Tag Archives: Chiefs

The Yellow Waistcoat

Ruling Princes and Chiefs of India


India wears a yellow waistcoat, longer than is usual, reaching from the chin to the feet, like a gabardine. It is old, in places thread-bare, but is of good old silk. The colour suits the sun of the East, perhaps a better and more harmonious colour than the red of the coat, which is always overlapping, as though trying to hide the old waistcoat. The coat is fustian and patchy – the pieces have been sewn in heedlessly, in haphazard fashion. It looks, as if it had been often let out, and suggests the idea that if it had to be taken in, or buckled tight, it would rend with a sound like the tearing of calico. It is like the red Salu on which Viceroys and Governors are wont to talk, cheap stuff, with no good natural foundation. It won’t wash, and some think it will not last. Much money has been spent on keeping the red coat in repair – nothing has been spent on the old yellow waistcoat, yet the latter will last longer than the red coat with its aggressively flapping tails.”

An excerpt from “Ruling Princes and Chiefs of India