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what further diffusion. Neither is it necessary that, to improve by the model of a particular character, we should be placed in circumstances exactly or nearly the same, or that we should have the opportunity of exerting exactly the same qualities. There is a near alliance between goodness and goodness; and it is much to have our minds intent on the general idea of what is elevated. While multitudes around us live for little else but themselves, it is much to be told of those who can live for others. It is much that those immersed in dissipation and folly, should be be made to hear of characters supposed to be formed on a higher standard ; and not only to hear, but to love them; to think of them, to dream of them. Example itself is contagious, and
" A good man feen, though filent, counsel gives.' In these views, the merits of such a novel as this are considerable. Happy, if a tenth part of the lumber which is honoured with the name, could be honoured with a tenth part of the encomium.
ART. XIII. The Carnatic Question considered.
Member of Parliament. 8vo. pp. 104. 1807.
In a Letter to a Evans. London,
The late assumption of the sovereignty of the Carnatic by the
general government of the East India Company, though one only of the many questionable acts by which our Asiatic empire has of late years been systematically extended, still appears to have been attended with circumstances so extraordinary, as to excite soine degree of curiosity in a public at no time very careful of its Indian affairs, and now sufficiently occupied with its domestic concerns. As we highly approve of a curiosity capable of producing effects so beneficial, we take the opportunity of the little work before us to call the attention of our reader to this singular transaction. For the benefit of those who may come new to the subject, we shall premise a very short account of the country and its sovereigns.
The country which is known to Europeans by the general name of the Carnatic, extends from lat. 8 ", to 16' north,
along the sea coast, and embraces a depth of from one, to two hundred miles inland. It contains in all, about forty-six thousand square miles. The great body of the people are Hindoos; although they have long been subjected to the dominion of the Mahometans, in the person of their chief ruler, who is styled Nabob; and, from the chief town in the province, Nabob of Arcot. There are few countries to which nature has been more favourable in point of climate; and none, certainly, in Asia, can boast of a more civilized, or ingenious race of inhabitants.
The general government of Indostan may be said to consist of an emperor, in the person of the Great Mogul, who resides at Delhi; his lieutenant-governors, or subahdars, who reign over several provinces; and the immediate governors of provinces, or nabobs. The term Nabob (or more properly Naieb), signifies a deputy. A nabob ought properly to hold his commission from Delhi; and if, at his death, a successor has not been previously appointed by the Great Mogul, the soubah has the right of naming a person to administer the nabobship, until the will of the sovereign is known; but a nabob thus appointed by a soubah, is. not considered as finally established, until he is confirmed from Delhi. The soubah receives from the several nabobs, the annual revenues of the crown, and remits them to the treasury of the empire. The nabobs are obliged to accompany him in all military expeditions within the extent of his viceroyalty, but not in any without that extent. These regulations were intended to place them in such a state of dependence on the soubahs, as should render them subservient to the interest of the empire, and at the same time leave them in a state of independence, which would make it difficult for the soubah to make use of their assistance to brave the throne.
The constitution of the Mogul empire began to lose its vigour after the death of Aurungzebe, the ablest monarch that ever reigned over Indostan; but since the incursion of the Persians under Thamas Kouli Khan, it has declined more and more; so that, during the last fifty years, soubahs have been seen to maintain themselves in their governments against the will of the throne, and have consequently appointed nabobs under them, with as little regard to its authority. Nabobs, likewise, have kept possession of their governments, in opposition both to the soubah and the throne; and what is more extraordinary in the offices of a despotic state, both soubahs and nabobs have named their successors, who have often succeeded with as little opposition as if they had been heirs apparent of an hereditary dominion. "The Carnatic is one of the most considerable nabobships dependent on the soubah of the Decan.' (Orme’s History, Vol. I. p. 36.)
Such was the constitution of Indostan at the period when Mir Orme wrote his excellent history; and although the lapse of nearly sixty years has rendered the sketch every day less like the original, the principle itself is still recognized. The nabobship of the Carnatic has been vested in the present family for more than half a century. Aneiar u! Deen, the great-grandtither of the preGg 4
sent nabob, having been appointed to that dignity by Nizam ul Mulck, in the year 1741, he was succeeded by his son Mahomed Ally, whose attachment to our interests in the various vicissitudes of our fortune, during our long and hazardous wars with the French, laid the first foundations of our empire in the East. After a regular appointment from the Mogul, he was ultimately acknowledged as nabob of the Carnatic by the French, in the treaty of Paris. Since that period, our after-wars with the French, and our long contests with Hyder, and his son Tippoo, gave him fresh occasions of showing such an adherence and fidelity to our cause, as is but rarely witnessed in the history of nations.
The Nabob of the Carnatic, at the period of our early con nexion with his family, maintained such an establishment of troops, and a general arrangement of state and dignity, as forms a striking contrast with his present fallen condition. He had at one time in his service an army of twenty regiments of infantry, seven of cavalry, with a due proportion of artillery, all commanded and disciplined by European officers. To possess a place in the Nabob's favour, or in that of his sons, was, in those days, one of the fairest roads to fortune; and his countenance was accordingly courted by the ambitious and aspiring, who had 'either the talents to be useful, or the address to insinuate themselves into his favour. Nor was his influence confined to the seat of his own government; it extended to Europe ; and, if report may be creJited, he could at one time have reckoned on the votes of several members in a certain eminent assembly, who, if not his legal representatives, owed their seats to his patronage. Men of the first abilities and connexion, were retained in London, at no mean expense, to forward his interests and defend his cause ; nor was there wanting to his dignity as ally of the British nation, any circumstance of ceremony and court etiquette, which might raise that relation in his own eyes, or in that of the neighbouring states. His rights were guaranteed in our alliances with European nations; men of high rank claimed the title of the King's representative at his Durbar; and his independency as a sovereign prince, was recognized by a solemn decree of the Court of Chancery. *
* In a bill wbich was brought by the agents of the old Nabob of Arcot, Wallajah, in Chancery, against the English East India Company, in 1791, he was declared by the latter, and recognized by the Court, to be a sovereign prince ; and the case was accordingly rejected by the Lord Chancellor, as being the subie&t of a public treaty betwixt the parties, and, as such, not a matter of municipal jurisdiction. See Vesey junior's Reports, Vul. I. p. 371. and Vol. II, p. 56, 60.
• These great and eminent advantages of fortune, carried too commanding an influence not to make his situation an object of jealousy to other powers, who saw, or thought they saw, in his advancement, the foundation of their own downfal. To what extent these suppositions were well founded, is no object of the present inquiry. Nations, like individuals, may pursue the dictates of their own interest to any extent short of actual injury to others. The public law, like the municipal, has its fixed boundaries of right and wrong, up to which, it is wisdom for the party to forward his advancement, and beyond which it is criminal to trespass on the claims of others. · The military establishment of the Nabob was always too great for his revenue, and by various treaties or agreements with our government, his forces were gradually discharged or taken into our service :--an arrangement, it was supposed, beneficial for both parties, as the discipline and attachment of the troops was better maintained from their being in our regular army; and the Nabob, being secure of our constant protection, had nothing to apprehend from any foreign enemy;-least of all, no doubt, from his friends the English, whose interests were now so interwoven with his as to be considered as inseparable. The Nabob gave up his army to us, with the greater portion of his revenues to pay them, and we had only to secure him in the enjoyment of what was left. The general outlines of our relation were as follows. All the large forts in the Carnatic were to be garrisoned by our troops,-the revenues were to be collected, and the general civil government administered by the Nabob's officers. To add, however, to the promptitude of our resources, in time of war the civil government was, in all its branches, revenue as well as others, to be assumed by the Company, and administered by their civil servants. The general amount of the gross revenue of the Carnatic, may be estimated at about twenty-six lacs of pagodas; † the expenses of the collection may be eight lacs. The Nabob paid to us the sum of nine lacs, as his share of the expense of the military force, and also the further sum of six lacs in lio quidation of certain debts. When these deductions are made, there will be found to have been no great surplus left for the maintenance of eastern state and dignity.
On the capture of Seringapatam, certain letters were said to have been found amongst the archives of the late Tippoo Sultan,
+ Lord Macartney, in a letter to the Court of Directors, written in the year 1781, speculating on what might be the result of a wise management of the Nabob's countries, rates the revenues, as in times of peace, at twelve hundred thousand pounds a year,
staff after id to have an eager en
th of AI discovery
expressive of treasonable sentiments on the part of the Nabob against our government. The circumstances under which these letters were found-how far they were connected with other correspondence betwixt the same parties—or by who.n discovered and selected, are points which have never yet been explained to the public. They form in all twenty-one numbers. Of these, lowever, entire translations have not been given,-extracts only have been translated of some of them; though no reason has been assigned (and it would be difficult perhaps to assign a good one), why particular parts have been thus selected. The fort of Seringaparam was captured on the 4th of May 1799 ; and an eager examination of papers of the Sultan, is said to have been amongst the first acts of the general's staff after the fall of the place. No indication of any discovery of this sort, however, was made, until the month of April 1800.
One would naturally suppose, that some imperious necessity must have impelled the Governor General to a measure of such severity, as the assumption of the country of one of our most ancient allies ; nothing less, it may be supposed, than the very ex. istence of our empire in India being at stake, from the conduct of the Nabob, could have led to the act. What then must our surprise be, when we come to know, that the assumption of the Carnatic had been previously resolved upon by his Lordship, on other and distinct grounds of policy, and that the charge of a treasonable correspondence was a new thought, which appears to have suggested itself to his mind, only ten days after he had given orders to Lord Clive, in the event of the death of the Nabob, to deprive his son of the civil and military administration of his principality? (See Letter from Governor General to Lord Clive, 26. March 1800, Vol. I. 59.)
On this supposed discovery being first made public, the greatest furprise is said to have been indicated by every one in India. The long and rooted aversion which was known to subsist betwixt Tippoo Sultan and the family of the Nabob, as well as the interests of the latter, all militated against the supposition of his ever meditating any such alliance, or connexion. It appeared to every one very unlikely, that the Nabob should ever place any reliance on his ancient and hereditary foe. Muflulmans, it was observed, are no strangers to the political character of their sect, and are therefore backward in placing any reliance on one another; nor do men commit treason, more than any other crime, without reasonable prospects of gain. If ever there was a cruel and perfidious Mussulman, it was the late Tippoo Sultan; and no gain could possibly accrue to the Nabob by expelling the English, whilft the Sultan