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have always oppressed their subjects. I mean only that, as regards sympathy and the charities of life, they have been foreigners to the great mass of the people. A true imperial government, though foreign in blood, cannot be considered so foreign in feeling and interest to the races over whom its sway may extend as the ruling caste of Hindoos was to the castes excluded from participation in the government. . . .

The men to whom British dominion is really an object of dislike are the great men, who, supported by many followers, might have hoped, in the scramble for power which was going on when we established our rule, and which would probably still be going on if we had not intervened, to have retained or acquired sovereignties of greater or less extent. But these are men who have not any common purpose. They may all wish to overthrow us, but for different and inconsistent objects. And even if they had a common purpose, their education and habits disable them from combining together for the accomplishment of it. No one of them desires to be the vassal of any other of them. I believe that if every native of India who could dream of aspiring to the sceptre of an Indian empire were asked who, next to himself, he would consider most fit to exercise imperial power over the natives of the peninsula, he would answer, 'Queen Victoria,' if he knows there is a Queen Victoria; if not, 'The East India Company.'

It must not be forgotten either, that in India we govern, not one homogeneous nation, but a large assemblage of different [and hostile] nations. The Bengali race might, even in the highest stage of civilisation, desire to be governed by a Bengali rather than by a British prince. The same may be said of the Tamil, of the Mahratta, of the Hindi, of the Mogul, and of the Seikh races. But there is not the shadow of a reason for supposing that the Bengalis would wish to take the chance of an imperial Seikh or Mogul government proving more disinterested and philanthropic than an imperial British government."

It is probable too that, as regards the safe and efficient composition of our native army, India affords us facilities such as no other country ever offered to its foreign conquerors; facilities of which the warnings and experience we have had will enable us to take full advantage. We have to deal, not with one united people, but with many uncongenial ones; with na

tions among which no combination can be more than temporary and superficial; with tribes, a large proportion of which are warlike, amenable to discipline, trained to military fidelity; and, above all, with a variety of races differing from each other in religion, in caste, in origin, in habits, full of mutually inimical traditions, and for generations accustomed to make war upon each other, to burn each other's villages, to ravage each other's fields. We have high-caste men, low-caste men, and men of no caste at all; Mahometans and Hindoos; Sikhs, Ghoorkas, and Mahrattas; in a word, we have such a vast range of excellent and safe materials to choose among, that it seems a strange fatality indeed that has hitherto induced us to compose

the chief portion of our Bengal army of men of one locality, of one clan, and of one caste,-and that caste too the most troublesome and dangerous of all. We think there can be no doubt that by a judicious selection from the rich materials ready to our hand, by never recruiting largely or exclusively from one district, by never permitting pleas of caste to interfere with obedience or military discipline, by declining the service of all highcaste men who will not submit to this condition, by retaining the artillery and the fortified places entirely in European hands, and by a variety of arrangements which practical sagacity will dictate, but on which we cannot venture to pronounce dogmatically,—such, probably, as reducing the amount of the regular force, and replacing it by an efficiently organised police, and modifying the system of promotion both among native and European officers, we may succeed in reconstituting an Indian army which shall at once yield us better service, cause us less anxiety, and involve us in less expense, than that which has just broken to pieces in our hands. Of one thing we feel quite convinced,—and the terrible catastrophe we have witnessed has in no degree shaken our conviction,—a native army we must have. We shall need it as a measure of security, as well as for the sake of economy. Not only are native troops better adapted to the climate, and able to move more rapidly than Europeans; not only are they far cheaper; not only does their employment enable us to flaunt less offensively and incessantly in the faces of the Hindoos the fact of their subjection to a foreign conqueror; but their enrolment is simply necessary in order to absorb those turbulent and adventurous spirits which abound in every land, but which absolutely swarm in a country like India, where for centuries predatory warfare has been the life-long occupation of all the more energetic races.* *

Our position in Hindostan, then, we consider to be one full of ample means, and golden opportunities, and rare facilities; but in order to develop all these advantages as they deserve, that uniformity and persistency of political action of which we have just spoken is especially indispensable. It will not do to proceed now upon the principle of maintaining, and now upon the principle of absorbing, the native states; now of encouraging, and now of eschewing, native agency; now of humouring, and now of disregarding, the native prejudices. We must govern India by means of men who are not only trained to the art of government, but who are guided by fixed principles, and devoted to steady aims. Now hitherto, although from time to time our policy even in India has wavered and undergone many modi

* In Colonel Sleeman's work (ii. p. 83) will be found a striking exemplification and confirmation of these remarks.

fications, yet it has been more uniform and scientific there than in any other part of our empire. And that it has been so is owing to the fact that the government of India has been committed to a body, a sort of self-elected, continuous, and very clannish corporation, wholly aloof from, and unaffected by, the politics of party and the British passions of the day. Till 1833, the East India Company had a direct pecuniary interest in the good management of the vast dependency committed to their charge; and though since that date this motive for care and skill has been withdrawn, yet the old traditions have survived, and the same system has in the main been pursued. It is true, indeed, that the Board of Control has all along been the paramount power, and has been able to force its own views and orders upon Leadenhall Street whenever a difference of opinion occurred. Yet two circumstances coalesced to centre the real administration in the hands of the directors. Practically the initiative of all measures rested with them, while the Board of Control in nineteen cases out of twenty merely exercised a supervision and a veto; and again, the one board was to a great extent a continuous, homogeneous, and united body, while the heads at least of the other were perpetually changing with the party defeats or victories of the day, and were never the leading politicians on either side. But much inconvenience has resulted from this double government; many mistakes have been committed; much responsibility has been unrighteously and mischievously evaded; and now that India has become the prominent question of the day, it is certain that the old arrangement will no longer be suffered to continue. India must henceforth be governed by a ministerial department, like our other dependencies, and be brought under the more direct control of Parliament; and it cannot be denied that much uneasiness is felt at the prospect, and that this uneasiness is not without foundation.*

It is unquestionably true that the constituencies of England, however competent to deal with English questions and to legislate for English people, are at present deplorably disqualified for directing or inspiring the management of affairs in a peculiar

* It would be unjust and ungracious to omit this opportunity of recording our conviction that the Company's government of India has not only been far superior to that of the mother country over any of her other dependencies, but that for a long period, and as a whole, it has been wise, righteous, and beneficent in a rare degree. Mr. Mill, one of the severest critics of that body, bears in his history the following striking testimony to its merits: "I believe it will be found that the Company, during the period of their sovereignty, have done more in behalf of their subjects, have shown more good-will towards them, have shown less of a selfish attachment to mischievous powers lodged in their own hands, have displayed a more generous welcome to schemes of improvement, and are more willing to adopt improvements, not only than any other sovereign existing in the same period, but than all other sovereigns taken together on the face of the globe."

dependency like Hindostan. They are doubly disqualified: by temperament and by ignorance; and again, by unconsciousness of the perils of that temperament and the depth and range of that ignorance. It is true, likewise, that the narrow and pig-headed fanaticism of our middle classes would be fraught with terrible danger if brought to bear directly upon Indian politics. We may well tremble at the idea of an inflammable Hindoo and Mussulman population of a hundred and fifty millions governed from the hustings and from Exeter Hall,-of the lives of our handful of countrymen, and the interests and feelings of our myriads of Oriental subjects, at the mercy of the varying caprices of the ten-pounders, or the obstinate and impatient bigotry of the saints. In imagination, no doubt, the prospect seems full enough of possible dangers: in practical result, however, we may feel confident that most of these dangers will be wholly averted, or vastly mitigated, by the inconsistent and illogical good sense which rescues our nation from the consequences of so many blunders. In the first place, India will now become a topic of national and parliamentary interest, which it has never been before. Indian debates will fill the House instead of emptying it. Every point connected with that wonderful peninsula will be discussed, studied, investigated, controverted. Election speeches will be full of nothing else. The press will teem with articles, often brimming with ignorance and folly; often also, however, rich with thorough knowledge and matured experience. A whole session, in both Houses, will be devoted to this absorbing question. Men's ideas will be gradually cleared; public opinion will become rapidly enlightened; and in the course of a year or two a distinct national policy will have been formed on all the main principles at issue. India will become, perhaps, to a certain extent a party subject; but the party differences will turn only on minor points. In the second place, the importance which Indian questions will henceforth assume will insure that the President of the Board of Control-the MINISTER FOR INDIA,* that is, whatever may be his future title-shall be selected from among the most able and eminent statesmen of his party; not, as hitherto, from the most unmarked ones. This of itself will afford a vast security. Thirdly, the government of India having become both a cabinet and a parliamentary question, all important measures, especially if in the slightest degree involving a change of policy, will not be decided nearly as much as heretofore by the individual

*We have carefully avoided throughout this article entering into any detailed plans or suggestions; but it will deserve consideration whether this minister should not be assisted by a council of competent advisers of actual Indian experience, and whether the new ministerial department should not be so organised as to include some of the ablest officials of the existing directorial board at Leadenhall Street.

minister at the head of that department, but will have to undergo the ordeal of much previous discussion; so that even wilful and self-confident men like Lord Ellenborough will scarcely venture to indulge their idiosyncrasies of fancy or of temper as they might have done of yore. Moments of special peril, no doubt, may still arise when a change of ministry at home happens to synchronise with a critical position of diplomacy or war in India; but similar conjunctures occur in the case of our foreign relations; and we must hope that the same respect for an inaugurated policy which withholds contradictory despatches in the one case, may preclude them also in the other. But, fourthly, one of our greatest securities will arise from the circumstance that, practically, henceforth as hitherto, nearly all measures of actual administration, and most legislative measures also, will originate with the Executive Government at Calcutta. Hasty proceedings, and more particularly hasty changes, will by this means be avoided. Principles will be decided at home; suggestions even may go out from home; but nearly every thing done or proposed will be initiated in India, will undergo full consideration by experienced politicians there, and will be referred home for approval and confirmation, accompanied by all the arguments, for or against, which have been brought forward at the local seat of government. Finally,-and on this safeguard we place great reliance, -there is an extraordinary reserve-fund of good sense both in the constituencies and in Parliament, which comes into operation on all occasions of serious danger, and restrains even the most vehement politicians from persisting in extreme views. Few Englishmen, however positive, will push forward their plans or notions in the face of alarming warnings and national possibilities of evil. We are ready enough at times to play with a barrel of powder-scarcely with a magazine.

We must now turn from questions of political administration to consider the principles which should guide our management of India in matters connected with religion and morality: and there can be no subject of graver or more critical importance. We, a handful of enlightened Europeans, live among, and are called to govern, millions of subjects whose religion is not only utterly at variance with our own, but is at the same time mixed up with their daily life to a degree recorded of no other people. Under these circumstances, toleration-always a dictate of justice and wisdom-becomes a dictate of prudence and necessity likewise. But toleration, as it has its foundation in sound sense and sound morality, has its limits marked out by them also. We must in all things so act as neither to insult the faith of our subjects nor to dishonour our own. We must interfere with it only where it

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