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The increased facilities of intercourse with Europe are rapidly producing innovations in India, and in Anglo-Indian life. Railways and the electric telegraph, a Civil Service no longer to be appointed on account of its family connections, and a public opinion in England bearing upon Indian Government, must, sooner or later, produce a complete revolution in the ordinary routine of Indian existence. These Tropical Sketches, therefore, will be, in a very few years,-nay, to a great extent, are now probably,--rather views of what has been than of what is; particularly in all that relates to newspapers and their offices.
Many of the following chapters were originally written in India, amid the scenes and
circumstances which they describe. They have all been carefully revised, however, and, in fact, rewritten for the present work.
No man can have been the editor of a newspaper anywhere, without making many personal enemies. This is particularly the case in small communities, such as those of Colonial towns and the capitals of the Indian Presidencies. To such enemies a work issuing from the pen of the obnoxious editor will afford the long-sought opportunity of paying off old scores, of discharging the vials of that wrath which has long been pent up within the breast, uncomfortably and inconveniently.
I am perfectly aware, also, that whoever ventures to find fault with any portion of the system of Indian administration, will find many ready to assail him. Some, writing from honest conviction in honest defence of the government they admire or serve; others, to obtain the favour of the authorities, and thereby secure their own promotion or advantage. To the former I would simply observe, that, in the following pages, I confine my condemnation of Indian administration to that department in which I served—the Educational.