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after twenty years, is as crude as it was the first day. The natives scarcely know what it is to see the grey head of an Englishman. Young men (boys almost) govern there, without society, and without sympathy with the natives. They have no more social habits with the people than if they still resided in England ; nor indeed any species of intercourse but that which is necessary to making a sudden fortune, with a view to a remote settlement. Animated with all the avarice of age, and all the impetuosity of youth, they roll in one after another; wave after wave; and there is nothing before the eyes of the natives but an endless, hopeless prospect of new Aights of birds of prey and passage, with appetites continually renewing for a food that is continually wasting. Every rupee of profit made by an Englishman is lost for ever to India. With us are no retributory superstitions, by which a foundation of charity compensates, through ages, to the poor, for the rapine and injustice of a day. With us no pride erects stately monuments which repair the mischiefs which pride had produced, and which adorn a country out of its own spoils. England has erected no churches, no hospitals, no palaces, no schools ; England has built no bridges, made no high roads, cut no navigations, dug out no reservoirs. Every other conqueror of every other description has left some monument, either of state or beneficence, behind him. Were we to be driven out of India this day, nothing would remain to tell that it had been possessed, during the inglorious period of our dominion, by any thing better than the ouran-outang or the tiger.
“There is nothing in the boys we send to India worse than in the boys whom we are whipping at school, or that we see trailing a pike, or bending over a desk at home. But as English youth in India drink the intoxicating draught of authority and dominion before their heads are able to bear it, and as they are full-grown in fortune long before they are ripe in principle, neither nature nor reason have any opportunity to exert themselves for remedy of the excesses of their premature power. The consequences of their conduct, which in good minds (and many of theirs are probably such) might produce penitence or amendment, are unable to pursue the rapidity of their flight. Their prey is lodged in England; and the cries of India are given to seas and winds, to be blown about in every breaking up of the monsoon, over a remote and unhearing ocean.
“ In India all the vices operate by which sudden fortune is acquired ; in England are often displayed by the same persons the virtues which dispense hereditary wealth. Arrived in England, the destroyers of the nobility and gentry of a whole kingdom will find the best company in this nation, at a board of elegance and hospitality. Here the manufacturer and husbandman will bless the just and punctual hand that in India has torn the cloth from the loom, or wrested the scanty portion of rice and salt from the peasant of Bengal, or wrung from him the very opium in which he forgot his oppressions and his oppressor. They marry into your families ; they enter into your senate; they ease your estates by loans; they raise their value by demand; they cherish and protect your relations which lie heavy on your patronage ; and there is scarcely a house in the kingdom that does not feel some concern and interest that makes all reform of our eastern government appear officious and disgusting; and, on the whole, a most discouraging attempt. In such an attempt you hurt those who are able to return kindness or to resent injury. If you succeed, you save those who cannot so much as give you thanks."
“ But,” said Egeria, “ perhaps you will say that
this kind of eloquence belongs almost exclusively to the style of Mr Burke, and I will not dispute the point with you. I acknowledge, that he seems to have been in it the greatest master, as he was of all modern orators, nay, I will assert of all orators whatsoever, the most magnificent in phraseology. His diction wants the round and rolling cadence of Cicero's, and in argument he was far inferior in clearness, closeness, and vehemence to Demosthenes, but neither the Greek nor the Roman have excelled him in his own particular style. The desolation of the Carnatic by Hyder Ali, as described in his speech of February 28th 1785, on the Nabob of Arcot's debts, is not surpassed by any description in poetry.”
“Let me hear it,” said the Bachelor, and his airyhanded lady took down the volume and read
“ The great fortunes made in India in the beginnings of conquest, naturally excited an emulation in all the parts, and through the whole succession of the Company's service. But in the Company it gave rise to other sentiments. They did not find the new channels of acquisition flow with equal riches to them. On the contrary, the high flood-tide of private emolument was generally in the lowest ebb of their affairs. They began also to fear, that the fortune of war might take away what the fortune of war had given. Wars were accordingly discouraged by repeated injunctions and menaces ; and that the servants might not be bribed into them by the native princes, they were strictly forbidden to take any money whatsoever from their hands. But vehement passion is ingenious in resources. The Company's servants were not only stimulated, but better instructed
by the prohibition. They soon fell upon a contrivance which answered their purposes far better than the methods which were forbidden ; though in this also they violated an ancient, but, they thought, an abrogated order. They reversed their proceedings. Instead of receiving presents, they made loans. Instead of carrying on wars in their own name, they contrived an authority, at once irresistible and irresponsible, in whose name they might ravage at pleasure, and being thus freed from all restraint, they indulged themselves in the most extravagant speculations of plunder. The cabal of creditors who have been the object of the late bountiful grant from his Majesty's ministers, in order to possess themselves, under the name of creditors and assignees, of every country in India, as fast as it should be conquered, inspired into the mind of the nabob of Arcot, (then a dependant on the Company of the humblest order,) a scheme of the most wild and desperate ambition that I believe ever was admitted into the thoughts of a man so situated. First, they persuaded him to consider himself as a principal member in the political system of Europe. In the next place, they held out to him, and he readily imbibed, the idea of the general empire of Indostan. As a preliminary to this undertaking, they prevailed on him to propose a tripartite division of that vast country. One part to the Company; another to the Mahrattas; and the third to himself. To himself he reserved all the southern part of the great peninsula, comprehended under the general name of the Decan.
“On this scheme of their servants, the Company was to appear in the Carnatic in no other light than as a contractor for the provision of armies and the hire of mercenaries for his use, and under his direction. This disa position was to be secured by the nabob's putting himself under the guarantee of France, and by the means of that rival nation preventing the English for ever
from assuming an equality, much less a superiority, in the Carnatic. In pursuance of this treasonable project, treasonable on the part of the English, they extinguished the Company as a sovereign power in that part of India; they withdrew the Company's garrisons out of all the forts and strong-holds of the Carnatic; they declined to receive the ambassadors from foreign courts, and remitted them to the nabob of Arcot; they fell upon and totally destroyed the oldest ally of the Company, the king of Tanjore, and plundered the country to the amount of near five millions sterling; one after another, in the nabob's name, but with English force, they brought into a miserable servitude all the princes and great independent nobility of a vast country. In proportion to these treasons and violences, which ruined the people, the fund of the nabob's debt grew and flourished.
“ Among the victims to this magnificent plan of universal plunder, worthy of the heroic avarice of the projectors, you have all heard (and he has made himself to be well remembered) of an Indian chief called Hyder Ali Khan. This man possessed the western, as the Company, under the name of the nabob of Arcot, does the eastern division of the Carnatic. It was among the leading measures in the design of this cabal (according to their own emphatic language) to extirpate this Hyder Ali. They declared the nabob of Arcot to be his sovereign, and himself to be a rebel, and publicly invested their instrument with the sovereignty of the kingdom of Mysore. But their victim was not of the passive kind. They were soon obliged to conclude a treaty of peace and close alliance with this rebel at the gates of Madras. Both before and since this treaty, every principle of policy pointed out this power as a natural alliance; and on his part it was courted by every sort of amicable office. But the cabinet council of English creditors