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marched from Dugshai; present from first to last.
Surg. Brougham. In medical charge, 1st E. B. Fusiliers,
Attached to the corps for about two months.
Non-commissioned Officers and Privates of the First Fusiliers.
NOTE TO ARTICLE THE COMPANY'S RAJ" IN NOVEMBER NUMBER.
It was not without much misgiving that we adopted the statement-which appeared in our article on the Company's Raj, in November last (p. 624), on the subject of the Nana Sahib's claims on the British Government-that the pension was granted to the Peishwah and his heirs. Our own impression of the facts was altogether different, and we had treated the claim as wholly unfounded, when we received from a high official authority a statement which misled us. We were just going to press, and could only bow to the supposed superior information of our informant.
The words of the treaty of 1st June 1818, under which the old Peishwah surrendered to Sir John Malcolm, are these: "That Bajee Rao shall receive a liberal pension from the Company's Government for the support of himself and family"—an ambiguous expression, which, taken alone, might seem to admit the interpretation of "him and his heirs." We have since, however, inquired further, and are happy to be able to revert to our original conclusion, and to remove even the shadow of a suspicion on the good faith of the Company's Government. Sir John Malcolm himself, in his letter to Mr Secretary Adam reporting the transaction, under date 13th June 1818, writes as follows: "I therefore fixed his pension at one lac more than that enjoyed by Amrut Rao, as considering it only temporary, being for his life, and including all his family and future dependants, with whom we had not made separate terms." This language leaves no doubt as to the understanding upon which the surrender of Bajee Rao took place. The pension was for his life only, and to include all claims on the part of his family.
With respect to the adoption of the pretended heirs, we are also now enabled no less conclusively to refute the claim which has so strangely found a qualified credence among some official persons in this country. The following is a copy of the official letter from the Commissioner at Bithoor reporting the circumstance :
From G. J. JOHNSON, Esq., Commissioner, Bethoor, to G. SWINTAN, Esq., Secretary to the Government.-Fort William, 14th June 1827.
"Sir, I have the honour to report, for the information of the Right Honourable the Vice-President in Council, that Bajec Row adopted two children on the 7th
VOL. LXXXIII.-NO. DVII.
"2. When informed that such was his purpose, a day before the ceremony took place I hinted to him that it might have been better had he given me the opportunity of informing his Lordship of his intentions.
"3. He replied that he had been unwell for some time past, and at that moment laboured under an attack of fever (which I am aware was the case), and that he did not deem it proper longer to put off what eventually he had determined on performing.'
"4. Under these circumstances I did not think I had any right to offer further remarks; the ceremony was completed.
"5. The names of the two boys are Suddchoo Rao, aged four years; and Doondy Rao (the Nana Sahib), aged two years and a half: they are the sons of two Bramins who have lately resided at Bethoor, and arrived from the Deccan about one year ago. "6. It has been intimated to me that Bajee Row would consider it a great compliment were I to present a Klulluth to him, and receive one in return on this occasion. I of course declined so doing until I had received the orders of Government, which I now have the honour to solicit.-I have, &c.
BETHOOR, COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE,
14th June 1827."
(Signed) G. J. JOHNSON, Commissioner.
This document makes it perfectly clear that this Doondy Rao or Punt, the Cawnpore butcher, is no blood-relation whatever to the deceased Peishwah, and that so far from meaning to confer on him the rights of succession now claimed, Bajee Rao did not even think it necessary to communicate the intended adoption to the Supreme Government. It is an established principle in Hindoo public law that political rights do not pass by adoption, unless guaranteed at the time by the paramount power; and as the Peishwah did not even solicit such a guarantee, it is clear that he knew his interest in the State pension to be only a life one, and had no thought of its being continued to the adopted son. We have already explained that adoption is a matter of religious obligation among Hindoos who have no male representative to perform the funeral rites. Bajee Rao, being a Brahmin, would naturally be solicitous that his pyre should be fired by an orthodox handDardaniique rogam capitis permittere flamma-and in strict accordance with the law, the whole of his enormous personalty became the prize of the wandering Brahmins from the Deccan," who had the good fortune to be intrusted with the office,
Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh.
CIVILISATION, like every other condition of humanity, has its dark as well as its bright side. Strangely enough, every material power which we invoke for our service, and to which the popular will, or more often the will of an individual, gives the first impetus, becomes, when once fairly errant and in progress, a kind of blind irresponsible independent agent, working by immutable laws of its own, beyond our reach either to quicken or arrest. The great dumb irrational slave comes into existence because we will it socreeps upon his earlier way by our assistance-finally rules over us with an absolutism more arbitrary than any personal tyranny, and, irresistible and not to be controlled, goes on like a Fate towards the ruin and destruction involved in his being. Civilisation, beneficent, gentle, full of charities and courtesies, the great ameliorator of the world, is no less, as old experience has often proved, the Nemesis of the very race which has cherished him. It would have been easier to check at their fiercest the wild Gothic hordes, which carried a fresh force of barbarous life into the ancient capitals of the world, than to have arrested the noiseless tide of that silken degeneration which left these old empires helpless beneath the rude foot of the conqueror. These waves
VOL. LXXXIII.-NO. DVIII.
are not to be limited by a "Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further”—it is not in the power of either men or governments to curb the giant whom they have been able to bring into being; it is impossible to arrest him at the golden age, while luxury is still legitimate, art splendid, and the economy of national existence magnificent and noble. How to pause there, is the often-tried problem of nations
-it is one which none of the antique races ever solved. Those elegant, dissolute, nerveless, incapable communities, into the ranks of which, in an inglorious succession, sank the heroic republics of Greece, the Rome of the Caesars, and the empire of the Constantines, have been hitherto a kind of inevitable aftercome to every climax of national glory. To control the event by law or regulation, to attempt vain sumptuary enactments, or vainer moral remonstrances against the progress of luxury and enervation, has been tried by many a terrified government, blindly struggling against the blind natural force, inaccessible to reason, which obeyed the law of its own being, and knew no other: but the contest has always been a fatally unsuccessful one; and it would require no particular strain of argument, or rather of the facts on which arguments are founded, to prove that civilisation by itself was the most
equivocal of benefits-an influence which increased the comfort of one generation only to bring a greater destruction upon another- a force, in reality, not favourable, but inimical, to man.
It would almost seem, however, so far as we and the modern world are
concerned, as if this fatal proclivity had in a great degree disappeared. True, it is not a hundred years yet since the French Revolution, which was a fiercer overthrow of all the artificial amenities of life than that which the barbarians of the North carried to the ancient empires of the world; and it is still a shorter time since all the Continental kingdoms trembled to the echoes of a conqueror's progress, and surrendered for a moment their very identity to make tributary crowns for his relations and dependents. But among ourselves, at least, there has been no such catastrophe-the evils of civilisation have counteracted themselves without any violent disturbance of the national life. We have gained our comforts, our security, our luxury, at a less price than that of our national vigour. The wealth of centuries has not bound us in silken chains of imbecility, or left us ready or probable victims to any invasion. On the contrary, though this is not our golden age -though there is no heroic glory in the firmament, no peculiar combinations of good fortune in our position -every circumstance in the history of the time proves that the race never was more vigorous, more irresistible, or less likely to be worsted.
talk of the evils of extreme civilisation, and we see them; but these evils, thank Heaven, are not symptoms of that fatal decadence which killed the civilised races of antiquity, and which has again and again left the hopes of the world in the hands of an army of savage and barbarous tribes, possessed of little more than that primitive force of life which was necessary for the revival of all the social conditions well-nigh extinguished by living too well.
It is not our business to enter into the causes of this almost unparalleled national exemption. Christianity is beyond question the surest controller of the doubtful powers of
civilisation, and our faith has been blessed by Providence with a freedom and power of action denied to many of our neighbours. We have also had the one other, lesser, but most effectual safety-valve of extreme civilisation-a constantly remaining balance of savage possessions, open to the conquest and the enterprise and the ambition of all bold spirits--a margin of woods and plains and islands to be won out of the primitive grip of nature, and holding primitive wealth, the wholesome original of all other riches, in their bosom. With this balance of healthful savagery in our own possession, sanctified as its natural influence is by the aggressive, invasive, and irrestrainable activity of the Gospel, civilisation, however "extreme," loses its usual tendency. We are in no danger of making sumptuary laws, of regulating the burgesses' wardrobe or the nobleman's plate-closet. Burgesses and noblemen alike send out young adventurers, as all the world knowswho would have been Rolands and Bayards in the days of chivalry-to every quarter of this prodigious empire which stands in need of such; and no man in the kingdom grudges to the mothers and sisters-nay, to the aunts, cousins, and sweethearts of these boys-flounces enough to set the island afloat if it pleases them. Luxury, present or prospective, affrights neither statesman nor philosopher in these realms; and it is not easy to make a British public believe that an American public can mean anything but a jest, when it throws the blame of its bankruptcy upon the extravagance of its womankind. It is possible that the course of years may reverse this picture, that civilisation may sink into effeminacy, and wealth run on to ruin with this kingdom, as with so many others; but at present, so far as human probabilities go, it seems our privilege to hold the balance, and solve to this extent at least every social problem of the world.
Let not so serious an introduction damp your courage, oh reader just and kind! We are not about to prefer an indictment of secret horrors, a muster-roll of the unacknowledged crimes of cities, against the civilised
society of this realm and time. Sin, in all its varieties, belongs to no one condition of humanity, but lives where men live, in all places and in all ages. Civilisation may make crime more venomous and fiendish, as savage life makes it more brutal; but neither the one nor the other can be called the parent of this disease of the race. Our concern is with matters much less appalling. Civilisation among us stands at the bar to be judged by domestic juries, for offences against the social economy. In the present case, the complainants are women. Let us do their plea full justice they are not the passionate women, making vehement appeal to public sympathy for personal wrongs too bitter to contain themselves within a private circle, to whose voices the world has not been unaccustomed hitherto. It is not any personal injury, but a general condition, which is the object of their statement, and they make their statement with reasonableness and gravity. It is, notwithstanding, somewhat too sweeping and extensive to be received without hesitation-being no less than a charge against civilisation of upsetting the commonest and most universal relation of life, and of leaving a large proportion of women, in all conditions, outside of the arrangements of the family, to provide for themselves, without at the same time leaving for them anything to do.
This is very hard, if it is true and that it is true in many special instances, no one will deny. Special instances, however, do not make up a case so universal as we are called upon to believe this to he. It is not the common course of Providence which drops an individual now and then out of the current, but a circumstance so general as to change the current altogether. There were single ladies as there were single gentlemen as long as anybody can remember, yet it is only within a very short time that writers and critics have begun to call the attention of the public to the prevalence and multiplicity of the same. "What are we to do with our spinsters?" asks, with comic pathos, one of the many reviewers of the Life of Charlotte Bronte; and our enlightened con
temporary, the Athenæum, congratulates itself that even novels-those arbitrary matchmakers-begin to see the propriety of recognising the condition of old maid; and even though they ultimately marry their heroine, suffer her first to come to years of extreme discretion, and to settle upon her own mode of life. While, still more formally, one of the latest ladyaccusers of civilisation not only prefaces her Woman's Thoughts about Women with the somewhat amazing limitation that "these thoughts do not concern married women," but adds in so many words, “this fact remains patent to any person of common sense and experience, that, in the present day, whether voluntarily or not, one-half of our women are obliged to take care of themselves-obliged to look solely to themselves for maintenance, position, occupation, amusement, reputation, life."
Now we cannot help thinking this a rather astounding statement. Is it really the condition of the feminine population of the three kingdoms ? Persons of common sense and experience may well consider the question if it is so-and doubtless there is statistical information to be had on so important a subject. Judging by our own limited lights, we should have supposed that even our "unmarried daughters" still in the nursery, to whom a new doll is at present infinitely more attractive than the handsomest new Guardsman of the season, must have added their tiny quota to the tale, ere the "one-half" of single women had been fairly made out and numbered. One-half of the English women of the present time, not only unmarried, but voluntarily or otherwise unmarriageable — not only unmarried and unmarriageable, but without father, mother, brother, or family, sole units standing each upon her own responsibility before the world! Many an odd picture of this same world gets drawn by people in a corner, who find their own little horizon the limit of the scene; but never surely was there an odder or more remarkable misrepresentation than this-and it would be a curious inquiry to discover and settle those strange characteristics of the time