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when Joseph 'restored the people again to the possession of their land, renewing or establishing the obligation upon them to pay a fifth part of the annual produce to PHARAOH, I apprehend he gave them back their land, as they seem before to have held it in hereditary possession. So that, from these circumstances, it would appear the lands of Egypt were possessed by the tribe of husbandmen nearly upon the same footing that the ryots in Hindostan possess their lands. If such were the circumstances under Joseph's management, the same would also be the circumstances under Sesostris, when he made a new di. vision of the lands, probably, upon the occasion of making an allot, ment of land to the military, or, possibly, only for the purpose of improving his revenues; he would replace the occupiers of the soil, or the hereditary husbandmen, in the same situation that they were before. Indeed it appears to me, that the profession of husbandry being hereditary, necessarily involves these circumstances; because, the state depending upon this class of people for the revenue which the land produces, the father, whose sons are bound to keep up the profession of husbandry, ought certainly to furnish them with the means of exercising it : so that this state of possessory property seems to result from the institution of hereditary husbandmen; and the one becomes a natural consequence, or attendant of the other. In this way, I account for the twofold existence of landed property in Hindostan, which I have distinguished by the terms, absolute property, entitling to the rent, and existing in the sovereign, who may transfer or assign it; and possessory property, liable for the rent, and existing in the husbandman (ryot), or occupant, under the obligation of cultivating it, so as to produce rent or revenue to the state, or its substitute ; which, being constitutionally hereditary, and also trans. ferable, is to all intents and purposes property ; but always subser. vient to, and dependent upon, the person who is absolute proprietor of the same subject.
• In direct opposition, therefore, to the practice and the prejudices of Europe, the immediate labourers of the soil, who, among the Anglo-Saxons and the Anglo. Normans, and all the other barbarians of the north, were the degraded slaves of society, in ancient Hindostan were the most favoured sutjects of government, being the only permanent possessors of land, which they held by perpetual hereditary tenures in small allotments,' or farms, inmediately and directly under the authority of the prince, with only the intervention of the officer, through whom the rents were paid to government.'
On the hypothesis here maintamed, it was the interest of, the monarch particularly to cherish and protect the cultivators, Innumerable passages indicative of this disposition certainly occur in all the Oriental histories and laws : but these, it must be owned, have a strange sound to an ear not familiarized with accounts of eastern usages.
The author thus accounts for the origin of the differences between our eastern literati on the subject of the nature of landed property in India : U 2
• The phraseology by which the writers of Europe deceive them. selves, as well as their readers, in treating of the Asiatic land-revenue, is dictated by European prepossessions. In Europe in general, and in England in particular, all cultivated lands are private property, and do not belong to government; the rents of which are drawn by the individual proprietors; and any payments made from them to government, are of course, duties, taxes, or a quit-rent: therefore these writers conclude, that whatever is payable to government from the lands in Hindostan, or in Asia, although it be the whole rent which the land produces, must, in like manner, be denominated a duty, a tax, or a quit-rent. And, to increase this affinity, although the sovereign dispose of the land at pleasure, and give immediately from himself the most minute directions as to its cultivation and management, yet his proprietary rights are to be put upon the same footing with the present obsolete claims of the feudal system, in respect to the monarchies of Europe, which are altogether a fiction. But surely there can be no fiction in drawing all the rents of the whole lands com.. posing an empire? To make this similarity still more complete, a private proprietor must be found, and the zemindar most opportunely presents himself ; who, although in respect to power, one of the inferior officers of the revenue department, yet, being a Hindoo, and his office therefore generally, though not absolutely, conferred in the order of hereditary succession; being paid, too, when he had not an allotment of land for his subsistence (which I imagine to have been generally the case under the Hindoo government), by a commission of ten per cent. upon the sum that he collected, seemingly to prevent a double transaction in the payment of his salary; this one rupee out of ten, from the rents of the land, which the Zemindar re. ceives for collecting, not only the land-tent, but the other revenues of the crown, being interdicted, at his peril, from augmenting any one of these exactions, constitutes him, in their idea, the proprietor: and the nine-tenibs received by the sovereign, is deemed a duty, a tax, a guit-rent!
• In the year 1773, a parliamentary inquiry into the affairs of the East India Company, by ihe examination of evidences, established the footing upon which landed property and land rent were then understood to exist, and to have always existed, in Hindostan; which appears to have been accurately just. But since that time, gentlemen, who were veterans in the habitudes of Europe, having been sent out in high situations, without any previous experience in India, the at. tempt has been made by them to reconcile the existing system of Hindostap to their local prejudices, by converting the peculiar appointments of Asia into the aristocratical establishments of Europe ; and by elevating the subordinate and dependent Zemindar, whose duty was to collect, or to realize to government the land-rent, as well as the customs, tolls, and other taxes, into the great and independent land-proprietor ; a character which never did at any time exist in Asia! and thereby to undermine the constitutional authority of government, and to destroy the proprietary rights of the ryots, or husbandmen, who, in Hindostan, always have been 'the immediate he. reditary tenants of the crown. After that time, a new language ap.
pears to have been adopted by the servants of the East India Com. pany abroad: feudal ideas float perpetually in their imaginations ; and the institutions of Hindostan are explained in the phraseology of a system which never could have any existence in that country. All is allusion to the military tenures of ancient Europe: nor could the peaceable Zemindar now know himself, accoutred and disguised in the garb of a feudal knight!
• Such appear to me the circumstances that have given rise to the question respecting Zemindary property, which has occasioned so much altercation in India, and produced two publications in Europe, by gentlemen who had resided in India ; but who have adopted very different opinions upon the state of landed property there. The first is a work which I have already had occasion to mention, and is en. titled, An Inquiry into the Nature of Zemindary Tenures; and the other, which is a sort of reply to it, is entitled, Dissertation concerning the Landed Property of Bengal.'
Mr. P. also corroborates his hypothesis by shewing that it · exactly coincides with the system of finance digested by Tu.
DOR MULL, and adopted by the great AKBER; which he conjectures to have been formed on the antient Hindoo plan; and which, he believes, prevailed in India to the very period of the investitures of the English company. · Admitting that some changes were necessary in the civil ad. ministration of India, the author says;
• It does not follow, that the great constitutional principles of the lately existing government in India, founded on the experience of ages, and the invariable practice of so many nations, are to be laid aside or subverted on slight inquiries, imperfect information, or vague undigested opinions of any person or persons, not formally, or in fact vested with legislative authority under the supreme ruling power; — more especially, if such subversion has the effect of alienating the sovereign's just and necessary dues, -violating the sacred possessory rights of the great mass of the people who are cultivators, and trans. ferring gratuitously to a few official land-holders, under the erroneous idea of their being hereditary proprietors of their respective territorial jurisdictions, the actual property of the soil, including not only what pays rent to government, but, what is of infinitely more consequence chan the thing thus transferred, as well as of greater extent, all the waste and unassessed pasture lands of the British dominions in India; while, at the same time, it is avowed, that nine-tenths of the present rent belong to the state, which therefore hath a larger inte. rest, and more the means of making such lands productive of reve. nue ; and that only the remaining tenth proportion of it is to consti. tute the real estates of those land-holders called Zemindars, but who are known to possess, exclusively, an immense extent of territory, fraudulently alienated, and are now, besides if permitted by the Bri. tish legislature , supposed to be vested in the fee simple of a vast in. definite space of uncultivated, though, for the most part, arable, and highly valuable ground, without equal interest, means, capacity, or
inclination as the sovereign to make it more beneficial to themselves and the state, or subservient to an extended population.'
It appears doubtful to Mr. Patton,
• How far it is politic in the English East India Company, or rather, the government of England, who now possess the sovereiga power of India, to transform their own native official servants in that country, into enormous land proprietors holding principalities rather than estates, and to give up the whole cultivators of the soil, their own immediate socage tenants, to the arbitrary sway of such local tyrants. The English Government might have been satisfied with the superintending care of the British Legislature, to correct any abuses on the part of the East India Company or their servants (re. strained too by the intervention of the Board of Control), over their subjects in India, without having recourse to the hazardous experi, ment of revolutionizing the state of landed property there, by creating great land proprietors, or rather petty sovereigns, to feel their own strength, and to combine for the assertion of complete and absolute proprietary rights. If the Zemindars are to be deemed the proprie. tors of their Zemindaries, as the English government seem now to have established, they will very soon, of themselves, make the discovery, that the English East India Company can have no just right to levy from them NINE TENTHS of the rents of their private estates. This enormous assessment from private proprietors, they will certainly regard as too high a price to be paid for government protection ; and the wealth which would flow from a tenfold multiplication of what they are at present permitted to receive, they may be led to imagine, will enable them to protect themselves ; especially if a few of those great proprietors of thousands of square miles of cultivated land, with innumerable inhabitants, should determine to combine together for that purpose. What credit ought to be given to the rumours already whispered by fame upon this subject, I cannot pretend to judge ; but as the natural dispositions of mankind are in all ages the same, we are instructed by history to expect from the same causes, the same consequences and effects. Some characteristic differences may indeed arise, from temperament and climate ; and the natives of India may at, tempt to accomplish, by treachery and massacre, what the daring chieftains of the North contended for by open hostilities and the conflict of arms.'
Here we must terminate our view of Mr. Patton's labours, and our exemplificarions of the mode in which they have been executed: but, in conclusion, we must express some regret that the matter of his elaborate and instructive work has nog been set off with more of the advantages of 'arrangement and composition.
Art. VIII. A Picturesque Tour through the Cities of London and ,
Westminster, illustrated with the most interesting Views, accurately delineated, and executed in Acquatinta. By Thomas Malton. Folio. 2 Vols. * 171. 108. Sold by the Author, 81, Titchfield Street. A COLLECTION of views of the principal edifices in a magnifi.
1 cent city always affords a gratifying sight, if they be executed even with moderate abilities : but the value is in course greatly enhanced, when they issue from the hands of a professor who ranks eminently high in his art, and who is capable of subjoin. ing scientifie observations on the several objects which présent themselves. It is doing only justice to Mr. Malton to say that we have been amply satisfied, in these respects, in the examina. tion of the present work; which consists of one hundred wellchosen views, executed in acquatinta, together with very interesting descriptions, ingenious criticisms, and judicious oba servations. The plates may be regarded not only as valuable picturesque representations, but, from this artist's superior knowlege of perspective, we may also depend on their being correct delineations, which will consequently be extremely use. ful for reference to the different works of architecture exhibited in them. We shall enrich our pages by some extracts, though we cannot avail ourselves of the engravings.
Mr. M. commences his route from that quarter by which foreigners usually enter London; and he says;
• As nothing more powerfully interests the imagination than the exterior magnificence of an extensive city, or so much impresses the minds of strangers with favourable ideas of the opulence of its inhabitants ; it is greatly to be regretted that all public improvements are not subject to some legal control that, without materially affecting the rights of individuals, might prevent them from disgracing their country with meanness and absurdity. 1. The approach to London from the Kentish road, by which tra. vellers from the continent usually enter the metropolis, was, within these few years, highly picturesque and striking. The spacious area of St. George's Fields, intersected by a number of roads, perpetually crowded with passengers and carriages of all descriptions, presented in the day-time such a lively picture, as can never be seen but in the neighbourhood of a great city; and by night, the many long rows of lamps, diverging in every direction, exhibited all the splendour of a festive illumination. From the place where the roads meet at Newington, the view comprehended almost the whole extent of the cities of London and Westminster, with their two distinguishing features in prospect, the Cathedral of St. Paul and Westminster Abbey ; eminently conspicuous among a multitude of steeples of various forms and dimensions, that altogether filled the mind with expectations of
* This work has been publishing in numbers for several years past, but has only been recently completed.