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Title: Rulers of India: The Earl of Mayo
Author: Hunter, William Wilson, 1840-1900
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_Rulers of India_


EDITED BY

SIR WILLIAM WILSON HUNTER, K.C.S.I.: C.I.E.: M.A. (OXFORD): LL.D.
(CAMBRIDGE)


THE EARL OF MAYO



London

HENRY FROWDE

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE

AMEN CORNER, E.C.


[_All rights reserved_]



[Illustration: MAP OF THE INDIAN EMPIRE]


[Frontispiece: Mayo. _Collotype. Oxford University Press._]



RULERS OF INDIA

THE EARL OF MAYO

BY SIR WILLIAM WILSON HUNTER, K.C.S.I.: C.I.E.: M.A.: LL.D.



Oxford

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS: 1891



Oxford

PRINTED AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

BY HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY



CONTENTS


CHAP.                                                    PAGES

   I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    7-16

  II. THE MAN  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   17-79

 III. THE ACTUAL PROCESS OF VICEREGAL GOVERNMENT . . .   80-97

  IV. LORD MAYO'S DEALINGS WITH THE FEUDATORY STATES .   98-118

   V. LORD MAYO'S FOREIGN POLICY . . . . . . . . . . .  119-135

  VI. LORD MAYO'S FINANCIAL REFORMS  . . . . . . . . .  136-157

 VII. LORD MAYO'S MILITARY POLICY  . . . . . . . . . .  158-170

VIII. LORD MAYO'S INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION  . . . . . .  171-186

  IX. THE END  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  187-201

      INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  203-206



_NOTE_

The orthography of proper names follows the system adopted by the
Indian Government for the _Imperial Gazetteer of India_. That system,
while adhering to the popular spelling of very well-known places,
such as Punjab, Lucknow, &c., employs in all other cases the vowels
with the following uniform sounds:--

_a_, as in wom_a_n: _á_, as in f_a_ther: _i_, as in pol_i_ce: _í_, as
in intr_i_gue: _o_, as in c_o_ld: _u_, as in b_u_ll: _ú_, as in
s_u_re: _e_, as in gr_e_y.



THE EARL OF MAYO



{7}

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


The _Life of Dalhousie_ dealt with the last accessions made to the
British dominions in India under the East India Company. The present
volume exhibits a memorable stage in the process by which those
dominions, old and new, were welded together into the India of the
Queen.

Between the two periods a time of trial had intervened. Northern
India, drained of its European regiments in spite of the protests of
Dalhousie, seemed during the agony of 1857 to lie at the mercy of the
revolted native troops. The Mutiny left behind it many political
lessons, and two historical facts. These facts were that the Sepoys
in whom the East India Company gloried as its chief strength had
proved its chief danger, and that the ruling princes of India, whom
the Company always regarded as a main source of danger, had proved a
source of strength.

I say the ruling princes of India. For besides the reigning families
there were certain ex-ruling Houses {8} who furnished leaders and
rallying-names to the revolt. The Muhammadan lapsed dynasties were
represented in the Mutiny by the titular majesty of the King of Delhi
and his sons. The great Hindu power, the Maráthás, who seemed
destined in the last century to build up an indigenous Indian empire
out of the wreck of the Muhammadan dynasties, stood forward against
us in the persons of Náná Sáhib the adopted son of the deposed
Peshwá, and his military follower Tántia Topi. The lesser ex-ruling
Houses, whose states had come under the British Government on failure
of direct male heirs, supplied an equally vindictive and a more
heroic leader in the Rání or pensioned princess of Jhánsí. But the
great body of the reigning Feudatories in India held aloof from the
Mutiny. Many of them cast in their lot with us in our hour of direst
need. The story of the loyal Punjab Chiefs who helped us to retake
Delhi is known to all Englishmen. But the succour, the shelter, the
aid, rendered by scores of the Native Princes throughout India, find
but a passing mention in history. Of the 150 principal Feudatories
and Chiefs, we can count the disloyal ones on the fingers of one
hand. Local leaders, like Koer Singh the Behár landholder, were
mostly bankrupt or ruined men.

One result of the Mutiny of 1857 was to profoundly modify the
attitude of the British Government to the Native Princes. The East
India Company had regarded them as semi-foreign allies; of whom the
more powerful were to be bound tightly by treaties {9} and overawed
by subsidiary troops; while the weaker should be absorbed into the
British dominions whenever a just occasion arose. This system of
annexation was 'the one clear and direct course' deliberately laid
down by the East India Company's Government in 1841. When the Queen
assumed the direct control of India, her first act was to reverse
that policy. In solemn words she assured the loyal Princes and Chiefs
of her desire to maintain their rule over their own States. The
Feudatories became thenceforward an integral part of the British
Empire of India, with a clearly defined position, intermediate
between the Sovereign and the native nobility in our own provinces.

In order to secure the perpetuation of their power and dignity in
their own families, Her Majesty gave up a cherished principle of the
preceding Mughal Empire; namely, that in the Feudatory States which
directly owed their existence to the Imperial throne, the succession
to the government of the State depended on the Emperor's pleasure.
This principle which the East India Company had enforced for its own
aggrandisement in the absence of natural male heirs, the Queen in
1858 deliberately renounced for ever. The right of adoption and of
succession to the government of the Feudatory States of all classes,
was placed on the same firm basis as the right of adoption and of
inheritance to private property. The Native Chiefs became as deeply
interested as the landed proprietors in our own provinces in the
stability of the Queen's rule. For henceforth they held alike their
{10} governments and their estates under charters granted by the
British Power.

This important change in the status of the Feudatory Princes carried
with it increased responsibilities both on their part and on the part
of the Suzerain. It became the duty of the Suzerain, in subjecting
fifty millions of Indians to permanent feudatory rule, to secure, by
a closer supervision, that such rule should prove a blessing and not
a curse to the people. It became the duty of the Chiefs to co-operate
more cordially with the Suzerain Power to give that good government
to their subjects, which was the fundamental postulate of the new
order of things. The changed status of the Feudatory Princes
gradually evolved its practical incidents, not always without
friction, during the ten years after India passed to the Crown. Those
years were years of consolidation. To Lord Mayo, as we shall see,
fell the more beneficent work of conciliation: the task of infusing
into the old sense of self-interest new sentiments of loyalty, and of
awakening new conceptions of solidarity between the Feudatory Chiefs
and the Suzerain Power.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

But Lord Mayo's work of conciliation was not confined alone to the
princes, it embraced also the peoples of India. One of the most
historical sections of the community, the Muhammadans, had gradually
sunk into the degeneracy incident to an ex-ruling class. The
educational and administrative measures of the fifteen years
preceding 1869 accelerated their {11} downward progress, and
practically cut them off, throughout large parts of India, from any
fair share in the public employments which were once their almost
exclusive birthright. Lord Mayo had been deeply impressed both in
Russia and in his native Ireland by the political dangers arising out
of such an excluded class. The measures which he initiated formed an
important step towards reconciling the Muhammadans to our system, and
of adapting that system to their needs. For this task of
conciliation, conciliation alike of the princes and peoples of India,
Lord Mayo had special gifts. For, to use the words of the Earl of
Derby, 'it was with him not a matter of calculation, but the result
of nature.'

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

In regard to the foreign policy of India, Lord Mayo arrived at a
juncture when the pre-existing methods had come to their natural
termination. Lord Dalhousie's annexation of the Punjab in 1849, by
throwing down the Sikh breakwater between British India and
Afghánistán, brought closer the boundaries of Russian and English
activity in the East. Our Asiatic relations with Russia passed
definitely within the control of European diplomacy, and during the
next twenty years the Indian Foreign Office pursued a policy of
_laissez faire_ towards its transfrontier neighbours on the
north-west. This policy, deliberately adopted and justified at its
inception by the facts, had manifestly ceased to be any longer
possible, shortly before Lord Mayo's arrival. The dangers of
isolation were {12} become greater than the risks of intervention.
The task set before Lord Mayo was to create a new breakwater between
the spheres of English and Russian activity in Asia.

We shall see how he accomplished this task by a cordon of allied
States along the north-western frontier, and by securing the
concurrence of Russia to the system of an intermediate zone. Lord
Mayo's foreign policy formed the true historical complement of Lord
Dalhousie's annexation of the Punjab. Instead of the old Sikh
breakwater on the Indian edge of the passes, he constructed a new
breakwater on their further side, against movements from Central
Asia. 'Surround India,' he said, in words which I shall again have to
quote, 'with strong, friendly, and independent States, who will have
more interest in keeping well with us than with any other Power, and
we are safe.' On the basis thus established by Lord Mayo in 1869, the
modern policy of British India towards Central Asia has been built
up.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

In his internal administration Lord Mayo had to encounter two
imperative, and at first sight, irreconcilable necessities. The one
was the necessity for consolidation, the other was the necessity for
decentralisation. The new India which Lord Dalhousie had conquered
and annexed, could only be made a safe India by rendering the
resources of each part available for the protection of the whole. It
could no longer be mainly held from the sea-board. {13} Its security
depended on a network of strategic positions, several of them a
thousand miles inland, which had to be firmly connected by railways
with each other and with the coast. Lord Dalhousie clearly discerned
this, and in his far-reaching scheme of empire, consolidation formed
the necessary complement of conquest.

Lord Mayo came to India after the long strain which succeeded the
Mutiny had passed away, and it fell to him to give a more complete
development to his illustrious predecessor's views than had up to
that time been practicable. Indeed, before his arrival, it was become
apparent that under the then existing system, an adequate rate of
progress in railway extension could only be attained by an outlay
which exceeded the resources of Indian finance. Under Lord Mayo's
orders a new system of State Railways was inaugurated--a system which
has filled in the gaps left in the railway map of India as
contemplated by Lord Dalhousie, and which is now bringing about an
era of railway development throughout India such as Lord Mayo himself
would scarcely have ventured to hope for.

During the five years preceding Lord Mayo's first year of rule,
1869-70, only 892 miles of new railway had been opened.[1] During the
five years which followed 1869-70, no fewer than 2013 additional
miles were opened.[2] The old system of {14} Guaranteed Railways had
from its commencement in 1853 opened only a total of 4265 miles
during the seventeen years ending 1869-70. Under the new system of
State and Guaranteed Railways inaugurated by Lord Mayo, the total
rose to 15,245 miles in 1887-88.

[Footnote 1: Parliamentary Abstract, 1865-66 to 1869-70, inclusive.]

[Footnote 2: _Idem_; 1870-71 to 1874-75, inclusive.]

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

But while Lord Mayo strongly realised that the public safety in India
demanded consolidation, he perceived that financial solvency depended
on decentralisation. Up to his time the expenditure of the most
distant provinces was regulated from Calcutta. In the greater India
handed down by Dalhousie this task had grown beyond the power of any
single central bureau. The result was an annual scramble by the
Provincial Governments for the Imperial grants, and a chronic
inability on the part of the Central Government to estimate its real
income and expenditure for either the current or the coming year. In
the proper chapter the disastrous consequences of this state of
things will be duly set forth. It suffices here to state that the
measures devised by Lord Mayo and his counsellors put an end to that
state of things for ever.

By those measures he re-organised the finances of India on a broader
basis of Provincial independence and Provincial responsibility,
subject to a clearly defined central control. He awakened in each
Local Government a new and keen incentive to economy--the incentive
of self-interest. He found chronic {15} deficit; he left a firmly
established surplus. At the same time he reformed relations of the
Provincial treasuries with the Central Government so as to secure
that the Budget estimates should thenceforth be a trustworthy
forecast of the resources of the year. All this he accomplished
without impairing the efficiency of the central control, or depriving
the Central Government of any power which it could really exercise
with advantage.

But great as was the immediate success of his financial measures, he
looked forward to still more important results in the future. He felt
that the problem of problems in India is to bind together the
Provinces in a true and not a fictitious unity; not indeed as
homogeneous portions of a nation, but as integral parts of an empire.
To accomplish this, he perceived that an ordered freedom must be
accorded to the Provincial Governments in matters of local
administration, as well as a strict subjection enforced from them in
matters of Imperial policy.

Lord Mayo believed that the best training for any large measure of
self-government in India was to be found in the management of local
resources. He declared, as we shall see, that his financial policy
would, 'in its full meaning and integrity, afford opportunities for
the development of self-government:' 'the object in view being the
instruction of many peoples and races in a good system of
administration.' He denied that his policy was a policy of
decentralisation in any destructive sense. {16} On the contrary, he
regarded it as a powerful impulse towards consolidation on the only
basis possible for a vast empire--the basis of Provincial initiative
and Provincial responsibility subject to a firm central control.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

In narrating the principal measures of this viceroyalty, I have
freely used my larger _Life of Lord Mayo_, published fifteen years
ago. But I would express my obligations to the authorities in the
India Office for the facilities now afforded me, especially by the
Political Department, for tracing the subsequent history of those
measures in the official records, and thus enabling me to estimate
their permanent results. I would also express my gratitude to members
of the family: especially to the Countess Dowager of Mayo, not only
for materials originally supplied,[3] but also for valuable
suggestions during her perusal of the proof-sheets of the present
volume, and for the portrait which forms its frontispiece.

[Footnote 3: _A Life of the Earl of Mayo, fourth Viceroy of India_, 2
vols. 2nd edit. 1876.]



{17}

CHAPTER II

THE MAN


Richard Southwell Bourke, sixth Earl of Mayo, was born in Dublin on
the 21st of February, 1822. He came of a lineage not unknown
throughout the seven centuries of unrest, which make up Irish
history. Tracing their descent to the ancient Earls of Comyn in
Normandy, the de Burghs figured as vigorous instruments in the
English conquest of Ireland from the Strongbow invasion downwards.
From the William Fitzadelm de Burgh, commissioned to Ireland by Henry
II to receive the allegiance of the native kings, sprang a number of
warlike families, now most prominently represented, after many
mischances of forfeiture and lapse, by the Earls-Marquesses of
Clanricarde and the Earls of Mayo.

Like other Norman barons in Ireland, the de Burghs gradually fell
into the rough ways of the tribes whom they subdued. One of them
married a granddaughter of Red-Hand, the old King of Connaught, and
the family name naturalised itself into the Irish forms of Bourke,
Burke, or Burgh, which it has since retained. {18} They adopted the
conquered country as their own, and each subsequent wave of English
invaders found the Bourkes as intensely Irish as the old Celtic
families themselves. I trouble the reader with these matters, not
from an idle love of genealogy, but because the past history of the
family did much to mould the character of the Bourke who forms the
subject of this volume. His was a nature into which an ancient
descent infused no tincture of any ignoble pride of birth. But its
memories lit within him an unquenchable love of the people among whom
his ancestors had so long borne a part--a sentiment which, after
blazing up once or twice in his youth, shone calmly through his life,
and went with him to the grave.

'I come of a family,' he said on one occasion in the House of
Commons, 'that cast in their lot with the Irish people.' To that
people he devoted his whole English career. The only parliamentary
office which he accepted was the Chief Secretaryship for Ireland; and
this office he held thrice. He spoke so seldom on any but Irish
questions as to be little known to the English public. Amid the
splendid cares of India his letters break out into longings for his
Irish home. It was an Irish cross that he placed on the plain of
Chilianwála over the unnamed dead. In his Will, he begged that his
body might be conveyed to Ireland, and laid in a humble little
churchyard in the centre of his own estates, with only an Irish cross
to mark his grave.

{19} As in the feuds and rebellions of Ireland, from the thirteenth
to the seventeenth century, the Bourkes bore a boisterous part, so,
during the eighteenth century they emerge as active prelates and
politicians. John Bourke of Kill and Moneycrower, an ambitious and
hard-working member of the Irish Parliament, was created Baron Naas
in 1776, Viscount Moneycrower in 1781, and finally Earl of Mayo in
1785. The third Earl held the Archbishopric of Tuam and gave a
clerical turn to the younger branches of the family, among whom the
Bishop of Waterford and the Dean of Ossory left well-remembered
names. The fourth Earl has a surer hold on the public memory in
Praed's verse. The fifth Earl was the father of Lord Mayo the subject
of this memoir.

Hayes, the scene of Lord Mayo's early years, was an unpretending
country house in Meath, about twenty-two miles from Dublin. Here, in
the earlier part of the century, lived the second son of the fourth
Earl of Mayo, the Honourable Richard Bourke, Bishop of Waterford and
Lismore, with his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Fowler, Archbishop of
Dublin. In 1820 their eldest son Robert, afterwards fifth Earl,
wedded Anne Charlotte Jocelyn, a granddaughter of the Earl of Roden;
and the Bishop, retiring to his see-residence at Waterford, gave up
his family house of Hayes to the newly-married pair. Of this marriage
Richard Bourke, whose life I am about to relate, was the eldest son.

At Hayes they lived for over forty years, bringing {20} up a family
of eight[1] children in a quiet religious fashion, and upon such
means as fall to the son of a younger son. In 1849 Mr. Robert Bourke
succeeded to the earldom, and afterwards took his seat in Parliament
as a representative peer. But long before that time, Richard and the
other elder children were out in life. It was the Hayes influence
that moulded their characters and shaped their careers, and it was
Hayes that they always thought of as their home.

[Footnote 1: Of ten children born to them, one daughter died in
infancy and one son in boyhood.]

As the Hayes income did not permit of a public school education, the
father set about the task of home-training with steadfastness of
purpose. In his youth he had passed a couple of years at Oxford, but
his own up-bringing had been mainly a domestic and evangelical one,
characteristic of an Irish see-house sixty years ago. His marriage
confirmed this cast of thought by closely associating him with the
evangelical leaders of the time. The tutor and governess formed
important figures in the life of that quiet household, in which few
events took place to mark the march of time, save the father's
periodical absence at assizes, or on county business. This monotone
of boyhood, little broken by the usual external influences, gave a
singular force to the family tie among the young group at Hayes.

The house became a well-known resort of the evangelical clergy, and
figures somewhat prominently in the religious biography of that time.
One clergyman {21} has left behind a picture of his warm welcome on
reaching Hayes belated--his postillions having lost their way and
entangled the carriage in a wood--and how the nursery turned out a
little battalion, which had retired for the night, but now streamed
forth 'wrapped in shawls and cloaks' to greet the family friend. Nor
does the narrative fail to notice 'the asylum established within the
grounds for persecuted Protestants.'

The sobriety of tone at Hayes was brightened by the delight which the
father took in the outdoor life of his children. Walking expeditions,
long rides, cricket, swimming matches on the Boyne, and every form of
robust companionship which endears Englishmen to each other--in all
these the father and sons bore an equal part. The talent at Hayes
came from the mother. But to the father they owed the ideal and
standards in life which result from growing up as the dearest friends
of a single-minded and tenderly considerate man.

'My father,' writes one of the sons, 'brought us all up with the idea
that we should have to make our own way in the world. But at the same
time, every one of us felt that what little he could do for us he
would do to the last penny. His generosity used to break out
unconsciously in a hundred details. During the Indian Mutiny, I gave
a little lecture to the tenants and neighbours on what the army was
then doing in the East. Unmeritorious as the performance undoubtedly
was, I remember my father coming into {22} my room early next
morning, and saying, with tears in his eyes, that he felt proud of
it, and that he was not a rich man, but begged me to accept a
twenty-pound note.'

Of the mother, the same son writes. 'What strikes me most in looking
back, was her earnest love for her children; an inexhaustible fund of
common sense; a contempt for everything mean or wrong; and a firm
belief that her daily prayers for us would be answered, and that we
would be a blessing and comfort to her through life.

'She it was who really enabled my father to pull through the many
difficulties of his married life, between 1820 and 1849. She was
never idle--always writing, doing accounts, or working; had little
time for reading, but constantly did her best to get us to take an
interest in books. Her mission, she used to say, was _work_. She
devoted much of her time to the cottages of the sick, to clothing
clubs, and the hundred little charities which crowd round the wife of
an Irish squire who tries to do his duty. I never knew any one who
_worked harder_. Two days a week she gave up to standing at the door
of her medicine-room, dispensing drugs, and, when necessary, warm
clothes to the poor. And day after day, in bad seasons week after
week, the dinner-bell rang before she got a drive or a walk. Often
have I thought that poor Mayo inherited from her that conscientiousness
in the discharge of minute duties which to me seemed one of the
characteristics of his official life, both in England and in India.'

{23} The mother stands out in this and other documents which have
come into my hands, a figure of gentle refinement among the robust
open-air group at Hayes; recognised by it as something of a paler and
more spiritual type than the warm colouring of the life around her.
Into that life she managed to infuse a consciousness that, somehow,
there was a higher and more beautiful existence than the vigorous
animalism of boyhood dreamed of. Richard as the eldest cherished her
memory with a touching retentiveness. A thoroughly manly boy, the
leader in all the pastimes and mischief of Hayes, his childhood
reflected the more retired aspects of his mother's nature, not less
than his father's love of out-door sports. There remains a little
collection of sermons written by him before the age of twelve, and
instinct with the pathos of an imaginative child under strong
religious impressions. These discourses, chiefly upon texts dear to
the evangelical mind, dwell with a quaint earnestness on such
subjects as the doctrine of grace, the worthlessness of this world,
and the glories and terrors of the next.

The taste for history soon began to mingle with his meditations, and
his twelfth year produced a little book in a straggling boyish hand,
entitled, 'A Preface to the Holy Bible, by R. S. B. of H----': with
the motto, '_Multae terricolis linguae, coelestibus una_.' In this
fasciculus he gives a historical introduction to each of the books of
the Old Testament as far as the Psalms, with notices of their authors
and contents. {24} His boyish letters breathe the pronounced
Protestantism of the people among whom he lived. At fifteen he writes
to his father: 'There is a poor man here on the verge of the grave
just come out of Popery. Lord Roden' (the relative with whom he was
then staying), 'has received alarming letters from M. Caesar Malan of
Geneva, giving an alarming account of the increase of Popery on the
Continent.' Such sentences contrast curiously with the tolerant
sobriety of Lord Mayo's maturer mind. But they illustrate that ready
sympathy with his surroundings, which won for him in later life the
love of his own countrymen, and produced so deep an impression among
the princes and peoples of India.

With one more quotation I must bid good-bye to the home-life at
Hayes. It is a letter written to his mother on his thirty-seventh
birthday, when he was Chief Secretary for Ireland for the second
time, amid the distracting cares of Phoenix Park agitations, and the
coming defeat of his party in Parliament.

'MY DEAREST MOTHER,--I am very thankful for your motherly letter and
all the good advice it contains. I have had many blessings in my
time, and I am most thankful for them in my heart, though I may not
make any great demonstration of my thoughts. We are all getting on in
years, and are, I hope, setting our faces homewards. My life is, at
the very most, more than half over, even supposing that I should live
to be old. And how many chances there are against that! This time
thirty-seven years {25} ago I was a small thing. How much smaller in
one sense shall I be thirty-seven years hence! How much greater, we
may hope, in another!'

In 1838, Richard being then sixteen, the Hayes family went abroad for
a couple of years. The first year they spent in Paris, the tutor and
governess living as usual in the house. But for the first time in
their lives, the boys bent their necks to the discipline of exact
teaching, beginning with the French professor at 8 A.M. and ending
with the dancing-master at 7 in the evening. For these long hours in
the schoolroom they took a sufficient revenge out of doors. One can
picture the torrent of thick-booted Irish boys, each accustomed to do
battle for his own branch in the great laurel at home, ravaging among
the miniature embellishments of a Champs Elysées garden. They set up
a swing, wore the grass into holes, swarmed up the delicately-nurtured
cedar, and trampled the flower-beds. At the end of six months, when
the family left, Mr. Bourke had to pay the outraged proprietor a bill
of five hundred francs, for '_dégradation du jardin_.'

In the summer of 1839 the family rolled southwards to Switzerland,
and had four months of climbing. The next winter, passed in Florence,
opened up a new world. The French and Italian masters went on as
before, and Richard took lessons in singing and on the violoncello,
for both of which he had early disclosed an aptitude. But another
sort of education also began. At first half holidays, then whole
days, {26} were spent in the galleries; the mother now as ever
leading him on in all noble culture. 'Richard,' writes his brother,
'intensely enjoyed the artistic atmosphere of the place.' He learned
to recognise the different schools and artists by patiently looking
at their works.

At Florence, too, Richard first entered the world. The mother took
care that the best houses should be open to her son. So to balls,
Richard Bourke and his next brother went; and to all the haunts of
men and women in that friendly society of winter refugees. 'Before he
returned to England,' writes his brother, 'he had become a man.'

This was in May 1840. Richard, now in his nineteenth year, set up a
hunter out of his slender allowance, with an occasional second
horse--a sufficiently unpretending stud, but one which he made the
most of by hard riding and knowledge of the country. In December he
received a captain's commission in the Kildare Militia, of which his
great-uncle, the Earl of Mayo, was colonel. In 1841 he entered
Trinity College, Dublin, but did not reside; and, after the usual
course of study with a tutor, took an uneventful degree. During this
time he lived much with his grand-uncle, the Earl of Mayo, at
Palmerstown, in County Kildare. Hayes and County Meath begin to fade
into the distance. But in 1842 the death of a dearly-loved brother,
from the after-effects of a Roman fever, called forth a burst of home
feeling, and is recorded in a little poem, which retains the pathos
of {27} the moment. Next year, 1843, Richard Southwell Bourke came of
age.

His hostess at Palmerstown, the Countess of Mayo, lived in the bright
world which still sparkles in Praed's _vers de société_, and,
childless, clever, and kind, did what such a lady can do to make a
young relative's entrance into life pleasant. Her twin-sister had
married a Mr. Smith, a gentleman who, having made his fortune in the
West Indies, resided at Bersted Lodge, Sussex. The Countess of Mayo's
duties at Court, as Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Adelaide, kept the
Palmerstown family much in England; and the twin-sisters, both
childless, carried through life a peculiarly strong and tender
attachment to each other. One year the Earl and Countess, with their
grand-nephew, lived at Bersted Lodge; the next year Mrs. Smith paid a
long visit to Palmerstown; and Richard Bourke thus saw a more varied
society than usually falls to the lot of a young Irish squire.

The next couple of seasons, Mr. Bourke devoted to the art of making
himself agreeable in London society. A fragment of drift-wood, cast
ashore from the old letters of the period, shows in what guise he
flitted before contemporary faces. 'A very young man, with a fine
bearing; one of the best waltzers in town, and a great deal made of.'
By this time his frame had expanded itself to the commanding stature
with the air of robust strength, by which he was known through life.

{28} In 1845 his great-aunt, Lady de Clifford, died, and Mr. Bourke,
not being able to go out much, devoted the summer to a tour in
Russia. Armed with introductions to a Court and society then famous
for its hospitality to Englishmen, he saw what was best worth seeing,
and made the personal acquaintance of many European statesmen and
diplomatists who had hitherto been to him only names. His letters
give one the impression of a keen young intelligence looking for its
first time on unfamiliar objects, and of immense powers of physical
enjoyment. On his return from his tour he published an account of it
in two volumes.[2] They are a very fair specimen of a young man's
travels--modestly written, full of eyesight, and not overlaid with
general reflections. His descriptions of Russian life are quiet and
realistic, and had at the time a novelty which they do not now
possess.

[Footnote 2: _St. Petersburg and Moscow. A Visit to the Court of the
Czar._ By Richard Southwell Bourke, Esq. 2 vols. Henry Colburn,
1846.]

The Russians of that day appeared to him to be essentially in the
imitative stage, both as regards art and letters; and he supports
this position by well-chosen examples of pictorial design and by the
statistics of the book-trade, contrasting the enormous number of
volumes imported with the few original works produced in the country.
He was particularly struck by the absence of a middle class. 'In no
country,' he says, 'except, perhaps, in Ireland, is the transition
from the palace to the cabin more {29} abrupt, or the difference
between the peer and the peasant more wide. This is mainly owing to
the want of a middle class--that cement of the social state ... which
is so indispensable to the wellbeing of a commonwealth. The serf in
his sheepskin may walk into the palace of his lord, or may watch by
his master's gate; but no feeling in his breast tells him that he is
born of the same race or formed for the same purposes. And the great
lord, knowing his superiority of birth, education, and descent, looks
forth on his horde of slaves with all benignity and kind attention.
But it is the affection of a good heart for a noble and faithful
beast, whose involuntary service may sometimes command the solicitude
of the master, but never the least participation in a single right of
fellowship or friendship.'[3]

[Footnote 3: Vol. i, pp. 154-155.]

And here are the results: 'We see perfectly devised plans of
Government placed among a tangled web of complicated and clumsy
political institutions. We see one race of men enjoying all the
benefits and exhibiting all the graces of enlightened education,
while the other and inferior class are sunk in deep ignorance,
rudeness, and slavery. We see the palace towering by the cabin, the
rod of bondage lying beside the sceptre of righteousness. The rivers
flow at one moment among stately fanes and Grecian porticos; at
another, wander through the savage forest and uncultivated morass.
All is incongruous; the {30} social edifice is yet unbuilt, and the
materials for its erection lie in splendid confusion on desert
ground.'[4]

[Footnote 4: Vol. i, pp. 273-274. It should be remembered that these
remarks apply to Russia in 1845.]

Mr. Bourke gives several pages to the protective system with a
pleasing candour, considering the last desperate stand which at that
very time was being made for it at home. After speaking of the
disabilities of the merchants, and the high price alike of the
luxuries and of the necessaries of life in St. Petersburg, he says:
'I fancy the real secret of the unhealthy state of the commercial
interest in Russia is the incompetency of the rulers to legislate
properly on this most important branch of political economy. It is
impossible that men totally unacquainted with the commonest details
of trade can devise measures that would rectify the present system.
As long as the Government is entirely in the hands of men selected
mostly from the highest class of the nobles, a really enlightened
Commercial Minister will be in vain hoped for.'

But Protection and official control, he points out, were not confined
to commerce. They penetrated into every nook and corner of Russian
life--cramping the education, shackling the handicrafts, and
interfering with the amusements, of the people. Here is how
'Protection' of the drama practically acted in Russia half a century
ago: 'I never saw the Government management appear so palpably as
to-night. For the performance did not commence till the Governor had
taken his seat, some time after the hour {31} announced; and then the
second act of the opera was delayed three-quarters of an hour, in
order to permit Prince Frederick to hear as small a portion of
Russian as possible. There is no use in drawing comparisons: I have
avoided measuring things in other countries by our British standard
of excellence, for travellers should leave as many of their patriotic
prejudices as possible at home. But I could not help thinking, that
were we in the Strand, instead of the Great Place of the city of
Moscow, the probabilities are that the interior decorations of the
theatre would, before the three-quarters of an hour had elapsed, have
adorned the streets outside; and that Governor, performers, Prince,
and all, would most likely have taken themselves off, in the shortest
manner, or have had to await the consequences of a regular row. Be
that as it may, no rebellious tongues among the small audience here
dared to express even impatience, and they sat as silently and
quietly doing nothing as if they had been in a conventicle.'[5]

[Footnote 5: Vol. ii, pp. 125-126.]

The pictures of the Russian husbandman might have been sketched in a
Bengal rice-field, with the single change of plough bullocks for the
Muscovite pony. 'I often saw a man sallying forth to his day's work,
carrying his plough in one hand, and leading the little shaggy pony
that was to draw it, with the other. This tool would startle a
Lothian farmer, being little more than a strong forked stick, one
point of which is shod with iron, and scratches the ground as the
pony pulls it along, while the other is held in the {32} man's hand.
The whole turn-out is very like representations I have seen in old
pictures of the progress of domestic arts in the time of the Saxon
Heptarchy. They do not seem to think that straight ploughing at all
adds to the fertility of the soil, for they wander about in every
direction, and score the ground as best suits their fancy. The
animals are fed in the summer in the forest, and in winter are kept
in the large stables attached to every cottage.'[6]

[Footnote 6: Vol. ii, p. 38.]

It may well be imagined that a mind trained on the Hayes standard of
the responsibilities attached to property saw much that was painful
in serf-life. Mr. Bourke admits, however, that the praedial bondsman,
under a good master, lived 'free from want and care'; and compares
the worst sort of the Russian nobles, governing 'by bad and cruel
intendants, and regardless of aught but the money derived from their
distant lands,' to the absentee proprietors of his own country. He
describes the average serf as following some handicraft during the
six winter months; tilling the ground and tending the flocks during
the short summer; on the whole, well fed by his master, or enjoying a
fair share of the produce of his toil, and with few wants beyond his
log-hut, stove, and sheepskin; but 'languid, and rarely practising
the athletic sports in which the peasants of other lands delight.'

'This, then, is the life of the Russian serf. He knows no law save
the will of his master; and "the Father," as he calls the Emperor, is
in his idea the {33} personification of all earthly greatness. When
well treated, the serfs are affectionate and grateful, hospitable to
strangers, and quiet among themselves; but the ban of slavery lies
heavy upon them, and all their actions betoken a mute and almost
sullen submission. Their devotion to their hereditary lords is worthy
of a better cause, and merits in many instances the name of virtue.
When Napoleon offered them freedom, if they would fight against their
country, they indignantly refused it; and scarcely ever in the course
of the war did the cause of patriotism suffer from the treason of a
slave. They cheerfully sacrificed their lives and properties at the
bidding of "the Father." The hand of the serf often fired his whole
property, and leaving the home of his childhood, he has wandered with
his family, houseless and starving, to the forest rather than the
invading Gaul should find food and shelter in the land of the
Emperor.' 'The Russian troops were shot down by thousands; they never
thought of leaving the ground they stood on, or deserting the post
assigned them. But they seldom made a brilliant charge or dashed
impetuously on the foe. It was the heroism more of the martyr than
the soldier; the spirit of slavery enabled them to suffer cheerfully,
but did not prompt them to act as if victory depended on their own
exertions.'[7]

[Footnote 7: Vol. ii, p. 53.]

'This,' he went on to say, 'might have taught the rulers a lesson.' I
have quoted the foregoing passages at some length, because Lord Mayo
proved, by his {34} subsequent work in India, how thoroughly he had
learned that lesson himself. His whole official career, alike in
Ireland and in the East, was one long protest against leaving any
class outside the corporate community of the nation. In India, where
he at length had a free hand, his efforts were from first to last
directed to creating among the princes and peoples a sense of their
solidarity under the British rule, and to developing a capacity among
them for self-government, and for the effective management of their
varying local interests.

One more page regarding a Russian execution by flogging to death, I
must quote. For it concludes with an enunciation of the principle
which, to the honour of the English name, was strictly enforced in
the case of the assassin who, a quarter of a century afterwards, slew
Lord Mayo himself.

'The slave who shot the Prince Gargarin some years ago suffered this
terrible death. He was made a soldier for the purpose, as this is in
a degree a military punishment. He was forced to walk up and down
between the ranks of men, while the heavy whip of leather tore away
the flesh at every stroke. At the hundred and twentieth lash he fell:
his sentence was a thousand lashes. He was asked whether he would
have the rest of it then, or wait for another day. He said he would
have it then, knowing that to defer it would only prolong his agony.
He was then set up, and received a few more blows till he fell again;
they put him up a third time, when he fainted, and was {35} carried
away insensible. He died the next day from the mortification of his
wounds. This man was a criminal guilty of a heinous crime.' 'But it
is on all sides agreed that the punishment of death is and ought to
be considered as an example to the survivors, and not as a means of
vengeance on the criminal. Such a scene as I have related is a
disgrace to a country calling itself Christian, and contrary to all
right principles of government.'[8]

[Footnote 8: Vol. ii, pp. 163-4.]

The writing of this book did much to mature Mr. Bourke's mind, and to
bring it into contact with the serious aspects of life. And the
aspects of life which awaited him on his return to Ireland were
sufficiently serious. The potato disease and the famine years were
upon the country. During those years Mr. Richard Bourke won for
himself an honoured place among the hundreds of high-minded Irish
gentlemen who tried to do their duty. For months he almost lived in
the saddle--attending a public meeting in Kildare County one day, and
another thirty miles off in Meath the next; looking after the
charitable distributions; hunting out cases of starvation; buying
knitting materials, and setting the women to work in their villages;
arranging for the food-supply of outlying groups of huts; managing
the relief lists, and doing what in him lay to calm panic, prevent
waste, and battle with famine. Every now and then he would rush over
to England with the sewed work, knitted shawls, and the little
home-manufactures of the {36} cottagers, and get them sold at good
prices through his fashionable London friends. He had a considerable
gift for acting, and had been a welcome guest on that account, among
others, at many a neighbour's in more prosperous times. He now turned
this talent and his musical gifts to account, getting up charitable
performances, or private theatricals at country houses, and a famous
concert at Naas, to which half the county went or subscribed.

The popular esteem which Mr. Bourke won by his exertions during the
famine was presently to bear fruit. In 1847 the two seats for County
Kildare were contested by the Marquess of Kildare representing the
Whigs, and Mr. O'Neill Daunt with Mr. John O'Connell for the
Repealers. Mr. Richard Bourke came forward as a moderate
Conservative. The return of the Marquess was a foregone conclusion;
and it soon became apparent that the struggle for the second seat lay
between Mr. O'Neill Daunt and Mr. Bourke.

While Mr. Bourke declared himself strongly for the Union, he was also
in favour of legislation which would give 'compensation to improving
tenants.' As regards the religious question, 'he knew that the
Established Church was not the Church of the majority of the people;
but it was the Church of the majority of the property of the country,
and it was supported out of the pockets of the landlords, who were
nine to one in favour of the Establishment.'

The election was conducted with amenities on both {37} sides, which
contrast pleasantly with such contests at the present day. To these
amenities, Mr. Bourke's personal popularity contributed in no small
measure. 'I pledge you my honour,' shouted Mr. Daunt the Repealer, to
certain of his followers who were interrupting the young Conservative
candidate, 'I pledge you my honour I will leave the hustings if this
gentleman is not heard.' 'I again declare,' Mr. Daunt exclaimed in
another crisis of cat-calls, 'I will quit the Court-house if this
gentleman does not get a fair hearing.'

The result of the poll was to return the Marquess of Kildare and Mr.
Bourke to Parliament. So in the middle of his twenty-sixth year Mr.
Richard Southwell Bourke entered the House of Commons for his own
County--a moderate Conservative of the hereditary type, willing to go
steadily with his party in English measures, and resolved, as far as
in him lay, to secure their help in carrying Irish Land Reforms.

From 1847 to 1849 Mr. Bourke sat as a silent member. In 1848 he
married Miss Blanche Wyndham; her father, afterwards Lord Leconfield,
presenting the young couple with a town-house in Eccleston Square.
Ever since his return from Russia, Mr. Bourke had been an active
farmer and horse-breeder on his family lands in Ireland. In 1849 his
father succeeded to the Earldom of Mayo, and Mr. Bourke became Lord
Naas. But the new Earl, not liking the principal house of Palmerstown
so well as his old residence at Hayes, gave up the Kildare mansion,
with its large home-farm of 500 acres, to his son. {38} Lord Naas
went with his usual energy into every detail of Irish agricultural
life. The thorough knowledge which he acquired of farming and the
breeding of improved stocks was destined to serve him in a very
important, although altogether unexpected, manner in India.

In February, 1849, he delivered his maiden speech. 'My dear Mother,'
he wrote in a hasty scribble, in the House of Commons Library, a few
minutes afterwards, 'I have just made my first speech--went very well
for a quarter of an hour, and was on the whole successful for a first
attempt. Disraeli and others told me I did capitally. The subject was
the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act' (Ireland). Throughout the
next three years he steadily devoted himself, as before, to
committees and the details of Parliamentary work--speaking on an
average only four times a session, and keeping to the subjects which
he knew best. Of these twelve speeches (1849-50-51), ten dealt
exclusively with Irish questions; the two others referred to steam
communication with Australia and India. The whole make but fifty-six
columns of Hansard.

'During this period,' writes one who watched his career, 'he
established for himself in Parliament the position of a sensible
country gentleman, speaking from time to time on Irish affairs, and
not mixing himself up with general politics. Indeed, this may be said
of his whole public life; for, with the exception of one or two
colonial matters, I do not {39} recollect any subject unconnected
with Ireland on which he spoke.'

He had, however, attracted the notice of the chiefs of his party. He
declared his views with much vigour on the necessity of giving
improving tenants in Ireland some security for their outlay. The
subject had been familiar to him from boyhood, and he brought to it a
knowledge of details, obtained in the double capacity of a squire's
son and of a practical farmer, willing to improve his land, but
determined to make it pay.

In 1851 he supported his party by a great array of facts and figures
concerning the Irish milling trade. This question also lay within his
personal experience, both from the farmer's point of view and from
the capitalist's. He knew the actual working of the system; and he
succeeded in keeping the ear of the House through 16-1/2 columns of
Hansard--the longest speech but one in his twenty-one years of
Parliamentary life. An enthusiastic letter of thanks from a meeting
of Irish millers rewarded the effort.

Next year the Conservatives came into power. People remarked at the
time, that Lord Derby, in forming his Ministry, chose a larger
proportion than usual of men untried in office. Lord Naas was one of
them. To his surprise and delight, he received the offer of the Chief
Secretaryship for Ireland--the highest Parliamentary appointment
which an Irish commoner holds in his native country. He was but {40}
thirty years of age, and he went at the outset by the name of the
Boy-Secretary, a title which Sir Robert Peel and the late Earl Derby
had borne before him. He wrote to his brother with diffidence as to
his fitness, but very resolute as to trying to do his best: 'I am a
new hand, but at any rate I am not afraid of the work.'

Having accepted office, Lord Naas went over to Ireland to seek
re-election. But he found things changed in County Kildare since
1847. In that year the popularity which he had won during the famine
just enabled him to turn the scale at the hustings. The ebullition of
public feeling had naturally passed off by 1852, and Lord Naas found
it prudent to content himself with the less difficult constituency of
Coleraine. He sat for Coleraine in the north of Ireland from 1852 to
1857, when he came in for Cockermouth, in Cumberland, backed by the
interest of his wife's family, the Wyndhams. This borough he
continued to represent until he left for India in 1868.

During the short time which the Conservatives continued in power,
after Lord Naas' appointment to the Irish Secretaryship, he brought
forward, besides a Tenant-Right and a Tenants' Compensation Act,
several very important Bills affecting Ireland. He spoke only on
Irish questions; and after the resignation of his party, he steadily
pursued the same system until the Conservatives again came into
power, in 1858. During these six years he was practically the
Parliamentary leader of the Conservative party in {41} Ireland, and
of the Irish Conservatives in the House. His father sat as a
representative peer in the Lords, voting with the Tories, but
scarcely speaking, and taking little interest in politics.

The Crimean war brought deep anxiety to the Bourkes, as to most other
families throughout the British Islands. The second son, Colonel the
Honourable John Bourke, gave up his staff-appointment and joined his
regiment, the 88th Connaught Rangers, on its being ordered to the
seat of war. The Earl and Countess of Mayo were then residing in
Paris, and it fell to Lord Naas to keep his parents informed of each
crisis. His letters, full of that mingling of affectionate pride,
heart-eating anxiety, and sternly subdued longing for the end, which
form the true discipline of war to a nation, recall the family
aspects of the struggle with a most affecting veracity. The 88th did
its duty, and the names of 'Alma,' 'Inkermann,' and 'Sevastopol'
figure in the proud roll on its colours. But the weary waiting for
the lists of killed and wounded is the chief record which its
achievements have left in these letters.

Lord Naas tried to comfort his mother in her painful suspense about
her son by a mixture of religious consolation and the doctrine of
chances. 'Keep up, and hope in God he may be safe. Two thousand men
are about one in seven killed or wounded of those engaged; so even
human chances are in our favour. But it is in the God of battles we
must trust.' Then a few days later, 'My dearest {42} Mother,--The
list of killed and wounded has just arrived. Thank God, our dear
Johnny is safe. It is the greatest mercy our family has ever
received, and I trust we may be thankful for it to the end of our
lives. What an awful list!'

How the ever present anxiety of those winters penetrated the smallest
details of life! 'I went to Ballinasloe last Monday,' he writes, 'and
bought thirty-one heifers. The cost was enormous, 15 pounds 15_s._,
and they never can pay unless prices keep up. But they were as cheap
as any in the fair. I went over to Lord Cloncurry's for the night.
John Burke, of Johnny's regiment, was there. He told me a great deal
about him. He said he did his work well. He says he saw him telling
off his company, after the battle of Inkermann, as coolly as if he
had been on parade.'

Meanwhile Lord Naas was doing good work for his party during their
six years in opposition. He had won the liking and confidence of the
Irish Conservatives in the House; and Lord Derby, when he came into
power in 1858, again offered Lord Naas the Chief Secretaryship for
Ireland. A long list of measures in that and the following year bears
witness to his activity.

One who was officially connected with him in two of his principal
Bills thus writes: 'What struck me in my communications with him on
these matters was this. After the Bills had been settled by those
conversant with the legal part of the subject, he would detect errors
which had escaped us all. He {43} swooped down upon a flaw like a
scholar on a false quantity, and would sometimes break up a whole set
of clauses with his own hand, and re-write them himself, saying,
"There, now; you may put it into legal language, but that is the
sense of the thing I want." Again, when a draftsman would produce
something very symmetrical and beautiful in theory, he would say:
"That's all very fine, but the House of Commons won't look at it." At
this time he began to feel almost a despair of accomplishing any real
work for Ireland, owing to the factions within herself and in
Parliament. I do not think he had more respect for the ultra-Orange
party than he had for the Fenians. He believed they were alike
hurtful to the country, and that the opposition to be expected from
one, or it might chance from both, made it hopeless to attempt
anything sound or moderate.

'This feeling especially oppressed him with regard to his
Tenant-Right Bills and his educational measures. He had at the same
time so warm a regard for many friends of various shades of opinion,
that it hurt him sorely when he felt it his duty to propose a policy
which he knew they would not approve of. He would say to them: "Well,
if you don't like my Bill, you'll have to swallow something much
worse from the Radicals next year." His love for Ireland was
inexhaustible, and alone carried him through the vexations of trying
to work for her. He loved the people, he liked the climate (he hated
an east wind or a frosty day), he liked the sport, and he loved his
{44} friends and neighbours. I recollect his saying to me when a
political opponent, Lord Dunkellin, died: "Dunkellin is a great loss;
he loved Ireland so truly, and understood her so well, that he would
have done real good for us all some day."'

A colleague, who afterwards came into the closest relations with Lord
Naas in his Parliamentary work, writes to me thus: 'Lord Mayo lived
too far ahead of his party for his own comfort. Though he was a
member of a Tory Cabinet, I think that his opinions were shared to
the full by only one member of that Cabinet, Mr. Disraeli. He was not
entirely a Conservative of his own day; neither was he a Liberal,
according to the tenets of the Liberal party of his time. He was a
large-minded politician, who felt the necessity of belonging to one
party or another if he were to effect anything practical. While
revering the Established Church, he admitted the right of every man
to choose his own creed, and denied to no faith a power to save.
While he desired to maintain all rights essential to the security of
landed property, he was anxious to do away with the legal or
technical difficulties that stand between the tillers of the soil and
the full enjoyment of the results of their labour. If he could only
see a real reform in the state of the land and of the cultivator, he
cared not whence or how it came. He believed that any permanent
improvement of the land ought to be for the benefit alike of the
owner and of the tiller of the soil. His idea was, "If you really
improve my land, you shall {45} not lose by so doing, and any rule or
law that says otherwise shall be done away with." He used to argue
that, if you prevent such reforms you injure yourself as landlord,
and you act unjustly to your fellow-men. Liberty of thought, of
faith, and of action he loved more than life itself. The exercise of
either spiritual or temporal power for purposes of intimidation or
wrongful coercion was to him hateful. He had an unresting sympathy
for all in want or in misery. For the lunatic poor, for prisoners,
and for the fallen, his heart was always urging him to work; and for
them he _did_ work, and did good work.'

Another of his colleagues, the Earl of Derby, has touched off his
character as an official: 'I have known other men, though not very
many, who were perhaps his equals in industry, in clearsightedness,
and in the assemblage of qualities which, united, form what we call a
good man of business; and I have known men, though but few, who
possessed perhaps to an equal extent that generosity of disposition,
that unfeigned good-humour and good temper, which were among the most
marked characteristics of our lamented friend: but I do not know if I
ever met any one in whom those two sets of qualities were so equally
and so happily united. No discussion could be so dry, but Lord Mayo
would enliven it with the unforced humour which was one of his
greatest social charms. No question could be so complicated, but that
his simple, straightforward way of looking at it was {46} quite sure
of suggesting something of which you had not thought before.'

'He understood thoroughly,' continues Lord Derby, 'how important an
element of administrative success is the conciliation of those with
whom you have to deal; but the exercise of that power was with him
not a matter of calculation, but the result of nature. He did and
said generous things, not because it was politic, not because it was
to his political interest, but because it was his nature, and he
could not help it. I do not think he had in the world a personal
enemy; and so far as it is possible to speak of that which is passing
in another man's mind, I should say he had never known what it was to
harbour against any person a feeling of resentment. We who acted with
him in Irish matters can bear witness to his firmness when firmness
was necessary, to the soundness of his judgment in difficulties--and
difficulties just then were not unfrequent--and, above all, to that
coolness which was never more marked than in critical moments.'

'As the chief of a great office,' writes one well competent to speak,
'he had the finest qualities. Early in his habits, regular in his
work, and unceasing in industry, he set a great example; and he knew,
somehow or other, the secret of getting out of every one under him
the maximum of work which each might be capable of. He had a faculty
which I have never observed so fully developed in any one else, of
detecting a single blunder in the papers before {47} him. I have seen
him open a large file of documents, and almost immediately hit upon
an inaccuracy, either in the text or in the subject-matter. I once
handed him a long Bill, revised with great care by the Crown lawyers,
and saw him discover in almost an instant of time what proved to be
the only clerical error in it. He was my idea of a great head of a
department, knowing every branch of the work, familiar with almost
everything that had been done by his predecessors, and always ready
to meet and to overcome difficulties.'

This facility of work was no doubt largely due to the fact that Lord
Naas held only one office, and that he held it each time when his
party came into power during twenty years. He made Ireland his
speciality from the first, and the Chief Secretaryship, with its
rules, precedents, and every detail of its duties, sat as familiarly
on him as the clothes he wore.

In 1859 his party went out, and during the next seven years Lord Naas
was again the Parliamentary leader of the Irish Conservatives in
opposition. He had no enemies except among the more extreme parties
of his countrymen on either side. His political opponents frequently
consulted him, and have been ready to acknowledge the practical hints
which they obtained from him. The truth is, as the colleague already
quoted says, that he was more anxious to obtain good measures for
Ireland than careful as to the party whence they might come. Indeed,
his maiden speech in 1849 had been in support of the {48} Ministry to
whom he was politically opposed; and although his official connection
with his own party afterwards placed a fitting reticence on his words
when he disagreed with it, he was ever willing to help any one whom
he thought was doing real work for Ireland.

During these years of opposition, he spoke vigorously upon the Irish
prison system, poor relief, national and mixed education, police,
agricultural statistics, registration Acts, and many other questions
connected with his own country. He was not a brilliant orator, but he
put forward his views with sense and firmness, and always spoke with
a perfect knowledge of the facts. When the Conservatives again came
into power in 1866, Lord Derby for the third time offered him the
Chief Secretaryship, with a seat in the Cabinet, and in that office
he remained until he left for India in 1868. This marks the period of
his greatest political activity. A bare list of the measures which he
introduced into Parliament, or carried out in his executive capacity,
would fill many pages. The subjects were the same as before, and they
dealt with almost every side of the condition and wants of Ireland.
These years are chiefly remembered in England by the Fenian
agitations, which, both before and after that time have, under one
name or another, perplexed Irish Ministers. But in Ireland they are
known as years of well-planned improvement in the practical
administration.

'In 1867,' writes one of his colleagues during this {49} trying
period, 'he had no fewer than thirty-five Bills in preparation. I
often wondered how one man could carry so much in his head about
matters so different in their nature and so difficult in themselves.
Yet I always found him perfectly conversant with each, prepared on
the moment to discuss any change I might suggest, and ready with a
reason why he had not framed his instructions on the plan I might
propose. He never lost his presence of mind. I well remember one
morning in March, 1867, I received a message at an early hour from
Lord Naas, saying that he would like to see me. When I entered his
room at the Irish Office, he was sitting at a table writing a letter,
looking uncommonly well and fresh, and quite composed and quiet. He
handed me a telegram, and went on with his writing. I read that
during the night there had been a rising of Fenians near Dublin. I
confess I was considerably agitated, and did not conceal it. I shall
never forget the demeanour of Lord Naas. He had lost not a moment in
sending a copy of the telegram to Her Majesty, and preparing the case
for the Cabinet. What puzzled him more than anything was the sudden
stoppage of any further news. We telegraphed again and again, but it
was not till late in the afternoon that any clear answers were
received. He issued all the orders with the same quiet and precision
as if dealing with ordinary work. He had at once determined to go
that night to Ireland, and to remain there till order was restored.

{50} 'He had perfect confidence in his arrangements, and he declared
that the insurrection could never assume any serious importance. But
he was uneasy for the safety of persons living in isolated parts, and
about the small bands of villains who would use a political
disturbance as a shelter for local crimes. He said: "I dread more
than anything else that a panic will be fed by newspaper reports, and
that an outcry may get up that Ireland ought to be declared in a
state of siege, and military law proclaimed. To this I will never
yield, although I know my refusal will be misrepresented, and may for
the moment intensify the alarm."'

It is unnecessary in a personal narrative to repeat what followed in
the Fenian camp. 'The insurrection,' continues his colleague, 'if it
may be dignified by that name, was immediately stamped out. Lord Naas
put it down in his own way, yielding neither to threats nor
entreaties; acting wisely and firmly, and allowing himself to be
influenced neither by newspaper panics, nor by patriots in the House
of Commons, nor by rebels outside it. When he returned to London, he
went on with his Government Bills precisely as if nothing had
happened, and no fewer than eighteen of his measures prepared in that
year received the Royal assent.'

In January, 1867, his mother died. His father survived her only six
months, and on 12th August, 1867, Lord Naas succeeded as sixth Earl
of Mayo.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Ministry were in a {51} minority in the
House of Commons. It became clear in 1868 that a general attack might
be expected, and that the Opposition would select Irish ground.
Accordingly, in that session Mr. Maguire, then member for Cork, moved
for a committee of the whole House to consider the state of Ireland.
On this occasion Lord Mayo was made the mouthpiece of the Government.
His speech, although not successful as a Parliamentary utterance at
the moment, forms a most valuable contribution to the political
history of Ireland.

'This speech,' writes one who was then associated with him, 'required
very careful preparation. Lord Mayo proposed to show how,
notwithstanding Fenianism and local disaffection, the general
prosperity of Ireland was steadily increasing. This he unquestionably
proved by facts, statistics, and arguments. The collecting and
arranging of the facts would have tried a man in full health. And
unhappily, Lord Mayo was at that time very far from well. The day
before, he could not leave his house, and the day of his speech he
was only a trifle better. He spent the whole twelve hours in checking
his materials and figures, and, according to his custom while thus
engaged, ate nothing. When he rose to speak, he was both ill and
weak, and at one time could hardly proceed. It may be easily
understood that he failed to give life or pleasantness to the dry
details with which he had to trouble the House. As a matter of fact,
the speech, although sound and complete in {52} itself, proved a long
and heavy one to the listeners. But when read afterwards, it struck
us all as forming, in point of knowledge, truth, care, and logic, a
complete answer to the charges brought by the Opposition.'

Lord Mayo himself felt very unhappy about it for some days. The fact
seems to have been, that it was one of those speeches which, from the
number and complexity of the details involved, are better read than
heard. It is now an accepted authority regarding the state of
Ireland, and a permanent storehouse of facts to which both parties
resort.[9] At the time it led to a rumour that Lord Mayo was leading
on to the policy known as 'levelling up.' 'It was his wish,' writes
one who knew his mind, 'that grants of public money might be made to
institutions without respect to creed, whether Catholic or
Protestant, established for the education, relief, or succour of his
fellow-countrymen; and that no school, hospital, or asylum should
languish because of the religious teaching it afforded, or because of
the religion of those who conducted it. He would even, I think, have
gladly seen such of the revenues of the Irish Church as might not be
absolutely wanted for its maintenance applied to these purposes. So
far, but so far only, he was for levelling up.'

[Footnote 9: See, for example, Earl Russell's _Recollections and
Suggestions_, p. 344.]

The feeling which, ten years before, forced itself on him during his
second tenure of office, as to the difficulty of doing any real good
for Ireland, had {53} deepened since. The interval in opposition, and
his experience as Chief Secretary for the third time, impressed him
more strongly than ever with the necessity of Irish reform, and at
the same time more keenly with the unlikelihood of his being
permitted to effect it. So far as I am competent to hazard an
opinion, it seems to me that his views went too far for his own
friends, and not far enough to take the matter out of the hands of
the other great party, to whom the task of more radical legislation
for Ireland soon afterwards fell.

The sense of the English nation, moreover, appears to have been that
the work would be best done by those whose general policy identified
them with liberal measures. Lord Mayo believed intensely in the need
of such measures for Ireland; but he did not belong to the reforming
party in England, nor was it possible for him to frame a plan which
would satisfy that party and at the same time retain the support of
his own. It only remained for him to go on with his work faithfully,
with however heavy a heart. Estimated by the number of Acts which he
prepared and passed through Parliament, or by the executive
improvements made in the Irish Administration, these three years
(1866-68) were the most useful ones in his English career. But,
judged by what he had hoped to effect, and what he now felt it
impossible to accomplish, they were years of frustration and painful
self-questioning. Shortly afterwards, with the bitterness of this
period fresh in his memory, he {54} wrote to a brother who had just
entered Parliament for an English constituency: 'I advise you to
leave Ireland alone. There is no credit to be got by interfering with
her politics, and your position does not make it your duty to do so.'

But the way in which he bore up amid these difficulties, and the
actual work which he managed to do in spite of them, had won the
admiration of administrators unconnected with the party government of
England. In the first half of 1868, one of the leading members of the
India Council, a man of tried experience both in India and in the
direction of her affairs at home, spoke to a brother of Lord Mayo as
to the likelihood of his succeeding Lord Lawrence as Viceroy. He said
that the feeling in the Indian Council pointed to him as the fittest
man. On this being repeated to Lord Mayo, he replied: 'Not a bit.
So-and-so is as fit as I am, and has a better claim.' But, later in
the session, he one day said to his brother: 'Well, Disraeli has
spoken to me about India! He mentioned that Her Majesty had asked him
whom he thought of nominating for the office of Viceroy, should we
still be in office when it became vacant; that he had brought forward
my name among others, and that Her Majesty had expressed herself very
graciously about the way I had conducted Irish affairs.' About the
same time the Prime Minister mentioned to Lord Mayo that the
Governor-Generalship of Canada would also be vacant, and gave him to
understand that he might have that at once, {55} while it was by no
means certain that the Ministry would be in power next January, when
the Viceroyalty of India actually demitted.

So the matter remained for some weeks. Lord Mayo struggled between
his love for his children, whom he could take with him to Canada, and
the more splendid sphere of activity offered in India, where he would
be separated from them. At length he decided on the wider and more
independent career, and made up his mind to refuse Canada on the
chance of India being offered to him when the time arrived. A few
months afterwards the offer was made, and Lord Mayo's Parliamentary
life came to an end.

Mr. Disraeli, in addressing the Buckinghamshire electors in the same
November, thus spoke of the recent labours of that life, and of the
reasons which had induced Her Majesty to reward them: 'With regard to
Ireland, I say that a state of affairs so dangerous was never
encountered with more firmness, but at the same time with greater
magnanimity; that never were foreign efforts so completely
controlled, and baffled, and defeated, as was this Fenian conspiracy,
by the Government of Ireland, by the Lord-Lieutenant, and by the Earl
of Mayo. Upon that nobleman, for his sagacity, for his judgment, fine
temper, and knowledge of men, Her Majesty has been pleased to confer
the office of Viceroy of India. And as Viceroy of India, I believe he
will earn a reputation that his country will honour; and that he has
before him a career which will equal that {56} of the most eminent
Governor-General who has preceded him.'

During his twenty-one years of Parliamentary life (1847-68), Lord
Mayo spoke upwards of 140 times, filled the office of Chief Secretary
for Ireland thrice, prepared and introduced 36 Bills, and carried 33
Acts to completion through the House. His 133 principal speeches fill
524 columns of Hansard, and deal with every subject connected with
the administration of his native country.

It was, however, in the executive details of that administration,
rather than in his Parliamentary appearances, that the value of Lord
Mayo to his party lay. In his legislative measures the apprehension
constantly harassed him that he was going farther than many of his
friends would approve of, and yet not far enough to disarm their
political opponents. This divergence from formerly warm allies
grieved him deeply, and drew from him several letters, in which
self-reliance is curiously mingled with regret and pain. In one such
letter to Lord C----, in 1868, he defends his catholicity of spirit
towards the conflicting creeds of his native country. The paper is
too lengthy to be reproduced in full, but it reads like an
amplification of Matthew Arnold's maxim, that the State should be of
the religion of all its subjects, and of the bigotry of none of them.

To the outward world, Lord Mayo's career had seemed a fortunate one.
Elected for his own county on his first start in public life;
appointed Chief {57} Secretary for Ireland while still a very young
man; re-appointed to that post on each of the two occasions on which
his party had subsequently held power; a favourite in Parliament and
among his country neighbours; a Cabinet Minister, with considerable
patronage passing through his hands; he had succeeded to his family
estates while still in the prime of life, and become the head of an
ancient and a noble house. With a well-knit frame, and unwearied
power alike of physical and mental enjoyment, he now possessed a
fortune adequate to his place in the world, but not involving the
responsibilities incident to the administration of one of the great
incomes of the English peerage.

Yet the divergence steadily widening between Lord Mayo and the party
with whom he had set out in life, made him at this period a very
unhappy man. 'I remember,' writes a friend, 'one summer evening we
sat till late together, and for the first time he let me see his
inner self. I felt much for him, for I knew how well and hard he had
worked for Ireland, and how poor had been the acknowledgment. Then,
too, I saw how greatly he longed for some sphere of usefulness in
which he could show the world what he was made of, and test the
strength which he felt in him, but never had had the chance of
putting forth as he wished.' In such moods Lord Mayo turned towards
his family as a refuge from the frustrations which beset his public
life. He had always tried to make himself the friend of his children;
and in 1868 his letters breathe a peculiar tender playfulness which,
{58} considering his own state of mind at the time, is not without
pathos.

Wherever he might be, and whatever the pressure of his anxieties or
his work, he always found time for his boys. Some of his notes are
scribbled from the House of Commons, others from his office; many
from country houses where he had run down for a day's hunting or
shooting. Throughout they bear the impress of a kindly, genial man,
who had the sense to see the policy of making his children his
companions and allies.

One of his sons is always 'My dear old Buttons,' another 'My dear old
President,' or 'My darling old Boy,' and so forth. From one who
appears to be starting on a rowing-excursion on the Thames, he wishes
to know, 'What day do you go on your great voyage?' and so, 'Good-bye
to my Powder Monkey, and tell me what day you leave Eton.' To another
he is 'very sorry to hear that you are in the Lower School, as it
will keep you back sadly hereafter; but the only thing now is to work
very hard, and get a remove every half, or even a double remove.' 'I
send you my Address,' he writes from the Conservative borough of
Cockermouth; 'stick it up in your room, and lick any Radical boy that
laughs at it.' 'I am glad you like your school, though I am somewhat
afraid, by your liking it so much, that you are neither worked very
hard in your head nor birched on the other end.' To another, 'I send
you thirty shillings for your subscription. The Eton beagles will
have to {59} go precious slow if your old toes can carry you up to
them.'

He could give advice when needful. 'My dear old Boy,' he writes to
one of his sons, who he heard was making some not quite desirable
acquaintances, and who had replied in a spirited letter that he could
not desert his friends, 'I liked your letter very much, because you
spoke out your mind, and told me what you thought. I do not want you
to give up your friends, or to do anything mean; but I did hear that
you were intimate with one or two fellows who were not thought much
of in the school, and not your own sort at all. This annoyed me; for
I should hate to think any boy of mine was not able to hold his own
with his equals. I think that you had better extend your
acquaintance, and, without giving up any of your old friends, mix
more generally with the boys, and let them see you are as good as any
of them. It is a bad thing to be always chumming up with one or two
chaps, as it leads to jealousy and observation, and prevents you from
studying the characters of many whom you will have in after life to
associate with or to struggle with. Those are my sentiments. I know
you will try and follow them.'

Lord Mayo found another resource against the vexations of a public
career in his love of country life and field sports. In England he
was an ordinary politician, not distinguished by commanding wealth or
by any great hereditary influence, and deficient rather than
otherwise in oratorical graces, who made {60} his mark by strong
common sense, and the power of mastering details and of doing hard
work. In Ireland he was known as an indefatigable sportsman and a
most joyous country neighbour, whose time and purse were always at
the service of his friends. His famine-work had made a name for him
in County Kildare, and his genuine kindliness of heart, with a happy
Irish way of adapting himself to his company, steadily increased his
popularity as he went on in life. No sketch of Lord Mayo would be
complete which overlooked this side of his character. It was the
aspect in which he was best known to a large proportion of his
friends; and his country tastes helped in no unimportant way to keep
his temper sweet and his nature wholesome, at a time when he began to
feel somewhat keenly the difference between what he had hoped to do
for Ireland, and what he would be permitted to accomplish.

Lord Mayo was a sportsman in more than the ordinary sense. To a keen
physical relish for many forms of manly exercise, he added a less
common industry in the branches of knowledge collateral with them. He
was not content with enjoying hunting; he studied it. At Palmerstown
he set on foot and personally managed an association for improving
the breed of horses and cattle. His work as M. F. H. will be
presently noticed. He familiarised himself with the country which he
hunted, as a general would study a district which he had to hold or
to invade; and, indeed, he used to say laughingly, that he thought
{61} he might do very well some day as Commander of the Forces in
County Kildare.

When Lord Naas accepted the Mastership of the Kildare Foxhounds in
1857, he found that a succession of hard winters had left the hunting
country destitute of good coverts, the severe frosts having killed
the gorse. Just before he became Master, the huntsman, after a blank
day in the centre of the county, had declared that he could not tell
where they should find a fox the next season; and gentlemen who knew
Kildare felt that it would not afford two days' hunting a week for
many years to come.

Lord Naas set himself to bring about an equilibrium in the finances,
and to do this he felt he must give value to the subscribers for
their money. He rejected a friendly proposal to hunt only twice a
week for the first season, declaring that Kildare should never sink
into a two-day-a-week county in his time, and he laboured to make up
for the poverty of the coverts by good management and hard work. One
day, during his first season, a firm supporter said to him: 'Well,
you have now drawn two turnip-fields, three hedgerows, and one
highroad. Have you a covert for the evening?' He said he had, and
gave a fine run. His industry and popularity soon began to tell on
the funds. By the end of his first season the subscriptions had risen
from 900 pounds to 1450 pounds, and the field-money from 250 pounds
to 358 pounds, thus quenching a deficit of 500 pounds, and leaving a
surplus of 150 pounds instead.

More than twenty new coverts were formed during {62} his five years,
and at least thirty others rehabilitated. 'In fact,' writes a Kildare
gentleman, 'the whole country was re-made during Lord Naas'
Mastership, through his personal exertions, and by means of the great
enthusiasm which he created among his supporters.' Before he gave up
the hounds, in 1862, he had placed the hunt on such a basis as to
warrant the expenditure being fixed at 1900 pounds a year, and to
enable his successor to hunt seven days a fortnight from the first.

'As Master of the Kildare hounds,' writes one of his brother
sportsmen, 'Naas had a good deal against him in his public capacity
as a politician, with the farmers and others; but his innate goodness
of heart, his thorough love of Ireland and Irishmen, and his wondrous
enthusiasm for sport, soon made him loved by all who knew him. There
are many farmers who have not hunted since his time, and he made many
a man hunt who never thought of it before. He was never once in a
field without knowing it ever afterwards, and how to get out of it.
He remembered every fence in the country; and one day, having lost
his watch in a run, he next day walked over the ground, part of which
he had crossed alone, and found it. He reckoned that the greatest
compliment paid to him while Master was by the farmers of the
Maynooth country. One of them gave the land, and they all turned out
with men and horses, and made a stick covert for him in a single day.
Nothing ever gratified him more. But, indeed, there were men in {63}
Kildare among all classes who were devoted to him, and with whom he
had marvellous influence--men of different religion and of different
politics from himself.

'Lord Naas drew very late, and was always delighted, when it was very
late, if somebody asked him to draw again. He often went to the meet
when the country was deep with snow and hard frost; but if it was
thawing he always hunted, even with no one out. He never had a very
bad fall; and when he had an ordinary one, he never cared. Those who
saw him at Downshire jump into a trap filled with water will not
easily forget his joyous whoop when we ran to ground, and his fine
manly figure and happy face as he scraped the mud off his coat.

'To sum up: Lord Naas took the country in 1857 with poor funds, no
coverts, and few foxes. In five years he gave it up with all the
coverts restored, full of foxes, and with a balance of money in
hand--the subscriptions having increased by 500 pounds a year. The
gentlemen of the county are solely indebted to him for the present
satisfactory state of the county as a great hunting country. He
advocated the admission of members who would not have been admitted
under the old rules, and did much thereby to popularise the Hunt.'
The same friend remarks in a private letter:[10] 'We are indebted to
Lord Naas for Kildare as it is--for its good sport and
good-fellowship.' Perhaps a too enthusiastic estimate of the services
of any single man; but Lord Mayo {64} carried so intense a vitality
alike into his work and his play, that he was apt to infect with
enthusiasm all who came near him.

[Footnote 10: Written in 1874.]

To return to his public career. As the session of 1868 gradually
disintegrated his party, Lord Mayo's difficulties increased. It may
well be imagined, therefore, how he began to look forward to the
independence held out by the Indian viceroyalty. 'He had but a single
regret,' writes a colleague; 'he feared that his appointment would
mortify a friend who (he thought) wanted it. I was struck by the
manly self-reliance, and at the same time the becoming modesty, of
his bearing. How strong he felt himself, and yet how fully he
realised the responsibilities and difficulties before him! But the
one great feeling which seemed to animate him was joy at being at
last free--to do, to think, and to act as he himself found to be
wisest. He seemed to me to be like a man who, having been for some
time denied the light of the sun, was suddenly brought into the open
day. The only expression which could give utterance to all that was
passing within him were the two words, "At last."'

The tottering state of the Ministry throughout the session of 1868
strongly directed public criticism to their having appointed one of
themselves to a great office which would not fall in till January
1869. The reason of its being intimated early in the autumn was that
Lord Mayo desired to visit the chief political centres in India
before assuming office, with a view {65} to studying on the spot
certain large questions then pending. How thoroughly he accomplished
his purpose was realised by every one who, during the early months of
his Viceroyalty, had to discuss those topics--ranging from the Suez
Canal to the state of local feeling on important matters in Bombay
and Madras. The moment the appointment was made, and while still in
England, he threw himself into his new destiny. He denied his heart
its last wish to spend the remaining weeks in Ireland; attended the
India Office at all hours; held daily consultations with the leading
Indian authorities; toiled till late in the night on the documents
with which they supplied him; and employed those about him in
collecting books and papers bearing upon India.

To the public, however, it seemed doubtful whether the Conservatives
would be in power when the Indian Viceroyalty actually demitted; and,
as a matter of fact, they had resigned before that event took place.
Nor had Lord Mayo's Parliamentary appearances been sufficiently
commanding in the eyes of the English Press to secure him from
personal criticism. With the exception of a very few speeches on
India, China, and Australia, he had confined himself entirely to
Irish business. He had displayed no great amount either of interest
or of knowledge in the current subjects of English politics. His one
speciality was Ireland, and it was a specialty which at that time
neither attracted the sympathy nor won the applause of the English
public. Indeed, except on rare occasions, {66} an Irish debate was
then an affair of empty benches--pretty much as an Indian debate,
except at moments of special excitement, is at present. The statesman
who had filled the chief Parliamentary office for Ireland on each
occasion that his party came into power during twenty years, was less
known to the English public than many a young speaker sitting for his
first time on the Treasury benches.

A tempest of clamour accordingly arose in the Press, and spent its
fury with equal force on Lord Mayo's colleagues and on himself. Some
of the criticisms of those days read, by the light of later
experience, as truly astonishing products of English party spirit. It
is only fair to add, that the very papers which were most bitter
against his appointment afterwards came forward most heartily in his
praise. In that outburst of the English sense of justice which
followed his death, our national journal of humour stood first in its
generous acknowledgment of his real desert, as it had led the
dropping fire of raillery three years before:--

  'We took his gauge, as did the common fool,
     By Report's shallow valuing appraised,
   When from the Irish Secretary's stool
     To the great Indian throne we saw him raised.

  'They gauged him better, those who knew him best;
     They read, beneath that bright and blithesome cheer,
   The Statesman's wide and watchful eye, the breast
     Unwarped by favour and unwrung by fear.

{67}

  'The wit to choose, the will to do, the right;
     All the more potent for the cheerful mood
   That made the irksome yoke of duty light,
     Helping to smooth the rough, refine the rude.

  'Nor for this cheeriness less strenuous shown,
     All ear, all eye, he swayed his mighty realm;
   Till through its length and breadth a presence known,
     Felt as a living hand upon the helm.

  'All men spoke well of him, as most men thought,
     Here as in India, and his friends were proud;
   It seemed as if no enmity he wrought,
     But moved love-girt, at home or in the crowd.

  'If true regret and true respect have balm
     For hearts that more than public loss must mourn,
   They join to crown this forehead, cold and calm,
     With laurel well won as was ever worn;

  'Only the greener that 'twas late to grow,
     And that by sudden blight its leaves are shed;
   Then with thy honoured freight, sail sad and slow,
     O ship, that bears him to his kindred dead.'[11]

[Footnote 11: _Punch_, February 24, 1872.]

Lord Mayo felt the hostility of the Liberal journals the more keenly,
as in Irish matters (his real business in life) he had been half a
Liberal himself. But as usual his vexation was less for himself than
for the Ministry which stood publicly responsible for the
appointment. 'I am sorely hurt,' he wrote to Sir Stafford Northcote,
'at the way in which the Press are abusing my appointment. I care
little for myself, but I am not without apprehension that these
attacks {68} may damage the Government, and injure my influence if
ever I arrive in India. I am made uneasy, but not daunted.' Again: 'I
did not accept this great office without long and anxious
consideration. I leave with a good confidence, and hope that I may
realise the expectations of my friends. I was prepared for hostile
criticism, but I thought that my long public service might have saved
me from the personal abuse which has been showered upon me. I bear no
resentment, and only pray that I may be enabled ere long to show my
abusers that they were wrong.'

Rancour or revenge never for a moment found lodgment in that
well-poised mind. In October, 1868, while quivering under partisan
attacks, he dictated the following words in his Will:--'I desire that
nothing may be published at my death which is calculated to wound or
to annoy any living being--even those who have endeavoured by slander
and malignity to injure and insult me.' 'Splendid as is the post,' he
said to his constituents at Cockermouth, 'and difficult as will be my
duties, I go forth in full confidence and hope that God will give me
such strength and wisdom as will enable me to direct the Government
of India in the interests, and for the well-being, of the millions
committed to our care. In the performance of the great task I ask for
no favour. Let me be judged according to my acts. And I know that
efforts honestly made for the maintenance of our national honour, for
the spread of civilisation, and {69} the preservation of peace, will
always command the sympathy and support of my countrymen.'

During this trying time Lord Mayo derived much comfort from the
stedfast friendliness of Mr. Disraeli. Afterwards, when looking back
from the calm level of accomplished success which he reached in
India, his memory retained no sense of bitterness towards his
opponents, but simply a feeling of gratitude for the unwavering
courage and constancy of his leader. Mr. Disraeli had chosen his man,
and he supported him in the face of an unfounded but a very
inconvenient out-cry.

Lord Mayo, whether as Irish Secretary or as Indian Viceroy, was
himself the very type and embodiment of this loyalty to subordinates.
He conscientiously judged his men by their actual work, silently
putting aside the praise or dispraise of persons not competent to
speak, and penetrating his officers with a belief that, so long as
they merited his support, no outside influences or complications
would ever lead to its being withdrawn. On a somewhat crucial
occasion he quietly said: 'I once asked Mr. Disraeli whether
newspaper abuse was injurious to a public man. He answered: "It may
retard the advancement of a young man, starting in life and untried.
But it is harmless after a man has become known; and if unjust, it is
in the long-run beneficial."'

In October he ran over to Ireland, and wandered in pathetic silence
among the scenes of his boyhood. The day before he left these scenes
for ever, he chose {70} a shady spot in a quiet little churchyard on
his Kildare estates, and begged that, if he never returned, he might
be brought home and laid there. '13th October,' says the brief entry
in his Journal--'Left Palmerstown amid tears and wailing, much
leave-taking and great sorrow.'

On Wednesday, the 11th November, 1868, Lord Mayo looked for his last
time on the Dover cliffs, and reached Paris the same night. The
delicious repose of the voyage to India lay before him; his time was
still his own, and he resolved to see everything on the way that
could shed light on his new duties. Among other matters, the
neglected state of the Indian Records had been pressed upon him at
the India Office, and in a then recently published work. With the
richest and most lifelike materials for making known the facts of
their rule, the English in India still lie at the mercy of every
European defamer. Their history--that great story of tenderness to
pre-existing rights, and of an ever-growing sense of responsibility
to the people--is told as a mere romance of military prowess and
government by the sword. When Chief Secretary for Ireland, Lord Mayo
had introduced and passed the Act on which the whole Irish Record
Department subsists. To that end he had personally studied the method
adopted in England, and deputed his friend, Sir Bernard Burke, to
report on the French system.

His attention being now directed to the neglected state of the Indian
Records, and the necessity for some plan for conserving them and
rendering them {71} available for historical research, he resolved to
examine this Department in Paris with his own eyes. 'Went to the
Archives,' says his diary of the 14th November, 'and was received by
the Director, who showed us all through the rooms. They are in
magnificent order, and are situated in the old Hôtel Soubise, with a
museum of curious letters and documents for the amusement of the
public, divided into the different epochs of the Ancient Kings, the
Middle Ages, the Republic, the Empire, and the Monarchy after the
peace. The republican documents are kept in _cartons_ which now
number upwards of sixty thousand. The arrangement is simple, and
access easy. There is a reading-room for the public down-stairs, but
small, and the facilities given do not appear to be very great. It is
within the power of the Director to refuse access to any document, if
he sees fit. There is an enormous safe for the most valuable
documents, such as Napoleon's Will, and the last letters of Louis XVI
and Marie Antoinette; also a secret drawer containing letters of some
of the kings of France, which are not allowed to be seen by any one.
There does not seem to be any calendaring going on for the purposes
of publication, beyond facsimiles of curious documents.'

The feeling of rest, which is the unspeakable charm of the Indian
voyage to a busy man, soon descended on Lord Mayo. He found every
hotel good, and his whole route beautiful, as the fragmentary entries
in his diary attest. On his railway journey through {72} France he
stopped at St. Michel to see an eminent engineer who had Indian
experience of a valuable kind. With the help of a special train, he
carefully examined the works for the Mont Cenis tunnel then in
progress. Her Majesty's ship _Psyche_ conveyed the Viceroy-elect and
his suite from Brindisi to Alexandria, with a pleasant break in the
harbour of Argostali in Cephalonia, which he describes in his diary
as 'very pretty, land-locked on all sides, and large enough to hold
the whole English fleet.'

In Egypt he received every attention which the Pasha could bestow
upon an honoured guest. His diary amusingly relates how he very
nearly tumbled off the loosely-girthed saddle of the 'fiery little
Arab belonging to the Minister of War,' on which he rode to the
Pyramids. Another of the party 'was not so fortunate, for as soon as
he got on, his horse turned round sharp and he rolled off on the
road, but was not hurt.' But sight-seeing occupied only a small part
of Lord Mayo's stay in Europe. His diary is full of observations,
derived from the most competent engineer officers and civil
administrators, as to the condition of Egypt and the great public
works then in progress. He inspected the unfinished Suez Canal with
great patience, and many pages of his diary are devoted to recording
his impressions, with criticisms on what he saw and heard. The Indian
Government steamer _Feroze_ lay waiting for him at Suez.

Presently he becomes too lazy to keep up his diary, and he dismisses
the seven days from Suez to Aden in {73} as many lines. At Aden he
woke up again, and tried to master the facts regarding this first
out-post of the Indian Empire. Many pages are devoted to summarising
the results of his inspection of that Station, as a military fortress
and as a great coaling depôt for England's commerce in the East.

He thus ends his long and exhaustive review of the situation. It must
be remembered that his words were written twenty-two years ago
(1868), and that many of his suggestions became, under his influence,
accomplished facts.

'The conclusions I have come to regarding Aden are,'--[_N.B._--many
searching and adverse criticisms on individual works are here
omitted.]

'(1) That the military defences may be considered as non-existent
against an attack from armour-plated ships, or even ordinary vessels
carrying heavy guns.

'(2) That, except as against native tribes and land forces unsupplied
with siege artillery, it is not a fortress at all.

'(3) That the cheapest and most effective mode of defence would
probably be by iron-plated monitors carrying heavy guns, with some
heavy guns placed in sand batteries or on Moncrieff gun-carriages.

'(4) That, as a very large development of trade and consequent
increase of the population are certain to occur, the question of the
water-supply must be immediately faced.

'(5) That the position of Little Aden ought to be acquired with the
least possible delay.

{74} '(6) That a railway, the materials for which are almost on the
spot, should be made from the Cantonment and Isthmus position to
Steamer Point. This would render the defence of Aden possible by a
comparatively small number of troops.

'(7) That, as the Suez Canal promises to be completed so soon, and as
it is impossible to estimate the effect it will have in bringing
large numbers of armed European steamers to these waters, there is no
time for delay; and if Aden is to be maintained at all, an adequate
defence and a sufficient supply of water ought to be provided at
once. It might, however, be sufficient for the present to consider
only the defences of Steamer Point, the coal-stores, and the entrance
to the harbour; and it would be easy to cut off that portion of the
position from the remainder. There would then be no inducement to a
hostile power to attack the Cantonment and the Isthmus position,
which without the coal-depots have no commercial or political
importance.'

I would again remind the reader that these words were written
twenty-two years ago. Much has been done since then in the directions
indicated.

The next ten days were passed upon the Indian Ocean, from Aden to
Bombay, and have left no memorials behind. Lord Mayo spent the time
in reading books about India, and discussing Indian questions with
Lord Napier of Magdala, who accompanied him on the voyage.

'Off Bombay, Saturday 19th December, 1868,' says {75} his diary. 'At
twelve o'clock we sighted land, and after wavering about a good deal,
made the red revolving light and took a pilot on board. Heard for the
first time about the change of Ministry, which was a matter of great
astonishment, as it never occurred to me that Disraeli would have
found it impossible to meet Parliament.'

It is scarcely needful to say that Mr. Gladstone and the Liberal
Ministry declined to take advantage of the party clamour against Lord
Mayo's appointment, and duly gave effect to their predecessor's
nomination.

On the 20th December, 1868, Lord Mayo landed in state at Bombay as
the guest of the Governor. During the next ten days he inspected
everything which was of public interest in Bombay, from the House of
Correction, the Central Jail at Jiranda, the dock-yards,
cotton-presses, barracks, and the Vehár Water-works, to a small
regimental school in the Native Infantry lines, the Municipal Market,
and the sewage out-flow. He also gave interviews to people of every
class, from the High Priest of the Pársís ('a fine old man,' as his
diary records, 'who was presented with a large gold medal by Her
Majesty for his loyalty during the disturbances') to the Inspector of
Cotton Frauds. His remarks upon the defences of Bombay, the octroi
duty, and the great expense of the military buildings, form the
starting-point of subsequent important action in these matters during
his Viceroyalty. On his visit to the rock-temples of Elephanta, while
mentioning the disgust of one of his companions 'on finding the {76}
cave occupied by some drunken British soldiers, and an American
party, one of whom was playing on a banjo,' he also records: 'This
day enabled me to form an estimate of the works, military and naval,
in the harbour of Bombay.'

On the 30th December, Lord Mayo and his suite left Bombay and sailed
down the coast to inspect the harbours of Kárwár and Beypur. From
Beypur he crossed India by railway to Madras, where in addition to
his inspection of public institutions, he had a morning's hunting,
another morning at the races, and the ceaseless evening festivities
of Government House. He was constantly at work, from very early
morning till late at night. His diary of the 3rd January ends the day
thus:--'Had a long talk after dinner on public works and irrigation
with the heads of those departments. They brought their plans and
maps, showing how completely dotted over with tanks the greater part
of the Madras Presidency is.' But, indeed, every page has such
notices as the following:--'Had a conversation with Colonel Wilson on
the proceedings and movements of the Karnátic Family.' 'Had a long
talk with Mr. Arbuthnot on the decentralisation of finance, the
officering of the police, and the position of the Native army.'

On the 6th January, he again embarked on the _Feroze_, this time for
Calcutta, after a brilliant but exhausting visit. On his voyage his
diary records on the 8th January:--'Paid the penalty of my imprudence
and over-exertion at Madras, being attacked {77} sharply by fever
this morning.' The sea-breezes were, however, a potent medicine.
There was no look of feebleness about Lord Mayo, when on the 12th
January, 1869, he landed at Calcutta, under the salute from the Fort,
and with 'God Save the Queen' playing, as he drove through the lines
of troops, and amid the vast multitude which formed a living lane
along the whole way from the river-bank to Government House.

The reception of a new Viceroy on the spacious flight of steps at
Government House, and the handing over charge of the Indian Empire
which immediately follows, forms an imposing spectacle. On this
occasion it had a pathos of its own. At the top of the stairs was the
wearied veteran Viceroy, Sir John Lawrence, wearing his splendid
harness for the last day; his face blanched and his tall figure
shrunken by forty years of Indian service; but his head erect, and
his eye still bright with the fire which had burst forth so
gloriously in India's supreme hour of need. Around him stood the
tried counsellors with whom he had gone through life, a silent calm
semicircle in suits of blue and gold, lit up by a few scarlet
uniforms. At the bottom, the new Governor-General jumped lightly out
of the carriage, amid the saluting of troops and glitter of arms; his
large athletic form in the easiest of summer costumes, with a little
coloured neck-tie, and a face red with health and sunshine.

As Lord Mayo came up the tall flight of stairs with {78} a springy
step, Sir John Lawrence, with a visible feebleness, made the
customary three paces forward to the edge of the landing-place to
receive him. I was among the group of officers who followed them into
the Council Chamber; and as we went, a friend compared the scene to
an even more memorable one on these same stairs. The toilworn
statesman, who had done more than any other single Englishman to save
India in 1857, was now handing it over to an untried successor; and
thirteen years before, Lord Dalhousie, the stern ruler who did more
than any other Englishman to build up that Empire, had come to the
same act of demission on the same spot, with a face still more deeply
ploughed by disease and care, a mind and body more weary, and bearing
within him the death which he was about to pay as the price of great
services to his country.

In the Chamber, Sir John Lawrence and his Council took their usual
seats at the table, the chief secretaries stood round, a crowd of
officers filled the room, and the pictured faces of the Englishmen
who had won and kept India in times past looked down from the walls.
The clerk read out the oaths in a clear voice, and Lord Mayo
assented. At the same moment the Viceroy's band burst forth with 'God
Save the Queen' in the garden below, a great shout came in from the
people outside, the fort thundered out its royal salute, and the 196
millions of British India had passed under a new ruler.

In the evening, at a State dinner given by Sir {79} John Lawrence,
Lord Mayo appeared in his viceregal uniform, the picture of radiant
health. His winning courtesy charmed and disarmed more than one
official who had come with the idea, derived from the attacks in the
English partisan newspapers, that he would be unfavourably impressed
by the new Governor-General. As Lord Mayo moved about in his genial
strength, people said that at any rate Mr. Disraeli had sent out a
man who would stand hard work.



{80}

CHAPTER III

THE ACTUAL PROCESS OF VICEREGAL GOVERNMENT


Lord Mayo took his oaths as Viceroy on the 12th January, 1869. The
same evening he set to work with characteristic promptitude to learn
from his predecessor what personal duties were expected of him, and
by what methods he could discharge them most effectively, and with
the strictest economy of time.

The mechanism of the Supreme Government of India consists of a
Cabinet with the Governor-General as absolute President. The weakness
of that Government in the last century, down to the time of Lord
Cornwallis, arose from the fact that the Governor-General was not
absolute within his Cabinet, but merely _primus inter pares_, with a
single vote which counted no more than the vote of any other member,
except in the case of an equal division, when he had the
casting-vote. This attempt at government by a majority was the secret
of much of the misrule which has left so deep a stain on the East
India Company's first years of administration in Bengal. {81} Sir
Philip Francis and his brother Councillors appointed by the
Regulating Act of 1773, brought the system to a dead-lock. The hard
task then laid upon Warren Hastings was not only government by a
majority, but government in the teeth of a hostile majority. It is to
the credit of Lord Cornwallis that before accepting the office of
Governor-General in 1786, he insisted that the Governor-General
should really have power to rule.

The new plan subsisted with little change till 1858, the last year of
the East India Company. While the Governor-General retained the power
of over-ruling his Council, as a matter of fact he wisely refrained,
except in grave crises or emergencies, from exercising his supreme
authority. Every order ran in the name of the President and the
collective Cabinet, technically the Governor-General in Council. And
under the Company every case actually passed through the hands of
each Member of Council, circulating at a snail's pace in little
mahogany boxes from one Councillor's house to another. 'The system
involved,' says a former Member of Council, 'an amount of elaborate
minute writing which seems now hardly conceivable. The
Governor-General and the Council used to perform work which would now
be disposed of by an Under-Secretary.'

Lord Canning, the first Viceroy under the Crown, found that, if he
was to raise the administration to a higher standard of promptitude
and efficiency, he must put a stop to this. He remodelled the {82}
Government 'into the semblance of a Cabinet, with himself as
President.' Each Member of the Supreme Council practically became a
Minister at the head of his own Department--or the 'Initiating
Member' of the Department--responsible for its ordinary business, but
bound to lay important cases before the Viceroy, whose will forms the
final arbitrament in all great questions of policy in which he sees
fit to exercise it.

'The ordinary current business of the Government,' writes Sir John
Strachey, 'is divided among the Members of the Council, much in the
same manner in which, in England, it is divided among the Cabinet
Ministers, each member having a separate Department of his own.' The
Governor-General himself keeps one Department specially in his own
hands, generally the Foreign Office; and Lord Mayo, being insatiable
of work, retained two, the Foreign Department and the great
Department of Public Works. Various changes took place in the Supreme
Government even during his short Viceroyalty, but the following table
represents the _personnel_ of his Government as fairly as any single
view can. It shows clearly of what the 'Government of India' was made
up, apart from the immediate staff of the Viceroy. But it should be
mentioned that Lord Mayo was fortunate in having in Major (now
General Sir) Owen Tudor Burne, a Private Secretary of the highest
capacity for smoothly and effectively transacting business. Major
Burne did much to lighten the personal labour of the Viceroy, and
became his most intimate confidante and friend.

{83}

  +--------------------+--------------------+----------------------+
  |     DEPARTMENT.    | MEMBER OF COUNCIL. |   CHIEF SECRETARY.   |
  +--------------------+--------------------+----------------------+
  |   I. Foreign       | THE VICEROY.       | Sir C. U. Aitchison, |
  |      Department    |                    |   K.C.S.I.           |
  |  II. Public Works  | THE VICEROY.       | Divided into         |
  |      Department    |                    |   branches.          |
  | III. Home          | Hon. Sir Barrow    | Sir E. Clive Bayley, |
  |      Department    |   Ellis, K.C.S.I.  |   K.C.S.I.           |
  |  IV. Department of | Hon. Sir J.        | Mr. A. O. Hume, C.B. |
  |      Revenue,      |   Strachey,        |                      |
  |      Agriculture,  |   K.C.S.I.         |                      |
  |      and Commerce  |                    |                      |
  |   V. Financial     | Hon. Sir R.        | Mr. Barclay Chapman, |
  |      Department    |   Temple, K.C.S.I. |   C.S.I.             |
  |  VI. Military      | Major-General the  | General H. K. Burne, |
  |      Department    |   Hon. Sir H.      |   C.B.               |
  |                    |   Norman, K.C.S.I. |                      |
  | VII. Legislative   | Hon. Sir Fitzjames | Mr. Whitley Stokes,  |
  |      Department    |   Stephen, Q.C.,   |   C.S.I., D.C.L.     |
  |                    |   K.C.S.I.         |                      |
  +--------------------+--------------------+----------------------+

Lord Mayo, besides his duties as President of the Council and final
source of authority in each of the seven Departments, was therefore
in his own person Foreign Minister and Minister of Public Works. The
Home Minister, the Minister of Revenue, Agriculture, and Commerce,
and the Finance Minister, were members of the India Civil Service,
together with the Secretaries and Under-Secretaries in those and in
the Foreign Department. Of the other two Departments, the Military
was presided over by a distinguished soldier, and the Legislative by
an eminent member of the English Bar.

Routine and ordinary matters were disposed of by the Member of
Council within whose Department they fell. Papers of greater
importance were sent, with the initiating Member's opinion, to the
Viceroy, who {84} either concurred in or modified it. If the Viceroy
concurred, the case generally ended, and the Secretary worked up the
Member's note into a Letter or Resolution, to be issued as the orders
of the Governor-General in Council. But in matters of weight, the
Viceroy, even when concurring with the initiating Member, often
directed the papers to be circulated either to the whole Council, or
to certain of the Members whose views he might think it expedient to
obtain on the question. In cases in which he did not concur with the
initiating Member's views, the papers were generally circulated to
all the other Members, or the Governor-General ordered them to be
brought up in Council. Urgent business was submitted to the
Governor-General direct by the Secretary of the Department under
which it fell; and the Viceroy either initiated the order himself, or
sent the case for initiation to the Member of Council at the head of
the Department to which it belonged.

This was the paper side of Lord Mayo's work. All orders issued in his
name. Every case of real importance passed through his hands, and
bore his order, or his signature under the initiating Member's note.
Urgent matters in all the seven Departments went to him, as I have
said, in the first instance. He had also to decide as to which cases
could be best disposed of by the Departmental Member and himself, and
which ought to be circulated to the whole Council or to certain of
the Members. In short, he had to see, as his orders ran in the name
of the Governor-General in {85} Council, that they fairly represented
the collective views of his Government. The 'circulation' of the
papers took place, and still does, in oblong mahogany boxes,
air-tight, and fitted with a uniform Chubb's lock. Each
Under-Secretary, Deputy-Secretary, Chief Secretary, and Member of
Council gets his allotted share of these little boxes every morning;
each has his own key; and after 'noting' in the cases that come
before him, sends on the locked box with his opinion added to the
file. The accumulated boxes from the seven Departments pour into the
Viceroy throughout the day. In addition to this vast diurnal tide of
general work, Lord Mayo had two of the heaviest Departments in his
own hands, as Member in charge of the Foreign Office and of Public
Works.

The more personal duties of the Viceroy divided themselves into three
branches. Every week he personally met, in the first place, each of
his Chief Secretaries; in the second place, his Viceregal or
Executive Council; and, in the third place, his Legislative Council.
Each of the seven Secretaries had his own day with the
Governor-General, when he laid before His Excellency questions of
special importance, answered questions arising out of them, and took
his orders touching any fresh materials to be included in the files
of papers before circulating them.

The Viceroy also gives one day a week to his Executive Council,
consisting of the Executive Ministers or 'Members of Council'
mentioned in the table above, with the Commander-in-Chief as an
additional Member. In {86} this oligarchy all matters of Imperial
policy are debated with closed doors before the orders issue; the
Secretaries waiting in an ante-room, and each being summoned into the
Council Chamber to assist his Member when the affairs belonging to
his Department come on for discussion. As all the Members have seen
the papers and recorded their opinions, they arrive in Council with a
full knowledge of the facts, and but little speechifying takes place.
Lord Mayo, accustomed to the free flow of Parliamentary talk, has
left behind him an expression of surprise at the rapidity with which,
even on the weightiest matters, the Council came to its decision, and
at the amount of work which it got through in a day. His personal
influence here stood him in good stead. In most cases he managed to
avoid any actual taking of votes, and by little compromises won the
dissentient Members to acquiescence. In great questions he almost
invariably obtained a substantial majority, or put himself at the
head of it; and under his rule the Council was never for a moment
allowed to forget that the Viceroy retained the constitutional power,
however seldom exercised, of deciding by his single will the action
of his Government.

In hotly debated cases the situation is generally as follows. The
Viceroy and the Member of Council in charge of the Department to
which the case belongs have thoroughly discussed it, and the proposal
laid before Council represents their joint views. These views have
gone round with the case to the other {87} Members of Council, and
been 'noted' on by them. When the question comes before the Council,
no amount of talking can add much new knowledge to the elaborate
opinions which each of the Members has recorded while the papers were
in circulation. Several of these opinions are probably in favour of
the policy proposed by the Member in charge of the question, and
supported by the Viceroy; others may be opposed to it. When the
matter came up in the meeting of Council, Lord Mayo generally tried,
by explanations or judicious compromises, to reduce the opposition to
one or two Members, and these might either yield or dissent. The
despatches to the Secretary of State enunciating the decision of the
Government of India specify the names of dissentient Councillors, and
append in full such protests as they may deem right to record.

To take a hypothetical instance. Supposing a frontier expedition had
been decided on, and the Commander-in-Chief desired a more costly
armament than was really needed. A Commander-in-Chief's business is
to make the success of an expedition an absolute certainty, and to
that end he is supported by two strongly-officered Departments--the
Adjutant-General's and the Quartermaster-General's. The business of
the Government of India is to take care that no expenditure, not
required to ensure success, shall be permitted. To this end the
Commander-in-Chief's plans and estimates are scrutinised first by the
Viceroy and his Military Member of Council, with {88} the aid of the
Military Secretariat, and are then considered in Council. The
Commander-in-Chief is not necessarily an officer with a keen regard
for financial considerations. The Military Member of Council and his
Secretaries are invariably selected for their administrative and
Indian experience. They are distinguished soldiers, but soldiers
whose duty it is for the time being to deal also with the financial
aspects of war. Thus, it might possibly happen that a
Commander-in-Chief demanded a costly equipment of elephants or camels
for a service which, as ascertained from the local facts, could be as
efficiently and more economically performed by river-transport or
bullock-train. Such a divergence of opinion would probably disappear
when each side had stated its case in the papers during circulation;
or at any rate a line of approach to agreement would have been
indicated.

If the question actually came up for discussion in Council, the
Viceroy and the Military Member would be as one man, and they would
in all likelihood have the Financial Member on their side. The
Commander-in-Chief would have such of the other Members as had been
convinced by his written arguments, or who deemed it right in a
military matter to yield to the weight of his military knowledge, and
to the fact that the direct responsibility for the operations rested
with him. And that weight would tell very heavily. For the experience
of Indian officials leads them to believe that the man whose business
it is to know what is needed, does, as a matter of fact, know it
best. If the {89} Viceroy saw that, after his side of the case was
clearly stated, an opinion still remained in the minds of the Council
in favour of the Commander-in-Chief's plan, he would probably yield.
On the other hand, if the arguments left no doubt as to the
sufficiency of the counter-proposals by the Viceroy and the Military
Member, the Commander-in-Chief would either withdraw his original
scheme, or strike out some compromise.

Similar divergences might take place between two sections of the
Council in regard to the foreign policy of the Government, or the
railway system, or a great piece of legislation, or in any other
Department of the State. Each Member comes to Council with his mind
firmly made up, quite sure that he is right, and equally certain
(after reading all the arguments) that those who do not agree with
him are wrong. But he is also aware that the Members opposed to him
come in precisely the same frame of mind. Each, therefore, while
resolved to carry out his own views, knows that, in event of a
difference of opinion, he will probably have to content himself with
carrying a part of them. And once the collective decision of the
Government is arrived at, all adopt it as their own. Lord Mayo has
recorded his admiration of the vigour with which each Councillor
strove for what he considered best, irrespective of the Viceregal
views; and of the generous fidelity with which each carried out
whatever policy might eventually be laid down by the general sense of
his colleagues. It is this capacity {90} for loyally yielding after a
battle that makes the English talent for harmonious colonial rule.

Besides his personal conferences with each of his Chief Secretaries,
and the hebdomadal meeting of the Executive Council, the Viceroy
devoted one day a week to his Council for making Laws and
Regulations. This body, known more shortly as the Legislative
Council, consists of the Viceregal or Executive Council, with the
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province where the Viceroy may be
residing, and also certain non-official Members as representatives of
the Native and European communities. The Viceroy presides.
Practically, it does not initiate measures; most of the laws which it
frames come up to the Government of India from the Provincial
Governments in the shape of proposed enactments. They are first
considered by the Viceroy and Legal Member, then circulated to the
whole of the Executive Councillors, and decided on in the Executive
Council before being brought before the Legislative Council as a
draft Bill.

The Legislative Council next appoints a committee of its own Members
to consider the Bill, and after various publications in the
_Gazette_, rejects, modifies, or passes it into law. The Legislative
Council is open to the public; its proceedings are reported in the
papers, and published from the official shorthand-writer's notes in
the _Gazette_. The law-abiding nature of the English mind, and the
attitude of vigorous independence which the Anglo-Indian courts
maintain towards the Executive, render it necessary to obtain {91}
the sanction of a legislative enactment for many purposes for which
an order of the Governor-General in his Executive Council would have
sufficed under the Company. Indeed, almost every great question of
policy, not directly connected with foreign affairs or military
operations, sooner or later emerges before the legislative body. If
all the official Members hold together, the Viceroy has an official
majority in the Legislative Council. And as no measure comes before
it except after previous discussion and sanction by the
Governor-General in his Executive Council, this represents the normal
state of votes in the Legislature.

Lord Mayo was a rigid economist of time. Each day had its own set of
duties, and each hour of it brought some appointment or piece of work
mapped out beforehand. He rose at daybreak, but could seldom allow
himself the Indian luxury of an early ride, and worked alone at his
'boxes' till breakfast at 9.30. At 10, his Private Secretary came to
him with a new accumulation of boxes, and with the general work of
the day carefully laid out. Thereafter his Military Secretary (an
officer of his personal staff, and distinct alike from the Military
Secretary to the Government of India, and from the great Departments
of the Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-General under the
Commander-in-Chief) placed before him in the same manner special
questions connected with the army. By 11 Lord Mayo had settled down
to his boxes for the day, worked at them till luncheon {92} at 2; and
afterwards till just enough light remained to allow him a hard gallop
before dark. On his return, he again went to his work till dinner at
8.30; snatching the half-hour for dressing to play with his youngest
boy, or to perch him on his toilet-table and tell him stories out of
the Old Testament and Shakespeare. About a year after his father's
death, the child (now a man!) repeated to me wonderful fragments from
a repertory of tales thus acquired, his memory jumbling up the
witches of Macbeth with the witch of Endor.

There were few days in the year in which Lord Mayo did not receive at
dinner, and not many in the week in which there was not an
entertainment at Government House afterwards--a ball, or state
concert, or private theatricals, or a reception of Native Chiefs, or
an At Home of some sort or other. Whatever had been his labour or
vexations and disappointments throughout the day, they left no ruffle
on his face in the evening. He had a most happy talent for singling
out each guest for particular attention, and for throwing himself
during a few minutes into the subject on which each was best able to
talk. 'There are few connected with him,' writes his Private
Secretary, 'who do not remember the many instances of his leaving his
room full of anxiety on some great impending question, and at the
next moment welcoming his guests and charming all who enjoyed his
hospitality, European and Native, by his kindness, joyousness, and
absence of officialism.'

{93} At first, Lord Mayo worked at night, carrying on the labours of
the day long after his guests and household were asleep. But India
soon taught him that her climate put limits even on a strongly-built
constitution like his own, and he had to give up the practice. It may
be imagined that much accurate prevision was required to lay out the
paper side of Lord Mayo's work described above, so that it might be
as little as possible interfered with by the more public functions of
the Viceregal office. His interviews with each of his Secretaries,
and the meetings of his Executive and Legislative Councils, were
fixed for specified hours on certain days, and from the printed
scheme on his table no departure was permitted. But a large mass of
ceremonial and personal business could not be thus laid out
beforehand.

One day it was a foreign embassy, or a great feudatory who had come a
thousand miles with his retinue to pay his respects; another day it
was the return visit of the Viceroy; a third day it was the laying of
some foundation-stone; a fourth, the inspection of a local
institution or hospital; a fifth, a rapid run upon a railway to see
some new works, or examine a bridge across a deltaic estuary hitherto
deemed uncontrollable by engineering skill; a sixth, the letting in
of the water at the head-lock of a canal; a seventh, a great speech
as Chancellor of the Calcutta University, or some words of
encouragement at the distribution of prizes at a college or school.
No hard-and-fast scheme could provide for {94} this multifarious
aspect of his duties. But he looked (and looked with just confidence)
to his Private Secretary to reduce the interference thus caused to
his regular work to the minimum. Whenever the ceremonial permitted,
he avoided an interruption of his day's work by giving up the hour
for the evening's gallop to it.

In the following narrative of the great measures initiated or carried
out during Lord Mayo's Viceroyalty there are several omissions which
Lord Mayo would have deemed most unjust. They refer not to what he
himself did, but to the assistance which he derived from others. But
with few exceptions his coadjutors are still alive, and some of them
still hold high office. This book is not written in praise or
dispraise of living men. Yet, at almost every page, I have felt that
I am doing the central figure of it a wrong by isolating him from his
surroundings. He was essentially a man who went through life girt
about with friends, and a memoir which fails to develop that side of
his character leaves half his story untold. This, however, is one of
the conditions under which a contemporary biography ought to be
written; and no one can feel the air of ungraciousness which it may
impart to my work, especially to the Indian sections of it, more
keenly than the writer himself.

While, however, Lord Mayo in the following narrative stands out more
prominently from among those who shared his labours than he himself
would {95} have deemed right, his method of working renders the
injustice less than it might have been in the case of some other
Viceroys. He had a remarkable faculty for listening to everything
that could be said on a subject, and then shaping from many divergent
counsels a course which was distinctively his own. No one could tempt
him into the error of being led to state his own conclusions first
and then to ask his adviser's opinion about them. He had the art of
making every one feel that he followed with a personal interest their
exposition of a case; but at the same time that his interest was that
of a judge, not of a partisan.

In India the Provincial Administrations and Heads of Departments
represent the initiative, the Secretariats the critical element in
the Government. A Head of a Department is almost _ex officio_ a man
who has something to propose. And his plans of improvement, however
admirable in themselves, and however economical they may purport to
be at the outset, mean in the end increase of expenditure. The
function of the Secretariat is to pull such schemes to pieces, to
expose their weak points, and to put on the drag upon every proposal
that sooner or later will cost money. A strong Viceroy acts as
arbiter between the two sets of forces thus constantly in motion.

Those who had to do business with Lord Mayo were constantly struck by
his happy combination of the qualities required for this delicate
part of his office. He was adored by the more ardent administrators
for {96} the interest with which he listened to their plans. Every
one felt sure of a fair hearing. But those who misinterpreted his
courteous sympathy into official approval found, by a very brief
experience of his method of working, that they were mistaken. For
between this initial stage and ultimate action lay an ordeal of
inquiry and criticism, a process of weighing which he sometimes
renewed afresh in his own mind, even after his responsible advisers
had been convinced of the expediency of the proposed measure. He
insisted that each question should be thoroughly fought out by his
subordinates, sending it, if necessary, back and back, till every
disputed point was absolutely disposed of, before he allowed himself
to express his own views; nor did he commit himself to a line of
action until the chances had been exhausted of his having to alter
it, in consequence of new evidence coming to light. He had the art of
bringing to a focus whatever was sound in the advice of conflicting
Councillors, and all parties felt that their strongest arguments had
entered into, and were fairly represented by, the conclusion at which
he arrived. But they also felt that that conclusion was his own, and
that he would adhere to it. This openness to suggestion and to plans
of administrative improvement, followed by a carefully protracted
period of criticism and scrutiny, and backed by stedfastness in the
practical action which consummated it, formed the secret of Lord
Mayo's success as an Indian Viceroy.

{97} The strong individuality which marked his measures produced a
corresponding sense of personal responsibility in his own mind. Amid
the difficulties and trials, to be presently narrated, this feeling
sometimes pressed upon him with a weight under which even his robust
nature heaved. 'It is a hard task,' he wrote to a friend during the
first dark months of his grapple with deficit; 'but I am determined
to go through with it, though I fear bitter opposition where I least
expected it. I have put my hand to the work, and I am not going to
turn back; and I will kill, before I die, some of the abuses of
Indian Administration.'



{98}

CHAPTER IV

LORD MAYO'S DEALINGS WITH THE FEUDATORY STATES


The India of which Lord Mayo assumed charge in 1869 was a profoundly
different India from that which had, eleven years previously, passed
from the Company to the Crown. The fixed belief of the founders of
the British Empire in India had been, that the Native States must
inevitably, and in their own defence, be either openly or secretly
hostile to our rule. They held that by good government and a
scrupulous respect for the religions, customs, and rights of the
people, they might attach the population of the British Provinces.
But the Independent or Feudatory Native Powers in India must, in
their opinion, for ever remain a menace to our sway.

It was therefore the permanent policy of the greatest servants of the
East India Company to bring the Native States under subjection by
treaties, and, when they could do so without actual injustice, to
incorporate the lesser States into the British Dominions. In 1841 the
Government of India laid down the uniform principle 'to persevere in
the one clear and {99} direct course of abandoning no just and
honourable accession of territory or revenue, while all existing
claims of right are at the same time scrupulously respected.'

We have seen how, after the Mutiny, this policy of annexation was
deliberately reversed. The Queen of England, when she became the
Sovereign of India, became the protectress of all classes of the
Indian people. She declared in the most solemn manner her will 'that
the governments of the several Princes and Chiefs who now govern
their own territories should be perpetuated, and that the
representation and dignity of their houses should be continued.' In
1862 Lord Canning, as the first Viceroy of India, thus summed up the
new situation:--

'The last vestiges of the royal house of Delhi, from which, for our
own convenience, we had long been content to accept a vicarious
authority, have been swept away. The last pretender to the
representation of the Peshwá' (the Maráthá over-lord) 'has
disappeared. The Crown of England stands forward the unquestioned
ruler and paramount power in all India, and is, for the first time,
brought face to face with its Feudatories. There is a reality in the
suzerainty of the Sovereign of England which has never existed
before, and which is not only felt, but eagerly acknowledged, by the
Chiefs.'

The change in policy meant that an area of 600,000 square miles, with
a population of nearly 50 millions, under the Feudatory Chiefs, was
no longer a foreign {100} territory subject to annexation, but an
integral portion of the British Empire for whose welfare the Queen
became responsible in the sight of God and man. Her responsibility,
although not the direct responsibility of a sovereign, was the
responsibility of a suzerain. On Lord Canning and Lord Lawrence
devolved the heavy task of consolidating the Native States under the
changed régime. But the memories of the Mutiny still cast their
shadow over India throughout the period of their government. Lord
Mayo came as a new man to India, free from the recollections which
that terrible struggle had graven into the souls of all who took part
in it. The work of conquest had been effected by his predecessors,
the task of conciliation remained for him to accomplish.

'I, as the representative of the Queen,' he declared to the Rájput
Princes assembled in darbár, 'have come here to tell you, as you have
often been told before, that the desire of Her Majesty's Government
is to secure to you and to your successors the full enjoyment of your
ancient rights and the exercise of all lawful customs, and to assist
you in upholding the dignity and maintaining the authority which you
and your fathers have for centuries exercised in this land.

'But in order to enable us fully to carry into effect this our fixed
resolve, we must receive from you hearty and cordial assistance. If
we respect your rights and privileges, you should also respect {101}
the rights and regard the privileges of those who are placed beneath
your care. If we support you in your power, we expect in return good
government. We demand that everywhere, throughout the length and
breadth of Rájputána, justice and order shall prevail; that every
man's property shall be secure; that the traveller shall come and go
in safety; that the cultivator shall enjoy the fruits of his labour,
and the trader the produce of his commerce; that you shall make
roads, and undertake the construction of those works of irrigation
which will improve the condition of the people and swell the revenues
of your States; that you shall encourage education, and provide for
the relief of the sick.

'Be assured that we ask you to do all this for no other but your own
benefit. If we wished you to remain weak, we should say: Be poor, and
ignorant, and disorderly. It is because we wish you to be strong that
we desire to see you rich, instructed, and well-governed. It is for
such objects that the servants of the Queen rule in India; and
Providence will ever sustain the rulers who govern for the people's
good.

'I am here only for a time. The able and earnest officers who
surround me will, at no distant period, return to their English
homes; but the Power which we represent will endure for ages. Hourly
is this great Empire brought nearer and nearer to the throne of our
Queen. The steam-vessel and the railroad enable England, year by
year, to enfold India in a {102} closer embrace. But the coils she
seeks to entwine around her are no iron fetters, but the golden
chains of affection and of peace. The days of conquest are past; the
age of improvement has begun.

'Chiefs and Princes, advance in the right way, and secure to your
children's children, and to future generations of your subjects, the
favouring protection of a power who only seeks your good.'

'We see,' wrote one of his Councillors after his death,--'we see Lord
Mayo in every line of this speech, the frank and courteous and
enlightened gentleman; but, at the same time, the strong and worthy
representative of the Queen, and the unmistakeable ruler of the
Empire. Every Native Prince who met him looked upon Lord Mayo as the
ideal of an English Viceroy. They all felt instinctively that they
could place perfect confidence in everything that he told them; and
their respect, I ought rather to say their reverence, was all the
deeper, because, while they knew that he was their master, they felt
also that he was their friend.'

Lord Mayo discerned the evil as well as the good of our Feudatory
system. He was often sorely hurt by the spectacle of Native
mal-administration, which our principles of non-interference rendered
him powerless to amend. He found that the existing system allowed of
petty intermeddling, but often precluded salutary
intervention--straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel. His
mind was attracted to the possibility of developing a scheme which
would {103} secure to the Indian Feudatories their present
independence, and at the same time arm the suzerain power with
adequate checks on its abuse.

In his personal and social relations with the Feudatories, he made
them realise that the one path towards the Viceregal friendship was
the good government of their territories. The Indian Foreign Office
strictly regulates the official courtesies of a Governor-General to
each Prince, and these regulations Lord Mayo accurately observed. But
he made the Native Chiefs feel that beyond such State receptions
there was an interior region of intercourse and kindly interest, and
that this region was open to every one who deserved it, and to no one
else. He led them to see that his friendship had nothing to do with
the greatness of their territory, or their degree of political
independence, or the number of jealously counted guns which saluted
them from our forts. These considerations regulated his State
ceremonials; but his private friendship was only to be won by the
personal merit of character and conduct.

By his attitude he practically said to each: 'If you wish to be a
great man at my Court, govern well at home. Be just and merciful to
your people. We do not ask you whether you come with full hands, but
whether you come with clean hands. No presents that you may bring can
buy the British favour; no display which you may make will raise your
dignity in our eyes; no cringing or flattery will gain my friendship.
We estimate you not by the splendour of {104} your offerings to us,
nor by the pomp of your retinue here, but by your conduct to your
subjects at home. For ourselves, we have nothing to ask of you. But
for your people we demand good government, and we shall judge of you
by this standard alone. And in our private friendship and
hospitality, we shall prefer the smallest Feudatory who rules
righteously, to the greatest Prince who misgoverns his people.'

The Native Chiefs very soon understood the maxims which regulated his
personal relations towards them; and the outburst of passionate grief
that took place among them on his death proves whether the Indian
Princes are, or are not, capable of appreciating such a line of
conduct. As regards his public dealing with them, the four following
principles, although never formally enunciated in any single paper,
stand out in many letters and State documents from his pen:--

   I. Non-annexation and a fixed resolve that even the misrule of a
      Native Chief must not be used as a weapon for aggrandising our
      power.

  II. But a constant feeling of responsibility attached to the
      British Government as suzerain, for any serious misrule in
      Native States; and a firm determination to interfere when
      British interference became necessary to prevent misgovernment.
      Such interference to consist not in annexing the territory, but
      in displacing the Chief, and administering by British officers
      or a Native regency in the interest of the lawful heirs.

{105}

 III. Non-interference, and the lightest possible form of control,
      with Chiefs who governed well. Lord Mayo tried to make the
      Indian Feudatories feel that it rested with themselves to
      decide the degree of practical independence which they should
      enjoy, and that that degree would be strictly regulated by the
      degree of good government which they gave to their subjects.

  IV. Above all, and as an indispensable complement to his whole
      policy, the education of the younger Native Chiefs under
      British officers, and in a high sense of their responsibilities
      alike to their subjects and to the Suzerain Power.

I shall endeavour very briefly to show how Lord Mayo gave effect to
these principles.

I take first a case in which Lord Mayo recognised the necessity for
reform, but abstained from direct intervention. In the great Province
of Káthiáwár, with its 187 chiefdoms, Lord Mayo had to deal with the
relics of five centuries of Native misrule. He found many conflicting
claims to the soil and a number of ancient communities, each with a
vested right to depredation. The 'ex-ruling classes,' representatives
of old houses forcibly dispossessed, or of younger brothers of Chiefs
unable to live on their slender share of the inheritance; 'predatory
tribes,' and 'dangerous communities,' whose hereditary means of
livelihood was plunder; 'aboriginal races,' penned into the hills by
successive waves of invaders,--all these elements of {106} anarchy
still fermented in the population of Káthiáwár. Some venerable
customs also survived. Litigants still retained their right of
_báhirwátia_, literally, 'going out' against their neighbours. This
method of adjusting suits for real property consisted in forcing the
husbandmen to quit their villages, while the litigant retired with
his brethren to 'some asylum, whence he may carry on his depredations
with impunity.'

Lord Mayo keenly realised the evils from which Káthiáwár was
suffering; but he also clearly perceived the futility of attempting
to rush reforms upon the loose congeries of 187 chiefdoms that made
up the Province. While, therefore, he gradually introduced a better
system for the whole, he confined his more direct interference to a
leading principality which might serve as an object lesson to the
rest. One of the richest and most important States of the 'first
class' in Káthiáwár passed to a minor. Instead of bringing it under a
British regent, an experienced Native Minister and a picked Member of
the Bombay Civil Service were appointed as its joint-rulers. The
experiment succeeded admirably. Reforms which could not have been
introduced by an English regent without popular opposition, and which
would never have been introduced by a Native ruler at all, were
smoothly and harmoniously effected. The State became, with a minimum
of interference by the Suzerain Power, a model of prosperity and firm
administration.

But during Lord Mayo's Viceroyalty, as during {107} every other
General-Governorship, cases of Feudatory misrule--pure, simple, and
incorrigible--took place. In such instances he did not hesitate to
interfere in a manner that left no doubt as to the interpretation
which he gave to the duties of the Suzerain Power. He held that until
everything had been done to render the English surveillance in a
Native State as efficient as possible, he had no right to complain of
the Chief. He realised that the process by which an Indian State
casts its old skin of anarchy is necessarily a slow one. He kept his
hands clean of any faintest stain of annexation. But he made every
Feudatory in India clearly understand that if he persistently
misgoverned his subjects, the sceptre would be taken out of his
hands.

The State of Alwár afforded an example of this class. It was founded
in the latter half of the last century, by a Rájput soldier of
fortune, and had an area of 3000 square miles, a population of
three-quarters of a million, and an army of about 7000 men. In 1863
the young Hindu Chief attained his legal majority. His first act was
to take vengeance on the President of the Native Council of Regency
who had governed during his minority. In seven years he not only
squandered a cash-balance of 172,287 pounds saved during his
minority, together with the regular revenue of 200,000 pounds _per
annum_, but he had plunged the State into debt to the extent of
160,000 pounds. The current taxes were so forestalled, that the
balance due for the whole year would suffice but for two {108}
months' expenditure; the Mahárájá having hit on the clever financial
device of rewarding his creatures by 'orders on the harvest!'

Some of the items of his expenditure will repay notice. Over 4000
pounds a year were assigned to 'men whose sole duty it is to make
_saláms_ to the Chief'; over 5000 pounds to singers and dancing
girls; and 1900 pounds to wrestlers. 'The Mahárájá manifests the
utmost contempt of decency, drinking publicly with low Muhammadans,
and getting drunk nearly every day.' The revenues formerly spent on
the administration of justice and police had 'been devoted to the
Chief's private pleasures.' 'Indeed, the Chief himself is on terms of
intimacy with two _dakáit_ leaders,' i.e. heads of robber gangs. He
had confiscated the public lands assigned for the support of his
troops, and for the maintenance of religion, or for the relief of the
poor--one of the latter grants being 270 years old.

The result was to completely alienate the Rájá of Alwár from his
Rájput nobility and subjects. The nobility consisted of a powerful
body of Hindu Thákúrs, or barons. In vain they pleaded with him to
observe some measure in his excesses. His practical answer to them
was the disbandment of fifteen out of the eighteen Rájput troops of
cavalry, whose fathers had won the State for his ancestor, and the
enrollment of Muhammadan mercenaries in their stead. In March, 1870,
the news reached the Government of India that the people of Alwár had
risen, and that 2000 men were in the field against the Hindu Prince.

{109} Lord Mayo first laboured to do what was possible by arbitration
between the unworthy Prince and his revolted subjects. But the
nobility would have been contented with nothing short of the
deposition of the Chief. Lord Mayo interfered to prevent so extreme a
measure. He gave the Prince a last chance, by summoning him to name a
Board of Management which would command the confidence of his people;
and the Chief having neglected to do so, Lord Mayo issued orders for
the creation of a Native Council at Alwár. The Council consisted of
the leading nobility in the State, with the British Political Agent
as President--the Mahárájá having a seat next to the President.

Under the efficient management of this board, Alwár speedily emerged
from its troubles. The Chief received an allowance of 18,000 pounds a
year for his personal expenditure, exclusive of the permanent
establishments required for his dignity as titular head of the State.
These establishments included, among other things, 100 riding-horses,
26 carriage-horses, and 40 camels, at the disposal of His Highness.
The remainder of the revenue was devoted to paying off the debt and
to replacing the administration on an efficient basis. Peace was
firmly established; the courts were reopened; schools were founded;
and crime was firmly put down by an improved police.

The Chief still clung to his lowest favourites, and, so far as his
debauched habits allowed him to interfere at all, he interfered for
evil. At a State darbár on {110} the Queen's birthday, he publicly
insulted his nobility. Lord Mayo, however, still adhered to his
resolve to govern Alwár by means of its own Native Council, rather
than by any expedient which might bear the faintest resemblance to
annexation. 'I fear this young Chief is incorrigible,' he wrote early
in 1871, 'but we must pursue the course of treatment we have laid
down, firmly and consistently. The whole action of this Chief is that
of a mischievous and wily creature, who finds himself over-matched,
tightly bound, and unable to do further harm.' Lord Mayo plainly told
him that the only chance of 'his being ever freed from the Council'
would depend on his showing 'symptoms of repentance, and a
determination to reconcile himself with his subjects.'

But this amendment was not to be. The Native Council of Management
went on with its work of improvement and reform. The Chief held
himself sullenly aloof, and sank deeper and deeper into the slough of
evil habits, until he died, a worn-out old man of twenty-nine, in
1874.

This was the most serious case of Native misrule during Lord Mayo's
Viceroyalty, and the only one in which he had to push interference to
the point of superseding the hereditary Prince. Another instance of
mal-administration was visited with a severe rebuke, which the Chief
resented, and refused to take his proper place at a Viceregal darbár
in the seat below the head of the ancient Udaipur house. The offender
was promptly ordered to quit British territory in {111} disgrace, and
was further punished by having his salute reduced from seventeen to
fifteen guns.

It is only fair to the Indian Feudatories to state, that against
these examples of misrule many instances could be cited of wise
government and a high sense of duty. Lord Mayo gathered round him a
circle of Chiefs whose character he personally admired, and in whose
administration he took a well-founded pride. Of such territories,
Bhopál may serve as an illustration. It is one of the Feudatory
States of Central India which exercise sovereign powers over their
own subjects: has an area of 6764 square miles, a population of
663,656 souls, and yields a revenue to its Chief of 240,000 pounds a
year. Its army, besides a British Contingent which the Chief was
bound to maintain by the treaty of 1818, amounted to 4000 men.

The State of Bhopál was founded in 1723 by an Afghán adventurer, who
expelled the Hindu Chiefs, built a fortress, and assumed the title of
Nawáb. In 1778, when a British army under General Goddard marched
through Central India, Bhopál stood forward as the one State friendly
to our power. The Maráthá aggressions of the early part of the
present century compelled it, like many other Indian States, to seek
English aid. In 1819 it acknowledged the supremacy of our Government,
was received under the British protection, and was rewarded by some
valuable districts which we had won from the Maráthás. The Mutiny of
1857 found Bhopál under the government of a {112} lady, the
celebrated Sikandar Begam, whose wise administration had raised her
State to a high rank among the Indian Feudatories. For her loyal
services at that juncture she was created a Grand Commander of the
Star of India, and dying in 1868, left her territory to a daughter
worthy of her blood.

This Princess, at the time of her accession in 1868, was a widow of
thirty-one years of age. She inherited her mother's firmness and good
sense, with a rare aptitude for the duties of administration. During
Lord Mayo's Viceroyalty she devoted herself to the measures of
progress which the Viceroy pressed on every Feudatory Chief who came
under his influence. She opened out roads, organised a system of
public instruction, executed a survey of her State, reformed the
police, suppressed the abominable but deep-rooted trade of kidnapping
minors for immoral purposes, and improved the jails. Lord Mayo
received her in his capital with marks of distinction, and, on the
occasion of the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, presented her with
honour to His Royal Highness. The Princess carried back to her State
the liveliest recollections of his hospitality and kindness, and the
next few years of her rule became conspicuous for good government and
prudent administrative reforms.

Her Highness was created a Grand Commander of the Star of India, as
the ruler of a model State.

Lord Mayo entertained very stringent views as to the duties of the
Government of India towards the {113} wilder frontier tribes. He held
that, while his Government was bound to preserve the peace of the
border, it was bound to do so not by vindictive chastisements for
raids committed, but by a more perfect organisation of preventive
measures.

In one case on the North-Western Frontier of India, after persistent
provocations, it had been locally proposed to deal with the
mountaineers by means of a force to be kept ready to make reprisals
at a moment's notice, in the event of future raids. Lord Mayo, after
reviewing the recent events, thus declared his policy:--'The whole
recommendation comes to this--that in the early part of spring a
large force should be assembled at different points within the hills;
and that this force, being placed absolutely at the disposal of the
officers who believe that the burning of crops and the destruction of
villages by British troops are indispensable to the maintenance of
the peace of the frontier, should, at the least appearance of robbery
or raid, advance into the hills and commence the old system of
devastation.' Lord Mayo then points out that such a force, acting on
the moment, would be beyond the guidance of the Government of India,
and that that Government 'might find itself involved in serious
military operations, upon the character, justice, or necessity of
which the Governor-General in Council never had an opportunity of
expressing an opinion.' 'I object to authorise action which may cause
such serious results.'

'No one can read ----'s letter without coming to {114} the conclusion
that there still exists in the minds of the local authorities an
ardent though partly concealed desire for that avenging policy which
the Government of India is so anxious to avoid.' Lord Mayo proposed
'to substitute, as far as possible, for surprise, aggression, and
reprisal, a policy of vigilant, constant, and never-ceasing defence
of those parts of our frontier which are by their position liable to
be attacked by foreign tribes.'

It had been objected that such a system of watchful defence 'must act
as a constant menace to the tribes.' To this Lord Mayo replies: 'I
cannot see the force of this objection. The presence of a policeman
is indeed a standing menace to the thief; and a sight of the gallows
may be a salutary reminder to the murderer. It is, I fear, too much
the habit to adopt what is doubtless the view taken by the
mountaineers themselves of these affairs. They look upon them as acts
of war and justifiable aggression. We have to teach them that
assassination, the attack of a defenceless village by night, and
killing people in their beds, are not acts of war, but are esteemed
by civilised nations to be acts of murder. The sooner we teach these
people this lesson the better. We have already taught it to millions
who are less intelligent than the Patháns of the Hazára frontier.'

Lord Mayo's policy was to remove such crimes from the operations of
honourable warfare into the jurisdiction of a strong armed police. To
the objection that a raid, unless avenged by a military {115}
expedition, would impair 'our prestige on the frontier,' he answers:
'I object to fight for prestige. And even those who may still think
that killing people for the sake of prestige is morally right, will
hardly assert that the character and authority of the British arms in
India are affected one way or the other by skirmishes with wild
frontier tribes. But there are other considerations connected with
the subject, of wider and greater import than the punishment of a few
mountain savages, and the vindication of a local officer's prestige.
Every shot fired in anger within the limits of our Indian Empire
reverberates throughout Asia; gives to nations who are no friends to
Christian or European rule the notion that amongst our own subjects
there are still men in arms against us; and corroborates the
assertion that the people within our frontier are not yet wholly
subjected to our sway, and that the British power is still disputed
in Hindustán.'

The other example which I shall cite of Lord Mayo's frontier policy
will be taken from the opposite extremity of India, and it may seem
at first to point to views different from the above. In 1871 the
Viceroy sanctioned an expedition against the Lúshai tribes of the
North-Eastern border. These races occupy the then _terra incognita_
which stretches from the Cachar valley to the Chittagong District on
the Bay of Bengal; and from Hill Tipperah on the west to the great
watershed which pours its eastern drainage into the rivers of Burma.
As regards the event {116} of the expedition, it may be briefly said
that it was perfectly successful, and that, by the infliction of the
smallest possible amount of temporary suffering, it introduced, for a
period, order and peace into tracts which had been from time
immemorial the haunt of rapine and inter-tribal wars.

Lord Mayo, however, would have been the last man to claim any special
credit for success in such operations. 'The affair,' he wrote,
'should be conducted with as little parade, noise, and fuss as
possible. It must not be looked upon as a campaign, for no formidable
resistance is anticipated. It should be looked upon more as a
military occupation and visitation of as large a portion of the
Lúshai Districts as possible, for the purpose of punishing the guilty
where they can be traced and found, but more particularly for showing
these savages that there is hardly a part of their hills which our
armed forces cannot visit and penetrate.'

But while Lord Mayo dealt thus firmly, and at the same time
considerately, with the Indian Feudatories and wild frontier tribes,
he clearly perceived that our whole relations with the Native States
of India must undergo a profound change. The Indian Feudatories had,
as I have repeatedly insisted on, ceased to be semi-foreign allies of
a commercial company. They had become an integral part of the India
of the Queen. It was Lord Mayo's earnest desire that a new generation
of Native Princes should be trained up to discharge the new and
higher functions involved by this change. {117} He believed that this
could only be done by a carefully devised system of education,
adapted to the various classes of Chiefs.

Whenever a great Native State passed to a minor, he held it the duty
of the Suzerain Power to do two things. In the first place, to make
such arrangements by means of a Native or a mixed regency, as would
secure a good local administration, and at the same time convince
both the ministers and the people of the State that the British
Suzerain respected their independence and would scrupulously maintain
it. In the second place, to make such arrangements for the education
of the young Prince as would train him up in English rather than
Native ideas of his responsibility as a ruler. He believed that this
work of rearing up the young Feudatories to a high sense of their
public duty was a worthy work for British officers of rank and
talent. The system of educating the Native Princes under English
guardians or tutors has borne blessed fruit. It rendered possible
those subsequent measures for incorporating the military strength of
the Native States into the general array of the Empire, which form
perhaps the most important political reform in India during the last
quarter of this century.

Lord Mayo was not content with providing for the education of the
great Indian Feudatories alone. Under his auspices colleges were
established for the lesser Chiefs. Such a college formed a part of
his scheme for improving the condition of Káthiáwár. {118} For he
held it vain to expect that a large collection of Native Chiefs would
discharge their responsibilities as men, unless they were properly
trained as boys. The rank of these youths had hitherto confined them
to private education under the indulgent influences of the Zanáná.
Lord Mayo designed for them an Indian Eton, in which they should mix
with each other, and learn to fit themselves for the duties of their
future position in life.

Another, and perhaps more conspicuous, example was the Mayo College
at Ajmere, to which the Native Chiefs themselves subscribed 70,000
pounds sterling. This institution Lord Mayo intended to be a purely
aristocratic College for Rájputána, where the sons of the Rájput
Princes and noblemen would be brought into direct contact with
European professors and European ideas, and under the healthy
influences of physical and moral training. The Council of the College
consists of all the principal Chiefs of Rájputána and the British
Political Agents accredited to their States, with the Viceroy as
President, and the Agent to the General-Governor in Rájputána as
Vice-President.

I believe, if Lord Mayo were now alive, it would be his educational
policy for the Native Princes of India, rather than his immediate
dealings with them, however successful, that he would regard as the
most beneficent memorial of his feudatory rule.



{119}

CHAPTER V

LORD MAYO'S FOREIGN POLICY


When Lord Mayo entered on his Viceroyalty, three Asiatic States were
in disorder beyond the North-Western Frontier, and two great Powers
were stealthily but steadily advancing towards India through those
disordered States. On the Punjab Frontier, Afghánistán had just
emerged from six years of anarchy; and Russia was casting hungry eyes
on Afghánistán as a line of approach to India. On the Sind Frontier,
Balúchistán was the scene of a chronic struggle between the ruling
power and the tribal Chiefs; while Persia was taking advantage of
that struggle to encroach upon the Western Provinces of Balúchistán.
In the far north, beyond Kashmír, the new Muhammadan State of Eastern
Turkestán had erected itself on a ruined fragment of the Chinese
Empire, and was looking eagerly out for recognition on the one side
to Russia, and on the other side to the British Government of India.

Lord Mayo's foreign policy was therefore of necessity a Central Asian
policy. Its immediate object was {120} to create out of the
disordered territories of Afghánistán and Balúchistán two friendly
powers, who should have not only the desire to be our friends, but
also the strength which might make their friendship worth having. Its
ulterior design was, by thus erecting a breakwater of faithful States
around the North-Western Frontier of India, to counterbalance the
ominous preponderance which Russia had lately acquired in Central
Asia. Its result has been, as I mentioned in my opening chapter, to
supply the necessary complement to the change inaugurated by
Dalhousie; and to remove the relations of Russia and England in the
East from the arena of Asiatic intrigue to the jurisdiction of
European diplomacy.

During the seven years preceding Lord Mayo's arrival, the British
policy towards Afghánistán had been subjected to an increasing
strain, and a few months before his arrival that policy had
manifestly broken down. Our relations with Afghánistán continued
nominally on the basis laid down by Mr. [afterwards Lord] Lawrence
and Major Lumsden in 1858. Its cardinal principle was, in Major
Lumsden's words, 'to have as little to say to Afghánistán as
possible, beyond maintaining friendly and intimate intercourse with
the _de facto_ Government.' But in 1863, on the death of the powerful
Afghán ruler, Dost Muhammad, the _de facto_ Government of Afghánistán
disappeared. A war of succession followed among the sons and nephews
of the late Amír. Sher Alí, the rightful successor, was for a time
driven out {121} of the field by his brother Afzul Khán, in 1866.
Instead, therefore, of a single _de facto_ Government in
Afghánistán--such as existed in 1858--there were at least two Rulers,
each of whom claimed to be the Sovereign Power.

Lord Lawrence still endeavoured to maintain our relations with that
country upon the basis laid down in 1858. Both the claimants to the
succession asked for the recognition of the British Government. Lord
Lawrence expressed his willingness to recognise either of them who
should succeed in establishing a _de facto_ Government. 'My friend,'
he wrote to Afzul Khán, when he had obtained a footing in Kábul, 'the
relations of this Government are with the actual Rulers of
Afghánistán. If your Highness is able to consolidate your power in
Kábul, and is sincerely desirous of being a friend and ally of the
British Government, I shall be ready to accept your Highness as
such.'

The Afgháns retorted that this policy was a direct premium upon
successful revolt, and tended to render the establishment of any
stable government in Afghánistán impossible. It amounted, in their
view, to a declaration that the British Government, while anxious to
obtain the support of the Afghán Ruler, was willing to turn against
that Ruler the moment that a rebel made head against him, and to
transfer its friendship to the rebel Chief. 'It is difficult,' said
the indignant Afgháns, 'for any nation to get on with the English.
The meaning of this letter would {122} appear to be that the English
desire that our family shall exterminate one another.... Without
doubt they will have written the same to Sher Alí.'

Lord Lawrence did not shrink from accepting this situation. As a
matter of fact, he was not only willing to recognise any successful
claimant to the sovereignty of Afghánistán; he was also willing to
extend that recognition to even a partially successful claimant, to
the extent which such a claimant might have succeeded in dismembering
the country. 'So long,' Lord Lawrence distinctly declared to Afzul
Khán, 'as Amír Sher Alí holds Herát and maintains friendship with the
British Government, I shall recognise him as Ruler of Herát, and
shall reciprocate his amity. But, upon the same principle, I am
prepared to recognise your Highness as Amír of Kábul and Kandahár,
and I frankly offer your Highness in that capacity the peace and
goodwill of the British Government.'

This policy, instead of making allies of the two claimants, excited
the wrath of both. Sher Alí, on hearing of the above declaration,
exclaimed, 'The English look to nothing but their own interests, and
bide their time. Whosoever's side they see the strongest for the
time, they turn to him as their friend. I will not waste precious
life in entertaining false hopes from the English, and will enter
into friendship with other Governments.'

There was another Government which was only too happy to accept the
friendship thus offered. If {123} Russia could intervene as the ally
of Afghánistán, and consolidate a sovereign power in that State, she
would not only pose as the arbiter of Central Asia, but would also
establish a commanding influence on the very frontier of India. Lord
Lawrence, before he left India, recognised this fact. In the summer
of 1868, Sher Alí, by a desperate effort, regained the throne, and
entered Kábul in triumph. In September, 1868, he finally drove his
rival claimants out of the country. Meanwhile Sir Henry Rawlinson had
penned in England his memorable Minute of the 20th July, 1868. 'The
fortunes of Sher Alí are again in the ascendant,' he wrote. 'He
should be secured in our interests without delay. Provided he is
unentangled with Russia, the restoration of his father's subsidy, and
the moral support of the British Indian Government, would probably be
sufficient to place him above all opposition, and to secure his
fidelity; and it may indeed be necessary to furnish him with arms and
officers, or even to place an auxiliary contingent at his disposal.'

During the last four months of his rule, Lord Lawrence pondered
deeply over these words. On the 4th of January, 1869, he sent a
Despatch to the Secretary of State, which may fitly be regarded as
the political testament of the wearied Viceroy. 'We think that
endeavours might be made to come to a clear understanding with the
Court of St. Petersburg as to its projects and designs in Central
Asia, and that it might be given to understand in firm, but {124}
courteous language, that it cannot be permitted to interfere in the
affairs of Afghánistán or in those of any State which lies contiguous
to our frontier.' 'Then we think that our relations to the Court of
Teheran should be placed entirely under the Secretary of State for
India, and that we should be empowered to give to any _de facto_
ruler of Kábul some arms and ammunition and substantial pecuniary
assistance, as well as moral support, as occasion may offer, but
without any formal or defensive alliance.'

'I cannot bring my mind,' wrote Sir Stafford Northcote, then
Secretary of State for India, 'to the proposal that we should
subsidise first one, and then the other, according as accident brings
up Sher Alí or Abdul Rahman to the head of affairs.'

Nine days after Lord Lawrence signed his political testament, Lord
Mayo reached Calcutta. On the new Viceroy devolved the heavy
responsibility of carrying out the transition policy, somewhat
vaguely indicated by his predecessor, in such a way as to disclose no
break in the continuity of the Indian Government. In March 1869, the
Amír Sher Alí, who had meanwhile consolidated his power in
Afghánistán, came in state to India to pay his respects to the new
Governor-General. I do not propose to record the splendours of the
Ambálá Darbár. All well-managed Darbárs are imposing, and form an
oriental edition of the Field of the Cloth of Gold. I had the
privilege of being a guest of the Viceroy at the historical gathering
of troops, Native Princes, and British {125} administrators which
encamped on the Ambálá Plain. But if I were to enter on the
spectacular aspects of an Indian Viceroy's career this book would
swell far beyond the limits assigned to it. My business is with the
less imposing but more permanent work actually accomplished. From the
moment the Amír crossed our frontier he was received with a
magnificence of hospitality which deeply impressed him. At Lahor he
let fall the words, 'I now begin to feel myself a King.'

Sher Alí came to India with five distinct objects in view. He
desired, in the first place, a treaty. In the second place, he hoped
for a fixed annual subsidy. In the third place, for assistance in
arms or in men, to be given 'not when the British Government might
think fit to grant, but when he might think it needful to solicit
it.' In the fourth place, for a well-defined engagement, 'laying the
British Government under an obligation to support the Afghán
Government in any emergency; and not only that Government generally,
but that Government as vested in himself and his direct descendants,
and in no others.'[1] Finally, he cherished a desire that he might
obtain some constructive act of recognition by the British Government
in favour of his younger son, Abdullá Ján, whom he brought with him,
and whom he wished to make his heir, to the exclusion of his elder
son, Yákub Khán, who had helped him to win the throne.

[Footnote 1: Minute in Council, by the Hon. Sir John Strachey,
G.C.S.I., sometime acting Governor-General, dated 30th April, 1872.]

{126} In not one of these objects was the Amír successful. The first
four were distinctly negatived; the fifth was not, I believe, even
permitted to enter into the discussions. Lord Mayo adhered to a
programme which he had deliberately put in writing before he left
Calcutta. Yet, by tact and by conciliatory firmness, he sent the Amír
away satisfied, and deeply impressed with the advantage of being on
good terms with the British Power. 'We have distinctly intimated to
the Amír,' he wrote, 'that under no circumstances shall a British
soldier cross his frontier to assist him in coercing his rebellious
subjects. That no fixed subsidy or money allowance will be given for
any named period. That no promise of assistance in other ways will be
made. That no treaty will be entered into, obliging us under every
circumstance to recognise him and his descendants as rulers of
Afghánistán. Yet that, by the most open and absolute present
recognition, and by every public evidence of friendly disposition, of
respect for his character, and interest in his fortunes, we are
prepared to give him all the moral support in our power; and that, in
addition, we are willing to assist him with money, arms, ammunition,
Native artificers, and in other ways, whenever we deem it desirable
so to do.'

These may seem but small concessions compared with the expectations
which the Amír had formed. But they were all that Lord Mayo deemed it
right to grant, and he granted them in such a way as to {127} render
the Amír a firm and grateful friend during the whole of his
Viceroyalty.

The Amír, on his return to Kábul, initiated English improvements with
an amusing promptitude. He forbade his troops and the inhabitants to
wear arms between 10 P.M. and 4 A.M. He appointed night watchmen, and
a judicial officer to hear petitions from the citizens. He
established post offices. He substituted cash payments for the old
practice of paying the Government servants by assignments of land or
revenue. He ordered the shoemakers of Kábul to sell off all their old
stock, and to make boots according to the English pattern! He dressed
himself in the English costume of coat and pantaloons, and directed
his officers to do the same! He organised a Council of State,
composed of thirteen members, as a constitutional body for advising
him in all departments of the administration. He remitted the more
terrible forms of punishment, and pardoned several ancient enemies.
In short, he did what in him lay to establish good government and win
the confidence of his people. Rapid reforms, however, are usually
short-lived. The most promising of them, namely, the substitution of
cash payments for assignments on the revenue, was so violently
opposed by the official class in Afghánistán, from the great
_Sardárs_ downwards, that, so far as I can learn, it was never really
introduced.

'Surround India,' wrote Lord Mayo, shortly after the Ambálá Darbár,
'with strong, friendly, and independent States, who will have more
interest in {128} keeping well with us than with any other Power, and
we are safe.' 'Our influence,' he says in another letter, 'has been
considerably strengthened, both in our own territories and also in
the States of Central Asia, by the Ambálá meeting; and if we can only
persuade people that our policy really is non-intervention and peace,
that England is at this moment the only non-aggressive Power in Asia,
we should stand on a pinnacle of power that we have never enjoyed
before.'

Lord Mayo's next object was to open conciliatory relations with
Russia by honestly explaining the real nature of the change which had
taken place. He accepted Russia's splendid vitality in Central Asia
as a fact neither to be shirked nor condemned, but as one which, by
vigilant firmness, might be rendered harmless to ourselves. The
formal relations between the Courts of St. James and St. Petersburg
are of course conducted by the Foreign Office in England. But Lord
Mayo's travels in Russia had given him an insight into the strong
personal element in the working of the Russian official system, and
had made several of the Russian Ministers his warm friends for life.
Without interfering, therefore, with the regular relations between
the two Courts, he thought it might be advantageous that an
unofficial interchange of views should take place between the high
officers connected with the actual administration of Asiatic affairs.

He therefore took the opportunity of a distinguished Bengal Civilian
going home on leave, to authorise him, {129} if it met with the
concurrence of Her Majesty's Ministers, to give assurances to the
leading Russian officials of his peaceful policy, and to enter into
frank and friendly explanations on Central Asian affairs. Sir Douglas
(then Mr.) Forsyth reached St. Petersburg in October 1869. The result
of the confidential interchange of opinions which followed was the
acceptance of Lord Mayo's view that the best security for peace in
Central Asia consisted in maintaining the great States on the Indian
frontier in a position of effective independence. Efforts were also
made to prevent the recurrence of those unauthorised aggressions by
Russian frontier officers, which had kept Central Asia in perpetual
turmoil. Of these efforts it may be briefly said that they were
successful during the term of Lord Mayo's Viceroyalty.

In the interviews of Sir Douglas Forsyth with the Russian Minister of
War and the Minister of the Asiatic Department it was agreed that
Russia should respect as Afghánistán all the Provinces which Sher Alí
then held, that the Oxus should be the boundary line of Sher Alí's
dominions on the north, and that both England and Russia should do
their best to prevent aggressions by the Asiatic States under their
control. Lord Mayo lost no time in securing for Sher Alí the
guarantee of a recognised boundary against the Amír's neighbours in
Central Asia. In 1871 the Russians, however, raised grave objections
to Badakshán being included within the Afghán line. This question was
settled by friendly negotiations {130} in 1872. In January, 1873,
Count Schouvaloff arrived in London to personally express the
Emperor's sanction to the disputed territories being recognised as
part of Afghánistán. Subsequent delimitations have given precision to
the frontier. But practically it may be said that Afghánistán, as
territorially defined by Lord Mayo in 1869, remained substantially
the Afghánistán of the following twenty years.

Having thus placed the affairs of Afghánistán on a satisfactory
footing, Lord Mayo turned his attention to the great territories
which stretch southward from it along our Sind Frontier and eastwards
to Persia. He found that our relations with these territories,
loosely named Balúchistán or Khelát, were perplexed by two distinct
sets of complications--one external, the other internal. The first
referred to the frontier between Balúchistán and Persia. This had
never been settled, and had for generations formed the arena of
mutual aggressions and sanguinary raids. The internal complication
arose from the ill-defined position of the Khán or Ruler towards his
nobility. According to one party in Khelát, the Khán is the Sovereign
of the State; according to another, he is the head of a confederacy
of Chiefs. The net result was, that what between wars of
extermination on the Persian Frontier, and the internecine struggle
between the royalist and oligarchic parties within the State,
Balúchistán knew no rest, and might at any moment prove a troublesome
neighbour. Her internal rebellions and {131} her border feuds
rendered it very hard to discover with whom the actual authority
rested, or how far it extended, and made it difficult for the British
Government to take measures for the consolidation of the titular
ruler's power.

Lord Mayo vigorously addressed himself to the solution of both the
external and the internal problem of Balúchistán. His action led to
the demarcation of a political boundary between Afghánistán and
Persia; which practically put an end to the aggressions of the
latter. He displayed not less vigour in trying to help Balúchistán to
evolve from her conflicting factions a stable and permanent central
power. The task proved a most difficult one. Each of the great
parties in Balúchistán had a real basis of right on which to found
its claims. The nobles could show that they had frequently controlled
the Khán, and compelled him to act as the head of a confederacy of
Chiefs rather than as a supreme ruler. The Khán could prove that
although he had from time to time succumbed to his rebellious barons,
yet that he had only done so after a struggle, and that he had
exercised his royal authority whenever he again found himself strong
enough.

The question resembled the worn-out discussion as to whether England
was or was not a limited monarchy under the Plantagenets. The
constitutional difficulties in Balúchistán were embittered by wrongs
both great and recent on both sides; and at the time of Lord Mayo's
death, its consolidation into a {132} well-governed kingdom yet
remained to be accomplished. He lived, however, to see his efforts
bear fruit in a period of unwonted rest to its unhappy population,
and to place the whole problem in a fair train for settlement. Before
his sudden end, he had the satisfaction of being able to authorise a
high British officer to act as arbitrator between the Khán and the
tribal Chiefs.

Due north of India, beyond Kashmír and the Himálayas, another State
made pressing claims on Lord Mayo's attention. This State was known
as Eastern Turkestán. It owed its origin to one of those revivals,
partly religious, partly political, which at that time threatened to
dismember the Chinese Empire. The Panthays had proved the efficacy of
such a revival by the establishment of an independent Muhammadan
State in the south-west of China. The Chinese Musalmáns of the Desert
of Gobi on the far north-western frontier followed their example, and
ended by raising their rebellion to the dignity of a holy war. The
Chinese authorities were expelled and all who supported them were
massacred. In 1864 the new Musalmán Power, composed of very
heterogeneous elements, found itself in possession of Eastern
Turkestán. After a further struggle among the victors, Yákúb
Kushbegí, a brave soldier of fortune, emerged in 1869 as the Ruler of
the vast central territory which stretched eastwards from the Pamír
Steppe to the Chinese Frontier, and from the British-protected State
of Kashmír on the south to {133} the Russian outposts on the Shan and
Muzart ranges on the north.

In January, 1870, an envoy from the new Ruler arrived in India to
solicit, _inter alia_, that a British officer might accompany him
back on a friendly visit to his master. Lord Mayo consented to send
Mr. Douglas Forsyth on one express condition--that in no sense was
the visit to be a mission, nor was it to have a diplomatic object.

Mr. Forsyth was to abstain from taking part in any political
questions, or in any internal disputes, further than repeating the
general advice already given to Yákúb's envoy by Lord Mayo: namely,
that Yákúb would best consult the interests of his kingdom by a
watchful, just, and vigorous government; by strengthening the
defences of his frontier; and above all, by not interfering in the
political affairs of other States, or in the quarrels of Chiefs or
tribes that did not directly concern his own interests. Mr. Forsyth
was to limit his stay in the country, so as to run no risk of finding
the Himálayan passes closed by the winter's snow, and of thus being
detained in Yárkand till the following year. He was to collect full
and trustworthy information concerning the nature and resources of
Eastern Turkestán and the neighbouring countries, their recent
history, their present political condition, their capabilities for
trade, the Indian staples most in demand, their price in the Yárkand
market, and the articles which could be most profitably brought to
India in exchange.

{134} Mr. Forsyth, on his arrival in the Yárkand territory, found
that Yákúb had not yet succeeded in consolidating his dominions. He
scrupulously abstained from being drawn into political discussions of
any sort, and after a brief halt at the southern capital, Yárkand, to
refit his camp with provisions and beasts of burden, he returned to
India. He brought back complete information regarding the most
practicable routes across the Himálayas, the industrial capabilities
and resources of the country, its recent history, and the actual
position of its Ruler. From first to last he made it clearly
understood that his mission was of a purely tentative and commercial
character.

As a part of the same policy, Lord Mayo opened up a free trade-route
through the Chang Chenmu valley by a treaty with Kashmír, and placed
the transit of Indian merchandise across the Himálayas on a securer
basis. The traffic which will pay the cost of carriage across the
snowy altitudes of Central Asia can never seem great, when expressed
in figures and compared with the enormous sea-borne exports and
imports of India. But it is a very lucrative one to certain classes
in the inland and warlike Province of the Punjab, whose population we
were trying to habituate to peaceful industry by every ameliorating
influence of wealth and commerce.

I have now described the measures which Lord Mayo took in pursuance
of his fixed resolve to create a cordon of friendly and well-governed
States on our western and northern frontier, from Balúchistán on
{135} the Arabian Sea, round by Afghánistán, to Eastern Turkestán. He
acted in the same spirit to his neighbours along the north-eastern
and south-eastern borders of the British dominions. Towards Nepál he
maintained an attitude alike firm, friendly, and dignified, and
consolidated the satisfactory relations which he found existing with
that State. On the north-east of Bengal he may be said to have
created a frontier, by means of the Lúshai Expedition, and to have
given to those long distracted regions a period of quiet and peace.
Proceeding farther south, we find him equally busy in Burma,
restraining the warlike propensities of the king, developing trade
relations, and enforcing respect for the British Power. But the hard
work of his foreign policy lay on the western and north-western
frontier, and I have given so much space to its narration, that I
must close this chapter without branching out into less essential
details.



{136}

CHAPTER VI

LORD MAYO'S FINANCIAL REFORMS


The financial history of Lord Mayo's Viceroyalty divides itself into
two parts. The first narrates the resolute stand which, at the outset
of his administration, he found himself compelled to make against
deficit. The second records the measures by which, after grappling
with the immediate crisis, he endeavoured to reform certain grave
defects in the financial system, and to bring about a permanent
equilibrium between the revenue and the expenditure of India.

When Lord Mayo received charge of the country the financial position
stood thus. The conquests and accretions of a century had left behind
a British Indian Empire nearly equal in size to all Europe less
Russia, with a population of close on 200 millions in our own
Provinces, and 50 millions in the Feudatory States. The cost of
creating that Empire was represented in 1869-70 by a Public Debt of
102 millions sterling; together with another debt of 91 millions
sterling expended on the guaranteed railways and other productive
public works. Of the Public Debt, aggregating 102 millions, about 52
millions may {137} be taken as the charges of establishing the
British Power in India, and 50 millions as the price of reconquering
and reorganising the Empire after the Mutiny of 1857. The 102
millions represented, however, not alone the cost of wars and
conquests. For the English in India had to construct for themselves
the whole fabric of a civilised government. That material fabric
included roads, public offices, barracks, courts, jails, schools,
hospitals; and this vast outlay explains in part the frequent
financial deficits to which I shall presently refer. The other debt
of 91 millions represented the cost of constructing 4265 miles of
opened railway, and of defending great tracts from famine by
canals.[1] The two debts aggregated a capital of 193 millions
sterling laid out in conquering, establishing, and organising the
British India of 1869-70, the first year of Lord Mayo's rule. The
revenue amounted to 509 millions of rupees, then equivalent to over
46 millions sterling: namely 33-1/2 millions of taxation from the
people, or about 3_s_. 4_d_. per head, and 12-1/2 millions from
opium, public works, &c., not of the nature of actual Indian
taxation.[2]

[Footnote 1: To facilitate reference by the reader I take the above
figures as given in the Parliamentary Abstract, Twenty-third Number,
1889, p. 300. But in the subsequent and more detailed statements
(except in direct quotations from State Papers), I convert the rupee
for the sake of accuracy at 1_s_. 10_d_., its value at the time.
Where my figures seem to differ from those in certain of the Blue
Books, the explanation usually is that the Blue Books take the rupee
at its nominal value of 2_s_.]

[Footnote 2: For details of this calculation, see my larger _Life of
Lord Mayo_, vol. ii, p. 6: 2nd Ed., 1876.]

{138} Alike in regard to the amount of the Public Debt of British
India and to the burden of taxation upon the people, the finances of
that country may seem to compare favourably with those of almost any
State in the world. But a nearer examination discloses a different
aspect. Small as were the demands of the Treasury upon the tax-payer,
it had been found impossible to augment them to the level required
for the maintenance of efficient administration. Several of the
highest of our Indian authorities believed that it would be perilous
to do so. The half-century which preceded Lord Mayo's arrival in
India had presented a long series of financial shortcomings. Of the
fifty-five years beginning with 1814-15, and ending with 1868-69,
only sixteen had shown a surplus, while thirty-nine had been years of
deficit. The total of the surplus amounted to about 12-1/2 millions
sterling; the deficits exceeded 75-1/2 millions of pounds. The period
immediately preceding Lord Mayo's arrival was, if possible, even more
discouraging. The last three years from 1866 to 1869, had left behind
deficits aggregating 5-3/4 millions sterling. This was for 'ordinary'
expenditure alone. If we add the outlay on 'extraordinary' (or
reproductive) public works, the total excess of expenditure over
revenue in the three years preceding Lord Mayo's first Budget
amounted to the vast sum of 11 millions sterling.

Nor was the chronic inadequacy of the Revenue the gravest source of
disquietude. The Budget estimates, although framed with the utmost
care which the then {139} existing system allowed of, were constantly
falsified by the results. During the two years from 1867 to 1869 the
Budget estimates had shown a surplus aggregating over 3-1/2 millions,
while the actual results disclosed a deficit aggregating close on
3-1/2 millions. Lord Mayo was thus called to deal not only with a
chronic deficit, but with a financial system which allowed of an
aggregate error in the Budget estimates to the extent of 7 millions
sterling on the wrong side during the two years preceding his rule.

Lord Mayo found therefore three financial tasks imposed on him. He
had first of all to attack the immediate deficit: amounting to 2-1/2
millions in the year immediately preceding his rule. In the second
place he had to reform the whole financial system, which allowed of
the Budget estimates being annually falsified by the actual results.
In the third place he had to devise and to enforce measures of
economy sufficiently stringent to place the finances on a sound
footing for the future. With how resolute a will he carried out this
work, the following pages will disclose. But before entering on that
memorable struggle I may briefly exhibit its results. The subjoined
statement shows more forcibly than any words of mine what those
results meant to India. The three years preceding Lord Mayo's rule
had left a deficit of 5-3/4 millions in 'ordinary' expenditure alone.
In the very first year of his rule he established an equilibrium in
the finances of India, and produced a small surplus. The three years
which followed his reforms {140} left an aggregate surplus of 5-3/4
millions, and that period of surplus was only interrupted by the
Behar famine two years after his death.

_Bird's-eye view of the results of Lord Mayo's Financial
Administration._

  +---------------------+----------------------+---------------------+
  |  Years of Deficit.  | Year of Equilibrium. |  Years of Surplus.  |
  | (Before Lord Mayo's |  (Lord Mayo's first  | (After Lord Mayo's  |
  |       arrival.)     |          year.)      |       Reforms.)     |
  +---------------------+----------------------+---------------------+
  |             pounds  |              pounds  |             pounds  |
  | 1866-7    2,307,700 | 1869-70      108,779 | 1870-1    1,359,410 |
  | 1867-8      923,720 |                      | 1871-2    2,863,836 |
  | 1868-9    2,542,861 |      (Surplus in     | 1872-3    1,616,888 |
  |           --------- |       Sterling.)     |           --------- |
  |           5,774,281 |                      |           5,840,134 |
  |                     |                      |                     |
  | Total deficit of    |                      | Total surplus for   |
  | three years reduced |                      | three years reduced |
  | to Sterling.        |                      | to Sterling.        |
  +---------------------+----------------------+---------------------+

The four continuous years of surplus which thus resulted from Lord
Mayo's measures had only one precedent during the period from 1842
onwards, for which the Parliamentary Abstract gives the returns. That
single precedent is found in the years 1849 to 1853, under the rule
of the great Governor-General, Dalhousie. Nor has there been any
subsequent example of four consecutive years of surplus since Lord
Mayo's Viceroyalty down to the present date (1891).

Sir Richard Temple, the Finance Minister, was like Lord Mayo in his
first year of office. Warned by the disappointments of his
predecessors, Sir Richard Temple framed a very cautious Budget for
1869-70, {141} and estimated for a small surplus of 48,263 pounds. It
soon appeared, however, that no amount of caution would avail to
prevent the falsification of the Budget estimates under the system
upon which they were then made up. The first symptoms which caused
Lord Mayo alarm was the discovery that the cash balances in the
treasuries proved lower than had been estimated by his predecessor.
Lord Mayo's anxiety increased as the actual facts of the financial
year previous to his accession, 1868-69, became finally known. Item
after item turned out worse than had been expected, until the deficit
of 889,598 pounds, as estimated in March, 1869, grew to the vast sum
of 2,542,861 pounds, as ascertained from the completed accounts a few
months later.

Nor did the disastrous discrepancy appear only in the Actuals of
1868-69. Circumstances occurred to raise a suspicion in Lord Mayo's
mind that the same fate might be in store for the finances of the
current year, 1869-70. His inquiries led him to order a
re-examination of the whole Budget estimates. These estimates, viewed
in the light of the actual results of 1868-69, disclosed an
inevitable deficit of 1,650,000 pounds for the current year 1869-70,
in place of the surplus of 48,263 pounds, as announced by the Budget
in March. Lord Mayo's perplexities were increased by the circumstance
that Sir Richard Temple, after duly delivering the Budget for
1869-70, had found himself compelled to proceed to England on six
months' leave. Sir Richard's experience and knowledge were not {142}
therefore available at the moment when the Viceroy, in his first
months of office, found a new abyss of deficit suddenly open under
his feet. Fortunately he had the aid of Mr., now Sir John, Strachey,
who was carrying on the duties of Finance Minister during Sir
Richard's absence.

The disclosures which the last paragraph speaks of with smooth
certitude, revealed themselves in 1869 only glimpse by glimpse, and
amid a wide divergence of opinion on the part of the responsible
advisers of the Government. It required the resolute exercise of his
individual will to enable the new Viceroy to tear the truth out of
the conflicting accounts, and to get at the whole facts of the
situation. 'I am beginning to find,' he wrote to a friend, as early
as May, 1869, 'that our finances are not in as comfortable a state as
they ought to be. The enormous distances, the number of treasuries,
and the complicity of accounts as between each, render accurate
forecasts and rapid information almost insurmountably difficult. The
waste of public money is great, and I have been obliged to take
strong measures, and say some very hard things about it.'[3]

[Footnote 3: The Earl of Mayo to Sir Stafford Northcote, 16th May,
1869.]

Each week found the Viceroy poring with a deeper anxiety and a graver
face over the accounts. As he probed into their hollow places, he
found one estimate after another break down beneath his scrutiny. His
letters and papers during that summer disclose, scene by scene, and
with a painful tension of personal {143} responsibility, the slowly
developing drama of deficit; but throughout every line breathes a
firm resolve that, cost him what it might in ease and popularity, he
would establish and maintain equilibrium in the finances of India.
Three months after the letter above quoted, he wrote to Sir Henry
Durand: 'I have just received information which leads me to believe
that in two items of revenue alone, we may look for a decrease of
half a million in the first quarter of 1869-70. Now it is our clear
duty to do all that we can to meet this. _I am determined not to have
another deficit,_ even if it leads to the diminution of the Army, the
reduction of Civil Establishments, and the stoppage of Public Works.
The longer I look at the thing, the more I am convinced that our
financial position is one of great weakness; and that our national
safety absolutely requires that it should be dealt with at once, and
in a very summary manner.' 'I should be sorry,' he wrote to the Duke
of Argyll, 'to say how much I feel the hard lot that is now cast upon
us, to recover the finances from a state of deficit. But unless we
have a war, which God forbid, we will do it.'

Lord Mayo mapped out for himself two distinct methods of dealing with
the situation. In the first place, he resolved that the circumstances
were so grave as to demand immediate measures for meeting the
impending deficit without waiting to the end of the Financial Year.
In the second place, he determined to attack the permanent causes
which {144} had led to deficit, and to prevent their recurrence by a
systematic readjustment of the finances.

The first step taken by Lord Mayo and Sir John Strachey was to reduce
the overgrown grant for Public Works by about 800,000 pounds,--a
measure suggested and carried out with unsparing faithfulness by
Colonel, now Lieut.-General, Richard Strachey, then Secretary to the
Government of India in the Public Works Department. Other
Departments, equally important and equally clamorous, had augmented
their expenditure at a rapid rate. In fact, the ten years which had
elapsed since the dominions of the Company passed to the Crown had
seen the administration rendered more efficient in many ways; and the
cost of the improvements, however admirable they were in themselves,
had in the aggregate become too great for the revenues to bear. In
addition to the reduction of 800,000 pounds for Public Works, Lord
Mayo found himself compelled to curtail temporarily by 350,000 pounds
the grants to the spending Departments which had received so rapid a
development during the decade since India passed to the Crown. The
whole saving amounted to 1,150,000 pounds during the current year
1869-70.

It became apparent, however, that reductions alone would not suffice
to produce equilibrium. Lord Mayo had therefore to decide whether he
would permit the Budget arrangements of the year to stand, with the
knowledge that they would result in deficit, or resort to the
unusual, and in India almost unprecedented, {145} expedient of
additional taxation in the middle of the year. He decided, after
careful inquiry, that the circumstances demanded the latter course.
Had the threatened deficit been preceded by a period of prosperity
and financial accuracy, he would not have deemed so severe a policy
needful. But the public expenditure had, during three consecutive
years, largely exceeded the revenue, and Lord Mayo found that
solvency could only be secured, in the first place, by immediate and
most stringent measures; in the second place, by a permanent
improvement in the finances to the extent of three millions sterling
a year. I mean, of course, the aggregate improvement derived from the
twofold sources of reduced expenditure and increased taxation.

For these and other cogent reasons, Lord Mayo determined to make it
clear by measures of unmistakable vigour that his Government was
resolved to place the finances upon a permanently sound basis. He
raised the income tax from 1 to 2-1/2 per cent. during the second
half of the financial year, and enhanced the salt duty in Madras and
Bombay. The former measure was estimated to add 320,000 pounds and
the latter 180,000 pounds to the revenue of the year; total, 500,000
pounds.

By means of this half-million of increased taxation, and the
1,150,000 pounds of reduced expenditure, Lord Mayo hoped to cover the
estimated deficit of the current year, namely, 1,650,000 pounds. He
thus explained his views to the Secretary of State.

'While the accumulated deficits of the three years {146} ending with
1868-69 have amounted to 5-3/4 millions, the cash balances in our
Indian treasuries have fallen from 13,770,000 pounds at the close of
1865-66 to 10,360,000 pounds at the close of 1868-69, and,
notwithstanding our recent loan of 2,400,000 pounds, are at this
moment lower than they have been at this season for many years.
During the same period our debt has been increased by 6-1/2 millions,
of which not more than 3 millions have been spent on reproductive
works.[4] Your Grace has reminded us that successive Secretaries of
State have enjoined us so to frame our estimates as to show a
probable surplus of from half a million to a million sterling. We
entirely agree with your Grace in acknowledging the soundness of this
policy. We have no doubt that, excluding charges for Extraordinary
Works provided for by loan, our expenditure in time of peace ought to
be so adjusted to our income as to leave an annual surplus of not
less than one million. The necessary conclusion to which we are thus
led is, that nothing short of a permanent improvement in the balance
now subsisting between our annual income and expenditure of at least
three millions sterling will suffice to place our finances in a
really satisfactory condition. How, by reducing our expenditure and
increasing our income, we can best obtain such a result, is the
problem that we have now to solve.

'We are satisfied that there is only one course {147} which we can
properly follow. We must no longer continue to make good the deficit
of each succeeding year by adding to the public debt. And we must
determine, whatever be the difficulty of the task, that there shall
henceforth be no room for doubt that, in time of peace, our income
will always be in excess of our ordinary expenditure.'

[Footnote 4: Par. 71 of Despatch to Secretary of State No. 240, dated
20th Sept. 1869.]

I have mentioned the immediate measures by which Lord Mayo
endeavoured to stay the impending deficit. But he felt that such
measures strained the whole mechanism of the Government; that to stop
public works on a sudden involved waste of material, while the
increase of taxation during the current year disclosed in a most
undesirable manner the shortcomings of our system, and might prove a
cause of perilous discontent among the Indian people. 'We have played
our last card,' he once said in conversation, 'and we have nothing
left in our hands to fall back upon, except to devise measures which
will prevent the recurrence of a similar crisis hereafter.' He
accordingly resolved to find a permanent remedy, by removing the
causes of the financial misfortunes in past years.

His reforms divide themselves into three branches. First,
improvements in the mechanism of the Financial Department of the
Supreme Government itself. Lord Mayo thought that it would be vain to
ask the Local Governments to set their houses in order, if they could
point to confusion or want of prevision in his own. Second, the more
rigid enforcement on the Local Governments of economy in framing
their {148} estimates, and of accuracy in keeping within them. While
thus increasing their fiscal responsibility, Lord Mayo also extended
their financial powers. Third, a systematic and permanent
readjustment of the revenues and the expenditure.

First, as regards defects in the mechanism of the Financial
Department, Lord Mayo found that the disastrous series of fiscal
surprises were due in part to unpunctuality in the submission of the
yearly estimates by the Local Governments and Departments, so that
the Supreme Government had not sufficient time to examine and collate
the accounts before the season for delivering the financial statement
arrived. He discovered, also, grave deficiencies in the Financial
Department itself as regards intelligent observation of the progress
of the finances during the year. While, therefore, the Local
Governments throughout India were complaining of the number and
complexity of the statistical returns required from them, the last
act in the process which would have rendered these returns fruitful
of results, namely, their careful collation by the Finance
Department, was inefficiently performed.

Without such final collation, the gathering of statistics is indeed a
thankless task. I merely repeat the statement of the Member of the
Government best qualified to speak on the subject, when I say that,
up to Lord Mayo's time, no sufficient provision existed for the
intelligent use of the statistical materials which daily poured in.
It did not seem to be understood that the toil expended by scattered
{149} Departments upon the compilation of returns can bear no fruit
unless they are intelligently studied by the central bureau for which
they are compiled. Statistics as they existed in India before Lord
Mayo's rule were sorrowful memorials of faithful subordinate labour,
rendered unavailing by the indifference or neglect of higher
officials.

The financial collapse in 1869, forming as it did one of a series of
similar catastrophes, gave a new impulse to better work. The
preparation of classified statistics was undertaken on a systematic
basis and with an extended scope. Having thus put his own house in
order, Lord Mayo took measures to ensure punctuality in the
submission of the Estimates by Local Governments and Departments. He
also organised, or to speak more correctly, remodelled a system by
which the Supreme Government now obtains full information bearing
upon the progress of the finances month by month. Mr. Chapman, the
Secretary to the Department and the officer most competent to speak,
thus wrote of the results:--'It is not too much to say that it has
become impossible for the Government to remain long ignorant of any
important fact affecting the finances. Expectation may be
disappointed, misfortune or mistakes may occur; but the Government
will at least be promptly informed of the event, and it is difficult
to exaggerate the importance of promptitude in this respect.'

The second great branch of Lord Mayo's financial reforms consisted in
his more rigid enforcement of {150} economy upon the Local
Governments. A fertile source of financial difficulty has always
existed in the division of the British administration of India into a
number of governments, separated from, although subordinate to, the
Governor-General in Council. Before Lord Mayo's Viceroyalty the
separate governments, while so far independent entities as to be
responsible for the civil administration and improvement of their
several Provinces at the cost of the imperial revenues, had, in
regard to their revenues, no independent financial powers. Towards
the end of every year, each Local Government presented to the
Governor-General in Council its estimates of expenditure during the
coming twelve months. The Governor-General in Council, after
comparing these aggregate estimates with the expected revenue from
all India, granted to each Local Government such sums as could be
spared for its local services.

The system acted in a manner most unfavourable to economy. The Local
Governments were under no compulsion to adjust their expenditure to
any limited scale of income, and several of them fell into the habit
of framing their demands upon the Imperial Treasury, with an eye
rather to what they would like to spend than what was absolutely
required. 'Practically,' writes one who had the official control of
the system, 'the more a Government asked, the more it got; the
relative requirements of the Local Governments being measured by
their relative demands. Accordingly they asked freely and {151}
increasingly. Again, knowing that any money saved at the end of the
year was lost to the provincial administration, a Local Government
was little anxious to save.' These words, while representing the
facts, do not necessarily involve a reproach. In India more money can
be spent with advantage on almost every branch of the administration
than the revenues will permit.

Lord Mayo clearly discerned that, in order to secure the co-operation
of the Local Governments in the work of financial reform, he must
invest those Governments with a share of the financial
responsibility. After an exhaustive preliminary correspondence with
each separate Administration, he issued a Resolution on the 14th
December, 1870, which may be called the Charter of the Provincial
Governments. By this document, which in due time received the
approval of the Secretary of State, a fixed yearly consolidated grant
was made to each Government, to enable it to defray the cost of its
principal services, exclusive of the Army, but including Public
Works. The grants thus made were final, for a period usually of five
years, and were liable to reduction only in case of severe financial
distress happening to the Supreme Government. They belong absolutely
to the respective Local Governments. No savings from any one of them
revert to the Imperial Treasury. Their distribution is left to the
discretion of the Local Governments, without interference on the part
of the Governor-General in Council.

The services thus made over to them included the {152} protection of
person and property, the education of the people, the record of
changes or transfers connected with landed property, sanitation,
Local Public Works, and a number of minor branches of government. For
official purposes they were grouped as follows: Jails, Registration,
Police, Education, Medical Services (except 'Medical Establishments'),
Printing (an enormous item in India), Roads, Civil Buildings, and
various Public Works, Miscellaneous Public Improvements, and various
minor services.

This well-jointed system of Provincial and Imperial Finance continues
to be the basis of Indian Finance to this day. It has received
further developments since Lord Mayo's time, but its principles
remain unchanged. Sir John Strachey thus summarised the state of
things which preceded it:--

'For many years before Lord Mayo became Viceroy, the ordinary
financial condition of India had been one of chronic deficit, and one
of the main causes of this state of affairs was the impossibility of
resisting the constantly increasing demands of the Local Governments
for the means of providing many kinds of improvement in the
administration of their respective Provinces. Their demands were
practically unlimited, because there was almost no limit to their
legitimate wants. The Local Governments had no means of knowing the
measure by which their annual demands upon the Government of India
ought to be regulated. They had a purse to draw upon of unlimited,
because of unknown, depth. They saw on every side the {153} necessity
for improvements, and their constant and justifiable desire was to
obtain for their own Provinces and people as large a share as they
could persuade the Government of India to give them out of the
general revenues of the Empire. They found by experience, that the
less economy they practised, and the more importunate their demands,
the more likely they were to persuade the Government of India of the
urgency of their requirements. In representing those requirements
they felt that they did what was right; and they left to the
Government of India, which had taken the task upon itself, the
responsibility of refusing to provide the necessary means.

'The Government of India had totally failed to check the constant
demands for increased expenditure. There was but one remedy: namely,
to prevent the demands being made; and this could only be done by
imposing on the Local Governments a real and an effectual
responsibility for maintaining equilibrium in their local finances.
There could be no standard of economy until apparent requirements
were made absolutely dependent upon known available means. It was
impossible for either the Supreme or Local Governments to say what
portion of the provincial revenues was properly applicable to local
wants. The revenues of the whole of India went into a common fund,
and to determine how much of this fund ought fairly to be given to
one Province and how much to another, was impracticable.'

'The distribution of the public income,' {154} Major-General R.
Strachey wrote, 'degenerates into something like a scramble, in which
the most violent has the advantage. As local economy leads to no
local advantage, the stimulus to avoid waste is reduced to a minimum.
So as no local growth of the income leads to an increase of the local
means of improvement, the interest in developing the public revenues
is also brought down to the lowest level.' It is right to add that
the reforms by which Lord Mayo put an end to this unprofitable state
of things were in a large measure due to the initiative of General
Richard Strachey, supported by the administrative authority and
experience of his brother, Sir John Strachey. But the question of
Local Finance first presented itself to Lord Mayo during his
inquiries in the India Office, and he discussed it at Madras on his
way out to Calcutta.

Lord Mayo's third and heaviest task was the permanent readjustment of
the revenues to the expenditure. He accomplished this task partly by
new taxation, but chiefly by economy and retrenchment. On his arrival
in January, 1869, Lord Mayo found two Despatches awaiting his
consideration. One was a Despatch from his predecessor, Lord
Lawrence, urging on the Secretary of State the imposition of an
income tax; or, more strictly, the expansion of the certificate tax
into an income tax for the year 1869-70 then about to begin. The
other was a Despatch from the Secretary of State sanctioning the
proposal. Lord Mayo's first measure with a view to raising the
revenues of India was, therefore, to carry {155} out this decision
which had been arrived at before he reached India, and to levy an
income tax. By efforts to equalise the salt duty in certain
provinces, and at the same time to develop new sources of salt
supply, and to cheapen the cost of carriage, he laid the foundation
of a further increase of revenue, with the least possible addition to
the burdens of the people.

It was, however, to economy rather than to increased taxation that
Lord Mayo looked for a surplus. Indeed, he strongly felt the
necessity of abandoning some of the old objectionable forms of Indian
taxation, such as the export duties; and he made a beginning by
abolishing the export duty on wheat. On the other hand, every
Department of Expenditure was keenly scrutinised, and severely cut
down to the lowest point compatible with efficiency. As a matter of
fact, and notwithstanding the new income-tax, the total revenue which
he levied from India during his three years of office averaged nearly
a million less than the revenue levied during the year 1868-69
preceding his Viceroyalty; while the expenditure averaged about five
millions per annum less than that of the year preceding his
Viceroyalty. The following table exhibits the results of the system
of vigilant economy by which Lord Mayo converted a series of years of
deficit into a series of years of surplus. For purposes of reference
to the Parliamentary accounts it reproduces the conversion at the
then official rate. It does not, accordingly, show the exact balance
in sterling, as worked out for the table earlier in this chapter.

{156}

_Indian Revenue and Expenditure under Lord Mayo (at the then official
rate of ten rupees to the pound)_.

  +---------+------------+----------------------+--------------+
  |         |            |                      |  Ordinary    |
  |  Year.  |  Revenue.  |                      | Expenditure. |
  +---------+------------+----------------------+--------------+
  |         |   pounds   | Year of Deficit      |    pounds    |
  | 1868-69 | 51,657,658 | preceding Lord       |  54,431,688  |
  |         |            | Mayo's Rule.         |              |
  |         |            |                      |              |
  |         |            | Year of equilibrium; |              |
  | 1869-70 | 50,901,081 | his first year of    |  50,782,413  |
  |         |            | office.              |              |
  |         |            |                      |              |
  | 1870-71 | 51,413,685 | Years of Surplus;    |  49,930,695  |
  |         |            | his last two years   |              |
  | 1871-72 | 50,109,093 | of office.           |  46,984,915  |
  +---------+------------+----------------------+--------------+

Lord Mayo did not live to see the permanent fruit of his labours. But
I cannot conclude this brief sketch of them more fitly than by a
letter which the Financial Secretary to the Government of India wrote
to me three years after Lord Mayo's death, when his work had been
tested by the touchstone of time.

'Lord Mayo's close personal attention to financial questions never
flagged. He had by decisive measures established steady surplus for
chronic deficit; he had increased the working power of the Local
Governments, while checking the growth of their demands upon the
Imperial Treasury. He had established a policy of systematic
watchfulness and severe economy. The time was now coming when the
results of all his exertions and sacrifices were to be gathered; when
the Viceroy would be able to gratify his nature {157} by granting
relief from the burdens which he had reluctantly imposed. Lord Mayo
was occupied with such questions on the very journey which ended so
fatally. He had reason to hope that effective remission of taxation
would soon be practicable, but he was still uncertain what shape it
ought to take. It should never be forgotten that the welcome measures
of relief which the Government subsequently found itself in a
position to effect, were possible only in consequence of Lord Mayo's
vigorous policy of retrenchment and economy.

'He found serious deficit, and left substantial surplus. He found
estimates habitually untrustworthy; he left them thoroughly worthy of
confidence. He found accounts in arrear, and statistics incomplete;
he left them punctual and full. He found the relation between the
Local Governments and the Supreme Government in an unsatisfactory
condition, and the powers of the Local Governments for good hampered
by obsolete financial bonds. He left the Local Governments working
with cordiality, harmony, and freedom, under the direction of the
Governor-General in Council. He found the Financial Department
conducted with a general laxity; he left it in vigorous efficiency.
And if the sound principles be adhered to, which Lord Mayo held of
such importance, and which in his hands proved so thoroughly
effective, India ought not again to sink into the state from which he
delivered her.'



{158}

CHAPTER VII

LORD MAYO'S MILITARY POLICY


The Mutiny of 1857 left on the hands of the Government of India two
great armies--a vast shattered wreck of Native Troops, and a European
Force, fewer in numbers, but admirably equipped, hardened by a fierce
struggle, and organised on the basis of constant readiness for war.
In the year preceding that memorable lesson, the Native army had
numbered 249,153 men; the European regiments 45,522. The teaching of
the Mutiny resulted in the reduction of the Native army to nearly
one-half, and in the increase by over one-half of the British troops.
In 1862, after all apprehension of renewed hostilities had
disappeared, and the armies rested on their new peace footing, the
Native force consisted of 140,507 officers and men, the European
troops of 75,337. Under the vigorous Government of Lord Lawrence from
1864 to 1869, as the civil administration grew more effective, and
the country settled down into assured internal tranquillity, it was
found possible to make further reductions, {159} which left the
Native army on the 1st April, 1869, at 133,358 of all ranks, and the
European force at 61,942.

This was the situation when Lord Mayo reached Calcutta. But exactly a
fortnight after his arrival, the Duke of Argyll, as Secretary of
State for India, penned a Despatch which gave a fresh impulse to
questions of Indian military reform. His Grace pointed out that
notwithstanding the numerical decrease in the forces since the
Mutiny, the expenditure on them had increased from 12-3/4 millions
sterling in 1856-57 to over 16 millions in 1868-69. He also referred
to the fact, that while a new and costly system of police had been
organised, the expectations of army retrenchment based upon it had
borne no fruit. The Despatch concluded with a hope that the Viceroy
would devise means to bring down the army military expenditure in
India by a million and a half sterling.

Lord Mayo found that army retrenchment might be effected by two
distinct lines of approach,--by economy in the military
administration, and by numerical reduction of the forces. Each of
these subjects again divided itself into two great branches, the
former into retrenchments in the Staff, and retrenchments in the Army
Departments; the latter into reductions in the European troops, and
reductions in the Native army. He ascertained that retrenchments
aggregating 79,000 pounds were possible without any sacrifice of
efficiency in the Staff and the Military Departments; and he
stringently carried them out. {160} But when he came to reductions in
the European troops and in the Native army, he found that the
questions involved were of a more complex character; and as his views
on these points have been sometimes misunderstood, I shall endeavour
to state them in his own words.

As regards the European troops, he believed that he had not one man
too many in India. In a private letter to one of Her Majesty's
Ministers, after urging his plan of retrenchment, he writes thus:
'One thing, I implore, may not be done, and that is the removal of a
single British bayonet or sabre from India. We can, I believe, reduce
our military expenditure by a million, without giving up one of the
little white-faced men in red.' 'We are strongly impressed with the
belief,' he wrote, in his public Despatch a few weeks later, 'that we
have not one British soldier too many in this country. We should most
strongly object to any reduction of their number, because we are
convinced that such a step could not be taken without endangering and
weakening authority, one of the mainstays of British rule.'

Nevertheless, he proposed to reduce the charges for the European
troops by half a million sterling. This, too, without decreasing the
total rank and file by a man, or the pay of either officers or men by
a shilling. He proved that a chief cause of the increased military
expenditure, of which the Secretary of State so justly complained,
arose from the fact that European regiments in India had gradually
declined from their full {161} effective strength, so that a larger
number of separate regiments were required to give an equal total of
fighting men. He proposed, by strengthening each regiment, to keep
the same total of fighting men, and to reduce the number of separate
regiments. He would thus get rid of the costly organisation of eleven
extra European regiments, and of the heavy drain on the Indian
Treasury which the needless number of regimental headquarters
involved. The rank and file would be slightly increased, the pay of
officers and men would remain the same. The Indian military
authorities believed that efficiency would not be lessened, while the
abolition of the superfluous regimental headquarters and similar
charges in the British cavalry and infantry alone would yield an
annual saving of 297,220 pounds. A corresponding, but not quite
identical, reform in the artillery would add a further saving of
271,542 pounds sterling a year. Total saving in European troops,
568,762 pounds.

In Lord Mayo's minutes on proposed retrenchments in the Native army,
two considerations constantly came to the surface. First, that the
lengthy, exposed frontier of Northern India, with the fierce elements
of internal disquiet within it, rendered any substantial reduction of
either Native cavalry or Native infantry in Bengal impossible.
Second, that the separate _esprit de corps_ of the Madras and the
Bombay Native armies would resent reductions which fell exclusively
upon them, and left the Bengal Native army untouched. The Viceroy and
{162} the Commander-in-Chief were most anxious to avoid wounding the
_amour propre_ of any one of the three gallant bodies of men who make
up the Native army in India; but their paramount duty--a duty which
ranked above all local considerations--was so to shape their
reductions as not to impair the defences of British India.

After long and earnest discussion with his military advisers and the
Local Governments, Lord Mayo submitted the following proposals to the
Secretary of State.

As regards Native artillery, Lord Mayo's Government followed out the
accepted policy of dispensing with Native gunners, and his proposals
were readily sanctioned by the Secretary of State. He abolished two
Bengal batteries (namely the Eurasian Battery in Assam, and one light
field battery of the Punjab Frontier Force); the Native Company of
Artillery in Madras; and one Native company of artillery in Bombay.
Total reductions of Native artillery, four batteries or companies;
annual saving, 17,003 pounds.[1]

[Footnote 1: Sanction conveyed in Despatch from Secretary of State to
Governor-General, No. 23, dated 27th January, 1870, par. 10.]

Regarding the cavalry and infantry in the Bengal Native army, the
Viceroy came to the conclusion (as demonstrated by his military
advisers) that not a man could be spared. But with their consent he
found that a considerable saving could be effected by reducing the
number of separate regiments, and bringing up the strength of the
remainder to a more efficient standard. He proposed, therefore, a
reduction of one regiment of Bengal Native cavalry, and {163} one of
Bengal Native infantry, raising the rank and file in the other
regiments so as to maintain the same total of rank and file in the
Bengal Native army. Annual saving 27,200 pounds a year.

As regards the Madras Native army, he acted on the decision of the
Governor (Lord Napier of Ettrick), confirmed by the opinions of the
Commander-in-Chief in India (Lord Sandhurst), and of Major-General
Sir Henry Durand. 'In the Madras Presidency,' its Governor had
written, 'it is my opinion that the cost of the army far transcends
the wants of the country.' Indeed, Madras had for years sent her
redundant troops, amounting to one regiment of Native cavalry and
five of infantry, to do duty at Bengal stations. This proved to be an
extravagant arrangement. Thus a regiment of Madras cavalry, with a
strength of only 300 privates, cost 22,937 pounds a year, while a
regiment of Bengal cavalry cost only 21,963 pounds for a strength of
384 privates.

The waste was intensified by the 'family system' of the Madras
sepoys, who are accompanied by their wives and children--a system
which may be suitable for a stationary local army, but which produces
many evils if such corps are moved to other Presidencies. For
example, the Commander-in-Chief had lately had to represent the
difficulty which would arise with a Madras cavalry regiment, if the
Bengal plan were enforced of sending it out into camp, in event of an
epidemic of cholera. The Madras corps in question had only a strength
of 202 fighting men at {164} headquarters, and were attended by no
fewer than 1296 women, children, and followers.

Lord Mayo proposed, therefore, that henceforth the Madras regiments
should be kept to their own Presidency. This would enable him to
reduce five regiments of Madras infantry, and one of Madras cavalry,
then serving at Bengal stations (or a number equal to them). He also
found he could safely dispense with three other regiments of Madras
infantry. Another separate regiment of Madras cavalry would be saved
by incorporating three into two. Total reduction of the Madras Native
army--cavalry, 2 regiments (1 dispensed with, and 1 reduced by
incorporating 3 into 2); infantry, 8 regiments reduced out of 40.
Annual saving, 178,745 pounds.

The Bombay army proved to be more accurately adjusted to the actual
demands upon it. But it was found that a small saving of 9,900 pounds
a year might be safely effected by reorganising the Sind horse into 2
regiments of 4 squadrons each, in place of 3 regiments with 3
squadrons each. As regards infantry, even when there were two Bombay
regiments in China, the propriety of reducing two regiments had been
raised. The Governor-General in Council, having regard to the return
of the regiments from China, the strong police, the tranquil state of
the Presidency, its limited extent and population, and the absence of
any frontier requiring protection, except in Sind, now decided that
four regiments of Bombay Native infantry might safely be spared,
representing a {165} saving of 67,719 pounds a year. Total annual
retrenchment from Bombay Native army, 77,619 pounds.

The burden of working these reforms fell on the Bengal Native army.
It lost 2 batteries of artillery, 1 regiment of cavalry, and 4 of
infantry (the total rank and file of its cavalry and infantry being
neither increased or diminished); and it had the additional labour
thrust on it of the six Madras regiments which were to be withdrawn
from Bengal stations. This was inevitable. 'Influences of whatever
kind,' wrote the Commander-in-Chief in summing up that part of the
military policy of Lord Mayo's Government, 'all notions as affecting
this or that Presidency, in short, all matters which could imply even
the shadow of bias, were resolutely put on one side, and the
interests of the country were alone considered.

'I am able to say that this was the spirit in which all the questions
involved were argued in our long and arduous discussions.

'We had to weigh the necessities of those parts of India where war is
an impossibility, and at the same time to consider those wide
frontiers where war is always impending over us--in fact, where in
one form or another it can hardly be said ever to cease.'

In submitting the above scheme to Her Majesty's Government, the Earl
of Mayo believed that it would tend towards the practical efficiency
of the Indian army. In this belief he had the firm support of the
Commander-in-Chief (Lord Sandhurst) and the Military Member of
Council (Sir Henry Durand). While {166} strenuous for economy in the
military administration, he grudged no expenditure required to place,
and to maintain, the army on a basis of thorough practical
efficiency. I am here stating both his own view and that of the
eminent military advisers on whose counsel he acted. 'I have this
year,' wrote Lord Mayo to a friend in 1870, 'without any suggestion
from any quarter, pressed upon Her Majesty's Government the necessity
that exists for immediately arming every European soldier and
volunteer in India with a Snider rifle. I have, ever since the
beginning of 1869' (when he assumed the Viceroyalty), 'pointed out
the defective state of our artillery force, and recommended the
immediate adoption of rifled guns. I never, therefore, let economic
considerations interfere in cases of necessity. I have suggested
nothing which, in my opinion, is calculated to diminish our military
strength. But I do desire to reduce military expenditure by a very
large amount. I firmly believe that there are forces in India which
we should be better without, and that it is better to keep only those
regiments in arms which would be useful in war.'

The results of the proposed reforms may be briefly stated thus. The
Secretary of State sanctioned in full the first two sets of
retrenchments, namely, in the Indian Staff and the Army Departments.
But he did not see his way to adopt in their entirety either of the
other two series of measures, namely, those which affected the
British regiments serving in India, or the reductions of the Native
army. As regards {167} the former, Her Majesty's Government reduced
the British cavalry by two instead of four regiments, and the British
infantry by two instead of seven regiments; _but without the
corresponding increase in the rank and file of the remaining
regiments_, on which the Indian Government had so strongly insisted.
As regards the Native forces, the artillery reductions were
sanctioned; but the Secretary of State thought that the cavalry and
infantry reductions bore too heavily on the Madras army. He proposed
an alternative plan which would have broken up two regiments of
Bengal cavalry, and one in each of the other Presidencies; with six
regiments of Native infantry, two in each Presidency.

The Indian Government, on its side, did not think that the military
requirements of Northern India, with its great frontier towards
Central Asia, permitted of this arrangement being carried out, and
suggested as a compromise the reduction of 3 regiments of Native
cavalry (one in each Presidency), and 8 regiments of Native infantry
(2 in Bengal, 4 in Madras, and 2 in Bombay). After a careful
reconsideration, and having received the views of Lord Napier of
Magdala (who did not on this point concur with the preceding
Commander-in-Chief, Lord Sandhurst), Her Majesty's Government failed
to see their way to accepting the compromise, and suggested a third
scheme, which would have reduced the rank and file of the Native army
to the extent of 9000 men equally in the three Presidencies. The
Government of India believed, however, that such a reduction {168}
would be unsafe from a military point of view, and returned to the
proposals which it had previously submitted. Thus the question
remained at the time of Lord Mayo's death.

In his military measures, as in every other department of his
Government, the Earl of Mayo lived long enough to carry out a large
part of his proposals, but not the whole. His original plan would
have eventually reduced the military expenditure by 948,253 pounds a
year. The portions of it adopted by Her Majesty's Government, and
practically carried out, yielded an annual saving of 591,440 pounds.

The current administration of the army is conducted by the
Commander-in-Chief, and to Lord Sandhurst and Lord Napier of Magdala
belongs the credit of improvements in detail effected during Lord
Mayo's rule. But to these improvements the Viceroy gave a liberal and
strenuous support. 'Lord Mayo,' wrote a high authority on his
military measures, 'hated waste, but knew that waste follows
excessive saving no less than excessive expenditure. His object was
to reduce what was superfluous in the army, but not to starve what
was essential.' He advocated the economising of the health and vigour
of the European troops by a system of sanataria and hill-stations,
and one of his latest orders in the Military Department was to this
end. 'To him also it is mainly due,' says the high authority above
cited, 'that the troops in the hill-stations occupy quarters, or
cottage barracks, which, while fulfilling every desideratum of
health, comfort, {169} and discipline, enable a whole regiment to be
housed for a smaller sum than, under the old system of imposing but
less comfortable structures, it would have cost to house three
companies.' Wherever he went, one of the first things he wished to
see was the hospital; and every sanitary requirement was sure of his
liberal support.

To the difficult problem of making fit provision for the children and
orphans of the British soldiers in India, he devoted much earnest
thought; and, among other measures, appointed a committee with a view
to the more efficient working of the noble bequest of Sir Henry
Lawrence. A thick file of papers before me bears witness to his
personal interest in the Lawrence Asylums. Regimental workshops,
exhibitions, and every device for keeping alive the mental vitality
of the British soldier under the strain of the Indian climate, found
in him a constant friend. As regards improvements in efficiency, it
may here be briefly stated that during his rule the Indian army was
equipped with a better weapon, the artillery was furnished with the
most approved rifled guns, and the cold weather camps of exercise,
which now form so important a feature in the Indian military
training, were inaugurated under his own eye. For these and for every
other measure with a view to perfecting the Indian defences, the Earl
of Mayo, however severe might be the strain of his financial
necessities, found the requisite funds. He desired to avoid waste,
but he was resolved above all things to secure efficiency; {170} and
he enjoyed a personal popularity with the army, both Native and
European, such as few Governor-Generals of India have ever won.

'Every shilling that is taken for unnecessary military expenditure,'
he wrote in 1870, 'is so much withdrawn from those vast sums which it
is our duty to spend for the moral and material improvement of the
people. I admit to the full that a complete and an efficient military
organisation is the base and foundation of our power here. We are
bound to see that every officer and man is fit for immediate service,
and that every arm and every military requisite is maintained in a
state of the utmost efficiency. I believe that in the proposals which
have been made, these principles have been strictly adhered to.'

A single sentence of the last Despatch which Lord Mayo lived to issue
on the subject of army reform will fitly conclude this branch of my
narrative. 'We cannot think that it is right to compel the people of
this country to contribute one farthing more to military expenditure
than the safety and defence of the country absolutely demand.'



{171}

CHAPTER VIII

LORD MAYO'S INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION


The Mughal Government in its best days was a peripatetic one. Its
camp was its capital, and the abandonment of that method marked the
commencement of the false system of centralisation which in part led
to the dismemberment of the Delhi Empire. Lord Mayo realised this
fact, and by a well-planned system of tours he made himself
acquainted with the separate provinces under his rule. He laboured
hard to learn, not only each different system of local
administration, but also the character and qualities of the men who
conducted it. His genial presence and love of sport, combined with
indefatigable powers for real work, won for him the affection, as
well as the confidence of the District Officers throughout India. But
no one who did not actually accompany him knew the fatigue of body
and mind which he went through on the 21,763 miles of his Indian
journeys, nor can realise the serious risks which he ran by rapid
riding over bad roads or along precipices in the {172} hill tracts.
The only trip which was proposed to him for pleasure merely, he at
once rejected. It was a matter of daily occurrence, that, rising at
five o'clock, spending the whole day in travelling, receiving
officials or Native Chiefs, and inspecting public works, Lord Mayo
sat up half the night transacting business with his Foreign, or
Private, or Military Secretary.

In these tours he saw much to praise, but also much to amend. The
great Department of Public Works had during the previous twelve years
rushed to the front of the spending departments in India. In its
rapid development, it had to draw its officers from the Staff-Corps,
or wheresoever they could be obtained, sometimes with little regard
to their previous training for their new duties. Blunders and
extravagance had been the result--a result which had been the despair
of Lord Mayo's predecessors, and had given rise to grave scandals in
the Public Press.

Lord Mayo, alike on his tours and in his Cabinet, set himself to
remedy this state of things. 'There is scarcely a fault,' runs one of
his Minutes on a certain undertaking, 'which could have been
committed in the construction of a great work, which has not been
committed here. Estimates a hundred per cent. wrong--design
faulty--foundations commenced without the necessary examination of
substratum--no inquiry into the excess of cost over estimates during
progress.' In another case: 'I have read with great sorrow this
deplorable history of negligence, incapacity, and corruption;
negligence in the conduct of {173} every superior officer who was
connected with the construction of these buildings from the
beginning; incapacity to a greater or lesser extent on the part of
almost every subordinate concerned; corruption on the part of the
contractors.' Elsewhere: 'I have read the report on the barracks. It
is quite dreadful. There is not a man referred to who seems to have
done his duty, except one who was unmercifully snubbed. This report
will assist me in the reorganisation of the Department.'

But out of heart as he sometimes came away from such inspections, he
was unwilling to condemn the individual officers hastily, and his
eyes soon opened to the fact that the system itself was essentially
to blame. In the first place he found that the brain power of the
Department was overworked. Inspecting Officers were held responsible
for a larger area than they could possibly give attention to;
result--want of supervision. In the second place, a series of vast
works were scattered at one and the same moment over the whole
country without corresponding additions to the staff--too great
haste. In the third place, engineers were placed in executive charge
of wide tracts, while the amount of correspondence and purely office
work glued them to their chairs indoors, and precluded them from
overlooking what was going on outside--no personal management.

Lord Mayo's visit to certain railway works under construction by
private contractors, and about the same time to a building being
erected by the Public {174} Works Department, forced this last defect
of the system strongly on his mind. At the private contractors' works
he saw three European gentlemen, umbrella in hand and their heads
roofed over by enormous pith hats, standing out in the hottest sun,
and watching with their own eyes the native workmen as they set brick
upon brick. In the building under erection by the Public Works he
found only the coolies and bricklayers, without supervision of any
sort. On inquiry, the engineer in charge pleaded office duties, the
subordinate engineer pleaded the impossibility of looking after a
great many works at the same time throughout a considerable District;
and the net result was, that Government had to put up with loss of
money and bad masonry. Lord Mayo exclaimed: 'I see what we want--good
supervision and one thing at a time.'

Lord Mayo also found that the extravagance in Public Works was due in
a large measure to the practice of constructing them out of borrowed
money. He therefore laid down a strict rule that all ordinary works,
that is works not of the nature of a reproductive nature, and paying
interest, must be constructed out of current revenue.

'Any further increase to our debt,' he decisively wrote, 'cannot be
made without incurring danger of the gravest kind. I will incur no
responsibility of this sort, and nothing will tempt me to sanction in
time of peace the addition of a rupee of debt for the purpose of
meeting what is really ordinary and {175} unproductive expenditure.
It is a policy which, acting on my own strong convictions, and in
full concurrence with Her Majesty's Government, I am determined to
reverse.'

The long series of measures by which Lord Mayo reorganised the Public
Works Department lie beyond the scope of this volume. It must suffice
to say that by stringently applying his principles 'of first finding
the money, and improved supervision,' he not only effected a large
saving during his own Viceroyalty, but rendered possible the
subsequent expansion of the Department without financial disaster to
the country.

Having thus reduced the expenditure to the utmost limit compatible
with good work, Lord Mayo directed his earnest attention to the
protection of the people against famine. He rejected at the outset a
proposal which a Commission had made, of something very like a Poor
Law for India. 'Having been engaged all my life in the administration
of a Poor Law in one of the poorest countries in Europe, I may say
... first, that ordinary poverty in India does not need for its
relief a poor-law system; secondly, that any sum which could be
locally levied to relieve such famines as have from time to time
occurred, would be ludicrously inadequate.'

At the same time he solemnly accepted the responsibility of the
British Government to prevent wholesale death from starvation. He
believed, also, that the Government had in its hand the means for
accomplishing this object. 'By the construction of railways and the
completion of great works of irrigation,' runs {176} one of his
earlier notes, 'we have it in our power, under God's blessing, to
render impossible the return of those periodical famines which have
disgraced our administration and cost an incredible amount of
suffering, with the loss of many millions of lives.'

On Lord Mayo's arrival in Calcutta, he found awaiting him an
elaborate Minute which Lord Lawrence had lately placed on record
regarding the past history and the future extension of Indian
railways. The narrative which the great civilian Viceroy thus left
for his successor was full of encouragement, but by no means one of
unmingled self-complacency. From the end of 1853, when we had
twenty-one and a-half miles of railway in India, until the beginning
of 1869, when Lord Lawrence left the country, only about 4000 miles
of railway had been opened. These lines had been constructed by
private companies, under a guarantee from the Indian Government. 'The
money'--to use the words of the Duke of Argyll--'was raised on the
credit and authority of the State, under an absolute guarantee of
five per cent., involving no risk to the shareholders, and
sacrificing on the part of Government every chance of profit, while
taking every chance of loss.' In the absence of any inducements to
economy, the guaranteed railways had cost 17,000 pounds a mile, and
were worked under a system of double supervision--expensive,
dilatory, and complicated. It was become evident that the costliness
of this plan rendered an adequate development of railways in India
financially impossible.

{177} Lord Mayo, assisted by General Strachey, resolved to supplement
the expensive system of guaranteed lines by a network of State
railways. Instead of guaranteeing five per cent. interest, the
Government has raised the capital for these State railways at three
to four per cent. Instead of an initial cost of 17,000 pounds per
mile for broad-gauge lines, it determined to construct narrow-gauge
lines, at about 6000 pounds per mile. For the old costly double
management, the new system substituted a single firm control. Into
the vexed question of the break of gauge it is not needful for me
here to enter. It must suffice to say that Lord Mayo perfectly
realised its disadvantages. His plan was to construct a system of
narrow-gauge railways on a sufficient scale to allow of long lengths
of haulage without break of gauge. Later experience has affirmed the
practical convenience of the broader gauge. But, excepting in a few
isolated spots, the system of State railways dates from Lord Mayo's
Viceroyalty; and it is the system which, under various modern
developments, is now absorbing within itself the whole railway system
of India.

Lord Mayo's other great engine of internal development in the battle
against famine was irrigation. A bare list of the works which he
inaugurated, advanced, or carried out, would weary the reader. The
Ganges Canal was extended, and, after seventeen years of deficit,
took its place as a work no longer burdensome to the State. A new
irrigation system, starting from the Ganges opposite Alígarh, and
designed to water {178} the whole lower part of the Doáb, from
Fatehgarh to Allahábád, was commenced. The eastern half of Rohilkhand
and the Western Districts of Oudh were at the same time being placed
beyond peril of drought and famine by the Sárda Canal. Similar works
for western Rohilkhand were being carried out by a canal from the
Ganges. Plans were prepared, and the sanction of the Secretary of
State partially obtained, for a project which would bring the waters
of the Jumna to the arid tracts on the west of Delhi. While the
Western Jumna Canal was thus to receive a vast extension, the Lower
Jumna Canal was being pushed forward in the districts to the
south-east of Delhi.

Proceeding farther down the Gangetic Valley, we find works of equal
promise being carried on from the Son (Soane) river through the
Province of Behar--the province destined in 1874 to be the next
Indian tract which was to suffer dearth. On the seaboard, Orissa (the
Province of Lower Bengal which had last passed through the ordeal)
saw its districts placed beyond the peril that has from time
immemorial hung over them, by a vast system of canals and the
development of means of communication with the outside world. Still
farther south, the Godávarí works were going forward. In the far
west, projects for the drought-stricken districts of Sind were drawn
up and investigated; while in Bombay, Madras, and other Provinces,
many works of great local utility, although of less conspicuous
extent, were initiated, pushed forward, or matured.

{179} Lord Mayo, on his arrival in India, found two distinct sets of
views entertained in regard to education. In some Provinces, among
which Bombay held an honourable place, successful efforts had been
made to found Public Instruction on a popular basis. In other
Provinces--conspicuously in Bengal--high-class education flourished,
while scanty provision was made for the primary or indigenous
schools. The ultimate effect of this latter system, it was urged,
would 'filtrate' downwards. Its immediate result, however, was to arm
the rich and the powerful with a new weapon--knowledge--and to leave
the poor under their old weight of ignorance in their struggle for
life. Lord Mayo threw himself with characteristic energy into the
efforts which were being made to remedy this state of things.

'I dislike,' he wrote to a friend, 'this filtration theory. In Bengal
we are educating in English a few hundred Bábus at great expense to
the State. Many of them are well able to pay for themselves, and have
no other object in learning than to qualify for Government employ. In
the meanwhile we have done nothing towards extending knowledge to the
million. The Bábus will never do it. The more education you give
them, the more they will keep to themselves, and make their increased
knowledge a means of tyranny. If you wait till the bad English, which
the 400 Bábus learn in Calcutta, filters down into the 40,000,000 of
Bengal, you will be ultimately a Silurian rock instead of a retired
judge. Let the Bábus {180} learn English by all means. But let us
also try to do something towards teaching the three R's to "Rural
Bengal."'[1]

[Footnote 1: Referring to _The Annals of Rural Bengal_, which he had
read on his voyage out to India.]

The credit of giving effect to the measures then inaugurated belongs
to Sir George Campbell, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. His
educational reforms mark a new era in that Province.

In 1870 the Department of Public Instruction was educating 163,854
children in Lower Bengal at a cost of 186,598 pounds to the State. In
1874, when Sir George Campbell laid down the Lieutenant-Governorship,
he left 400,721 children being educated at a cost to Government of
228,151 pounds. He had, in the interval, covered Bengal with primary
schools; pieced together and resuscitated the old indigenous
mechanism of rural instruction, and, without actually curtailing
high-class education, had created a _bonâ fide_ system of public
instruction for the people of the country.

While Lord Mayo believed that State education in India must rest on
the broad basis of the indigenous and village school, he also
recognised the necessity of making special allowance for certain
classes. The Muhammadans--the old ruling class in India--had fallen
behind in the race of life under the British system of Public
Instruction. Lord Mayo discerned clearly how far this result was due
to their own neglect, and how far to the unsuitability or
uncongeniality of our educational methods. He urged {181} upon the
Local Governments the necessity of making special provision to meet
their wants; and the reforms on the lines which he indicated have
done much to remove the difficulty.

For another, and an even more backward class, Lord Mayo showed an
equal consideration. He perceived that the Poor White had become a
grave administrative problem in India. The truth is, our whole system
of State instruction in India had been designed, and rightly
designed, for the Natives. The poorer classes of the European
community were very inadequately provided for by the Government. Lord
Mayo thought that the first thing to be done was to place the
existing schools for European children on a sound and efficient basis
before building new ones. I have already referred to the Commission
of inquiry and reform which he appointed for the Lawrence Asylums. In
the Presidency towns, he exerted his influence, to use his own words,
'to increase the means of instruction for the Christian poor, and
especially of the class immediately above the poorest.' But his life
was cut short before he could accomplish the object which he had at
heart.

While Lord Mayo thus provided for the wider instruction of the people
of India, he also laboured to educate their rulers. At the time of
his accession, the Government did not know the population of a single
District of its most advanced Province, and the first census of
Bengal (taken under Lord Mayo's orders) unexpectedly disclosed an
extra population of {182} twenty-six millions, whose existence had
never been suspected, in that Lieutenant-Governorship alone.

No data were available up to that time for estimating the practical
effects which any natural calamity would have upon a Bengal District.
In 1866, when famine burst upon the Bengal seaboard, the Government
remained unaware that the calamity was imminent until it had become
irremediable, and scarcity had passed into starvation. The proportion
which the crops of a Province bears to its food requirements, the
movements of its internal or external trade, all the statistics of
the operations by which wealth is distributed or amassed, and by
which the necessities of one part of the country are redressed from
the superfluities of another, remained unknown factors in
administrative calculations of the most important practical sort.

Lord Mayo endeavoured to remedy this state of things by two distinct
sets of operations. He organised a Statistical Survey of India, and
he created a Department of Agriculture and Commerce. The first census
of all India was taken under his orders. The Statistical Survey has
produced a printed account of each district, town, and village,
carefully compiled upon local inquiry, and disclosing the whole
economic and social facts in the life of the people. He designed the
Department of Agriculture and Commerce to perform for India the
double set of duties discharged by the Board of Trade and the new
(1891) Agricultural Department in England. The Government {183} is
the great landlord of India. It has not only to adjust its enormous
rental so as to render it as little burdensome as possible to the
people, but it has also to assist the people, by means of irrigation
works and cash advances, in developing the resources of their fields.
At the same time, it has to administer a vast area of State forests.

Lord Mayo, in inaugurating an Agricultural Department, clearly laid
down the limits within which the Department could profitably act. He
realised the folly of imagining that we can teach the Indian
husbandman his own trade by means of steam-ploughs and 'ammoniac
manures.' 'I do not know,' he once wrote, 'what is precisely meant by
"ammoniac manure." If it means guano, superphosphate, or any
artificial product of that kind, we might as well ask the people of
India to manure their ground with champagne.' In another of his
Viceregal notes he puts the case thus: 'In connection with
agriculture we must be careful of two things. First, we must not
ostentatiously tell Native husbandmen to do things which they have
been doing for centuries. Second, we must not tell them to do things
which they can't do, and have no means of doing. In either case they
will laugh at us, and they will learn to disregard really useful
advice when it is given.'

Lord Mayo was deeply convinced that the permanent amelioration of the
lot of the Indian people must rest with themselves. He looked forward
to the time when municipal administration would largely {184} aid the
officials by means of local self-government. Nor did he shrink from
the responsibilities which the creation of such institutions
involved. 'We have lately inaugurated,' he said to his Legislative
Council, 'a system of lending to Municipalities which we believe will
contribute much to the health, wealth, and comfort of the inhabitants
of towns.' He publicly declared the development of municipal
government to be among the chief of the many great services which Sir
Donald Macleod, as Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, had rendered to
India.

'A man,' he said, 'who has succeeded in establishing municipal
institutions, which have always been in every country in the world
the basis of civil government, and the first germ of civilisation, is
entitled to the highest praise. I believe by his wise rule and
regulations he has induced numbers of the Natives to take an active
part in the administration of their municipal affairs, and has by
that means laid the foundation of a future which should be most
beneficial.' In his own great measure of provincial finance and local
government, which I have detailed in Chapter VI, Lord Mayo had the
same end in view.

'The operation of this Resolution,' he inserted with his own hand in
the orders of Government, 'in its full meaning and integrity will
afford opportunities for the development of self-government, for
strengthening Municipal Institutions, and for the association of
Natives and Europeans, to a greater extent than heretofore, in the
administration of affairs.' He {185} summed up his main purpose in
the following memorable words:--'The object in view being the
instruction of many peoples and races in a good system of
administration.'

Space precludes me from entering upon the legislative work of Lord
Mayo. That work was voluminous, and of a most searching character.
But it was practically conducted by the two eminent jurists, Sir
Henry Maine and Sir Fitzjames Stephen, who held in succession the
office of Law Member of Council during Lord Mayo's Viceroyalty. It
has, moreover, been narrated by Sir Fitzjames Stephen himself, in
full detail, in my larger _Life of Lord Mayo_.

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

In the foregoing pages many will miss a familiar feature of the Earl
of Mayo's Viceroyalty. In India, hospitality forms one of the public
duties of the governing race--a duty which they discharge, some
laboriously, all to the best of their ability. The splendid
hospitalities of Lord Mayo to all ranks and all races, amounted to an
additional source of strength to the British Rule. He regarded it a
proud privilege that it fell to his lot to present, for the first
time, a son of the English Sovereign to the people and Princes of
India. His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh's progress touched
chords in the oriental imagination which had lain mute since the
overthrow of the Delhi throne, and called forth an outburst of
loyalty such as had never before been awakened in the history of our
rule. It was the seal of peace; an {186} act of oblivion for the
struggle which placed India under the Crown, and for the painful
memories which that struggle left behind.

In his ceremonial as in his official duties, the Earl of Mayo had the
ease of conscious strength. His noble presence, the splendour of his
hospitality, and his magnificence of life, seemed in him only a
natural complement of rare administrative power. The most charming of
Indian novels,[2] in portraying an ideal head of Indian society,
unconsciously delineates Lord Mayo. But indeed it would be almost
impossible to draw a great Indian Viceroy in his social aspects
without the sketch insensibly growing into his portrait. Alike in the
Cabinet and the drawing-room there was the same calm kindness and
completeness. Sir Fitzjames Stephen, not given to hero-worship, has
said: 'I never met one to whom I felt disposed to give such heartfelt
affection and honour.'

[Footnote 2: _Dustypore_, by Sir Henry Cunningham.]



{187}

CHAPTER IX

THE END


One branch of the internal administration in which Lord Mayo took a
deep interest was prison discipline. The subject had come prominently
before him when Secretary for Ireland, and his Indian diaries contain
valuable remarks and suggestions noted down after inspecting the
local jails. He found a chronic battle going on between the District
Magistrate, who was _ex officio_ the head of the District jail, and
the Medical Officer who was responsible for the health of the
prisoners. The District Magistrate was determined that prison should
be a distinctly uncomfortable place for the criminal classes within
his jurisdiction. The Medical Officer was equally determined to bring
down the terrible death-rate which obtained in Indian jails. Indeed,
the more enthusiastic doctors would have liked to dismiss every
convict at the end of his sentence, weighing several pounds heavier
than when he entered the prison gates.

Lord Mayo had therefore to deal with the opposite extremes of
severity and leniency. On the one hand, {188} he was resolved that
the discipline of Indian jails should be a really punitive
discipline. On the other hand, he wrote, 'You have no right to
inflict a punishment of death upon a prisoner who has only been
sentenced for a term of years or for life,' by keeping him in a
disease-stricken jail. Among the most distressing and clamant cases
which came before him was the great Convict Settlement in the Andaman
Islands, in which the mortality amounted in 1867 to over 101 per
thousand. The measures taken by Lord Lawrence and Lord Mayo, had by
1870 brought down the death-rate to 10 per thousand. But the
inquiries made by Lord Mayo disclosed a laxity of discipline
productive of scandalous results. In 1871 a cruel and mysterious
murder committed in the Penal Settlement, and which had been somewhat
slightly reported on by the responsible officers, forced on Lord
Mayo's mind the necessity of a complete change in the system pursued.

He found that a few English officials with a handful of soldiers were
holding down, in an isolated island group, 600 miles across the sea
from Bengal, the 8000 worst criminals of Northern India. Many of them
came from the fierce frontier races; most of them were life
prisoners, reckless, with no future on this earth. The security of
such a settlement depends on clear regulations, exact subordination
among the officials, and strict discipline among the convicts. The
inquiries conducted under Lord Mayo's orders in 1871, disclosed the
absence of every one of these {189} essentials of safety. He found
dissension and disobedience among the authorities; and a state of
discipline that allowed a convict to accumulate a practically
unlimited store of liquor, with which to madden himself and his
comrades to further crime. It was a murder committed after a general
debauch of this sort that led the Viceroy to reconsider the
constitution of the Settlement.

The work occupied Lord Mayo's thoughts at Simla during the early half
of 1871. He found that he had to create a government for a Colony
'which, assuming that only life-prisoners were sent, would ultimately
contain 20,000 convicts.' In the first place, therefore, he had to
put together an administrative framework of a texture that would
withstand severe strain, and ensure the safety of the isolated
handful of Englishmen in charge of the islands. In the second place,
he desired that the new constitution of the Settlement, while
enforcing a stricter surveillance and discipline, and increasing the
terrors of transportation, more especially to new arrivals, should
eventually allow of a career to the industrious and well-behaved; and
as it were open up a new citizenship, with local ambitions and
interests, to the exiles whose crimes had cut them off alike from the
future and the past in their native land.

He resolved, in the third place, to establish the financial
arrangements of the Colony on a sounder basis; and he hoped that the
measures which raised the convicts out of criminal animals into
settlers {190} would also tend to render them self-supporting. A Code
of Regulations was drawn up under his eye, and revised with his own
pen; and true to his maxim, that for any piece of hard administrative
work 'a _man_ is required,' he sought out the best officer he could
find for the practical reorganisation of the Settlement. He chose a
soldier of strong force of character and proved administrative skill,
and in the summer of 1871 sent him off with the new Regulations to
his task.

'The charge which Major-General ---- is about to assume,' wrote Lord
Mayo in a Viceregal Note, 'is one of great responsibility. In fact, I
scarcely know of any charge under the Government of India which will
afford greater scope for ability and energy, or where a greater
public service can be performed. I fully expect that under his
management the Andamans, Nicobars, and their dependencies, instead of
being a heavy drain upon the Government, may at no distant period
become self-supporting. The charge of the Colony to the Indian
Exchequer has averaged 150,000 pounds a year; each transported felon
costs the country more than 1 pound 12_s._ a month' [the average
monthly cost in Bengal jails being then 11_s._ 5_d._ per man].

Lord Mayo then points out in detail the means by which he hoped this
change would be effected, 'by a proper system of rice and pulse
cultivation'; by breeding goats, and a more economical meat supply;
by the adoption of jail-manufactured clothing, and {191} the growth
of cotton and flax; by using the 'timber grown on the islands instead
of imported timber'; 'by substituting Native troops for free police,'
and by 'more economical steam communication' with the mainland. The
immediate saving from these measures was estimated by the proper
authority at 30,000 pounds a year. The Viceroy next comments on the
recent reports 'that there is no system of supervision or
discipline.' He then sets forth, in a well-considered summary, the
points to be attended to in this important branch of the ordering of
a convict colony.

The new Superintendent set to work to reorganise the Penal Settlement
with great vigour. But he found that the changes really amounted to
introducing a new government. While, therefore, after six months he
was able to report encouraging results, he desired that Lord Mayo
should 'personally realise the magnitude and difficulty of the task.'

'Progress has been made,' the Superintendent wrote to the Viceroy's
Private Secretary, 'but I am anxious that Lord Mayo should himself
see what has been done, before we commence the clearing. No one can
thoroughly understand this place until he has seen it.' 'I look to
the Governor-General's visit,' he again wrote in the midst of his
difficulties, 'to set all these matters straight.'

On the 24th January, 1872, the Earl of Mayo left Calcutta on his cold
weather tour. His purpose was first to visit Burma, next to call at
the Andamans {192} on the return passage across the Bay of Bengal,
and then to inspect the Province of Orissa. In each of these three
places, weighty questions of internal policy demanded his presence.
After completing his work in Burma, he cast anchor off Hopetown in
the Andamans at 8 A.M. on the 8th February, 1872. A brilliant party
of officials and guests accompanied the Viceroy and the Countess of
Mayo in H. M.'s frigate _Glasgow_, and on the attendant steamship
_Dacca_.

Lord Mayo landed immediately after breakfast, and during a long day
conducted a thorough inspection of Viper and Ross Islands, where the
worst characters were quartered. Ample provisions had been made for
his protection. A detachment of free police, armed with muskets,
moved with the Governor-General's party in front, flank, and rear.
The prisoners were strictly kept at their ordinary work; and on Viper
and Ross Islands, the only ones where any danger was apprehended, the
whole troops were under arms. One or two convicts, who wished to
present petitions, handed them to an officer in attendance, without
approaching the Viceroy; and the general feeling among the prisoners
was one of self-interested satisfaction, in the hope of indulgences
and pardons in honour of the visit.

The official inspection was concluded about 5 o'clock. But Lord Mayo
desired, if possible, to create a sanitarium, where the fever
patients might shake off their clinging malady. He thought that Mount
Harriet, a {193} hill rising to 1116 feet a mile and a half inland
from the Hopetown jetty, might be suitable for this purpose. No
criminals of a dangerous sort were quartered at Hopetown; the only
convicts there being approved ticket-of-leave men of good conduct.
However, the Superintendent despatched a boat to convey the guards to
the Hopetown jetty.

'We have still an hour of daylight,' said Lord Mayo, bent on the
sanitarium project, 'let us do Mount Harriet.' On landing at the
Hopetown jetty he found gay groups of his guests enjoying the cool of
the day, and had a smile and a kind word for each as he passed. 'Do
come up,' he said to one lady, 'you'll have such a sunset.' But it
was a stiff climb through the heavy jungle and only one recruit
joined him. His own party were dead tired; they had been on their
feet for six blazing hours, and Lord Mayo, as usual the freshest
after a hard day, begged some of them to rest till he returned. Of
course no one liked to give in, and the cortège dived into the
jungle. When they came to the foot of the hill, the Viceroy turned
round to one of his aide-de-camps, who was visibly fatigued now that
the strain of the day's anxiety had relaxed, and almost ordered him
to sit down.

The Superintendent had sent on the one available pony, but Lord Mayo
at first objected to riding while the rest were on foot. When half
way up, he stopped and said: 'It's my turn to walk now; one of you
get on.' At the top he carefully surveyed the capabilities of the
hill as a sanitarium. He thought he saw his {194} way to improve the
health of the Settlement, and with the stern task of reorganisation
to make a work of humanity go hand in hand. 'Plenty of room here,' he
cried, looking round on the island group, 'to settle two millions of
men.' Presently he sat down, and gazed silently across the sea to the
sunset. Once or twice he said quietly, 'How beautiful.' Then he drank
some water. After another long look to the westward, he exclaimed to
his Private Secretary: 'It's the loveliest thing I think I ever saw:'
and came away.

The descent was made in close order, for it was now dark. About
three-quarters of the way down, torch-bearers from Hopetown met the
Viceroy and his attendant group of officials and guards. Two of his
party who had hurried forward to the pier saw the intermittent gleam
of the torches threading their way through the jungle; then the whole
body of lights issued by the bridle-path from the woods, a minute's
walk from the jetty. The _Glasgow_ frigate lay out on the left with
her long line of lights low on the water; the _Scotia_ and _Dacca_,
also lit up, beyond her; another steamer, the _Nemesis_, was coaling
nearer to Hopetown, on the right. The ships' bells had just rung
seven. The launch with steam up was whizzing at the jetty stairs; a
group of her seamen were chatting on the pier-end. It was now quite
dark, and the black line of the jungle seemed to touch the water's
edge.

The Viceroy's party passed some large loose stones {195} to the left
at the head of the pier, and advanced along the jetty; two
torch-bearers in front, the light shining strongly on the tall form
of Lord Mayo, in a grey tussa-silk coat, close between his Private
Secretary and the Superintendent; the Flag-Lieutenant of the
_Glasgow_ and a Colonel of Engineers a few paces behind, on left and
right; the armed police between them, but a little nearer the
Viceroy. The Superintendent turned aside, with Lord Mayo's leave, to
give an order about the morning's programme, and the Viceroy stepped
quickly forward before the rest to descend the stairs to the launch.
The next moment the people in the rear heard a noise as of 'the rush
of some animal' from behind the loose stones: one or two saw a hand
and a knife suddenly descend in the torch-light. The Private
Secretary heard a thud, and instantly turning round, found a man
'fastened like a tiger'[1] on the back of the Viceroy.

[Footnote 1: I use his own words.]

In a second twelve men were on the assassin; an English officer was
pulling them off, and with his sword-hilt keeping back the Native
guards, who would have killed the assailant on the spot. The torches
had gone out; but the Viceroy, who had staggered over the pier side,
was dimly seen rising up in the knee-deep water, and clearing the
hair off his brow with his hand as if recovering himself. His Private
Secretary was instantly at his side in the surf, helping him up the
bank. 'Burne,' he said quietly, 'they've hit me.' Then, in a louder
voice, which was {196} heard on the pier, 'It's all right, I don't
think I'm much hurt,' or words to that effect. In another minute he
was sitting under the smoky glare of the re-lit torches, on a rude
native cart at the side of the jetty, his legs hanging loosely down.
Then they lifted him bodily on to the cart, and saw a great dark
patch on the back of his light coat. The blood came streaming out,
and men tried to stanch it with their handkerchiefs. For a moment or
two he sat up on the cart, then he fell heavily backwards. 'Lift up
my head,' he said faintly: and said no more.

They carried him down into the steam launch, some silently believing
him dead. Others, angry with themselves for the bare surmise, cut
open his coat and vest, and stopped the wound with hastily torn
strips of cloth and the palms of their hands. Others kept rubbing his
feet and legs. Three supported his head. The assassin lay tied and
stunned a few yards from him. As the launch shot on in the darkness,
eight bells rang across the water from the ships. When it came near
the frigate, where the guests were waiting for dinner, and jesting
about some fish which they had caught for the meal, the lights in the
launch were suddenly put out, to hide what was going on in it. They
lifted Lord Mayo gently to his cabin: when they laid him down in his
cot, every one saw that he was dead.

To all on board, that night stands out from among all other nights in
their lives. A silence, which seemed as if it would never again be
broken, {197} suddenly fell on the holiday ship with its 600 souls.
The doctors held their interview with the dead--two stabs from the
same knife on the shoulder had penetrated the cavity of the chest,
either of them sufficient to cause death. On the guest steamer there
were hysterics and weeping; but in the ship where the Viceroy lay,
the grief was too deep for outward expression. Men moved about
solitarily through the night, each saying bitterly to his own heart,
'Would that it had been one of us.' The anguish of her who received
back her dead was not, and is not, for words.

At dawn the sight of the frigate in mourning, the flag at half-mast,
the broad white stripe darkened to a leaden grey, all the ropes
slackened, and the yards hanging topped in dismal disorder, announced
the reality to those on the guest steamer who had persisted through
the night in a hysterical disbelief. On the frigate a hushed and
solemn industry was going on. The chief officers of the Government of
India on board assembled[2] to adopt steps for the devolution of the
Viceroyalty. In a few hours, while the doctors were still engaged on
the embalming, one steamer had hurried north with the Member of
Council to Bengal, another was ploughing its way with the Foreign
Secretary to Madras, to bring up Lord Napier of Ettrick, to Calcutta,
as acting Governor-General. UNO AVULSO, NON DEFICIT ALTER. The {198}
frigate lay silent and alone. At half-past nine that night, the
partially embalmed body was placed in its temporary coffin on the
quarter-deck, and covered with the Union Jack.

[Footnote 2: Sir Barrow H. Ellis (Member of Council) presiding, with
Mr. C. U. Aitchison, C.S.I., Foreign Secretary, and others.]

The assassin received the usual trial and the usual punishment for
his crime. Shortly after he had been brought on board, in the launch
which carried his victim, the Foreign Secretary asked him why he had
done this thing. He only replied, 'By the order of God.'[3] To the
question whether he had any associates in his act, he answered,
'Among men I have no accomplice; God is my partner.'[4] Next morning,
at the usual preliminary inquiry before the local magistrate, when
called to plead, he said, 'Yes, I did it.'[5] The evidence of the
eye-witnesses was recorded, and the prisoner committed for murder to
the Sessions-Court. The Superintendent, sitting as chief judge in the
Settlement, conducted the trial in the afternoon. The accused simply
pleaded 'Not guilty.' Each fact was established by those present when
the deed was done; the prisoner had been dragged off the back of the
bleeding Viceroy with the reddened knife in his hand. The sentence
was to suffer death by hanging. The proceedings were forwarded in the
regular way to the High Court at Calcutta for review. On the 20th
February this tribunal confirmed the sentence; and on the 11th March
the assassin was {199} taken to the usual place of execution on Viper
Island, and hanged.

[Footnote 3: _Khudá ne húkm diyá._]

[Footnote 4: _Merá sharík koí ádmí nahín; merá sharík khudá hai._]

[Footnote 5: _Hán, main ne kiyá._]

The man was a highlander from beyond our North-Western Frontier, who
had taken service in the Punjab Mounted Police, and had been
condemned at Pesháwar for slaying his blood-feud enemy on British
soil. The Court took a merciful view of the case and sentenced him to
transportation for life at the Andamans. In his dying confession,
years afterwards, he stated that although he had not struck the blow,
he had conspired to do the murder. But the slaying of a hereditary
foe in cold blood was no crime in his eyes, and ever since his
conviction in 1869, he said he had made up his mind to revenge
himself by killing 'some European of high rank.' He therefore
established his character as a silent, doggedly well-behaved man; and
in due time was set at large as a barber among the ticket-of-leave
convicts at Hopetown.

During three years he waited sullenly for some worthy prey. On the
morning of the 8th February, when he heard the royal salute, he felt
that his time had come, and sharpened a knife. He resolved to kill
both the Superintendent and the Viceroy. All through the day the
close surveillance gave him no chance of getting to the islands which
Lord Mayo visited. Evening came, and his victim landed unexpectedly
at his very door. He slipped into the woods, crept up Mount Harriet
through the jungle side by side with the Viceroy; then dogged the
party down {200} again in the dark: but still got no chance. At the
foot he almost gave up hope, and resolved to wait for the morrow. But
as the Viceroy stepped quickly forward on the jetty, his grey-suited
shoulders towering conspicuous in the torch-light, an impulse of
despair thrilled through the assassin. He gave up all idea of life,
rushed round the guards, and in a moment was on his victim's back.

He was a hillman of great size and strength. When heavily fettered in
the condemned cell, he overturned the lamp with his chained ankle,
bore down the English sentry by brute strength of body, and wrenched
away his bayonet with his manacled hands. He made no pretence of
penitence, and was childishly vain of being photographed (for police
inquiries in Northern India) as the murderer of a Viceroy. Indeed,
some of the above details were only got out of him by a native
officer who cunningly begged him for materials for an ode on his
deed, to be sung by his countrymen. Neither his name, nor that of his
village or tribe, will find record in this book.

The passionate outburst of grief and wrath which then shook India,
the slow military pomp of the slain Viceroy's re-entry into his
capital, the uncontrollable fits of weeping in the chamber where he
lay in state, the long voyage of the mourning ship, and the solemn
ceremonial with which Ireland received home her dead son--all these
were fitting at the time, and are past.

{201} 'Yesterday,' said one of the Dublin papers, 'we saw a State
Solemnity vitalised by the subtle spell of national feeling. Seldom
are the two things united in an Irish public funeral. When imperial
pomp is displayed, the national heart is cold. When the people pay
spontaneous homage to the dead, the trappings of the State are
absent, its voice mute. Yesterday, for once, this ill-omened rule was
broken. Government and the people united in doing honour to an
illustrious Irishman.' The Indian Press had given vent to the wild
sorrow of many races in many languages; the English newspapers were
full of nobly expressed tributes; Parliamentary chiefs had their
well-chosen utterances for the nation's loss. But Lord Mayo, as he
sat on the top of the sea-girt hill and gazed towards the west, where
his dear home lay beyond the sunset, would have prized that united
mourning of his countrymen above any panegyric. They laid him at last
in the secluded graveyard which he had chosen on his own land.



INDEX


AFGHÁNISTÁN, 119-130.

AFZUL KHÁN, 121-122.

AGRICULTURE, department of, 182-184.

AITCHISON, Sir C. U., 83, 197.

ALWÁR, 107-110.

AMBÁLÁ Darbár, 124-126.

ANDAMAN ISLANDS, penal settlement of,
  death-rate in, 188:
  state of discipline, 188-9:
  Lord Mayo's reforms, 189-90:
  Lord Mayo's visit, 192-195:
  his assassination, 195-7.

ARGYLL, Duke of, 143, 159:
  quoted, 176.

ARMY, European,
  reductions after the Mutiny, 158-9:
  Lord Mayo's proposed reforms, 159-161, 166-168:
  his care for the welfare of the troops, 168-170.

ARMY, Native,
  reductions after Mutiny, 158-9:
  Lord Mayo's proposed reforms, 161-165, 167-8.

ARNOLD, Matthew, quoted, 56.


BALÚCHISTÁN, 130-2.

BAYLEY, Sir E. Clive, 83.

BHOPÁL, 111-112.

BOMBAY, 74-76.

BOURKE, Colonel the Honourable John, 41-2.

BOURKE, John, of Kill and Moneycrower, 19.

BOURKE, Honourable Richard, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, 19.

BOURKE, Richard Southwell, 17. See Earl of Mayo.

BOURKE, Robert,
  fifth Earl, 19-22:
  succeeds to the Earldom of Mayo, 37.

BURKE, Sir Bernard, 70.

BURMA, 135, 191.

BURNE, General H. K., 83.

BURNE, General Sir Owen Tudor, 82:
  quoted, 92, 195.


CANAL, Ganges, 177.

CANAL, Sárda, 178.

CANAL, Suez, 72-74.

CANALS, of the Jumna, 178.

CANNING, Lord, 81:
  quoted, 99.

CENSUS of Bengal, 181.

CHAPMAN, Mr. Barclay, 83.

CLIFFORD, Lady de, 28.

CLONCURRY, Lord, 42.

COMMERCE, Department of, 182-184.


DALHOUSIE, Marquess of, 7:
  his annexation of the Punjab and conquests, 11-13.

DAUNT, Mr. O'Neill, 36:
  quoted, 37.

DERBY, Earl of,
  quoted, 11, 40:
  quoted, 45-6, 48.

DISRAELI, Mr., 44, 54:
  quoted, 55, 69, 75.

DOST MUHAMMAD, 120.

DUNKELLIN, Lord, 44.

DURAND, Sir Henry, 143, 163, 165.


EAST INDIA COMPANY, 7-9, 80-81.

EDINBURGH, Duke of, 112:
  his visit to India, 185-6.

EDUCATION, 179-181.

EDUCATION of Native Princes and Chiefs, 117-118.

ELLIS, Hon. Sir Barrow, 83, 197.

EXPENDITURE, Public Works, 144.
  See also FINANCIAL REFORMS.


FEUDATORY STATES, 9-11:
  dealings with, 98-118:
  consolidation of, by Lord Canning and Lord Lawrence, 100:
  Lord Mayo's advice to Rájput Princes, 100-102:
  dealings with Káthiáwár, 105-6:
  with Alwár, 107-110:
  with Bhopál, 111-112:
  with the frontier and Lúshai tribes, 112-116:
  with Native States, 116-118.

FINANCIAL REFORMS, 14-15, 136-157:
  Table of Results of Lord Mayo's reform, 140:
  reduction of Public Works expenditure, 143-4:
  system of Local Finance, 149-154:
  increased taxation, 154-5:
  Table of Revenue and Expenditure, 156.

FOREIGN POLICY, 11-12, 119-135:
  Lord Lawrence's, 120-124:
  Lord Mayo's policy with regard to Afghánistán, 119-128:
  to Russia, 128-30:
  to Balúchistán, 130-32:
  to Eastern Turkestán, 132-5.

FORSYTH, Sir Douglas, 129, 133-4.

FOWLER, Mary, 19.

FOWLER, Robert, Archbishop of Dublin, 19.

FRANCIS, Sir Philip, 81.


GLADSTONE, Mr., 75.

GODDARD, General, 111.

GOVERNMENTS, LOCAL, 147-153.

GOVERNMENT, VICEREGAL of India,
  process of, 80-97:
  system of Government under the East India Company, 81:
  remodelled by Lord Canning, the first Viceroy, 81:
  Departments under Lord Mayo, 83:
  circulation of papers, 84-90:
  public duties of the Viceroy, 93.


HANSARD, 38, 56.

HASTINGS, Warren, 81.

HERÁT, 122.

HOPETOWN, 193-96.

HUME, Mr. A. O., 83.


INCOME TAX, 154-5.

INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION, 12-14, 171-186:
  Lord Mayo's inspection of Public Works, 171-174:
  Railways, 175-177:
  Irrigation, 177-8:
  Education, 179-181:
  First Census of India taken, 181:
  Organisation of the Statistical Survey, 182:
  and of the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, 182-183:
  Lord Mayo's hospitality, 185-6:
  the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, 185-6.

IRRIGATION, 177-8.


JAILS, death-rate in, 187-189. See Andaman Islands.

JOCELYN, Anne Charlotte, 19.


KÁBUL, 121-4, 127.

KASHMÍR, 134.

KÁTHIÁWÁR, 105-6.

KHELÁT, 130.

KILDARE, Marquess of, 36-7.

KOER SINGH, 8.


LAWRENCE, Lord, 54, 77-9, 120:
  quoted, 121-124, 154, 158.

LAWRENCE, Sir Henry, 169.

LOUIS XVI, 71.

LUMSDEN, Major, quoted, 120.


MADRAS, 76.

MAGUIRE, Mr., 51.

MAHÁRÁJÁ of Alwár, 107-110.

MAINE, Sir Henry, 185.

MALAN, M. Caesar, 24.

MARÁTHÁS, 111.

MARIE Antoinette, 71.

MAYO, Countess of, 16, 41, 192.

MAYO, Earl of,
  attitude towards the people and princes of India, 10-11:
  his foreign policy, 11-12:
  internal administration, 12-14:
  financial reforms, 14-15:
  ancestors and youth, 17-24:
  travels on the Continent, 25-6:
  Trinity College, Dublin, 26:
  entrance into society, 27:
  tour in Russia, 28-35:
  work during the potato disease and Irish famine, 35-6:
  Parliamentary contests and views regarding the Union and the
    Established Church, 36-7:
  becomes Lord Naas, 37:
  first speech in Parliament, 38:
  appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland, 39-40:
  his Irish measures, again Chief Secretary, 42-47:
  third time Chief Secretary for Ireland, 48:
  Irish insurrection dealt with, 49-50:
  declines the Governor-Generalship of Canada, 54-5:
  offer of the Viceroyalty of India, 54-55:
  letters to his sons, 57-59:
  Master of Kildare Fox-hounds, 60-64:
  preparation work at the India office, &c., 65:
  his appointment attacked in the Press, 65-7:
  his Will, 68:
  his Indian voyage, 70-76:
  inspects Suez Canal, 72:
  arrival at Aden, 73:
    at Bombay, 75:
    at Madras, 75-6:
    at Calcutta, 77-9:
  his method of work as Viceroy, 80-97:
  a day's work, 91-4:
  his tact, 95-7:
  his dealings with the Feudatory States, 98-118:
  his policy towards the Rájput Princes, 100-102:
  dealings with Káthiáwár, 105-6:
  with the State of Alwár, 107-110:
  with Bhopál, 111-2:
  his views regarding the frontier and Lúshai tribes, 112-116:
  his Foreign Policy, 119-35:
    towards Afghánistán, 119-30:
    towards Balúchistán, 130-32:
    towards Eastern Turkestán, 132-35:
  his Financial Reforms, 136-57:
  results, table of, 140:
  reduction of Public Works Expenditure, 144:
  introduces his system of Local Finance, or 'Financial
    Decentralisation,' 149-54:
  the Income Tax, 154-55:
  Table of Revenue and Expenditure under his rule, 156:
  his Military Policy, 158-70:
  his plan for retrenchment of military expenditure, 159-69:
  his care for the well-being of the troops, 169-70:
  his Internal Administration, 171-86:
  his official tours and inspection of Public Works, 171-74:
  Railways, 176-7:
  Irrigation, 177-8:
  Education, 179-81:
  First Census of India taken, 181:
  Organisation of the Statistical Survey, 182:
  and of the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, 182-3:
  his hospitality, 185-6:
  the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, 185-6:
  his jail reforms, 186-93:
  penal settlement of the Andamans, and death-rate in, 188:
  state of discipline, 188-9:
  his reforms, 189-91:
  his visit to Burma, 191:
  his visit to the Andamans, 192-95:
  his assassination, 195-7:
  death, 196-201.

MILITARY Policy, 158-70:
  Reductions of the Native and European armies by Lord Lawrence, 158:
  Lord Mayo's plan for retrenchment of military expenditure, 159-69:
  and his care for the welfare of the troops, 169-70.

MOUNT HARRIET, 192-94.

MUTINY, INDIAN, results of, 7-9, 13.


NAAS, Lord, 37. See Earl of Mayo.

NÁNÁ SÁHIB, 8.

NAPIER, Lord (of Ettrick), quoted 163, 197.

NAPIER, Lord (of Magdala), 74, 167-8.

NAPOLEON'S Will, 71.

NEPÁL, 135.

NORMAN, Major-General the Hon. Sir H., 83.

NORTHCOTE, Sir Stafford, 67:
  quoted, 124.


O'CONNELL, Mr. John, 36.


PAPERS, Dublin, quoted, 201.

PEEL, Sir Robert, 40.

PENAL SETTLEMENTS, 188. See Andaman Islands.

PUBLIC WORKS Department, 82:
  reorganisation of, 175-6.
  See also Internal Administration.

PUBLIC WORKS,
  stoppage of, 143:
  inspected by Lord Mayo, 172-5.


QUEEN VICTORIA, Indian Policy of, 9-10.


RAILWAYS, 13, 175-7.

RAWLINSON, Sir Henry, quoted, 123.

REVENUE, Department of, 182-4.
  See also Financial Reforms.

RODEN, Earl of, 19, 24.

ROSS Island, 192.

RUSSIA, 28-35, 128-30.


SANDHURST, Lord, 163, 165, 167-8.

SCHOUVALOFF, Count, 130.

SHER ALÍ, 120-7:
  quoted, 122.

SIKANDAR BEGAM, 112.

SMITH, Mr. and Mrs., 27.

STATISTICAL SURVEY, 182.

STEPHEN, Hon. Sir Fitzjames, 83, 185:
  quoted, 186.

STOKES, Mr. Whitley, 83.

STRACHEY, Hon. Sir John,
  quoted, 82, 83, 142, 144:
  quoted, 152-3.

STRACHEY, Major-Gen. Richard, 144:
  quoted, 154.


TÁNTIA TOPI, 8.

TEMPLE, Sir Richard, 83, 140-1.

TROOPS, European and Native, 158-70.

TURKESTÁN, Eastern, 132-4.


VIPER Island, 192.
  See also Andaman Islands.


WAR, CRIMEAN, 41-2.

WILSON, Colonel, 76.


YÁKÚB KUSHBEGÍ, 132-4.

YARKAND, 133-4.


ZANÁNÁ, 118.



THE END.





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