tier-railway charges, a surplus of 6,320,358l. would have been realised. The error in the budget arose from a peculiarity in Indian military bookkeeping, by which disbursements were not brought into account until actually audited, so that government went on spending without accurate knowledge of the liabilities already incurred. In fact, Lytton's financial advisers, astonished at the apparent cheapness of a great war, had unsuccessfully applied for explanation to the military departments, whose estimates they were compelled to accept. The objectionable system was reformed in consequence (cf. Lord Hartington's Despatch, 4 Nov. 1880, in Further Correspondence relating to the Estimates for the War in Afghanistan, 1881). On the defeat of Lord Beaconsfield's government at the polls of March 1880, Lytton forwarded his resignation to the prime minister, who presented it to Queen Victoria at the same time as his own. He was created Earl Lytton on 28 April 1880.
The proclamation of the queen as empress, the famine campaign, and the Afghan war were the most conspicuous incidents in Lytton's eventful administration; but the internal reforms effected in 1879 were perhaps more truly memorable. One was the abolition of the inland customs, which had bisected India with ‘an immense impenetrable hedge of thorny trees and bushes,’ fifteen hundred miles long, and watched by twelve thousand persons. Another was the repeal of the duties on cotton goods, effected by the viceroy's own action against the opposition of a large majority of his council, and accompanied by radical changes in the entire customs tariff, preliminary to, and intended to necessitate, the system of absolute free trade now in operation. Another was the promulgation of new rules for the civil service, by which one-sixth of the vacancies were reserved for natives. These rules have not as yet realised all the results anticipated, but no viceroy has been more entirely exempt from race-prejudice than Lytton, and one of his first official acts was a warm, indeed an over-warm, espousal of the cause of an oppressed native. The system of decentralisation, giving increased liberty of action, especially in financial matters, to local governments, was also greatly extended by him. This most important of all recent Indian reforms had been actually introduced by Lord Mayo. His endeavour to amalgamate the armies of the three presidencies, which he was unable to accomplish, had been, like others of his measures, approved by previous viceroys in theory. At the same time he and his council deemed it necessary in 1878 to restrain the license of the native press by placing it under strict government control. It was a characteristic trait of his never to pigeonhole an inconvenient question, while his unswerving loyalty to his lieutenants gained him their enthusiastic attachment. The public voice for a time pronounced against him; one of the most industrious of governors-general was derided as idle and frivolous, and one of the most independent was deemed a puppet worked from Downing Street. At home especially his administration was regarded as a failure. Four principal reasons may be assigned: the attacks of politicians who assailed the government through him; his retirement before pending questions could be finally adjusted; the anger of the native press at the restrictions he had imposed upon it; and, not least, his own want of discretion in trifling matters. No man could have been less adapted to Indian society by innate taste or acquired habit. With all his intelligence, Lytton was unable to accommodate himself to conventions, and by sallies natural to a poetic temperament, but which dulness might regard or malevolence represent as fantastic follies, he provoked censure and engendered petty gossip pernicious alike to himself and to the empire committed to his charge. But his chief measures have been tested by experience, and the unfavourable verdict of the hour gives signs of being reversed.
Shortly after his return to England, in May 1880, Lytton delivered in the House of Lords a very able speech in defence of his policy as concerned Candahar, but took no prominent part in politics, and filled no public office until his appointment as ambassador at Paris in 1887. In 1883 he published the first two volumes of a biography of his father, admirably executed as far as it goes, but breaking off in 1832 just before the point which would have most severely tested his tact and his candour. In 1885 appeared ‘Glenaveril,’ a narrative poem in six books, for which he had expected uncommon success, and which does, in fact, display great ingenuity and much brightness both of thought and phrase. Unfortunately the novel in verse has no chance with the novel in prose in our day, and ‘Glenaveril’ fell exceedingly flat. Greater success attended ‘After Paradise’ (1887), a little volume mostly consisting of metrical legends and parables, much in the spirit of ‘Fables in Song.’ In the same year he was elected lord rector of Glasgow University, and delivered an address on morality within the sphere of politics, which occasioned much controversy. His appointment as ambassador to France in 1887 excited violent opposition in many quarters, but all parties were soon unani-