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territory on that side, and of establishing a confederation with several petty states. The Nawab of Bhopal, in return for his faithful services in the Pindarry war, and certain good offices towards the British in a season of adversity, received five districts situated on the western frontier, which had been ceded by the Peishwa. The Rajas of Dutteah, Jhansee, and Simpthur, were confirmed in the territory they held, under the condition of supplying a quota of troops when required by the British Government. This species of alliance was not confined to the eastern frontiers of Malwa; it also extended along its northern and western boundaries, in pursuance of the policy kept in view during the negociations with the Mahratta powers, of making the relinquishment of claims for tribute on the Rajpoot states, except through the medium of the British Government, an indispensible article of every treaty. The accomplishment of this important object was accordingly followed by agreements with the several states of Karaollee, Jeypore, Boondee, Kishenghur, Joudpore, Kotah, Oudeypore, Dungurpore, Banswarrah, and Dhar. These petty
withhold from Scindia as a punishment for his duplicity*), with a small arrondissement; and from thence the connexion with the eastern coast of the peninsula, and with the previous British possessions under the Bengal Presidency, is formed by the Nagpore cessions, commencing from Jilpy Aumeneir. This consists of an irregular belt, varying in breadth from fifty to one hundred and fiftymiles; comprehending, in the first instance, both banks of the Taptee, and subsequently both banks of the Nerbudda to its source; from whence the districts of Sergoojah and Jushpore.connect with the British districts of Palamao and Chotah Nagpore. To the northward, it joins Bundlecund and the Bhopal territory; and to the southward, the reserved dominions of Nagpore, along the Mahadeo range of hills, and the territory ruled by the Patan Nawab of Ellichapore, who has been rewarded, for his attachment to the British, by some lands from the Nagpore and Poonah territories. By the aforegoing acquisitions, with the exception of a tract, thirty-five miles broad, on each side of Asseer, there is an unbroken line of communication through British territory from Bombay to Calcutta, as princes separately entered into enthere is likewise from Madras to Bom-gagements of subordinate alliance with bay. The former Mahratta war having been attended with the similar result of establishing a continuity of dominion between Madras and Calcutta; the communication between the three Presidencies may now be considered as complete.
The acquisition of the Peishwa's rights in Malwa, by the Poonah treaty, furnished the means of form. ing a compact boundary to the British
* Orders were pretended to be issued by this chief for the surrender of this strongly fortified hill; but the Killedar in command refused to admit the British. Upon its reduction, however, instructions from Scindiah were discovered in the fort, enjoining the Killedar to pay no attention to counter orders, but to hold out as long as possible. These instructions were forwarded by Lord Hastings to Scindiah, conformably to his practice of returning to the right owner whatever documents of hostile tendency to his Government fell into his possession.
the British Government, for the guarantee of their respective dominions against all enemies whatsoever. All these alliances contain in substance the same stipulations: the acknowledgment of British supremacy, a renunciation of all communication with foreign states, an acquiescence in British arbitration on all the points of difference with their neighbours, and an engagement to supply, according to their respective means, a certain contingent of troops.*
Thus it will be seen that the several Mahratta states and the Nizam's dominions are, in a considerable measure, encompassed by British territories, or by the petty states acknow
ledging British supremacy. The Nagpore and Hydrabad territories, taken collectively, are entirely surrounded by the British possessions; Scindiah and Holkar, by the British and petty states in about equal proportions; and Guzerat by the same and the sea, which is no less a part of British dominion. Since the year 1817, Scindiah, without any fresh formal obligations, has subsided into a sort of dependence upon the British Government, whose interference he has solicited in the settlement of disputes with his Rajpoot and Grassiah dependents. As a further security, the mililtary establishment in Central India, including those of Scindiah and Holkar, and comprehending Sebundies and garrisons, in the aggregate amount to little more than 70,000 men.*
A portion of the advantages obtained in the Mahratta war was liberally relinquished in favour of the lawful chief of the Mahrattas, who was reinstated on the throne of his ancestors, the Rajas of Sattara, with a territory bounded to the west by the Ghats, the Warna and the Krishna rivers to the south, the Neera and Bheema to the north, and the fron tiers of the Nizam's dominions to the east. The sovereignty of the Nagpore state was conferred on Bajee Row Bhoosla, grandson of a former raja.+
The benefits which have sprung from the triumph of British power, have not been solely absorbed by us; the native princes participate in those benefits, and none to a greater degree than the Rajpoots, who, besides the recovery of old, and the acquisition of new, territories, as well as the remission of tribute, enjoy an exemption from the oppressive ty
* In 1817, the regular troops of Holkar and Scindiah alone, exclusive of Pindarries, Sebundies, &c. were 64,000.
† Appa Saheb continnes an expatriated fugitive. The Ex-Peishwa seems reconciled to his fate; he bathes daily in the Ganges, indulges in the highest style of living of a Brahimin, is surrounded by low sycophants, and maintains three expensive sets of dancing girls.
ranny with which they had been so long vexed by the Mahrattas. At the same time, though their present inclination and interest make them staunch allies of the British, yet a future change of circumstances bas been provided for by raising the Bhopal Nawab, and the two Patan adventurers, Ameer Khan and Ghufoor Khan, to consideration in this part of India, as a counterpoise to the preponderating influence of the Hindoos, who would otherwise have been sole masters of the country.
Even the turbulent Patans were provided for in the British or subsidiary service: for it was an important part of Lord Hastings' original plan of final settlement and tranquillity, not to drive to despair the whole swarm of military adventurers, by depriving them suddenly and entirely of their habitual means of subsistence; but to destroy those only whose habits were at utter variance with our system of rule; and so to balance the hopes and fears of the rest, as to render them instrumental in the establishment of order. This difficult affair (the disposal of the Patans), as well as the arrangements in Rajpootana, was chiefly effected by the skill and judgment of Sir D. Ochterlony, whose measures met with the Governor General's uniform approbation.
The financial improvements in the native states may be briefly enumerated thus: Scindiah's saving in reductions alone is not less than twenty lacs per annum. The rent in the city and districts of Oujeen rose from 1,25,000 rupees in 1817 to nearly three lacs. The revenue of Bhilsa yielded, in 1817, 40,000 rupees; in 1820, 2,50,000. The Holkar revenues, from Malwa and Nemaur were, in 1817, 4,41,679 rupees; in 1819-20, 16,96,183. The Puar states, in 1817, afforded a revenue of no more than 30,000 rupees; in the year 1820, they collected more than three lacs and three-quarters. The other states exhibit a large but not so striking in
crease. The expenses of collection in the Scindiah and Holkar states, which were as high as 40 per cent., do not exceed 15 in the latter and 25 in the former.
But the specific benefits, whether territorial or financial, reaped by any native power, are insignificant in comparison with the advantages conferred in the establishment of a system of government in Central India; a portion of the country from whence we had been entirely excluded, and which was long the nest of disorder, and the arena of a general scramble for dominion. Marquess Hastings had a ways been of opinion that, without a complete reform of the condition of Central India, without so changing the mutual relations of the several princes and associations as to remove all inducement to predatory and ambitious adventure, on the extensive scale it was prosecuted upon, no partial measures could prevent the speedy recurrence of the evil, probably in a more formidable shape. His Lordship plainly saw that mere temporary expedients would be ineffectual; and that no plan would provide security for the future that did not determine the respective pretensions to dominion, so as to distinguish, by a strong line of discrimination, the chief of a regular government from the leader of a lawless banditti. His mind was fully convinced, that without ascertaining who were the lawful possessors, and binding them in such a league, as should on one hand check their disposition to encroach on one another; and on the other hand, should unite them by a sense of common interest against a common enemy, little would be accomplished towards eradicating the prevailing system. He did not despair of being able to form such a combination, by offering the general guarantee and protection of the British Government: it was evident that nothing short of that inflexible rigour of controul, and irresistible power of enforcing obedience to its award,
which the British Government alone could exercise, would be sufficient to impose a due degree of restraint upon a host of greedy pretenders, aspiring, by right of birth or the sword, to the territorial sovereignties of this wide expanse:*
These beneficent views have been carried in full effect, and “the contrast presented by a review of the condition of Central India in 1821, to what it was four years before, will appear almost incredible to any person who has not contemplated upon the spot, the rapid progress of the change, and studied the causes by which it has been produced." These it would be tedious, and perhaps irrelevant to recite here, but they may be found recorded in the work of that officer (himself an efficient instrument of the change), from which the aforegoing passage is borrowed.+ By instilling into all classes the advantages attending order and regularity; by encouraging agriculture and the building of towns and hamlets; by inviting the industrious to return to their homes, and converting the robber into the cultivator; by making good roads through every part of the country; and by reforming the wild tribes through promoting among them a familiar intercourse with other classes; the government of Lord Hastings unostentatiously wrought so surprizing an alteration in this extensive tract. The same author and actor to whom we have just referred asserts, that “history affords few examples where a change in the political condition of a country has been attended with such an aggregate of increased happiness to its inhabitants, as that which was effected within four years in Central India; and it is pleasing to think that, with the exception of suppressing a few Bheel robbers, peace was restor
*Prinsep, 216, 217.
↑ Sir John Malcolm's Memoir, chap. xv. This chapter deserves to be read by all who entertain any scruples respecting the justice or policy of these measures which have made the British power paramount in Malwa
ed, and has hitherto been maintain ed, without one musket being fired. It was viewed from the first as a work which force could never accomplish; and if there is one ground beyond all others, on which hopes of continued tranquillity can rest, it is that of its having been established in the manner described."
There yet remains another aspect in which to regard the comprehensive measures of Lord Hastings, namely, with respect to their financial effects. It is a popular method to estimate the value of successful schemes of domis nion by reference to their immediate production of increased revenue; although it betrays a narrowness of judgment, since the most politic enlargement of territory sometimes yields no instant pecuniary benefit, though the future harvest is abundant: as in the case of a mercantile concern, where the profits are ap plied to augment the capital. It will, however, be seen, that, even in this point of view, the benefits of Lord Hastings' system have been materially felt; but these details it will be more convenient to enter upon hereafter; meanwhile we may just observe, that in the year 1805-6, the extra charge consequent upon the rupture with Holkar, was larger than in the year 1817-18, when the whole strength of the three Presidencies was last brought into the field.*
Measures so important, so extensive, so pregnant with danger and difficulty, however auspiciously conducted, cannot escape criticism and objection; especially as the transactions of a Governor General of India pass repeated ordeals at home and abroad. Every project or scheme of policy adopted in India must, with all its grounds and appurtenances, be examined, canvassed, and scrutinized, by the members of the Supreme Government abroad, by the Court of Directors, the Board of Controul, the Ministry, the Parliament at home;
so that it is not only scarcely possible that "the dram of base" should, unperceived, contaminate "the noble substance;" but visionary blemishes may be suggested by the microscopic eye of narrow politicians. The publicity thus given to the grounds and motives of his policy must, however, be a source of satisfaction to such a mind as that of Lord Hastings, who declared, on a memorable occasion, that "it is salutary for supreme authority, even when its intentions are most pure, to look to the controul of public scrutiny;" and who might say with Tiberius, in his better mood, si quis quidem locutus aliter fuerit, dabo operam ut rationem factorum meorum dictorumque reddam.*
To answer every cavil, and dissipate every scruple, respecting the soundness of Lord Hastings' policy, would lead us into a long and wearisome investigation. We shall, therefore, only advert to two points upon which the objections advanced appear to possess any substance.
The chief point, the consideration of which involves, in fact, most of the others, is that deviation on the part of Marquess Hastings from the limited views entertained in England, and the commencing his military operations, the ostensible object of which the chastisement of a petty gang of freebooters, upon such a large and expensive scale. A candid consideration of the very imperfect sketch we have already furnished of the circumstances in which the Supreme Government was placed at the beginning of the Pindarry war, will have anticipated, in some degree, this objection, and amply justified Lord Hastings. The proceedings against the Pindarry hordes in the season of 1816-17, though successful, were productive of such enormous expense as to demonstrate at once the inexpediency of partial or defensive arrangements, which, moreover, by the most favourable calculation, would not secure our pro
*Sueton. c. 28.
vinces from invasion, and our subjects from ruin. It was this conviction that led the council of Fort-William to concur unanimously in the commencement of offensive operations, before the arrival of a sanction from home. Early in the season, the Marquess became sensible of the real state of feeling entertained towards us by the native powers, and the impossibility of relying upon their good faith. He accordingly digested that comprehensive plan which brought into play the disposable force of the three Presidencies. In furtherance of his plan, his Lordship boldly assumed the principle, in his transactions with the Mahratta powers of Central India, that in the operations against the Pindarries, no neutrality could be suffered, but all states should be required, (for it could be the interest of no government to refuse its concurrence), to join in the league for their suppression, under conditions, securing their active co-operation, as well in the present measures of care, as in those provisions against the future rise of these or similar occasions into dangerous importance.
In communicating the course he was about to adopt to the council at Fort-William, previous to taking the field, the Governor General briefly declared his reasons for departing from the restricted views which seemed to be entertained at home; and took upon himself the undivided responsibility of acting without the full sanction of the authorities in England; feeling confident that the result would justify his determination in the eyes of those authorities, and of the British nation. "It was his boast," he said, 66 to have an earnest desire to accomplish every thing by pacific means, and
Those who doubt the right of so interfering,
may consult Grotius, (de Jur. B. et P. 1. 2. c. 20),
and Vattel (1. 2. c. 1.); the former says: Sciendum quoque est, reges et qui par regibus jus obtinent, jus habere poenas poscendi, non tantùm ob injurias in se aut subditos suos commissas, sed et obeas qua ipsos peculiariter non tangunt, sed In quisibusvis personis jus nature aut gentium immaniter violant.
to be able to declare with sincerity, that the exclusive object of his present preparations was to get rid of the greatest pest that society ever experienced."*
The wisdom and foresight of the Governor General became apparent with the sudden development of that extensive combination which had been secretly organizing against British dominion, and which included the Ghoorkhas of Nepaul, whose forces were assembling, and who were known to be in close communication with the princes of Hindostan, when the real state of affairs burst upon public view. The magnitude of the scene might have induced many to contract their plans in proportion to the augmentation of the danger; but to the eye of Lord Hastings, these crude attempts to thwart his designs, presented but the means of establishing the settlement he proposed for India upon a broader and more solid foundation; so just and so unbounded was his confidence in the machinery he had prepared for the accomplishment of his purpose.
It was the peculiar merit of Lord Hastings' plan of operations that such means were placed at command, as should make the cause of the Mahrattas desperate under any combination of circumstances; and the more the events were traced in the order of occurrence, the more reason will be found to admire the forecast which so disposed those means, that not one adverse circumstance or occasion of danger arose without its remedy being ready at hand.
The other point which we shall notice, is the deposition of the head of the Mahratta empire; a strong measure, and certainly, at first view, wearing the semblance of harshness, justifiable only by very weighty considerations. The principal motives which influenced the Marquess to this step will briefly be stated. The re
* Prinsep, 220.