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and which was crowned by the storming of Ghuzni and Khelat. The immediate result of that success was, of course, to lower the tone of those courts, and to deter them from breaking with a power which had given, in the promptitude and force of the blow which it struck at so vast a distance, another and most signal proof of its ability to maintain its authority. But in the East, the permanence even of the strongest impressions of this nature cannot be calculated on. With very rare exceptions, every Asiatic despot, who is not, like Hyder Ali and Runjeet Singh, the founder of a dynasty

Fortunæ faber ipse suæ,'

is a mere child, puffed up with the most exaggerated notions of his own power; because his own rabble of soldiery is immediately before his eyes, and he is utterly ignorant of the relative resources of his neighbours, whom he regards with the most profound contempt as long as they are out of sight. Having such parties to deal with, in two quarters at least-and it is to be feared that Runjeet Singh has bequeathed his hard-won kingdom to one of the same class-we must needs speak somewhat doubtfully of the ability of our Indian Government to maintain, for any length of time, that peace to which its triumphant settlement of the affairs of Affghanistan has given such an appearance of stability.

Affairs being in this uncertain condition along the whole line of our frontier from the Sutlege to the Irrawaddy; the Russians having advanced upon Khiva, though only, as it would appear, to be defeated by the climate; that and other circumstances having compelled the Governor-General to canton a considerable force to the west of the Indus; and our disputes with China rendering it necessary to embark troops for that quarter, in order that we may be able to negotiate effectually with the haughty Tartars who govern that enormous empire;-it may truly be affirmed that Anglo-Indian politics never presented features of higher interest, or more worthy of the attention of every intelligent Englishman.

But this is not all. Many of our fellow-countrymen may care little about the friendship or hostility of the barbarous monarchs whose territories border with our Indian possessions; or whether the revenue of those possessions be wasted in unprofitable war, or employed to the best advantage in creating and extending the blessings of peace. But there are numbers who, if once thoroughly aware of their value, would not be so indifferent to openings for commercial enterprise, and to fields where nothing is wanting but the funds and energy of the British capitalist to ensure large and cheap returns of the most valuable products. The

real value of British India is only now becoming thoroughly known even to those who know it best. Formerly, even our statesmen were beguiled by vain dreams of large direct tribute. The heaps of ill-gotten bullion which existed, or were imagined to exist, in the treasure-chambers of the few despots with whom caprice took the form of parsimony, were considered as demonstrative proofs of the wealth of a country, which exhibited in fact every feature of abject poverty. The rulers of India have become wiser. They have learned-rather let us say, have been taught by that private reason which always prevents or outstrips public wisdom'-that poor and miserable as long and aggravated misgovernment, the worst of false religions, and social institutions the most absurd and degrading, have made her, India possesses, in her soil of unmatched fertility—in the abundant population which has hitherto, generally speaking, tilled that soil for a bare sufficiency of the simplest food-in her numerous ports open at all seasons to vessels from every quarter-in her noble rivers, which afford the easiest communication between these ports and the most remote fields of production-and in the extent of dominion, and variety of climate, which permit the profitable cultivation of many of the most valuable products, both of the tropics and of the temperate zone-the means of realizing to her masters wealth to which no limits can be assigned; and that too by a process inseparably connected with the greatest and most enduring benefit to her own children. The agriculture, the commerce of India, are both as yet in their infancy. There is no limit, at least none that will be reached for centuries, to her power of supplying the great staples of cotton, sugar,* silk, coffee, tobacco, saltpetre, and indigo. Almost every year adds some important article to her long list of capabilities. Oil-seeds, caoutchouc, and wool, are exports of very recent date. The tea of Assam will outstrip them

* Under the encouragement afforded by the reduction of duty from £1, 12s. to £1, 4s. per cwt., the quantity of East India sugar imported into England has increased from 76,613 cwts. in 1834, to 519,126 cwts. in 1839. Justice and policy equally demand that the duty on East Indian rum should be reduced to the West Indian standard.

†The first shipment of wool from Bombay took place in 1833. The export increased from 59,944 lbs. in 1824, to 2,444,019 lbs. in 1837. At present, the chief supplies of the article are drawn from Cutch and Sinde, and from Marwar via Guzerat. Small quantities also are re'ceived occasionally from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. From 'these sources, and from the active measures taken by Government to im'prove the fleeces of the sheep in the extensive pastoral country of the

*

all in value and importance; and will soon, we trust, render us in a great measure independent of the monopolists with whom we have hitherto had to deal. There is no doubt that skill and care in the growth and preparation are alone wanting to render the hemp and flax of India equal to that furnished by the north of Europe. Experiments are in progress with a view to the naturalization of the Cochineal insect. There is little question that rhubarb could be grown as well in India as in China, from which country that which is called Turkey rhubarb is now brought by Russian caravans. The highly-intelligent commercial communities of Calcutta and Bombay, and the planters and merchants settled in the interior of those presidencies, are actively engaged in improving and increasing the old, and in discovering new, articles of export. With the exports must increase the means of purchasing British manufactures. And for many most important purposes, the gigantic power of steam, though as yet most inadequately applied, has, in effect, brought our magnificent possessions in India nearer to England by twothirds, than in those, so called, good old times when the Company's ships achieved a passage to Madras or Bombay in six calendar months!

Yet, notwithstanding all these motives of interest, all these attractions, British India is almost a terra incognita to the great body of educated Englishmen. Though this little island possess an empire in the East, that the Caesars might envy-the foundations of which the servants of a company of merchants were laying wide and deep, while the ministers of the Crown were flinging away the affection and allegiance of the brave men who had created for us an empire in the West-the ignorance

Deccan, so well adapted for the carrying of such an experiment into effect the export trade in wool promises in a few years to be one of the most active and flourishing from Bombay.'-Bombay Trade Report of 1836, p. 37. We observe from the Commercial Reports published by the Supreme Government in Calcutta, (cited at the head of this article,) that our merchants may expect to draw large returns of wool from Affghanistan, and the countries still further to the northward.

* The Commercial Reports above cited show, that the people of Affghanistan, and of the wide tracts beyond it, as far as Bokhara, including the more remote tribes to which that city is an emporium, will be large customers for tea. If it can be produced as cheaply as is expected, our Indian subjects will be great consumers.

†The researches and experiments of the Agricultural Society of India, which holds its meetings in Calcutta, directed and encouraged by its excellent president, Chief-Justice Sir Edward Ryan, have been most energetic and useful.

and indifference which prevail concerning it are wellnigh incredible. The introduction of any subject connected with Indian affairs, acts as a spell in clearing the benches of either House of Parliament; and the majority even of the few who remain, and deem themselves qualified to discuss such subjects, seldom fail to furnish, out of their own mouths, abundant proofs that their interest therein has not been sufficient to lead them to acquire the knowledge necessary for the purpose.

But this cannot last. India is rapidly acquiring a commercial importance, which must command attention; and recent events have so intimately connected some of her political relations with those of Europe, that no person with any pretensions to the character of a statesman, will find ignorance regarding them to be any longer safe or creditable. We shall endeavour to encourage and facilitate the first steps of public intelligence in the acquisition of knowledge so important and interesting, by laying before our readers a rapid sketch of the present state and future prospects of our Indian empire. And as it is our object to convey this information in a popular, and, as far as we can render it so, an attractive form, we shall not be disappointed if the very few of our readers in this country who are deeply versed in Indian politics, do not find any thing very recondite in our observations. It would be time and labour thrown away, when scarcely one in a thousand is acquainted with the very elements of the knowledge which we seek to impart—or rather wish to stimulate the public mind to acquire to enter upon abstruse disquisitions or nice details concerning relations, claims, and treaties, which could scarcely be rendered intelligible to the best-informed man who has not served a long apprenticeship in the political departments of Indian office. The importance of India ought to be written in characters which all who run may read much injustice has already been done to the subject by discussing it in a cypher which only the initiated can readily understand, and which no one else will take the trouble to master.

Some retrospect is necessary to the satisfactory fulfilment of the task which we have here set ourselves. We cannot refrain from considering the circumstances which placed us in our present relations to Affghanistan and Persia, without appearing to shun questions of great importance, upon which we are aware that general opinion-and that, too, supported by the judgment of some of the highest authorities-is opposed to the line of policy chosen by the Governor-General; notwithstanding the signal success, in a military point of view, with which that policy has been carried into execution. We shall endeavour to form our conclusions upon a calm examination

of the points which appear to be at issue; without suffering our selves to be dazzled, on the one hand, by the brilliant exploits of our troops; or to assume, on the other, that Lord Auckland did not take the wisest course which circumstances left open to him, merely because the course taken may have entailed some undeniable evils upon our Indian administration.

As regards the general question of peace or war, this has been emphatically the case. At no previous period were the real interests of British India so well understood, or equal pains taken to advance them. That wise and benevolent statesman, Lord William Bentinck-the memory of whose sterling virtues and earnest endeavours to benefit the millions who were subject to his rule, will long survive the petty piques and selfish irritation of those among the subordinate agents of that rule who deemed themselves aggrieved by his measures-had laid the axe to the root of many an obstinate prejudice, many a mischievous custom, and had occupied the ground thus cleared with the foundation-stones of a sound system of national improvement. He laid down, and during his whole administration strenuously acted upon, the broad principles, that the good of the great body of the people, not the selfish interests of the ruling power or of its servants, ought to be the object of all government; and that the best mode of rendering men, in the situation of our Indian fellowsubjects, trustworthy instruments of government, is to employ them, under proper superintendence, in situations of sufficiently remunerated trust. Lord Auckland-of whose pre-eminent qualifications as an administrator of civil affairs there seems to be but one opinion, and whose calm and sagacious judgment admirably fitted him for giving effect to the principles which his more enthusiastic predecessor had established-was labouring most assiduously, and with the best prospects of success, in the great work of raising and liberating a deeply-debased and longenthralled people, when his attention was loudly called from this congenial occupation, by the necessity of providing against the external dangers which threatened our empire. Deeply must the Governor-General have felt this interruption of an employment, worthy at once of the highest talents and of the most earnest philanthropy: more deeply still will India have to lament the expenditure in war of invaluable time, and of those pecuniary means of improvement which would have yielded, if sown in peaceful fields, the richest returns.

But although the Indian government was most sincerely desirous of peace, the necessity of being prepared for war, and that not in one quarter only, was most manifest and urgent. Never certainly, since Lord Wellesley's administration, had the poli

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