Quiz: Identify the Author

This is fairly simple.

Identify the author and the context of the following. Use of Google/Wikipedia prohibited. Please. :-)

These are the monuments of real kings, who were the fathers of their people; testators to a posterity which they embraced as their own. These are the grand sepulchres built by ambition; but by the ambition of an insatiable benevolence, which, not contented with reigning in the dispensation of happiness during the contracted term of human life, had strained, with all the reachings and graspings of a vivacious mind, to extend the dominion of their bounty beyond the limits of nature, and to perpetuate themselves through generations of generations, the guardians, the protectors, the nourishers of mankind.

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11 comments for “Quiz: Identify the Author

  1. Babban
    September 24, 2009 at 11:25 PM

    I am a first-time visitor to this website/blog, and am hooked!

    I intended to visit it briefly, led by a search-string, but for nearly 2 hours now I have been going through its thicket of well-argued (will not describe them as polemics, as what I see hear is much much better) articles and essays!!


  2. Sandeep
    September 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM


    It’s by Edmund Burke.

  3. LS
    September 24, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    Agree with Ghostwriter. Edmund Burke was all in favour of Empire. The above quote, taken out of the overall context of his speeches, gives a quite misleading impression of his views on Empire.

  4. Ghostwriter
    September 24, 2009 at 6:32 AM

    I see you have been reading Edmund Burke!

    Burke’s opposition to the empire should not be gleaned from this now famous comment – that would be misleading. He was not against the Empire because it undermined good government or tradition in India. His real anxiety was that the loot from India will empower a new set of ‘Nabobs’ – the get rich quick, arriviste class – who would buy large estates and seats in parliament; thence undermine all that was noble in the British. Burke’s central anxiety was – and continued to remain – conserving traditions and social norms in Britain.

    A very good book on the heartburn that the Indian empire caused in Burke is Nicholas Dirks “The Scandal of Empire”. The author demonstrates how the trial of Hastings conducted by Burke actually strengthened the idea of empire in Britain, Burke playing the good cop to Hastings’s bad cop. Burke said that the likes of Hastings were vultures, while a country like Britain should govern it’s dependencies in a more enlightened, paternalistic way. It laid the foundation for what came next – the British feeling that they were actually doing us a favour by ruling over us!

  5. p6
    September 24, 2009 at 1:51 AM


    That’s exactly what I thought too.

    But it’s Edmund Burke. Trial of Warren Hastings.

  6. Ramkumaran
    September 23, 2009 at 10:52 PM

    Romila Thapar on Delhi Sultanate or Mughals?

  7. Kiran
    September 23, 2009 at 5:50 PM

    Some Brit on India.. Some one opposite of McAuley types…

  8. September 23, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    Conrad, Heart of Darkness?

  9. LS
    September 23, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Edmund Burke, indicting Warren Hastings and the East India Company. (Trial of Warren Hastings).

  10. September 23, 2009 at 7:42 AM

    Oops! Looks like I made a big fool of myself ;-)

  11. September 23, 2009 at 7:41 AM

    Arun Shourie or Sita Ram Goel?
    I think I read something like that in “What happened to the Hindu temples” ….

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