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had applied for an increase of only Rs. 3. to his salary at Messrs. Tulloh & Co.'s, and had his application been entertained, he would have remained satisfied—his energy, perhaps, have been gone, and he plodded on in life at the auction counter, without forcing himself out so prominently in after life; but Providence works His designs most mysteriously, and his application was rejected. This led him to present himself at the examination for a vacancy in the Military Auditor General's Office, where, after entry, he came in contact with Mr. Mackenzie, popular even in the odious situation of an Income Tax Commissioner at Calcutta. This officer was above the narrow-minded prejudices of many of his countrymen. The surly contumacy of hot-brained Englishmen, which despises the Native, was not to be found in the kindly and humane constitution of the Collector ; and he freely associated himself with his “nigger” clerk. He entered into the character and the constitution of the mind of Harris, and discovering a powerful intellect, he at once resolved to lead it to a full development. With this view, he introduced him to Colonel Champneys, the Deputy Military Auditor General, another Englishman zealously

THE CRITICAL PERIOD WITH HARRIS. 125

devoted to do good to any one who stood in need of him, and extremely anxious to make his clerks intelligent, knowledge-seeking men. He very soon perceived the worth of his obscure copyist, and resolved to promote him to respect and emolument by his patronage, and directed his mind with a stern injunction to books and education. Harris's prospects now brightened: at the very time which should determine the future tendency of his mind, he found himself under the care of Colonel Champneys and Mr. Mackenzie, lending him books containing solid thought and knowledge, not only from their own private collections, but even from the Calcutta Public Library; and Harris read them all with a greedy avidity, feeling the stirrings of a noble aspiration within, God above, and a goal before him.

126

CHAPTER VI.

HIS ENERGY AND AMBITION DIRECTED TO A

SPECIFIC COURSE.

IMPORTANCE of a specific course of life.-Two subdivisions of

the better class of Young India.—The worst described.Our so-called Savants. Their vanity and presumption. Their dishonesty in essays and books.-An audacious attempt of this kind stated. The fate of a young man who begins to work in earnest.— The daily labours of a so-called Savant, and men of his class.--Observations of contemptible ignorance of the most rudimentary knowledge and learning stated.-- The“ domestic literary treason" of the elder Disraeli.-Study pursued in India more as a means to rise than as an end in itself.-Want of earnestness and pre-calculation with Young India in all his undertakings.-He justly meets with the disconfiture of Alnascar.--Harris prominently distinct in his traits of character.--His pursuit of knowledge as an end, not as a

.--His remarkable zeal after learning.--His manner of spending leisure. A remarkable scene in the mock Bengalee Temple.—Who achieves success ?

means.-

As yet we have seen Harris possessing natural general energy and decision, which might not have yielded the fruit they actually have done. These were disciplined by happy external influences—perhaps also increased by them : but this energy, and even talent, might have been

A SPECIFIC COURSE IMPORTANT.

127

wrecked, and utterly ruined, as in the case of Eugene Aram, but for their being employed in a specific course, with success and credit. Two sub-classes of Young India—that is Young India of the first grand division, the hope of India and of the East-have been spoken of in the foregoing pages ; one of which is surly, ostentatious, and idle, wholly taken up in the concerns of common life, in the mere mechanical ploddings of a professional pursuit, where there brightens not a single aspiration of a higher motive: dedicated every bit-brain and hands, skill and strength, day, night, and hour --to mere business, ease, and listlessness, they are those hirelings of learning and education, who pursue study, not as an object, but as the instrument of their exaltation, and leave it as soon as their mean purpose has been served. They are like Watson, who gave up his pursuits in chemistry as soon as he obtained a professorship, and did not blush to vent forth the wretched jingle, after attaining his object, that he preferred “larches to his laurels” ; and, like him, are actuated in life by that egotistic pride worthy only of the creature of selfism and worldly fame. These have formed a coterie, and having the accident of being somewhat well established in public opinion (public opinion !--say rather their own self-conceited opinion), pass their time in easy tale-telling--that is, scandalising every rising spirit that ventures to look upon them with just contempt, or make a bold front of rectitude and honesty against the counsels of their pride and egotism. Education-sound, thorough education-has been working its way at least thirty years on this side of India, and with all the vast expenditure bestowed on organising and continuing for so long a period a cumbrous system of sound enlightenment-with all the boasted knowledge of the English language on the part of all our past batches of students--with all their vaunting of being the promoters of civilisation and refinement among the benighted mass of India, -we have not one man of talent or genius írom among them to compare with some of the commonest artisans, or persons in indigent circumstances, who have shed a halo of glory round the British name by their writings, inventions, or discoveries! They deem themselves the directors of taste, learning, and---everything ; though they can show nothing beyond mere compilations of dictionaries (which, by the way, is a mechanical task, especially after the

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