Towards natives the Eurasian is cold, haughty, and formal; and this attitude is repaid, with interest, in scorn and hatred. There is no concealing the fact that to the mild Gentoo the Eurasian is a very distasteful object.
But having said this, the case for the prosecution closes, and we may turn to the many soft and gentle graces which the Eurasian develops.
In all the relations of family life the Eurasian is admirable. He is a dutiful son, a circumspect husband, and an affectionate father. He seldom runs through a fortune; he hardly ever elopes with a young lady of fashion; he is not in the habit of cutting off his son with a shilling; and he is an infrequent worshipper in that Temple of Separation where Decrees Nisi sever the Gordian knots of Hymen.
As a citizen he is zealously loyal. He will speak at municipal meetings, write letters about drainage and conservancy to the papers, observe local holidays in his best clothes, and attend funerals.
The Eurasian is a methodical and trustworthy clerk, and often occupies a position of great trust and responsibility in our public offices. He is not bold or original, like Sir Andrew Clarke; or amusing, like Mr. Stokes; but he does what work is given him to do without overstepping the modesty of nature.
[Most Eurasians are Catholics; but some belong to the small Protestant heresies and call themselves Presbyterians, Anabaptists, and what not. To whatever creed they attach themselves, they are faithful and devoted; but the pageantry, the music, the antiquity, and the mystery of the ancient Church, draw forth, with the most potent spells, the fervour of their warm, emotional natures. They are never sceptical: the harder a doctrine is to believe the more they like it; the more improbable a tradition is the more tenaciously they cling to it. They are attracted by the supernatural and the horrible; they would not bate a single saint or devil of the complete faith to rescue all the truths of modern science from the ban of the Church.]
The Eurasian girl is often pretty and graceful; and, if the solution of India in her veins be weak, there is an unconventionality and naivete sometimes which undoubtedly has a charm; and which, my dear friend, J.H——, of the 110th Clodhoppers (Lord Cardwell’s Own Clodhoppers) never could resist: “What though upon her lips there hung the accents of the tchi-tchi tongue.”
A good many Eurasians who are not clerks in public offices, or telegraph signallers, or merchants, are loafers. They are passed on wherever they are found, to the next station, and thus they are kept in healthy circulation throughout India. They are all in search of employment on the railway; but as a provisional arrangement, to meet the more immediate and pressing exigencies of life, they will accept a small gratuity, [or engage themselves in snapping up unconsidered trifles]. They are mainly supported by municipalities, who keep them in brandy, rice, and railway-tickets out of funds raised for this purpose. Workhouses and Malacca canes have still to be tried.