Diaries

4/1/1903

Sun 4. [4 January 1903] I drove up to see Lady A. [Arthur] whom I found still in bed. Gilbert and Flora were there. I arranged that G. shd come with us on Monday and F. lent me her saddle. Saw Major D.S. and made all the arrangements. Had a vain search for Miss Gurney and Mrs Hailey and gave it up in despair. Home and changed and went to see Sibyl who is ill with a cold. After lunch drove[?] to the Ajmer Gate and attended a Muhammadan Conference. Walked up out the platform and sat by Mr Morison who is a charming person and interpreted for me a dull speech in Urdu. He told me there had been an interesting speech the day before d...... fanaticism. Presently came in the Agha Khan, Lord Pembroke and Sir M. Hicks Beach and things brightened up. Mr M. introduced me to [space left blank] {the Secretary of the College} with whom I talked in Arabic. The Secretary of the College, a delightful old man, made an excellent speech in Urdu much mixed with Persian and Arabic of which I understood most. The Conference was about turning the College into a University. Mr M told me that it had recently been decided at the Conference at Calcutta to leave Sanscrit and Arabic out of the Curriculum. This seems a great pity as either is an education in itself and far more comprehensible to the students than ours. They learn Caesar by wrote and Mr Landon told me of a boy who translated a passage from the Gallic Wars quite correctly except that he began with the sentence before and finished a sentence too early! He had learnt text and translation by heart and understood neither - just as little as they understand the Excursion. On the other hand Arthur told me that the Sanscrit College at Benares [Varanasi] is a great failure and the hotbed of sedition. Lord P. made a fair speech and Sir M.H.B. an excellent one saying he spoke to them as Lord P. and Lord Kitchener (he had been there the day before) cd not, as a graduate of an English University. He said that the East had once been in the forefront of learning and he hoped it wd return there and in the name of the University of Oxford he wished them God Speed. Then they went and I talked a little to the Agha Khan and went too - which I afterwards regretted as I heard he spoke. Met H. [Hugo] at the massed bands and talked to Spencer Lyttleton, after which we called on the Baileys (Central India) and did not find them, and so home. Dined with the Martindales, Rajputana [Rajasthan], and met the Oliviers, Dunlop Smiths, Whittakers, Col. Loch, the Pinkeys etc. Sat by Col. Olivier and enjoyed my dinner immensely. We talked of Oriental secretiveness which he says is due to centuries of precarious existence and oppression. I told him my Babi experience in Bombay and he told me how Pinkey had once been asked how his Raja, Oudeypoor [Udaipur], had enjoyed a function and had answered "Who can possibly tell when he is pleased and when he isn't." Col. Olivier told me of Jaypor [Jaipur] talking to one at the F.O. party and his priceless necklace of pearls broke and the pearls rolled all over the floor. He finished his talk without moving a hair. They have such extraordinary self control. After dinner talked to Col. Loch who has been for 15 years head of the Ajmere [Ajmer] Rajput College. He has just left. He deplores the breaking down of caste, saying we take away their social and moral[?] code and give them no other. He strictly observed all caste rules in the college, rules as to food, but he himself might go into the boys' kitchens without making the food impure. They call him Guru and confide in him. He stopped some of the water rules which were too tiresome. He hates the Cadet Corps, says the ruling Raja kings[?] ought to be learning to rule from their Residents instead of fainting[?] about in front of the Viceroy's carriage, also that Col. Watson has not got the confidence of the boys, e.g. one Bikaner boy who was hereditary leader of the camel corps, begged with tears in his eyes to go to Somali Land with the 200 volunteers and was refused because he was wanted for the Durbar Shows. He was miserable about it and came and told Col. Loch. Arthur tells me that, good or bad, they say the Cadet Corps is soon coming to an end. Got home at 12. [Written at top of fourth page of entry:] Speak the Truth, Believe in Vedas, Industrious Shop at the Aryan Camp We had chirping squirrels on our tent roofs.

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