Across India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 323 pages of information about Across India.

Statistical as the lecture had been, the viscount had made it interesting by softening the figures with his comparisons; and some of his points, even in regard to the States, were new to them, and especially in regard to the United Kingdom.  In about half an hour they were summoned to Conference Hall again for a continuation of the lecture.

“From the vast emigration to your country, ladies and gentlemen, I suppose there must be a great variety of people on your territory.  The Germans, the English, the Irish, the Scandinavians, the Italians, and other nationalities, in the process of assimilation, although very many of them have become as American as Americans themselves, take the manners and customs, the national peculiarities, of the fatherland with them.

“The Irish drink whiskey, the Germans beer, and the Italians are apt to have a stilletto about them.  Then the antecedents, climate, politics, and other influences, have made the East differ from the West, and the South from both of them.  Lynch law prevails to a considerable extent in the latter, never in the Eastern and Middle States, and very rarely in the West.  But all Americans speak the same language; and foreigners are compelled to learn English in order to get on at all, and it has become one of the bonds of your union.”

“In India there are not less than twenty-seven languages and dialects in use; and they indicate so many different kinds of people, for we can hardly call them nations, though in many respects they are such.  This excellent map behind me, which is worthy of the highest praise as a home-made production, will enable me to give you a better idea of my subject.”

“The ingenious artist has colored the different divisions so that you can make them out.  The three presidencies are the most notable divisions, and they include all the inferior ones.  The Bengal Presidency includes the north-eastern part, from Afghanistan to Burma.  The Madras, the southeastern part, with most of the peninsula.  The Bombay covers the greater part of the west coast.  The Deccan is a portion of the peninsula.”

“It would take me three weeks to describe all the divisions of India, and I shall not attempt to do it.  It would be better done as you travel over the country.  Eighteen of them are Directly governed by the English, and thirteen of them are still under the nominal control of the native princes; but all the latter have a British resident as the adviser of the reigning rajah.

“The English-speaking people of India are a mere bagatelle compared with the enormous population, being only 238,499; but with the army they have been able to hold the country in subjection.  The British government takes a fatherly interest in the native states, and they have been loyal without exception in later years, though the history of India will show that not all of them have always been so.”

“Until the year 1858 the government was in the hands of the East India Company, of which you will learn more in the history of India.  In 1877 her majesty, the queen, assumed the title of Empress of India, and she is the ruler of the country.  The government of the highest resort in the affairs of India is a secretary of state, residing in London.  He is a member of the cabinet, and has an under-secretary.  He is assisted by a council of ten or fifteen members.”

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Across India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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