Imagens das páginas

interrupted by a revulsion of cheerfulness. Willingly do we close our paper with words of good omen. Before he could venture to publish his last volume, Freiligrath was compelled to put himself beyond the reach of royal vengeance, and he is now living in exile in Brussels. Whether or not his foot shall ever again press his native soil, we trust the time will come when truth, honour, honesty, and genuine, not spurious, loyalty shall cease to be regarded as crimes against the state in any land where the German tongue is spoken.

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Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

Da hangen trüb die Nebel noch;
Geduld nur, es verjagt sie doch!
Wie zornig sie auch dräu'n, wie wirr,
Es lässt nicht ab, es wird nicht irr !
Mit kräft'gen Blasen, Ruck auf Ruck,
Macht es zunichte Dunst und Druck!

Hab' Dank, du frisch und freudig

Hab' Dank, hab' Dank-o, wär' es
Zehn !

Ja, Zehn und rings der Himmel rein!
Jetzt, mein' ich, wird es Sechse sein!
Der Wisperwind, der Wisperwind,
Den kennt bis Oestrich jedes Kind!


Dim hang the mists those towers upon;
But patience, they will soon begone!
For all so big they look and frown,
The Whisper will not be put down,
But charging at them, blast on blast,
Scatters their sullen heaps at last.

So may it be! amen, amen!
Blow on good wind-O were it ten!
O were it ten, and clear the sky!
"Twill now methinks be six well nigh.—
The Whisperwind! "Tis known to all
From north to south both great and

ART. VI.-Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official. By Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. SLEEMAN, of the Bengal Army. 2 vols. London: Hatchard and Son. 1844.

THE popularity of Indian topics is increasing rapidly. Not a month, scarcely a week, passes without bringing along with it some new work on Indian topography, manners, or politics. The growth of the interest which, as a people, we take in Eastern subjects bears a very close analogy to the growth of our empire in the East. At first it was exceedingly feeble. Few cared to know what was doing in those remote regions, to bring intelligence from which required the lapse of more than half a year. The news, in fact, was already old before it reached us. We, therefore, troubled ourselves comparatively little about it, and exhausted our attention on matters which, though of much smaller dimensions, eclipsed the far greater objects lying at a distance. By degrees the circle of our power in India was enlarged, and its augmentation was accompanied by an enlarged sympathy at home. A sort of indefinite consciousness pervaded the public mind, that we had sown the seeds of great things in Asia, and might expect some day, no one exactly knew how or when, to behold them ripen into the glorious harvest of empire. Out of this feeling particular department of our literature sprang up. A connexion was established between India and Great Britain which, obviously promising to be permanent, suggested to speculative men the necessity of explaining its origin, and pointing out how it might be rendered most profitable to both countries. For a while the class of persons affected by these speculations was exceedingly small. It required much leisure and severe habits of study to be able to comprehend the vast fabric of Indian society, with its strange

and mysterious religion, its intricate system of castes, its various forms of government, its peculiar civilisation, the mixture which it exhibits of refinement and barbarism, its extraordinary population at once heterogeneous and uniform, its history losing itself in the obscurity of the fabulous ages. Writers, however, persevered, and readers gradually presented themselves. One topic first and then another was investigated and explained. People perceived there was beauty and grandeur where at first they could discover nothing but a chaos of uncouth forms; and a sympathy was created for that modification of humanity which peculiar influences have invested with a hue of bronze. In this way we have arrived imperceptibly at the conviction, that the Hindús are our fellow-subjects, we might now perhaps almost say our fellowcountrymen, since India and England are only different parts of the same empire which, connected together by the ocean, studs the surface of the globe with large spaces rendered healthy and populous by industry, and radiant with the light of freedom.

We are now perhaps in danger of remaining in ignorance of many things connected with India, from the notion that because much has been written, our knowledge is already sufficiently extensive. In reality, however, we have a great deal still to learn, as any one who reads Colonel Sleeman's' Rambles and Recollections' may perceive. No doubt some topics are dwelt upon in these volumes which have already occupied the pens of other writers; but mingled with these are many curious revelations of Indian society, which will probably surprise even those who consider themselves best acquainted with the East. It is implied in this that Colonel Sleeman is an acute and careful observer. He is much more. United with remarkable abilities, we find in him a forbearing and tolerant disposition, a keen sense of what is due to the subject races of India, and a generous desire to make amends to them, by kindness and good government, for what they may have lost on the score of national independence. For this reason we regard it as a duty strongly to recommend his work to the public. To say that it is replete with information of the most valuable kind, would not be to state half its merits; because, while enlarging the sphere of our knowledge, and correcting the judgment, it perpetually entertains the fancy with rich and brilliant pictures, stores the memory with lively anecdotes, and warmly interests all the better feelings of our nature in behalf of the Hindús. It has been made, we believe, a reproach against Colonel Sleeman, that he has followed no strict method in the arrangement of his materials. In some sense this may be admitted to be a fault, though the general reader will scarcely object to it; since, through what is deemed a delinquency against the ordinary rules of art, the object of all art has

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been attained, which is at once to administer instruction and delight.

Notwithstanding what has been said, we are far from adopting, on all subjects, the views of Colonel Sleeman, who is often most whimsically inconsistent. No man can be more thoroughly convinced than he that our government is the source of innumerable blessings to the people of India. He seizes upon every occasion that presents itself to reiterate, that it is the best system of rule they have ever known. Nay, he proves it by unanswerable arguments, and undeniable facts, and assures us, that the better and more enlightened portion of the natives frankly acknowledge it. From which might be inferred, that Colonel Sleeman advocates the extinction of those Hindú and Mohamedan despotisms which still deform the face of society in India, and inflict so much misery upon their subjects. Here, however, our author's humanity forsakes him. He ceases to be the friend of the Hindús, and stands forward, according to his own views, exclusively English. He would not have us extend the advantages of our rule to every part of India, for the most extraordinary of all reasons, that it would deprive our own subjects of opportunity for comparing their condition with that of their neighbours, and feeling, by contrast, how much happier they are. This is an atrocious fallacy, which assumes various forms according to the temper of those who put it forward. We have, in former articles, exposed its wickedness when made use of, to show that the native governments ought to be suffered to exist in order to supply us with something to fight with, and keep the bayonets of our sipahis from rusting. It assumes a new phase in Colonel Sleeman's theory, but is the same fallacy still. He fancies and endeavours to persuade his reader that the people of India would not be able to appreciate good government or know when they were kindly treated, if they had not perpetually before their eyes the detestable examples of oppression and tyranny supplied by the native states. His arguments, stated in his own language, are as follows:-

"There are two reasons why we should leave these two small native states under their own chiefs, even when the claim to the succession is feeble or defective; first, because it tends to relieve the minds of other native chiefs from the apprehension, already too prevalent among them, that we desire, by degrees, to absorb them all, because we think our government would do better for the people; and, secondly, because, by having them as a contrast, we afford to the people of India the opportunity of observing the superior advantages of our rule.

"""Tis distance lends enchantment to the view' in governments as well as in landscapes, and if the people of India, instead of the living proofs of what perilous things native governments, whether Hindú or

Mohammedan, in reality are, were acquainted with nothing but such pictures of them as are to be found in their histories and the imaginations of their priests and learned men (who lose much of their influence and importance under our rule), they would certainly, with proneness like theirs to delight in the marvellous, be far from satisfied, as they now are, that they never had a government so good as ours, and that they never could hope for another so good were ours removed."

With regard to the first of Colonel Sleeman's reasons it can only be supposed to possess weight by those who believe, that our empire may be endangered by fostering such apprehensions as he describes among native rulers. In reality, however, there are no princes in India from whom we have any thing to fear. They may believe what they please, and imagine what they please; their belief and their imaginings must always be matter of indifference to us, so long as we rule our own subjects wisely and justly. Besides, there is not and cannot be a native chief in all India who does not know as well as the governor-general himself, that the natural tendency of our system is to spread rapidly and overthrow, one after another, the various petty despotisms which stand in our way. The fact unquestionably and obviously is so, and no hypocritical show of moderation on our part could possibly disguise the truth from any who have an interest in becoming acquainted with it. Unless defeated by some rival state and driven out from India, it is and must be our policy to extend and consolidate our power there. The native princes cannot possibly withstand this tendency. Every day their means of resistance are diminished, while ours are multiplied and augmented. Nothing, therefore, that we could do would render them more inclined than they are at present to cabal and combine against us. Our security does not consist in their good will, but in their utter incapacity to harm us. We shall put them all down, and they know it, and await their certain destiny with the same composure that men look forward to the stroke of death. They are sure it will come, but cannot foretell the day or the hour, and therefore, in the meantime, enjoy themselves.

There is nothing to which Colonel Sleeman appears to be more inimical than the lust of conquest; and he expends a great deal of virtuous indignation against all who have fought for the extension of empire, from Alexander the Great to Sir John Malcolm. For the man of Macedon we need just now make no apology. A good deal has been said of him first or last, and, we dare say, the world has finally made up its mind respecting his merits or demerits. Not so with Sir John Malcolm. This distinguished Indian statesman is still but imperfectly understood. He was not by any means, however, what Colonel Sleeman would insinuate, a mere physical force conqueror. On the contrary, as far as we

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