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lished in Bengal in the year 1793-a compilation constituting an era in the history of that country, as well as a most hazardous experiment in the science of human legislation.
After the long experience the Court of Directors had had of the judgment and integrity of Mr. Shore, it is not at all strange that they should have chosen him for the immediate successor of Lord Cornwallis. Economical promises were made at home, and who so able to execute them as à man who had wound himself into all the intricacies of Indian finance, and whose policy, in relation to the native powers, was decidedly pacific? Upon this occasion, Mr. Shore was created a baronet of England, with the title of Sir John Shore of Heathcoté. Four years afterwards, he was raised by patent to an Irish peerage, with the title of Baron Teignmouth.
On his first accession to the chair of government, Sir John Shore had to steer between no ordinary perplexities. The Mahrattas were jealous of the growing power of the English, and thirsted for the spoils of the feeble Nizam, who existed only beneath the shade of British protection. Scindia, now at the head of the Mahratta councils, looked to the power of T'ippoo as the best counterpoise to that of the English. If any thing can be fairly objected to the policy of Sir John Shore, it is,--that he relied on the good faith of the Mahrattas to act according to existing treaties, which it was their interest to set at nought, and left his ally, the Nizam, in a state almost unprotected and defenceless. The first pretext of Scindia was the demand of the arrears of the Mahratta chout (tribute) from the pusillanimous Nizam. The English Government offered its mediation. The Mahrattas, perceiving that they were not prepared to enforce it by arms, treated the proposed mediation with contempt. Tippoo was in the field, and ready to confede: rate with the Mahrattas for the subjugation of the Nizam. What course was the Governor-general bound to pursue ? By the treaty of alliance, the Nizam was entitled to the assistance of the English against Tippoo. It was not on the Mahrattas that he could safely rely,--for he knew they were intent on their aim of plundering his dominions when a convenient juncture should arrive. He confided only in the British faith, pledged to him in consequence of his accession to the alliance. At the period when he accéded to it, his friendship was of the highest value to the British Government, they solicited, they sought it." The engagement with him was offensive and defensive. It is clear, then, that, if attacked by Tippoo, he could rightfully demand the benefit of the British alliance. Was his claim to that benefit diminished when he was attacked by Tippoo in conjunction with the Mahrattas? The desertion of the Nizam, therefore, involved a violation of British faith. It is to be regretted, however, that other considerations prevailed with Sir John Shore. The treaty between the English, the Nizam, and the Mahrattas, bound the parties, it was contended, not to assist the enemies of one another. In the event of a war between two of the coni tracting powers, the third was bound not to interfere. Putting aside the question of good faith, the Governor-general, moreover, urged the expenses of a war with Tippoo and the Mahrattas, which the revenues of the
country could ilt sustain. He dwelt emphatically on the Act of Parliament prohibitory of British interference in the quarrels of the native powers; evidently considering a war with Tippoo and the Mahrattas to be a greater evil than the grossest departure from faith and plain-dealing on the part of his own government.
In pursuance, therefore, of this questionable policy, the Nizam was left to his fate. Sir John Malcolm,* with some justice, condemns the proce: dure, confidently declaring, in a tone of dogmatical prescience, that had the Governor-general declared himself bound to protect the Nizam at the hazard of war, and shewn himself prepared for that extremity, the mere terror of British interference would have prevented the necessity of having recourse to it. He complains of the conduct of the government in sacrificing the Nizam, and cultivating the Mahrattas as a more efficient ally against Tippoo Saib; contending that the obligation to support the feeble power of their ancient ally remained unimpaired and entire. One thing, however, seenis to have been overlooked by that careless and positive writer. If war should break out between the Nizam and the Mahrattas,' the English, if bound to assist the Nizam on the ground of having received assistance from him, were bound to assist the Mahrattas, from whom they had also received assistance. This would involve a most absurd contradiction for the British Government would have been thus bound to send one body of British troops to fight against another.
About this period, Scindia died. His nephew and successor inherited his policy. War between the Nizam and the Mahrattas was inevitable. In March 1795, a general action took place. The Nizam was cooped up in a secluded fort, and being reduced to famine, was compelled to conclude a peace on the most abject terms." Tippou, in the meanwhile, remained stedfast to his father's antipathies to the British name. At the same time, the affairs of the Nabob. of Oude, who largely enjoyed the benefits of English protection, became so involved as to threaten the whole of that fine province with ruin and depopulation. He refused to pay his contingent for the cavalry supplied him by the British Government. To induce the vizier to introduce some necessary reforms into his administration, and to obtain security for the expenses disbursed in maintaining the power of the Naboh, the Governor-general undertook a journey to Lucknow. The result of the mission was, the acquiescence of the vizier in the additional subsidy of two regiments of cavalry, British and native. Upon the demise of the Nabob, shortly after, a question arose as to the legitimacy of Asoph ul Dowlah, his son. The question of a kingdom was decided against him by the British Government upon evidence, observes Mr. Mill, on which a court of law in England would not have decided a question of a few pounds By this decision, Asophul Dowlah was deposed, and Saadut Ali raised to the musnud, as the eldest surviving son of Sujah ul Dowlah. It is an intricate question of law and of policy, and the limits of this article pre
** Political History of India. This is a loose and desultory production, and not always good authority in respect of facts.
clude us from entering into it. But even Mr. Mill* acknowledges that it is impossible to read the Governor-general's minute, recording the transaction, and not to be impressed with a conviction of his sincerity. And the Court of Directors, in their letter of the 5th of May 1799, after a long commentary, observe: “ Having taken this general view, with a minute attention to the papers and proceedings before us, we are decidedly of opinion that the late Governor-general, Lord Teignmouth, in a mostarduous situation, and under circumstances of embarrassment and difficulty, conducted himself with great temper, impartiality, ability, and firmness; and that he finished a long career of faithful services by planning and carry ing into effect an arrangement, which not only redounds highly to his own honour, but which will also operate to the reciprocal advantage of the Com pany and the Nabob.”'
1 ms During the administration of Sir John Shore, a dispute, embittered by harsh terms of altercation, took place between the Supreme Board and the Madras Government under Lord Hobart, regarding the Omdut ul Omrah, Nabob of the Carnatic. ' In October 1795, Lord Hobart endeavoured to prevail upon the Omdat to cede all his territories on payment of a stipulated sum ;-a measure in which the Governor-general acquiesced; for, by the mortgage of his territorial possessions to his creditors, and the assignment to that rapacious body of claimants of all their forthcoming produce, the Nabob became unable to pay his annual kists to the Company. But Lord Hobart failed in his object, and proposed to the Supreme Government the forcible occupation of Tinnevelly and the cession of the Carnatic forts as security for the liquidation of the cavalry debt incurred by the Nabob with the Madras government. The Governor-general strongly discountenanced and protested against such a measure, as an infraction of treaty In his minute, Lord Hobart urged the necessity of the procedure, on the principle of self-preservation-the decay and depopulation of the Carnatic and the breach of treaty on the part of the Nabob himself, by the assignment of districts to which alone the Company could look for payment. This dispute was aggravated by the awkward circumstance of the subordinate functionary being of higher rank than the supreme, Lord Hobart appealed to the Court of Direotors, but their decision was superseded by the return of Lord Ho. bart, who was succeeded by Lord Clive; and in the beginning of 1798; Sir John Shore, who, a few months before his retirement, was raised; as we have seen, to the peerage, returned to England, having been succeeded by Lord Mornington. - Lord Teignmouth lived in habits of familiar intercourse with Sir Williain Jones at Calcutta, and succeeded him as president of the Asiatic Society In that capacity, he delivered, on the 22d May 1794, a warm and elegant eulogy of his predecessor, and in 1804 published memoirs of his life, writ. ings, and correspondence." It is, upon the whole, a pleasing piece of biography, recording almost every thing interesting in his public and private eharacter, partly in his own familiar correspondence, and transferring to the reader much of the respect and admiration for that extraordinary man, with
* Hist. Brit. India, vol. iii. p. 350. 4to.
which the writer was himself impressed. The work is closed with a delineation of Sir William Jones's character, which, though it might have exhibited greater force and discrimination, could not well have been presented in chaster and more interesting colours. The fault of the work is the redundancy of the materials which Lord Teignmouth deemed it neces sary to work up into it. For instance, the long and verbose correspondence between Jones and Revicksky, afterwards imperial ambassador to the court of St. James, chiefly in Latin, is translated and incorporated with the book, the originals being given in the Appendix; but the greater part of these letters contribute little to the development of Sir William Jones's mind or feelings; and though they give 'occasional intimations of his studies, and general remarks upon Asiatic literature, yet they are too slight to satisfy curiosity, and too declamatory and enthusiastic to be instructive or amusing: There is something sickening too in the mutual eulogium with which each bespatters the other. They display, however, the astonishing command of Jones over the Latin idiom. At the same time, it is scarcely possible to suppress an angry, almost a contemptuous, feeling, when we perceive to what an extravagant eminence he is inclined to raise the Asiatic poets. " In harum litterarum,” he says of the classics, “ amore non patiar-ut me vincas, ita enim incredibiliter illis delector, nihil ut suprà possit: equidem poesi Grecorum jam inde a puero ita delectabar, ut nihil mihi Pindari carminibus elatius, nihil Anacreonte dulcius, nihil Sapphús, Archilochi,* Alcæi ac Simonidis aureis illis reliquiis politius aut nitidius esse videretur. ' At cum poesem Arabicam et Persican degustarem, illico exarescere The remainder of the letter is lost : but that a classical scholar should avow that his enthusiasm for the Greek poets became frigid when he had made himself acquainted with Asiatie poetry, is scarcely credible. Dr. Parr has more than once, in the hearing of the individual who is writing these pages, thundered out his reprehen, sion of his old friend and pupil, for having thus given utterance to what he called “ a damnable heresy.”
Lord Teignmouth inserted also the correspondence of Jones with Schultens, thé, celebrated Dutch orientalist. The letters are written with the flowing pure Latinity, which distinguishes those to Revicksky. They are obviously the produet of a mind disciplined to a severe classical taste, but not remarkable for depth of thought or fertility of sentiment. Every thing is panegyric and hyperbole. The relative merits of the Asiatic and Euro, pean writers are contrasted, but no vigour of conception fixes the attention, and they are barren of the nice and happy discrimination essential to comparative eriticism. It is in his letters to his friends in England, on political subjects, that we must trace the more genuine picture of his mind. These contain greater variety of thought and strength of feeling, and certainly more striking indications of a masculine understanding, than can be found in any
other parts of this various, diligent, but much too highly-rated man's writings. That Jones went out to India strongly tinctured with republican * Might one be permitted to ask, what remains of Archilochus Sir William Jones could have had
access to ?
opinions, is no longer questionable. Lord Teignmouth, however, seems influenced by an amiable disinclination to attribute them to Sir William Jones. Yet Paley said of him, "he was a great republican when I knew him.; the principles, which he then avowed so decidedly, he certainly never afterwards disclaimed.” This is corroborated in one of his latest letters, in which he remarks, with some emphasis, that the political opinions he had imbibed in early life he still held, and should never relinquish." These opinions he re-asserted three years only before his death, in a letter to Dr. Price, dated “ Krishnagur, September 14, 1790," thanking him for a copy of his celebrated sermon. In this letter, Sir William Jones exclaims : “ When I think of the late glorious revolution in France, I cannot help applying to my poor infatuated country the words which Tully once applied to Gaul: “ex omnibus terris Britannia sola communi non ardet incendio." It is singular that Lord Teignmouth should have expunged this passage from the letter to Dr. Price; a writer in our Journal called the attention of our readers to the omission. * If intentional, the omission was unfair and disingenuous; for, as Paley remarked, "the sentiments of such a man as Sir William Jones ought neither to be extenuated nor withheld."* On the other hand, it may be perceived, from other letters of Jones, that he was a friend to our mixed constitution, as established at the revolution ; a sentiment decidedly adverse to unqualified republicanism.
We believe that the truth, as it generally does, lies in the mean. Sir William Jones went out to India with decided notions as to the duty and right of resistance, as established by the revolution of 1688. His celebrated dialogue asserts the right and the correlative duty of resistance, but limited by the principles avowed by Lord Somers and the great leaders of that event; and it was upon these grounds successfully defended by Lord Erskine on the trial of the Dean of St. Asaph. Of the French revolution, in its commencement, Lord Teignmouth admits, that he entertained a favourable opinion; and we can add of our own knowledge, if Dr. Parr is a faithful interpreter of his friend's habitual modes of thinking, that he wholly disapproved of the coalition-war against France, on the ground of policy as well as of justice, uniformly adhering, though with the modifications suggested.ænd sanctioned by successive events, to those grand swelling sentiments of liberty, which animated his early years, and the attachment to those master-principles in the civil governments and policies of mankind, which study and contemplation had fixed in his mind.
On the 4th April 1807, Lord Teignmouth was appointed a Commissioner for the Affairs of India, and was sworn one of the Privy Council a few days afterwards. His activity and zeal in the formation of the Bible Society in 1804, are prominent features of his life, and strong indications of his sincere convictions and warmth of piety as a Christian believer. He had the honour of being fixed upon as the fittest person to preside over that well-meaning, though, in many particulars, mistaken institution ; the high names of Porteus, Fisher, Burgess, Gambier, Charles Grant, and Wilber
* See vol, iy, p. 203.