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whose only claim to distinction is that they fill the situation, society degrades to a state which is almost inconceivable in Europe. Everything is lost sight of except the cunning faculty of serving the incompetent ruling powers so as to secure good appointments from their hands. Then rises supreme an incompetent, unintellectual, yet unscrupulous and overbearing element, which has no sympathetic relationship to the great sacrifices, the difficulties, and the future of our position in India; where true gentlemanliness disappears, intellect is undervalued, and genius is regarded as something like a stray panther or tiger. It is then, that while the people of India are treated with excessive and inexcusable arrogance, at the same time the most necessary safeguards against mutiny and rebellion are carelessly neglected ; and when popular commotions do appear, they are allowed to gather head and to reach a dangerous height before anything like effective attempts are made to deal with them.

CHAPTER VII.

SIM LA CELEBRITIES.

LORD

NORTHBROOK-THE BENGAL FAMINE-GENERAL POLICY-UM

BRA INDICA-SIR RICHARD TEMPLE-SIR WILLIAM MUIR-LORD

NAPIER OF MAGDALA-COLONEL DILLON-MR C. U. AITCHISON-
MR CHAPMAN,

ETC.

In Simla, last year, the state of matters was very different from that which I have just described. In both the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief India had the good fortune to possess able and experienced noblemen, who thoroughly understood and rose to the level of the higher responsibilities of their position. This alone was sufficient to elevate the whole tone of the society about them, in a community which so readily answers to the guidance of its official leaders ; and they had around them a considerable number of able, conscientious, and high-minded Englishmen. I was only at Simla during the month of May, but had sufficient opportunity of observing that Lord Northbrook might be compared not unfavourably with many of the greater Governor-Generals of India ; and that the instinct of the people of the country, which had led them to esteem and trust him almost from the commencement of his Viceroyship, was by no means an erroneous one. They are extremely acute, and wonderfully just judges of character, though in such a case I cannot attach much importance to their judgment; and I knew that their opinion on this subject was shared by many of the Englishmen who were best acquainted with India and most devoted to its interests. If the new Viceroy did not equal Lord Mayo in charm of personal manner, and in power of setting every one around him to work energetically on their own lines, he possessed, what is more specially needed at present, more than Lord Mayo's power of holding his great officers in hand, and of refusing to allow their specialties and crotchets being run to excess and developed to the detriment of India and of the imperial interests of Great Britain. If he had not all Lord Elgin's experience and largeminded dealing with the outlying questions of English policy, he brought to bear upon them the caution, the trained habits, the ceaseless thoughtful energy of an English statesman, in a manner which colonial and Indian officials have little opportunity of practising themselves in. If the insinuations of some of the newspaper correspondents be true, he may be deficient in Lord William Bentinck's aristocratic calmness under criticism and judicial appreciation of the value of the Indian press. But it is certain that India has in him a Governor-General of high character and of pureminded unselfish disposition, which it can greatly trust. I could not but be struck during my stay at Simla with his genuineness of character, his clearness of vision, and his unaffected kindness and consideration. Even in two mistakes which, as it seemed to me, he has made, his errors were almost redeemed by his manner of committing them. I allude to his approval of the conduct of the Panjáb officials towards Mr Downes of the Church Mission, who made an attempt to reach Kafiristan through the Kaubul territory; and to a social question which arose between Government House and Major Fenwick of the Civil and Military Gazette :' but in both these cases Lord Northbrook acted in an open manner, which excited the respect even of some who most differed from his conclusions. And though he is not infallible and is hasty, many errors of judgment are not to be expected from him, and are more likely to arise from his strenuously carrying out a mistaken policy which he may think he is not called on to question or consider, and from a supposed necessity of backing up the action of his subordinates, than where he himself originates the action. For there is a white light in his mind which illuminates every object on which it shines--a searching light, proceeding from the Viceroy's own mind, and not from the mere focussing of other rays. This power which he possesses of lighting up a subject is the more remarkable as existing in conjunction with his precise business habits. It struck me there was a tendency in his Excellency's mind to draw rather too decided straight lines even where conflicting interests interlap; but, truly, if he were to begin pondering over matters as a many-sided Coleridge might do, the public business of India would come to a dead lock within twenty-four hours. If he had once formed an opinion on any subject, I doubt if it would be easy for him to renounce or modify it—though those who know his Excellency well say that he is always ready to do so whenever new facts relating to the matter come before him: but this rather supports my view; because in most great questions the difficulty is not so much to get at

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the facts as to perceive their relationships, and to take these latter into one comprehensive judicial view. The amount of business which he goes through is remarkable; and more than Lord Amherst was, he is entitled to say, with some surprise, “ The Emperor of China and I govern half the human race, and yet we find time to breakfast;” for he is exceedingly regardful of the courtesies, and of even something more than the courtesies, of his trying and responsible position. We do not hear so much of Lord Northbrook's feats on horseback as we did of those of his predecessor; but they are not less remarkable. It is only about fifty-two miles from Simla to Kotgarh ; but the nature of the bridleroad is such, and it runs along the top of so many precipices, that it is rather a feat to ride over it in less than a day; and I have also heard of his lordship riding from Chini to Narkanda in a dangerously short period. I may also note the Viceroy's habit of walking about unguarded, accompanied by a single friend; and have heard of his being seen alone with his son, or some other youth, after dark, close to the Ganges, near Barrackpore. This may be thought unwise courage : but, though undoubtedly courage, I am not sure that it is unwise ; for really life is not worth having on the condition of its being constantly guarded. The class of men who violently assassinate in India admire this kind of courage so much that they will not readily strike at it; and most cases of assassination which have occurred in that country have been committed in spite of the close protection of guards. It is doubtful, however, if it be wise to have Simla so unprotected as it appears to be. I do not remember seeing a single European soldier there, unless the Governor-General's band be accounted as

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