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Abdurrahman, whose troops merely occupy the status quo ante at Asmar, confronted by Umra Khan on the other side of the Kuner river. We are forgetting the lessons of the Afghan campaigns, and especially that, although Abdurrahman allowed himself to be proclaimed by us, in his absence, as Amir, he marched in at one side of Kabul, whilst we marched out at the other. We forget that, with the whole country against us in a revived Jehád, with the discontent among our native troops and with a crushing expenditure, we preferred a political fiasco in order to avoid a still greater military fiasco. The Russians also urge “the construction of a military road on their side from Marghelan across the Pamirs ” leaving us to finish it for them on our side of the Hindukush. The pretension to Wakhan, however, is already disposed of in Prince Gortchakoff's Convention with Lord Granville in 1872, and no notice need be taken of the preposterous claim of the Svet to place Chitral under a Russian protectorate! Thus have we sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind. Our real defence of India lies, as Lord Lawrence ever held, in its good government, and to this I would respectfully add, in justice to its Chiefs, wherever they have a legitimate grievance. Mere speeches of Viceroys, unaccompanied by acts, will not convince them of our “good intentions." It is also not by emasculating the Dard tribes and breaking down their powers of resistance to the level of Slaves to the British, that we can interpose an effectual barrier to the invading Myriads of Slavs that threaten the world's freedom. By giving to the loyalty of India the liberty which it deserves, on the indigenous bases that it alone really understands and in accordance with the requirements of the age, we can alone lead our still martial Indian Millions in the defence of the Roman Citizenship which should be the reward of their chivalrous allegiance to the Queen.
G. W. LEITNER.
P.S.—15 Dec. 1892. The just cause of Nizám-ul-Mulk appears to have triumphed. Sher Afzul is said to have
fled. So far Chitral. As for Chilás, the people have come to Dr. Robertson's Camp and express friendliness.
LETTERS FROM MIHTAR NIZAM-UL-MULK TO DR. LEITNER: My kind and true friend and dear companion, may you know :
That before this, prompted by excess of friendship and belief in me, you had written to me a letter of sincerity full of pleasing precepts and words of faithfulness. These were received and caused joy to my heart. My true friend, whatever words of faith and sincere regard there were, these have been written in my mind. For I am one of your disciples and well-wishers here, and have no other care but that of serving and well-wishing my friends. My heart sorrows at separation from friends, but there is no remedy except resignation. As I consider your stay there [in London) as my own stay, I hope from your friendship that you have expressed words of my well-being and my sincerity towards the Lord Bahadoor and the Great Queen and thus performed the office of friendship and caused joy there. Another request is that if you have found a good dog like “Zulu," when you come to Delhi please send it to Jummoo. My men are there, and shall bring it to me. Further, the volume of papers on the customs of Chitrár and the old folk-tales have been written partly in Persian and partly in the Chitrári language. We are frontier and village people, and are deficient in intelligence and eloquence. They have not been very well done, and I don't know if they will please you or not. But we have no better eloquence or practice as we are hillmen.
Tuesday 11th Shavval 1304 despatched from Turikoh to London.
The standard of affection and friendship, the foundation-stone of kindness and obligation, my friend, may his kindness increase !
After expressing the desire of your joy-giving meeting be it known to your kind self, that the condition of this your faithful friend is such as to call for thanks to the Almighty. The safety and good health of that friend [yourself] is always wished for. As you had sent me several volumes of bound papers to write on them the customs of the Chitrar people and their folk-tales, partly in Persian and partly in Chitrari language, I have in accordance with this request of that true friend got them written partly in Persian and partly in Chitrari and sent to you. Inshallah, they will reach you, but I do not know whether they will please you or not; in any case you know, that whatever may be possible to do by a faithful friend or by his employés I will do, with the help of God, if you will forgive any faulty execution of your wishes, and continue to remember me for any services in my power, and keep me informed continually of your good health so as to dispel my anxiety. The condition here is of all news the best, as no new event has happened ; but three persons, wayfarers and travellers, have come from Wakhan to Mastuch and two of these persons I have sent on to Chitrar, and one of these wanderers has remained (behind) at Mastuch. They don't know anybody. Sometimes they say we are Russians, and sometimes they say we are Frenchmen. And I with my own eye have not seen them. If I had seen them, they might have told me. Another desire is that you send me something worth reading in English words and write opposite to them their translation into Persian, so that it may be a pleasure and useful to me. I have another request to make which is that you may be pleased to give an early fulfilment to your kind promise of visiting Chitrar with your lady for the purpose of sight-seeing and sport and study. I have been waiting ever since for your arrival. It is really only right that you should come now when the weather is very delightful, game is abundant, and I have made every arrangement for our hunting together. Everything is tranquil and you will be able to return before the winter, greatly pleased. Let this become a fact. The writer Sirdar Nizam-ul-Mulk, Tuesday the 11th of Shevvál, from Turikoh 10 London. May it be received !
THE OPIUM QUESTION.
FROM A CHINESE OFFICIAL STANDPOINT. I will endeavour to appeal to European thought by European methods of expression in explanation of what I believe to be the true Chinese feeling on the question of Opium.
The theory of Chinese officialism is, like that of most officialisms, high-minded, and therefore against the cultivation at home, or the importation from abroad, of Opium. The practice is one of inevitable toleration. The Chinese Government, as matters now stand, cannot suppress the growth of Opium, even if it would do so.
A certain percentage of the people-officially admitted at one per cent. of the population, but now growing to the alleged five per cent.—have always smoked Opium in China.
There has not been any deterioration in the mind or body of these few millions in our numerous population. Just as the far more harmful spirits do not in one or two generations destroy Scotchmen or Europeans generally, but at once destroy Red Indians, so is Opium innocuous, except in cases of abuse, with the civilized Chinese and fatal to savage Kacheens. In the meanwhile, many more Oriental races are being destroyed by European drinks, the export of which even to Africa Lord Salisbury would not stop.
India does not consume much Opium, and has never done so. It takes — perhaps a larger percentage than China on Opium—various preparations of Indian hemp, which are as destructive to the moral sense and to the nerves as is too much whisky to the non-Briton. The Indian Government supervise the manufacture of hemp and tax it heavily, but take no part in its sale, and if, may a foreigner be permitted to suggest, they were similarly only to prevent the adulteration of Opium, without being
themselves indirect growers and direct sellers, no one could complain of the immorality, or rather impropriety, of an Imperial Government “ taking to business” or rather taking over a business of the defunct East India Company.
Missionaries complain that the importation of Opium under the auspices of a Christian Government-or rather by traders who happen to profess some form of Christianity, as they would Buddhism if they had been born in Tibetimpedes the growth of the religion of Jesus. I do not find much similarity between the doctrine and practice of European Christians and those of that Great Oriental leader. Were Missionaries to understand and appreciate the basis of Chinese morality—filial piety—they would make more converts, but a Chinese must first blunt his sense of right and wrong with or without Opium—before he can accept Christianity as taught, with some exceptions, by Missionaries. Were they to become good Chinese citizens instead of being causes or excuses for foreign intervention, their propaganda would not be objectionable to the popular mind. I have sometimes asked Missionaries to point out the Opium-smoker in a party of Chinamen, and I have never known them to guess the right person. The photographs in circulation of consumptive or other diseased persons who happen to take Opium are not truthful representations of the effect of Opium generally.
The quality of China Opium is steadily improving, and in some districts nearly rivals that of India. The Chinese Government neither encourages nor prevents its growth, and now would not, if it could, stop its importation. As English officialism does not recognise a social evil which is rampant, so the Chinese Government does not legalize by its own action the cultivation, transport and sale of Opium.
As long as China constitutes the demand for that drug, so long will India be its supply, either under official or under heavily-taxed private commercial auspices. To talk
of the iniquity of the Opium-trade—except that it is against the prestige of an Imperial Government-seems to me to be absurd, as long as he who desires to extract the mote out of the Indian or the Chinese eye, does not even see the beam in his own.
A lengthened tour through the material civilizations of Europe makes one sigh for a speedy return to the far more thoroughly thought-out culture of the Celestial Empire. When spirits will have completely undermined the nations of Europe, China will still smoke its modicum of Opium.
To conclude. Opium in China is not harmful, if its smoker can get the sleep that is required after its use. Opium does not suit the fussy life of Western civilization, its will-o'-the-wisp morality, its tadpole ambitions, its social want of cohesion, its incessant excitement, discontent and despair. An Opium-smoker does no harm to others. This alone would render Opium unsuitable to Europeans. An Opium-smoker rises from his sleep fit for work or thought. He feels no loss of self-respect, and he respects others. In the uttermost corners of the Empire, among the most savage races, the Chinese official, with his small escort, keeps peace and the dignity of his office, even if addicted to the use of the drug. Above all, Opium is not favourable to the development of greed, whereas that passion is stimulated by drink, and therefore almost a necessity to the Western exploiter of the East. When inferior Indian tea, which is more harmful than Opium, and for which the Indian cultivator gets one anna or three halfpence a pound, can be sold in London for a shilling, no wonder that there is so much enthusiasm for “commerce, civilization, and (so-called] Christianity.”