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improve the natives

Harry Johnston, a British colonial administrator visiting a mission station in Africa in the late 19th-century, asks the missionary to translate this message for his native audience:

'Tell them how interested the Queen is in their welfare, how she wants them to improve themselves and their country. We were like you long years ago, going about naked with our war paint on, but when we learnt Christianity from the Romans we changed and became great. We want you to learn Christianity and follow our steps and you too will be great.'

Quoted Bamber Gascoigne The Christians, Cape 1977, page 243

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