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an old East Indian. The high character which he always bore in Bengal, and his long residence in India, rendered me confident that he could not but be actuated by an anxious desire for the good government of that country. I ventured to urge to him the importance of selecting men of tried ability, and of long experience in Indian affairs, to the Direction; I put it home to him how the happiness of the people of India being necessarily dependent on the wisdom of those councils by which the Indian governments are directed, and those councils being much controlled and influenced by the orders and suggestions of the Court of Directors here, how important must it be that this Court should be composed of men intimately acquainted with the laws, customs, and habits, the feelings, the wants, and the grievances of the people of India; I appealed to his knowledge of the character of my friend, and as he knew him to be the best qualified of all the candidates for the vacant seat, I could not
but hope that he might be favoured with his vote and interest. Mr.
replied, that no one could be more anxious than he was for the welfare of a people amongst whom he had so long resided; but that he did not see matters exactly in the same light as I appeared to do. According to his view of the subject, so long as the Court of Directors was constituted as it is at present, it mattered little whether a candidate did or did not possess either civil or military talents, w' ether he was or was not experienced in the civil or military affairs of India; that, under the present regulations of the Court, any such qualifications were useless; that, for instance, supposing my friend to be successful, for the first twelve or thiiteen years he would be employed in the import or export warehouses, or other commercial duties, (for which other candidates, however inferior in talents and political experience, were just as fit as my friend); and when at last he shall have obtained a seat amongst the elders in that board, to which the charge of communicating w ith and supervising the proceedings of the several governments of British India is more especially' intrusted, "The Board of Correspondence;" or when, by slow gradation, he shall ha.ve at length reached one of the chairs, by that time he will have forgotten all he now knows of India; or even should his memory, in spite of the advances of age operating on a worn-out constitution, be still so tenacious, that the present state of that country, and the peculiarity of its inhabitants as they are found at present, shall not have faded from his recollection, yet it must be femembered, that, in the course of eleven or twelve years, the aspect of civil and military affairs in India changes greatly. The knowledge of matters as they existed in India when your friend left it some years now past, can be of little service eleven or twelve years hence; by which time the civil and military state of our Indian possessions will probably have
undergone essential changes. This (said ) is my view of the subject;
and, therefore, not thinking it of much importance, on any public ground,
which candidate I vote for, I have promised to vote for , an old friend of
——, with whom I was long intimate in India.
Public duty being thus, in the mind of , reconciled with personal friendship, I thought further argument useless, and took my leave. I then called
Ob old' , at No. 2, street. The old gentleman will not vote for any
one, but vows that he will sell out his stock directly, that he may never again be bothered as he has been lately. My next visit was to the fashionable Mr. —'—;I found him at three o'clock in his robe de chambre ; he assuied me that he should have been very willing to vote for my friend, but that really it was such a bore going into the City, he had not been there for five years, and he could not promise his vote, as it was very doubtful whether his numerous engagements could permit his attempting to find his way to Leadenhall
street. Passing through street, I called upon Mr. , the jeweller;
he has already promised his vote to , an old customer ;—then upon Mr.
, the saddler; he has not made up his mind whom to vote for; I conjectured that he was waiting to see who would bring him the largest orders. I
went on to place, at Nos. 2, 3, 8, and 12; nobody at home at either.
At No. 9, found General ;this old gentleman says he always votes as March 21.—I canvassed this day in the skirts of the tdwn' Mr.—*,ln—'
square, sick upstairs, sent me down word that he always voted as the banking- house of requested of him. At No. 3, 6, and 11, nobody at home. At
hill I found at home; he must vote for , that candidate having,
in return, promised to give his votes and interest hereafter to Mr. , his
first cousin; in vain did I urge my friend's qualifications and India's claims; he feels himself obliged to further, by every means in his power, his old
friend's interests. In place I found Colonel , an old Indian, at
home, and I was delighted to find at last one who had the welfare of India uppermost in his thoughts; he agreed with me as to the superiority of my friend's claims, and promised to vote for him, as being the person, in his opinion, best qualified for the Direction. This old Indian has a large family to provide for, but he has the happiness of the country in which he passed his best days too much at heart to vote for any one but the man best qualified to
legislate for India. Next to , an old retired tradesman; he says, that the
India House is full of abuses, that he will not vote for any of the old Directors, but for all the new candidates.—I afterwards learnt that this public spirited individual was formerly employed by the India House, but latterly they
had withdrawn their custom from him. At No. 20, square, a dirty footboy
dismissed me with the int mation, that his master had given positive orders for no one who came to canvass for the East India Direction to be admitted.
At No. 7, I found , late of the Stock Exchange; he told me plainly, that
he did not pretend to be a judge who was fit, and who was not fit for the Direction; that, like most other Proprietors, he was actuated by private
friendship and private interest in giving his votes; Mr. had obtained for
him some favours from the India House, and, therefore, he should vote as he desired.
At lane, No. 5, Mr. refused me his vote on much the same ground
as above stated ;—at No. 8, Mr. was undecided whom he should vote for;
I could not prevail upon him to declare: I learnt afterwards that this gentleman never comes to a decision until the last day, and then, invariably votes
for the candidate whom he perceives to be strongest. At No. 20,1 found ,
a great man for Bible Societies, of the highly religious party, I counted upon, his vote as a sure thing; being persuaded that his conscience could never allow him to vote on any other ground but that of the public good. I did not hesitate, therefore, to dilate upon the duty of electing such a man as by his experience and abilities might appear best calculated to assist in the paramount object of bettering the condition of the eighty millions of fellowcreatures inhabiting our Indian territories. I was not a little surprized at the answer of this religious man: he acknowledged the validity of my friend's pretensions, and admitted that he would make an excellent Director, but really he was under such great obligations to the house of and Co., that he must
vote for the candidate they patronized. Thought I to myself, how easily does private interest, under the gloss of gratitude, divert even a conscientious man from the path of public duty. In the course of conversation, he told me
that he should certainly never vote for , if he stood fifty times, because
he had called to canvass him on a Sunday.
In my way home, I called at No. 45, street, where I found , who
had only returned a month ago from India; young , of the firm of
and Co., was sitting with him. The latter being a proprietor, I availed myself of the opportunity of canvassing him. He said that he knew nothing
about Indian politics ; but that as was the only one of the candidates who
had ever been civil to him, he should give him his vote; besides, was a
very good fellow, gave excellent dinners, capital Champagne and ices. When
young was gone, Mr. expressed his surprise, that the selection of a
person to fill a seat in a body of men charged with control over the welfare of an immense empire should be influenced by wine and ices. "I am just arrived (says he) from Calcutta; every one there is confident that a man like cannot find the least difficulty in getting into the Direction." I assured him that the good folks in Calcutta were much mistaken, if they imagined that ability, experience, and integrity, ensured an easy election, or that the majority of
proprietors had chiefly at heart, what ought to be the first object, to Provide Directors the best qualified to exercise an enlightened, vigilant, and energetic control over the governments of India. There are no doubt many proprietors who are actuated by public-spirited views; but, generally speaking, private interests and private friendships are the only actuating motives.
At No. 5, street, I called on . He has received a letter from a
very great man, desiring him to vote for , which prevents him from voting
as I could have wished. Before closing my day's labour, I dropt in at;
he is one of the principal men of the committee for conducting my friend's election; I told him of my ill success, and gave him the details of my canvass. "My friend, (says this veteran in East India electioneering), you are on a wrong scent; you must change your system of canvass. The arguments you use to induce proprietors to vote for our friend may often vex and annoy, but are little calculated to obtain votes. Adopt another plan: inquire and inform yourself of the relations, the connexions and friends, the bankers, agents, &c. &c., of the proprietors you intend to canvass. Having found out how they are to be got at, set these springs to work, and then call upon them, and with these appliances and means to boot (should they still be open), you will probably secure their votes; but as to going about, talking of the welfare of eighty millions of people, of the good government of our vast Indian empire, and of the duty incumbent upon East India proprietors to have those sacred interests in view, take the word of a man experienced in these elections, such considerations have very little weight with any proprietor. Some may talk feelingly of the interest they take in the good government of British India; but even of those who have the prosperity of India at all at heart, however benevolent their language, their votes are almost always determined, if not by gratitude for favours past, or by expectations of favours future, at the best by ties of personal friendship or consanguinity; they only wish well to India, but their votes are guided by other considerations ; and there are a great many proprietors, with whom the interests of Colombia or of Peru would have much greater weight than the interests of India." 1 felt the justice of his observations, and resolved to follow his advice.
March 31.—I have been very successful in my canvass of the last three days; I have secured twelve votes for my friend. Following the advice of my electioneering sage, I sought out proper clues to the interests of the several proprietors falling within my circuits of canvass; letters of service and recommendation obtained from cousins of every degree and friends of every description, greatly facilitated my success; and I proved, by my own personal experience, what a few weeks ago I could hardly have believed, that in the election of Directors, private interest and private friendship are the prevailing, the predominant, nay, almost the only motives, which guide the voters; and that the public weal of our vast Asiatic possessions is a very subordinate, a very powerless, and, I might say, almost an unknown consideration.
THE SAILING OF THE MADRAS EAST INDIAMAN.*
The unimpressive waters gave lines and breaks of light, as if the vessel's keel had left its track upon the rifted bosom of the deep; yet all irregular, as though the wind had battled with her course; whilst bright and trembling, the waters caught the Tyrian dye from Heaven, and the fleecy wanderers through the morning sky of Spring, were passing—" like Angel's visits; short and far between."—
I Saw sail after sail unfurl'd,
* From ' Sibyl's Leaves:' Poems and Sketches. By Elizabeth Willesford Mills 5—just published.
I gazed upon her flag-wrapt prow;
The changeful wind was steadfast now;
I look'd on Ocean's wavering form,
It promised no retarding storm.
The parting signal hoisted high
Is flutt'ring 'neath a sunny sky,
Which seem to gild that vessel o'er,
To make my bosom ache the more;
Her pennon waves its mute adieu:—
She moves—she heaves—she's gliding through
The full wave's pale c rulean blue.
I cannot bear to lose her quite,
Yet—yet she lingers on my sight;
She lingers yet—though hours have past—
I feel I've almost look'd my last.
Now, like a vapoury cloud, she rests
One moment o'er th' horizon's breast;
Now, now my mind deludes mine eye,
That vision'd shape was mockery
* * * * *
And now no more in noon-tide hour,
With anguish shorn, is all my stock.
Oh! turn thee, turn thee from the main, Give me thy dear caress again;Hold me but once more to thine heart, And then—and then—and then we '11 part.
Yes, part; but oh! again to meet:I will my brother fly to greet— When time has press'd his youthful brow, And I am not what I am now.
We '11 look not for the unmix'd hair, Nor weep to find the silver there;We '11 ask not for the roseate bloom We loved, and parted from too soon.
My Soldier! we will little reck My pallid brow, thy sun-burnt cheek;We '11 breathe no sad regretful sigh, Nor let the full tear wander by.
But meet with hearts unworn by time;My wanderer in a foreign clime!Meet when thy well-spent youth is o'er,
1'mildly and fond—to part no more.
DISCONTENTS IN THE NATIVE INDIAN ARMY.
To the Editor of the Oriental Herald.
SIR, Calcutta, January 6, 1826.
If ever there was a time when public attention should be called towards the East, it is now. At no former period, since our establishment in Hindoostan, have affairs worn an aspect similar to the present. We have before had foes to contend with, both numerous and brave, local difficulties to overcome, and want of means to check our exertions; yet have we seen our arms crowned with success, and returned victorious from the contest. Those days are gone by—we have the same army, 'tis true—but, Sir, we have lost our moral force, or rather it has been taken from us ;—I repeat, Sir, never were we so deficient in moral force as at this day. That this conviction prevails with you in England also, is evident; else, why are twelve thousand King's troops coming to this country? Are our Native troops no longer trustworthy? If they are not, how and where has the change arisen? Is it for a moment supposed, is there one man who will venture to maintain, that European troops (take what numbers you please) can successfully hold possession of India? Why, Sir, the Indians would only have to look on, while their own excesses brought them to a miserable end. Our real strength in this country consists not in European regiments—not in our reported valour; this has been more than once surpassed by Native courage; but it consists in a moral force, obtained for the Government by that kindness and consideration which the officers of the Company's army have invariably evinced to the Natives of the country, as well as to the troops more immediately under their command, by the forbearance they have shown to their prejudices, by entering into their feelings, by remedying their real or imaginary grievances, and by teaching them, under all circumstances of difficulty or doubt, to look to them for advice and assistance. This conduct engendered feelings of no common nature; this was the real force of the army; this, the weapon that foiled the nations who dared to try their strength with us: this, the arm that drove the European governments from the East, and left us an empire, the wonder and admiration of the world.
Where and how has this force disappeared? Every one asks the question. At this moment circular letters are going round to commanding officers of regiments, to ask them if they know where it is gone to, and what has occasioned the existing discontents amongst the men? I venture to assert, that it is the Government itself, and the Court of Directors acting in concert, that have banished the one and introduced the other: Have they not given their sanction to measures which have sapped the very foundation of our strength?