Bishop Gell’s plan for colonising the Laccadives and Cocos with these loafers has not met with much acceptance at Simla. The Home Secretary does not see from what Imperial fund they can be supplied with bathing-drawers and barrel-organs; but the Home Secretary ought to know that there is a philanthropic society at Lucknow of the disinterested, romantic, Turnerelli type, ready to furnish all the wants of a young colony, from underclothing to Eno’s fruit salt.
A great many wise proposals emanate from Simla as regards some artificial future for the Eurasian. One Ten-thousand-pounder asks Creation in a petulant tone of surprise why Creation does not make the Eurasian a carpenter; another looks round the windy hills and wonders why somebody does not make the Eurasian a high farmer. The shovel hats are surprised that the Eurasian does not become a missionary, or a schoolmaster, or a policeman, or something of that sort. The native papers say, “Deport him”; the white prints say, “Make him a soldier”; and the Eurasian himself says, “Make me a Commissioner, or give me a pension.” In the meantime, while nothing is being done, we can rail at the Eurasian for not being as we are.
sit on the thrones
In a purple sublimity,
And grind down men’s bones
To a pale unanimity.”
There is no proper classification of the mixed race in India as there is in America. The convenient term quadroon, for instance, instead of “four annas in the rupee,” is quite unknown; the consequence is that every one—from Anna Maria de Souza, the “Portuguese” cook, a nobleman on whose cheek the best shoe-blacking would leave a white mark, to pretty Miss Fitzalan Courtney, of the Bombay Fencibles, who is as white as an Italian princess—is called an “Eurasian.”
“Do you know, dear Vanity, that it is not impossible that King Asoka (of the Edict Pillars), the ‘Constantine of Buddhism,’ was an Eurasian? I have not got the works of Arrian, or Mr. Lethbridge’s ‘History of the World’ at hand, but I have some recollection of Sandracottus, or one of Asoka’s fathers or grandfathers, marrying a Miss Megasthenes, or Seleucus. With such memories no wonder they call us ‘Mean Whites.’”—ALI BABA, K.C.B.
ad voluptates agricolarum, quibus ego” (like
Famine Commissioners) “incredibiliter delector.”
[November 8, 1879.]
I missed two people at the Delhi Assemblage of 1877. All the gram-fed secretaries and most of the alcoholic chiefs were there; but the famine-haunted villager and the delirium-shattered, opium-eating Chinaman, who had to pay the bill, were not present.