thinks. Please don't say that I told you this. The Foreign Secretary knows what a high opinion I have of the Rajas, and indeed he often employs me to whitewash them when they get in... --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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