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swarthy grandsons of Shem, whose children* still love or trust the thicket best, and only of late years have begun to venture out at the call of the philanthropist and the missionary.
And here I would call your attention to two points
Firstly. How early the prophecy of Noah (Genesis ix. 27) was fulfilled, that “God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem."
Secondly. That the pure Hindoos, and their British conquerors, belong to the same great branch of the family of Man.
How long the Hindoo conquerors, with their dynasties of the Sun and Moon, were left undisturbed, forging their present forms of idolatry and caste, history cannot tell us ; but it tells us how the Persians under Darius Hystaspes, and the Greeks under Alexander, bore their arms into Indian borders before the Christian era; how since then the Khalifahs of Baghdad and their fanatic Arabs first cleft an eastward road for the Koran through Sindh and the Punjab (close of sixth century); how Mahmood the Destroyer twelve times descended into India to smash its idols and massacre its idolaters, or spare them only to be sold in his own country at 4s. a head (A.D. 1000) ; how the house of Ghor (still coming from the North-west) extended Mahommedan sway into Bengal (A.D. 1157-1206); how the Turk-born slave-kiugs reduced Malwa, and completed Moslem dominion to the Vindhya chain (1206—1288);
The Bheels, Ghonds, Coles, &c. &c. Their total numbers in India are estimated at sixteen millions, exclusive of the Karens of our newest province, Pegu. The wonderful results of the labours of Dr. Judson, his colleagues and successors, during half a century among the Karens (of whom there are now supposed to be 100,000 Christians), seems to point out the Semitic aborigines of India as the most hopeful headland in the field of Oriental Missions.
how the Khiljees followed and reduced the Deckan and Guzerât (1288—1321); how the house of Toghluk, half Turk, half Indian, lost the Deckan and Bengal (1321– 1412); how the Tartars under the Lame Timour sacked Delhi (1398); how the Syuds, Viceroys of Timour, let empire slip through their priestly hands till, like a modern hierarch, they were left with only Delhi “and a garden" (1412–1450); how the Afghan house of Lodi (coming still, let us take notice, from the pale and hardy North) recovered rule from the Himalaya to Benares (1450–1526); how Bâber, in the first battle of Paniput, again won India back for the house of Timour (1526), and founded that last and most famous Tartar dynasty, commonly but erroneously called the dynasty of the “Great Moghuls," which rose with Bâber and Humayoon, culminated with Akbar, Jehangeer, and Shah Jehan, declined with Aurengzebe, and after struggling for a century with Mahrattas, Sikhs, Rohillas and Afghans, again sank into impotence on the bloody field of Paniput, from which it sprang (6th January, 1761). All this history tells us; and already it seems marvellous how men can talk of “the unchanging East,” unless indeed there be a sameness in such ceaseless change. But the changes of Indian history have yet to reach their climax, for it goes on to tell us as a fact that in the end there came a handful of white men across the Western sea to be lords over those dark Indians, supposed to be 200,000,000 in number; that these little British isles of ours have dominated for a hundred years over that vast continent fourteen times their size; that the seat of Eastern Empire was transferred to Europe, from the banks of the Jumpa to the banks of the Thames; and that the world has lived to see a knot of English officers in sword and sash sitting round a table in the old Imperial capital to try one Buhâdoor Shah, lineal descendant of the Great Moghuls,* sometime King of Delhi, and presently a British pensioner, on the charge of disturbing the public peace of India! Can change go farther? Yes. It might, and Englishmen can hardly find a more deeply interesting theme for speculation than “ whether it will.” Let us to-night consider it a little, and try to take away with us suggestions to be thought out hereafter; impressions that, perhaps gaining strength from reflection, may some day influence for good a vote, a life, a people.
The three questions which concern England most as to her Indian Empire are
1. How it was got ? 2. How it was used ? 3. How it will end ?
1.-HOW IT WAS GOT ?
The wants of Man are the leading-strings of God; and the products of India have drawn Europe to it as irresistibly as the golden ore of the New World has drawn off the crowded population of the Old. For many ages the trade between the East and West pursued Overland routes; at first from the head of the Persian Gulf to the Phenician ports, and next from the head of the Red Sea to Alexandria, where it was the chief source of the wealth of the great Venetian Republic. The rest of Europe envied Venice. A spirit of maritime discovery arose, and in the fifteenth century Columbus, feeling in the dark of ocean for India, laid hold of America. Bartholomew Diaz, sent out by the Portuguese, first rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1486, and in 1497 his countryman, Vasco da Gama, completed the enterprise, and reached the Malabar coast of India. In 1510 the renowned Albuquerque followed up the successes of his countrymen, and founded at Goa that Portuguese Indian Empire which held on to the shores and isles of India for a century.
* The mode of spelling Indian names is, to a great extent, arbitrary, as vowels have to be supplied by ear, which are not written in many words. Thus the prophet Mahommed's name is written in the original “Mhmmd.” On the whole “Mahommedan" combines most of Asiatic and English vernacular.
Mogul is actually incorrect in its consonants, and should be spelt " Moghul."
It was a bad empire, a strange mixture of piracy, fanaticism, heroism, and commerce. The founders of it received from their king silken banners bearing the cross of the order of knighthood of Christ; and the ships, well laden with warriors and Franciscan friars, left the Tagus amid many prayers, to murder the Moors, perform prodigies of evil valour, rob vessels on the high seas, sack towns, introduce the Inquisition, establish factories, drive hard bargains for
peppers and spice, plant stone or wooden crosses, put Jews to the rack, convert thousands with a spargillum and a sword, and call it religion--call it empire.
It shows, however, how superior were those Portuguese in courage and in war, when they could thus bully, and buccaneer, and conquer Indian princes, who brought more thousands than they brought hundreds into the field. It shows too what a miserably small fellow was in truth the “Great Moghul,” when a handful of white men could play these pranks upon his coasts, and neither he nor his viceroys be able.to drive them into the sea! But the turn of the Portuguese to be bullied came at last.
Towards the close of the sixteenth century the Protestant Dutch crept cautiously round the Cape. They came in a purely commercial spirit, and when their argosies returned, and they had divided thirty-seven per cent. at
Amsterdam, the heart of the nation might well have been content. But the Dutch soon found that the Portuguese had got the best things in those Eastern seas, and they resolved to drive them out. It took them fifty years to do it, but the middle of the seventeenth century saw the Dutch masters of the Moluccas, Malacca, and parts of Sumatra and Ceylon.
And what were the English doing all this while ? Did they look on with indifference while Portuguese and Dutch founded commercial empires in the far homes of wealth? No; they longed to do the same; but in 1860, when even Italy is free, it seems strange to say that in the sixteenth century the merchant navy of England was forbidden by the Pope of Rome to go round the Cape of Good Hope ! A Papal Bull drew a line in the sea, and in defiance of the shape of the globe, declared that all the lands to the east of it should belong to the King of Portugal, and all to the west of it to the King of Spain! What was to happen when the two met on the other side of the world does not seem to have been provided for, and it remains a ludicrous example of the fallibility of mortals who style themselves infallible. Nevertheless, the English desired to respect it, and spent half a century in trying to reach India through an unobjectionable route-by a North-east or a North-west passage. And as Columbus, looking for India, , had discovered America, so our Willoughbys, and Frobishers, and Davises, pursuing the same search, stumbled on Archangel and Davis's Straits.
Moreover, two different attempts were made to bring the produce of India overland : one by the Russia Company, and their agent, Anthony Jenkinson, who in 1558 went from Moscow down the Volga into the Caspian Sea, and visited Persia and Bokhara ; the other by the Levant Company, who in 1583 despatched two of their partners,