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terms of pacification. It is a strong ground for believing that peace would be advantageous to us, that our wily and perfevering enemy has uniformly refufed to confent to it. This is an evil to which we muft fubmit, and against which we must ftruggle as valiantly as we can: but it is painful to think how many there are among ourselves who fecond thefe purposes of the enemy, from mifguided zeal and mistaken patriotifm, and labour to perpetuate that hoftility from which he alone has hitherto derived any advan tage. We cannot obtain peace, to be fure, by wifhing for it, or even by offering it; but it is fomething to be prepared to receive it, if the offer fhould be made to us; and, at all events, it is of confequence that the grounds of our election fhould be fully and generally confidered, before the time calls on us for an immediate determination.

ART. II. Remarks on the Husbandry and internal Commerce of Bengal. 8vo. Blacks & Parry.


A TREATISE on the husbandry and commerce of Bengal, was printed at Calcutta about ten years ago. The present work is a republication of the firft portion of that treatife, and was written by Mr Colebrooke in 1794, though corrected for this edition in 1803. The remainder of the original publication was chiefly compofed by the late Mr Lambert, and related to the manufactures and external commerce of Bengal, whilft the observations of Mr Colebrooke are confined to the internal traffic. We have already remarked, that this work was not unknown to Dr Tennant, for whom plagiarism has fometimes furnished an Indian recreation.

We should have thought the whole treatise eminently calculated to excite and to reward the public attention; but fince we are obliged to content ourfelves with a portion of thofe interesting fpeculations, we have no hesitation in giving the preference to that with which we are here prefented. Mr Lambert was a highly refpectable merchant of Calcutta; a man endowed with uncommon fagacity, and bred up in mercantile habits. • Merchants, fays Dr Smith, during their whole lives engaged in plans and projects, have frequently more acutenefs of underitanding than the greater part of country gentlemen. As their thoughts, however, are commonly exercifed rather about the intereit of their own particular branch of bufinefs, than about that of the fociety, their judgments, even when given with the greatest candour, is much more to be depended upon, with respect to the



former of thofe two objects, than with regard to the latter. ' We are deeply impreffed with the force of this obfervation. The candour and veracity of Mr Lambert were far above fufpicion ; but, in the plans occafionally fubmitted by that gentleman to the confideration of the Government-General, we always difcovered a more accurate perception of the interefts of the Calcutta mer. chants, than of thofe of the natives, of the Eaft India Company, or of England.

But are thefe interefts really diftinct? That of the Calcutta mer chants (a body which comprifes men of the highest worth) may be allowed to be, in fome refpects, irreconcilable with that of the Company: but may it not be correctly affirmed, that the permanent advantage of Bengal, of the Company, and of England, refts on the fame foundations, flows from the fame principles, and muft be promoted by the fame measures, in fo far as they are connected? Is it not true, that a ftep which must prove prejudicial to one of the three, would ultimately produce confequences injurious to the others; and that the permanent advantage refulting to each, from cooperating towards the general profperity, is more than fufficient to compenfate what each must relinquish to obtain that end?

To these questions we reply with a decided conviction in the affirmative; but the arguments whence we deduce these conclusions are founded on many general, and many local considerations, to which our limits do not admit even of adverting. A more favourable occasion may possibly soon present itself in the discussion of a momentous question of general policy. We shall, then, after doing justice to the eminent perspicuity and talent displayed by the Director, who drew up the report on that important subject, take occasion to prove that, in all human probability, the measure he deprecates would prove still more suddenly, and more fatally injurious to the British interests in India, than even he anticipated. Our arguments will be founded on considerations derived from the internal polity of that country, which have never hitherto been brought under review, on account, probably, of the great development they would require, to persons unacquainted with the peculiar state of society which prevails in our Indian dominions. We are confident that our suggestions will receive the approbation of the persons most competent to form a correct judgment, viz. the gentlemen by whom the charge of administering justice, or collecting the revenues of districts placed under their superintendance, has been exercised. We shall also expect the assent of those who have weighed, with judicious scrutiny, the causes of the phenomena we admire; of

untry amply peopled with hardy and intelligent inhabitants,


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quietly submitting to a sway exercised by a handful of strangers, cordially espousing their interests, and sacrificing their lives on the field of battle for the support of their authority. To that numerous and ingenious portion of the community, however, who think that the state of society in other countries, either is, or ought to be, precisely what they see it at home, our arguments, we are afraid, will appear altogether contemptible; though some of them, to adopt the language of Mr Bruce, may even have tra velled as far as Paris. In this patriotic class, we suspect we must rank the valiant General Craddock; though we lament that a laudable predilection in favour of leathern caps, should have led to such an effusion of human blood.

The work before us, indeed, invites to no such discussions. Distinguished equally by conciseness and perspicuity, it presents important facts, and avoids general reasonings. On controverted points, the opinions of the author are rather implied than expressed; and although, if we have correctly seized his notions, we can by no means subscribe to all his conclusions, we render a willing testimony to the ability and industry with which he has prosecuted his researches, as well as to the honourable motives which suggested them.

Just before the year 1794 (when this work was published), a measure of incalculable magnitude had been put in execution, involving the interests of every class of persons in India. A measure equally urged by the Board of Controul, and by the Court of Directors, from considerations of benevolence and justice, and supported, as they imagined, by policy, as well as propriety. A measure which constituted the great object of the successive administrations of the Marquis of Cornwallis, and of Lord Teignmouth; and where plans, dictated by benevolence, were to be executed, it would have been difficult to have selected more zealous or more intelligent agents. The partisans of the permanent settlement of the revenues were disposed to date the renovation of Bengal from the era of its introduction: less sanguine observers harboured doubts of its efficacy. It would have afforded us infinite gratification, to find from the statements of Mr Colebrooke, that measures suggested by the purest motives had been attended with the desired success; but on this head his readers receive no information; nor do we recollect any passage in this work which appears to be written posterior to 1794; when its merits could not be judged from its effects. Yet some incidental observations lead us to conclude, that the principle on which the permanent settlement was founded, neither coincides with our author's views of justice nor policy. We will now endeavour to exhibit a correct statement of the most important re


and requiring much fuperfluous labour; this again ill divided, and of courfe employed disadvantageoufly ;-all loudly call for amendment.

In Bengal, where the revenue of the state has long had the form of land rent, the management of the public finances has a more immediate influence on agriculture than any other part of the administration. The conditions of the Puttahs or Wases, granted by the Zemindars to their tenants, vary extremely in the same districts. When the rent is paid in kind, the usual rate of distribution is half the produce. The local taxes, established in particular districts, are a source of infinite vexation and litigation, whilst measurements long omitted, without a rule of record substituted in their place, and former surveys forgotten, or their rates become obsolete, leave no certain rule for adjusting the rents.' But high as the assessment is to which the peasants in Bengal are subjected, they have no right to expect lenity in its exaction from the Zemindars.

• Refponfible to government for a tax originally calculated at ten elevenths of the expected rents of their eftates, they have no probable furplus above their expenditure to compenfate for their rifk. Any calamity, any accident, even a delay in his recoveries, may involve a Zemindar in difficulties, from which no economy nor attention can retrieve him. He is not, therefore, likely to be an indulgent and forbearing landlord. '

The fifth chapter is devoted to a statement of the profits of husbandry. The result of Mr Colebrooke's inquiries is, that the cultivation of grain yields little or no profit to the husbandman, who raises it with no other view than as a source of subsistence to his family, in case of the failure of more profitable crops, or to guard against the return of years of scarcity. The price of corn fluctuates in Bengal more than in Europe, and has a considerable influence on the value of all other articles, by creating an unusual competition amongst the sellers, when it is above the common standard. This is in some measure counteracted by the husbandman's possessing a little stock of his own produce, for the consumption of his family; and by the Company's monopoly of certain articles of produce at unvaried rates. The profits of cattle are considerable, and much less precarious; they are derived from the increase of stock, and the sale of the produce, milk, curds, and clarified butter.

The orchard is what chiefly contributes to attach the peasant to his native foil. He feels a fuperftitious predilection for the trees planted by his anceftor; and derives comfort, and even profit from their fruit.'

The mango, palmyra, cocoa-nut, date, and areca, which shade his humble cottage, administer the luxuries of his table, and supply him with articles of ready sale. For the supply of conve


niences, or an accession of wealth, he must depend on the suc cessful culture of more precarious crops, sugar, tobacco, silk, cotton, indigo, and opium. The medium profits of the latter are not perhaps greater than from corn; but frequent instances of immense gain are calculated to allure cultivators; though the Company are said to experience much difficulty in procuring the quantity required for the China market. Tobacco is the most profitable culture to which the husbandman can devote his toils. It might be raised in Bengal in sufficient quantities to supply the consumption of Europe. But whilst the freight remains at 151, per ton, its export thither would prove detrimental to the speculator. The sugar cane has been cultivated throughout Bengal from time immemorial; and the names by which it is known in other countries, appear to be slightly corrupted from Sanscrit appellations. In an eloquent and argumentative appeal to the British nation, Mr Colebrooke descants on the justice and policy of opening the English markets to the produce of Bengal; he contrasts the cheapness of culture there, with the extravagant price at which it is raised in the West Indies; the voluntary labours of free cultivators, with the blood-stained toils of reluctant slaves; and deprecates the idea of considering Bengal in the light of a foreign and tributary country, whose industry should be discouraged. His arguments on this subject appear indeed, to us, altogether unanswerable: were sound policy always in unison with strict justice, the line of conduct to be adopted would admit of little hesitation. Cotton is raised in Bengal in considerable quantity; besides which, an immense importation is received from the northern and western countries; the high rate of freight alone prevents its being brought to Europe, to the advantage equally of our own manufactures, and of the country whence it is exported. The districts in which the silk-worm is reared, could not perhaps supply a greater quantity of silk than they at present furnish; but we are convinced with Mr Colebrooke, that the culture of the mulberry might be extended with advantage to other districts.

The exportation of grain from corn countries, and the returns of falt, conftitute the principal object of internal traffic. The importation of cotton from the western provinces, and the exchange of tobacco for the areca nut, together with fome fugar, and a few articles of less note, complete the fupply of internal confumption. Manufactures are almott mited to the wants of their immediate neighbourhood, excluding from this confideration the provifion of the public investment, and the calls of foreign trade. Piece goods, filk, faltpetre, opium, fugar and indigo, pafs almoft wholly through the Company's hands, excepting only what foreign commerce, and the traffic to various ports in India, exVOL. X. NO. 19.


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