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the north-west. We can change our longitude but not our latitude. It was from the east, and not from the north or south, that the children of men travelled to the land of Shinaar.
CONFESSIONS OF AN EURASIAN.
“I know not whether the document, in which I have thus sought a temporary relief from the pangs of humbled pride and disappointed ambition, is destined to see the light. Neglected, solitary, forgotten, it has been a relief to me to register my follies, and to preserve a record of the hidden troubles that have now nearly fretted to decay the frail mansion they so long tenanted. How soothing to have breathed them, in the confidence of the social hour, to some familiar friend, and in return to have drunk the cordial drop of sympathy from his lips ! But neither friendship nor its consolations have been mine. To me it is a barren name—a shadow
can image suggested only by books, of which my experience can supply no counterpart.
“I was born a member of that limited knot of persons, whom the improved nomenclature of the day designates Indo-Britons, or Eurasians, and a sharer, as such, in the supposed sorrows and imagined proscription which have, of late, awakened the fashionable sympathies of those who take a lively interest in the affairs of others, with the simple proviso of not being out of pocket by their philanthropy. But years glided away before the light burst in upon me, that I belonged to an aggrieved and persecuted race. From infancy almost to manhood, that consoling truth never flashed its conviction upon me. A liberal allowance, the best instructions that India could supply, a horse, a palanquin, and the superintendence of a kind parent and indulgent guardians, wafted me along so smooth a current of existence, that I had no leisure to cherish that high-minded sense of wrong, without which, according to prevailing doctrines, a man is neither free nor deserves to be so. It is astonishing how apt an unbroken flow of ease and enjoyment is to blind a man to the miseries of his own condition, as well as to make him insensible to the miseries of others as well off as himself. It is an apathy highly culpable in an enlightened age.
“ I am the fruit of a mixed union, the confluence of Western and Asiatic blood in the same veins ; in other words, the child of a casual congress between a major in the Honourable Company's service and a decent Pariah female, named Latchmy Ubby, one of those beauties that wear the darkest livery of a burning sun. The country languages came to me with a natural facility, for I rapidly acquired sufficient of their vernacular gabble to communicate my wish to have what I wanted the primitive element of every language. My father, the worthy Major Middlerace, undertook the task of teaching me English; but, though my docility was great, and my apprehension somewhat lively, my proficiency in that difficult tongue did not probably respond to the pains he took with my instruction, particularly when he endeavoured to teach me his own Yorkshire patois, which, in phrase and accent, he considered the purest English that could be spoken.
“I made considerable progress in more miscellaneous studies; yet, from my boyhood upwards to maturity, I frequently encountered a strange inexplicable sensation, that came over me at those times when a proposition more complex than usual, or embracing several accessories or relatives, lay before me.
It was a discouraging, deadening sensation, partaking of an external sense and an inward sentiment, probably compounded of both. It seemed as if, from the beginning, a mysterious decree had gone forth, by which an impassable boundary had been prescribed to my thinking faculties. I despair adequately to describe it, unless to those whom the same predicament of birth may have rendered accessible to its influence. Yet, possibly, those of our little community who have felt its tyranny, have preserved too inaccurate a notice of its operation to undertake the analysis. For myself, I can explain it only by metaphor and analogy
“ Have you noted the strange phenomena of your sleeping hours? You will easily call to mind those disturbed dreams, in which, having been pursued by a bull, or by a human assassin still more ferocious, you have betaken yourself to an alley or narrow street, you vainly mistook for a thoroughfare, and to your horror found it to be a cul-de-sac, that interposed an effectual bar to your escape, your adversary being all the while close at your heels; and then, in the faintness of despair, you have given yourself up for lost, but with an inward consciousness of ease and satisfaction in the surrender. Even so, when, hurrying onwards in the acquisition of knowledge, a doubt or difficulty came across me, I attempted to fly from it through some easier avenue, but sunk overpowered with something of a pleasing stupor, whilst the horns of the dilemma were about to goad me. Night-mares