Continuing with Lord Lytton’s correspondence from Madras addressed to his wife, I present below the gist of letters he received from two women of the city. Evidently, we did not lack some odd people here even then.

Lord Lytton in Bangalore, pic courtesy eBay

I don’t know what are the feelings with which I am regarded by the male inhabitants of Madras; but the ladies of that place, or some of them, seem to be much interested on my behalf. For I have received from Madras two anonymous letters, each obviously written by women-the one expressing a lively interest in the State of my soul, the other a tender regard for my body. The first writer informs me that she could not sleep all night for thinking whether I am prepared to meet my Maker; whether I am aware of the heinousness of sin, and the possibility of pardon by washing in the blood the Covenant, &c. She concludes by sending me a copy of “Doddridge on the Rise of Religion in the Soul.”

The other writer declares that `she couldn’t sleep all night for thinking of my eyes, that the least tone of my voice, the least touch of my hand lives in, her memory, and thrills her yet; and she concludes with “ Thine for ever, even though in vain.” Neither of the letters signed, and I have not the slightest notion who can be the writers of them, for the only ladies I met at Madras were all of them ugly, and most of them old. I should not have thought they had so much “chaff” in them. ‘”It is really a mercy you did not come. The amusing incidents of our journey have been few and far between, the anxiety and fatigue of it incessant. But all’s well that ends well.

This extract is one of a four part series. The other parts can be read below:

The Viceroy’s View of Madras
The Viceroy Visits a Famine Camp
The Viceroy in Coonoor