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the ground whenever he alighted from his equipage; and who, though only a circuit judge, moved about attended by a showily-appointed retinue or guard. He was asked if he was not related to Lady William. "No," he replied;


unfortunately to the brute himself." The Viceroy was obdurate. He persevered; and not only abated the excess of expenditure, which Government could ill afford, but the sins of negligence, delay, and inefficiency in the administration, which the country could afford still less. His declaration at the outset was, that he had come to see what service he could render to the people of India, and that he was resolved to prove that he was open to suggestion and remonstrance from men of all ranks and races, and to show that he would not govern for the benefit of any particular class, or submit to be a puppet in the hands of others. These promises he faithfully redeemed. He spent some months of every year in visiting various districts of his vast vice-realm. The physical and social condition of remote regions thus became known to him in a way they could hardly have otherwise been. He invited, moreover, and, indeed, required, constant reports to be made to him confidentially, in addition to those forwarded in due routine to Calcutta, and thereby obtained acquaintance with personal and local circumstances frequently of great value in discriminating between competitors for promotion in the public service, and in estimating correctly the worth of official representations of all kinds. The labour of all this, superadded to the duties he had ostensibly to perform, was necessarily very great; great also was the odium it excited. Indolence, peculation, and incompetency of all sorts waxed wroth at the imposition of a yoke of surveillance to which they had not been accustomed. Old and tried servants of the Company complained that they were

subjected for the first time in their lives to a system which they were pleased to term espionage, but which in reality had nothing in common with that worst artifice of police. The reception of complaints by the weak and timid against men clothed with absolute authority, is simply admission by those in supreme power of the only means by which oppression and delinquency can often be made known, and any species of redress secured. Public complaint is, in a free country, easy and natural; and none other need be there resorted to. But in a country governed arbitrarily like Hindustan, where no single tie of common feeling, origin, or creed exists between the disfranchised population and the dominant few, it was the impulse of a truly good and generous mind to open a door of appeal against hardship and oppression direct and immediate to the centre and seat of authority.

The great experiment about to be tried for the first time of a free press, was naturally viewed with the utmost apprehension by most of the officials of the old school. Lord William Bentinck did not deceive himself as to its effects. He believed that it would increase indefinitely the perilous position of the Paramount Power. Metcalfe thought otherwise; they agreed that the time was at hand when the hazard must be run. "If increase of danger," said Metcalfe; "be really to be apprehended from increase of knowledge, it is what we must cheerfully submit to. We must not try to avert it; and if we did we should fail." Nevertheless, Lord William Bentinck left to his successor the responsibility and credit of liberating the Indian press.

Metcalfe freely owned in 1830, that "were he asked whether the increased happiness of our subjects was proportionate to the heavier expense of our establishment, he


should be obliged to answer according to his belief in the negative; for we were foreign conquerors, against whom the antipathy of our Native subjects naturally prevailed. We held the country solely by force, and by force alone could we maintain it." Lord William Bentinck could not bring himself to realise the inevitability of this dismal and hearthardening creed. It was an honest grief to him to think he was regarded as the greatest Jailor-General in the world. He longed to be respected and to be loved, and to make the name of his country loved and respected also. At least, he was determined to try. The most important of his many administrative reforms was the practical admission of Natives to various branches of the Civil Service. The system of Lord Cornwallis had been based upon their virtual exclusion from every object of legitimate ambition and every hope of reward; and the principle of administrative outlawry had been maintained inexorably by those who succeeded him. Lord William and his best advisers in Council were resolved to remove it. Experience had proved its impolicy; it needed, in their minds, no argument to demonstrate its injustice. One after another, natives were placed in minor situations of trust. The GovernorGeneral was too wise a man to believe that such concessions could suddenly absorb the deep discontent prevailing everywhere among the subject population. Neither was he weak enough to believe that where perfidy or treason lay at the heart of an individual so trusted, the confidence reposed in him would work a miraculous change. He calculated upon many instances of political ingratitude, and was prepared to hear of disaffection in the mass, after he had done his best to disarm it. But he did not hesitate to do the right thing therefore. He had a faith in event

1 Metcalfe, vol. iii, p. 181.

ual good, and a sense of the duty those who bear rule owe to those whom they govern, that no miserable fear of ill-requital could disturb. And in this far-sighted view of policy, he clearly saw that through the path of gradual enlistment of the intellectual ability and ambition of the Natives in the permanent service of their own land, lay our only reasonable or definite prospect of retaining an ascendancy therein.

His seven years' administration did not indeed eradicate the greatest evils with which he tried to grapple, for that was beyond his power. He saw the unpopularity of the central Government, caused in a great degree by the pressure of excessive and unequal taxation; but he saw not how to cure it. He discerned the unreliability of the Native army, and left behind him a Minute, in which he sums up its characteristics in these words, "It is in my opinion the most expensive and the least efficient army in the world." Whether he felt sanguine, at the close of his career, that perseverance in a policy of peaceful and enlightened rule, would eventually reach the popular heart, and that we might hope to become trusted instead of feared in India, we know not, but there can be no doubt that he strove anxiously and patriotically to that end. He saw, as all the best men about him saw, that British rule in Asia was a stockade driven by sheer force into the ground, and impregnable so long as the garrison that manned it were numerous enough and loyal; but that it had no root in the convictions or feeling of the community. For the first time the amount of AngloIndian debt was palpably and substantially diminished. Swollen by the warlike administration of his predecessor to upwards of £30,000,000 sterling, it was reduced in the seven years of his peaceful sway to £26,947,000; and this was done notwithstanding the heavy blows to productive


industry and general commercial credit, inflicted by the failure of the great English capitalists of Calcutta, consequent, as was believed, upon the sudden competition, which they do not seem to have anticipated, from the abolition of the Company's monopoly in 1833, and the complete emancipation of private trade. The revenue remained very nearly the same as it had been fifteen years before; the expenditure was reduced more than a million and a half; and thus at last, instead of a deficit, a surplus appeared in the accounts of the Indian Exchequer.

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