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months, though the land tax by the fame laws is to be paid every three months.
** This method of fecreting or purloining the land from the King and the Soubah has been practifed time out of mind; and it is quite in point to mention a flagrant inftance that appeared in the year i7535 when, in confequence of the general fcrutiny made by your order in your Zemindary of Calcutta, it was demonftrated that in your fmall diftrict, upon a favourable new meafurement of your land, there were near 500 Begahs fccreted in this way and fraudulently enjoyed by your tenants, for which you had received no ground rent from your being in vefled with the Zemindary, of this you may be convinced by turning to your Jummabundy, or regifter of your lands, fubfequcntly by me traufmitted to you. As you, gentlemen, have by that meafuremetit gained 500 Begahs of ground upon a pofleffion of 6,200, you may judge from thence what an aftoniftiing additional revenue would arife to you, when Soubah of the provinces, from a new though favourable meafurement of the whole lands.
When the revenuesarifmg from the lands of this country are retained in the proprietor's hands, that is, not farmed out, one univerfal chain of roguery rans through the whole, as well as in the rents of the lands, and there is a fellow-feeling between every one employed in the collections, from the Dcwan to the loweft Moree or writer, and this the Rajahs and Zemindars, -thegreat proprietors of the land, are no more exempt from than the Company is, notwithftanding the utmoft integrity of their covenanted fervants: but I have fo clearly traced and laid open the nature of thofe frauds, which are fimilar throughout the empire, in my ftare of the Company's revenues Zemindary, dated December 15, 1752, that I need not trouble you further on the fubjec t than to refer you thereto."
In another part Governor Holwell * mentions an anecdote which recalls the attention of Great Britain to the rights of the natives of the Bengal provinces; that when the Hindoo Rajahs, or Princes of Hmdoftan fubmittcd to Tamerlane, it was exprefsly ftipulated that the Emperors, fhould never impofe the JeQerah, or poll tax, upon the Hindoos.
* Intenfting Hift. Events, Vol. I. p. 3).
But to bring forward an authoritative native voucher of the peculiar rights and cuftoms of Bengal and Bahar, I mall, in this place, infert extracts from the Ayeen Akberry^ :-r—\\\ the Soubah of Bengal " the fubjects are very obedient to Government, and pay their annual rents in eight months by inftallments, themfelves bringing Mohurs and Rupees to the places appointed for the receipt of the revenues, it not being cuftomary in this Soubah for the Hufi bandmen and Government to divide the crops. Grain is always cheap, and the produce of the lands is determined by NuJJuk: His Majefty has had the goodnefs to confirm thofe cuftoms."—the term NuJJuk is explained in the article relating to the duties of the Collector of Revenues, and connects the cuftom of Bengal and Bahar under the defcription Kunkoot, "Kun in the Hin
* Ayeen A^berry, Vol. II. p. 9.
dooee language fignifies grain, and the meaning of 'Koot is conjecture or eftimate: the way is this, the land is •?;* f>red with the crops ftanding, and which are eftimated by infpe&io ;thole who are converfant in the bufmefs fay, that the calculation can be made with the greateft exactnefs: if any doubt arife, they weigh the produce of any given quantity of land, confifting of equal proportions of good, middling, and bad, and form a comparative eftimate therefrom *. "The Neffuck is the eftimate of aflets of revenue f"
The cuftom of Bahar. ** It is not cuftomary in Bahar to divide the crops; the Hujbandman brings the rents himfelf, and when he makes his firft payment he come^drefled in his beft attire J.
This book being made up of extracts at length, as far as poffible to enable every one to draw his own conclufions, it will be necefiary to make fome very fhort ob-. fervations to refcue this period from hafty criticifms of the fuperficial reader.
* Ayeen Akberry, Vol. I. p. 379.
t Ibid- p. 381.
t Ibid. Vol. H. p. 31.
Prior to the acquifition of the Dewannee, the Company, in the management of their landed territory, did not feel a common intereft in the rights of the natives, nor of the Moghul, nor in the confequences of their trade on the general profperity of the country. Governor Holwelland the Company only confidered how much they could get in the fcramble.
Lord Cli've, with an ability and decifioii which marked his character, and a judicious ufe of the technical term Dewan, acquired an empire, and combined a complex government, capable of being^.thus kept together by power as abfolute as that of the Moghul, and by ability eminent as his own, until an avowed fovereigu eould be held forth to refcue the country from the inevitable abufes of nominal fovereignty. The minute above recited fhews Lord Clive to be fenfible of the difficulty .and peril to which his lyftem wasexpofed,