Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,051 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

21.  The editor has failed to find these quotations in the Wellington Dispatches.

22.  This is the first story in the first chapter of the Gulistan.  The Mishkat-ul-Masabih (Matthews, vol. ii, p. 427) teaches the same doctrine as Sadi:  ’That person is not a liar who makes peace between two people, and speaks good words to do away their quarrel although they should be lies; and that person who carries good words from one to another is not a tale-bearer.’

23.  Gibbon, chapter 27.  In the year A.D. 390 Botheric, the general of Theodosius was murdered by a mob at Thessalonica.  Acting on the advice of Rufinus, the emperor avenged his officer’s death by an indiscriminate massacre of the inhabitants, in which numbers variously estimated at from 7,000 to 15,000 perished.  The emperor quickly felt remorse for the atrocity of which he had been guilty, and submitted to do public penance under the direction of Ambrose.

24.  The sum total of truth in India would not, I fear, be appreciably increased if every European had the temper of an angel.

25.  The editor has never known a reputation for corruption in any way lower the social position of an official of Indian birth.

26.  The argument in the anthor’s mind seems to be that the unveracity practised and condoned by certain classes of the natives of India on certain occasions is, at least, not more reprehensible than the vices practised and condoned by certain classes of Europeans on certain occasions.

27.  Since the author wrote the above remarks, the conditions of Indian trade have been revolutionized by the development of roads, railways, motors, telegraph, postal facilities, and exports.  The Indian merchant has been drawn into the vortex of European and American commerce.  He is, in consequence, not quite so cautions as he used to be, and is more liable to severe loss or failure, though he is still, as a rule, far more inclined to caution than are his Western rivals.  The Indian private banker undoubtedly is honest in ordinary banking transactions and anxious to maintain his commercial credit, but he will often stoop to the most discreditable devices in the purchase of a coveted estate, the foreclosure of a mortgage, and the like.  His books, nowadays, are certainly not ’appealed to as holy writ’, and many merchants keep a duplicate set for income-tax purposes.  The happy people of 1836 had never heard of income tax.  Private remittances are now made usually through the post office or the joint-stock banks, which did not exist in the author’s days.  In recent times failures of banks and merchants have been frequent.

28.  These observations, which are perfectly true, form a corrective to the fashionable abuse of the Indian capitalist, whose virtues and merits are seldom noticed.

29.  The editor has not succeeded in tracing this quotation, but several passages to a similar effect occur in the Gulistan.

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