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Here my life, as that of an architect, ends. It may hereafter appear what is to come of it, as that of gentleman, in Charles Lamb's condition of "retired leisure,” when (to make one more use of an expression that ought hereafter to be buried) I am “dead and gone;" and when many experiences of a decidedly non-professional cast, and some singular confessions, may be left, to interest those who have been interested in me
It was deemed something of a curiosity that a man should leave an established and remunerative professional position at an age something short of fifty; and it was, perhaps, thought a mark of no very grateful attachment to leave a place in which I had been befriended for so long a time; but I could not have lived composedly retired in the place wherein my passed striving activity was associated with every street, and where my architectural sensibilities must have been constantly excited without further opportunity for their expression. Several of my best and oldest friends were dead, or no longer living in the neighbourhood ; and such a general change had come over the character of the place (I speak of change, not deterioration), that I felt myself becoming a stranger amid the new faces and things multiplying around me.
I am now in a kind of Hades state-an intermediate condition of being, between my architectural demise and my death in the grave. No longer am I subject to the mortification of finding all my artistic efforts forgotten in the failure of a chimney's draught, in the leakage of a leaded gutter, the offence of a sulky drain, or in the ever unconquerable difficulties of “warming and ventilation.” I live now in a house wherein, sympathetically with its architect, and indulgently towards its builder, I patiently work out the purgatorial debt incurred by the misdeeds or short-comings of my professional days. I am constantly on the roof, puttying the slates or making good the plumbing; cleansing the drains of " the foul and perilous stuff” that impedes their free operation; shivering in cold corners, or smothering in hot ones; and working both at the bottom and the top of the chimney to induce the smoke to mingle with the clouds, instead of filling with its dun murkiness my living-rooms. Yet I take all this gladly and gratefully as a just retribution to all my offended patrons for my detected empyricism. The only architecture I pow contemplate with self-satisfaction is that which hangs upon my walls. With picture my artistic desires began, with picture they conclude. He who leaves picture for palpable stone and mortar, is in the condition of Tenny. son's "Lady of Shalott,” who left contemplating the mere images of things for the things themselves. Her happiness was dependent on her remaining ever content to weave into her “ magic web” the “shadows" of beauty which she saw reflected in a mirror; and “a curse was on her," should she turn from the mirror to grasp at the possession of the realities it imaged. But the romantic semblance of “bold Sir Launcelot” was too seducing. She left the loom to look upon the knight, in his substance ;
Out flew the web, and floated wide:
The Lady of Shalott!
HOW IS INDIA TO BE GOVERNED?
BY HENRY TREMENHEERE, ESQ.
We had confidently believed, from certain semi-official announcements in the columns of the leading journal of the day, that the Queen's speech on the opening of the session would have announced, in clear and unequivocal language, the impending fall of the double government for India, and the consequent extinction of the East India Company. The document which is supposed to dimly reveal the ministerial future, and set forth the programme of the parliamentary year, disclosed, however, very little of the policy of the government on this vital and absorbing subject. It is now understood that considerable difference of opinion for some time existed in the cabinet on the
form which was to be given to our future administration of India. A sufficient degree of unanimity appears to have been subsequently attained to enable the government to give formal notice to the Court of Directors of the intention of the ministry to bring in a bill for the extinction of their functions; but nothing more definite can be inferred from what has already been done, and it is questionable whether the administration is even yet agreed upon the principles of a measure which must, before long, excite very general discussion. The reconstruction of the Indian government will
soon form the subject of earnest debate, and, doubtless, of practical legislation, and it is one that will tax to the utmost the patience and wisdom of parliament. Let it not, however, be forgotten, that while the British arms are employed in reasserting our supremacy in the plains and cities of Hindostan, a work of equal urgency and importance is to be done at home. have to watch the development, sift the principles, and scrutinise the details of this forthcoming measure, which may be destined to work immense changes both in India and England--to prevent, by the exercise of free discussion, a scheme framed for the better government of our great dependency froin becoming a mere bureaucratic institution, and to guard against such a deviation from a noble plan of political improvement as shall convert the intended erection into a colossal edifice of parliamentary jobbery and corruption. We propose, therefore, to consider the present position of the question; but we must, in the first place, briefly pass in review a few of the changes which the government of India has undergone, from our first connexion with it as simple traders until the final consolidation of its wide-spread and magnificent territories under the imperial sway or protection of Great Britain.
The East India Company is, or rather was, an anomaly without a parallel in the history of the world. It originated from subscriptions, trilling in amount, of a few private individuals. It gradually became a commercial body with gigantic resources, and by the force of unforeseen circumstances assumed the form of a sovereign power, while those by whom its affairs were directed continued, in their individual capacities, to be without power or political influence. This extraordinary commercial body was first formed in London in 1599. In the following year it VOL. XLIII.
obtained a charter from the Crown, and was formed into a corporation for fifteen years under the title of “The Governor and Company of Merchants trading to the East Indies.” The clear profits of the trade were said to have reached, in a few years, from 100 to 200 per cent. In 1611 the Company obtained permission from the Mogul to establish factories on several parts of the coast of India, in consideration of a moderate export duty upon its shipments. The success of its commerce was so great, that its capital was from time to time augmented, and its exclusive privileges renewed, for which the state received due equivalents in the shape of large pecuniary payments and loans without interest, and many leading statesmen, it is believed, more direct advantages. Á Duke of Leeds, who was charged in the reign of Charles II. with receiving five thousand pounds from the Company, was impeached by the House of Commons, and it is said that the prorogation of parliament, which occurred immediately afterwards, was caused by the tracing of the sum of ten thousand pounds to a much higher quarter.
In 1661 a new charter was granted to the Company, in which all its former privileges were confirmed, but with the portentous addition of a clause enabling it “to make peace or war with or against any prince and people not being Christian!" From that moment the East India Company was no longer merely a mercantile company, formed for the extension of British commerce; it more nearly resembled a delegation of the whole power and sovereignty of Great Britain sent into the East. It, in fact, onght from that time to be considered a subordinate sovereign power. The constitution of the Company thus began in commerce and ended in empire. “By possession of these great authorities," to quote the admirable summary of Burke, speaking in 1788, “the East India Company came to be what it is—a great empire carrying on subordinately a great commerce. It became that thing which was supposed by the Řoman law irreconcilable to reason and propriety - eundem negotiatorem et dominum : the same power became the general trader; the same power became the supreme lord. In fact, the East India Company in Asia is a state in the disguise of a merchant."
Such was the Indian government for a long course of years, during which it carried on, simultaneously with its commerce, extensive wars, and subdued and annexed to its dominion some of the finest and most fertile provinces in Asia. These conquered territories, by a strange and indefensible policy, were long considered as a portion of the stock in trade of a commercial company, and were committed, with all their population and revenues, to the administration of a host of needy adventurers, who year after year left the shores of England, to return, after a short career of plunder, "laden with odium and riches,” to enjoy the envied fruits of their oppression with very little disturbance from the governing classes of this country. At length, however, the notorious corruption of the Indian government, and the tyranny of its agents, aroused public attention, and towards the close of the last century the impeachment of Warren Hastings proved that the nation had been thoroughly awakened to a sense of its duties and responsibilities. Remedial measures were then first seriously thought of and discussed in parliament. The first great and comprehensive measure which resulted from this improved state of public feeling was the celebrated East India Bill of Mr. Fox. In 1783,
that great statesman, burning with indignation at the unparalleled mass of iniquity which the investigations of a committee of the House of Commons had just brought to light, introduced, in a speech worthy of the subject and of himself, his plan for regulating the commercial concerns of the Company at home, and for the better government of their territories abroad. He proposed to supersede the two courts of proprietors and directors by vesting the whole of the territories, revenues, and commerce of India in seven commissioners, to be chosen by parliament, and they were to have the power of appointing and dismissing all persons in the service of the Company ; nine assistant commissioners, being proprietors of India stock, were to be named by the legislature to assist in the details of commerce, and to be under the authority of the superior board. The soundness of the principle upon which Mr. Fox proceeded in bringing Indian affairs so directly under the control of parliament may well be questioned. The bill was vehemently opposed by the government of the day, and not receiving a very effectual support out of doors, was defeated in the House of Lords by a considerable majority, composed chiefly of peers who were personally subservient to the reigning monarch, to whom the great India Reform Bill was in the highest degree distasteful.
But public opinion was too powerful, even in those days, to be entirely disregarded, and Mr. Pitt having pledged himself to remedial measures, and having really at heart, we believe, the interest and happiness of India, brought forward, in the following year, his bill for the better administration of Indian affairs, and established the existing Board of Control. We conceive this measure, however objectionable Mr. Fox's may have been, to have been an unstatesmanlike effort to evade, rather than grapple with, the real difficulties of the question. The East India Company had been proved to be utterly corrupt and incorrigible ; it had lost its capital over and over again. As a commercial body it was bankrupt, and on every principle of justice all political power should have been then taken from it, and its affairs “ wound up.” But Mr. Pitt, unprepared for the task of governing India from Downing-street, and bewildered by conflicting schemes and interests, found himself compelled to recommit the government of Hindostan to a company which had often managed with the grossest ignorance and ill-success even its own legitimate business. He continued the government of India in the Court of Directors, but he restrained their political action by a number of, as he thought, salutary regulations, and by a permanent Board of Control, composed chiefly of ministers high in the service of the Crown. The East India Company had, until then, been one of the most corrupt and destructive tyrannies that probably ever existed in the world. He allowed, however, to use Burke's figure, “the wolf to continue the guardian of the flock, but invented a curious sort of muzzle by which this protecting wolf should not be able to open his jaws above an inch or two at the utmost.” This scheme of reconciling a direction nominally independent with an office substantially controlling was a machinery that could not of course work smoothly if both should affect activity and independence. One must of necessity become subordinate, and the Board of Control soon became supreme, and the direction sank into a merely subservient council; and thus, contrary to Mr. Pitt's wishes and anticipations, India was brought into immediate connexion with the Crown.
In 1793 the British territories in India, together with the exclusive trade, were continued to the Company” for twenty years. In 1814 the charter was again renewed for another twenty years ; the trade was, however, opened, under certain restrictions, but the monopoly of the China trade and all the territorial revenues of India were continued until 1834. It was in this
that the East India Company, as a commercial body, may be said to have become, in fact, extinct, and from thenceforth it can only be said of it, “stat magni nominis umbra."
Its privileges were entirely abolished, but the government of India was continued in the Court of Directors—a practical anomaly of the most extraordinary kind, there being really no company to direct. The only reason that could be assigned for this arrangement was the difficulty of framing an entirely new government for India, and the supposed necessity of putting up with a temporary makeshift until greater attention could be bestowed on Indian affairs, or public opinion should demand a total change in the system. The capital of the defunct company w guaranteed a fixed rate of interest by the government, and a provision was made for paying it off at a stated period. It became, in short, virtually a government stock. The proprietors of this stock have therefore no more special interest in the affairs of India than in those of Canada or New Zealand, although the farce of a Court of Proprietors is still kept up, which is the ridicule of the well-informed, but the source of many absurd and mischievous delusions.
The elaborate parliamentary inquiries of 1852-3 resulted only in a trifling modification of the old system. After an investigation extending over two sessions and the examination of numberless witnesses, the united wisdom of the two Houses of Parliament was able to devise nothing more satisfactory than a trifling modification of the Board of Directors, by admitting the principle of government nomination to the extent of six members of that body, giving it thereby rather more the character of government council, and indicating, by an approach towards a correct system, the direction which future and more important changes would probably take.
Thus, by the last legislative arrangement for the government of India, the antiquated and obsolete system was almost entirely retained, a system not only theoretically absurd, but, we are convinced, practically mischievous, and such as no statesman would ever have originated, or could consistently retain one hour beyond the necessities which gave it existence. And one of the most censurable portions of the arrangement thus prolonged for another term of years, was that of retaining the fiction, or even assuming the reality, of an East India Company, by permitting periodical meetings of the proprietors of East India stock, and recognising their corporate action. The Court of Proprietors is even a greater fiction than the direction ; nevertheless, a few pompous and insignificant individuals have been permitted to assemble half-yearly to propound their views and discuss the interests of an empire which they affect to take under their especial protection. This is, perhaps, the grossest error that has been committed. It has been the cause of those misconceptions which exist to a very great extent not only in this country but throughout Europe and Asia. Who does not frequently observe in the public prints of this country, as well as of France