Monday, 11 April 2011

Flashman on the British Empire

You’ll have heard it said that the British Empire was acquired in a fit of absence of mind — one of those smart Oscarish squibs that sounds well but is thoroughly fat-headed. Presence of mind, if you like — and countless other things, such as greed and Christianity, decency and villainy, policy and lunacy, deep design and blind chance, pride and trade, blunder and curiosity, passion, ignorance, chivalry and expediency, honest pursuit of right, and determination to keep the bloody Frogs out. And as often as not, such things came tumbling together, and when the dust had settled, there we were, and who else was going to set things straight and feed the folk and guard the gate and dig the drains — oh, aye, and take the profits, by all means.

Flashman and the Mountain of Light, p.24, Fontana Paperback edition, 1991.

Tags: , , .

No comments: