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Marquis Wellesley's government, was to put this horrible custom down in Saugur. How little anything, however, but the extraction of revenue had throughout all the course of our dominion in India been regarded till the present century, the Christian Researches of Mr. Buchanan made manifest. The publication of that book, coming as it did from a gentleman most friendly to our authorities there, was the commencement of a new era in our Indian history. It at once turned, by the strangeness of its details, the eyes of all the religious world on our Indian territories, and excited a feeling which more than any other cause has led to the changes which have hitherto been effected. At that period (1806), in making a tour through the peninsula of Indostan, he discovered that everything like attention to the moral or religious condition of either natives or colonists was totally neglected. That all the atrocious superstitions of the Hindus were not merely tolerated, but even sanctioned, and some of them patronized by our government. That though there were above twenty English regiments in India at that time, not one of them had a chaplain, (p. 80). That in Ceylon, where the Dutch had once thirty-two Protestant churches, we had then but two English clergymen in the whole island! (p. 93). That there were in it by computation 500,000 natives professing Christianity; who, however, "had not one complete copy of the Scriptures in the vernacular tongue," and consequently, they were fast receding into paganism, (p. 95). That the very English were more notorious for their infidelity than for anything else, and by their presence did infinite evil to the natives. That, in that very year, when the governor
of Bombay announced to the supreme government at Calcutta, his determination to attempt to extirpate infanticide from Guzerat-a practice, be it remembered, which in that province alone destroyed annually 3000 children !*-this cool commercial body warned him, not even for the speculative success of that benevolent project, to hazard the essential interests of the state!" (p. 52). That all the horrors of burning
widows were pa thousand the amount of from seven
hundred to one of such diabolical scenes annually. That the disgusting and gory worship of Juggernaut was not merely practised, but was actually licensed and patronized by the English government. That very year it had imposed a tax on all pilgrims going to the temples in Orissa and Bengal, had appointed British officers, British gentlemen to superintend the management of this hideous worship and the receipt of its proceeds. That the internal rites of the temple consisted in one loathsome scene of prostitution, hired bands of women being kept for the purpose; its outward rites the crushing of human victims under the car of the idol.
Thus the Indian government had, in fact, instead of discouraging such practices in the natives, taken up the trade of public murderers, and keepers of houses of ill fame, and that under the sacred name of religious tolerance! A more awful state of things it is impossible to conceive; nor one which more forcibly demonstrates what the whole of this history proclaims, that there is no state of crime, corruption, or villany, which by being familiarized to them, and coming to regard
* It is said that infanticide, spite of the legal prohibition, is still privately perpetrated to a great extent in Cutch and Guzerat.
them as customary, educated men, and men of originally good hearts and pure consciences, will not eventually practise with composure, and even defend as right. What defences have we not heard in England of these very practices? It was not till recently that public opinion was able to put down the immolation of widows,* nor till this very moment that the Indian government has been shamed out of trading in murder and prostitution in the temples of Juggernaut. Thus, for more than thirty years has this infamous trade at Juggernaut been persisted in, from the startling exposure of it by Buchanan, and in the face of all the abhorrence and remonstrances of England-for more than a century and a half it has been tolerated. The plea on which it has been defended is that of delicacy towards the opinions of the natives. That delicacy thus delicately extended where money was to be made, has not in a single case been practised for a single instant where our interest prompted a different conduct. We have seized on the lands of the natives; on their revenues; degraded their persons by the lash, or put them to death without any scruple. But this plea has been so strongly rebutted by one well acquainted with India, in the Oriental Herald, that before quitting this subject it will be well to quote it here. "The assumption that our empire is an empire of opinion in India, and that it would be endangered by restraining the bloody and abominable rites of the natives, is as false as the inference is unwarranted. Our empire is not an empire of opinion, it is not even an empire of law: it has been acquired; it is still governed; and can only be retained, unless the whole system of its government is altered, by the direct in* Nominally, in 1829; but not actually till considerably later.
fluence of force. No portion of the country has been voluntarily ceded, from the love borne to us by the original possessors. We were first permitted to land on the sea coast to sell our wares, as humble and solicitous traders, till by degrees, sometimes by force and sometimes by fraud, we have possessed ourselves of an extent of territory containing nearly a hundred millions of human beings. We have put down the ancient sovereigns of the land, we have stripped the nobles of all their power; and by continual drains on the industry and resources of the people, we take from them all their surplus and disposable wealth. There is not a single province of that country that we have ever acquired but by the direct influence which our strength and commanding influence could enforce, or by the direct agency of warlike operations and superior skill in arms. There is not a spot throughout the whole of this vast region whereon we rule by any other medium than that by which we first gained our footing there-simple force. There is not a district in which the natives would not gladly see our places as rulers supplied by men of their own nation, faith, and manners, so that they might have a share in their own affairs; nor is there an individual, out of all the millions subject to our rule in Asia, whose opinion is ever asked as to the policy or impolicy of any law or regulation about to be made by our government, however it may press on the interests of those subject by its operation. It is a delusion which can never be too frequently exposed, to believe that our empire in India is an empire of opinion, or to imagine that we have any security for our possession of that country, except the superiority of our means for maintaining the dominion of force."-vol. ii. p. 174.
THE ENGLISH IN INDIA,-CONCLUDED.
THE preceding chapter is an awful subject of contemplation for a Christian nation. An empire over one hundred millions acquired by force, and held by force for the appropriation of their revenues! Even this dominion of force is a fragile tenure. We even now watch the approaches of the gigantic power of Russia towards these regions with jealousy and alarm; and it is evident that at once security to ourselves, and atonement to the natives, are only to be found in the amelioration of their condition: in educating and Christianizing them, and in amalgamising them with British interests and British blood as much as possible. The throwing open of these vast regions, by the abolition of the Company's charter of trade, to the enterprise and residence of our countrymen, now offers us ample means of moral retribution; and it is with peculiar interest that we now turn to every symptom of a better state of things.
A new impulse is given to both commerce and agriculture. The march of improvement in the cultivation and manufacture of various productions is