« 이전계속 »
to pair off with their own kind, and thus illicit connexions, from which degeneracy proceeds, do not offer so many temptations, for it is more from the difficulty of finding suitable matches, than from depraved taste, that such alliances are generally formed. Again, the few females of half blood who marry Europeans tend to correct the evil, whilst the commixing of half blood with half blood, though it docs not improve, certainly does not deteriorate.
"It is urged,indeed,against colonization,that to settle in a country already fully inhabited, is to endeavourto push a happy and contented people from their stools, and devote them to misery and starvation; and this consideration is supposed to apply with peculiar force to India. It might do so, perhaps, if the premises were true, but they are not. India is not fully peopled. Their extreme poverty, and the oppressive weight of our system of government, force the inhabitants to huddle together in most unhealthy parts, to club an existence as it were; but for one square mile where the population is, on this account only, fearfully dense, there are ten which, for the same reason (inability through poverty to cultivate), are lying waste. The apprehended displacing of the Native population, therefore, could not occur even if colonists were to arrive in crowds of thousands at a time; but no such precipitated step is in contemplation. All that is required is, to throw the country open to the industry and enterprise of Europeans; and for Government to commence this work, by making use of the ample means in their possession. As to the gradual increase of Creole and Christian population, there is only this to be said, that when there is ample room and verge enough for the first settlers, their increase will be according to their energy and their means, and thus furnish a test of the fitness of this part of the globe for such a population. If they increase at the expense of the Native population, it will only be what takes place in every corner of the habitable globe, the rich and the robust increasing at the expense of the poor and weakly; and, canting apart, who will not say that in one century the condition of India would be immeasurably improved by such a consummation?
"But in this argument the happiness and contentedness of the people must by no means be taken for granted. Look at the numerous statements, from men of every way of thinking, now before the world. Differing as they do about causes, they all agree in the effects of our government; upon its utter unproductiveness of substantial good in any point of view, and the unequivocal increase, if not creation, of evil in many. One party insists upon the degeneracy of the Natives as a reason for the continuance of our rule, though with increased vigour, whilst the other looks upon it as a consequence of that rule, and as clearly demonstrating the necessity of change : but that the Natives have degenerated, there is nowhere any question. A high authority says, that the practical effect of our judicial system, on the character and happiness of the Indians, is acknowledged not to have corresponded with what was anticipated from the judgment of those who framed the machinery; whilst another writer, who appears pretty fairly to have summed up the evidence on hoth sides, states it to he confessed that our rule has hcen anything but a blessing to the Natives of India. What then is the conclusion to be drawn? That we must revert to the Mohammedau system, or go still further back to the institutions of Menu ?—No! thank heaven, there arc few who counsel such a retrograde movement now-a-days. (Some wretches of this kind, however, there are.) Lot the plan suggested by Lord Hastings be followed. Let the population be prepared, by the diffusion of education, to receive our institutions ; and, in order that education may have free scope to expand itself into practical utility, let colonization be at least not prohibited. It is not that the Hindoos are averse from giving new systems a trial; what was experienced with the Portuguese, what is known concerning the Musulmans, and what we have all observed in the immediate vicinity of our settlements, alike forbid the supposition; but it is that we are not sufficient in number and stability to give the tone to society, or to substitute, in fact, anything upon which the Natives can rely, in exchange for the sacrifices they might be disposed to make. The Natives are called upon for an immense contribution in point of taxes of one kind or auother, and, after that, to surrender their old institutions and prejudices to support a system, in the administration of which they cannot be said even to assist, in the stability of which they cannot confide, and in the expediency of which they cannot persuade themselves. They see a single European planted in the midst of an extensive district, applying all his time and abilities to enforce a system which, whatever may be its abstract nature, has for them no other effect but the sensible one of taking all they can possibly spare, to pass into the coffers of Government, after enriching a few of the least respectable of their countrymen. And for all this what do they get in return ?" Protection to life and property" it is triumphantly replied. True, they do so; but does the most blood-thirsty tyrant aim at the life that is quietly, and, above all, productively employed? And as to property, where is the great difference between a mild government that takes nine-tenths of the produce every year, and a despotic one that seizes the whole every ten years? Really, bating something for the difference of modern manners, there is in all this something like a distinction without a difference.
"Lord Hastings is almost the only man of true gentlemanly feeling and unbiassed judgment who has ever treated on Indian affairs; the others who have given their sentiments to the world, though many of them men of the highest merit, had mostly some leaven of the Indian monopolist to raise them in their, own conceit, or some theories to establish upon no broader foundation than their own personal, and very often limited, experience. The opinion of practical men is no doubt always useful, but throughout so immense a region as that underour government, individuals, even of the most acute intellect, are apt to see what passes before them under very different points of view; it requires a master mind to compare their various statements, and duly to appreciate the effects of that partiality which each must have for the system he has long toiled to enforce— for the reforms, of the efficacy of which he alone may have been led to form an exalted estimate. Such a mind was that which Lord Hastings brought to the discussion. It is not necessary, however, to dwell upon the many eminent qualifications which his Lordship possessed to fit him for the performance of the task alluded to; but, as directly connected with the subject under review, truth compels the belief that he never has been, nor probably ever will be, forgiven by the Company for having, in the face of all the world, brought high principles and finished education to bear upon a system which was so liable to perish under so powerful an ordeal. When first his Lordship began to develope his intention to penetrate into the obscurities of our Indian administration, and to conduct the government and politics of the country in a fair and open manner, he was hated for it by almost every functionary in the service, and this hatred followed him, unabated, until he quarrelled with his friends of the liberal party; from that period their hostility to him was somewhat mitigated by the pleasing consciousness that his former friends were in a great measure within their power—and sad indeed was the havoc they did commit, and were only just prevented from committing. But no more of this; with all his faults Lord Hastings is the best, in our present situation perhaps the only man for this country. And what were his faults? Only, after all, forgetting himself for a moment, and mistaking himself for a mere inhabitant of Calcutta, when he belonged of right to Britain—to the whole civilized world! In confirmation, look at the distinction with which his Lordship was treated on the Continent—see the Independent States of Italy vying with each other to do him honour, some of them entreating his stay for a day amongst them, and meanwhile sending crowds of workmen to smooth the roads before him. See the royal family of France too granting exemptions of police and douane such as were never granted to an individual and a foreigner, doing, in fact, all but pay their debts to him—to show, perhaps, how much easier it is to be generous with other people's money than just with our own. No! Lord Hastings is an honour to his age and country ; and to return, once more, to our miserable selves, the universal desire is to see him again at the head of the Indian government.
"Apropos of his Lordship—a writer in Blackwood's Magazine talks of the notion of bestowing titles of honour upon the Natives a9 calculated to excite a smile in those who are acquainted with the constitution of Indian society. Another instance of that exclusive reasoning which seeks to make Hindoos different from all other of God's creatures, an effect of the utter estrangement which still, after eighty years of undisturbed dominion, exists between the conqueror and conquered. We live here like a set of haughty heartless mamehikcs, disdaining all commerce with the Natives of the soil, and then we talk, forsooth, of the constitution of their society! Even now it is in many parts of the country considered highly impertinent for a Native, of whatever rank (provided he have no power), to omit descending from his horse or palanquin and making a salaam when an European happens to pass him on the road. Pray how much of this is owing to the constitution of their society? Whatever be their situation, a title that would exempt them from this degrading homage would not be unacceptable. But to judge from the little we do know of them—look at those who reside in our immediate neighbourhood, does their conduct lead us to suppose that titles and distinctions would not be prized? Let any gentleman who happens to have an establishment of Chuprassics call one of their number Jemidar, and observe the bearing and consequence of the man; take a common Sircar and make him the accountant of your household, and see how he conducts himself, and whether all his fellow servants do not immediately treat him with respect and dub him Sahib. Look at the gratitude with which old servants of the state receive the privilege of a chatta and palanquin, sometimes granted by Government; and, in short, recollect the instance of Buddy Nath, a Native of family and substance, who expended upwards of fifty thousand rupees (£5,000) in constructing a public road, and merely asked, as a remuneration, for the privilege of dressing some of his servants like sepoys, to attend him as a guard of honour. This man too it is known is even now using all his interest to obtain some additional title or badge of distinction from Government.
"So far then from the constitution of Indian society leading us to believe that titles of honour, the cheap defence of nations, would not take the fancy of the Natives, every fact we are acquainted with would appear to indicate the very reverse. There is, in short, nothing in the Indian character upon which we may presume that they differ from more civilized communities, in this point at least; or that they would refuse to purchase an empty gratification of vanity at the expense, perhaps, of real substantial comfort; or, to push the parallel farther, to barter their independence and integrity for glittering stars and ribbons."
HYDROGRAPHY AND NATURAL HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA.
It is a matter no less of astonishment than regret, that, with the immense naval force which it has been thought expedient to maintain during nearly twelve years of uninterrupted and nearly universal peace, England should have done so little in furtherance of the interests of maritime geography. As far as regards voyages of discovery, the views of the Admiralty appear to have been exclusively and perversely directed to the solution of a problem, in itself of no practical importance, but in the prosecution of which they have wantonly thrown away a combination of zeal, perseverance, and talent, which, if employed in almost any other pursuit, must have ensured the happiest results. That pertinacity, however, which resisted all attempts at conviction, and continued to impel our gallant seamen to attempt the conquest of obstacles, which the opinion of all practical and reflecting men had pronounced to be insurmountable, seems at length to have been wearied out, and we trust that the mania for northern expeditions has passed away from us never again to return.
But an object of far greater moment than the discovery of new lands has occasionally received some small portion of the attention of our naval authorities, and a few voyages of survey have been undertaken from time to time, with the view of laying down accurate charts of coasts hitherto imperfectly known, and of obtaining other useful information concerning them. A more legitimate use for the surplus portion of the marine of a nation which prides itself on being essentially maritime could not be devised; and when we consider the trifling expense with which such expeditions are attended, and the vital importance of their labours to the interests of commerce, we can only lament and wonder that so inconsiderable a part of our naval establishment should have been employed on services of this nature.
With the results of one or two voyages of this description the public has already been made acquainted, and several others have been announced as preparing for publication. At present it is our purpose to call the attention of the reader to a survey of a large portion of the coast of New Holland, by Captain P. P. King,* which, after lingering in the press for a period of nearly two years, has at length silently made its appearance in the world. The very quiet mode in which its publication has been finally effected augurs
* Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia, performed between the years 1818 and 1822, by Captain Philip P. King, R.N. F.R.S. &c. With an appendix, containing various subjects relating to Hydrography and Natural History, 2 vols. 8vo Illustrated by plates, charts, and wood cuts.