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Quotes

Quote #10

But this description, I confess, does by no means affect the British nation, who may be an example to the whole world for their wisdom, care, and justice in planting colonies; their liberal endowments for the advancement of religion and learning; their choice of devout and able pastors to propagate Christianity; their caution in stocking their provinces with people of sober lives and conversations from this the mother kingdom; their strict regard to the distribution of justice, in supplying the civil administration through all their colonies with officers of the greatest abilities, utter strangers to corruption; and, to crown all, by sending the most vigilant and virtuous governors, who have no other views than the happiness of the people over whom they preside, and the honour of the king their master. (4.12.9)

In the last chapter of the last part of the book, Gulliver explains why he doesn't think England should try to conquer the lands he has visited. His final reason is that they don't want to be conquered. But he also includes this little dig at England's colonial administration, which is, in fact, filled with incompetent, unjust, and exploitative managers. We have to give Gulliver this: he really does seem committed to other people's liberty, even if they are members of the "savage nations" (4.2.4) to which he refers earlier. And he certainly doesn't approve of the wealth flowing into England from its theft of other nations' resources.

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