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should be the Queen's ministers, and who should be her Viceroys; and they and their fathers had oftentimes appealed in vain against the haughty satraps who had been set over them. Their hopes rose when, somewhat later, Lord Canning, in his celebrated Minute regarding Adoption, explicitly laid it down that the policy of the Government would thereafter be to recognise the native rights of succession in royal and noble houses, because it had been resolved to preserve subsisting dynasties and chieftainries as essential to good government and peace. "I was astonished," he said, "at the effect produced by my declaration at Gwalior, where the announcement was received with expressions of joy like those on the birth of a prince." Scindia told the Resident that a cold wind had been blowing on him incessantly for years, from which he was now relieved. Yet, unhappily, too soon-" was it gone, and for ever, the light they saw breaking?" Hardly was the ink of the Adoption Minute dry when Government recalcitrated; and the old policy of confiscation and absorption was summarily put in force upon a new and equally untenable plea. The young Rajah of Dhar was suddenly informed that his accession to his father's titles and privileges had been disallowed, without a hearing or a trial of any description, and that his dominions were to be incorporated with those of the Crown, because, during the revolt, some of his troops had mutinied, and for a time resisted the efforts of his guardians to bring them back to discipline and loyalty. Lord Canning assigned as his only reason that he was determined to show the Durbars of the minor States that they must be held accountable if they were unable as well as if they were unwilling to restrain the misconduct of their soldiery. In reply to a question, put in the House of Commons, Lord Stanley frankly repudiated
a man of many gifts, but mercy was not among them. Mercy he showed none.
When English trade stood shelterless on the beach of Malabar, the Nawab of Arcot was its first friend. It lent him help against the French, and in exchange he gave it storage-room and dwelling-place. As it grew his power dwindled, and as his tulwar rusted its bayonet waxed bright. The enthymeme of usurpation need not be again recited. By the time Lord Wellesley came to renew the treaty between Madras and Arcot," the Carnatic had been,” says Mr Arnold, “immeshed in the net of our friendship and the noose of our protection." But Lord Wellesley had a soul above pettifogging oppression, and he would have disdained to take advantage of forfeited pledges. Omdutul-Omrah was suspected of intrigues with Tippoo Saib; and Ali Hussein, his son, inherited, it was feared, his father's infidelity. But this was not made a pretence for breaking our engagements with his house, or confiscating the revenues repeatedly guaranteed them. With Azîm-ulDowla a fresh treaty was made "for settling the succession to the Soubahdary of the territories of Arcot, and for vesting the civil and military administration of the Carnatic in the Company." The fourth article declared that fourfifths of the revenues were for ever vested in the Company, and the remaining one-fifth "appropriated for ever for the support of the Nawab." His son enjoyed his dignities, privileges, and emoluments, until his death in 1853, when Lord Dalhousie thought the time had arrived to let the curtain. fall upon the farce of Gratitude to Arcot. The Cabinet of Lord Aberdeen and the Court of Directors assenting, he forbade Azim Jah to assume the title, and refused to pay him the stipulated fifth of the revenues, which he claimed as undisputed heir, upon the ground that when treaties
are made "for ever" with feudatories, the suzerain is not bound longer than the sense of expediency lasts; or in other words, that the observance of public faith is obligatory only on one side, because the semblance of royalty, without any of the power, is a mockery of authority which must be pernicious. If anything were surprising in the misgovernment of India, it would be the audacity which could misrepresent the faded finery of Chepank Palace as keeping up illusions, even in its powerless owner, of pretendership to royalty. Royalty, in the best days of the family, had never been asserted by them. They were subordinate to the Nizam, who was himself a feudatory of the Padishah. Local authority they really had enjoyed a hundred years gone by; but it was authority which had no more to do with royalty than Hamlet had to do with Hercules. Much or little, it was all clean gone; the archives of Madras and of Calcutta could tell where. But its property and rank and titular privileges had hitherto been respected, because they had been made matters of public stipulation by the representatives of the British crown; and now the money was to be taken by force, the use of the titles interdicted by decree, and the broken covenants given to the winds.
The despotic demeanour of Lord Dalhousie towards the Native Princes was not exemplified alone in the arbitrary absorption of States on the plea of lapse from default of male heirs. The Viceroy let no opportunity escape for impressing the native mind with a sense of the autocratic will and domination of the Central Power, of which he was the mouthpiece; and his conduct towards the Nawab-Nazim of Bengal, one of the oldest of our allies in Asia, was in keeping with what had gone before. Bengal had come to be regarded as the home-farm of Empire. The treaties of 1757, 1760, and 1763 with Mir Jaffir and Mir Kasim, as
we have seen, gave us the first political and territorial locus standi, and the engagements of 1765, 1767, and 1770 with their successors, each marked a step in the progress of encroachment upon native rule. The administrative experiments of Hastings, Cornwallis, and subsequent Viceroys, gradually withdrew from the Court of Moorshedabad even the semblance of government; but five formal treaties had acknowledged the rank, dignity, and social privileges of the Nawabs-Nazim of Bengal. By terms which indicate perpetuity of obligation, if they mean anything at all, a suitable income had been provided for the ex-ruling family, and the minutes and despatches of each Governor-General in succession were unanimous in treating the descendants of Mir Jaffir as princes de facto if not de jure. The cession of executive functions on the one side, and their acceptance on the other, was not brought about by conquest, was not signalised by incidents of violence or victory, and was accompanied by no formal act of abdication. The process of transfer was silent, its progress was steady. It had its origin in the compacts which gave the Company command of the forces and the control of the exchequer of Bengal. With the instruments as well as the sinews of war at their disposal, they did as powerful Ministers had aforetime done elsewhere, usurped the sceptre in reality, while paying ceremonious respect to its holder. The minority of Mobaruck-ul-Dowla, the last of the heirs of Mir Jaffir, favoured this alienation of native rule. The Governor and Council had during that time ample opportunity of consolidating the supreme authority, then resting unquestioned in their hands; and when in due course it should have reverted to the Soubahdar, they showed no disposition to yield it up, while the native community, growing used to the mandates of Fort William, knew not how to substitute
those of Moorshedabad. The Nawab protested, but his complaints were unheeded, or were answered only with plausible evasion. Successive Nawabs were treated by successive Viceroys with scrupulous regard to the formalities of rank and station, but not an inch of power was restored. No attempt, however, was made to question the validity of the treaties, which were palpable acknowledgments of the rank and rights of Mir Jaffir's dynasty. No one had contended that, although we had absorbed all power, dignity and its attendant privileges did not remain with the Princes of his house. On the contrary, Lords Wellesley, Minto, Hastings, Amherst, Hardinge, and even Lord Dalhousie himself, had penned letters and despatches acknowledging the rights "guaranteed by subsisting treaties," and promising to "uphold the interests, dignity, credit, and prescriptive privileges" of the family. In 1838, Syud Munsûr Ali Khan, the eighth in regular descent from Mir Jaffir, succeeded while a minor to the musnud of Bengal. All the formalities of investiture, proclamation, and congratulation were duly observed with him, as with his predecessors; the Government of India officially notified to the public, its allies, and all friendly powers, that Syud Munsûr Ali had succeeded to the hereditary honours and dignities of the Nizamut and Soubahdary of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa, and was declared to have assumed the authority, dignities, and privileges thereof, and a salute of nineteen guns and three volleys of musketry was ordered to celebrate the event.
Excepting disagreements as to the appropriation of certain sums from the annual allowance guaranteed by the treaty of 1770, nothing disturbed the harmony of the relations subsisting between the past and present rulers. One of the most dearly prized of the privileges enjoyed by the