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