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produces among a people who, for ages, have groaned under the yoke of a cruel and unfeeling despotism. The permanent settlement of the revenue, whether founded on strict principles of right we stop not here to inquire, has had a most salutary effect in preventing the former arbitrary exactions of the zemindars. The est tablishment of a more perfect system of judicature, though it may not have succeeded in striking at once at the root of perjury and fraud among a people with whom morality constitutes no part of their religion, has, nevertheless, considerably mitigated their baneful effects. Much more, however, remains to be done, and the honour and character of the British name are deeply concerned that much more should be done. After so many ages of neverceasing wars, which have scourged the finest and most fertile region of the globe, the suffering natives have a right to expect from our consolidated power in India the full enjoyment of the blessings of peace.
The force of example is not unimpressive on the Hindoo. Wherever we have establishments, there it is found that the lands are better cultivated, the police better regulated, the natives better fed, clothed, and lodged. While famine is committing its direful and frequent ravages among the roving tribes of Mahrattas, no scarcity of food is known in the districts under the immediate protection of the Company's government. The property of the peasant placed under security is gradually augmented: not satisfied with supplying the mere wants of life—a bowl of rice and a coton rag-he provides for its comforts; such are the effects actually produced by the influence of a just and humane govern
It is, however, deeply to be regretted, that so few and feeble endeavours have been made to accomplish the moral and religious improvement of the Hindoos. Mild, tractable, and patient, as they certainly are by nature, by circumstance and education, they every day commit the most atrocious crimes without compunction or remorse. The only restraint which religion imposes on the actions of the Hindoo consists in the observance of numerous idle and everyday customs, pervading all the ordinary concerns of life, and interfering with all his actions, public or private. It is a succession of trifling and useless duties, which deter him not from the commission of any crime. It neither demands from him faith nor good works. He will steal whenever he can do so without detection; he will perjure himself for his profit or advantage; murder is with him an expiable offence; suicide is no sin, and may be a meritorious act. Sir William Jones and Sir James Mackintosh have many times had occasion, in their judicial capacities, feelingly
and eloquently to lament the moral depravity of this extraordinary race of human beings. Better principles we think might be instilled into the minds of the rising generation. The institution of public schools, conducted on their own mechanical plan, in which the English language should exclusively be used, could scarcely fail to infuse into their minds, by imperceptible degrees, English feelings. In all our conquests we have hitherto reversed the Ro-. man policy of forcing its language on barbarous nations as the first step towards civilization; we have allowed them to employ their own, even in all public acts, which has had the effect of making them more indifferent in acquiring ours; and we thus fortify the barrier which separates the victors from the vanquished, making the chains of the latter more evident and more galling. If examples were wanting of the impolicy of not adopting one common language between the governors and the governed, we should say, look to Wales, to Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland.
It is equally to be lamented, that no provision whatever should yet have been made for a church establishment in India. What possible veneration can the Hindoo entertain for the Christian religion, when so much indifference is manifested for its concerns by those who call themselves Christians? The only appearance of religion presented to them is in the proceedings of a few zealous missionaries, who, disregarded and disrespected by their own countrymen, cannot be expected to acquire the esteem or attract the regard of the natives. Some good these worthy and indefatigable men may ultimately effect by their translations of the Scriptures into the various languages of the East. As insulated beings, unconnected with government, they cause little or no alarm to the guardians of the Hindoo religion; but the legislature, we think, will do well to pause before it complies with the wishes of some well-meaning and pious persons who petition for the introduction of a clause into the new act in favour of missions to the East. Desirable as it would be to disseminate, by all possible means, the Gospel of Christ throughout India, we do not think that this event would be accelerated by act-of-parliament missionaries. But a respectable church establishment, with a suffragan bishop at the head of it, might silently and gradually effect a favourable change in the national religion and morality; the clergy, at the same time, being intrusted with the care and superintendance of the public schools. It was not the solitary preaching of a Christian bishop or a cloistered monk that couverted the Roman emperor and his court from paganism to Christianity; it was the solemnity and harmony of public worship, exhibited in Christian churches, which caught their attention, and contributed to turn them from the cold
and lifeless devotion of a piece of marble to the worship of the true God.'
After all, there are persons, well informed in Indian affairs, who think that nothing short of a radical change in the constitution of the Indian government at home can advance, to any considerable degree, the mutual prosperity of the two countries. They imagine that, instead of a Board of Controul, itself frequently controuled by the Court of Directors, and, with the exception of the president, composed of unconcerned and inefficient members, a Secretary of State for India would be a more consistent and re-, sponsible character--that the twenty-four directors of the East India Company (of whom eighteen are not of much use) might be reduced, like the Board of Admiralty, to six and a president; men of talent and respectability, with a competent knowledge of trade and the Company's concerns, but wholly unconnected with any trade themselves :-but these are matters not quite to our present purpose, and we therefore abstain.
In a word-if, as it seems to be intended, the army, the territorial revenue, and the undivided sovereignty of India, are to remain with the Company, let the Company abandon the trade of India, which, by their own confession, has long ceased to be an object of gain,' or, let them follow the trade or not, as they may judge expedient. In return, let them have the exclusive direct trade to China, which is an object' of so much 'gain' as to allow an ample dividend to the proprietors. By this arrangement all jealousies and conflicting interests between the Company and individual merchants would be done away: the latter ought to be perfectly satisfied, the Company's revenues would be augmented, the patronage of the directors and proprietors remain untouched, and, conformably with the intention of the act of 1793, kept out of the hands of the servants of the Crown. The large class of ships, on which so much stress is laid, would continue to be employed in the China trade, and the shipping interest to divide a reasonable profit.
Our view of this important question has necessarily been very general and very imperfect. The hints we have thrown out are the unbiassed opinions which have arisen in our minds from the perusal of the printed papers, and the several petitions to parliament against the renewal of the Company's charter. All the concern we take in the question amounts to this-an ardent wish that the new arrangements may be such as to call forth the inexhaustible resources of one of the fairest and most fertile portions of the globe, and to secure a mutual benefit to the subjects of Great Britain and their fellow subjects in Hindostan.
ART. II. De la Littérature Française pendant le 18me Siècle. 8vo. pp. 264. Paris.
AS the little treatise before us is on a subject which has lately been proposed by the National Institute, it was probably written with a view to academical competition. The name of the author is, however, concealed, and neither preface nor advertisement of any sort is given to assist our conjectures. We must therefore conclude that the prize, if sought, was not won; and as we shall, with difficulty, believe that any essay was presented on the occasion more deserving of the honour proposed, it becomes necessary to seek in the work itself for some cause of failure different from a defect of literary merit. With the utmost deference for those independent characters, the judges, we cannot avoid suggesting that what is sought lies at no great depth. It is true that the work bears evident signs of a deep and refined judgment, a reasoning and well-directed mind, and a cultivated taste; but these eminent qualities only seem to render more conspicuous the unpardonable negligence of the author in omitting to follow up his retrospect of the century which is passed, by a comparative anticipation of the glories of that which is now commenced. Of all the essays transmitted to the Institute upon the present occasion, this (we have no doubt) is the only one of which the author is not absolutely blinded (before he arrives at the conclusion of his performance) by the dazzling splendours of the Napoleon era. On this side the channel we are not obliged to view this cause of rejection with exactly the same measure of indignation, and may be allowed to join in the humble wish for our posterity with which the author sums up his reflections on the character and conduct of those who have gone before us. S'il était permis. de former un vœu pour un avenir, dont une faible partie seulement nous appartient, nous souhaiterions que le siècle qui commence, ce siècle que nous avons vu naître, et qui nous verra tous mourir, apportât à nos fils et à leurs enfans, non plus de gloire et d'éclat, mais plus de vertus et moins de malheur.'
So far as the virtue and happiness of future generations can be promoted by setting before them the example of past errors and the cause of past miseries, this work is calculated to give efficacy to the wish of its author; and with this view of its contents we shall make no apology for transfusing as large a portion as we are able of their spirit into the following pages.
The causes, more or less remote, of that tremendous convulsion of empires which we have witnessed, the progress and consequences of which we are still contemplating with alternate fear and hope, are well worthy to awaken the curiosity and direct
VOL. VIII. NO. XVI.
the investigations of thinking men. To France, as the theatre of its first and most terrible explosion, the eyes of all have, accordingly, been turned with a spirit of anxious inquiry proportioned to the apparent magnitude and practical importance of the object; and the previous state of that nation presents to the inquirer a picture ill calculated to satisfy his understanding or terminate his research. In France, the eighteenth century had been unfruitful of events-among her men in authority, no character had arisen like those by which the destiny of nations is fixed. The years had rolled away in an almost uninterrupted course of tranquillity; and the progress of human opinions, and the productions of the human intellect, were its most distinguishing characteristics.'
On this sign of the times,' however, have most men been content to fix as the source from which all the disorders and all the miseries of these latter days have flowed in a most abundant current; and, considering what has been the sum of those miseries and disorders, it is not surprising that many (especially among the greater and more immediate sufferers) have selected this unfortunate era, as the scape-goat of ages, to bear the imputed evils of all posterity. These nien appear to imagine that, but for the writers of the eighteenth century, all things would now be in the state in which the seventeenth century left them; comme si un siècle pouvait transmettre à son successeur l'héritage de l'esprit humain, tel qu'il l'a reçu de son devancier.' But, continues our author, the case is far otherwise.
Les opinions ont une marche nécessaire. De la réunion des hommes en nation, de leur communication habituelle, naît une certaine progression de sentimens, d'idées, de raisonnemens, que rien ne peut suspendre, C'est ce qu'on nomme la marche de la civilisation; elle amène, tantôt des époques paisibles et vertueuses, tantôt criminelles et agitées; quel quefois la gloire, d'autres fois l'opprobre; et suivant que la Providence nous a jetés dans un temps ou dans un autre, nous recueillons le bonheur ou le malheur attaché à l'époque où nous vivons. Nos goûts, nos opinions, nos impressions habituelles en dépendent en grande partie. Nulle chose ne peut soustraire la société à cette variation progressive. Dans cette histoire des opinions humaines, toutes les circonstances sont enchaînées de manière qu'il est impossible de dire laquelle pouvait ne pas résulter nécessairement de la précédente. Ainsi lorsqu'on a une fois commencé à blâmer l'état où se trouvaient les esprits des hommes à un certain moment, le blâme, remontant de proche en proche de l'effet à la cause, ne peut jamais s'arrêter.'-p. 4.
But these reflections, while they tend to reconcile mankind, under all circumstances of national distress and humiliation, to the will of that superintending Power by which the course of the world is regulated, need not be considered as affording any encouragement to the dangerous and idle doctrine of uncontrollable neces