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Well, John, I don't want to cavil about the matter. I am not obstinate, or self-sufficient, or vain-glorious. I know what a mess your Ministers would make of the government of India; but I do not maintain that I am perfect myself. It is very probable that my mode of doing business has not kept pace with the requirements of extended dominion and increased facilities of communication that there are, in short, defects in my system which require to be removed. But the question for your consideration is, whether these are vital, constitutional, organic defects-whether the disease has eaten, like a cancer, so deeply into my life, that it can only be removed at the expense of my existence; or whether they are accidental ailments, to which ordinary remedies may be applied, with hope of restoring me to health and activity, and enabling me to meet the demands made upon me by the increased and increasing business of my Indian Empire. This, John, I say, is the great question for your solution. I do not see that either your Ministers or your Parliament have taken it into consideration; and, therefore, I press it upon your own common sense. You are not wont, John, to prefer abolition to modification. If your own constitutional systems, at any period of your existence, have not worked well, you have modified, or, as you generally call it, you have reformed them; you have not applied the axe to the root. The diruit adificat principle has never been yours. You have let circumstances, out of which all your systems of government have grown, still continue to operate upon those systems, and to shape them according to the pressure of the times. Now, what is it that makes my constitution an exception to your general rule of action? Is it that it is incurably bad? You have tried, from time to time, to improve it, John, and you declare that all these experiments have been successful. What is the logic, then, of declaring, that as all your attempts at improvements have succeeded, it is useless to try any more? One would have supposed that the suc
cess of past experiments was an argument for further efforts to improve me. At all events, it sufficiently demonstrates that I have not yet been proved to be incurable. If my defects, then-exaggerate them as you may-be not incurable; or, in other words, be not inseparable from my constitution, why seek to destroy me outright? You are not wont, in the ordinary affairs of life, to proceed in this irrational manner. If your horse goes lamely, you have him re-shod; you blister him, or you fire him; you do not shoot him until you have tried everything else in vain. If your carriage wheels go heavily and cumbrously, you grease them, or you mend them; you insert some new wood-work, or some new iron-work; or you buy new patent axles: you do not make a bonfire of the vehicle. You do not pull down your house because your fire smokes; you do not cut down your tree because there is a worm in the bark; you do not have your leg amputated, because, as Mr Dickens says, (6 your corns are an aggravation." I know nothing in ordinary life that is in any way a parallel to your present proceeding (assuming that you take the advice of your Ministers), except that capital story, John, told by one of my clerks, who, I
believe, must have had a prophetic vision of my latter end, as he slumbered over one of my huge ledgers in the old mercantile days,—that story of the Chinamen who, desiderating the luxury of roast pig, and knowing no easier process towards its attainment, burnt down their houses in search of cracklin. Now, is not that what you are doing, John? You want cracklin. You have really only to tell any professed cook to produce it for you, and you will have it on your table at any hour you please to name. You have no need to burn down my house, or any other house, to get it. It is the cook's work, not the incendiary's. I have half-a-dozen cooks in my big house in Leadenhall Street, who will serve you up the right thing. apple-sauce and all, at a few hours' notice.
You will tell me, perhaps, that I should have done better if I had sug
gested this before-if I had set my house in order, unasked-if I had reformed myself out of a pure conscientious love of reform. Well, John, I admit it. But we are all of us somewhat prone to adopt the quieta non movere principle. It is a family failing, John. I don't know that it's peculiar to me. We all want some pressure from without to induce us to keep pace with the times. We do not see ourselves as others see us." We think that we are doing very well; and we remember the words of the old epitaph, "I was well-I sought to be better-I took physicand-I died." Of course, this dreadful mutiny in India roused me, as it has roused you, to a sense of the insecurity of my position in India; and I should have been culpable in the extreme, if I had done nothing to probe the evil to its depths. But I have done all that, up to the present time, could be done; I have ordered special commissions to assemble in India to ascertain the causes of the outbreak, the defects of my existing military system, and the best means of reorganising the army, now broken and shattered by the shock of this great rebellion. And I will undertake to say, my dear John, that if you do not interfere, my commissions will turn out better than those which you clamoured for so loudly after the Crimean war. Now, this was the first thing to be done. It was surely my business to address myself first to the proximate causes of the great disaster. But although I desired to begin there, I did not desire to end there. I was prepared to consider in what manner the existing system of government in England may have tended to create or to perpetuate the evils out of which the mutiny has arisen. It was your duty, John, to call for inquiry. It was my duty to be prepared for inquiry, prepared to have all my affairs thoroughly investigated. I was prepared, John-I am prepared. I do not shrink from-I court inquiry. I only protest against being condemned without trial.
If I thought that there were any hope of your proposed new system of government working as well as mine has done, I would not ask you to try
whether mine may not be made to work better. But I can see ΠΟ hope of this. Now, your advisers, John, do not deny that my constitution is radically sound. They do not say that the principles upon which it is based are erroneous. They merely sneer at my cumbrousness and indistinctness; and on account of certain accidental defects-defects which have really nothing to do with the constitutional part of my government, they propose to destroy that constitution, and to substitute for it one that is based upon a wholly different set of principles. They do not say that the representative system is bad; they merely assert that I have a bad constituency. Instead of inquiring whether that constituency might not be improved, they propose to abolish it altogether, and to substitute the despotic principle for the elective, in your new Indian constitution. They do not assert that the principle of Double Government, or constitutional equipoise, is bad. They merely assert that it engenders delay, and obscures responsibility. Instead of inquiring how the joint operation and reciprocal action of the two parts of this government may be simplified and harmonised, and how the responsibility may be rendered more distinct and more intelligible, they propose to convert the Double Government into a single Government, and to destroy at once all the constitutional checks which have so long been the safeguard of the Indian Empire. But you may easily reform my constituency, John-you may easily simplify the action of the Double Government
and, as to responsibility, that is just what Parliament pleases to make it.
But where there is no inquiry, there can be no response. And I do not see that the Indian Minister is to be rendered more responsible, by simply changing his official name.
You know the worst of me, John. You know that I have, somehow or other, added "the brightest jewel in the crown" to the regalia of Great Britain. You know that I have made you the wonder and the admiration of the world. But you do not know what will be the result of the danger
ous experiment which your Ministers are now proposing to inaugurate. If there be one axiom, John, in the philosophy of Indian government more indisputable than any other, it is, that there must be a strong intermediate body between India and the Government of the day. Erect such a body, John, and I am satisfied. You may call it the East India Company-you may call it the Council of India- you may call it anything, nothing, I do not care-so long as it answers the purpose. But, be convinced that no council, no board, no assembly of any kind, can answer the purpose, if it be nominated by your Ministers. Think, then, if you do not like my present constituency, whether you cannot appoint another, and a better one; think then, if you do not like my independent Directors, whether you can get better
ones equally independent; think, if you do not like my present system of check and counter-check, whether you cannot invent another with the same safeguards, but with fewer delays. Think whether you cannot improve that of which you have experience, before you fly to that of which you have none. Do not, cajoled by your Ministers, without knowledge, without inquiry, without consideration, accept from their hands a wholly new constitution for India, which will place the country at the feet of a Parliamentary majority, and soon assist you to lose it, as disastrously and disgracefully as you lost your American Colonies-and, probably, in the same way.
I am, my dear John,
Your affectionate friend,
Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh.
WE are a race of travellers; the impulse seems to come into the world with us, a national inspiration. It is because of the dismal English fogs, the gloom, and the rain, and the heaviness of this unfortunate island, where the inhabitants commit suicide in November, and must fly, or die, with the instinct of desperation, say our sagacious neighbours over the Channel; but whatever the cause is, the result is clear. Deep into every inland valley, high up to every hillside, among streets, among towns, among villages, into the midland fens and plains as well as to the rock-bound extremities of the land, the mysterious sea-breath of our isolation tempts us all forth to the unknown. Perhaps the long lines of a continent, running in faint hills and plains toward the horizon, can never be so suggestive and tantalising to the fancy, as that dangerous dazzling glory of sea which hems in our insular footsteps; but it is certain that this nation of islanders, straitly confined on every side by these waters, which only kiss the shores of our neighbours for a limited extent of coast, has never ceased, since its first dawning of national importance, to produce great explorers, great voyagers, and the most persevering colonists in the world. We are not a people of fervid imagina
VOL. LXXXIII.—NO. DX.
tion-or, if we are, get little credit for it; but it is to be presumed that our geographical position supplies all that we lack in enthusiasm of temperament. We cannot saunter over an imaginary line, and find ourselves immediately under different laws, a different government, and a distinct language. To experience this, the soberest family-expedition must dare the passage of that angry little sea which divides us from our nearest neighbour; and the subtle whisper of the blue water, a siren ever singing of the unseen and undiscovered, exercises its perpetual and unceasing temptation upon our blood. There is not a village in the country, there is scarcely a family, over some one of whose number this suggestion has not, in one way or another, prevailed. For fortune, for fame, for knowledge, for pleasure, for nothing at all but pure love of wandering, the natives of these three kingdoms are for ever straying out of this narrow little nook, at the corner of creation, over all the world.
To say this is not certainly to say anything new; but the old perennial fact has its changing novelties of circumstance in every age. Our adventurers do not take Spanish galleons or conquer provinces in these days; and, somehow, an even quainter antiquity has fallen upon
the Grand Tour of our more immediate ancestors, than upon the splendid forays of Drake and Raleigh. The proper English young gentleman's course of travel-his orthodox visits to historical places, his neat notes upon pictures and palaces, his pleasant excitation of anticipated surprise on hearing peasants and children talk freely the languages which he has acquired so painfully, and his general delightful sense of superiority as a man who has seen the world is something quite beyond and above the profane imagination of to-day. The grand tour, with all its pleasant complaisancies and importance, is no longer good for anything but a chapter in the Virginians. The fashion has changed. The Engfish young gentleman who would distinguish himself by the acconiplishment of travel now, must go to the extremities of the earth before he will find any region which it is creditable and novel to have visited. Enterprise and adventure of themselves have grown so common, that they must be pushed to the verge of voluntary martyrdom before our languid admiration and wonder can be quickened into interest. A man who has made a downright savage of himself, has a certain claim upon us. He has achieved a feat which it requires wealth, leisure, health, and boldness, in large degrees, to do, and for which the greater part of his neighbours are, one way or other, incapacitated; but your small man, who has only travelled, what does anybody care for him? We have all travelled more or less in our own persons. A few thousand miles, or a few additional countries, are dull to our universal information; and your traveller, who confines himself within the bounds of civilisation, yet expects the public to take the smallest interest in him, must either be a Yankee, or pursue his journey with some special end in view.
Yes! we dare no longer, with a due regard for our character, travel for travel's sake. The merest tourist, who goes where Murray bids him, is unhappy if he has not a motive to license his wandering- a "pursuit" to raise him above the vulgar level
of the travelling English. He is a student of architecture, learned in the beauties of severe Gothic excellence, and strict to mark the dawning symptoms of a debased period; or he is a connoisseur, erudite in the "second manner" of Raphael or Leonardo, and better instructed about the school of Pisa and the school of Venice than if he had been a genuine alumnus of one of those dead brotherhoods of art; or he is full of statistical inquiries and questions of government, and improves his mind by comparing national systems, and investigating the developments of commerce and industry in different quarters of the world; or, most fatal of all, he is a student of human nature and national character-from which last virtuous personage heaven deliver all unwary souls! But whatever he is, he is obliged to be something, from a mere necessity of self-respect. Everybody has found out, by dint of experiment, that travelling for itself is not the elevating and expanding influence it was once fondly imagined to be; and the fashion is, that everybody of the slightest pretensions, when he travels, should travel for a certain end.
So, when an unfortunate physician rushes out of his hard practice for his month's holiday, alas! it is not to forget that such things as fevers and consumptions are in this laborious world. On the contrary, he goes away, not to refresh himself so much as to benefit society, by analysing all the medicinal waters of all the Bads and Spas within his range, and to speculate upon peculiarities of climate and sanatorial advantages; carrying upon his unhappy shoulders, wherever he goes, the infirmities of all the world. The man of science leaves his museum only to have the same fate follow him. He sets up, not a tabernacle of rest, but an ob servatory, and takes his pleasure laboriously-not to please himself, so much as to extend the limits of geological, or astronomical, or geographical knowledge-to increase the museum, and make up another lecture, and a little more information for the inquiring world. The same necessity presses more or less upon