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majority of whom probably-many of whom certainly-are Sudras, requires that the Hindu law must be deprived of its intolerance and extravagance. During the suspension of Brahminical supremacy for some centuries, many of the servile classes have risen to so much opulence and respectability, that, if your Lordship were now to restore the Hindu law in its integrity, it would be felt as a curse from the Himalaya to the sea. The security of the vast majority of Her Majesty's native subjects requires that the British Government should continue, as it has hitherto done, to mitigate the rigour of the Hindu law by abrogating its unjust and barbarous clauses.

Since then the Hindu law must be altered-since its intolerant provisions must be rectified-since encroachments must be made on the integrity of the Brahminical statutes, it is to us a subject of no ordinary grief, that any of our countrymen should have called upon your Lordship to be guided, in your correction of the Hindu code, by other principles of conduct, than perfect justice, equity, and toleration;-that they should wish their law to be modified only for their own benefit, but retained in its original ferocity for the purpose of persecuting those, who differ from them in sentiment.

It would not be equal justice to all Her Majesty's subjects, if, while relief was granted to the Sudra, by the abrogation of those clauses which endangered his person and property, no relief (such as was contemplated in Section 9 Regulation VII. of 1832, of the Bengal Code) were given to him, who dared to avow, that he dissented from the authors of those rude enactments, and that he could not believe they were inspired of God, nor persuade himself to continue in the ranks of their followers. It is the more necessary to extend the principle of Section 9, Regulation VII. of 1832, now that the rapid progress of education in the different presidencies of India is annually swelling the number of those, whose properties would need the protection of that section.

Nor can your Lordship consistently perpetuate the Hindu law of inheritance in its integrity, without mixing your Government with the Hindu religion itself. A great intellectual movement, induced in a great measure by the progress of education, has for the last quarter of a century been steadily advancing in Bengal. A growing aversion, as well to other popular superstitions and ceremonies of the country, as also to that rite, on the performance of which inheritance depends, agreeably to the Hindu law, has been the consequence of that movement. Two of the most respectable Hindu gentlemen of Calcutta, the Rajah Rammohun Roy and Babu Dwarkanath Tagore, have braved the perils of the sea, and, by visiting England, and there publicly eating and drinking with Europeans, have exhibited their contempt of the popular tenets of Hinduism. Their families are much respected in Calcutta, and they own large property in different parts of Bengal. It might become a nice question in Hindu theology, and therefore in Hindu law, whether the families of those two distinguished individuals have not lost their titles to their ancestral property. Thousands have also manifested their disbelief in the popular religion by word and deed. Their acts have incapacitated them for the performance of "those rites, by which," to quote the words of the Hindu memorialists, "the salvation of their fathers and other ancestors is secured." If then the Hindu law of inheritance were to continue valid in its integrity, it would be necessary to create a tribunal of religious commissioners to define the covert acts, which involve loss of caste, and therefore of title to ancestral property. "Him who lives apparently," says Menu," by the rules of his caste, but really departs from those rules, let the King severely punish by fine, as a wretch who violates his duty." ix. 173. The rules of caste, laid down in the Hindu Shastras, are so severe, that scarcely a single Brahmin

or Sudra would be safe with his property, if they were rigorously enforced. Under these circumstances, if the Hindu law is to be continued, nothing less than a religious inquisition, to guard generally against improper inheritance of property, would be just to those, who openly disavow what they do not believe, or cannot practise. Otherwise, if every one, who "apparently lived by the rules of his caste," though he might "really depart from them," were allowed to enjoy his patrimony, at the same time that the sincere and honest offender was excluded, the verdict would neither be consistent with Menu, nor with equity. It would amount to a premium to insincerity, and become grossly unjust to the open apostate from Hinduism-be he a Christian, Muhammadan, or Deist, since he alone would suffer, and that only because of his honesty and candour.

The extension of the principle of Section 9, Regulation VII. of 1832, to all India, would, as far as this Presidency is concerned, be no alteration of any law;—and, as far as the other Presidencies are concerned, it would only amount to a slight modification of a law, which had already been altered in practice since the days of Menu. The law, which the first GovernorGeneral of India gave to the Hindus, was not the Hindu code in its integrity, but a mere portion of it, clipped of all its penal statutes, and understood to be greatly modified in its civil enactments also. The first Governor-General of India established it only to give relief to Hindu subjects; and Lord William Bentinck corrected it in Bengal, that what was intended as a relief to some, might not operate as a persecution to others.

Your Memorialists accordingly submit, that since it is only a mutilated Hindu law that now prevails in any part of British India-since the vast majority of the Hindus themselves must consider the Hindu law in its integri. ty as a grievance-since all parties must have recourse to the dictates of equity in the correction of the Hindu law, the voice of that equity is equally strong in favor of toleration. The extension of Section 9, Regulation VII. of 1832 may therefore be demanded in justice by the friends of mental freedom; nor can there be a consistent popular voice against it.

The orthodox Hindu cannot protest against inheritance of property by his heterodox neighbour, any more than the Brahmin can complain of his privation, in not being allowed to compel the Sudras to do him service, or to help himself to their substance.

Notwithstanding the large number of respectable Hindus, who have memorialised against the Draft Act mentioned before, we believe the vast majority of our countrymen are not opposed to it. They know too well that the enforcement of the whole Hindu code is neither desirable nor practicable. They do not expect that their British rulers are capable of entertaining a proposal to disinherit converts to their own religion. Whatever special pleading a few of our Calcutta countrymen, educated in English, and confident of the tolerant character of the British Government, may bring forward in support of an antiquated system, scarcely venerated by themselves; and with whatever success they may procure subscriptions to such a Memorial,-the quiet agricultural population of Bengal would not spontaneously raise their voice against an Act, which they could not but expect under an enlightened and a Christian Government; nor would they change" their active spirit of fervent loyalty into sullen submission to the will of their rulers, in case that Act is passed into law. They are far too glad at their own deliverance from the humiliation contemplated in the institutes of Menu, to think of injuring others, who believe that Menu was wrong.

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In submitting the foregoing statements for your Lordship's consideration, your Memorialists trust solely to the justice and equity of the British

Government. For ourselves, we confess, we are a small community, in comparison with the followers and professors of Brahminism. But though the voice of twelve thousand converts in Bengal-all loyal and respectful subjects of Her Majesty-may in itself be feeble, the voice of justice and equity is mightier far than that of any human community, however largo. To that voice we appeal.

But we cannot help representing that the nnmber o those, who would suffer in their substance, but for Section 9, Regulation VII. of 1832, is annually on the increase. Whether as converts to Christianity, as followers of the late Rajah Rammohun Roy's and the late Babu Dwarknauth Tagore's examples, or as mere free thinkers, large numbers are being annually incapacitated for the performance of the Shrad, on which inheritance depends, agreeably to Hindu law.

For ourselves we have far too great respect for the faith we have adopted, to apprehend for a moment, that even the persecuting clauses of the Hindu law can retard its progress, or destroy its intrinsic force. Our religion does. not however call upon us silently to submit to injustice and usurpation. We must therefore solicit your Lordship, in justice to us and to our faith, to pass the Draft Act before alluded to, that we, who are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, may have the benefit of the principle of Section 9, Regulation VII. of 1832, and that the same benefit may be reaped by all, similarly circumstanced with ourselves, in the Sister Presidencies of Madras. and Bombay.

Your Memorialists neither solicit nor expect any special favor to their community. We only desire that your Lordship's principle of non-interference with the religion of Her Majesty's native subjects may be fully carried out in practice. We only desire that in no department of your Governmentin no court of justice-in no department of the public service—in no institution supported or controlled by the State-should the Christian, the Hindu, or the Muhammadan, have reason to complain, or exult, that he is hardly or favourably treated, merely because of his religion;-and that equal justice may be done to all, who are peaceable and loyal.

And your Memorialists will ever pray, &c .

We subjoin, for the sake of connection, another Memorial, also presented to the Governor General, by a large body of European Christians in Calcutta.

To The Most Noble the Marquis of Dalhousie, K. T., the GovernorGeneral of India in Council, &c. &c. &c.

MY LORD,-We the undersigned Christian Inhabitants of Calcutta beg leave to address your Lordship to express the cordial satisfaction with which we have noticed, in the Government Gazette the Draft of a proposed Law entitled, "An Act for extending the principle of Section IX. Regulation VII. 1832, of the Bengal Code, throughout the territories subject to the Government of the East India Company," by which our native fellow-subjects embracing the Christian Religion, will be delivered from severe and ruinous disabilities.

We all, my Lord, feel a deep interest in the welfare of the people of this land. The Christian faith, which we profess, constrains us to seek their good. We wish not to see any class among them stigmatized or wronged. But we ardently desire that peace, justice, and all the advantages of civil and religious liberty may be secured to the whole population.

We deprecate any attempt to multiply conversions by favour or by force.

The measure, contemplated by the Government over which your Lordship so ably presides, commends itself therefore to our warmest approbation. It offers no premium and inflicts no penalty. It enables the convert who seeks admission to the Christian Church, to obey the dictates of his couscience free from the dread of forfeitures, while, at the same time, it leaves 1 relatives in possession of precisely the same property which they had before.

My Lord, we hail the promulgation of this measure with joy, such as must ever be felt by all lovers of freedom and of truth, when they witness the progress of sound principles, and see legislation applied to righte ous and benevolent purposes. We remember with thankfulness the abolition of Suttee, and the suppression of Infanticide and Thuggee, and have long regarded those humane measures, as pledges that the Government of India will not allow the perpetuation of injustice and crime, under the sanction of any religion.

Whatever opposition your Lordship's Government may now have to encounter in carrying out this salutary principle, we doubt not that in future and not distant years, the wisdom and the righteousness of your policy will be acknowledged by all men. And we earnestly hope that, undeterred by the sophistry which represents the Hindu or Mahomedan as injured, when no longer allowed to oppress his Christian relative, your Lordship in Council will pass into a Law the Act respecting which we have thus ventured to express our sentiments.

We have the honor to be,

IV.-Report of the Calcutta Public Library, from February to December, 1849. Calcutta, 1850.



342 comprised in 574 besides

Some two years ago we noticed the report of this useful institution, and now have little more to do than to express our satisfaction at its continued prosperity. The report informs us that "the number of books added during the last year by purchase, besides periodicals, is

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Your Lordship's
Humble Servants,

"The circulation of books during the last eleven months of 1849, was as follows:

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Total............ 21,561


This, it must be admitted, is a large amount of reading for so small a community as that of Calcutta; and, although we should like to see the department of "Prose Works of Imagination" bear a

somewhat lower proportion to the other departments, we regard the above statement as indicating no small degree of intellectuality as appertaining to our fellow-citizens.

The Government has very liberally consented to bear the charge (to the amount of about 2,800 Rupees) of re-binding such of the books belonging to the former library of Fort William College as are in bad condition.

"The average number of Subscribers and amount of Subscription during the last eleven months, is as follows:

Subscribers 265, Subscriptions, Rs. 900-14-1 per month."

The Establishment costs a little more than Rs. 300 per month, and there are other charges which may probably amount on an average to 100 Rupees more, so that from 4 to 500 Rupees a month are available for the purchase of books. The Curators seem to be in earnest in their desire to expend this sum to the best advantage; and we doubt not that in time the Public Library will contain a large and valuable collection. As it is, it is of great use to us and to all persons engaged in literary avocations; while, to the mere lover of light reading, the issue of "Prose Works of Imagination "indicates that it must be invaluable.


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