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Now let the reader listen to the genuine history of this opium affair. The opium produced in the territories of the East India Company, is manufactured especially for the use of the Chinese, and for the inhabitants of the Eastern Archipelego; but, strange to say, the Chinese laws prohibit directly its importation into China, so that it is only by a system of extensive smuggling that the opium is sent into that country. Now, who are the agents of this contraband trade-who are the smugglers ? None else than men filling offices under the East India Company, and who make a “capital thing” of it by their well-judged neutrality. Good. sized fortunes doubtless are made by this very passive criminality ; and that we do not make this assertion at random will be evident from the following fact :-Some time ago the opium agents in Bengal were remiss in their superintendence, and by their negligence allowed the cultivators of the poppy to send in a quality of a very inferior character. The Chinese merchants became indignant, and remonstrated. What was the result? The East India Company actually paid down a douceur of something little short of a quarter of a million sterling, to bribe the merchants into good humour. But, never mind, the revenue from the opium, run though it may be, is quite enough to justify and indemnify for such largesses as this. What a monster of a smuggler then must the East India Company be, to be able to act the part of so licentious a spend. thrift as such a gift implies. Why, the very ransom of the best of England's kings did not amount to a quarter of the sum which it was necessary to put upon the altars of these Chinese Molochs.
But how is it that Sir John Malcolm never says a word about that very familiar article called tea ? Not a word is uttered by the ex-governor of Bombay upon that commodity, which may well be regarded as the pabulum of the Company. What is the reason for their monopoly, may one inquire? The answer will be, that it is a fair remuneration for their trouble. But then the charter was first granted to the Company expressly that it might prove beneficial to the interests of this country; and until the advocates of the said Company show that a system whereby a poor widow is made to pay six shillings per pound, for the beverage which forms the only solace of her existence, is a worse one than that which would afford it to her at three shillings, we will never believe that the monopoly of the sale of tea in the East India Company is any thing but an injustice. Who now would endure to have it proposed that the West Indian proprietors should have a monopoly of sugars ? Yet where is the ground for the distinction between the two bodies?
In speaking of the administration of justice in India, Sir John Malcolm strangely enough confines himself to the bare relation of the proposals which he himself had made for the purpose of ameliorating it in Bombay. But when he volunteered to place before us “ a clear and concise explanation of the actual state of the different branches of the British government of India," we did expect that such explanation would contain the materials for a just judgment to be formed upon the question. But there are important matters in the administration of justice upon which the ex-governor is silent, as the following statement of facts will prove :-In all criminal matters the government has thought it prudent to retain the code such as it was laid down by Mahomet in the Koran. Thus Moslem law rules over the native population of India. Let us admit that there is good reason for this ; let us say that whatever evils proceed from this state of things ought to be put up with, if there be a chance that any change will increase them. But how do we account for the patience with which the India Company looks on, whilst the proceedings in the criminal courts are not only conducted after the manner of the Mahomedan law, but actually in the very language of the countrymen of the Prophet. Let us hear our acute Major upon this curious subject :
It is strange that the English have never thought of abrogating so vicious a form, and bestowing upon their subjects, in its stead, the great boon of having the law administered in the language of the country; or if this were a means of casting off the natives from the hold which we were wise in having upon them, why at least not imitate the example of politic conquerors, and fix English as the tongue for judicial proceedings ? In this case the suitors would have a greater chance of an impartial award, the judge himself fully understanding what has been said, and being thereby able to weigh and discriminate between conflicting testimonies. As law now exists, notwithstanding the language is Persian, the English terms of decree, plaintiff, nonsuit, &c. are those only in use. The vakeels, or attorneys, are those who alone thoroughly comprehend the mysticism of the law; for, with very few exceptions, the judge who presides is far from being competent to expound or comment upon the many disputed passages; and, as to the unfortunate suitors themselves, few even of the Mahomedan persuasion understand the Persian language; and of the Hindoos, not one in ten thousand. Why the Persian has not been discarded, and either the English or Hindoostani, which is the colloquial language of all India, substituted, and which is understood by Hindoo and Moslem, is a matter best known to the Court of Directors. The Hindoostani would have this advantage over the English, that the people speak it, and a competent knowledge of it is very easily acquired by Europeans, with whom it is rendered familiar by being the universal means of communication between them and their servants, as well as the natives of all castes and descriptions.
This department of the state has lately been unsettled from its foundation, and within the last year has altered its position ; it therefore becomes a source of regret that more than a brief view of the structure cannot be given. A secretary for the judicial department is the channel of communication from the government to the different courts. It is, as may be sup. posed, an office of great responsibility, and one of immense labour. The court paramount to all others, is the “ Sudder Dewauny,” with civil and criminal jurisdiction. This court was, until last year, fixed at Calcutta, but a change was considered necessary, and it is now at Allahabad, 500 miles from the seat of government ; the advantage to be derived from this, how
ever, remains to be seen. The sudder dewauny controls the inferior courts, and is the last appeal, except to the king in council. The government has not the power to reverse its decrees, but may remove the judges to other situations.
The next in rank and importance are the provincial courts of appeal, which were, until 1829, also circuit courts for criminal business, as well as civil matters. At the period above mentioned, the criminal affairs were assigned to a commissioner, and the duties of the court of appeal limited to civil suits. The zillah, or district, comes next. A judge presides over this court, who is assisted by a registrar: occasionally the police is entrusted to the judge; but, when this department is troublesome, and the duties heavy, a magistrate is specially appointed.-pp. 321–324.
Before parting with Major Archer, to whose ability, industry, and spirit, the country ought to feel itself indebted, we must notice the very particular care which he bestows on the important subject of religion. We do not see that any particular reference is made to this question in Sir John Malcolm's work. We dare say, that if a Persian madrigal had been accidentally brought to his notice, he would not have passed it by in the same manner. However, we should like to have heard from an officer who must be so deep in the confidence of the India Company, what he really thinks of the provisions made by the Company for the due supply of ministers for the merely British inhabitants of India ; for as to the utility of clergymen of any sort for the native population, the thing would be now looked upon as absurd. The ecclesiastical establishment in Bengal consists of one bishop for the whole of India, the Cape, Ceylon, Mauritius, and all the eastern settlements. The sun scarcely goes down upon the mighty diocese of the Bishop of Calcutta. But the whole plan of securing proper means of cultivating religion for the British residents in India, is absurd in principle, and futile in effect. Even if we do look at the efforts which have been made to introduce Christianity amongst the natives, we find quite enough to satisfy us that the attempt was conceived in folly, and supported only by obstinacy. It was the duty of the Company when they gave facilities to missionaries, to exercise a discretion respecting the manner in which those facilities were to be used. The admirable remarks of Major Archer clearly show the stupidity of their system : the missionaries, he says, set out with a display of the most wonderful and the most mysterious of the doctrines of their religion ; they thought the poor creature of a Hindoo had the faculty of a doctor of Sorbonne, or of a D.D. of Oxford, when they strove to initiate him into a knowledge of Divine truth, by endeavouring to explain the incarnation,
Thus much we deem it essential to state respecting the very imperfect manner in which Sir John Malcolm explains, as he says, “the actual state of the different branches of the British government of India, abroad and at home.” Whilst, however, we are determined to expose the pretensions of such men, we are not the
vol. 11. (1833) NO. I.
less willing to do justice to their merits, and we willingly concede to Sir John the disposition to make his influence subservient to the ends of justice and improvement. To this disposition may be attributed the interest which was taken by him in establishing the cultivation of the cotton plant in the Indian territories. It is well known that our best supply of cotton wool is from the southern part of the United States of America. The reason of the superiority, which thus makes us prefer the American cotton, is not that the produce is better, but that the management of the article is more skilful. Various attempts have been made, lands have been appropriated for experiments, and every device has been put in execution, chiefly through the instigation of Sir John Malcolm, for giving to the Indian cotton the quality in the market which now is admited to belong to the cotton of America :
In execution (says he) of the measures proposed by me, a farm, of two hundred acres in extent, was established in the vicinity of Broach, and placed under the management of Mr. Finney, a gentleman who had been brought to my notice as being, from residence and occupation in an indigo plantation in Bengal, well qualified to superintend a farm. An allowance of five hundred rupees per mensem, and forty rupees for house-rent, was granted to Mr. Finney; and he was placed in correspondence with, and under the general control of, the collector of the district in which the farms are situated. He was furnished also with instructions, founded on the information and observation contained in the Court's despatch, and also several important suggestions from Mr. Romer.
In further attention to the objects of the Court's despatch, similar farms in the Southern Mahratta country and the Deccan were intrusted to Dr. Lush, the superintendent of the Botanical Garden at Dapooree, who was likewise authorized to carry into execution a plan suggested by himself for introducing the cultivation of the Bombon cotton into the garden of Dapooree.
Under the impression that the scientific knowledge of Dr. Lush might be rendered further instrumental in promoting the success of the proposed experiment, he was directed to establish a correspondence with the collectors, and with Mr. Finney, in all points connected with the process of culture, supplying each other with seeds, &c. &c.-pp. 67, 68.
Not less attention has been paid to the cultivation of silk in the Indian territory, and from the attention which has been bestowed, and the energy with which it is encouraged, we may hope that the silk of our own produce will ultimately be the staple consumption of Great Britain. Sir John tells us that
Mr. Graham, the civil surgeon at Ahmudnuggur, has had a lease for fifteen years of several hundred acres of ground granted him, which, from being capable of easy irrigation, is most favourable to the plantation of mulberries, with which he has filled it. From his science, the money he embarks, and the ready sale there is for the produce in the flourishing town of Ahmudnuggur, there can be little doubt of his success; and wealthy natives will by that be stimulated to imitate his example. Mr. Owen, the surgeon at Seroor, has commenced to manufacture silk upon a more limited scale ; but the growth of his mulberries, and the fineness of the fibre which he has obtained, show that the soil and climate of that place are most favourable to the object; but this appears the case with many parts of the Deccan and Southern Mahratta country. At the gaol of Poonah, as well as that of Dharwar, excellent silk is produced ; and in the latter collectorate, several natives have established manufactories upon a small scale; but the demand there for this produce shows that the speculation is profitable, and is only prevented from being extended by the poverty of the inhabitants and the want of enterprise, or perhaps of credit. As, however, the fact seems perfectly established, that the silk produced in this country and in the Deccan, will soon, with proper encouragement, drive both the China and Persian out of the market; and as the consumption of this article will be great when the interior of the southern parts of the peninsula can be supplied from silks produced in our provinces, it is worthy of the most serious actention of government.pp. 68, 69.
Upon the whole, we can say of this book, that though liable to objection from the partiality of many of its views, it still contains a mass of very curious and valuable matter connected with the history and state of India.
ART. V.-Sketches of Greece and Turkey; with the present
Condition, and future Prospects of the Turkish Empire. I vol. 8vo. Ridgway. 1833.
ALTHOUGH our knowledge of the state of Greece is not very materially increased by the contribution now before us, yet there are some local and personal details recorded by the author, which cannot be without their interest for the public. We pass by, therefore, all that portion of the descriptions, the subjects of which we have gone over a thousand times, and come at once to such a portion of che narrative as seems to us to possess novelty. We should premise that the author is the most recent traveller who has yet given an account of Greece. Having commenced his journey in that country in the spring of 1832, after passing through Albania, and paying the usual tributary malediction to the memory of Ali Pacha, the author crossed the Gulf of Arta, to Vonitza. He was now in the Greek territory. The town at which he arrived was at the time commanded by General Pisa, a noble Neapolitan exile, who behaved to the travellers (for our author was accompanied by a friend) with as much hospitality as his own forlorn circumstances would permit. The head quarters of the general consisted of a single mom, with a roof but no ceiling; two windows without glass; a fire