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Mahommedan overstepped the commands of the Prophet, and pledged his partner in the dance with wine. Mahomet introduced a chapter into the Koran to sanction his amours with the lovely Mary, and his disciple doubtless hoped for a similar dispensation in regard to his wine-bibbing. The Padre forgot to pray, and transferred his activity from his tongue to his toes. The Church-ofEngland man left the discussion of the thirty-nine articles to the contemplation and trial of the more numerous and satisfactory articles of enjoyment placed before him. `All parties exhibited a determination to please and be pleased, and succeeded to the fullest extent of their wishes.
Malacca in its time has known many masters. In 1511 it was captured by the Portugueze; in 1640 it was wrested from them by the Dutch ; in 1795 it passed into the hands of the English, who retained it till the peace of Amiens, then restored it to the Dutch, and recaptured it upon the renewal of the continental-war. By the treaty of 1814 the place was again ceded to the Dutch. Considerable value was formerly attached to the possession of this place, not merely on account of its productions, but, as the authors of the modern part of the Universal History remark, “ from the importance of its situation ; standing as it does in the midst of the sea, it divides, as it were, India from India, and no commerce can safely be carried on from the coasts of Malabar, Coromandel, or the Bay of Bengal, to Sumatra, Borneo, Java, &c., without the leave of such as are masters of it.” Although the many changes of masters have tended to diminish its productiveness, and other circumstances have reduced the high value then attached to its situation, it is, even in its present depressed state, of sufficient consequence to be deemed no slight acquisition.
The territory dependant upon the town contains about 800 square miles and 22,000 inhabitants, in addition to the population of the town, which is estimated at 12,000. The soil generally is good, and capable of being rendered very productive. The climate is healthy, and many of the persons, some of European origin, who attended the Resident's levee on administering the oath of fidelity to the Government, were upwards of eighty years of age. Most of the cultivated lands are held under freehold tenures. Such as are in possession of the Government are farmed, and produce about 70,000 dollars per annum. The police of the town is conducted by an armed body of men, resembling the Burghers of Holland, with the exception, that in Malacca, the members of the corps are selected from the half-caste population, and are compelled to serve gratuitously. This is one of the abuses which, it is hoped, will be swept away by the projected improvements. Amongst these are reforms in the Judicial system, which at present is a compound of contradictory and inefficient laws, suited neither to the due administration of justice, to the genius of the people, nor to local circumstances. The Currency has already been an object of attention, and measures have been adopted for forming something like a standard for the variety of coins in circulation, which consist of dollars, guilders, stivers, and rupees of Dutch and British India coinage.
The views for the future management of the place, as far as they are known, appear to be consistent with sound and liberal policy, particularly those regarding the Revenue. Hitherto the trade of the place has been cramped and shackled with impolitic and harassing imposts, destructive alike to domestic industry and production, and to foreign trade and enterprize. Already hras Mr. Cracroft reduced many of them, and totally abolished others. By these measures, coupled with increased security and value of property, stability and equity of government, Malacca may speedily again boast of a numerous and industrious population, and of being the resort of judicious and adventurous merchants.
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Excellent, however, as these views are in themselves, they required no small ability or diversity of talent in the agent who had to introduce them. To compete with old habits, inveterate prejudices, enthusiasm for evils acknowledged to be so-but reverenced for their antiquity ;-to soothe the violent feelings engendered by endeavours to meddle with them, and to overcome obstinate ignorance, require no mean share of persuasion, prudence, cool calcnlation and determination. The very fact of an improvement being introduced by a foreigner is too often a primâ facie argument against its adoption, and much skill is required in procuring a trial. Judging, however, from the satisfaction expressed by all classes at the principles which have been introduced, and from their ready acquiescence in the alterations which have been made, they not only duly appreciate them; but the manner in which they were brought into operation, has also secured good will, both for the Government and for its executive officer. Honourably as Mr. Cracroft has performed his duties, gratifying as the consciousness of having performed them well must be to him, he has a source of higher satisfaction. Mr. Cracroft's may be associated with Mr. Huskisson's name:like that talented person, Mr. Cracroft has, though in a limited sphere, used his best exertions for the “removal of useless and inconvenient restrictions, for the doing away of prohibitions, and for the lowering of duties so excessive, as to be in fact prohibitory on the productions of other countries-restrictions, prohibitions, and duties which, without benefit, nay, highly mischievous to the imposers, have produced serious evil effects, and given rise to the retaliatory efforts of foreign governments to put down the commerce of the country.'
."* The well-wisher of mankind is gratified, and his hopes are cheered in witnessing the same principles of enlightened legislation, and the same spirit of active benevolence, operating in distant and distinct parts of the globe, for the general comfort and happiness of the species.
* Speech of Rt. Hon. W. Huskisson, 23d February 1826, p. 43.
BRITISH MANUFACTURES EXPORTED TO ASIA.
OFFICIAL VALUE OF THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES EXPORTED, DURING THE TEN
YEARS ENDING 1824, TO THE EAST-INDIES AND CHINA. (From M. Moreau's new Work entitled “ British and Irish Produce and Manufactures exported to all Parts of the World.").
Iron and Steel, Brass and Copper Cotton Manufactures.
Woollens. Wrought and Unwrought. Manufactures. £. £.
£. 1815 149,058
265,375 1816 163,614 1,030,220
199,689 1817 423,834
293,743 1818 701,592
207,815 .... 346,090 1819 ....: 466,016
323,102 1820 863,631
405,698 1821 ......1,186,074
358,351 1822 ......1,167,246
279,278 1823 ......1,181,671
265,216 1824 ......1,188,167
Review of Books.
Some Considerations on the Policy of the Government of India, more especially
with reference to the Invasion of Burmah. By Lieut. Col. M. STEWART, F.R.S.E., Member of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta. Edinburgh, 1826.
COLONEL STEWART is one of the few writers hostile to the existing principles of government in British India who express themselves with temper and decorum. He has made no sacrifice in abstaining from acrimonious and personal reflections (which are now becoming as familiar as household terms); on the contrary, his arguments acquire additional force from the polished style in which they are conveyed.
Although we entertain opinions, on many subjects touched upon in this work, very much at variance with those expressed by Col. Stewart, it is not our intention to discuss the points at issue between us, because that would require a much larger space than we can afford. Our objection, in limine, to the work re us is, hat it embraces a subject too vast for its dimensions. This pamphlet of ninety-seven pages, exclusive of notes, commences with the first intercourse between Europe and India; treats of the character and peculiarities of the Mogul government, then in its zenith ; examines the policy of the various rulers of the Company's territory, from Lord Clive to the Marquess of Hastings; adverts to the transactions with the native princes; discusses the policy of the present war; the uses we could make of success in it; criticises the invasion of the Burmese territories as a military operation; finally, it investigates the various subjects relating to the landed interest of India; the tax fixed at the permanent settlement; the commerce and the institutions of India, the moral and intellectual improvement of the natives, and their admission to a participation in the affairs of Government, &c. &c. Upon many matters connected with these extensive questions, we entirely dissent from the dicta delivered by Col. Stewart; but to place them in a just point of view would require for each a work of equal bulk to this in which they are treated collectively.
We shall give as concise an epitome as we can of the contents of this pamphlet. Col. Stewart represents the Mogul empire, at the period of European intercourse with India, as consisting of a powerful and flourishing government, a splendid court, and a large body of bold and warlike nobility. Our contest with such a state must, he conceives, be conducted upon the principle that our existence in India could only be secured by its subjection ; and there is ground to think, he alleges, that Lord Clive saw, at an early period, this dangerous necessity. The decay of the Mogul government admitted, in process of time, of a change of character in the East-India Company, from that of merchants to that of rulers of Bengal ; and, under the system adopted by Mr. Hastings, the English Government acted as arbitrators in the quarrels of the native states, with which it now became connected, and in that office acquired an increase of territory and of political influence. Lord Cornwallis endeavoured to stop the progress of aggrandizement; but “ with all the prudence of which he was master, he was forced into war; and his administration terminated, like that of his predecessors, in a further reduction of the native states, and a large accession of territory." His successor (Lord Wellesley) pursued a bold and decided system of policy, which was promoted by his great military successes.
When about to reap the further fruits of his victories, and to consolidate and mature the system he had extended so far, he was arrested in his career by the apprehensions of those who could see nothing in his measures but an idle or unprincipled ambition, and a fruitless expenditure of the Company's treasure. By the change of councils which supervened, the strong boundary which he had provided on the left bank of the Jumna was abandoned, some of the minor arrangements of the system he had so far advanced altered and dislocated, and the invaluable opportunity thrown away of pursuing by negociation, under the influence of our recent successes, the more extensive developement of the only basis on which any permanent repose could be secured to the Peninsula.
Col. Stewart then passes to the splendid administration of the Marquess of Hastings, who, he conceives, had assigned limits to our Indian empire, beyond which-it was the height of impolicy to pass. The sword had now done its business, and time and a steady adherence to the principles which Lord Hastings had established, alone were required to secure and continue the tranquillity of India.” Farther on, Col. Stewart observes, that it would be absurd to suppose that we stood on ground destitute of danger ; we had put an end to the form which danger had hitherto assumed,“ but we have only to consider what our situation is, to be able to judge of its perils; that of 25,000 indivia duals, at the distance of four months' sail from their native country, among eighty millions of people.”
The author then expatiates upon the want of connexion between the natives and the Government, the injudicious policy adopted by the British Government in its settlement of the land-tax, and contrasts it with the system of the Mogul government, the revenues of which supported a large body of gentry, who imparted a powerful stimulus to the industry of the country.
Instead of all those splendid objects which were open to the ambition of the people, and of all those sources of wealth which at once roused the cupidity of the aspiring, and diffused plenty among the humble, which filled the country with princes and with nobles, and beautified its surface with palaces and gardens, with reservoirs, and with stately monuments of the dead, we have given them tranquillity; but it is the tranquillity of stagnation, agitated by no living spring, unruffled by any salutary breeze, and prone to corrupt into every vice, or to ferment into every baneful and pernicious
Col. Stewart proceeds to consider the invasion of the Burman empire in two points of view; as a measure of policy, and as a military operation. He does not dispute the necessity of resorting to hostilities, but his design is to show that all our wars should be limited by the sole view of affording protection to our subjects. The merits of the war, as a measure of policy, may, in his opinion, be estimated by the advantage to be gained by success, compared with the consequences to be apprehended from failure, and the probabilities of either ; " but, failing or succeeding, an objection lies to it, in limine, as a departure from the only safe principle on which our foreign policy can rest." There are three uses which we could make of our advantage, if we succeeded in obtaining military possession of the country; 1st, to dictate terms of peace; 2d, to dismember the empire, and revive the ancient states of which it is composed; 3d, to retain the country as a conquest.
In the first case, he contends that we could obtain no compensation for the expenses of the war, either by the cession of territory or by pecuniary contribution. The former would give us possessions which would not incorporate with our present, together with an open frontier, exposed to perpetual annoyance; the latter he conceives to be impossible, because the country has none of those sources of wealth which existed in India. “The Burmese are
precisely precisely in that state of society in which they have little to lose but their lives or their liberty. The exportations are almost solely the rude produce of the country, and of that description which it requires no labour to raise. Their taxes are almost entirely paid in kind, and necessarily exchanged for the labour required in the service of government.”
The project of dismemberment Col. Stewart considers to be liable to many and serious objections, amongst which the weakening of our frontier, by destroying an efficient government on the other side of it, capable of being made responsible for the acts of its subjects, he thinks is not the least. But in erecting small principalities, we must, according to our established policy, form treaties of alliance with the several states; and to manage our relations with them and with each other, we must have residents at the different courts, and be ready to enforce our arbitrations : so that“ over the whole of this vast territory we should be involved in a system of eternal discord and arbitration, like that from which we are just escaping in India.” The contraction of territory is, moreover, he considers, objectionable from its obstructing the improvement of society, which can be promoted only in large communities, such as exist in the east.
To conquer the country, and keep it altogether, if it were attainable, is, he justly remarks, “ of all the objects of the war the one in vindication of which least can be said.”
Col. Stewart concludes, from the view he has taken of these three lines of policy, that “whether we fail or succeed, the effect of the war must be to spread widely the alarm of our subsequent views through all the countries of the east, and to increase greatly that jealousy as to an intercourse with Europeans, which has hitherto been the great obstacle to the valuable commerce which these wide and populous regions of the earth are capable of maintaining.” Even a stipulation for freer admission of our trade with Ava, would, he imagines, be ineffectual, for the moment our force was withdrawn, the treaty would be eluded.
The invasion of the enemy's country, considered as a military operation, is the next subject treated by Col. Stewart. Its difficulties he accurately describes, in respect to the peculiarity of the force employed (consisting of Hindus unaccustomed to foreign warfare), and to the nature of the invaded country. He is of opinion that it would have been more expedient'to march an army by the route through Sylhet; and that "there can be no doubt that the resources of the Company's territory are perfectly adequate to force an army over all obstacles to Ummerapoora.” The only precedent for the mode of operations chosen is, he thinks, the invasion of Nepaul; but a defensive war, in the latter case, he observes, was out of the question. The simple and soldier-like plan of Lord Hastings was, therefore, to paralyze the efforts of the enemy, by rapidly advancing separate columns from different points. But in military geography no two cases can be, in the writer's judgement, more directly opposed than Nepaul and Burmah.
Our author concludes this part of his subject with a solemn adjuration addressed to those who direct the destinies of British India, to arrest the
progress of aggrandizement in that quarter, and to turn their exclusive attention to the improvement of the territories already acquired, in which employment “ there is wherewithal to satisfy the highest ambition.” The alterations which he conceives to be necessary in our system of policy, relate to the landed aristocracy of India, to the emancipation of commerce, and to the moral and intellectual improvement of the Hindus. Amongst the means to attain the