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for a period of years. The Company in this case come proclaims the lucky or unpropitious periods for sowing in the room of the zemindar, and collect the rents in and thrashing: the smith and carpenter, who manudetail from the ryots by their agents.
facture the implements of agriculture, and build the This system of * zemindary settlement' prevails gene- dwelling of the ryot: the potman, or potter: the fisherrally in Bengal, Bahar, Orissa, and Benares. It has man; the barber; the cowkeeper, who looks after the also been tried on a small scale in the Madras presidency, cattle; the doctor; the dancing-girl, who attends at but with indifferent success; but in a modified form it rejoicings; the musician, and the poet. These officers has long existed in some parts of Southern India, where and servants generally constitute the establishment of hereditary chiefs, called polygars, occupy a similar a village; but in some parts of the country it is of less situation to that of the zemindars in Bengal.
extent, some of the duties and functions above described There are other two modes of collecting the rent or being united in the same person; in others, it exceeds land-tax (for it may receive either name); the Ryot- the number of individuals which have been described. war, and the Mouzawar:
Under this simple form of municipal government, the The ryotwar was first extensively introduced by the inhabitants of the country have lived from time immelate excellent Sir Thomas Munro, when governor of morial. The boundaries of the villages have been but Madras in 1802. In this system the government col. seldom altered ; and though the villages themselves lects the rent directly from the ryots, without the inter- have been sometimes injured, and even desolated, by vention of zemindars. An actual survey was made, war, famine, or disease, the same name, the same limits, with great labour and expense, of the lands of the vil- and even the same families, have continued for ages
. lages, in which it was attempted to fix the extent and The inhabitants give themselves no trouble about the value not merely of every occupancy, but of every field. breaking up and division of kingdoms; while the village The records showed the whole sum which the village remains entire, they care not to what power it is transhad paid in former years; and from this, with the opi- ferred, or to what sovereign it devolves; its internal nions of practised assessors, checked and guided by the economy remains unchanged; the potail is still the advice of the village potail and curnum (the headsman head inhabitant, and still acts as the petty judge and and accountant), an estimate was formed of the gross magistrate, and collector or renter of the village. produce, 45 per cent. of which was assumed as the It will be understood that under the zemindary setrent. The sum thus ascertained was fixed as the maxi- tlement the government transacts with one individual mum which the tenant should be called on to pay. for an extensive district, probably as large as a county; The rent is taken from the ryots in monthly payments, under the mouzawar or village settlement, it transacts and very summary means are used to extort it. The with the chief person of the village for the whole comsystem was extremely unpopular at its introduction, munity; and under the ryotwar settlement, it transacts and occasioned great distress; but this was attributed with each individual cultivator. It may be proper to to the excessive amount of the tax, rather than to add, that in India a ryot seldom holds more land than defects in its imposition. The reader should be told he and his family are able to cultivate, and that there that the perquisites of the potail, curnum, Brahmin, are few farm-servants in our sense of the word. astrologer, schoolinaster, and a long train of other vil- Of the three modes of settlement, it may be stated lage functionaries, are supposed to absorb 10 per cent. that the zemindary plan has yielded the largest reof the ryot’s crop, so that the 45 per cent, which venue; the method of village settlement' does not government took in a good year was, and was meant cause much more trouble to the government, and is to be, one-half of the clear produce after this deduction better liked by the cultivators; the ryotwar is the most was made. In consequence of the outcry against the expensive and troublesome, and has been the least tax, considerable abatements were made; and the ryot-productive of revenue; but it would be the most equitwar system remains in operation in a considerable able and most advantageous to the people at large, if portion of Madras presidency at this time, with, we the ends of justice were not defeated by the frauds of believe, comparatively few complaints.
the native functionaries intrusted with its details, and The third system is the Mouzawar, or village settle- whose corruption is almost universal. ment.' A village in India does not mean a collec- The revenue derivable from land by these various tion of houses at a particular spot, but corresponds processes of exaction amounts, as has been said, to twoto what is called a township in America. It is a thirds of the whole revenue of the Company, or the sum tract of country,' says Mr Hamilton, 'comprising some of £12,000,000. The next greatest head of rerenue is thousands of acres of arable and waste land; politi- the receipt from native princes, or from ceded and cally viewed, it resembles a corporation or township. conquered countries, and which averages in amount Its proper establishment of officers and servants con- from £6,000,000 to £7,000,000. sists of the following descriptions:- The potail, or The Company have hitherto gained £1,000,000 sterhead inhabitant, who has the general superintendence ling per annum by the monopoly of opium. They hare of the affairs of the village, settles the disputes of offered a price annually, which has been fixed at the the inhabitants, attends to the police, and performs lowest rate that will remunerate the producer; and the important duty of collecting the revenues within ryots, whose lands have been suited to the cultivation, his village - a duty which his personal influence, entered into engagements to deliver certain quantities. and minute acquaintance with the situation and con- About two-thirds of the opium used to be smuggled into cerns of the people, render him best qualified to dis-China, until the Chinese stopped the importation; and charge: the curnum, who keeps the accounts of culti-one-third was sent to the eastern isles, Java, Sumatra, vation, and registers everything connected with it: the &c. Salt has also been an article of valuable taxation. talliar (constable), or totie (watchman); the duty of the It has been manufactured on the coast of the Bay of fornier appearing to consist in gaining information of Bengal exclusively for the Company. Before it reaches crimes and offences, and in escorting and protecting the consumer, its price is enhanced five, eight, or ten persons travelling from one village to another; the fold. The Company have realised a gross revenue of province of the latter appearing to be more imme- £2,000,000 per annum from this monopoly. diately confined to the village, consisting, among other The customs drawn by the Company consist partly duties, in guarding the crops, and assisting in mea- of taxes collected at the seaports on foreign goods suring them: the boundary man, who preserves the brought in, and partly of transit duties, levied on goods limits of the village, or gives evidence concerning them passing through the country. There are provincial in cases of dispute: the superintendent of the tanks duties, paid in passing from one presidency to another; and water-courses, who distributes the water therefrom town duties, on certain articles at the gates of towns; for the purposes of agriculture: the Brahmin, who per- and market duties, levied at the market stations where forms the village worship: the schoolmaster, who is seen fairs are held. To collect these taxes, and guard against teaching the children in the villages to read and write contraband trade, there are customhouses, called cho. in the sand : the calendar Brahmin, or astrologer, who | kies, at every considerable village. In the single district
of Madura, with a million of souls, in the Madras pre- or other officer authorised for that purpose, at such
In 1843-4, the annual revenue was £17,015,973, but Indo-Britons, Hindoos, or other natives, are now placed
may prove an inconvenience; but in the extraordinary As may be generally known, an act of parliament condition of the whole Indian territory, a more liberal was passed in the year 1813, permitting the free trad- policy would most likely be unsuitable, if not injurious. ing of British subjects with India, reserving the com- As it is, England may expect to derive very great admerce of China to the Company; the territorial and vantages from the policy pursued. To use the words of commercial branches were separated, as well as all Dr Wallich, superintendent of the Company's botanic accounts connected with them; and the sovereign was gardens at Calcutta - The Company's territories in empowered to create a bishop of India, and three arch- India are productive of every article which can conduce deacons, to be paid by the Company. This act, which was to the happiness of men; and it only requires skill, and in force till the 22d day of April 1834, did not afford ingenuity, and encouragement, both to the natives and perfect freedom of trade to India, yet it led towards Europeans in India, to select everything that can posthat desirable result, and greatly increased the com- sibly be desired. As the Indian population possess a merce with the East. By the act 3d and 4th Will. IV. taste for British manufactures, a reciprocal benefit will cap. 85, passed in August 1833, entitled ' An act for be the result of every increase of intercourse. effecting an arrangement with the East India Company, and for the better government of his Majesty's Indian
NATIVE POPULATION-HINDOOS. territories, till the 30th day of April 1854,' the Com- The bulk of the population of India is composed of pany were deprived of the exclusive right of trading Hindoos, the primitive inhabitants of the country, and with China, and ordained to close the whole of their forming one of the most ancient nations in the world. commercial business, and make sale of their merchan- This race was distinguished for their humanity, gentledise, stores, and effects, so far as regarded commercial ness, industry, and were polished by letters and arts, assets. It was further ordained that the whole debts at a time when most of their Asiatic neighbours were of the Company should be chargeable upon the revenues yet only in the first stages of civilisation. This remarkof their Indian territories, but leaving a yearly divi- able people have preserved their national character dend of 10 per cent. to be retained by the Company; for thousands of years, even under the dominion of this dividend to be redeemable by parliament. The foreigners, and have retained to the present day their Company to pay into the Bank of England £2,000,000 language, their written characters, their local governannually, till the sum of £12,000,000 is accumulated, ment, religion, manners, customs, and habits of life. as a security fund to the government. The other prin- The Hindoos are in general of a brownish-yellow comcipal provisions were—A board of commissioners, to be plexion, but the higher and richer classes are almost appointed by the king, to superintend affairs of India; as white as Europeans. They are somewhat above the Bengal presidency to be divided into two presidencies middle height, well proportioned, and very flexible and -Fort-William (Calcutta) and Agra; the whole govern- dexterous. Temperance, frugality, hospitality, and ment, civil and military, of India, to be vested in a obliging manners, are the favourable traits in their. governor-general and councillors.
character; but they are now reproached with indolence The 81st clause is in these terms :— And be it and avarice. With proper discipline, they form excelenacted, That it shall be lawful for any natural-born lent soldiers and faithful servants of the Company. subject of his majesty to proceed by sea to any port or They possess great natural talents, but are at present place having a customhouse establishment within the deprived of opportunities for their development. They said territories, and to reside thereat, or to proceed to practise agriculture, breeding of cattle, fishing, hunting, and reside in, or pass through, any part of such of the and mining, and are largely engaged in manufactures, said territories as were under the government of the commerce, and navigation. They manufacture cloths said Company on the 1st day of January 1800, and in of great variety and value, particularly cotton and silk, any part of the countries ceded by the nabob of the among which are the finest muslins and shawls, mats, Carnatic, of the province of Cattack, and of the settle- cordovan leather, &c. and are inimitable in dyeing. ments of Singapore and Malacca, without any license In the arts of music and singing they are backward, whatever; provided that all subjects of his majesty, but in dancing, statuary, and architecture, they are not natives of the said territories, shall, on their arrival more advanced. They are acquainted with arithmetic, in any port of the said territories, from any port or astronomy, and chronology, and are fond of poetry. place not within the said territories, make known in The most extraordinary peculiarity in the Hindoos writing their names, places of destination, and objects is their division into castes, or perfectly distinct orders of pursuit in India, to the chief officer of the customs, of society, which have existed from the remotest times.
There are four castes, and it is strictly enjoined by the is more theoretic than practical. The altered state of Hindoo religion that no transition from one to another society has obliged members of the aristocratic castes to shall take place: no connection between them by mar- engage in divers eroployments or trades not permitted riage or any other way is allowed, and no individual of by their religion; but to accomplish this object, various one class can assume the habits or engage in the occu- subterfuges and self-deceptions are practised. Besides, pations of another. The distinction is complete in there have arisen a prodigious variety of subdivisions every sense, hereditary and personal; all the privileges by the intermixture of castes; and the employments or disabilities are inherited; no one is permitted to allowed to these mixed or impure castes may be said become what he is destined to be by his natural abili- to be every description of handicraft and occupation for ties, but is obliged to become only what his birth per- which the wants of human society have created a de. mits, or to remain what it condemns him to be. The mand. In point of fact, we are told by the best authority, slightest transgression of these laws is punished with that men of all castes may be seen working together in loss of caste, and sometimes, in particular cases, with one handicraft employment. A kind of purity of caste death. Even the difference of food is precisely marked is perhaps, nevertheless, kept up by the members of out. The three higher castes are prohibited entirely different castes not eating with each other, or not the use of flesh; the fourth is allowed all kinds except eating forbidden things. It is related that purity of beef; all others are outcasts, and may eat what they caste is sustained by means of clubs or lodges scattered please. Thus the lower the rank of the Hindoo, the throughout Hindoostan, and existing in considerable less he is restricted in the matter of meat and drink; force in every large town; yet it seems that excombut, on the other hand, the burdensome restrictions munication from these fraternities is, upon the whole, increase with the inferiority of rank.
unable to prevent the breaking down of ancient habits, The first, or most noble caste of the Hindoos, are or to subdue the disposition to imitate the English in denominated Brahmins ; they are priests, scholars, the arts of civilised life. The Hindoo races are indeed teachers, lawyers, and state officers, and are required described as now exceedingly anxious for improvement; to be virtuous, learned, peaceable, just, and self-deny- and it is rational to expect that through the means of ing. The second order is the Kyetra, who are kings schools for education, and a conciliatory behaviour on and warriors; and they are required to have a thirst the part of their British neighbours, they will attain for glory, to die rather than retreat, and to be generous no small degree of cultivation, to captives. They preserve the ancient name of Rajahpoots, by way of distinction, in their old hereditary
HINDOO RELIGION AND LANGUAGE, dominions. The third order, which is called Bhysya, The religious belief of the Hindoos is called Brah. or Vaisa, are husbandmen and merchants. The fourth minism, and is founded on a most extensive collection caste is that of the Soodras, who are labourers, and of sacred records, of which the Brahinins are allowed they are enjoined to serve with patience and fidelity. A to be the sole expounders. “These sacred writings,' lower caste, if it can be called such, are the Parias- says Mr Statham, in bis Indian Recollections,' are those unhappy beings who have lost their station in the of two kinds—the Vedas and Shastres. The former noble orders, and who are obliged to do whatever no may be termed their Scriptures, the latter expositions one else can do without pollution. They are not only of them. Beass Muni--that is, Beass the Inspired, a reckoned unclean themselves, but they render unclean prophet who lived in the reign of Judistheer, on the everything they touch. They are deprived of all civil banks of the Jumna, near the present city of Delhi, privileges, and stigmatised by particular laws, regulat- collected all the detached pieces which form the Vedas, ing their mode of life, their houses, and their furniture; from all parts of India, and gave them their present they are not allowed to enter the temples of the other form and arrangement. They are divided into four orders, but must worship by themselves. Their houses books, all written in the Sanscrit. The first book is are miserable hovels, distant from cities and villages. called Rug Veda, which signifies the Science of Divina
The Brahmins, who are not legitimately entitled to tion, concerning which it principally treats. The second possess property, and who must live upon the bounty is distinguished by the title of Sheham, which signifies of others for their support, cherish in the people the Piety or Devotion, and this book treats of religious and most debasing superstitions, and exact from them the moral duties. The third is the Judger Veda, which, as most profound veneration. Instead of being holy, the word implies, includes the whole science of Reliharmless, and undefiled, they are vicious, tyrannical, gious Rites and Ceremonies. The fourth is denomiavaricious, and to the last degree impure. This in- nated Obater Bah: in the Sanscrit, obater signifies the famous aristocracy is the curse of India, and presents being or essence, and bah, good; this, literally intera barrier to the attempts which have been made to preted, is the knowledge of the Good Being, and ac. meliorate the condition of the inferior orders. We cordingly this book comprehends the whole science of believe the Kyetra and Bhysya castes are nearly ex- theology and metaphysical philosophy. tinct, and that the Hindoo nation is now composed The Vedas, as also the Shastres or commentaries, principally of Brahmins and Soodras, with their sub- pretend to great antiquity; so much so, that many divisions. These subdivisions are innumerable:-Every Europeans have been strangely staggered in their belief trade, every peculiar department of service, has its of the Mosaic chronology by reading them. But it class, wherefore the retinue of servants to be kept is only requires a little consideration and research to very large ; for the man who carries in your water discover a vein of imposition running through the cannot wait at table, nor the man who cooks a dinner whole of their details. They reckon the duration of serve it up, nor the servant who waits at table sweep the world by four ages, extending altogether to about the room; and the same kind of classification goes on eight millions of years; but the fallacy of this reckoning through all the pursuits of life. In a number of in- has been fully exposed by astronoinical observation. stances, Brahmins have become soldiers in the service The idea which the Shastres give of God is, that thcre of the East India Company, but without engaging in is one Supreme Being, whom they style Bhogabon or menial employments; and they still claim precedence Esher, sometimes Khodah; proceeding from him nre even of kings in point of etiquette. This rigorous three powers or deities--namely, Bruhmha, the Creator classification of the Hindoos undoubtedly presents an of all ; Vishnu, the Preserver of all; and Seeb or Sheva, obstacle to the advancement of Christianity, which, the Destroyer of all. Now, whilst the latter is worthough hardly thought of by the British at home, is shipped by all, the former has scarcely any attention next to insurmountable, and will retard proselytism paid to his temples ; and even Visbnu, the Preserver, for an almost indefinite period.
has few votaries coinpared with the destroyer Seeb. From recent investigations, it appears that the fore- Subordinate to these are 330,000,000 inferior gods and going rigorous classification of the Hindoos is much less goddesses, each representing some peculiar virtue or an obstacle to improvement in manners than was for- vice. The Hindoos suppose that each of the three premerly supposed. "It would seein that the classification siding powers oftentimes seeks to encroach upon the prerogative of his compeer, and thus are often quarrel- ence to the prejudices of their Hindoo neighbours, and ling and seeking to subvert each other's arrangements.' a strong predilection towards many of their ceremo
One of their most superstitious practices consists in nies.' The warlike portion of the Mohammedans hav. Forshipping or deifying the waters of the Ganges. ing recently been dislodged by the British from the This large and beautiful river extends from west to Mahratta courts, where they had found shelter, they east across an extensive district in Hindoostan Proper, have been obliged to seek employment in inferior staand with its tributaries may be reached by a very tions. The Mohammedans of India are more intel. large proportion of inhabitants in the most populous ligent, and possess greater strength and courage, than and productive part of India. The sacred ceremony of the Hindoos; but they are also more proud, jealous, adoring the Ganges consists in the population crowding revengeful, and rapacious, and their fidelity is much inorning and evening to bathe in it, and quantities of less relied on by the British government.
In some the water are carried to all parts of India, and are districts the Mohammedan population is nearly as sworn by in courts of justice.
numerous as that of the Hindoos, and both seem to The cow is an aniipal held sacred among the Hin- live in a state of mutual amity. doos, and cow-dung is used in the temples and other Besides the Hindoos and Mohammedans, there are places as a species of holy ointment. The lotus, a plant various scattered tribes in India, of a very different with tall luxuriant leaves, is likewise held in deep vene- character from either, and often inhabiting mountainous ration. Some of the temples or pagodas of the Hindoos tracts of country, and called Garrows, Monguls, Tartars, are of high antiquity and gigantic conception, majestic &c. Among the different races is found that of the appearance, and tasteful architecture. The entrance is Parsees or Persians, the ancient worshippers of fire, always made in a huge pyramid, in a number of storeys, long since driven from their native country by the per. which gradually grow narrower as they approach the secuting sword of the Arabs. Many of this people are top. Inside may be seen the cow lying down, a serpent, opulent, and they take the lead in the commercial transor some other object of adoration. Here sacrifices take actions of Bombay, Surat, and other north-western parts. place. One of the most extensive pagodas of India is Their general conduct is quiet and respectable. that of Juggernaut, whose towers are seen at twenty Notwithstanding what has been related of the strictmiles' distance. Here, as at other places, there are ness of the Hindoos regarding modes of living, they processions of idol cars, large heavy ornamented struc- seem liable to fall in with European usages. In Cal. tures, which are dragged along by the multitude amid cutta and other large towns, many of the wealthy the shouts of assembled thousands. As the wheels pass natives imitate the British in their dress, household swiftly on, self-devoted victims rush forward, throw furniture, equipages, and style of living, and show a themselves before them, and are crushed to death, strong desire to mix in their social parties, to which, exulting in the hope of thus securing a passage to the however, they rarely find access. The English take celestial abodes. The practice of widows sacrificing no pains to conciliate the friendship of the native tribes, themselves on the funeral pile of their husbands, is however well behaved and intelligent they may be. another horrid rite; but it has been suppressed in Of this foolish, surly, national pride,' says Bishop recent times by the British government.
Heber, 'I see but too many instances daily, and I am Besides Brahininism, there are a variety of religious convinced it does us much harm in this country. We beliefs and sects in India, but all less or more founded are not guilty of injustice, or wilful oppression, but we on the most gross superstitions. Each possesses its shut out the natives from our society, and a bullying, own temples, images, and orders of priesthood. The insolent manner is continually assumed in speaking to Boordhists, previous to their violent expulsion by the them.' The exclusiveness of this species of hauteur is Hindoos, were second in point of numbers; but their perhaps fully more remarkable with respect to that religion is now little known in India, and is confined class of persons who have drawn their origin from the chiefly to Thibet, Birmah, Siam, and Ceylon.
intercourse betwixt the English and natives. These There are, it is believed, four original languages in Indo-British, as they are called, form a part of the India, and of these there are some hundreds of dialects, population of Calcutta, and are a very interesting and differing less or more from each other and from the ori- increasing people. • Many of thern, says Stathan, ginals, and maintaining also a partial distinction from ' are very opulent, and others can vie with the more the introduction of Arabic, Persiac, and other foreign cultivated of their European neighbours in literary words. While, however, each tribe has its own pecu- attainments; notwithstanding this, there is a marked liar dialect, all use one language, the Sanscrit, in their contempt shown them by Europeans generally. If a sacred writings. The Sanscrit is a dead language, though European lady should wed with an Indo-Briton, the probably once spoken; it is wonderfully perfect in its doors of all the higher circles would be closed against construction, and extremely copious. Its alphabet is her, however rich the man of her choice might be.' called Devanagari, divine alphabet, because it is said This state of things will happily be modified by the to have had its origin from the gods, whose language provisions of the act already noticed. it is; it consists of fifty letters, and has three genders. The next language in estimation is the Pracrit, which comprehends the various dialects used in common writ- In the large and fertile territory of Bengal, as well ing and social intercourse. The dialects of the Pracrit as in all other parts of India where the cultivation of are spoken in Bengal, and include that which is called the soil is pursued, the art of the husbandman is, as Hindoostanee, the principal spoken tongue in India. may be expected, still in the rudest state; and in every
quarter there exists great room for improvement, which MOHAMMEDANS AND OTHER CLASSES.
nothing could so well facilitate as the settlement of According to Mr Hamilton, the modern Moham- intelligent European families. In the inundated dismedans may with safety be estimated at one-seventh tricts of Bengal, rice is the main crop which is raised, of the total population; and notwithstanding the sub- at least during the wet season : it grows to its greatest version of their political predominance by a Christian height while the lands are overflowed, and is frequently power, their religion continues to expand. They are reaped by men in canoes, the ear only being cut off, no longer, however, the sanguinary zealots who, eight and the stalk left. When the peasants go to market hundred years ago, in the name of God and the prophet, during the height of the flood, they take their families spread desolation and slaughter among the unconverted with them, lest the house should be washed off during pagans. Open violence produced little effect on so their absence with the boats. Rice is the summer patient a people; and although the Mohammedans sub-crop, requiring much heat and moisture ; but during sequently lived for centuries intermixed with Hindoos, the cool" dry season, from November to April, they no radical change was produced in the manners or sow and reap another harvest, consisting of wheat, tenets of the latter; on the contrary, for almost a cen- barley, or different kinds of pulse : this is called the tury past, the Mohammedans hare evinced much defer- dry crop, because it is reared without flooding the lands;
RURAL CHARACTERISTICS AND PRODUCTS.
the rice being considered as the wet crop, for a contrary called short staple,' and being coarse in quality, and
There are therefore two seed-times and two badly cleaned, it fetches only two-thirds of the price of harvests. Besides these regular crops, many small American short staple in the British market. The best grains are sown, which are limited to no particular quality comes from Bombay (the Guzerat); the next season of the year, and which reward the industry of from Madras; and the worst from Bengal. The cultithe cultivator with a rich vegetation at all times. vation being entirely in the hands of the natives, is
Besides the different kinds of grain, the farmers of rudely conducted; and in particular, pains are not Bengal raise a number of other products, of great value. taken to renew the plant constantly from the seed, as Of these, one of the principal is indigo: this is a small the Americans do with the most advantageous results. plant, shrubby in its growth, but in its leaves and flowers Experiments have been made under the sanction of the very much like the common tares of this country; it is Company, and by private individuals, to introduce and sown during the rains, and raised in rows or drills. cultivate finer species than those in use, but they have The leaves only are useful, on which account it is cut generally been failures. There is no doubt, however, repeatedly, without being allowed to flower, which that by the introduction of European capital and skill, would make it drier and less juicy. The leaves are the quality of Indian cotton may be much improved, steeped and beaten in a vat among water; after which and what is raised sent to the market in a much cleaner the liquid is strained through cloths, and set to evapo- and better condition. The exports of cotton from India rate in shallow troughs placed in the shade. This is to all countries amounted lately to 72,000,000 lbs., of soon effected in that warm dry climate; and the indigo which only a third part came to Great Britain. is then found deposited in a crust at the bottom. The The cultivation of the sugar-cane is pursued with process requires much preparation and expense; and it great success in Bengal and other parts of India, but has only succeeded well since the country has enjoyed chiefly by the natives, for domestic use. peace, and there has been a prospect of employing of bruising the canes is on a rude plan, and the sugar large capitals with security. It now produces, however, which is produced is from this or some other cause very a large return to the cultivators; and gives a new inferior to the sugar of the West Indies. In no article source of wealth to the country. It is cultivated along of produce is there greater room for improvement than the whole course of the Ganges up to Delhi, and is an in this. The cultivation of the cane requires great care annual in the lower, but a triennial in the upper pro- and skill, and the mechanism for extracting and previnces. It succeeds best on overflowed grounds, and paring the sugar can only be erected at a great outlay in dry seasons is apt to fail. The number of factories of capital. It is anticipated that when Europeans are of indigo in the Bengal presidency is estimated at 300 permitted to hold lands freely, and to embark capital or 400. A few of them belong to natives; but they on sugar plantations, sugar of good quality may be are chiefly in the hands of Englishmen, who take leases manufactured much cheaper than in the West Indies, of 10,000 or 20,000 acres of land, in the name of na- where the price of labour is much higher, tire servants (not being allowed to hold it in their The bamboo, a species of cane or reed, is, much culown), from a zemindar for the purpose. They encou- tivated in Bengal. It grows to the amazing height of rage the ryots (native cultivators) to raise crops of the forty feet; and though it arrives at perfection in two plant, by making advances to them in money. They years, it has all the firmness of the hardest timber. It purchase the produce at a price agreed on, and erect has joints like a reed, or like grass, and is, like them, works for extracting the dye from the plant; the whole quite hollow; yet it is so strong that the porters of the of the operations being generally conducted by native country use it for suspending the heaviest burthens labourers, under native superintendents. It is observed between their shoulders. It is used for beams and that the establishment of such factories raises the value uprights in building houses; and being protected from of land, extends cultivation, and spreads a certain de damp by a kind of natural varnish, it will last in such gree of improvement in the villages. The importa- situations for a hundred years. It serves also for tion of Bengal indigo into Britain began about forty making bridges, for the masts of small boats, and for years ago, and has since increased to an amazing extent. innumerable other purposes; yet of this useful mateIt is calculated that about 11,000,000 lbs. are annually rial, one acre of land will yield ten times as much as exported from the country, of which 7,000,000 lbs. come the same space will produce of other wood. None of to Britain, and the rest goes to America, France, Ger- the productions of India puts so many conveniences, in many, Sweden, &c. In Bengal alone £1,680,000 are regard to furniture, houses, boats, &c. within reach of expended for rent and labour in its production, and it the poorer classes, as the bamboo. It would require a realises in Europe a sum of £3,600,000. In the coun- volume to mention even the names of the plants useful tries named, Bengal indigo is silently obtaining a pre-to man which flourish in the luxuriant soil of Benference over every other.
gal. Cotton, tobacco, the opium poppy, rape (which Silk is raised in great quantities in Bengal and Orissa, is cultivated for the sake of its oil), cucumbers, vegebetween the latitudes of 22° and 26°, and it has hitherto table marrow (as one of the gourd tribe is called), and been very nearly a monopoly in the hands of the Com- innumerable other plants, always afford a plentiful pany. It is chiefly produced by the native Indian worm, harvest. Of fruit-trees there are the mango, which is which affords four crops, or sometimes six in the year: something like our peach, the date-tree, the tamarind, the Italian worm, which was introduced half a century the guava, the pomegranate, and others. Another proago, yields only one crop a year, but of a finer quality. duction, which is peculiar to warm climates, and which The Indian silk, compared with the best European grows in high perfection along the sea-coasts, is the varieties, is ' foul, uneven, and wants staple;' but its cocoa-palm. This tree would of itself be almost suffi. cheapness has brought it into 'extensive consumption. cient for the subsistence of mankind in the countries The Company have eleven factories, or 'filatures,' where it grows, so various and useful are its products; which form the centres of 'circles,' within which the indeed there are some populous islands--the Maldives cultivation of silk is carried on, each having a certain and Laccadives---where little else is cultivated. number of subordinate stations. The silk, in the raw In the interior of India, the tea-plant is said to state, is purchased from the ryots at the factories or sub- flourish, and is likely to become of great importance to factories, wound off the cocoons, and prepared for trans- the trade of the country. Districts lying between the mission to Europe. About 2,000,000 lbs, are annually 26th and 28th degrees of north latitude, and the 94th brought to England, of which a very small quantity (one and 96th degrees of east longitude, are described as posper cent.) is equal to the finest silk; the mass of it is sessing this shrub in abundance, and of a quality equal decidedly inferior. There is strong ground to conclude, to that of China. In Assam, which lies between Bengal however, that the production of silk in India will yet and Thibet, the attempt has lately been made to cultibe greatly increased.
vate and gather the product of the tea-plant for purCotton has long been cultivated by the natives in all poses of commerce. In 1838, ninety chests of it were the three presidencies. It is universally of the kind | imported into London, and found to be of a good quality.