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to leave the Rajah to the resentment of Tippoo. The controversy ended in Coorg being given up.
“Our acquisitions on the Malabar coast,” wrote the Viceroy, are inaccessible to any enemy that does not come by sea, except on the north frontier. The possession of Coorg and Palghatchery effectually secure the two passes by which only Tippoo could possibly disturb us.
The Rajahs on that coast are not independent, but are now become our subjects, and if we can put them in some degree on the footing of the Bengal Zemindars, and prevent their oppressing the people, the commerce of that country may become extremely advantageous to the Company. The nett revenue amounts to about twenty-five lacs of rupees, which will be a great help at present to Bombay.” 1 The court of Markara, which had been the centre of an independent state for three hundred years, was suffered to exist, with certain local jurisdictions, till 1834, when, on the pretence of failure of heirs in the house of Rejendra, the Raj was incorporated with the rest of the Empire.
Tippoo's resources had proved to be greater than were anticipated, and it took two years of war to induce his haughty spirit to sue for peace.
Munro declares the terms granted him to have been far too moderate, although it gave the Company increased revenues, amounting to thirty-nine and a half lacs of rupees (£395,000). The extent of territory acquired was not less than 24,000 square miles ; in addition to this, a portion equally great was given to the Nizam, as a reward for his services in the campaign. For how short a space he was permitted to enjoy these acquisitions we shall presently see. The Mahrattas absolutely refused to
1 Despatch to Mr Dundas, camp before Seringapatam, 18th March 1792– Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 158. 2 Munro, vol. i. p. 129.
take any part of the spoil, influenced, we may suppose, less by any regard for him whose power they had helped to prostrate, than from the too late conviction how much their own safety must be endangered by the removal of such a barrier to European aggression as the Mysorean kingdom formed.
The humiliating treaty was signed, and the conquerors, laden with their booty, disappeared from before Seringapatam. With what emotions Tippoo saw them depart we may easily conceive. The empire which his father's genius had cemented and bequeathed to him was riven into fragments and partitioned among his foes. His pride was humbled in the dust, his treasury was emptied, the fear of his enemies and the confidence of his subjects were alike undermined. But, as the last troop of his foes defiled through the frontier hills, he breathed freely again; and hope—the hope of yet recovering all he had lost, and of avenging his dishonour-rose within him. For this alone he henceforth seemed to live. Every department of his internal administration underwent a rigorous and searching reform. He anxiously sought every means of introducing into his army the tactics and discipline of Europe, believing that these afforded him the likeliest chance of successfully coping with his adversaries. But the exhaustion and depression of national defeat is a perilous time to attempt the introduction of arbitrary innovations; and the impetuous energy of Tirpoo made him forget that the unprepared changes which his superior intellect and knowledge suggested could only cause bewilderment and distrust among his dispirited people. The severe economy he was forced to use alienated many of his powerful dependants. Symptoms of general discontent became apparent, and drew forth the worst dispositions of a temper naturally harsh, and
now embittered by ill-fortune. A dark and superstitious gloom deepened the shades of cruelty over his remaining days; and long before the diadem of Mysore finally perished, its lustre had faded in the eyes of men.
Thus was the honour of our ally vindicated. We can nowhere find that his Highness of Travancore was benefited in any way by the sanguinary conflict or the partition treaty. Like the Prince of Hohenzollern, his name was wholly forgotten from the moment the first gun was fired. The Nizam was humoured by the show of new provinces, while in reality he was to be treated as a mere trustee for those who gave and who could also take away. But if the manufacturers of the treaty forgot their allies, they did not forget themselves. “Thirty lacs of rupees (£300,000) were demanded and given as durbar khurutch, or expenses, avowedly to be distributed amongst the officers concerned in settling the treaty. The Viceroy returned to Calcutta. The reproach of York Town was effaced, and Lord Cornwallis was made a Marquis.
Soon after the news of these brilliant achievements reached England, the public became partially aware of the means whereby they had been accomplished; and certain folk asked querulously whether wars of annexation were not administrative jobs, got up by powerful individuals for the sake of realising fortunes after the Clive fashion? The following year, when the Company sought a renewal of their charter, a storm of political virtue broke out, with all the violence by which the epidemic has, at capricious intervals, been characterised amongst us. A show of penitence for past misdeeds was deemed expedient on the part of the Company to appease the outery; and ere Parliament granted the renewed charter, it solemnly declared “that
Malcolm, vol. i. chap. vi, note.
the pursuit of schemes of conquest and extension of dominion in India is repugnant to the wish, the honour, and the policy of the nation.”] This declaration was said to have the validity of a command; and upon the assumption of its being obeyed, the fate of Hindustan was once more intrusted to those whom Chatham used to call “the lofty Asiatic plunderers of Leadenhall Street.” For a season the injunction was observed, at least in appearance. The states which had been cajoled into admitting subsidiary forces within their confines fell daily more abjectly under the control of their protectors. As the pay of their garrisons fell into arrear, they were required to mortgage the revenue of additional provinces to the Company; for the honour of British protection was no longer optional, and the last step in each case usually was the complete and formal cession of the mortgaged lands. Before Hyder's invasion in 1780, a large portion of the revenues of the Carnatic had been thus assigned by the Nawab. The expenses of the war were declared a sufficient pretext for demanding the entire, a sixth part being reserved in the nature of a pension to Mohamed Ali. Mill, like a true utilitarian, argues that this arrangement was quite a boon to the pensioned Prince, inasmuch as he was punctually paid ; that he was relieved from all anxiety and risk, and that the annual stipend allotted him was, in money, rather more than he had been in the habit of appropriating to his own use.
1 East India Act of 1793.
THE LAND SETTLEMENT.
“ Bengal is one of the most fertile countries on the face of the globe, with a popula
tion of mild and industrious inhabitants, perhaps equal to, if not exceeding in number, that of all British possessions put together. Its real value to us depends upon the coiftinuance of its ability to furnish a large annual investment to Europe, to give considerable assistance to the treasury at Calcutta, and to supply the pressing and extensive wants of the other Presidencies. The consequences of the heavy drains of wealth from the above causes, with the addition of that which has been occasioned by the remittance of private fortunes, have been for many years past, and are now, severely felt by the great diminution of the current specie, and by the languor which has thereby been thrown upon the cultivation and the general commerce of the country. A very material alteration in the principles of our system of management has therefore become indispensably necessary, in order to restore the country to a state of prosperity, and to enable it to continue to be a solid support to British in terests and power in this part of the world.”
THE 'HE conditions of land tenure, and the methods of assess
ment throughout India, were as various as the features of the country itself; the customs prevailing in one region being often wholly unknown in another.
When by the treaty of 1765 the Company became Dewan of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa, they continued the system of land taxation then existing. This was principally a produce assessment. The fruits of the land were equally divided between the Government and the actual occupier, the Zemindar receiving about one-tenth of the Government share.
1 Minute on Land Settlement, 10th February 1790.