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I am favoured with your letter of z6th May, acknowledging the receipt of the publications I fent you, from which you have extracted what regards the fall of rain, in fuch a way, as to draw a conclufion that agrees with experience; for between the latitude of 16 and 18 degrees on the Coaft there was fo little rain fell during the years 1764, 1765, and 1766, that the country was defolated by famine.
The fame thing has now happened again in the fame part of the country, infomuch that, I am credibly informed, one half of the inhabitants are no more! and the remainder fo feeble and weak, that, on the report of rice coming from the Malabar Coaft, by order of the Governor General, 5,coo poor people left Raiamundry, and very few reached the fea Ode, although the diftance is only fifty miles; the peftilence occafioned by famine is better prevented than cured.
I will leave it to others to declare the
caufes of the uncertain fall of ,rain at the mouths of great rivers, for Egypt is remarkable for drought, and the Goadaveri fpreads out into a Delta at Rajamundry in the fame manner as the Ni/e, fo that its mouths occupy fifty miles of the fea coaft; and the Kijlna likewife falls into the fea in the fame manner about fifty miles fouth of the Goadaveri, and their waters are united on the intermediate flat country in the months of July and Auguft when they overflow their banks.
It is curious that thefe two great rivers fhould proceed in oppofite directions to join their waters in a country where, perhaps from the caufes you have mentioned, of the participation of different monfoons, the fall of rain is moft irregular and uncertain; one thing, however, is moft certain, that the bulk of mankind reap little benefit from fpeculative obfervations, otherwife the waters of thefe rivers would long ere this time have been converted to the purpofes of agriculture. I have heard fay, for I was never at the place, that near femericotta the Kijlna is precipitated from rocks feventy
feet, which is a fufficient height to carry Its waters over the Palnaud and Guntoor countries, and ftreams from the Goadaveri might no doubt be carried over the Muflaphanagur, El/ore, and Rajamundry Circars, as even in the firft week of June, when its waters are at the lowefr, the channel in its bed is never lefs than a quarter of a mile in width and three feet in depth of running water*. Dr. binderfan's letter is dated in Auguft 1792. Dr. Roxburgh"1 $ letter, the October 1792, and Captain George Baker's, November 1792, had been laid before Sir Charles Qakeley, the Governor of Madras, by Mr. Andrew Rofs, who immediately reprefented the whole to the Marquis Cornwall's, and obtained his warmeft afluranees of co-operating and afTifting the benevolent intentions of the Madras Government.
I do'not pafs over Lord Cormvallis's humanity in this inftance coldly, to make remarks, which fome may think unneceflary, and others may attribute to a difpofition to detract from his merit; his honour and private virtue have never been doubted; thofe who have feen him in difficulty, in victory, and at periods which appealed to his heart, may felect the very many moments of his life to evidence his elevated mind: when Tippoo's hoftage Jons experienced by Lord Cornwallis's reception that the exultation of victory and conqueft had not ftifled the feelings of a father, the eyes and hearts of India paid tribute to the excellence of Britt/h character, and revered him: an obligation is not conferred on Lord Corrrwallis by flattery, but by pointing out the means to render his objects practicable. The circumftances connected with the Carnatic evidence the neceflity not only of humane intention, but of mature reflection and inveftigation, fixed rule, and fteady control, to digeft the plan, on principles and by forms, if poffible, equally applicable to every part of Britijli India.
* Some additional Letters by James Anderfon, M. D. and A.M., &c. Madras, 1793.
Captain Beatfon informs us*, that the
* Mr. Dalrymple's Memoir on Watering the Circars, p. 12, 1793.
Company's Jageer owes its fertility to 1,480 Tanks, or refervoirs of water, fome of confiderable extent. Mr. Dalrymple, who had been one of the Committee of Circuit appointed by the Directors, informed us*, that the Tanks were in a worfe ftate in 17/6 than in 1764, though the annual taxes collected for their repair was very confiderable; the renters, it is faid, have ufually appropriated to themfelves the Jhare of the produce collected for this purpofe, and the temporary and partial repairs the Tanks have received were ineffectual, and generally done at the extraordinary expence of the inhabitants.
Dr. Anderfons letter, and the meritorious intentions of the Governor General, and of the Governor of Madras, are more likely to be directed to their object, from the comment of Mr. Dalrymple, printed laft month f, than from the zealous and well-intentioned exertions of gentlemen in
* Short Account of the Gentoo Mode of collecting Revenue, London, 1783, p. n. t Memoir on Watering the Circart, June, 1793