The most distinctive feature of Hindu civilization thus received a blow from which it can never recover, because Siwai Madhao Singh is recognized as one of the ablest, wisest and most sincere of all the Hindu princes, and his influence in this and as in other things is almost unlimited. He expects to go to England again.
As Siwai told us that there was none at Bikar, but plenty at Mogor his own village we pulled along to the latter place, accompanied by himself and three of his sons.
Siwai Madhao Singh, Maharaja of Jeypore, is one of the most interesting persons in India, and he represents the one hundred and twenty-third of his family, descendants of the hero of a great Sanskrit epic called the Ramayana, while the emperor of Japan represents only the one hundred and twenty-third of his family, which is reckoned the oldest of royal blood.
Siwai and his sons, at their own urgent request, were allowed a passage with us to the ship, and remained all night there, sleeping among the folds of a sail upon the poop. December 12th. At this season too, during the prevalence of North-West winds, landing is difficult on account of the surf, and we had much trouble in keeping our guns dry while up to the waist in water.
Siwai Madhao Singh is proud of his ancestry, proud of his ancient faith, proud of the traditions of his race, and adheres with scrupulous conservatism to the customs and the manners of his forefathers.
When London was reached the entire outfit was transferred to a palace allotted to his use, and such an establishment as he maintained there was never seen in the world's metropolis before. Siwai Madhao Singh was received with distinguished honors by the king, the court, the ministry, the statesmen and the commercial and industrial interests of England.
Siwai was present in the boat, and by exercising his authority in our behalf, matters went on more smoothly than otherwise might have been the case. A large supply of coconuts and a few vegetables having been obtained for axes, knives, calico, and red cloth, we returned to the ship. December 13th. Three boats were sent to Kiriam to procure more coconuts.
We landed at Kiriam, and were received by a crowd of people on the rocks and in the water. My old friend Siwai, with whom I had gone through the ceremony of exchanging names nearly five years ago, showed much joy at seeing me again, and made many enquiries regarding Jukes and others then in the Fly.