Siam,( Thailand ) the land of the white elephant, as it was and is Free PDF Book

Siam,( Thailand )   1893 the land of the white elephant, as it was and is Free PDF Book by George Blagden Bacon with Illustrations

the land of the white elephant

the present editor's aim in revising this little volume has been to leave untouched, so far as possible, Mr. Bacon's compilation, omitting only such portions as were inaccurate or obsolete, and adding rather sparingly from the narratives of a few recent travelers.

The authoritative history and description of Siam have yet to be written, and until this work appears the accounts of Pallegoix, of Bo, wring, and of Mouhot convey as satisfactory and accurate impressions of the country as those of later writers.

Though the wonderful ruins at Angkor are now technically within the confines of Siam, their consideration still belongs to a treatise on Cambodia, and this as a separate country could not fairly be joined to Siam in carrying out the plan of the series. In other respects, without attempting to be exhaustive, the reviser's endeavor has been to neglect no important part or feature of the kingdom. The regeneration effected in Siam during the past half-century presents a suggestive contrast to that ebullition of new life which has within an even briefer period transformed despotic Japan into a free and ambitious state. Here, as there, the stranger is impressed with those outward symbols of nineteenth-century life, the agencies of steam, gas, and electricity that appear in many busy centers in whimsical incongruity to their Oriental setting; but these are the adjuncts rather than the essentials of that Western civilization which both countries are striving to imitate.

 In Siam, it must be confessed, there is no such evidence of popular awakening as now directs the world's attention to the Mikado's empire. The languor and content of life in the tropics dispose of the people to seek new ideas and accept new institutions less eagerly than under Northern skies. Siam's policy of gradual progress toward a condition of higher enlightenment is in admirable accordance with her needs and promises to achieve its purpose with no such risks of reaction or shipwreck as beset the course of more ambitious states in the East.

Author: George Blagden Bacon
Publication Date: 1893 


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