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cultivated for ages on pretence of finding unclaimed trees to make handles for the tools of government workmen-it serves them for a means of extracting a bribe to save the trees. They seize, on highways and at fairs, on horses and men to carry goods, often throwing out loads of the goods of merchants on the roads, and taking away their vehicles. The public treasures, materials for building police station-houses, every thing, in fact, which government or great men want conveying, are thus supplied with men and carriages.

As soon, therefore,' says Shore, as the people “perceive the cortège approaching, accompanied by a police officer, they run and hide themselves. You may see sometimes half a

village scampering over the fields, pursued by one or more po• lice officers in full hue and cry.' Is not this a beautifully governed country? Oh !' says the Honorable Mr. Shore, that we had "a Cruickshank to illustrate this and other scenes consequent on the Purveyance system of the British Indian government!'

But our indignant readers will say, is there no law-no redress for such abominable outrages ? No! if there were redress there could no longer be the outrages. There can be said to be no law at all for the multitude. There are courts of justice, so called, but on that curious system of the reductio ad absurdum which is the practice throughout our Indian states. They are constructed on this plan. There is one magistrate to a district as large as Yorkshire; so that do the best he may, it is impossible that he can hear one-tenth of the causes that demand his attention. The distance, the attendant expenses, the hopelessness of getting a hearing, are more than enough to deter thousands from seeking justice ; bat those who are hardy enough to prefer their complaints, find, when they arrive at the court, that the causes are conducted in this very curious manner. They are not conducted in English, which is the language understood by the judge ; nor in Hindustanee, that of the people whose interests are at stake, but in Persian, which neither judge nor plaintiff knows a word of! Then, again, the policeman and the tax-gatherer are the same person ! and whoever has to complain of what a multitude every day is suffering-of extortion, oppression, and insult, finds his enemy and oppressor the accuser and witness against him! But what is more, and which accounts for what Mr. Shore says of injured people paying bribes to avoid coming into these courts even as prosecutors or witnesses—the witnesses themselves are seized and imprisoned at the mercy of the court. In the Madras Herald of September 14, 1839, we find actual details of this practice, which the editor observes 'is a practice so repugnant to the feelings of Englishmen, that were it told in any part of civilized Europe, would, no doubt, be scouted as a traveller's tale. What is still more, and what we are sure that our countrymen in this happy land can have no idea of as existing now

anywhere under British rule—THE TORTURE IS APPLIED, to compel confession or payment of taxes ! We know the serious nature of the charge we are now advancing, but we are prepared to prove it. We have, indeed, now before us petitions

from most respectable native Christians, the Parawa Traders of Tutocoreen in Tinnivelly, in the Madras Presidency, which have been presented to Lord Elphinstone, but without any attention to them; in which they broadly state that they are compelled to pay a polltax first laid on their ancestors by the Mohammedan rulers, for their becoming Christians, and still most singularly continued by their Christian rulers—a tax for being Christians ! and they as broadly state, that on refusal to pay this tax, THEY ARE TORTURED WITH THUMB SCREWS; AND WITH STANDING IN THE BURNING SUN WITH A HEAVY STONE ON THE SHOULDERS! Nay, we know individuals now in London, who have witnessed the infliction of the the torture, and one gentleman in particular, who, for the simple fact of having represented to the government of the Presidency what he had seen, was ordered out of the country, leaving his property to the mercy of his enemies, and is now seeking redress here in vain. If any one would know still more of the combined imbecility and personal oppression of our Indian government, we will refer bim to the work of F. C. Brown, Esq., of Tellicherry, on the Disturbances in Canara in 1837, the title of which will be found at the head of this article, and from which we proposed, had our space allowed, to have given some curious passages.

Here we must pause. We have, we are sure, produced sufficient evidence to show what a pandemonium of injustice, relentless avarice, and destructive impolicy is our great eastern territory. The subject before us is yet too vast and appalling to allow us to plunge further into it at present. The decay of the great public works, palaces, tanks, roads, &c.; the haughtiness and insolence of the English officials towards natives of all, even princely rank; their ignorance of the actual condition of the country, keeping themselves entirely aloof from the people; the peculiar condition of the half-castes, who call themselves now East Indians, and who must become the bond of our union with the country, or the levers of our ejection from it; the Resumption of the Tax-free lands in Bengal now causing so much heart-burning there, and for an account of which we refer our readers to Mr. Crawford's 'Appeal' on the subject; the immense injury to this country annually by the loss of revenue and of employment to our starving artizans by the present system; these, and many other great topics press for notice, but must stand over to another opportunity. On the subject of roads the Edinburgh Review talks of certain great lines of new roads made by government, but Rickards, Heber, Dr. Spry, Major-General Briggs, the able author of the History of the Land-Tax in India, and other most unquestionable authorities,

assure us that British India is, in fact, a country without roads, without bridges, without canals, without those great works which mark a well governed state. At a public meeting at Glasgow some months ago, Major-General Briggs, indeed, made this statement.

* Then, of these military roads, there is hardly one of thenı over which I have not travelled ; and I say, without fear of contradiction, that there is scarcely ten miles of any part of them on which, during the rains, a carriage could be driven, or a loaded cart proceed without danger. Roads are marked out, it is true, they are levelled for the time being, and, till the wet season sets in, they are tolerably good; but one or two years serves to break them up entirely; roads without metal, without drains, without bridges,—and, to be rendered available even for the march of an army with its stores, a detachment of pioneers is required to precede the troops. There is another description of roads, however, to which much attention and money is devoted. I mean the roads within and around the Presidencies, and the principal civil and military stations. Each road not extending beyond three or four miles in length, and used purely for European gentlemen and ladies to drive their carriages.'*

We also have now before us "A Minute of the GovernorGeneral of India,' of August last, containing this passage - As 'to the formation of roads, I fear, that, however valuable a reaļly permanent and good road unquestionably is, for all purposes of national improvement, the hope of maintaining such roads, on an extensive scale, in the vast and poor territory and unfavorable “climate of India, is not, for yet many years, to be entertained on

a sober estimate of our difficulties and means. And this is said of India, after half a century of our good government, a country out of which we have drained a thousand millions of money, and are yet draining twenty millions a year! This is that country whose finances the Edinburgh Review protests are so good that it will not need a loan for the payment of the vast expenses of the Afgban war; and

yet

it cannot afford to make a road for the transit of its goods, or for the passage of grain in a season of famine !

Here, then, we close, for the present, our portraiture of what the clerk of the Board of Directors terms the incomparably best

governed of all our dependent possessions. If the scene which it presents does not rouse our countrymen to rescue it from the vampyre system under which it is sinking, we shall have no longer any faith in the philosophy, humanity, or commercial policy which have so long distinguished us as a nation. The interests of the people of India do not require a reform of Indian government more

The native gentry and even princes, who have made these roads at their own cost, are prohibited by soldiers stationed there on purpose, from driving on them at the hours that the English frequent them.

6

peremptorily than the interests of our starving manufacturers demand it. If India be such a beautiful scene of good government, why does not the East India Company invite all who doubt the fact to go out and see for themselves ? If that be the case, that would settle the matter at once. All people who know that they have a flourishing scene to display, are glad that it should be seen. As it is, we call on our countrymen to inquire—inquire—inquire : and as the Edinburgh Review has not only appealed to the evidence of Mr. Shore, but to Lord William Bentinck, we will also appeal to his lordship’s evidence, and with that close our remarks. In his evidence on the Steam question, delivered after he had been for years Governor-General of India, after comparing our rule with that of the Mohammedans who went before us, and showing that theirs was far superior to ours, he added— India in order to become an attached dependency of Great Britain, must be governed for her own sake, and not for the sake of the 800 or 1000 individuals who are sent from England to make their • fortunes. They are totally incompetent to the charge, and in their • hands, administration in all its civil branches, revenue, judicial, and police, has been a failure. Our government, to become secure, must be made popular, and to become so, it must consult the welfare of the many and not of the few. The govern

ment must remain arbitrary, but it may also be, and should be, paternal.' But how can this be effected ? ENGLAND HAS NO KNOWLEDGE OF AND NO CARE FOR India. India, again, has no representatives in England ; has hitherto, had no access to her shores; her fate is entirely in the hands of the two authorities with whom her management is vested. The Court of Directors seek their office for the sake of the patronage only; for the inost part, they are strangers to India ; have their own separate affairs * to manage ; are divested of responsibility; but from their permanency, and the knowledge which they derive from their numerous clients, they possess a power and influence over all affairs, which a temporary President of the Board of Control, unaided by any Board possessing local information, cannot possibly control.

* The patronage of the Directors is divided into twenty-eight shares, each ordinary Director having one, the Chair and Deputy-Chair, having each two, and two being reserved for the President of the Board of Control. Each share is worth about £13,000, and a double share £20,000 a year. By this patronage they divide £2,000,000 sterling of the revenues of India amongst less than 1000 persons, from lads of fifteen or eighteen years of age and upwards, in salaries of about £2000 each, besides a claim of retiring superannuations. Well may Mr. Thornton, the clerk to the Directors, with their double share of £20,000 and £13,000, and the power of putting their connexions into good salaries of £2000 and upwards, declare that India is a beautifully governed country

327

Art. VI. PUBLICATIONS OF THE CAMDEN SOCIETY.
The Political Songs of England, from the Reign of John to that of

Edward II. Edited and Translated by Thomas WRIGHT, Esq.,
M.A., F.S.A. London: John Bowyer Nichols.

THE

HE Camden Society, a name of good omen, was formed

about three years ago. It has since that time been in modest and silent but effective operation. Its objects are the publication of selections from those literary treasures which lie wrapt up in vast collections of manuscripts found in our public libraries; the reprinting of works of sufficient rarity and value to render such reprint desirable; and the translation of historical works not yet rendered into English.

As to inedited MSS., however precious they may be as 'curiosities of literature, however deeply interesting to the antiquary, to the historian, to the philologist, in a word, to all who study the history of our language and manners, no private bookselling enterprize could be expected to publish them, since no sale could be calculated upon sufficiently large to indemnify it. The subscription which entitles to membership in this Society, and of course to a copy of its publications, is the moderate one of a guinea per annum, and the number of members is limited we believe to twelve hundred.

The society has already issued seven publications, and it is expected that its productions will in future appear with still greater frequency. They are put forth in an exceedingly elegant form, edited with great care and accuracy, and in all respects reflect much credit on the spirit and taste of those who have been employed to prepare them for the press.

Few of these publications would be very proper for review in a periodical like ours, or, indeed, in any other periodical except the • Retrospective, the discontinuance of which we have never ceased to deplore. But we are by no means inclined to underrate their importance or the interest

. They are not only curious as remains of our own literature, but they reflect light on our general as well as our literary history, and on the manners and customs of former times ; while, being printed verbatim from the ancient manuscripts, they afford to the student of our philology and

grammar, a vast collection of valuable materials, and impart much knowledge respecting the state of the language in the earlier epochs of its history.

This series of publications, of which we can give little more than the titles, are “ An Alliterative Poem on the Deposi‘tion of King Richard II., by Richard de Maidstone, edited by

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