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gency that called for the censorship, the press would have stood by him with the same unanimity with which it supported every measure of Lord Auckland's government at the time of the Caubul disasters. But when he classed the barristers, the merchants, and the bankers of Calcutta, and the organs of their sentiments, with the low press of the natives, and the very inferior class of men in whose hands that press is, the blood of every Englishman boiled over in a torrent of indignation.

There is no doubt that many of the difficulties of Lord Canning's administration are owing to this fatal mistake. Never was there a moment when unanimity in the conquering nation would have been of greater service; and nothing could have given more encouragement to the natives than to hear the GovernorGeneral and all around him spoken of in terms of the most indiscriminate contempt by men known to be as clever, as patriotic, and of as high standing (in the eyes of the people) as those who influenced the councils of Government House.

The Arms Bill was a second mistake of the same sort. Two acts would have avoided all the difficulty, but no civil servant can see the distinction between the uncovenanted European and the native, though in his own case he cannot conceive the possibility of being coupled in the same category with any native in any circumstances whatever. But for these mistakes, the calm bearing and determined front which Lord Canning opposed to overwhelming difficulties would have commanded the admiration of the English in India, and the success which has crowned his efforts would have made him the most popular of GovernorsGeneral.

The whole question between the civil service and the planter can hardly be put in a clearer light than by the following extract from a leiter bearing the well-known signature of ‘Indophilus,' which appeared in the Times of the 30th ultimo (December):

*Lord William Bentinck called attention to another powerful lever of Indian improvement in the following words :-“Every indigo and coffee plantation, the Gloucester Mills, the works of every description that are moved by steam, the iron-foundries, the coal-mines worked after the European fashion, and the other great establishments that we see around us in Calcutta, are so many great schools of instruction, the founders of which are the real improvers of the country; it is from the same sources that we must expect other schoolmasters of new and improved industry." The schoolmasters should not, however, also be the tyrants of the people, which they certainly will be if they are erected into a dominant aristocracy by partial legislation. The other evil consequences of the mutiny would be trifling compared with this. All we know of high-handed insolence elsewhere would fall short of


what would take place if the iron and clay of the English and Bengalee characters came into contact under these conditions. We are already too much disposed to look upon the natives as a people over whom the Anglo-Saxon was born to domineer.'

In this statement of the case the civilian entirely overlooks the fact that in the civil service, of which he is a member, the Anglo-Saxon has been elevated by a partial legislation into a dominant aristocracy, and does domineer over the natives, backed by the whole power and organization of the Government. What we are advocating is the introduction of a class who shall be responsible for their own conduct, and who, being on the side of the natives, may serve to mitigate the “high-handed insolence' with which the Bengalee is treated at present. What the free settler asks is not to be placed, like the Company's civil servants, above the law, but to be allowed the same advantages as the natives, and to be judged by the British code. We concede this privilege to the Mahometan and Hindoo, and it certainly is as much the birthright of the Englishman as of any class of his native fellow-subjects.

Lord Ellenborough had a far more just appreciation of our position in India when he compared it with that of the Normans in Saxon England. We are Normans there, but with the humanizing influence of eight centuries of progressive civilization to enlighten and to soften us, and we are ruling a people far more intellectual and far more gentle than the Saxons of the eleventh century. The consequence is, that, though conscious of our strength, we are prepared to employ it as generously as is consistent with the peace and order of the country; but it is evident it is far more likely to be gently used by peaceful settlers than either by soldiers or all-powerful civilians, backed, as they are, by the whole power of a despotic Government.

When the Aryan Hindoos first settled in India they divided themselves into three great classes or castes.

These were the Brahmins, or overseers ; the Cshetryas, or warriors; and the Veisyas, or merchant class. The aboriginal natives whom they found in the country were relegated to a fourth, and called Sudras. The system has at least this test of wisdom in it, that it was successful; for though these distinctions have been practically abrogated in the lapse of time by the introduction of hundreds of intermediate castes, still the Hindoos retain their nationality and institutions to the present day. We, to a certain extent, have imitated their system. We have established a civilian class which is well nigh as exclusive as the Brahmins. Our soldier class are as completely separated from the rest of the community as the Cshetryas of old, and their duties


are the same. But here our system halts, for our rulers have hitherto resolutely refused to admit the English Veisyas among the twice-born castes, and the consequence is that we have no roots in the soil, and our empire is a roof without walls to support it, a thing which the slightest blow shakes to its foundation, and which may pass away and leave not a wreck behind.

This defect might no doubt be remedied to a certain extent by an indefinite increase of the civil service, so that it should possess a body of men with salaries so low and fees or charges so small that they should be brought into immediate contact with the natives. At present the civilians are all officers without any soldiers or inferior grades, and from their position dwell so completely apart from their subjects as to be practically inapproachable, and must be ignorant, not only of the wants of the people, but of what is passing around them.

A far better plan, however, would be to allow the civil service to remain as it is, but practically to limit their duties to that of superintendents of provinces or districts, and to encourage by every feasible means the introduction of a body of independent English settlers, whose interests would be identified with those of the people, who would have intelligence enough to understand what is proposed by the Government, and courage enough to see that wrongs are redressed and justice done to all.

So intent are men's minds in India on this subject that what cannot be designated otherwise than as a caricature of this proposal has recently found advocates, at least in Calcutta.

It has been seriously proposed to introduce English law, English pleadings, and English lawyers into the district courts of India ! It need hardly be pointed out that such a proceeding could only result in puzzling the judges and defeating the ends of justice by the introduction of technicalities which no one but the counsel would comprehend, and by making law so expensive and the results so uncertain, that the present system of bribery and corruption, tempered as it is by the purity and common sense of the magistrate, would be the perfection of human wisdom in comparison.

Turn, indeed, which way we will, there seems no other escape from the difficulties of India under English rule than by a large infusion of that element which is acknowledged to be indispensable in all the higher departments of the Government. In none is this want so apparent as in the collection of revenue. Nothing can be seemingly more hopeless than the dilemma into which the ryotwar system has plunged the presidencies of Madras and Bombay. In theory it may no doubt be contended that a European master is better than a native, and in the hands of so energetic and philanthropic a man as Sir Thomas Monro, the execution of the plan might to a certain extent be feasible—at least before the steady, unrelaxing exactions of half a century had swept away every native institution and every trace of wealth from the land where it was introduced, reducing all to one dead level of abject poverty.


As it now exists the plan is simply this. A wretched ryot, whose earnings do not reach 31. or 41. per annum, is brought into immediate contact with a great civilian whose income counts by as many thousands, who resides in state some twenty or thirty miles off, and who is backed by the whole organization of the service and an immense army ready to execute his behests. If any one man among the many thousands under his charge has the boldness and good fortune to obtain a hearing for his complaint, he is persecuted to the death by the hundred and one irresponsible officers of the magnate, who have no interest in the welfare of the ryot, and still less in the good of the state, but whose position and whose gains depend entirely on their power of preventing the people from obtaining access to the collector, and in keeping the collector in ignorance of what is passing among his subjects.

Compared with this arrangement the system of the native governments was wisdom itself, when applied to such a state of society as that now existing in India. The king delegated his power and his revenues for a fixed rent to be paid by the soubahdar of the province; he in turn delegated his rights to the zemindar ; the zemindar sublet them to the talookdar; and the talookdar looked to the head man of the village, who arranged among his fellow-villagers the proportion of rent which each was to pay. Every one of these grades formed, if the expression may be used, a buffer between the supreme power and the rent-paying atoms at the lower end of the scale. Each had a direct interest in protecting those below him, and resisting those above him, and each was so near in rank to the next highest class, that every case could be heard and every grievance attended to. In the collapse of the Mogul empire, which occurred when we first took charge of the country, the vitality of this system was doubtless considerably impaired, and many abuses existed; but while a true control lasted, there is no doubt that a larger revenue was realised, with far less oppression to the people, than we can now raise, and the condition of the ryot was far better into the bargain. Owing to the blunder of Lord Cornwallis something like this state of things still exists in the perpetually settled provinces of Bengal. There can be no question that the settlement was a mistake, that it gave the land to those who had no claim to it, and Vol. 103.—No. 205.



ignored entirely the rights and privileges of the real possessors; but it had the inestimable virtue of interposing a class between the Company's collector and the cultivator of the soil. The consequence has been that those famines which periodically devastate the ryotwar provinces are absolutely unknown in Bengal, though before the settlement they raged there more frightfully than anywhere else. The population of the country has increased to an extent undreamed of by its rulers, and want is almost unknown. There cannot be found an acre of land which is fit for the plough that is not under cultivation, and nearly all the wealth and intelligence of India is centered in these provinces.

Since the passing of the Act of 1833, a considerable extent of land in Bengal has got, more or less directly, into the hands of European settlers, and, with increased security of property, this transfer would no doubt be carried to a much greater extent, to the no small benefit of the ryot on the one hand and the Government on the other. There seems, indeed, no escape from the ryotwar system but by Government actively encouraging what is already going on without their intervention.

Had anything approaching what might be called a class of native gentlemen been left in the ryotwar provinces, the transfer might in the first instance have been made to them ; but as every trace of such a class has been destroyed, the allowing Europeans to lease talooks seems the only way of enlisting a body of men whose interests shall be bound up in the prosperity of the ryot, and whose business it would be not only to protect him against oppression, but to teach him how to improve the cultivation of the land. It need hardly be added that it is only by European skill and energy, backed by European capital, that the trade of the country has been increased, or its resources developed to any extent; and although the means of further development form a subject too vast to be discussed here, the cotton trade is an example about which so much has been said and which is so interesting to our manufacturing population, that it can hardly be passed over. Fortunately its peculiarities can easily be explained by reference to what has been done in the cultivation of indigo in India.

During the great days of the old monopoly, indigo was at one time so insignificant an article of trade, at another time was so unprofitable, that the Company rejected it; but being the only material they did not deign to monopolise, it was seized on by the freetraders, and from one of the most unimportant, became the staple commodity of Indian commerce. During the last sixty years it has not only maintained this position in India, but it has defied all competition abroad; and in every European market Bengal

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