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existence for the last thirty-five years, It is, therefore, not surprising that the the following extract from a speech natives now truly believe that the kalimade by Mr. J. A. Anderson (a leading yug has visited them in deadly earnest. Calcutta merchant) at the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce in 1892 is now quoted: "But this is trifling to the mess that is being made in India itself, where the transferring of the wealth from one class of people to another is being carried out in a wholesale manner. The decreasing value of the rupee has caused a drain of all available produce from the country. Lately we had freights at £1 per ton from Calcutta to London, and exchange at 1s. 34d., but it could bring out nothing from the fertile valley of the Ganges. The place was clean swept" (the italics are mine). "We had last year a bumper crop of rice, but we finished the season with ballam at three rupees ten anas per maund, or at close on famine rates. This coldweather crop is not a good one, and already we see speculators buying aud storing rice. The same thing is taking place in the North-Western Provinces, where wheat is now at double its former value, and people are starving, not because food grains are wanting, but because wages have not gone up in proportion to the cost of food." If the fertile valley of the Ganges was "clean swept" of its produce in 1891, which was a year of bumper crops, what is the object in increasing the railways? Mr. Anderson's statement is a clear indictment of the middleman and all his ways, although, perhaps, the good man did not intend others to see it in that light. But the government had to open relief works in many of the districts of Bengal and Behar in 1892, so as to keep the people alive after their produce had been swept off to distant markets; and yet, notwithstanding the many bitter lessons which are being administered, we still gaily go on with railway construction throughout India. It would be impossible for the most enthusiastic supporter of railways to prove that they tend to cheapen food grains and the simple necessaries of life in a country where, according to Sir W. W. Hunter, twenty-four million people go through their lives in a state of chronic hunger.
My sympathies are all with the people in this matter. The past glories of their country appeal strongly to the imagination; and, as agriculture is the chief industry, it is, to put it mildly, folly to neglect irrigation works and devote all our energies to the construction of railways. In prehistoric times irrigation was carefully practised in all the provinces of India, and many of the ancient anicuts and the immense irrigation tanks and reservoirs, which were made by the old Hindu kings, are the wonder and admiration of all intelligent observers. These useful works are to be found all over India and Ceylon, and it is probable that most of them were constructed during the period of the Buddhistic supremacy. In Mysore alone there are 37.682 tanks, which vary in size from small ponds to extensive lakes, and Colonel Wilks, in his "History of the South of India," says that "the dreams which revealed to favored mortals the plans of these ingenious works have each their appropriate legend, which is related with reverence and received with Implicit belief." Every deep valley in the hills of India ought to be formed into an artificial lake. The ancient Hindus never spared labor and expense in the construction of these works, which are things of beauty, as will be seen from the following graphic description of an artificial lake in the Central Provinces, from the pen of Sir Richard Temple: "There an irrigation tank is not a piece of water with regular banks, crowned with rows or avenues of trees, with an artificial dyke and sluices, and with fields around it; but it is an irregular expanse of water; its banks are formed by rugged hills, covered with low forests that fringe the margins where the wild beasts repair to drink; its dykes, mainly shaped out of spurs from the hills, are thrown athwart the hollows, a part only being formed by masonry; its sluices often consist of chasms or fissures in the rock; its broad surface is often, as the monsoon approaches,
ished under the support of native governments. The Greek ambassador and topographer, Megasthenes, who resided at the court of Chandragupta (Sandrakottos) in the fourth century B.C., gives an intelligent account of the arts and manufactures of that period, and he quaintly remarked: "The Indians were skilled in the arts, as might be expected of men who inhale a pure air and drink the very finest water." Then why should the descendants of these men be reduced to selling the raw produce of the fields for the purpose of being exported out of India?
lashed into surging and crested waves." of the various professions which flourOn the borders of these lakes, wherever the most splendid views are unfolded, will be found ancient temples of infinite beauty and design. Even in Bundelkhand, which is now looked upon by the English as the poorest and most backward part of India, there will be found numerous ruins, large tanks, and magnificent temples, built chiefly of hewn granite and carved sandstone, all of which are marvellous exhibitions of human labor, and attest the prosperity of the Chandel Rajputs who flourished at a period when our ancestors were naked savages. But how has Bundelkhand fared since the principality of Jhansi was confiscated in 1854 by Lord Dalhousie? Money has certainly been spent freely on it, as it has been given a railway (the Indian Midland) which cost nearly £7,000,000 sterling; it has also been given the Betwa canal; but still its people are unhappy and povertystricken in a manner which proves that intelligent enterprise is wanted to develop the resources of their country. Bundelkhand is rich in minerals, excellent iron being found in the province; diamond and copper mines are also worked on a small scale. But the raging torrents of its hill-streams are in themselves mines of untold wealth if they were harnessed for the purpose of generating electricity. India will awake from its lethargy when the storage of water is properly attended to in all the deep valleys lying in the midst of its mountains, so that electric power may be applied to industrial purposes and to drive the trains in favorable localities.
The future belongs to the Indians, if they are properly assisted by the government, as there is no lack of energy and resource in the native character, although, according to Adam Smith, "no society can be flourishing and happy of which the greater part of the members are poor and miserable." In ancient days the ploughs of the Indian cultivators were drawn by horses, now bullocks and buffaloes have to do the work in a perfunctory manner; and in the Vedas descriptive accounts are given
I have already alluded to the fact that the people are degenerating and becoming more effeminate owing to the pax Britannica. The late Sir James Caird, who was a most keen and intelligent observer, remarked on the more manly bearing of the people in the native states. In some things, however, even the natives of Bengal and Behar are wonderfully courageous, and the bravest deed that I ever witnessed was performed in the coolest manner possible by two of my own domestic servants. One morning, while seated in the verandah of my bungalow, a mad jackal rushed through the grounds and went under a raised godown, which was close to the bungalow. I left the verandah for my gun, and on my return I discovered two of my servants armed with hog-spears creeping under the godown until they came within striking distance of the jackal, when they quickly transfixed him with their spears. The offer of a blank cheque on the Bank of England would not have induced me to act in the way that these brave fellows did. An old mihtar (sweeper), a man of the lowest caste in my service, who was nearly bent double with age, was the smartest hand at killing a venomous snake that I ever knew. The old fellow used to sit up at night in the fowl-house for the purpose of destroying the cobras that came after the eggs; and one morning before dawn I stepped into the verandah of my bungalow in time to see him pulling a karáit out of a hole with one hand,
which grasped the reptile's tail, while torted the ryots, "we'll use your body in the other hand was held a stick which promptly descended on the karáit's head as soon as it appeared in view. It was all done very neatly and smartly, and as quietly as if the old man had been crushing a beetle.
as a henga (harrow) to pulverize the clods;" and without more to-do they pulled the unfortunate man off his horse, and, tying ropes to his hands and feet, dragged him over the fields in the manner in which their harrows worked. The planter, being a goodnatured soul, delighted in telling the story at his own expense.
It must have been the grossest mismanagement that forced the Bengal sepoys to mutiny in 1857, as the deepest sympathy exists between Europeans and natives who have worn the queen's uniform, this sympathy extending even to the camp-followers, as exemplified in Rudyard ballad "Ganga Din." The barber, too, Kipling's well-known is another most important man in his way, and I have in my mind's eye a retired regimental barber, who now lives in the town of Chapra. His father was a camp-follower before him, and Tom is proud of having been born in a Highland regiment. There is no question of his bringing-up, as he speaks idiomatic English with a strong Scottish accent. In personal appearance he is tall and very black, withal a man of aldermanic proportions; and it is very droll to hear him roll off his stories in "the braid Scottish tongue." worthy of the man; he wears a pair of Tom's dress is tartan trews, and places a sporran over his capacious paunch, which is decorated with the regimental badges of the 72nd, the 78th, and 79th Highlanders. ne rest of Tom's costume is, however, distinctly Oriental, as he dons an immense red-and-white pagri and the ordinary white cotton coat of the domestic servant. But even then Tom is a sight to be remembered, and I shall friend of mine when he met the old never forget the astonishment of a camp-follower for the first time. My friend was quietly reposing in his room after having come in from his morning ride, when a wonderful apparition with a flourish of an immense white cotton sunshade swaggered into the verandah. The sahib being under the impression that an escaped lunatic was intruding, shouted for the chaprassi to turn him
Bengalis are stigmatized as a race of cowards by their detractors, but the following graphic description of how a gang of Bengali dakaits met their death in the year 1810 will prove that some of them can die with a laugh and a joke on their lips: "On the night previous to the execution of a notorious gang of dakaits in Zillah Kishnagar, I went into the condemned hold to see and speak to them. I found them employed in smoking their hukkas and telling stories. In passing the hukka one of the gang, who was a Muhammadan, refused to receive it from his sardár or leader, who was a Hindu; on which the Hindu abused him, and, laughing, asked him what would be his caste next day, and whether they would not all meet in Jehanampur (meaning hell). The Muhammadan then took the hukka. They all entreated me to beg of the judge that they might have kids, fowls, and other things allowed them next day, in order that they might have one good dinner. The following day, on going to the gallows, they were with difficulty prevented from singing and clapping their hands, which they had begun to do." Dakaits and lattials were turbulent gentlemen who spoiled the business of peaceful traders and rack-renting middlemen; but I must say that the natives of British India were a manlier and more athletic race in the old lawless times than they are at present. And the rogues had a keen sense of humor with it all, as a Tirhut planter found to his cost when he went one morning to dispossess some ryots of their fields. "Oh, you want these fields for indigo?" inquired the ryots in the politest manner possible. "Yes," replied the planter, as he proceeded to turn his factory ploughs into a field. "Very well," re
1 Tytler's "Considerations on India," vol. i. pp. 233-34.
out. "Guid Lord! ye needna do that. I am only Tom the barber," said the old fellow, exhibiting his credentials in the shape of a shaving-soap pot and a case of razors. A few explanations followed, and the sahib and Tom soon became fast friends.
Tom was a very old and experienced campaigner, with a fund of anecdote at his command. He had been as a child with his father in Afghanistan; he had followed the British troops in a war with Burma; he was with the 78th Highlanders in Persia, and then followed the fortunes of this distinguished regiment during the whole of the Indian Mutiny campaign in Upper India. He was also with the 72nd and other regiments in numerous frontier wars. Tom, therefore, may safely be accepted as an authority on the British soldier, for who could scrape a closer acquaintance with Mr. Atkins than the man who shaves him? I am myself a great admirer of Mr. Atkins, as the happiest days of my childhood were spent in the old castle of Edinburgh among the red-coats; and I must say that I love Tom for having nothing but praise for the man who has made the British Empire what it is to-day:
Winds of the world, give answer!
are whimpering to and froAnd what should they know of England who only England know? The poor little street-bred people that vapor and fume, and brag, They are lifting their heads in the stillness to yelp at the English flag,
is the answer which we throw back to those good people who want us to be a nation of cats instead of a nation of tigers.
Lord Roberts, in his well-known book, "Forty-one Years in India," tells us that "no comparison can be made between the ambitious races of the North and the effeminate peoples of the South." But why is it that the Dravidian races have degenerated so rapidly under British rule? Lord Roberts is not alone in his opinion, as the government of India for many years has been harping on the degeneration of the Madras
peasantry, and this is what a highlyplaced officer, Sir Henry Norman, said on the subject so far back as the year 1870: "It is a fact, which no amount of disputing will disprove, that the martial spirit of the Madras cavalry and infantry has died out." This statement is enough to make any old Madras officer to turn in his grave, as no trace can be found of any admission or suspicion of the inferiority of Madras sepoys in the days when the heaviest demands were made on their prowess. Sir Thomas Munro knew the Madras army well; he had seen the troops of all the three presidencies in action; and this is what he wrote when it was proposed that the subsidiary force at Hyderabad should be relieved with Bengal sepoy regiments: "Where troops are in all respects equal, there is still an advantage in having those who are to act together drawn from one and not from different establishments; but the coast troops are perhaps in some respects superior to those of Bengal. They are more regular, more tractable, more patient under privations, and they have been more accustomed to military operations. If this is true, the argument against employing Bengal sepoys. in the Deccan becomes so much the
stronger, for why bring them here when we have better on the spot?" 1 In the days when the Madras army was second to none, there was a large proportion of Scotsmen among its officers; and the old 74th and 78th Highlanders were the two British regiments which fought shoulder to shoulder with Madras sepoys in some of the fiercest fights that took place on Indian soil. My mother's father was an old 74th officer; and on my father's side all his mother's brothers were in the Service, as will be seen from the following inscription on a tombstone in the old burying-ground of the Macleods of Drynoch, in the Isle of Skye:
Underneath are the remains of Donald Macdonald Macleod, Lieutenant, 50th Regiment Madras I., who died at Drynoch in 1837, seventh son of Norman Mac
1 Gleig's "Life of Sir Thomas Munro (1830),. vol. iii., p. 195. 1
leod of Drynoch, and Alexandrina Macleod of Bernera, whose eldest son Donald died at Gravesend in 1824, Captain 78th Regiment. Norman died in Java, in 1814, a captain in the same corps. Alexander died at Forres, in 1828, a major in the 12th Regiment B. N. I. John died a captain in 78th Regiment during passage home from Ceylon. Roderick died at Killegray from a hurt received in action on board the Belvidera frigate on N. A.
station. Forbes died in Madras a lieuten ant, 12th Regiment N. I. This stone is dedicated to the memory of the abovenamed by their sorrowing mother and her surviving sons, Martin, late 27th, 79th, and 25th Regiments, now of Drynoch. and Charles, now of Glendulochan, 1839.
I give the above record of some of my fighting kinsmen who sacrificed their lives in the East in the service of their country, as the Anglo-Indians, who only know me as a planter, entertain a strong suspicion to the effect that I am a traitor in disguise, owing to the manner in which I espouse the cause of the natives against European traders. But I may well inquire, how shall I address that large class of Anglo-Indians with whom rupees are always a weightier consideration than duties? In our pursuit of the almighty rupee we forget to take any interest in the welfare of the natives, with the result that we spend our lives in complete ignorance of their thoughts and aspirations. Has not William Watson told us that
Subadar Ali Khan, a man so uncommonly diminutive in person that we used to call him the little cock sparrow, was one of the best and bravest soldiers I ever knew. He was at this time far advanced in life, as he had earned the respect and esteem of every European officer, as well as of every native in the corps; and, what was very remarkable, this Liliputian hero had as strong a voice as he had a great soul. In action he was the life and soul of those around him, and in devoted affection to the Service he had no superior.
The whole of the flesh and sinews of the hinder part of both thighs being torn away by a large shot, he fell, and could not rise again; but as soon as the action was over he requested his attendants to carry him after us, that his dear European comrades might see him die. We Hate and mistrust are the children of had halted on the field, upwards of a mile in front of where he fell, when he arrived, and spoke to us with a firm voice and most affectionate manner, recounted his services, and bade us all adieu. We endeavored to encourage him by asserting that his wound was not mortal, and that he would yet recover. He said he felt assured to the contrary, but he was not afraid of death; he had often braved it in the discharge of his duty; and his only 1egret was that he should not be permitted to render further services to his honorable masters.1
Could we but see one another, 'twere
Knowledge is sympathy, charity, kind
Ignorance only is maker of hell?
lowest state of dependence on foreign rulers, to which they can be reduced by conquest, are matters quite incompatible with each other." I believe thoroughly in military officers as administrators, for one has only to turn to the many valuable books which were written by the British military officers of the East India Company to judge of their sympathetic demeanor towards the natives, and the following extract from Welsh's "Military Reminiscences" is well worth quoting. Welsh, first of all, describes how splendidly the Madras troops behaved at the battle of Argaum, which was fought on November 23, 1803; and he then goes on to tell how a native officer met his death:
If the Tamil and Telugu speaking races of southern India have so degen erated that they are now only fit to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, it is solely owing to our present system of government, which, as Sir Thomas Munro pointed out to Canning, is "much more efficacious in depressing them than all our laws and schoolbooks can be in elevating their character. . . . The improvement of the character of a people, and the keeping them in the