copy of Tennyson. The title of ‘Serbski Pesme,’ imitations of Servian national songs (1861), involves a solecism, and on this and other grounds the pieces were attacked with vehemence bordering on virulence by Lord Strangford in the ‘Saturday Review.’ They mostly reappeared in the appendix to ‘Orval, or the Fool of Time,’ 1869, a work of much importance, as the sole representative in English literature of the great Polish school of mystical poetry which arose after, and perhaps partly in consequence of, the extinction of Polish independence, while it also abounds with poetical beauties. These, no doubt, are mainly the property of Count Sigismund Krasinski, of whose ‘Infernal Comedy’ ‘Orval’ is a paraphrase; but the imitation has all the ease and freedom of an original work. It is accompanied by a highly interesting preface, in which Lytton describes his own conception of a great social drama, abandoned when he fell in with Krasinski's, ‘which left me thoroughly dissatisfied with my own work,’ and expounds some of his own ideas on social questions, which are well worthy of attention. ‘Chronicles and Characters’ (1868), a series of poetical impersonations of remarkable men at remarkable conjunctures, from the age of Greek mythology to the days of Richelieu, inevitably challenges comparison with Victor Hugo's ‘Légende des Siècles,’ which it as inevitably fails to sustain.
From 1868 to 1872 Lytton was successively employed at Madrid and at Vienna, where he had a large share in the negotiation of a commercial treaty; from 1872 to 1874 he was secretary to the embassy at Paris, frequently acting as chargé d'affaires; and in October 1872 he was promoted to be British minister at Lisbon. In January 1873 he became Baron Lytton by the death of his father, to whom he was deeply attached, and to whom he had adhered in all contentions public and private. In 1874 he achieved a more individual position as a poet than before with his ‘Fables in Song;’ less lofty in aim than some of his previous works, but distinctly his own, in an unborrowed and entirely appropriate manner, limpid and luminous, graceful and familiar, a delightful blending of the gay and the serious. About the same time he began to write ‘King Poppy,’ deservedly his own favourite among his works. Privately printed copies were circulated among friends as early as 1875, but more serious avocations interrupted the revision at the time, and when it eventually appeared after his death it was found that hardly a line remained unaltered. In January 1876, a year after declining the governorship of Madras, he received, to his own great surprise, the offer of the Indian viceroyalty, which Lord Northbrook was about to vacate, and which he accepted at the urgent instance of Lord Beaconsfield. The appointment at first excited as much astonishment in the public as in the recipient. But Lord Beaconsfield had himself exploded the prejudice against men of letters as men of business, and though Lytton's pursuits had estranged him from English political life, his abilities were as well known to the premier as Lord Canning's, on a parallel occasion, had been to Lord Palmerston.
Lytton quitted England on 1 March, and, after a short delay in Egypt to meet the Prince of Wales returning from his eastern tour, arrived in India in April, and was installed as viceroy on the 12th. The internal condition of India then appeared satisfactory. But the new ruler was at once engrossed as a diplomatist with our uneasy relations with Afghanistan, and with the congenial task of preparing for the proclamation of the queen as empress of India in the presence of all the native sovereigns and feudal princes. This pageant was held at Delhi on 1 Jan. 1877, and, though criticised from a western point of view, impressed the oriental imagination. Meanwhile, however, a great calamity had occurred by the total failure of the crops throughout southern and western India. Lytton's first direct personal action was when on a visit to Bombay in December, and shortly afterwards at Delhi, he adjusted the differences which, during his absence from Simla, had grown up between the majority of his council and the Bombay government: Lytton's decision was substantially in favour of the latter. Shortly afterwards he despatched Sir Richard Temple to inspect the famine districts, especially in Madras, where the envoy found much to criticise, and where the state of affairs became so bad that in the following August the viceroy repaired thither in person. Before his departure he recorded his views in a very elaborate minute, printed in Mr. Digby's ‘Famine Campaign in Southern India.’ He arrived in Madras on 29 Aug., accompanied, among others, by Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, representative of that presidency in his council, and by General (afterwards Sir Michael) Kennedy, public works secretary at Bombay. Arrangements were speedily made for placing the relief system mainly under the latter, whose management at Bombay had been highly efficient, and the situation rapidly improved. In Mysore, which Lytton also visited personally, and where great mismanagement had prevailed, sweeping changes were made by the appointment of Sir Charles Elliott