THE EMPRESS OF INDIA
 IN 1862 Lord Canning sailed home leaving India at
peace. All through the mutiny he had been cool and
calm. When it was over he would take no wild revenge,
and earned for himself the name of Clemency Canning, a
name by which we may be glad to remember him, for
clemency means mildness or quickness to forgive.
Since the mutiny many things have happened in India,
most of which you will understand better, and find more
interesting, later on. There have been wars and
famines, there have been mistakes and mischances,
troubles and trials, but on the whole, the great Empire
has been peace. The native princes have become
educated gentlemen, and, in many ways, West and East
have been drawn together.
One thing which helped the princes of India and the
British crown to become better friends was the visit of
the Prince of Wales, now King Edward.
When the native rulers of India heard that our Prince
was coming, they prepared to receive him with great
honour. When he landed in Calcutta, the whole town
blazed with illuminations. Everyone held high holiday.
There were balls and parties given both by white and by
native people. And all through India, wherever he
went, the princes and their subjects flocked to him
honour. Native rulers forgot their quarrels
 with each other, and joined in welcoming the son of
their British Padishah. They brought him splendid
presents, and he won their hearts by his kindness and
his courtesy. He stayed in their palaces, shot and
hunted with them, and when he left, many a prince
founded schools or hospitals, or built harbours, in
memory of his future Emperor's visit.
All this time, although Queen Victoria had been ruler
of India for more than eighteen years, she had never
been proclaimed, or taken the title. Now, the year
after the visit of the Prince of Wales, that is in
1877, she was proclaimed at Delhi, Empress of India.
To Delhi came the Viceroy, and all the native princes
and nobles of India. Princes who before had never seen
each other, princes whose forefathers had fought in
deadly hatred, now all met together as friends, eager
to show their loyalty to their Empress.
Outside the walls of Delhi, on the very ground upon
which the British troops had encamped when they
besieged the rebels of the mutiny, there now arose a
peaceful tented city, brilliant in red and blue and
white, flashing and glittering with golden ornament.
Upon the ground that had been red with hate and war,
where shells had burst, and cannon roared, and a hail
of grape-shot scattered death, gold and silver cannon,
drawn by white oxen gaily decorated with silken,
embroidered cloths, were paraded in the sunshine, and
those who had been foes met and greeted each other as
friends and brothers. Gay flags fluttered, bands
played, elephants and camels with gorgeous trappings
paced the long streets of gaudy tents. Princes and
people from every part of the great peninsula met and
mingled. It was the gay mass of moving colour, of red,
and green, and blue, and
every-  where in the sunshine, gold and silver and precious
stones gleaned and sparkled. It was such a pageant as
could be seen only in an eastern land, under an eastern
On the day of the proclamation the sky was cloudless
blue. Upon a grassy plain the tented throne was
raised. Its silken draperies were embroidered with the
Rose, the Thistle, and the Shamrock, entwined with the
Lotus flower of India, and over all fluttered the cross
of St. George, and the Union Jack.
Here, surrounded by the glittering throng, the Viceroy
took his seat, while the band played "God save the
Queen." He too, was splendidly dressed, in the robes,
ermine trimmed and gold embroidered, of Grand Master of
the Order of the Star of India.
When the Viceroy was seated, twelve gaily dressed
heralds sounded their trumpets. Then the chief herald
in a loud voice read the proclamation, which told to
all the winds of heaven that, "Victoria, by the Grace
of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith," should
henceforth be known also as Empress of India.
The reading done, the Royal standard was raised, cannon
thundered a salute, the band struck up "God save the
Queen," and a deafening cheer broke upon the quiet air,
as the people of India acclaimed Victoria,
Two hundred and seventy-seven years before, a few sober
London merchants had gathered to discuss the price of
pepper, and had resolved to adventure in a voyage to
the East. Little did they foresee that from that
resolve would grow a great Empire, which should be
gradually pieced together, like the parts of the huge
puzzle, until nearly the whole of the vast peninsula,
 was to them an unknown land, should be brought under
the sway of a Queen, to whose power and greatness that
of their own good Queen Bess would be as the pale light
of the moon to the golden shining of the sun.