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the middle class; from that especial class which, Sir John says, is here most fitted for the very freedom he would deny.

But, after all, this argument applies only to the English, who are the governors. The Native Indians, the millions who form the governed, are lost sight of, as usual, in the question ; though it is for them principally, and for their interests especially, that the freedom of discussion is wanting : and among them, the middle class is as numerous as in England, if not more so; for there the higher orders are all, long since, destroyed.

Sir John Malcolm, in common with other arguers within a circle, contends, that the government of India is a despotism, because it cannot be free; and then proves this, by saying that freedom cannot be allowed there, because the government is a despotism. These gentlemen, who are certainly of a very middling order of intellect themselves, complacently take it for granted, that the government of India not merely is despotic, but is necessarily so, and cannot be altered ; and upon this necessity, which is every where denied, and nowhere proved, they proceed to show that all the characteristics of despotism are equally indispensable. To talk, then, of making or altering the laws of such a state, is to talk nonsense. A despotism is a lawless government; and if India be this, then neither the Houses of Parliament, nor the Court of Proprietors, ought to have any thing to do with the matter; and all this vapouring about a despotism, as by law established, is worse than useless. After this, comes the passage we have taken for our motto: “I am, and ever have been, the advocate of publicity in all affairs of Government. I hate concealment and mystification. Good and wise measures will ever gain strength from daylight," &c.

The speeches of Sir Francis Macnaghten, Mr. Impey, and Mr. Randal Jackson, of whom Sir John Malcolm is worthy to be the leagued associate, would all afford the most ludicrous contradictions, if paragraph were compared with paragraph, sentence with sentence: but none would be more rich than Sir John's own lucubrations in this respect. Take, as an illustration, the following:

Though I am an enemy to a free press These restrictions, however, which in India, yet I am friendly to any pub- were orders of Goverument, were, in lication that refrains from those sub- my mind, more severe than the censorjects which have been very properly ship. I decidedly prefer the latter. prohibited by the restrictions.

I am, and ever have been, the advo- There is something, no doubt, odious cate of publicity in all the affairs of Go- in the name of a censor of the press; vernment. I hate concealment and but it signifies not, if it is necessary : mystification. Good and wise measures it cannot then be too decidedly exer, will ever gain strength from daylight. cised.

We might go on to cull out a hundred such examples as these in Sir John's single speech,-and even for these we have not gone in search: they will present themselves to the eye of any reader who will look inte page 199, of the last number of the Asiatic Journal, where they stand thickly clustered, with many other follies of the same description, within the limits of half a column. Can it be possible that these men ever read what they write? A man might talk nonsense very fluently, and be pitied; but really writing such speeches as this, in the calm of retirement, and revising them deliberately for the press, without even perceiving such blemishes as these, does appear to us to indicate a degree of blindness which we should not have thought possible unless we had seen it.

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Sir John next endeavours to reconcile the discordant positions, that men in India are intrusted with almost absolute power; and yet that they are never so elevated as to forget their characters as Englishmen. One would have thought that a “ lover,” by birth and education, of the free constitution of his country, would have known that this absolute power is altogether foreign to it; and that to feel as an Englishman, and act as a Turk, is like an attempt to serve God and mammon. Either he must cling to the one, and forget the other; or he will fail in his duty to both. But, he says, suppose they are even despotic; or, to use his own words, “have absolute power,” do they not exercise it under checks? Yes! no doubt; and so does the Sultan at Constanti. nople. He is your truly absolute ruler; but even he fears the bowstring and the dagger : and the fear of these before his eyes is far more operative than any fear of a distant check, like that of the Court of Directors. First, however, says Sir John, “ their measures in detail are submitted to the Court of Directors : we all know the composition of that Court. Assuredly it is not probable it will support despotic acts.” No ? Why the very defence which these same Directors instructed their legal advocate to set up for the despotism of their Governor abroad, was this : “ the government of India always has been, still is, and as long as we hold it, always must be a despotism.” Sir John Malcolm heard this—Sir John Malcolm praised this—Sir John Malcolm himself repeated this—and in his written speech he adds, “ the situation of the country requires it; the law sanctions it.” Good heavens! and is this the man to turn round upon us, and say, suredly it is not probable the Court will support despotic acts”? Probable? Why it had supported them; it had defended them; and this on the open and undisguised assumption that the despotism was lawful, necessary, and without even a hope of ever being otherwise !--It is really difficult to proceed, or to see when one is to come to an end, where such an interminable mass of contradiction and absurdity follows thickly, line after line, with scarcely a gleam of reason or common sense to enliven or relieve the “ palpable obscure.” But we must try.

He goes on—" Supposing, however, the Court of Directors were to support the despotic acts of their servants abroad-their proceedings, whenever called for, must be laid before the Court of Proprietors.” Can it be necessary to give a contradiction to this? Here had Sir John Malcolm himself been two, if not three, days in attendance at the Court, speaking and voting against the production of papers to illustrate the proceedings of the Government in India, contending that such papers ought not to be produced; and yet, in the very act of so speaking and voting, he exclaims, “ If the proceedings are called for, they must be produced." It is not easy to imagine how contradiction can go beyond this, either in extent or in degree.

One trifling specimen more-of the contrasted kind,
Those who fill the bighese situations

They enjoy, it is true, great, and in in ludia are seldom, if ever, elevated

some cases, as I have said, absolute to any forgetfulness of their character

power. Power is always intoxicating; as English gentlenien-their minds

and though I will not allow that those

who exercise it in India are like the are neither corrupted by intrigue, nor disturbed by dreams of irrational am

Sultans of the East,-yet, I will readily bition,

admit that the oftener they are remind-
ed they are Englishmen, ibe belter.

What! often remind people of what they seldom or ever forget! This is surely superfluous: and as to the notion that they are not even like what they really are–Sultans of the East-it is quite worthy to emanate from such a source.

But we must draw to a close.--If we were determined to expose all the sophistries contained in this single speech, written expressly for the Asiatic Journal, and with all the talent, and all the care that the writer could bring to the task, we should require a volume as large as Mr. Bentham's; for almost every species of delusion so happily exposed in his masterly performance, the “ Book of Fallacies, ” might be exemplified here.

We have heard, on all sides, the most extravagant eulogiums passed on the Government of India, for their incessant care and attention to the happiness of those over whom they rule. We have heard the natives described as contented and happy, beyond almost the power of man to conceive : and though the unwillingness to trust these natives with the means of expressing their happiness, seemed to throw some some little doubt on the perfection of the bliss that could not be allowed expression, the changes have been incessantly rung upon the felicity of the Hindoos in this Empire, our hold on which is opinion—that is, as the framer of this phrase meant it to be understood, the opinion entertained of our virtues, and our superior fitness to all other men to rule over those who had the happiness to live under our government. Sir John Malcolm has joined in this eulogium as heartily as any other; and the reader shall see what an admirable and convincing picture he gives of this unutterable happiness, which he pledges himself, in his written speech, (for not a word of the whole was spoken by him at the India House,) will be found incontrovertibly correct.

Passing over the impossibility of establishing, or at least maintaining, for a short period, a press really free, in an empire governed by foreigners who have conquered, and who have not and cannot, from the difference of language, habits, and religion, amalgamate with the natives, let us examine the character and condition of the latter, that we may discover what would be the effect of the boon it is proposed to grant them. They are divided into two great classes, Ma. homedans and Hindoos; the higher ranks of the former, who possessed almost all India before our rule was introduced, are naturally discontented with our power. They bear, however, a small proportion to the Hindoos, whose condition and character it is of more consequence to examine. From the most remote period till the present day, we find the history of this unchanged people the same; and there is one striking feature in it-all the religious and civil classes are educated, and as prompt and skilful in intrigue as they are in business. From their INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORITY they have ever influenced and directed the more numerous, ignorant, and superstitious classes of their countryinen. These instructed classes (particularly the Brahmins), who have already lost consideration, wealth, and power, by the introduction of our power, lear, and justly, that its progress will still more degrade them. They must, from such causes, have a hostile feeling towards us, and Tuis IS NOT LIKELY TO DECREASE FROM THE NECESSITY THEY ARE UNDER OF CONCEALING IT. They will seize every opportunity of injuring our power, and many must be afforded them. They are, to my knowledge, adepts in spreading discontent, and exciting sedition and rebellion. They know wel} how to awaken the fears, to alarm the superstition, or to rouse the pride of those they address. My attention has been, during the last twenty-five years, particularly directed to this dangerous species of secret war against our authority, which is always carrying on, by numerous, though unseen hands. The spirit is kept up by letters, by exaggerated reports, and by pretended prophecies.' When the time appears favourable, from the occurrence of misfortune to our arms, from rebellion in our provinces, or from mutiny in our troops, circular letters and proOriental Herald, Vol. 3.

C

clamations are dispersed over the country with a celerity that is incredible. Such documents are READ WITH Avidity. The contents are in most cases the same. The English are depicted as usurpers of low caste, and as tyrants, who have sought ludia with no view but that of degrading the inhabitants, and of robbing them of their wealth, while they seek to subvert their usages and their religion. The native soldiery are always appealed to, and the advice to them is in all instances I have met with the same : Your European tyrants are few in number, murder them!' The efforts made by the part of the Indian population I have mentioned, and their success in keeping up a spirit which places us always in danger, are facts that will not be denied by any man acquainted with the subject.

Let the reader pause for a moment over this description of the happiness of those over whom our rule is extended, and on whom it has been forced in India. Will the Court of Directors recognise the fidelity of this picture of their government? Will the Court of Proprietors sanction the continuance of such a state of things? Will the Legislature of Great Britain permit it to be told to France, to Austria, to Russia, that this is the state of our Indian Empire, every man in it " reading with avidity” invitations to cut the throats of his white tyrants; and this too the language of the “educated classes"? If “intellectual superiority” lead to this, and lead we believe it must, no wonder that so much alarm and terror is felt at the operation of the press. But Sir John Malcolm has accidentally uttered one reasonable sentiment among all the absurd ones that

escape
from his

He

says, the hostile feeling of the Indians towards their oppressors is not likely to decrease by the necessity of their concealing it. No? Then the remedy would be to let them speak out— to let this feeling escape by the safety-valve of the press. You cannot smother the feeling ; but you may suffer it to evaporate : and never, perhaps, was a stronger argument adduced in favour of the Freedom of the Press in India than this, which Sir John himself unwittingly advances. The natives are discontented. A silent brooding over that discontent, and the necessity of concealing it, increase the feeling. Let them then brood in silence no longer ; let them speak out; let their wrongs be heard, and, if possible, redressed. This would be the course of one who really“ hated concealment and mystification," and who thought that every wise measure would “gather strength from daylight." But, it appears, the natives of intellectual superiority are not to be trusted with a free press, because they would cherish and inflame the hatred which all classes entertain towards us already: and those of the unintellectual class are not to be trusted, because they are ignorant, and cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Happy country! and happy people ! who have such rulers-such defenders--and such friends! A Governor General—who, if Sir John Malcolm is to be believed, is " incapable of malignity to any human being”-an assertion that no one human being can possibly be competent to support by proof, when speaking of himself, much less of another:)-and who, in the words of the same writer, “came forward to expose himself to obloquy to save the public,” like another scape-goat in the wilderness ! Happy public, to be so honoured by the sacrifice! to be first trampled under foot as a set of slaves, incapable of forming or expressing an opinion on any measure whatever ; then insulted with seeing this declared in a Manifesto issued to all the world ; then muzzled and chained so as to prevent the possibility of refuting the slanderous and degrading calumny; and yet to be so valued in the eyes of this same contemning ruler, that he comes forward and offers himself up as a sacrifice-an atonement to save the very public he despised !

pen.

We know not whether most to admire Mr. Adam's self-immolation on the shrine of public duty, or Sir John Malcolm's self-dissection on the great stage of public scrutiny. The one may believe that he has saved the Indian people, and the other that he has saved his Indian friend : but the world will see that though they have each endeavoured to maintain the literary and political reputation of others, their own is most indisputably and irrecoverably gone for ever.

ZELMA. AN ARABIAN SONG.

AROUND my bower the jasmines twine,

There every flower its sweet discloses,
And there the new-fallen dewdrops shine

Like diamonds strewed among the roses.

And in the lonely evening hour,

When the moon first sheds her silvery light
Over her lovely favourite flower,

That only is awake at night;

Oft have I sat to view her gleams

Fall o'er the dim and sleeping wave :
While fancy revell'd in such dreams,

As heaven to our Prophet gave.

In those soft dreams the moments filed

Enraptured, swift, unheeded by;
Like visions which await the dead

In the rich bowers beyond the sky.

Wrapped in a shawl of woven light

That waved in splendour o'er his vest,
A Genius came at fall of night

And placed this rosebud on my breast.

He did not speak, he did not breathe

His airy steps so lightly fell,
That on the flowers which grew beneath,

Where they had fallen you could not tell.

No, scarcely did he touch the dew

When through the cold moon's mystie beam
He fled,--and then I hardly knew

If it were true, or did I dream,

But, ah! his hallowed form still floats

Before my fancy's witched ken-
As o'er the memory, melting notes,

We've heard, and wish to hear again!

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