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theconsequentdangerof his English friends, decide his wavering fancy; and when the Trevellyns have at last got safe outside the beleaguered walls, and are domiciled at Florence, there is one of the party whose absence makes the Eternal City a wilderness, and tempts the student of ancient art to be so uncivil as to bid " the Venus go to the devil!" The letters from the young lady (who is rather of the quiet and reticent type) to her friends are short, and chiefly to be interpreted from what they do not say; but she could hardly be expected to profess auy great attraction on her part towards a lover who plainly does not know his own real mind, and who defines love as a result of juxtaposition. As Claude himself puts it,
"Juxtaposition is great; but, my friend,
I fear me, the maiden Hardly would thank or acknowledge the
lover who sought to obtain her, Not as the thing he would wish, but the
thing he must even put up with,— Hardly would tonder her band to the
wooer that candidly told her That she is but fur a space, an ad interim
solace and pleasure. That in the end sho shall yield to aperfect
and excellent something."
Well—no; we do not think this ad interim form of devotion will ever be really popular with the fair sex; the old professions about eternal fidelity, if not more sincere, at least had a better sound. The march of progress has scarcely yet produced the disinterested young lady who will be content to yield in the end—however far off that may be—" to a perfect and absolute something." The only parallel to this remarkable philosophy of human courtship, as set forth by Mr Claude, is in the strange theory propounded by an anonymous disciple of Swedenborg, that every man or woman has, somewhere or other, within the boundaries of existence, a lost half, towards which he or she is continually struggling, never to be found or embraced in this lower sphere, but which shall surely be met with in a more complete state of existence, when a per
feet and mystical whole shall be the result of this long-deferred union; meanwhile,inthispresentworld,each has to put up with such supplementary and temporary half—better or worse—as circumstances, or "juxtaposition," allow. The denouement of the affair is amusing enough, and certainly original. The 'Amours de Voyage' come to an end, or rather to a stand-still, because the lover cannot get his mistress's direction. Like all undecided people, of course, the moment that the chance is gone, Claude becomes eager in his endeavour to recall it. He finds that he was really in love; and Mary Trevellyn, in a letter with three postscripts,'betrays that she is too. But the family are off on a long foreign tour, and by a series of mistakes and accidents, though Claude follows them to Florence, to Milan, to Pisa, and elsewhere, and now and then crosses their track, he never recovers the clue; gradually his fancy seems to cool, and he acquiesces in his destiny of disappointment—"Great is fate." The poem leaves him preparing to go on to Egypt, while the Trevellyns are on the point of returning to England; where we can only hope that Mary, who is a nice sensible girl enough, will find a lover rather more decided, and not so entirely dependant on juxtaposition as Mr Claude.
The last stories in the volume, entitled ' Man Magno,' and supposed to be written on shipboard during a voyage across the Atlantic, are announced by the editor as not having received the author's revision, and are scarcely equal to the rest of the book. They are tales in the style of Crabbe, but with little of his vigour, and had better have remained unpublished. As the last verses from his friend's hand, they had naturally a special interest in Mr Palgrave's eyes; but their insertion leads to a doubt whether this selection (for we believe it by no means includes all Air Clough's poetical remains) has in all cases been made with the soundest judgment
Whatever opinion may be formed
of Mr Clough's positive performances as a poet, few will deny him the possession of a poetical fancy equally graceful and original. The hand of the scholar and the thinker guides the pen throughout. Neither his thoughts nor his rhythm are the echoes of others. His opinions, if they run counter to many of our own, are never bitterly or uncharitably expressed. And we cannot do better than part from him in Borne of the most touching stanzas in the volume before us, written in Ms earlier years :—
"As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
When fell the light, up sprung^the breeze,
Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas
E'en so—but why the tale reveal
Brief absence joined anew to feel,
At dead of nirrht their sails were filled. And onward each rejoicing steered—
Ah, neither blame, for neither willed, Or wist, what first with dawn appeared!
To veer, how vain ! on, onward strain,
Brave barks! in light, in darkness too, Through winds and tides one compass guides—
To that, and your own selves, be true.
But, 0 blithe breeze ! and O great seas! Though ne'er, that earliest parting past,
On your wido plain they join again,
One port, methoug-ht, alike they sought,
0 bounding breeze, O rushing seas! At last, at last, unite them there!"
THE LAND REVENUE OF INDIA.
It is related that, when M. Jacquemont had concluded his travels in India, he happened to dine in company with Mr Holt Mackenzie, while passing through Calcutta en route for Europe. In the course of conversation, the traveller informed the Secretary that he had seen the whole of India, and made himself acquainted with all that it contained except the Land Revenue. He had heard that Mr Mackenzie was one of the best authorities; would he oblige him by giving such a sketch of the subject as might be feasible in five minutes 1 To whom the Secretary gravely made reply to this effect, That he had, for the last thirty-five years of his life, given his attention to scarcely anything else, and that he was by no means sure that he had yet quite mastered the subject; he did not, therefore, think that. M. Jacquemont would be able to quite understand it in five minutes.
Now, whatever basis of truth there may bo either in Mr Mackenzie's supposed saying, or in the story itself, it is very certain that the subject has been one which was long held to be very difficult, and
which did occupy himself and other thinkers of powerful and practised intellects for a very long period.
In the latter part of the last century a number of commercial agents, imperfectly acquainted either with the peculiar facts of Indian society, or with the European science of political economy, gave advice which led, in Lower Bengal, to the introduction, by Sir Philip Francis and Lord Cornwallis, of a combined system of perpetual leases and large holdings. It is well known that the object was to create a landed aristocracy, who should have an interest in improving the land. Flushed with the grandeur of this programme, the Court of Directors, on obtaining the cessioii of the Allahabad provinces a few years later, promised to introduce the same system there. But, in the mean time, the Bengal system became the subject of much hostile criticism among officials, and the permanent settlement was deferred till the viceroyship of Lord Hastings. An inquiry was then instituted, of which the documents may still he seen by the curious; and of which the upshot was the drafting, by
Mr Holt Mackenzie, of the regulation known as No. VII. of 1822. Further experience suggested other improvements; till at length, in 1849, James Thomason, then Lieutenant-Governor of the Upper (N.W.) Provinces, promulgated his 'Directions to Settlement Officers,' on which—slightly modified in detail—all subsequent practice, both there and in the Punjab, has been based; and the settlements remained open to periodical revision.
Now, it does certainly appear, from the above resume of very well-known facts, that the periodical renewal of leases has been a second thought, laboriously developed by long and patient study, as an improvement upon an earlier and a more hasty method of proceeding.
The exceptional period of 1857— when the mutiny of upwards of one hundred thousand soldiers left the Government for a time comparatively powerless in many districts of Upper India—did, unquestionably, lead to a good deal of agrarian misconduct; and a similar result would doubtless follow a similar misfortune were it to occur in Ireland. But we cannot avail ourselves of the experience of such periods of fiery trial, otherwise than by carefully watching what part of the fabric it was that they attacked. In the case in question, it was not the periodicity of the Government leases that was ever alleged by the rural malcontents as a grievance, nor were their efforts directed to render it permanent; the leading feature of the outbreak was an attempt to displace the moneyed men who had succeeded to the old hereditary occupants of the land in the course of civilisation. Again, to think of what has taken place of late years in Ireland will explain how this happened. Small proprietors, an inexorable demand, habits of unthrift, and something like an efficient system of civil justice and police; such a combination of causes will be certain everywhere to throw the land more and more into the hands of frugal men of business. In Ben
gal the same thing had notoriously long ago taken place under the Permanent Settlement; but it had produced no outbreak, because the times were not favourable to outbreaks.
A few weeks after the transfer of the Government of India, which followed the events of 1857, Lord Stanley addressed the GovernorGeneral (No. 2, dated December 31, 1858) on the twofold question of perpetual grants of waste land, and a commutation of the land revenue. The former was a measure connected with a hope of European colonisation for India, which was then springing up; the latter arose, as it were, in the course of the correspondence, and was recommended, rather than enjoined, in estates already settled in perjxtuity. In regard to periodical tenures, a greater difficulty was admitted; but the subject was suggested for deliberation, and with a view to the ultimate adoption of measures calculated to benefit all classes of the community.
The opinions of subordinate governments were then called for, and a mass of documents collected, which occupy a hundred and eightyseven pages of a printed return, which has been recently obtained by Mr Smollett.
For fully two years after the receipt of the reports, Lord Canning took little or no further action on the subject, until October last, just as he was leaving India. Suddenly, without, as far as appears, having replied to the Home Government, or obtained its orders, he put forth an edict conceding the perpetual grant of waste land, and proceeding to promise that, as soon as the Legislature could give practical effect to the measure, a tenth of the land revenue in each district might be commuted by the payment of a sum of ready money, whether it had been previously settled in perpetuity or not.
Great was the excitement throughout India. Local authorities went to work adjusting details; the newspapers, scenting an advantage to Europeans, were loud in their praises of the ruler for whose recall they had lately been clamouring; and the natives put their money under ground, with the suspicion they usually display whenever the Government is particularly benevolent. The attitude of expectation was fast becoming too painful to bear; when (the Indian Legislature having made no sign) a despatch issued from Sir Charles Wood's office (No. 14, dated 9th July 1862), of which the penultimate paragraph thus begins :—
"Your Excellency in Council will understand that the instructions contained in this despatch supersede at once the provisions of the resolution of 17th October 1861."
Her Majesty's Government, however, are in favour of the introduction of a perpetual assessment of the Indian land revenue wherever it may be assumed to have reached its probable limit. They are of opinion, with the late lamented Colonel Baird Smith, and the distinguished ex-Governor of the Punjab, Sir John Lawrence, that the loss to the State from such a plan will be but slight, and will soon be made good from other sources. It may be feared that they are in favour of a principle which, if its application be not carefully watched, would revolutionise the fiscal system of an ancient people, and burden every tax-payer for the sako of a small class.
For Sir Charles very frankly admits that the present land revenue is not a tax (par. 42). A hot discussion on nomenclature very often precedes inquiries on Indian fiscal affairs, some calling the demand from land a tribute, which is expressed by khiraj, the name which it bears in the Mohammedan books; others as stoutly maintaining that it is only a landlord's rent, the zemindars being merely officials or farmers. But the real question is not affected by this controversy, unless it will help us to decide whether prices of commodities are enhanced by the system. At first sight it would be supposed that food, which is the produce of land,
would be cheaper if the land paid all its profits to the occupant; but the contrary fact has been shown to be true by Mr Kicardo, and is now generally admitted, as far as pure rent is concerned, because rent is (as defined by Mr Mill) "the difference between the return made to the most productive portions, and that which is made to the least productive portion of capital expended on the land" The zemindar will pay, in like manner, a higher rate of Government demand on the commencement of a new settlement, in proportion as necessity of expending more capital on waste and other land raises up other competitors, who will accept the lease should he refuse it. The Indian land revenue, therefore, resembles pure rent, at least so far, that it depends ultimately upon the nature of the competition for land, and on the necessary uniformity in the rate of profit for the time being derivable from the profession of agriculture. The less rent is paid, the less return is got. And the result of any diminution of the demand from the landholder will either be, as expected by Sir C. Wood, that he will spend more on improvement; or, as we are inclined to fear, that he will spend more on his own luxuries, on fakeers and fireworks. No one thinks that the consumer will profit. Indeed, it appears that, as long at least as a man can afford to follow any profession, the price he will realise for his produce will be just as much as he can get, and will not be affected by the cost of production. Thus, let us suppose a tailor to have settled, twenty years ago, at Melbourne, and to have enjoyed the monopoly of supplying the Melbouruians with clothing, is it to be supposed that his prices would not have yielded him a considerable margin over the cost of production! But as soon as other tailors began to compete for the custom of the inhabitants, prices, we feel sure, would fall, though the cost of production might remain the same, or even rise. The discovery of large quantities of gold,
of course, subsequently enhanced the rates; but this enhancement was merely apparent, and was simultaneous with a general fall in the value of money. Precisely similar results would be expected in the case of the zemindars. They would pay more for the land in proportion as there was less land available; and they would get as much for their produce as they could in the state of the money market and of the produce market.
And in point of fact, we find that not only are there no countries in which the price of food is so low as those in which the income of the State is derived from land (that is, all over the East), but that, though we have lately considerably lowered tlte rates of demand from land, the price of food in India has been at the same time rising. This rise has, no doubt, been partly caused by the increase of sea commerce, and of the amount of money circulating in the country, and partly by the introduction of income-tax and of indirect taxation; but the result is not the less curious and instructive, as indisputably showing that, like the " rent" of the Economists, the land revenue does not enhance the price of food, whatever may be the result of other imposts. The Secretary for India, and other contributors to the papers before us, state in so many words that, of late years, in British India, the rate of assessment on land has been diminishing, and the price of its produce has been rising.*
Sir C. Wood tells the GovernorGeneral (in the course of condemning a policy of redemption) that "a direct permanent settlement of the land revenue is free from the objection arising from capitalising the income of the State" (par. 40 and 41). Yet, pursuing the subject in the next clause, and in the next but three, he does not deny that "the consequence of a permanent settlement of the land revenue is to preclude the Government from
ever obtaining any farther augmentation from that source;" that "the experience of all countries, advancing in civilisation, demonstrates that the cost of administration is always tending to increase;" and that, on the other hand, as a necessary compensation, "the Government may rightly claim to participate in those advantages which accrue from the general progress of society" (par. 42 and 45). These admissions he endeavours to meet, first, by denying the probability of any great loss of revenue from the proposed measure; and, secondly, by promising "increased taxation in other forms."
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the paragraphs from which the above selections have been made, are little more than a cloud under which the author or authors conceal the flaws of their reasoning from themselves, if not from others. Is it not perfectly clear, that to fix the amount of receipts so that they cannot be hereafter increased, must be, at least, as great a prospective injury to the revenue as to capitalise them; and that, therefore, whatever objections can be brought against the one, apply with identical force against the other? Further, is it not a perversion of logic, so great as to seem almost wilful, for a writer to begin with stating that the land revenue is not a tax, and then to talk of replacing its waste by other forms of taxation?
The advocates of a permanent settlement are Colonel Baird Smith and Sir J. Lawrence, both of them alive to its great promise of popularity, but each far too prudent not to confine his advocacy to cases in which the assessment of the Government demand on land has reached its maximum.
Practical experience leads the writer of these pages to think that this limitation — which has been adopted in the despatch—reduces the approval of a permanent settle
* It must be borne in mind that though rates have been lowered, the whole revenue from land, like that from other sources, has been steadily progressiv