Eight Years Wanderings in Ceylon

By Sir Samuel W. Baker | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XI.

INDIGENOUS PRODUCTIONS -- THE BOTANICAL GARDENS -- SUG. GESTED EXPERIMENTS -- LACK OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO GOLD-DIGGERS -- THE PROSPECTS OF GOLD-DIGGING -- WE WANT "NUGGETS" -- WHO IS TO BLAME? -- GOVERNOR'S SALARY -- FALLACIES OF A FIVE YEARS' REIGN -- NEGLECTED EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE -- RESPONSIBILITIES OF CONQUEST -- PROGRESS OF CHRISTIANITY.

THE foregoing chapter may appear to decry in toto the indigenous productions of Ceylon, as it is asserted that they are valueless in their natural state. Nevertheless, I do not imply that they must necessarily remain useless. Where Nature simply creates a genus, cultivation extends the species, and from an insignificant parent stock we propagate our finest varieties of both animals and vegetables. Witness the wild kale, parsnip, carrot, crab-apple, sloe, etc., all utterly worthless, but nevertheless the first parents of their now choice descendants.

It is therefore impossible to say what might not be done in the improvement of indigenous productions were the attention of science bestowed upon them. But all this entails expense, and upon whom is this to fall? Out of a hundred experiments ninety-nine might fail. In Ceylon we have no wealthy experimentalists, o agricultural exhibitions, no model farms, but every

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