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of the Catholic monarchs to maintain its authority and to make such additions from time to time, both to its power and splendour, as might render it formidable to all their subjects in the New World. Whatever degree of public order and virtue still remains in that country, where so many circumstances conspire to relax the former and to corrupt the latter, may be ascribed in a great measure to the wise regulations and vigilant inspection of this respectable tribunal."
A presiding and regulating council such as this, but constituted in the way that we have suggested, is, we conceive, the description of government adapted for our great East Indian dependency. The statesman to whom the great powers for ruling India are delegated must necessarily be supreme and irresponsible in India, his policy receiving only its general direction from the great council at Whitehall, and he should be aided by a local council appointed by the Crown. We believe it to be generally felt that the governor-general has been unduly restricted in his power of originating important measures for internal improvements. Much more, we know, would have been done for India but for the impolitic parsimony of the Court of Directors; and the
governor-general, while he might enter into wars entailing the expenditure of millions, has been restricted from initiating any public improvements costing more than 50001. a year. All works requiring a larger outlay have been referred to the home authorities. A governorgeneral and his council sitting at Calcutta must be far better judges of the immediate economical requirements of India than a body of gentlemen, however able, whether sitting in Leadenhall-street or Whitehall. An apprehension of future censure from the home council would, we doubt not, afford a sufficient guarantee against any reckless waste of the public money, or the origination of improvident undertakings. Any attempt to give a popular form or constitutional character to our government in India would, we need not add, be one of the worst of errors, and could result only in confusion.
Not the least remarkable of the many astonishing characteristics of the recent revolt bas been the complete secrecy in which its origin and organisation are shrouded. The government, notwithstanding the tens of thousands of intelligent and educated natives in its pay and employment, and, without doubt, more or less cognisant of the gigantic conspiracy for the extinction of the British rule and race, never received from any official the slightest intimation of the approaching danger. The history of the world cannot furnish another instance of such complete and wide-spread treachery. A complete reorganisation of the police, revenue, and native judicial establishments would appear to be inevitable. No native can, we fear, for a long period, be trusted even in subordinate offices. Great reforms are called for in the general administration of justice throughout India. The multiplication of tedious written forms and the oppression of stamps are evils of great magnitude, and require speedy redress. A commission is now engaged in the labour of reforming the civil code, and much may be expected from it; therefore we entertain strong hopes of improvements in this direction. Brevity of process, rapidity of decision, and a restricted right of appeal, are the objects to be aimed at in this as in all other legal reforms.
Next in importance to the necessity of providing a competent council
for the transaction of Indian business is the great question of the Indian debt. Now this debt represents the sums of money which have been spent for the two purposes of carrying on the Indian trade during the time that the Company was a commercial association, and of conquering the country. For the former of these objects we have spent a sum redeemable at twelve millions sterling, representing the capital of an extinct company, of which the imperial government has thought proper to guarantee the interest and provide for the repayment. The interest of this debt is charged upon the revenues and raised by the taxation of India. The people of India, therefore, are paying interest at the rate of ten per cent. per annum upon a capital which the government has, with the grossest injustice, fixed as an incumbrance upon their country. The government of England has, moreover, charged upon the natives of India a debt of fifty millions sterling, incurred not in wars of defence but in wars of aggrandisement, and andertaken for carrying out its imperial policy. What can be said for the paternal character of the British government while such a blot as this remains conspicuous to the world? How do such acts differ in principle from the very worst proconsular exactions of the Roman Empire ? We capitalise the money that we have spent in extending our empire, and to secure interest upon this we impose taxes upon India, which are remitted to England, and we send out collectors and an army to gather in these taxes for the relief of British finance. Until we have removed from ourselves the reproach of such injustice let us cease to proclaim our anxiety for the christianisation of India. Our hands are not clean ; our conscience is not clear. Every rupee raised in India should, after providing the ordinary expenses of government, bę expended for the benefit of India. We may then without hypocrisy, and in self-denying earnestness, address ourselves to the task of enlightening and converting the population which we rule.
When justice to India has been proclaimed and acted on as the basis of our future government, we may direct our thoughts to the relation in which we stand to our idolatrous fellow-subjects, and to the responsibilities of our position in reference to their religion. Our policy in this particular will probably, before long, undergo some modification. The task of governing India has hitherto been relegated to a clique of superannuated and often effete officials, with no views beyond the interests and exigencies of the hour. Nor has the legislature bestowed more than a passing thought on Indian affairs, because the public itself evinced a profound indifference to the subject. All this has now passed away, we believe, for ever, and the most fearful shock that the sensibilities of a nation ever received has recalled it to a sense of its duty. The religious question seems to have been more generally dwelt on than others, and the government will have at least to reconsider its policy on this momentous subject. A higher tone will be required to be taken both as regards Christianity and the popular superstitions. The degree of government interference will be a problem to solve of great difficulty and delicacy. It cannot, in this age, follow the example of Spain, and all modern theories of government are opposed to direct religious action by the state. It will be difficult to resist the popular demand for a government interposition, but it will be more perilous to yield to it. No government can, in the nineteenth century, undertake the propagation of
religious truth without departing from its first principles; nor can the legislature, of this country at least, invest any religious body with an exclusive commission for the conversion of the heathen. A general support and encouragement of missionary enterprise appears to be all that can be reasonably expected from it. State assistance may, perhaps, be afforded to every religious denomination supporting a missionary establishment; more, we think, cannot be demanded. A strong sense of public duty and responsibility will probably show itself in a vast augmentation of the means of missionary labour, to bear, we trust, at no distant day, abundant fruit.
However great may have been the anomalies and shortcomings of the imperial government of India, the affairs of no country were ever administered by a more able class of public servants than those selected for ministerial offices in the East. The local administration of India has been distinguished by an amount of ability of which this nation may well be proud. Let us do justice, too, in the hour of its inevitable dissolution, to the merits and services even of the East India Company. If it perpetrated great crimes it performed great actions. It governed India with energy, and generally with success. It sent into the East, as the representatives of its power and the instruments of its will, some of the most extraordinary men that ever took upon themselves the direction of public affairs or wielded the terrible energies of war, and the circumstances by which they were surrounded often developed the characters of these men into heroic proportions. Whether their actions were always regulated by the principles of strict justice, may be unhappily questioned. The vigour of their policy, and possibly the necessities of their position, have undoubtedly, even of late years, tempted them to the commission or approval of acts both shocking to humanity and derogatory to a Christian people. We must here quote from a speech but recently delivered by Sir John Pakington at a provincial public meeting:
“ After the victory should have been gained, let them bear in mind that their own hands were not clean ; India had not been governed as it ought. It was only yesterday that he had submitted to the astonished eyes of a large party in a country house official proof that in collecting the revenues of India there had been practised in the name of England
- he would not say by the authority, but, he feared, not without the knowledge of Englishmen—there had been practised tortures little less horrible than those which we now deplore.”*
In conclusion, we have only to make a few remarks on the recent revolt in our great Indian Empire. It appears to be now accepted as a fact that it was the result of a vast Mahomedan conspiracy long organised, and having for its object the re-establishment of its ancient dominion. The Brahminical element in Indian society combined with the Mahomedan for one common purpose, namely, the extermination of the British race.
The rapid progress which European civilisation has made of late has been viewed by the Brahmin, indeed, with more alarm than by the Mahomedan. The one may have been actuated by ambition, but the other was impelled by the instinct of self-preservation.
Speech of Sir John Pakington at a meeting of the Worcestershire Agricultural Society, October 4, 1857.
His traditional faith had received several severe shocks, some of its oldest customs had been authoritatively suppressed, and the diffusion of secular knowledge, an improved education, and an active press threatened to undermine the very basis of the religious edifice. Both races probably viewed the extension and consolidation of British power with dismay. The fears of both for the future must naturally have been great. The progress of railways and the mysterious electric wire aroused undefined apprehensions, and it must have appeared that the alien race had, indeed, resolved to establish itself permanently in the land. A conspiracy at such a crisis, among such a people, and for a common object, cannot be considered an unnatural, if it was an unexpected, event. Advantage was taken of a period of supposed weakness of the British government to bring it to maturity. The well-known spirit of insubordination existing in the Bengal army was an excellent instrument for revolt, and an unintentional shock given to its religious prejudices afforded the wished-for opportunity. Such we conceive to be the rationale of the Indian rebellion.
The great minister who personifies the good sense and practical earnestness, not less than the spirit, of the British people, will not, we are confident, neglect the great opportunity which now offers itself for remodelling the Indian government. He may accomplish that for which other statesmen, less favoured by circumstances, have toiled and striven in vain. Immortalised in European history, he may now earn an imperishable name in the future annals of India as the statesman who first conferred on that long-neglected country the blessing of a stable and uniform government. This great act of justice and policy will throw all his former services and diplomatic triumphs into the shade, and light up the evening of his life with all the “sunset glories” of a prolonged and brilliant career. His countrymen have unbounded confidence in his firmness and virtue, and he may rely upon their sympathy and support. He may rest assured that this great convulsion has been fraught with much instruction, and that it has taught many lessons which they are not likely to forget. It has taught us the folly of relying upon a native soldiery for the support of our dominion. It has taught us the necessity of a radical change in our whole system of government, and the propriety of an immediate assertion, throughout India, of the sovereignty of the British Crown. It has taught us the fatuity and wickedness of our former indifference to the interests of the vast territories committed to our care, and may it teach us, in the words of that great man to whose capacious mind the affairs of British India were almost as intimately present as those of his own country or parish, that “it is not a predilection for mean, sordid, home-bred cares that will avert the consequences of a false estimation of our interest, or prevent the dilapidation into which a great empire must fall by mean reparations upon mighty ruins !"
FAINT HEART NEVER WON FAIR LADY.
A MODERN STORY.
BY DUDLEY COSTELLO.
MRS. SCROPE'S PLAN, AND WHAT CAME OF IT. On the skirts of a wide moor, far away in the North Riding of Yorkshire, was an estate which, from time immemorial, had formed part of the property of the Scrope family. During the first year of her marriage Mrs. Scrope had principally lived there, and it was at Scargill Hall—so the place was called—that Edith was born; but Mr. Scrope's health requiring a milder climate, he removed to the south of England, and after he died his widow seldom went to Yorkshire.
Except for the wild scenery in the midst of which it stood, Scargill Hall had little to recommend it as a place of residence. It was a gloomy, old-fashioned mansion, dating—at least a part of it which was turreted --from the period of the great contest between the houses of Scrope and Grosvenor for the right to bear the same arms.
The chief scene of that famous feud was Cheshire, but wherever his property extended, the victor, Sir Richard Le Scrope, caused his triumph to be commemorated; and even at the time of Edith's birth, fragments of stained glass in the large staircase window still showed the blazon, “ Azure, a bend or," which attested the defeat of Sir Richard's rival. Alterations, at long intervals, had been made in the original building, but no alteration had succeeded in converting the house into a comfortable dwelling. Mrs. Scrope's greatest objection to it, however, consisted in the extreme lone. liness of the situation, the nearest town of any consequence being ten or twelve miles off, and nobody of her rank in life living within visiting distance. She soon, therefore, gave up the idea of living there at all, but as her pride would not suffer her to let her houses, Scargill Hall remained untenanted, a housekeeper and one or two inferior servants being its only occupants from one year's end to another. The estate was managed by an agent, who duly transmitted the rents, and there ended the interest which the owner took in the place.
But there is always a use for everything, and when the moment arrived, as she thought, for making it useful, Mrs. Scrope remembered Scargill Hall : in the solitude of that lonely abode Edith should learn what it was to oppose her mother's will.
Prompt in all her actions, Mrs. Scrope lost no time in carrying out her intentions, and as soon as she had ascertained that her instructions