William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By William Henry Seward; Olive Risley Seward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII.
FROM BOMBAY TO ADEN.

Once more at Sea.--The Steamer Deccan.--Mr. Seward's Remarks on India.--Natural Religion.--The Characteristics of the Hindoo Mind.--England's Hold on India.-- The Regeneration of India.--The Island of Socotra.--Arrival at Aden.--An Extinct Volcano.--Wise Old England!--A New Stage of the Voyage.--Red-Haired Negroes.

Steamer Deccan, April 25th.--Once more at sea! But where? The waters which roll between the Indian Peninsula and the Arabian Promontory are the Arabian Sea. The waters south of them are the Indian Ocean. We left the Indian Peninsula behind us on the 22d, and are now making a bee-line from the Malabar coast to Aden, on the southwest coast of Arabia. On which of the two seas are we? Our steamer is the largest one of the Peninsular and Oriental line. Having three keels, she rides the sea as squarely and as smoothly as an American side-wheeler. Our fellow-passengers being English, and many of them acquaintances made in India, we are not suffered to feel that we are strangers.

While watching the flying-fish skipping over the unruffled sea this morning, which of all the reflections that occurred to us during our sojourn in India shall we record? Mr. Seward said: " India has a very imperfect and unsatisfactory civilization, but it never had a better one. The native population could never achieve a better one if left to themselves. Their whole hope of a higher civilization depends on the instruction and aid of the Western nations, and, taking circumstances as they are, that hope de

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