of instilling the Eton Grammar and Euclid into the mind

time:2023-12-02 03:45:07 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:science

Nevertheless, it becomes a question whether we should blame the man or the system, but the question arises in this case, as with everything else in which government is concerned, "Where is the fault?" "Echo answers 'Where?'" But the public are not satisfied with echoes, and in this matter-of-fact age people look to those who fill ostensible posts and draw bona fide salaries; and if these men hold the appointments, no matter under what system, they become the deserved objects of either praise or censure.

of instilling the Eton Grammar and Euclid into the mind

Thus it may appear too much to say that Sir G. Anderson is liable for the mismanagement of the colony in toto -for the total neglect of the public roads. It may appear too much to say, When you came to the colony you found the roads in good order: they are now impassable; communication is actually cut off from places of importance. This is your fault, these are the fruits of your imbecility; your answer to our petitions for repairs was, "There is no money;" and yet at the close of the year you proclaimed and boasted of a saving of twenty-seven thousand pounds in the treasury! This seems a fearful contradiction; and the whole public received it as such. The governor may complain that the public expect too much; the public may complain that the governor does too little.

of instilling the Eton Grammar and Euclid into the mind

Upon these satisfactory terms, governors and their dependants bow each other out, the colony being a kind of opera stall, a reserved seat for the governor during the performance of five acts (as we will term his five years of office); and the fifth act, as usual in tragedies, exposes the whole plot of the preceding four, and winds up with the customary disasters.

of instilling the Eton Grammar and Euclid into the mind

Now the question is, how long this age of misrule will last.

Every one complains, and still every one endures. Each man has a grievance, but no man has a remedy. Still, the absurdity of our colonial appointments is such that if steps were purposely taken to ensure the destruction of the colonies, they could not have been more certain.

We will commence with a new governor dealt out to a colony. We will simply call him a governor, not troubling ourselves with his qualifications, as of course they have not been considered at the Colonial Office. He may be an upright, clear-headed, indefatigable man, in the prime of life, or he may be old, crotchety, pigheaded, and mentally and physically incapable. He may be either; it does not much matter, as he can only remain for five years, at which time his term expires.

We will suppose that the crotchety old gentleman arrives first. The public will be in a delightful perplexity as to what the new governor will do - whether he will carry out the views of his predecessor, or whether he will upset everything that has been done in the past five years; all is uncertainty. The only thing known positively is, that, good or bad, he will pocket seven thousand a year!* *[since reduced to five thousand pounds].

His term of government will be chequered by many disappointments to the public, and, if he has any feeling at all, by many heartburnings to himself. Physically incapable of much exertion, he will be unable to travel over so wild a country as Ceylon. A good governor in a little island may be a very bad governor in a large island, as a good cab-driver might make a bad four-in hand man; thus our old governor would have no practical knowledge of the country, but would depend upon prejudiced accounts for his information. Thus he would never arrive at any correct information; he would receive all testimony with doubt, considering that each had some personal motive in offering advice, and one tongue would thus nullify the other until he should at length come to the conclusion of David in his haste, "that all men are liars," and turn a deaf ear to all. This would enable him to pass the rest of his term without any active blunders, and he might vary the passive monotony of his existence by a system of contradiction to all advice gratis. A little careful pruning of expenses during the last two years of his term might give a semblance of increase o?revenue over expenditure, to gain a smile from the Colonial Office. On his return the colony would be left with neglected roads, consequent upon the withdrawal of the necessary funds.


recommended content