and as to his views about Euclid, no opinion could have

time:2023-12-02 04:14:26 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:bird

This is a work of time; he has much to do. The country is in an uncivilized state; he sees the vestiges of past grandeur around him, and his views embrace a wide field for the renewal of former prosperity. Tanks must be repaired, canals reopened, emigration of Chinese and Malabars encouraged, forests and jungles cleared, barren land brought into fertility. The work of years is before him, but the expiration of his term draws near. Time is precious, but nevertheless he must refer his schemes to the Colonial Office. What do they know of Ceylon? To them his plans seem visionary; at all events they will require an outlay. A correspondence ensues - that hateful correspondence! This ensures delay. Time flies; the expiration of his term draws near. Even his sanguine temperament has ceased to hope; his plans are not even commenced, to work out which would require years; he never could see them realized, and his successor might neglect them and lay the onus of the failure upon him, the originator, or claim the merit of their success.

and as to his views about Euclid, no opinion could have

So much for a five years' term of governorship, the absurdity of which is superlative. It is so entirely contrary to the system of management in private affairs that it is difficult to imagine the cause that could have given rise to such a regulation. In matters great or small, the capability of the manager is the first consideration; and if this be proved, the value of the man is enhanced accordingly; no employer would lose him.

and as to his views about Euclid, no opinion could have

But in colonial governments the system is directly opposite, for no sooner does the governor become competent than he is withdrawn and transferred to another sphere. Thus every colony is like a farm held on a short lease, which effectually debars it from improvement, as the same feeling which actuates the individual in neglecting the future, because he will not personally enjoy the fruits of his labor, must in some degree fetter the enterprise of a five years' governor. He is little better than the Lord Mayor, who flutters proudly for a year, and then drops his borrowed feathers in his moulting season.

and as to his views about Euclid, no opinion could have

Why should not governors serve an apprenticeship for five years as colonial secretaries to the colonies they are destined for, if five years is still to be the limited term of their office? This would ensure a knowledge of the colony at a secretary's salary, and render them fit for both the office and salary of governor when called upon; whereas, by the present system, they at once receive a governor's salary before they understand their duties.

In casually regarding the present picture of Ceylon, it is hard to say which point has been most neglected; but a short residence in the island will afford a fair sample of government inactivity in the want of education among the people.

Upon this subject more might be said than lies in my province to dwell upon; nevertheless, after fifty years' possession of the Kandian districts, this want is so glaring that I cannot withhold a few remarks upon the subject, as I consider the ignorant state of the native population a complete check to the advancement of the colony.

In commencing this subject, I must assume that the conquerors of territory are responsible for the moral welfare of the inhabitants; therefore our responsibility increases with our conquests. A mighty onus thus rests upon Great Britain, which few consider when they glory in the boast, "that the sun never sets upon her dominions."

This thought leads us to a comparison of power between ourselves and other countries, and we trace the small spot upon the world's map which marks our little island, and in every sphere we gaze with wonder at our vast possessions. This is a picture of the present. What will the future be in these days of advancement? It were vain to hazard a conjecture; but we can look back upon the past, and build upon this foundation our future hopes.


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