GALLE, Wednesday, January 22.
We reached here last night upon our return, stopping one night at Colombo. Future travellers will soon miss one of the rarest treats in Ceylon. The railway will soon be completed from Colombo to Galle, and the days of coaching cease forever. We congratulate ourselves that our visit was before this passed away, as we know of no drive equal to that we have now enjoyed twice, and the last time even more than the first.
During our trip down yesterday I counted within forty miles eleven schools filled with young Cingalese. English is generally taught in them, and although attendance is not compulsory, great inducements are held out to parents to send their children. The advantages of knowing the English language are so decided that I am told parents generally are most anxious to have their children taught. The school-houses are simple affairs, consisting only of white plastered walls about five feet high, with spaces for entrance. On this wall rest the slight wooden standards which support thereof of palm-leaves, so that all is open to our view as we drive past. The attention paid to this vital subject, evidences of which are seen everywhere, is what most delights us. In 1874 there were 1,468 public schools on the island, attended by 66,385 scholars.
We were equally delighted to see numerous medical dispensaries, where the afflicted natives can obtain advice and medicine free of charge. On several huts we saw large placards denoting the presence of contagious disease within. It is a great work that is going forward here under English rule. By such means England proves her ability to govern, and best confirms her sway against domestic revolt or foreign intrigues. The blessings of good government, the education of the people, and careful attention to their health and comfort - these will be found the most effective weapons with which to combat mutiny within, or Russian or any other aggression from abroad. From all we saw in Ceylon we are prepared to put it forth as the best example of English government in the world, England herself not excepted.
* * * * *