"Seditious?" Flory said. "I'm not seditious. I don't want the Burmans to drive us out of this country. God forbid! I'm here to make money, like everyone else. All I object to is the slimy white man's burden humbug. The pukka sahib pose. It's so boring. Even those bloody fools at the Club might be better company if we weren't all of us living a lie the whole time."
"Really, Mr Flory, I know not what it iss that hass made you so cynical. It iss so most unsuitable! You – an English gentleman of high gifts and character – to be uttering seditious opinions that are worthy of the Burmese Patriot!"
"Why, of course, the lie that we're here to uplift our poor black brothers instead of to rob them. I suppose it's a natural enough lie. But it corrupts us, it corrupts us in ways you can't imagine. There's an everlasting sense of being a sneak and a liar that torments us and drives us to justify ourselves night and day. It's at the bottom of half our beastliness to the natives. We Anglo-Indians could be almost bearable if we'd only admit that we're thieves and go on thieving without any humbug."
"But, my dear friend, what lie are you living?"
"My dear doctor," said Flory, "how can you make out that we are in this country for any purpose except to steal? It's so simple.
"My friend, it iss pathetic to me to hear you talk so. It iss truly pathetic. You say you are here to trade? Of course you are.