Imágenes de página

nered Sikhs with more tact and skill Benares, which, in extent and poputhan Sir George Clerk during the peril- lation, is about equal to France, there ous period of our disasters in 1841-42. are only about ten battalions;t the

It is true that the utter failure of half of these being stationed at Barthe system in operation in the Punjab rackpore, in the immediate vicinity of is confidently predicted at p. 366; but Calcutta. In the provinces above it is consolatory to find, from the very Benares, under the rule of the Lieulast Indian newspapers, that no pro- tenant - governor at Agra, with a gress is making towards a fulfilment somewhat smaller but more hardy of this prophecy; but that, on the population, it appears that there are contrary, a reduction of taxation has thirteen stations occupied by regular been effected by the Board, such as troops; of which eight are close to would be felt as a boon by the tenant- large towns, such as in every country farmers of England, its influence require to be watched-or else purely having been counteracted by nothing military posts. There are only five but by the effects of an excessive other places where regular troops plenty.

seem to be stationed, and of these, It is creditable to the candoar of one is on the frontier of Nepaul. the Bengal Civil Service, that its Admitting that the Civil power members themselves furnish the in- derives its support from the knowledge formation to be turned against their of a military force being at hand, still own body, and it is from a work pub- the exhibition of the latter is as rare lished by the Hon. F. J. Shore, in on the Ganges as on the Thames ; 1837, that Sir C. Napier has borrowed and a magistrate would sink in the his most plausible charges.

opinion of his superiors, and of his On this we can only observe, that own service, if he were to apply for Mr Shore, in his zeal for the improve the aid of troops in any but the exment of his own service, forgot that treme cases in which such an applicawhat he wrote would be read by the tion would be warranted in England. ignorant and the unfriendly; by those It would be just as rational to argue who could not, and by those who would that our provincial mayors and magisnot, comprehend the real scope and trates in England are hated, because meaning of his words.

troops are stationed at Manchester, The faults imputed by him to his Preston, or Newcastle, as to adduce brother civilians are mainly those of the distribution of the regular Sepoys manner, already noticed by ourselves in Bengal and Upper India as a proof as being common to the English, gen- of the hatred borne to the Civil sererally, in their deportment towards vants, through whose administration strangers in every clime.

that vast region is made to furnish If we were writing only for those forth the funds to support the armies who know what British India is, our with which heroes win victories and ungrateful task of correcting errors gather laurels. might here conclude; but it is upon What is meant by “guards for those to whom that country is un- civilians ” it is hard to guess. The known that the work before us is cal. Lieutenant-governor at Agra is, we culated to produce an impression, and believe, the only civilian, not in politherefore we must try, in as few words tical employ, who has a guard of as possible, to point out one of its regulars at his house. In some places most striking inaccuracies. On re- in Upper India, regulars may be posted ferring to the pages noted below,* the at the Treasury, for the same reason reader will find a series of assertions, that a corresponding force is posted to the effect that in Bengal the army at the Bank of England in the heart is scattered over the country for the of London; but even to the Treaprotection of the Civil servants. From suries in the lower provinces no such the Indian Register of this very year, protection is given. it appears that, in the country below Sir C. Napier, we suspect, has con

* Pages 229, 230, 388.

+ We do not pretend to precise numerical accuracy; it is enough for our argument that what we have gathered from the Indian Register be nearly correct.

fused the collector with the collec- real courage or activity.” | It is intions, and fancied the force occasion- structive to learn from so great a ally posted to protect the latter to be, master in the art of war, that “Marin fact, employed to swell the state or tinets are of all military pests the guard the person of the former. That worst;"I and still more so to read regular Sepoys should be employed to his earnest and heart-stirring exhorescort treasure is much to be regretted; tations to the younger of his own but treasure is tempting, and the countrymen not to keep aloof from mode of conveyance on carts very Native officers ; $ and his declaration tedious, the ways long, the coun- that, even at his advanced age, he try to be traversed often very wild, would have studied the language of and the robbers in some quarters the Sepoys, if his public duties had very bold. It is not often that in not filled up all his time. Our space England bullion belonging to the will not allow us to give any speciState has to be conveyed in waggons; mens of the author's style. It is ever but when this happens, it is, we animated and original. There was think, usually accompanied by a party no need of a signature to attest a of soldiers.

letter of his writing, for no one could It would be tedious to follow out mistake from whom it came. Though all the mistakes made about Chup- deformed by occasional outbursts of rassees and Burkundazes-the former spleen, our readers may find much to being a sort of orderly, of whom two admire in the narrative of the expeor three are attached to every office- dition to Kohat.|| It will be well, holder, military or civil, to carry however, after reading it through, to orders and messages, in a climate take up the Bombay Times of the 14th where Europeans cannot at all hours of December last, to see what proof the day walk about with safety; gress is being made by the very and the latter being the constabu- Board of Administration so contemplary, employed in parties of about tuously spoken of in the narrative, I fifteen or twenty at the various sub- towards reducing the turbulent Afridee divisions into which, for purposes of tribes to a state of enduring submispolice, each district is laid out. To sion and good order. form them into battalions would be Long practice had given great fluto strip the interior of all the hands ency to the author's pen when emwanted for the common offices of pre- ployed in what we may call antiventive and detective police.

laudatory writing, but this sometimes We now gladly turn to the more led him into that most pardonable of pleasing duty of pointing out the plagiarisms, the borrowing from himbrighter passages, and rejoice to draw self, as in the following sentence, at our reader's attention to the strain of page 118: “He,” meaning the Gokindly feeling towards the men and vernor-General, “and his politicals, officers of the Company's army, both like many other men, mistook rigour, European and Native, pervading the with cruelty, for vigour.” If our whole work.

memory is to be relied on, this very It is pleasing to observe the anx. antithetical jingle may be found in a iety expressed by so thorough a sol- pamphlet, published some twenty-five dier, to see the armies of the Crown years ago, about the alleged "mis. and Company assimilated to each government of the Ionian Islands." other, and all “the ridiculous jea- The author's political speculations, lousies entertained by the vulgar- when unwarped by prejudice, were minded in both armies " * removed. generally correct, and we fully conIt is delightful to read the assurance cur with him, and, we may add, with given by such a man that, “under his predecessor, the late Sir Henry ħis command, at various times, for Fane, in the opinion expressed at ten years, in action, and out of action, page 66, that the Sutledge " ought to the Bengal Sepoys never failed in bound our Indian possessions ; " and

* Page 241. + Page 238. I Page 248. § Page 254, || Page 89.

Compare the fifth paragraph of the memorandum inserted at page 107 with the first nine lines of 114.

we now fear that, having crossed unction, the happy spectacle of rival that river, we must also throw the editors laying aside their animosities, Indus behind us, and fulfil the pre- to combine in applauding the course diction hazarded at page 374, that, pursued on that occasion by the Gov" with all our moderation, we shall ernment. Editors, like players, must conquer Afghanistan, and occupy please, to live; and as the whole Candabar." Sometimes, however, Anglo-Saxon community in the East, his disposition to paint everything en most especially those of the shipping noir has misled our author even upon and shopping interest at Calcutta, a military point, as in the following bave, for the last twenty-five years, instance : « The close frontier of Bur- had a craving for a renewal of war mah enables that power to press sud- with Ava, the newspaper must have denly and dangerously upon the capi- been conducted upon most disintetal of our Indian Empire ; and such rested principles, which had opposed events are no castles in the air, but itself to any measure conducive to so threatening real perils. The Eastern desiderated a result. frontier, therefore, is not safe,” We have now skimmed over the (p. 364).

annals of a hundred years, endeavourIn former days, when the Burmese ing, as we moved along, to detect the territories were dovetailed into our ruling principle of each successive district of Chittagong, there might period, and to trace its influence upon have been some ground for this opin- the leading events of the time. ion, supposing the Burmese to have In looking forward to what is to been, what they are not, as energetic come, we shall not speculate on the a people as the Sikhs. But a glance at spontaneous limitation of conquest, the map might satisfy any one that with because we feel that this will never be; our occupation of Arracan, a country for this simple reason, that we shall so intersected by arms of the sea as to never sincerely wish it to be. Wars, be impassable for any power not hav. then, will go on, until, on the northing that absolute superiority on the west, we shall have accomplished all water which a single steamer would that Sir C. Napier either predicted or give us, all danger of invasion from recommended, and until, on the souththat side has for the last twenty-five east, we shall have added Siam to years been at an end.

Pegu, and Cambodia to Siam. Within The mention of Burmah naturally the geograpbical boundaries of India leads to the next work in our list, Proper, also, there are several temptthat of Mr J. C. Marshman, the well- ing patches of independent territory known editor of the ablest of the Cal. to be absorbed, such as the Deccan cutta journals, the Friend of India. and Oude, both of which, along with

His pamphlet is a reply to another, the Rajpoot and Bondela states, are by Mr Cobden, entitled "The origin all marked like trees in a forest given of the Burmese war.” Mr Cobden up to the woodman. · The inexhaustcould not, of course, write about a ible plea for interminable conquest, war excepting to blame it, conse- internal maladministration, will ever quently Mr Marshman appears in de- furnish grounds for the occupation of fence of what the other assails. the larger states; and though many

We cannot devote much time to of the smaller Hindoo principalities the consideration of this controversy, are admirably governed, according to but at one passage we must indulge their own simple notions, still, as in a momentary glance.

they certainly will not square with Towards the end of the fifth page our ideas of right, some reason will of Mr Marshman's pamphlet our read- always be found to satisfy the Engers will find a sentence throwing lish-minded public that their annexasome light on the origin of the war tion is both just and expedient. which he undertakes to defend. He Then we shall, indeed, be the sole there dwells, with great ophasis, on Lords of Ind; but after destroying the "unexampled and extraordinary every independent court where naunanimity wbich was exhibited by tives may hope to rise to offices of the Indian journals on the Burmese some little dignity, we shall be doubly question," and describes, with much bound to meet, by arrangements of


our own, the cravings of natural and ed our pleasure in perusing Mr Camreasonable ambition.

eron's eloquent and high-toned adIn searching for a guide at this point dress. We devoutly hope to see our of our inquiry, we have hit upon the misgivings proved to be groundless; work standing last upon our list, the but in the mean time we must give production of a gentleman who has one or two of our reasons for doubtextraordinary claims upon the atten- ing whether the day is at hand when tion of English as well as Indian the natives of England and India may readers. Mr Cameron carried out meet on terms of perfect parity in with him to India a mind stored with every walk of life. In the first place, the best learning of the West; and to judge by precedent, we doubt the during twelve years spent out there strict applicability to the present quesin the high posts of Law Commis- tion of that drawn from the practice sioner, Member of the Supreme Coun- of ancient Rome. Of the people subcil, and President of the Committee jugated by Rome, a vast proportion of Education, his best powers were were of the same race as their victors, exerted, not merely to impart instruc- with no peculiarities, personal or comtion, but to inspire with a true love of plexional, to check the amalgamation knowledge, the native youth attached resulting from popular intermarriage. to the variou institutions within the It is in Egypt that the closest simisphere of his influence.

larity to our situation in India is His work is truly one of which his likely to be found, and, judging by country may be proud, for a more the contemptuous tone of Juvenal's disinterested zeal in the cause of a allusion to the people of that country conquered people was never exhibited in his 15th Satire, we can hardly imaby one of the dominant race, than is gine that, when employed in any pubevinced in this poble address to the lic capacity, the "imbelle et inutile Parliament of England on behalf of vulgus” were placed exactly on the the subject millions of India.

same footing as the Roman knights Many, however, as Mr Cameron's who constituted the “ covenanted qualifications are for the task which service" of those days in that partihe undertakes, there is one of much cular province. importance not to be found among The geographical circumstances them. He never served in the interior; were also different. Rome grew like never was burdened with the charge a tree-its root in the eternal city, its of a district; never spent six hours branches stretching forth in continua-day, at the least, in the crowded ous lines to the furthest extremities of Babel of a Catcherry,* with the ther- its vast domain. mometer at 98° in the shade. His Our Indian empire springs from a Indian day was very different from transplanted offshoot of the parent that of the magistrate collector of State. No one part of it has a firmer wbich we have inserted Mr Camp- hold on the soil than another. It is bell's lively description. It was pass- all equally loose. Our dominion is, ed in the stillness of his library, or in in fact, based upon our ships, and it is the well-aired and well-ordered halls to our ships that both Englishmen and of a college, among educated young natives, in touching on the possibility natives, mostly Bengalees, who were of our eventual downfall, always speak about as true specimens of Indian of our retreating or being driven. men as the exotics in a London con- From our ships we sprung, and to our servatory are of British plants. ships we shall some day perhaps re

Such a life is compatible with the turn. It is in vain, therefore, to draw, acquirement of great Oriental lore, from the practice of a purely continbut not with the attainment of that ental empire like that of Rome, rules ready knowledge of native character for the government of an essentially which is picked up by far inferior in- maritime dominion such as we have tellects in the rough daily school of established on the Ganges. Ours is a Cutcherry drudgery.

power without a precedent, and perThis reflection has somewhat damp- haps, therefore, without a prognostic.

Court-house or Office.

There is nothing like it in the past, and its future will probably be stamped with the same singularity as has characterised its whole existence.

We must try, therefore, to better the condition of our subjects by means such as our own experience teaches us to be best adapted to their nature. To open to them at once the civil and military services; to give to any number of them that absolute right to preferment implied in their enrolment in the ranks of a peculiar body, would not, we imagine, be to follow the guidance of experience. Presumption on the one side, and the pride of race on the other, might lead to serious jarrings between the English and the Indian members, who, though standing in the ranks of the same service, would still differ from each other like the keys of a piano-forte. It would, we think, be safer to commence, as we have already suggested, by selecting for preferment individuals from the mass of our native subjects. Situations in the judicial and revenue department may be found or created which natives can fill with great credit; but their general fitness for the office of magistrate remains to be proved. It is easy to imagine a case wherein to leave the powers wielded by a magistrate in the hands of any one open to the influences from which a fellow-countryman alone can be secure, would be, to say the least, most imprudent. Besides, there is a duty, perhaps but imperfectly performed at present, and to which, at least in the lower provinces, a native functionary would be quite incompetent, and that is, affording protection to the people against the violence of Englishmen settled in the interior as merchants, landholders, or Indigo-planters. We have now before us a letter written in excellent English by a native of Bengal, in which the following passage occurs:-"The fact is, that European traders have obtained, in many places in the interior of the Bengal Presidency, almost uncontrolled power -a power which they are seldom sufficiently scrupulous not to exert to the injury of those with whom they come in contact. It is not exaggeration to say, each Indigo - factory, together with its surrounding estate, is a little kingdom within itself, wherein ava

rice and tyranny hold unlimited sway. The police is too feeble to render effectual aid in suppressing the lawless oppression of the factor."

Now, let us figure to ourselves one of Mr Cameron's slender dusky élèves on the bench as magistrate, and (to take what ought to be the mildest specimen of a gentle Englishman) the leading member of the Peace party at the House of Commons at the bar in an Indigo-planter, taxed with oppressing the Hindoo, and we shall easily see that the law must have an almost supernatural inherent majesty, if, under such circumstances, it can be effectually enforced and impartially administered.

The regulation of the intercourse between our own countrymen not in the service of Government, and our native subjects, will rise in importance with the progress of those works in which European agency is essential to insure success. Railways, electric telegraphs, improved cottoncultivation, steam, and all other complicated machinery, must, if overspreading the country as many anticipate, bring with them a vast increase to the European section of the community, whose influence will still be out of all proportion to its commercial strength.

To give to this little section full scope for the development of its industrial energies, and yet to restrain it from abusing its strength to the injury of the native population, is in fact the only real service ever likely to be rendered by the Law Commissions and Legislative Councils called into existence by the enactment of last session.

In as far as the natives of Bengal and Upper India are alone concerned, we are convinced that all of this cumbrous law-making apparatus is quite superfluous. The existing regulations, with occasional pruning and trimming, would, if fairly enforced and adhered to, amply suffice to meet all of their simple wants. But the natives can no longer be left to themselves. Europeans will intrude, and legislation must therefore be shaped and stretched so as to fit it to the characters of the intruders.

As at present constituted, the magistracy and the police are hardly

« AnteriorContinuar »