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the Carpatick for hundreds of miles in all directions, through the whole line of their march they did not see one man, not one woman, not one child, not one four-footed beast of any description whatever.. One dead uniform silence reigned over the whole region. With the inconsiderable exceptions of the narrow vicinage of some few forts, I wish to be understood as speaking literally I mean to produce to you more than three witnesses, above all exception, who will support this assertion in its full extent. That hurricane of war pasa sed through every part of the central provinces of the Carnatick. Six or seven districts to the north and to the south (and these not wholly untouched) escaped the general ravage.
The Carnatick is a country not much inferiour in extent to England. Figure to yourself, Mr. Speaker, the land in whose representative chair you sit ; figure to yourself the form and fashion of your sweet and chearful country from Thames to Trent, north and south, and from the Irish to the German sea east and west, emptied and embowelled (may God avert the omen of our crimes !) by so accomplished a desợ. lation Extend your imagination a little further, and then suppose your ministers taking a survey of this scene of waste and desolation; what would be your thoughts if you should be informed, that they were computing how much had been the amount of the excises, how much the customs, how much the land and malt tax, in order that they should charge (take it in the most favourable light) for publick service, upon the relicks of the satiated vengeance of relentless ene mies, the whole of what England had yielded in the most exuberant seasons of peace and abundance? What would you call it? To call it tyranny, sublimed into madness, would be too faint an image ; yet this very madness is the principle upon which the ministers at your right hand have proceeded in their estimate of the revenues of the Carnatick, when they were providing not supply for the establishments of its protection, but rewards for the authors of its ruin.
Every day you are fatigued and disgusted with this cant, "the Carnatick is a country that will soon recover, and become instantly as prosperous as ever." They think they are talking to innocents, who will believe that by sowing of dragons teeth, men may come up ready grown and ready arm
ed. They who will give themselves the trouble of considering (for it requires no great reach of thought, no very profound knowledge) the manner in which mankind are increased, and countries cultivated, will regard all this raving as it ought to be regarded. In order that the people, after a long period of vexation and plunder, may be in a condition to maintain government, government must begin by maintaining them.—Here the road to economy lies not through receipt, but through expence; and in that country nature has given no short cut to your object. Men must propagate, like other animals, by the mouth. Never did oppression light the nuptial torch ; never did extortion and usury spread out the genial bed. Does any one of you think that England, so wasted, would, under such a nursing att nce, so rapidly and cheaply recover ? But he is meanly acquainted with either England or India, who does not know that England would a thousand times sooner resume population, fertility, and what ought to be the ultimate secretion from both, revenue, than such a country as the Carnatick.
The Carnatick is not by the bounty of nature a fertile soil. The general size of its cattle is proof enough that it is much otherwise. It it some days since I moved, that a curious and interesting map, kept in the India House, should be laid be
The India House is not yet in readiness to send it; I have therefore brought down my own copy, and there it lies for the use of any gentleman who may think such a matter worthy of his attention. It is indeed a noble map, and of noble things; but it is decisive against the golden dreams and sanguine speculations of avarice run mad. In addition to what you know must be the case in every part of the world (the necessity of a previous provision of habitation, seed, stock, capital) that map will shew you, that the uses of the influences of Heaven itself, are in that country a work of art. The Carnatick is refreshed by few or no living brooks or running streams, and it has rain only at a season ; but its product of rice exacts the use of water subject to perpetual command. This is the national bank of the Carnatick, on which it must have a perpetual credit, or it perishes irretrievably. For that reason, in the happier times of India,
• Mr. Barnard's map of the Jaghire.
a number, almost incredible, of reservoirs have been made in chosen places throughout the whole country; they are formed for the greater part of mounds of earth and stones, with sluices of solid masonry; the whole constructed with admirable skill and labour, and maintained at a mighty charge. In the territory contained in that map alone, I have been at the trouble of reckoning the reservoirs, and they amount to upwards of eleven hundred, from the extent of two or three acres to five miles in circuit. From these reservoirs currents are occasionally drawn over the fields, and these watercourses again call for a considerable expence to keep them properly scoured and duly levelled. Taking the district in that map as a measure, there cannot be in the Carnatick and Tanjore fewer than ten thousand of these reservoirs of the larger and middling dimensions, to say nothing of those for domestick services, and the use of religious purification. These are not the enterprises of your power, nor in a style of magnificence suited to the taste of your minister. These are the monuments of real kings, who were the fathers of their people ; testators to a posterity which they embraced as their own. These are the grand sepulchres built by ambition ; but by the ambition of an insatiable benevolence, which, not contented with reigning in the dispensation of happiness during the contracted term of human life, had strained, with all the reachings and graspings of a vivacious mind, to extend the dominion of their bounty beyond the limits of nature, and to perpetuate themselves through generations of generations, the guardians, the protectors, the nourishers of mankind.
Long before the late invasion, the persons who are objects of the grant of publick money now before you, had so diverted the supply of the pious funds of culture and population, that every where the reservoirs were fallen into a miserable decay. * But after those domestick enemies had provoked the entry of a cruel foreign foe into the country, he did not leave it, until his revenge had completed the destruction begun by their avarice. Few, very few indeed, of these magazines of water that are not either totally destroyed, or cut through with such gaps, as to require a serious attention and
* See Report IV. Mr. Dundas's Committee, p. 46.
much cost to re-establish them, as the means of present subsistence to the people, and of future revenue to the state.
What, Sir, would a virtuous and enlightened ministry do on the view of the ruins of such works before them? On the view of such a chasm of desolation as that which yawned in the midst of those countries to the north and south, which still bore some vestiges of cultivation? They would have reduced all their most necessary establishments; they would have suspended the justest payments ; they would have employed every shilling derived from the producing, to reanimate the powers of the unproductive parts. While they were performing this fundamental duty, whilst they were cel ebrating these mysteries of justice and humanity, they would have told the corps of fictitious creditors, whose crimes were their claims, that they must keep an awful distance ; that they must silence their inauspicious tongues; that they must hold off their profane unhallowed paws from this holy work; they would have proclaimed with a voice that should make itself heard, that on every country the first creditor is the plow; that this original, indefeasible claim supersedes every other demand.
This is what a wise and virtuous ministry would have done and said. This, therefore, is what our minister could never think of saying or doing. A ministry of another kind would have first improved the country, and have thus laid a solid foundation for future opulence and future force. But on this grand point of the restoration of the country, there is not one syllable to be found in the correspondence of our ministers, from the first to the last : they felt nothing for a land desolated by fire, sword, and famine ; their sympathies took another direction; they were touched with pity for bribery, so long tormented with a fruitless itching of its palms; their bowels yearned for usury, that had long missed the harvest of its returning months ;* they felt for peculation which had been for so many years raking in the dust of an empty treasury; they were melted into compassion for rapine and oppression, licking their dry, parched, unbloody jaws. These were the objects of their solicitude. These were the necessities for which they were studious to provide.
Interest is rated in India by the month.
To state the country and its revenues in their real condition, and to provide for those fictitious claims, consistently with the support of an army and a civil establishment, would have been impossible; therefore the ministers are silent on that head, and rest themselves on the authority of lord MaCartney, who in a letter to the court of directors, written in the year 1781, speculating on what might be the result of a wise management of the countries' assigned by the nabob of Arcot, rates the revenue as in time of peace, ať twelve hundred thousand pounds a year, as he does those of the king of Tanjore (which had not been assigned) at four hundred and fifty. On this lord Macartney grounds his calculations, and on this they choose to ground theirs. It was on this calculation that the ministry, in direct opposition to the remonstrances of the court of directors, have compelled that miserable, enslaved body, to put their hands to an order for appropriating the enormous sum of 480,0001. annually, as a fund for paying to their rebellious servants a debt contracted in defiance of their clearest and most positive injunctions.
The authority and information of lord Macartney' is held high on this occasion, though it is totally rejected in every other particular of this business. I believe I have the honour of being almost as old an acquaintance as any lord Macartney has. A constant and unbroken friendship has subsisted between us, from a very early period; and, I trust, he thinks, that as I respect his character, and in general
' admire his conduct, I am one of those who feel no common interest in his reputation. Yet I do not hesitate wholly to disallow the calculation of 1781, without any apprehension that I shall appear to distrust his veracity or his judgment. This peace estimate of revenue was not grounded on the state of the Carnatick as it then, or as it had recently, stood. It was a statement of former and better times. There is no doubt that a period did exist, when the large portion of the Carnatick held by thé nabob of Arcot might be fairly reputed to produce a revenue to that, or to a greater amount. But the whole had so melted away by the slow and silent hostility of oppression and mismanagement, that the revenues, sinking with the prosperity of the country, had fallen to about 800,0001. a year, even before an enemy's horse had imprintVOL. II.