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own paid one, and to suppress every thing like freedom of judgment or discussion on their measures. They will go on for ever assigning any reason but the true one for their unnatural, hostility to that best friend which they and their masters at home can have. They know, too well, that there is no likelihood of any general revolt in India. They know that if there is danger of partial risings, in consequence of sheer despair and resistance to oppression, such insurrections have not a chance of ultimate success, while our general government is tolerably good ; and, at all events, the Press has never had any thing to do with such revolts, not onę of which has occurred since the Press was free. They know, besides, that not a score of natives in all India are yet capable of reading, to understand, discussions in an English newspaper, and that the minds of a very inconsiderable number are yet matured to comprehend political discussion, even in the native languages, fewer still being capable of translating such from English, and not a dozen, perhaps, of writing original matter on such topics. They know, finally, that if a native or European journalist were to blow the trumpet of sedition, and summon the blacks to rise against the whites, the European editor, if he escaped the lunatic asylum, would have very little chance of escaping from the furious hands of the whites, who must form the jury to try him for treason or sedition,-about as little chance as one similarly situated in Jamaicá would have from a jury of slave-drivers and planters. As to a native editor, if in Calcutta, he must pass through the hands of a similar jury of whites ; if in the provinces, through the hands of a single white judge. All these pretended alarms for the « consequences” of a press (subject to the English libel-law) are miserable pretexts, the real object being to escape the shame of having faults and jobs exposed : they deceive nobody on the spot, however effective in Leadenhall-street and on the Stock Exchange, The Press has always been entirely free in our slave colonies, and the slave states of America : but who has ever yet been mad enough to employ it to rouse the blacks to a servile war? In like manner the Press was virtually and practically free in India for several years posterior to 1818. Yet no man ventures, agreeable as it would be to those in power, to point out any injury that it did to the country or its rulers. If a free press had been likely to produce danger, that danger must have been greatest at first starting from a state of thraldom. Yet never was India in profounder tranquillity--never, certainly, better governed ! never so progressive ! . ..
80, The secret cause of hostility to the Press arises, most probably, on the part of the Directors of the Company, from an extreme. unwillingness to draw more public attention than they
dan avoid towards India. They are egregiously deceiving themselves if it be so- in supposing that any such policy will avail them in the approaching day of their utmost need; when their present victories and triumphant votes will be remembered bitterly against the petitioners, who will then be humbly soliciting a renewal of lease, and showing cause (against the merchants, manufacturers, and ship-owners, of the land) why they ought to have the confidence of the liberal and the pious continued to them. Times are greatly changed since 1813, when England had her hands too full to think much of the Company. There are some redeeming, and even constitutional points in the system of governing India through an organ of patronage not directly at the beck of the minister of the day; and if the Directors wish to come before the public of England with a good case in 1833, they would do well to think of showing what they have done for the country entrusted to their management-what improvements, « intellectual, moral, and religious," they have encouraged, rather than come forward to make a merit of having quenched utterly the spark of free discussion that had been kindled by the most liberal of their governors, and of having bound the intercommunication of thought among their subjects in India with stricter chains than had ever before been devised. **81. The irritation on the part of the local governments against free discussion, through the press, appears to arise from none of the motives of alarm and so forth, which they have alleged through shame of confessing the littleness of the real motive. This seems neither more nor less than the love of undivided power—in other words, the preference of particular before the general, interest common to all governments under the sun, and which should always be studiously counteracted in every good system of civil polity. It may almost be doubted if even the best earthly governments heartily love and cherish, perfectly, free discussion. In India, to these ordinary feelings and motives are superadded others peculiar to the situation of that government, to its long enjoyment of undisturbed absolute power, and to the nature and composition of the civil body. All these circumstances united produce, in the Indian authorities, a degree of arrogant conceit, of ludicrous bursting indignation, at the bare idea of any one not of the privileged order, or constituted authorities, presuming to have any opinion on public questions, or daring to obtrude it ; to which Cervantes or Swift, perhaps, might have done justice. But the contiguous sublimity and burlesque are forgotten in the melancholy spectacle of free-born Englishmen thus de-nationalised and demotalised by long residence under a debasing system of arbitrary tule on one hand, and slavish submission on the other. Still more VOL. XXV.
Рат. NO. XLIX.
distressing is the recollection that, for a time, at least, and until this indignant country shall recall powers that have been so abused, these men have it in their power to do very much evil, and to defeat the national wishes and schemes for the intellectual improvement and civilisation of millions..,
SECTION IV.- Eficiency of the Press in India as a local check
against misrule. 82. The positions being established,-first, that the exercise of scrutiny and indirect control through the press in India is perfectly compatible with the safety of our empire ; secondly, that such control is essential to the PERMANENT SAFETY of the country, however uncomfortable to rulers who desire not, primarily, the greatest good of the greatest number; it remains to prove the EFFICIENCY of such a local check. On this part of the argument it is unnecessary to dilate, first, because most of the considera- . tions affecting the questions of EFFICACY have been touched on, incidentally, in the proof of SAFETY, in which they are necessarily involved ; secondly, because to the EFFICACY of a local press the Governments abroad bear the strongest of all testimonies in their extreme alarm at the establishment of so unwelcome an intruder among the monopolists of office.
83. The favorite position put forth in all shapes and phrases, by the enemies of free discussion, to catch unthinking people in England, is this— There is no public in India—therefore, no public opinion-therefore, no use for an organ to express ittherefore, a free press can do no good, and may do harm,” &c. This is the language of Mr. Adam. It may be doubted if a more contemptible sophism ever before disgraced the manifesto of any ruler, or trusted in the weakness of those to whom it was addressed. But the press in India was first silenced, and dared not expose the sophistry; it was hoped, therefore, that any bold begging of the whole questions at issue would suffice for people in England, when India was the subject.
84. « There is no public in India,” that is, no public capable of forming opinions worth attending to. No ? Not even when they praise the political, military, financial, or judicial conduct of their rulers? Why, then, are they allowed to assemble and offer their, incense ? But we must examine this assertion a little more in detail.
85. First, as to the public of India, generally. It may suffice, perhaps, to ask who lent the state the forty millions sterling of which the public debt consisted but the other day? Unless it
exit may formed a la reveral presidended for
dropped from the clouds, perhaps, it may be conceded that they who lend such sums, in any state in all the world, would not be thought very unreasonable in pretending to have some political existence, not to say influence, in public affairs ! .
It may also be asked, without exceeding arrogance, who were they that formed a large European, Portuguese, Armenian, and native militia, at the several presidencies, in the times of Lord Wellesley, when danger was apprehended from French and Mya sorean hostility ? That militia, horse and foot, was indeed afterwards put down, with many other obnoxious measures of the noble Lord; but because it is not, does it follow that it was not? or that there was not then a public, and is not now one, infinitely greater in numbers and in moral force ?
Finally, it may be demanded, and not without some claim to a grateful reply from the people of this country,- Did not the Indian public, or no-public, of all classes and colors, come forward lately to subscribe between 30 and £40,000 to the relief of the distressed Irish? Yet we are told they are as a negative quantity in the political arithmetic of the Honorable East-India Company and their honorable servants abroad !
It may suffice after this to enumerate a few institutions and employments in Bengal, in which natives and Europeans are indiscriminately engaged, as Directors, Contributors, Managers, or Capitalists. Such are the Society with a large capital for clearing Saugor Island.
The banks of Bengal, Hindostan, and the Commercial Company.
The Native Hospital.
86. Secondly, as to the non-existent Native public. It is quite true that the natives have not, and ought not, to have political weight according to their mere numerical strength; but it is not less-true that those of them who reach to a certain degree in the scale of property, intelligence, education, and integrity, ought to carry with them the same weight which the like attributions would obtain for them in any other modern community
87. This granted, it may suffice to notice that the natives are creditors of the state to a vast amount, as Ram-MOHUN-Roy and his brethren assert in their unavailing memorial, and protest against the purposed restrictions of Governor Adam and Judge Macnaghten, a document which will be admired in more unprejudiced times, as a masterpiece of reasoning and eloquence. The natives are directly concerned in the various undertakings and societies
mnedresses”, distilihipping tuguese, and intuals of Many
mentioned (par. 85) under the head of the general public. Many of them, at the presidencies particularly, are individuals of prodigious wealth, acquired in external commerce and interior traffic, Hindoos, Mussulmans, Parsees, Portuguese, Armenian, and IndoBritish, deeply concerned in shipping, ship-building, indigo planting, coffee planting, rum distilling, &c. &c. They have assembled ánd voted addresses of praise, pictures, statues, &c. to several of their governors, and particularly to many retiring judges of the Supreme Court, with whose distribution of justice they were satisfied. They lately voted addresses of praise to a chief judge of the Company's principal court, on his leaving India, and again on his returning to fill a temporary seat in council. On the death of Warren Hastings many of them joined the European community, who assembled to applaud that governor-general's conduct, and subscribed for a public monument to his memory, censured though he had been by repeated resolutions of the Commons of England, and subjected to impeachment.
88. Is it not then the most contemptible of drivelling, to say, that such men as these are to be considered as political nonentities ? Every day brings them, in some relation of their multifarious and busy occupation, into official contact with the King's judges—the Company's courts--the magistracy—the officers of revenue'; nay, in appeals, with His Majesty in council, himself. Shall it then be boldly said by Englishmen, and to Englishmen, that men so situated have not a direct interest in the purity and efficiency of all those, and all other public establishments under the government ?-that they have not a just and lawful right, under responsibility, to scrutinise the conduct of such judges and officers, and so by shame intimidate them into doing their duty, if they think it is not done well ?.. Wé may, perhaps, for some time longer, terrify the less advanced and more timorous Hindoos into submission to demands so extremely unreasonable as this ; that they shall not meddle with the conduct of any of their superiors, however injurious to themselves. But how long can it be supposed that we shall be enabled to intimidate the HALF-CASTE population into such absurd acquiescence ? Examples enough might be cited of the vanity of such human wishes, if examples were ever of any use to mother countries, urged on blindly to their fate. Our own 'America, St. Domingo, the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, all might be quoted, but would be quoted in vain. Each nation in turn flatters itself it is in the right, and that there is something different in the particular relations of its remote dependencies than those of other nations that have gone before! Every state having colonies forgets that the growth of new and prosperous dependencies, and the increase of Creole population, are not to be measured