The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 320 pages of information about The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth.

“After much journeying and hardship, we found ourselves in the heart of Scinde, which looked desolate enough to have been under any other than British rule:—­we speak merely for the honor of British rule!  ‘This, Uncle John’s, too?’ I inquired, touching John on the shoulder.

“‘Beg your pardon!’ he returned, with affected indifference.

“‘Does Britannia rule this territory?’ I reiterated.

“‘Well,’ he rejoins, hesitatingly, ’as to that—­Smooth, give us yer hand—­there is something to be considered; we believe in dispensing blessings to mankind; and that all men, great and small, may have their share, we aim to infuse our principles, and make them understood throughout the world.  It’s all for humanity and the good of Christianity; but, you see, we have for a long time tried to make these foolish Princes comprehend the benefits resulting therefrom without success, and were really forced to harsh measures.  We were sorry it was so, but, being the case, we, as a national sequence, had to resort to conquering.  Now, though it may not be always necessary to apply the principle of conquering to do good, it follows as a rule that good must result where the conqueror is a Christian power, whose only motive is progress and civilization for the good of all.  The Anglo-Saxon teaches the barbarian to know himself; and when he has done this he endeavors to infuse principles of trade and constitutional government into his mind; but not daring to leave him to himself, he reluctantly, nevertheless, is compelled to subject him to his rule.  I frankly admit we refrain from doing these manifest destiny things, as you call them, with the same boldness characterized in your proceedings with Mexico.  Our East India Company may not be the very best institution in the world for governing purposes, for it is dangerous to invest a trading compact with governing powers, inasmuch as selfish interests will conserve to keep the power of the governing superior to the best interests of the governed, even though they be in the majority; but the Company is a great machine for civilizing and keeping civilized, that trade may not lose its influence.  It teaches these poor devils of natives to talk English, and, sir, can you calculate what a blessing that will be when it comes into general use?  By and by we will be enabled to turn this vast empire into one field teeming with the richest produce.’

“‘All right,’ said I, interrupting his sentence:  ’we will yet agree on something.  In the meantime, let me inquire, John, why you did not add—­what a blessing it would be did they but understand the English!  Your modesty and their insane bigotry furnish a strange group of nondescript governments, which Uncle John covetously fathers, though they be the illegal issues of that very honorable dredging machine, whose grapnels, always extended, are for ever bringing up something new.  In truth, this company so strong of power, which it sways on the penny-wise principle, and so pampered by royalty, is ever troubling honest Uncle John with its unfortunate affairs.’

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The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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