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to believe, 'lose themselves in self-interest, as rivers lose themselves in the sea.' And thus the moral obliquity of supplementing his salary by what he would regard as voluntary gifts on the part of those who desire his services, may not appear so manifest to him as it does to his employers. In accepting such offerings the constable is only yielding to a temptation which does not involve very great turpitude in his eyes. In fact, as the saying goes, he is merely true to his salt, to the salt which imparts a relish to his labours, gives them a sweet savour, and incites fresh zeal for the future. Those who wish to enlist his good offices, or to conciliate him, or to induce him either to see too much or too little, must contribute towards this salt, and according to the measure of the contribution his friendly co-operation may be relied upon. But for the man who is so dense or absurd as to suppose that he can expect the constable to exert himself on his behalf with anything like a zealous spirit without such a contribution, upon the ridiculous ground that as a taxpayer he has already contributed towards the monthly retainer which the constable receives from the public funds, the yellow-legged guardian of the public peace has nothing but withering scorn and the most profound contempt. It is a piece of ungentlemanly behaviour, of gross meanness to which he is unaccustomed, and which he cannot be expected to tolerate. The recollection of it is written on the tablets of his mind, and never ceases to call for signal retribution. He may have to wait his opportunity, but in the fulness of time it is sure to come, and when it does, the man who has incurred his wrath will have reason to regret that in a foolish moment he did not recognise the sacred obligations of tradition. The 'moral expiation,' as a French scientific lawyer? would perhaps call it, thus exacted by the constable would serve its purpose for the future, and it would soon become known that it was after all the best policy for all who had occasion to seek his help to contribute with a generous hand to his salt. Can we wonder then that, underpaid as the post of a constable is, it is an office which always attracts many competitors ? Happily for the community at large, the average intelligence of the constable class is distinctly low; were it higher, the danger would be greater. As it is, when he tries his hand at any complicated plot he usually fails, and displays his own clumsy handiwork. Temerity is his ruin, but a long course of successful petty trickery often induces him to tread this dangerous path, which eventually leads to detection and the prison door, until at length he realises when it is too late the truth of the old Boeotian poet Hesiod's famous lines, as rendered by Elton :
Still in the end shall justice wrong subdue :
? Rossi, Traité du Droit Penal, vol. iii. p. 100.
As we began with one phase of Indian village life, that represented by the Banya, so we may conclude with another phase represented by that of the farmer or agriculturist. The latter has not perhaps any
marked peculiarities which differentiate him from those who carried on his pursuit in archaic times in other countries, but he is a distinctly interesting character who cannot be omitted from any album of Indian portraits. He is the same contented, easy-going, apathetic, unthrifty creature as of old, who spends most of his time, when he has neither crops to watch nor land to plough or sow, smoking his hookah or conversing with any person who may chance to meet him at the village chowpol, the Bæotian léoxn, or public restingplace, thinking of nothing in particular, and thoroughly enjoying his idleness, the very ideal to him of a peaceful life. Frugal in his habits, devoid of ambition, the future does not trouble him, and all that he demands of the present is sufficient food and raiment to keep body and soul together. If the season happens to be a favourable one, his farm yields him enough for the support of himself and his family, and he needs no more ; if it turns out bad, he resorts to the Banya already described and increases his load of debt, and to obtain money he is ready to mortgage his land on any terms that are dictated to him. If he has sons, some of them are sure to enter the army, which until recent years was looked upon as the only other legitimate sphere of employment; but since education has spread under British influence, it is not uncommon to find at least one of the sons fired with the ambition to become an English scholar, and thereafter to acquire fame and fortune as a pleader, a doctor, or a Government official. If the farmer has no sons, but a daughter, he marries off the latter and induces her husband to settle in the same village, to help him to look after his land, on the promise of making him and his issue the ultimate heirs to his estate. He and his class supply the true manhood of the country, a peaceful and contented population, and a recruiting source for our native army. But his want of resourcefulness, his apathy and his indolence, bring him frequently into monetary troubles, and it is with the laudable object of extricating him from these meshes that the British Government has resorted to legislation in the Deckan and in the Panjab, which practically deprives him of the power to deal with even his own life-estate, and converts him into a modified Ward of Court, a position which he is not likely to appreciate. The problem how to respect his civil rights and yet to prevent his gradual extinction is no doubt a difficult one, but legislation has never been known to make a man moral, and it may be doubted whether it will succeed in making him provident or a good manager of his estate. What would probably meet the exigencies of the situation better would be the creation of agricultural banks, of the kind formerly proposed for the Deckan, but never introduced. Institutions of this kind would enable the needy farmer to obtain money on easy terms, secure him against chicanery, and give him the means of tiding over the difficulties of a bad year without involving him in a heavy burden of debt which he can never hope to repay, as is generally the case under the existing system of Banya loans. But to make any such scheme a success there must be as little formalism about it as possible. The Indian farmer hates trouble, and sooner than subject himself to it he would prefer to borrow from the Banya in his village at an extortionate rate of interest, which he is also sufficiently shrewd enough to know the lender will never be able to recover from him, owing to his limited resources, while his land is already well protected by the revenue authorities against a forcible sale by mesne process issuing from the Civil Courts. Apart from his want of providence, his apathy and his idleness, the farmer as we still find him in the East, no matter what his creed may be, is a right good fellow. Of good physique, he holds himself like a free man; he is hospitable to the stranger; as a respecter of ancient customs and usages he is generally a law-abiding citizen, and he is tolerant, which a long residence in a mixed community comprising men of different tribes and religions has taught him to be. But he is quick-tempered, and when roused is as ready to use his stick as any irate Irishman to brandish his shillelagh. Broken heads do not give him much concern or excite his sympathy, but he is ready to admit that they must involve a penal consequence against those who cause them. He has no fixed standard in regard to truth or falsehood, the use of which depends rather on his individual ideas of expediency than of any dominating notion of right or wrong. He has a certain sense of humour, though naturally rustic of its kind, and an insatiable love for fairs and shows. He is in short a son of the soil, simple in his habits and tastes, though scarcely in the sense in which La Fontaines nurse spoke of the miscalled French Homer, 'that God will not have courage to damn him,' who loves the free fresh air of his country life, and who knows no other guide to teach him when to plough or when to reap but the stars, the constellations, the sun and moon which look down upon him as they have looked down upon and guided his ancestors in the past. And finally, in his survival we have still before us a state of archaic society which has enabled us to correct a misconception of the terms law and sanction on the part of publicists who knew not Joseph.
It has been said by a recent writer in regard to Sicily that 'everywhere you are haunted by the ghosts of great men or the memories of great events or of great and departed nations, and that you feel yourself to be a breathing man visiting, like Dante.or Hercules, the realms of phantoms.' Well, India too has had her great men in rich abundance, and her history is full of memories of great events. But no one visiting that land has any such feeling of oppression. The shadows of the past are ever tinged with the rays of the bright sun of the living present, which has so much to deeply interest us, to attract
our sympathies, and to enlist our energies. It is the living present we must study if we wish to know India, and to realise what a great inheritance has fallen to the lot of the present generation of the British
Let no one say that India is only a Land of Regrets, a mere place of temporary exile for the white man. To me, at all events, it will always be a land associated with the happiest memories and of ever-abiding interest, and I would fain express my hope of her future destiny, under the ægis of the British Crown, in the words of the Mantuan poet:
Dum juga montis aper, fluvios dum piscis amabit,
W. H. RATTIGAN.
WHAT IS THE USE OF GOLD
MANY years ago the late Lord Bramwell put to me the above question, and we found that on a comparison of our views we were in a large agreement as to the answer to be given to it. Some of the circumstances of recent months have brought back the discussion to my memory, and I have proposed the question from time to time to familiar friends, but the answers I have elicited have been very far away from what Lord Bramwell and myself agreed upon. It may be said at once that we held the utility of gold discoveries to be of such a mixed and doubtful character as to justify some feeling of regret that they should ever be made ; whilst the friends to whom I have recently bruited the question appear for the most part astonished that it should be raised, and somewhat scornful of the temper that could entertain a doubt as to the benefit mankind derive in the opening up of richer deposits of gold. The opinion must, indeed, be paradoxical which suggests that it may not be for the benefit of mankind that an object of universal human desire should be obtained with less labour. We are accustomed to speak of the fundamental principle of free trade—that it opens up the way for satisfying the wants of men with the least expenditure of toil—as containing within itself the complete and final proof of its excellence; and yet here am I, a convinced free trader of the most absolute type, questioning the advantage of getting with less effort the gold all men desire. It seems worth while to examine the matter afresh, and arrive, if we can, at some exact statement of the truth about it.
There is one answer to the question of the use of gold discoveries, very common in the streets and markets, which will be promptly set aside by everyone who has mastered the primary elements of political economy. Can anyone, it is asked, doubt of this utility who realises the immense amount of labour that is called into activity by gold discoveries ? Miners have to be fed and clothed ; mining machinery is made and set up; there is a great subsidiary employment of carriers by sea and land ; industry and commerce both become vigorous, and armies of labourers directly and indirectly find occupation and work.