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States, and the experience now being acquired in India all points to the same truth. Railways stripped of their English adjuncts, land and litigation, cost about ten thousand pounds a mile. At that rate the amount required for the line would be about nineteen millions sterling. The receipts of the P. and O. Company alone were in 1855, one million six hundred thousand pounds. That is, if the Railway obtained no more traffic than that Company, it would-expenses being in the usual proportion -still be enabled to pay a dividend of something like three and a half per cent. That the amount will be ten times as great it might not be very difficult to prove, but we have little inclination to undertake the task. We might quote authorities from Heeren to Chesney, and rummage the Custom houses of the world, and after all, all the facts we could collect would not equal the evidence we can bring forward in a line. All the passenger traffic and all the lighter goods traffic of two continents will pass over one cheap line. The trade which built the cities of the Mediterranean, the trade which half supports England, the trade to obtain a share of which America discusses plans almost too gigantic for the imagination, must be carried through this one artery. That the artery will be full is perceptible without more words of ours.
We have said nothing of the social and philanthropic aspect of the scheme. Our object has been rather to pull it down out off the clouds, to make it appreciable by business men, to shew that it is a project and not a visionary idea. But we are not insensible to those higher results so magnificent an enterprize must secure. The National Highway will not only strengthen the Military position of Europe, render the hold of England on India more permanent and secure, and quadruple the existing Asiatic trade. It will also serve finally to bind together the East and the West. The knowledge and the arts, the enlightenment and the material civilization now confined to a corner of the world will be extended over its fairer but less favoured lands. The process may be long, but civilization is like water,-it strives always to find its level ; and every new means of communication breaks down a dam which retards its flow and the fertilization of the world.
Art. V.-1. Synopsis of Evidence taken before the Select Commit
tee of the House of Commons, 1834. 2. First and Second Reports on Indian Territories, 1852. 3. British Conquests in India. By HORACE St. John. Lon
don, 1852. 4. The Anglo Indian Army. By Capt. RAFTER. London, 1855.
RECENT discussions and events have proved, to the dullest understanding, the necessity of military reform throughout the British Army. The evidence before the East India Committee, the Report of the Promotion Commissioners, and finally Roebuck's Crimea Report, have laid bare deficiences, and shewn that, with the best physical and moral materials in the world, with the bravest and the strongest men, the most chivalrous officers, and the largest resources of any nation, ancient or modern, Great Britain is wanting in almost all the requisites of an efficient Army. Our meaning is well expressed by a friendly critic, Baron Bazancourt, in his “ Five months in the Camp before Sebastopol."
“ The English, those soldiers whom it is impossible to disturb in the midst of the battle, those human walls which may be pierced by the heavy fire of the enemy, but never beaten down, experienced a great misfortune at the commencement of the expedition. A defective internal administration decimated their forces more effectually than war. There was amongst them an amount of demoralisation of which I cannot give the terrible account. The soldiers lay down before their huts looking sad, sullen, and exhausted. The horses died by hundreds. Inkerman had decapitated the head of the army. The vice of an improvident organisation devoured the rest. It is the war in Africa which has preserved us. We owe our safety to our habits of encamping, and to our expeditions into the interior of countries. The necessity thus incurred of making provision for the smallest details, has been of the greatest utility to us in the Crimea.”
India is England's Africa, if she knew how to avail herself of its opportunities. But such is not the case. Here we have our camp life, and our expeditions ; how many benefit thereby ? Hundreds of officers, especially of the Royal Army in India, with every opportunity, go through their career, live and die, in the most child-like helplessness. They have no object, or at least the very smallest, to a worldly mind, for exertion. They are accustomed to have everything done for them. To be fed, clothed, barracked, encamped, all without a thought on their part; when, therefore, a necessity for using their senses arises, they are like babes. All goes wrong. European soldiers are exposed in long useless marches, in the hottest months, are paraded and sometimes even made to march during those months
in full dress cloth clothes. Sepoys, in their line, are equally ill dealt with. Much hardship, and even many deaths are the result. A good deal has been done to remedy the most glaring evils. Reform is afoot : but, after a hundred years' experience of Indian warfare, we are still nearer the A B C than the 2 of a sound, practical, military administration. We neither clothe nor arm our troops according to common sense. They are not even rationally fed. The sepoy is perhaps the best paid soldier in the world, and, the large majority of them, the worst fed. The European is at times too highly fed. Eating and drinking, rather than heat or cold, send him to his grave. In the matter of finance, thousands are spent uselessly to-day; lives are sacrificed to-morrow to save a few rupees. We might interminably run on and offer scores of examples ; mortality-bills, and bills of expenditure. At present we can only glance at the bare facts. There notorieties need no examples for Indian Readers.
The startling disclosures of the “ T'imes”! Reporter, and of the Crimea Commission, for a time turned attention to India, and the press, usually little prone to do justice to the Indian Army, all at once found a panacea for all Crimean and home shortcomings in Indian officers and Indian arrangements. East India Company's servants at once rose to as undue a premium as they had shortly before been, and are already again, at an unfair discount. A Bengal civilian was offered the post of Commissioner in the Crimea Commissariat enquiry, and the same able and energetic gentleman might have been the Superintendent of the Smyrna Hospital. Indian contingents were called for. Certain leaders of public opinion would have sent elderly soobedars, and sepoys, to the Caucasus, or the Crimea ; and some would have done still worse, and have transferred bodily many of our European Battalions from India to the seat of war. Even our hitherto very worst department, the commissariat, was suddenly, and for the nonce, trumpeted into fame, and it required Sir Charles Trevelyan's personal knowledge and matter of fact evidence to convince the British public, that they would not gain by superseding Mr. Filder, by one of Jotee Pershad's protegés. The names of some excellent soldiers were introduced into the discussions. Cheape, Steel, Stalker, Edwardes, Mayne and Chamberlain obtained due praise ; some others more than due. But the hot fit passed. India is again forgotten. Another Cabul, or another Sebastopol is required to remind England of India's existence. In the interim out of the 6215 officers of the Indian Army, two or three dozen, some good and many bad, have been permitted to take part in the great European struggle, although there are scores, nay hundreds, of the best who would glasily join, and who might, under proper arrangements, be tem
porarily spared. We fear that the chief permanent result will be a considerable increase to our present stock of self conceit. We forget that on a small scale, we have had our own Balaklava and our own Scutari a dozen times over, and that from the days of Hyder Ally, down to those of Akbar Khan, Providence only has saved our armies from destruction by hunger and thirst as well as by the sword. The exposures by the Press of incompetency, neglect, and cruelty in the Crimea, have done good. The eyes of England being on the hospitals, the harbours, the tents and the bivouacs of the army. It will hardly again be exposed to the scenes of 1854 and 1855, that struck so much horror into every British heart. To have got rid of the fine gentlemen who do not like real soldiering is itself a gain. To have obtained a commander possessed of physical strength is a greater.
We are by no means so certain of the good effect of English discussions on Indian affairs. The gross ignorance with which everything Indian is discussed in England, is well exemplified in the mention, during these discussions, of Brigadier Mayne. Few Indian officers have been more before the public, during the last fifteen years, than Mayne. Yet the Press, while lauding his military qualities, must needs dilate on his experience with wild tribes, and in raising irregular levies; the fact being, that he never raised a single troop, or company, and that all his experience has been with as civilized soldiers as any in India. . .
But to our task of the Indian Army. Both the writers, the titles of whose books we have placed at the head of this article, go over the same ground, the British conquests of India, from the earliest days, down to the settlement of the Punjab. Mr. St. John, chiefly sketches political, while Capt. Rafter restricts himself to military events. Both praise the army, and in the main, the Government of India ; but while Capt. Rafter (a nom de guerre we presume) would knock away the “twenty four stools,” that have worked out the present glorious consummation, Mr. St. John, more logically, advocates the maintenance of a system which, in his opinion, has worked so well.
Captain Rafter professes to have been in India, but it would be difficult to elicit the fact from his book. Both writers have evidently crammed, with the purpose of cramming their readers.
Country gentlemen and members of Parliament, will accordingly be as often misled as instructed when they seek for information, on controverted subjects, from their pages. The old jog-trot is followed. There is no original information, and little of any sort in either book, but what is superficial. Capt. Rafter's book, though dedicated to Lord Gough, omits the battles of Ramnugger and Sadoolapore, and makes Agnew and Anderson retire to "a small fort outside the town” after the treacherous attack on
informe synopsis This is an this their un military cinsep, White, or
them at Mooltan. Neither writer has gone much further for his facts than Mills, Wilson, Thornton, Malcolm and Orme. Çapt. Rafter seems never to have heard of Williams, Broome, Buckle, or Begbie; nor is Mr. St. John acquainted with Prinsep, White, or other well known writers on Politico-military events. But the great short-coming of both is their unacquaintance with the Calcutta Review. This is an unpardonable error.
The synopsis of 1834, at the head of our page, is a mine of information, and, the man who understandingly studies it, and the first and second Reports of 1852, will rise from them with more knowledge of Indian affairs than he could obtain from all the published abstract histories, Gleig and Macfarlane included. We say understandingly, for the subject of India, in any departa ment, is not to be taken up as mere holiday amusement. The figures in the Blue Books would frighten Babbage. They have given us a dozen headaches. But the less abstruse matters discussed, require previous knowledge to enable the reader to separate the chaff from the grain; to appreciate the sound sense of a Colonel Alexander or Grant, and the nonsense of a Sir W. Cotton or a Sir E. Perry.
For instance; Sir E. Perry is an able English Judge, and an enlightened reformer; but, he made holiday trips into the interior, and therefore presents himself as personally acquainted with the wants of India. Himself unversed in any Indian language, he would introduce English into Courts where the Judge alone understands it ; where the mass never can do so; where the smattering that may be attained, by a few attorneys or others, would give them an unfair influence, were such a proposal carried into effect. Sir Erskine's proposed re-distribution of the Army and transfer of it to the crown, was however an interference of a different sort, involving a more immediate danger. He would have better evinced his wisdom by shewing more modesty in the discussion of a question so foreign from all his previous pursuits. With respect to Sir W. Cotton, one anecdote will express our views regarding his Parliamentary evidence. Being asked on Committee by Lord Gough, whether men of the Concan" are not so peculiar with regard to their castes ?” he replied. "No they are not; but now we get Bengal men of a caste that we prefer very much, called the Purdesee caste; if they had any caste before they came to us, we never heard of its interfering in discipline.” We much doubt whether either the gallant interrogator or respondent knows what is the caste of the Concan men, or even whether they are Hindoos or Mahommedans. They certainly do not know that “Purdesee" means foreigner, and that the Bombay “ Purdesee” is simply the Brahmin and Rajpoot of the Bengal Army. Indeed they are