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.
this honorable dredging machine which so disgracefully governs a people flatters him into contentment with promises it never intended to fill.  With his bag of cotton gathered, the humble subject is pointed to a path through a country infested by dangerous bands, over which he may seek a market some hundred miles distant.  In its crude state he roughs it, and sweats it, puts it through—­without a gin to give it market value!—­all the various processes of damaging during the transit, and is surprised that India, with the best soil and climate in the world for such an object, cannot raise a good and sufficient supply of the raw material.  What a look of pity the wretch might bestow upon the board of directors, sitting in pompous conclave in Leadenhall street!  Happy is he, Jonathan, who, contented, knows not the things at his hand by which his own condition may be bettered.  And how blind is that rule, which, having the power to do good, contents itself with dragging eagerly away the first compensation.  The penalty of the crime of not developing what is given us by nature for a nation’s good is the sacrifice of a people’s happiness.  My friend John reluctantly acknowledged the delinquency.  Mark the contrast!  Had this all-bountiful India been ours, a more liberal policy would have produced results widely different.  No oligarch could have sacrificed it to its own avarice; associations would have sprung up for developing industry; a policy to make the resources of the state serve general interests would have been established, and the good of the many had been kept in view.  Cotton-growing, and tobacco-planting, and rice-cultivating, had been encouraged and fostered.  Those rich alluvial bottoms, so fertile and yet so uncultivated, had given out their rich harvests to some purpose—­untaxed prosperity would have rewarded the hand of the hardy husbandman.  India would then, besides proving herself the greatest exporting empire in the world, have clothed, fed and made happy her benighted millions.

“Had India been ours, Yankee enterprise had traversed it with plank roads; Yankee enterprise had laid down strap railroads until better ones had resulted from profits; Yankee energy had invented a species of Mississippi steamboat, wherewith to navigate its narrow water-courses to their source, and there develope the capabilities of the country.  Yes, Yankee ingenuity had had a steamboat where there was scarce water for a duck to swim.  But why pain the feelings with recapitulations like these?  Its resources are of little value when government interposes a dogged obstinacy to improvements; nor is it much better where a people seem at a loss to know whose business it is to give out the incentive.  So long as this state of things lasts will Cotton remain king, and Uncle John be its most servile and dependent subject.  It matters little that his empire is so beautifully adapted to its cultivation.  He must shake off his love of those very ancient and effeminating systems of his, and adopt the modern policy of improving and nourishing industry.

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