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quiry must have been deemed superfluous by juniors, who saw their superiors gravely pronounce, even in official documents, that the very existence of a rent-free tenure was an abuse, and ought to be abated.
We have said that the forgeries practised by some, and the extension of their privileges by others of the holders, rendered strict investigation of rent-free tenures an immediate necessity and a duty. Still, it was to be borne in mind, that our faith was pledged to the recognition of all genuine grants, and that, in the larger of these tenures, the fallen nobility and gentry of the land found their solace for the loss of power, place, station, hope of advancement, and all that gives a zest to the life of the upper classes in every part of the globe; while the smaller tenures of the kind constituted, in many instances, the sole support of well-descended but indigent families. There was something to move the compassion even of a universal philanthropist, in the thought of the humble individuals of both sexes to whom a sweeping resumption of all such tenures was in fact the extinction of almost every earthly hope. The Indian government itself, though_at_that period described by Mr F. H. Robinson (p. 12) as "a despotism administered upon radical principles," became startled at the havoc which the zeal
of its subordinates was committing among this class of sufferers, and in terfered to mitigate the severity of their proceedings. Many of the “softhearted" seniors of the Civil Service rejoiced at a resolution which relieved them from an odious and painful duty. a strong-minded junior on what he regards as a feeble
But thus reasons
"Unfortunately the long delay in making the investigations had established in their seats the fraudulent appropriators of the revenue; and when it came to be taken from them, the measure caused great change and apparent hardship to individuals in comfortable circumstances; hence arose a great cry of hardship and injustice. We were still most apt to view with sympathy the misfortunes of the higher classes; many soft-hearted officers of Government exclaimed against the
sudden deprivation; and some of the seditious Europeans, who find their profit in professional attacks on Government, raised the cry much louder. But the worst of the storm had expended itself; a little firmness, a little voluntary benehave ceased; and the temporary inconficence to individual cases, and it would venience to fraudulent individuals would have resulted in great permanent addition to the means of the state; but the Bengal Government is pusillanimous. Since Warren Hastings was persecuted in doing his duty, and Lord Cornwallis praised for sacrificing the interests of Government, and of the body of the people, it has always erred on the side of abandoning its rights to any sufficiently these resumptions. It let off first one strong interested cry. It wavered about kind of holding, then another, then all holdings under one hundred beegas (about seventy acres), whether one man possessed several such or not: life-tenures were granted where no right existed. Finally, all resumed lands were settled at half rates in perpetuity, and the Board of Revenue intimated that they would be happy to see all operations discontinued.' The result therefore is, that the Governabuse of the measure, have given the cry more colour by so much yielding, and in the end have got not half so much revenue as they ought to have had. There has been an addition of about £300,000 to the annual revenue, at an expense of £800,000.” *
ment have incurred all the odium and
According to Mr Campbell's calculation, a stricter enforcement of the resumption laws might have doubled the above sum; but as only the smaller tenures were let off, it is scarcely possible that more than half as much again as was actually realised could have been wrung out of the
remnants to which the Government so timidly, as he asserts, abandoned its rights. An addition, therefore, of about £450,000 to our annual income would have been all that we should have gained by a measure violating the most solemn pledge given to the people that every ducing many families to ruin, and VALID grant should be respected, reshaking the general confidence in our honesty and good faith. Though the passage cited is open to many objections on the score of arbitrary assumption and false reasoning, it is to its
* Modern India and its Government, by G. CAMPBELL, Esq.; pp. 316, 317..
hardness of tone that we would chiefly draw our readers' attention, as strongly confirmatory of the following remark, taken from Mr F. H. Robinson's pamphlet:
"I have said enough, I think, to de
monstrate that the disaffection which exists is traceable to the despotic character our administration has of late years assumed, simultaneously with its sedulous diffusion of liberal doctrines; to the unhappy dislike of natives, as natives, which has crept in among the servants of Government; to the many acts of abuse, oppression, and arbitrary misgovernment, arising as much from misguided zeal as from evil intention, which, on the part of the administrative officers, harass and vex the people.”—(P. 31).
We have already recorded our assent to Mr Marshman's remark on the thoroughly English character of our Indian empire and its administration; but we have, moreover, to observe, that, in the application of new principles even of European growth, India often outstrips the mother country. That which in England is still theory has in India become practice.
There are not wanting in England people to maintain that all grants of olden times ought to be forfeited, and their proceeds applied to the purposes of general government. If these people had their way, they would certainly resume the lands of the deans and chapters, probably those of the schools and colleges, and possibly such also as are devoted to the support of almshouses, and other charitable institutions scattered over the face of the country. These speculations in England evaporate in pamphlets, and cannot for a long time assume any more positive form than that of a speech in the House of Commons. But the following passage in Mr F. H. Robinson's pamphlet shows us how differently such matters are ordered in India:
"The Government have systematically resumed, of late years, all religious endowments; an extensive inquiry has been going on into all endowments, grants, and pensions; and in almost every one in which the continuance of religious endowments has been recommended by subordinate revenue authorities, backed by the Board of Revenue, the fiat of confiscation has been issued by the Government.”—(P. 17).
Again, there are many in England who would gladly reduce the landed possessions of great proprietors, like the Duke of Buccleuch and others, to more moderate dimensions; but they hardly venture to put forth speculations upon a measure which, in India, has been carried into positive and extensive execution.
The fourth chapter of Mr Kaye's work contains a clear and admirable account of the recent settlement of the provinces of the Upper Ganges, in the course of which the reader will meet with the following passage:—
"There was a class of large landed proprietors, known as Talookedars, the territorial aristocracy of the country. The settlement officers seem to have treated these men as usurpers and monopolists, and to have sought every opportunity of reducing their tenures. not denied that such reduction was, on the whole, desirable, inasmuch as these large tenures interfered with the rights of the village proprietors. But the reduction was undertaken in too precipitate
and arbitrary a manner; and the Court
of Directors acknowledged that it had caused great practical embarrassment to Government, against whom numerous suits were instituted in the civil courts by the ousted talookdars, and many decided in their favour."-(P. 265).
The redress afforded by these decisions of the civil courts has not, we fear, been sufficient to avert the ruin of such members of the "territorial aristocracy as had the hardihood to withhold their adhesion to a scheme for their own extinction. The principle of that scheme was to grant, in the form of a per-centage on the revenue realised from the village communities of what had been his domain, a pension to the talookdar who was willing, for such a consideration, to give up all the other advantages of his hereditary position. Many of these men, or their immediate predecessors, had rendered us great service in the war by which we acquired the country; but they stood in the way of a favourite scheme, and before its irresistible advance they were compelled to retire. The provision made for their future wants may have been a liberal one; but how would the Duke of Buccleuch or the Marquess of Westminster like to be thus pensioned off?
The truth had better be frankly avowed; the object aimed at is, to get rid of the old territorial aristocracy altogether, indeed, it is so stated by Mr Campbell in the following sen
"It is, I think, a remarkable distinction between the manners of the natives and ours, and one which much affects our dealings with them, that there does not exist that difference of tone between the higher and lower classes the distinction, in fact, of a gentleman. The lower classes are to the full as good and intelligent as with us; indeed, they are much more versed in the affairs of life, plead their causes better, make more intelligent witnesses, and have many virtues.
"But these good qualities are not in the same proportion in the higher classes; they cannot bear prosperity; it causes them to degenerate, especially if they are born to greatness. The only efficient men of rank (with, of course, a few exceptions) are those who have risen to greatness. The lowest of the people, if fate raise him to be an emperor, makes himself quite at home in his new situation, and shows an aptitude of manner and conduct unknown to Europeans similarly situated; but his son is altogether degenerate. Hence the impossibility of adapting to anything useful most of the higher classes found by us, and for all fresh requirements it is necessary to create a fresh class. From the acuteness and aptness to learn of the inferior classes, this can be done as is done in other countries.". (Pp. 63, 64).
We fully subscribe to all that is here said in commendation of the lower classes of our Indian subjects, but we demur to the author's very disparaging estimate of the capacity of the higher orders. Doubtless there are, or rather were, many dull men of rank on the banks of the Ganges; but are there none on those of the Thames? -no squires of cramped and confused notions, no fortunate inheritors of wealth content to wallow through life in utter disregard of the duties attaching to property, while fiercely jealous of its rights? It would be a sad day for our own landed aristocracy if Mr Campbell were to obtain sway in England, and try to rule that country upon the principles of which he approves in the East. But if he could, would our peasantry be permanently bettered by a change tending towards
a destruction of all the gradations of society? If the reply to this query should be in the affirmative, we may contemplate with unalloyed satisfaction the progress of a system the description and defence of which is the main object of Mr Campbell's work; but if we feel any hesitation as to the future effects of such a change in England, then, human nature being much the same in every clime, we ought to have some misgivings as to its eventual results in the East. We say eventual, because the immediate fruits of the measures described by Mr Campbell have, we are assured by him, and have heard from other quarters, been satisfactory and cheering. But is it probable that a whole nation should rest satisfied for ever in this state of flat and tame sufficiency? and can we wonder to find alongside of Mr Campbell's picture of what ought to be the feelings towards the English of the present day on the banks of the Ganges, Mr F. H. Robinson's gloomy account of what, in his opinion, those feelings really are? Having been compelled, as a member of the Board of Revenue, to make a communication to an old retired officer of Gardiner's Irregular Horse, and to a Mussulman of rank, calculated to hurt the feelings of both, Mr Robinson thus describes what followed::
"I shall never forget the looks of mortification, anger, and at first of incredulity, with which this announcement was received by both, nor the bitter irony with which the old Russuldar remarked, that no doubt the wisdom of the new
gentlemen (Sahiblogue, so they designate the English) had shown them the folly and ignorance of the gentlemen of the old time, on whom it had pleased God, nevertheless, to bestow the government of India."-(P. 17).
Mr Robinson goes too far when he taxes the rulers of the present day with dislike to the natives generally; but it is evident, from Mr Campbell's own admission, that there is a strong prepossession in the minds of the young men of his school against all natives with any pretensions to rank. This feeling extending to those beyond the limits of our own dominions, has stamped on our foreign policy the character of our internal adminis
tration, and found its full development in the late Afghan war. Thirty or forty years ago, when natives, if excluded from office, were more often admitted to familiar intercourse with their European rulers, a mere regard for our own character in the eyes of our subjects would have withheld us from making an unprovoked attack upon an unoffending neighbour, and thus incurring a certain loss of reputation for a very uncertain amount of gain. This view of the case does not of course even occur to Mr Campbell as one likely to be taken by any reasonable being, and he sums up his account of the Afghan war with the following remarks, suggestive to our minds of little beyond a most earnest hope that the future advancement, doubtless in store for one of his abilities, may lead him far away from meddling with matters either political or military:
"Such it was a grievous military catastrophe and misfortune to us, both then and in our subsequent relations with the country; but in no way attributable to our policy, from which no such result necessarily or probably flowed. To the policy is due the expense, but not the disaster."-(P. 136).
Mr Campbell has evidently not made very minute inquiry into the facts of the war, or he would never have hazarded the assertion contained in the following passage, that Sir George Pollock literally paid his way through the Khyber Pass :
"Through the Western mountains only has India been invaded; for beyond them are all the great nations of Central India, and they are penetrable to enemies through one or two difficult passes. But these passes are so narrow, difficult, and easily defended, that it is believed that no army, from Alexander's down to General Pollock's, has ever passed without bribing the mountain tribes. In the face of regular troops and an organised defence, all the armies in the world could not force an entrance; but in the absence of such a defence, experience proves that the local tribes are always accessible to moderate bribes."-(P. 27).
The absolute impracticability of any mountain barrier is, we believe, disputed; but, without offering any opinion on that point, we are happy to have it in our power to correct the
mistake into which the author has 193 fallen, in supposing that it was by bribing that Sir George Pollock carried his army through the Khyber Pass. It is true that, in the anxious time preceding our army's movement from Peshawar, negotiations had tribes; but we have the most unbeen entered into with the local questionable authority for asserting began, the sum advanced to their that, before the march towards Cabool chiefs, being 20,000 rupees or £2000, was demanded back from them by the political agent on the frontier, and actually repaid; so that the mountaineers had not only the clearest warning of the British general's intention, but the strongest possible inducement to oppose him, as they did to the utmost of their power.
the Afghan war is, that we may show But our chief motive for alluding to how the spirit of the two schools, under which, according to our theory, those engaged in the work of Indian governself even in the direction of our armies ment may now be classed, showed itin the field. Sir George Pollock was be called by us the considerate and there the representative of what would moderate, by Mr Campbell the softhearted and over-cautious school; while Sir William Nott was at the its object, tramples under foot, without head of that which, going straight to compunction, every consideration that might hamper its freedom of move
ment. We select but a few instances
As the two avenging armies, the
have rejected, and in so doing would
expediency, or the sternest justice, is regarded as a proof of weakness. With this prayer General Pollock complied; and to his doing so may the safety of the ladies and other prisoners, in whose fate the whole civilised world took so deep an interest, be ascribed; for it was through the co-operation of those thus conciliated that the Afghan chief, charged with the custody of the captives, was won over to assist in their escape. General Nott was fortunately the inferior in rank; for had he commanded in chief, we have his own words for the fact, that he would have destroyed the Bala Hissar and the City of Cabool, and marched on with the least possible delay to Jellabad, of course leaving the poor captives to their fate; or, in words which, from the manner of their insertion in the pages of the historian, it is to be feared he must have used, "throwing them overboard."-(KAYE's History of the Afghan War, vol. i. pp. 617, 631). Incomplete indeed, to use Mr Kaye's words, would any victory have been, if these brave men and tender women, who had so well endured a long and fearful captivity, had been left behind; and it is well to reflect that we were saved from this reproach by the ascendancy of the milder principles of rule in the mind of the officer upon whom the chief command at this moment, we may almost say providentially, devolved.
Many more instances are recorded, in the chapter just quoted, of the influence of a contrary spirit on the closing events of the Afghan war; but we must pass on to what happened in Scinde, where the antijudicial principle may be said to have reached its climax.
The following is Mr Campbell's short and flippant account of that transaction, reminding us in one passage of a letter from the Empress Catherine to one of her French correspondents, wherein she congratulated herself" qu'il n'y a pas d'honneur à garder avec les Turcs":
"But though we withdrew from Cabool, our military experiences were not yet over. On invading Afghanistan by the Bolan Pass, Scinde became a base of our operations, and troops were there cantoned.
When our misfortunes occurred,
it was supposed that the Beloch chiefs would have liked to have turned against us, but dared not-did not.
Major-General Sir C. Napier then commanded a division in Bombay; he was a good soldier, of a keen, energetic disposition; had at one proud period of temperament, but somewhat quarrelsome his life been in temporary charge of a petty island in the Mediterranean, but was, I believe, deposed by his superiormost unwisely, as he considered; and he had ever since added to his military ardour a still greater thirst for civil power-as it often happens that we prefer to the talents which nature has given us those which she has denied us. He was appointed to the command in Scinde; heroes, subsequently invested him with and Lord Ellenborough, an admirer of political powers. He soon quarrelled with the chiefs, and came to blows with them. Their followers were brave, but undisciplined, and they had no efficient artillery. An active soldier was opposed to them; he easily overcame them, declared the territory annexed, and was
made Governor of Scinde.
Now, the Beloch chiefs had no other right to the territory than the sword; and we, having the better sword, were per
fectly justified in taking it from them if
we chose, without reference to the particular quarrel between Sir Charles and the chiefs, the merits of which have been so keenly disputed, and on which I need not enter. But the question was one of expediency; and this premature occupation of Scinde was not so much a crime as a blunder, for this very simple reason, that Scinde did not pay, but, on the contrary, was a very heavy burden, by which
the Indian Government has been several millions sterling out of pocket.
"The Ameers had amassed, in their own way, considerable property and treasure, which the general obtained for the army. He was thus rewarded by an unprecedented prize-money, and with the government of Scinde, while Bengal paid the costs of the government he had gained. Scinde was so great a loss, for this reason that it was not, like other acquisitions, in the midst of, or contiguous altogether detached and separated by the to, our territories, but was at that time sea, the desert, and the independent Punjab; while on the fourth side it was exposed to the predatory Beloches of the neighbouring hills. Consequently, every soldier employed there was cut off from India, and was an expense solely due to Scinde; and while a great many soldiers were required to keep it, it produced a very small revenue to pay them. It is,