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Title: India Under Ripon - A Private Diary
Author: Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen
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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                         INDIA UNDER RIPON

                         INDIA UNDER RIPON

                          A PRIVATE DIARY

                       WILFRID SCAWEN BLUNT

                        CONTINUED FROM HIS

                             OF EGYPT”

                          T. FISHER UNWIN
                      LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE
                     LEIPSIC: INSELSTRASSE 20

                     (_All rights reserved._)



  CHAP.                                     PAGE

     I. INTRODUCTORY                           1
    II. CEYLON                                11
   III. MADRAS                                27
    IV. HYDERABAD                             57
     V. CALCUTTA                              85
    VI. A MOHAMMEDAN UNIVERSITY              123
   VII. PATNA, LUCKNOW                       139
  VIII. DELHI, RAJPUTANA                     161
    IX. THE NIZAM’S INSTALLATION             175
     X. BOMBAY                               208
    XI. AN APOLOGY FOR FAILURE               227
   XII. THE AGRICULTURAL DANGER              236
  XIII. RACE HATRED                          255
   XIV. THE MOHAMMEDAN QUESTION              278


     I. THE MOHAMMEDAN UNIVERSITY            327

  INDEX                                      337




I ought perhaps to have named this volume “The Awakening of India,”
because it describes the condition of Indian things at the time of
Lord Ripon’s viceroyalty, which was in truth the awakening hour of
the new movement towards liberty in India, the dawn of that day of
unrest which is the necessary prelude to full self-assertion in
every subject land.

The journey it records was made under circumstances of exceptional
interest at an exceptional moment, and should be instructive in
view of what has happened since. It contains a foreshadowing of
events which are under our eyes to-day, and suggests a solution of
problems which, after long waiting and with a timid courage, is
gradually being accepted as official.

The political situation in Lord Ripon’s time was as follows: Mr.
Gladstone, when he came into office in 1880, found himself at
the head of an immense majority in the House of Commons, pledged
to ideas of liberty in the East of which he had himself been the
foremost preacher. With regard to India he had formulated the
Liberal creed in a single sentence: “Our title to be in India,”
he had said, “depends on a first condition, that our being there
is profitable to the Indian nations; and on a second condition,
that we can make them see and understand it to be profitable.”
His predecessor’s policy had proved a failure. It had been one
of imperial expansion, of reckless finance, and of administrative
coercion. It had resulted in a disastrous frontier war, in an
immense financial deficit, and in the exasperation of the educated
native community. There had been a terrible famine, the severest
perhaps of the century. Many millions of the agricultural peasantry
had died or were reduced to a condition of semi-starvation. Famine,
to use the words of a popular Anglo-Indian writer of the time, had
become “the horizon of the Indian villager; insufficient food the
foreground.” The forest laws, the salt tax, the ever increasing
pressure of the revenue officers had driven some districts to the
verge of revolt. The vernacular press, which would have denounced
the Government as the cause of these evils, had been gagged in the
towns; and disaffection, stifled in its expression but none the
less real, was rife almost everywhere. The unrest was becoming, it
was thought, dangerous. It was to remedy these evils, and to put
the government of India on a footing of sounder economy, less war,
and a closer confidence between rulers and ruled, that Lord Ripon
was sent to India in the summer of 1880.

The choice of Lord Ripon as Queen Victoria’s representative and
Viceroy was, I believe, to a large degree Her Majesty’s own.
Little as she was in sympathy with Mr. Gladstone, she had this in
common with the new programme, that the disaffection of her Indian
subjects distressed her, and hardly less the arrogance with which
they were treated by their fellow subjects of British origin. In
the proclamation issued to the people of India after the Mutiny,
her royal name had been appended to a promise of entire equality as
between these and the others; and it touched her dignity that her
promise should have remained so long unredeemed. She had, besides,
a personal regard for Lord Ripon on account of his great integrity,
and he seemed to her the man most reliable she could send to
deliver a new message in her name to the people.

Lord Ripon landed in India in the late summer of the year of Mr.
Gladstone’s victory. He bore with him words of peace and hope
which raised native imagination to a point of high expectancy.
Mr. Gladstone’s name, to those who understood English politics,
seemed a guarantee of all reforms; his opinion about India had been
proclaimed from the house-tops; and the Queen’s personal interest
in the matter of her proclamation was known, and gave additional
assurance to the popular desire. Nor was Lord Ripon’s individual
attitude a disappointment to those who came in contact with him.
Though possessed of no great personal gifts or graces, he was a
transparently honest man, and it was felt that, as far as it lay
with the Viceroy to affect the situation, he could be relied on
as a friend to native India. He was seen from the first to be
a serious man, but without the chill reserve which is so great
a barrier between Englishmen and Orientals, and his manner had
something paternal in it which inspired a full measure of native
confidence. It was an advantage to him, I think, that he was not
a member of the English Church, but a Roman Catholic of more than
ordinary piety. Such was the impression made by Lord Ripon at the
opening of his Indian career. It was noticed of him as a wonderful
thing that, on landing at Bombay, his first visit was to the Roman
Catholic Cathedral, and a little later that in the streets of
Calcutta he would return the salutes of his native acquaintance,
contrary to all viceregal custom, and to the point that it became
the subject of private expostulation with him on the part of his
official _entourage_. His first public acts were in character with
the programme given him to carry out. The policy of enlarging
British India at the expense of her Asiatic neighbours and of the
native states was reversed; economy became the order of the day
in finance; and, as a first measure of conciliation with educated
native opinion, the gag of the press law was removed. It was made
clear that under the new _régime_ no native of India was to be
persecuted for the expression of his political views.

Nevertheless it was not long before it began to be perceived that,
however loyal Lord Ripon might be to his reforming principles, a
change had come over the spirit of those at home, in whose hands
the driving power of Indian reform really rested. In the early
summer of 1882, Mr. Gladstone, to the scandal of the Eastern world
and in contradiction of every principle he had professed two years
before when out of office, allowed himself to be persuaded to take
violent action in Egypt against the National Party of Reform, and,
after bombarding Alexandria, to send an army of 30,000 men to put
down the constitutional _régime_ beginning to be established there,
and restore, under pretext of repressing a rebellion, the forfeited
authority of the Khedive. It was an act of brutal and stupid
aggression, a war and an intrigue, undertaken in the interests of
cosmopolitan finance and in defiance of both law and principle.
Also, to make the matter worse for India, a large share of the
burden and cost of the war was thrown on the Indian army and the
Indian Exchequer. Against the gross injustice of this part of the
transaction, Lord Ripon protested in vain. He was powerless to
oppose the insistence of the Home Government, and the financial
iniquity was accomplished. From that moment it became evident to
the Viceroy that his mission of reform in the entirety of its
original scheme was doomed to failure. And so in truth it proved.
The lapse from principle in Egypt entailed other lapses, and in
India, and indeed throughout Asia, put back the clock of reform and
self-government for at least a generation. The spirit of aggressive
imperialism in the East, against which the Midlothian campaign had
been a protest, was by Mr. Gladstone’s own aggression revived and
strengthened. His sermon of Indian economy, and his denunciation
of unnecessary Indian wars were alike rendered ridiculous, and the
whole position of those who had followed him as the Apostle of
Eastern freedom, was abandoned to its enemies. Lord Ripon in the
spring of 1883, when, after two years of unwearied labour in the
attempt to gain over the Anglo-Indian officials to some practical
measure in accordance with the Queen’s proclamation, he decided at
last to give battle on what is known as the Ilbert Bill of that
year, knew himself already to be a beaten man; he felt that he was
championing a lost cause.

The Ilbert Bill was in itself but a very poor instalment of that
promised equality between her English and her Indian subjects which
he had been sent to give. Its object was to put a stop to the
impunity with which non-official Englishmen, principally of the
planter class, ill treated and even on occasion did to death their
native servants. It was to give for the first time jurisdiction
over Englishmen in criminal cases to native judges--instead of to
judges and juries only of their own countrymen. Trifling remedy,
however, though it was, it roused at once the anger of the class
aimed at, and a press campaign was opened against Lord Ripon of
unusual violence in the Anglo-Indian journals. The Ilbert Bill
was described as a revolutionary measure, which would put every
Englishman and every Englishwoman at the mercy of native intrigue
and native fanaticism. The attacks against Lord Ripon were
certainly encouraged by the Anglo-Indian officials; and presently
they were repeated in the press at home, and to the extent that the
Bill became a question in which the whole battle of India’s future
was being fought over and embittered. The “Times” took up the
attack; the Cabinet was alarmed for its popularity, and the Queen
was shaken in her opinion of her Viceroy’s judgement. Lord Ripon
was left practically alone to his fate.

Those who have read my “Secret History of the English Occupation
of Egypt” will understand in what way the cause Lord Ripon was
still defending at Calcutta was likely to affect me. It will be
remembered that, in the time of his predecessor, Lord Lytton, I
had paid a flying visit to India where I had enjoyed the then
Viceroy’s hospitality during two months at Simla. It had been a
visit solely of personal friendship, made at the close of a long
journey in Arabia, Turkey, and Persia, and that, notwithstanding
a Tory education and much prejudice in favour of my countrymen,
and in spite, too, of the daily society of such high Anglo-Indian
officials during my stay as Sir John Strachey, Sir Alfred Lyall,
and Lord Lytton himself, who had been at special pains to instruct
me in their ways and methods of administration, it had left
me more than doubtful of the advantage to native India of our
imperial rule. Strachey’s policy of “forward finance” seemed to
me one especially ruinous to India--a policy of ever-increasing
expenditure, ever-increasing public debt, and ever-increasing
taxation. Neither he nor Lytton had been able to convince me that
the immense poverty of the agricultural peasantry was not connected
with our extravagant English administration. This last Lytton, in
his lighter moods, was fond of describing as “a despotism of office
boxes tempered by an occasional loss of keys.”

Still I knew nothing for certain about native India. At Simla I
had had no opportunity of conversing with so much as a single
representative of its thoughts in opposition to the official views,
nor had I caught more than a glimpse of the skeleton figures of
the starving ryots as I passed rapidly by railway through their
plains. When I once more, four years later, turned my thoughts to
Indian travel, the single advantage I had acquired was that in the
interval my political education in regard to East and West had
progressed, and I had graduated in the severe school of personal
experience. The case of the Egyptian fellah is not very different
from that of the Indian ryot, and the economical needs of both are
closely parallel. I had witnessed the Egyptian revolution, which
was a revolt of the peasantry against a burden of debt, with my
own eyes and at close quarters, and I had found myself behind the
scenes in its struggle with European intrigue, a struggle where I
knew the right to be with the native reformers, the wrong with our
obstinate officials. I was determined that this time it should not
be under official chaperonage I would travel, but as far as was
possible on a basis of free intercourse with whatever inhabitants
of the land I could get access to. As a Home Ruler in the East,
I wished to ascertain what the true feeling of the country was
towards its English masters, and what the prospect of India’s
eventually gaining her freedom.

In this design I was of course greatly aided, as far as Mohammedan
India went, by the common cause I had made with the Egyptians in
their revolution, and the public advocacy of it I had undertaken.
It had put me in communication with some of the liberal leaders
of the Panislamic movement, and it is from them that I obtained,
so to say, my passports to the confidence of their Indian
co-religionists. To the Hindus I had no introduction. But here
circumstances, at the outset adverse in appearance, aided me. My
arch opponent in Egypt had been the Anglo-Indian Controller there
of Finance, Sir Auckland Colvin, and he, having got wind of my
intention, made an effort to frustrate it, by representing me
to Lord Ripon as a person politically dangerous, whom it would
be prudent to exclude from India, or place under official ban.
Colvin’s special service in Egypt had just come to a close and he
was once more in active Indian employment, and his name carried
weight. Nevertheless he found Lord Ripon irresponsive. Then, having
failed at head-quarters, he had recourse to the Anglo-Indian
press and, through an old standing connection with the “Pioneer”
newspaper, denounced me in print, an ill-advised action which,
more than any favourable introduction could have done, insured me
a welcome with the Hindus. Thus it happened that wherever I went
I was an object of pleased curiosity with the disaffected, as
one who, having incurred the anger of the Anglo-Indians, was by
that fact presumably their friend. If, in the sequel, my journey
achieved its object, and indeed far more than its object, it was to
the “Pioneer” and other organs of hostile official opinion that I
mainly owe it.

At the moment of my leaving London I received, in connection with
this and another matter, a message from Downing Street asking me
to call there, and the first entry in my diary refers to this. The
other matter was in regard to Egypt, where it had been suggested
that I should stop on my way to India and see Sir Evelyn Baring,
then newly appointed to the post he was so long to hold, and
concert with him a plan of restoring there the National Party. The
idea had been Mr. Gladstone’s, and I reserve a full account of it
for another occasion when I shall return to my Egyptian history,
only premising here that it came to nothing at the time and was
made a pretext later for excluding me from Egypt, reference to
which exclusion will be found in the diary. The first entry of
all refers to this, and to my then political connection with Lord
Randolph Churchill, in concert with whom, more or less, my journey
was undertaken. The Hamilton mentioned in the diary was Sir Edward
Hamilton, Mr. Gladstone’s chief private secretary; the Primrose,
Sir Henry Primrose, then holding the same position with Lord Ripon.
I omit in transcription nearly all that relates to Egypt, reserving
that part of my diary for another occasion. As to Lord Randolph,
it may not be unnecessary to explain that, in the battle in which
I had been engaged during the past year in Egypt, by far the most
effective ally I had found in Parliament had been the young leader
of the Fourth Party. Churchill, though an imperialist of the
Disraeli school, was a young man full of engaging qualities, with
generous impulses and a large sympathy with the weak and oppressed.
I had formed a close friendship with him, and had succeeded in
interesting him in my Oriental ideas to the extent that besides
taking up the cause of Egyptian nationalism, he later visited
India, and on his return in 1885 professed himself converted to
Lord Ripon’s policy. About this, and about his short career as
Secretary of State for India, I had intended to include a chapter
in this volume. But it has been decided that this, with much else
of a later date than 1884, shall be reserved for another occasion.
Churchill entered on his office with the best of intentions and
ideas, and I am still of opinion that had he remained for a few
years at the India Office he would have pushed on reform there as
none of his successors have had the courage since to attempt it.

With this preliminary word I leave my diary to tell its own story.



                                               “_12th Sept., 1883._

“Left home by the 10 o’clock train, and spent the day in London. A
letter had come from Eddy Hamilton by the morning’s post asking
to see me before I went abroad, and I went to Downing Street at
one o’clock. Mr. Gladstone is away yachting, and Eddy is acting
Prime Minister, and a very great man. I had not been to Downing
Street since last year--just upon a year ago--when I went to
ask for Arabi’s life. Eddy was extremely amiable this time, and
asked me what I was going to do in the East. I told him my plans
exactly--that I was going first to Egypt, and should call on Baring
and, if I found him favourably disposed, should propose to him a
restoration of the National Party, but if he would not listen I
should go on to Ceylon and India; that I could not do anything in
Egypt without Baring’s countenance, for the people would not dare
to come to speak to me; but, if Baring would help, I thought I
could get the Nationalist leaders elected at the elections--all
depended on the action of our officials. Also as to India--that I
had no intention of exciting to rebellion; that I should go first
to Lord Ripon, then to Lyall, and afterwards to the provinces;
that the subjects I wished principally to study were the financial
condition of the country, that is to say, to find out whether
our administration was really ruining India, and to ascertain
the views of the natives with regard to Home Rule. Of both these
plans Eddy seemed to approve, said that Baring would be sure to
wish to see me, and listen to all I had to say, and, though he did
not commit himself to anything very definite about the rest, did
not disapprove. With regard to India, he said he would write to
Primrose, Lord Ripon’s private secretary, to show me all attention;
so on the whole I am highly satisfied with my visit. I had some
talk with Eddy about Randolph Churchill. He said that my connection
with him in Egyptian affairs did me harm, but I don’t believe that,
and I look upon Churchill as quite as serious a politician as the
rest with whom I have had to deal. On Egypt I think he is sincere,
because he has an American wife, and the Americans have always
sympathized with freedom there. I believe, too, that he is at a
turning point in his character, and means to have done with mere
random fighting, and we both agreed that he has a career before
him. For my own part I like Churchill. He does not affect any high
principles, but he acts squarely.”

The next day I left with my wife for Paris, where our principal
interest was to see the small group of Egyptian exiles congregated

“_13th Sept._--We arrived by the night train at Paris, and alighted
at the Hôtel S. Romain, a quiet place where we can see our friends.
Presently Sabunji came in with Sheykh Jemal-ed-Din.[1] When I saw
the Sheykh in London in the spring, he wore his Sheykh’s dress. Now
he has clothes of the Stambouli cut, which, however, sit not badly
on him. He has learned a few words of French, but is otherwise
unchanged. Our talk was of India, and of the possibility of my
being able to get the real confidence of the Moslems there. He
said that my being an Englishman would make this very difficult,
for all who had any position to lose were in terror of the
Government, which had its spies everywhere. He himself had been
kept almost a prisoner in his house and had left India through fear
of worse. Any Sheykh who gained notoriety in India was tracked and
bullied, and if he persisted in an independent course he was sent
on some charge or other to the Andaman Islands. People, he said,
would not understand that I wished them well, and would be too
prudent to talk. The poorer people might, not the Sheykhs or the
Princes. He thought Hyderabad would be my best point, as there were
refugees there from every province of India, and they were less
afraid of the English Government. He said he would write me some
private letters to explain my position, and to the editors of some
Mohammedan newspapers. I told him what the political position was,
and how necessary it seemed to me that the Moslems should show that
they joined the Hindus in supporting the Ripon policy. All depended
on the Indians showing a united front. He said they might have
courage, if it could be proved to them that there were people in
England who sympathized with them, but they only saw the officials,
who _never smiled when they spoke to them_. I asked him about the
language I should most prudently hold regarding the Sultan, and he
advised me to say nothing against the Sultan in India, or about an
Arabian Caliphate; it had been spread about that the English were
going to set up a sham Caliphate in Arabia, under a child, whom
they would use to make themselves masters of the holy places; the
Sultan’s name was now venerated in India as it had not formerly

“_14th Sept._--Jemal-ed-Din and Sanua and Sabunji came to
breakfast, and we stayed talking all day. The Sheykh brought
with him letters which he had written to the Nawab Abd-el-Latif
of Calcutta, and the Nawab Rasul Yar Khan of Hyderabad, both of
which I hope may be of great value. He told us some interesting
particulars as to his own people and family, repudiates the idea
of the Afghans being a Semitic people, says on the contrary that
they are Aryans, like the inhabitants of Northern India, but his
own family is Arabian, and they have always preserved in it the
tradition of the Arabic language. He also discoursed on history. I
read them my poem ‘The Wind and the Whirlwind,’ which Sabunji in
part translated to the Sheykh. He said that, if he had been told
there was in the world an Englishman who really sympathized with
the misfortunes of India, he would not have believed it. Sanua
exhorted me to have the poem translated into good Arabic verse
by El-Rakkam, a pupil of Abdu’s. I also went through with him a
programme I have drawn up for the restoration of the National Party
in Egypt, and talked over with the Sheykh a scheme of restoring the
Azhar as a real university for all Islam, and he explained how it
had been in old days.”

The same evening we took train to Marseilles, and went on by
Messageries steamer to Egypt, where we spent a fortnight. Our stay
there was productive only of disappointment as far as the political
situation went. I found Sir Evelyn Baring, when I called on him,
willing enough to talk things over with me, but half-an-hour’s
conversation was sufficient to convince me that, whatever Mr.
Gladstone might dream or pretend to dream about restoring the
National Party and recalling the exiles, nothing was further
from Sir Evelyn’s mind. He had no intention whatever but that of
supporting the Khedive and the party of reaction. We consequently
turned our steps once more eastwards, and embarked at Suez on the
9th of October, in the British India ship “Ghoorkha,” having so far
altered our original plan of travel as to include in it Ceylon,
where we desired to visit our exiled Egyptian friends, Arabi Pasha
and his four companions. We intended to stay with them a few days
only and pass on thence into Southern India.

We were delayed, however, longer than we thought. I had hardly got
on board when I began to develop a malarious fever, which, before
the end of the voyage had become serious. The “Ghoorkha” was a
detestable conveyance, overcrowded, swarming with vermin, and
miserably provided. There was no doctor on board, nor any means of
comfort for a sick person. Driven out of my cabin by the heat and
its discomforts, I was laid on a table in the saloon, and there
passed my days in extreme wretchedness but nursed by my wife and
her maid Cowie, who was devoted and admirable on such occasions.
Our fellow passengers were a rough set of Colonial English and
planters from India, Assam and Burmah. With these we had a constant
battle for existence. In the early days of the voyage I still tried
to write my journal, and I give such extracts from it as have
anything of public interest.

“_10th Oct._--The only persons on board we know anything of are
the half-caste Russell going to Jeddah, and a young fellow, Mrs.
Palmer’s brother, who has been given a Government place worth £800
a year in the Mint at Calcutta. He is to stay there two years, and
then to be transferred to the London Mint, this doubtless through
Lord Northbrook.”

This is a good instance of the way the Indian revenue is sometimes
made use of to evade the difficulties of jobbery in England.
Professor Palmer had been sent by Lord Northbrook, then at the
Admiralty, on a secret mission connected with the intended invasion
of Egypt, and had lost his life (see “Secret History of the English
Occupation of Egypt”), and his widow had applied to his lordship
for a pension. As the mission was a secret one, and could not be
avowed, it was not found possible to include this in the English
Navy Estimates, so Palmer’s brother-in-law was jobbed into the
Indian service in the way described, as part of the compensation
due to his widow.

“The rest of the passengers are tea-planters, or English settlers
in India, the class most angry at the Ilbert Bill, and we are not
very amiably regarded by them. I have passed my time reading the
‘Koran,’ which is a great consolation in circumstances such as
ours. There are moments when I could arise and proclaim a _jehad_
on board.

“_11th Oct._--I have had some conversation with an intelligent
young tea-planter settled near the Burmese frontier. He seems
to think a new rebellion is brewing in India. In his district
within the last two years the villagers have taken to cursing
the English when they pass, and even throwing stones. He has the
usual arguments against the Ilbert Bill--the venality of native
magistrates, prevalence of native false witness, and the rest.
In another district the planters had sworn that they would not
accept the bill if it became law, but would deal in their own way
with the first native magistrate who presumed to try a European.
He did not believe the bill would pass. If it did, India would
be lost. The natives were already ‘far too cheeky.’ A sensible
old lady who has lived twenty-five years in Burmah had something
of the same opinion, but spoke very strongly against the opium
trade. The Buddhist priests of Burmah have complained that our
rule has demoralized the country, which before had no vices, but
is now given up to opium eating and spirit drinking. She says this
is quite true, and that the Government forced their opium on the
people for the sake of the revenue. She likes Burmah, nevertheless,
and is going out now with the whole of a very numerous family
undismayed at possible dangers.

“_12th Oct._--The Feast of Beiram. The waiters and crew, most of
whom are Moslems, said their prayers together on the forecastle,
having put on clean turbans. We are passing Socotra, which lies
north of us, ranges of barren hills.

“_13th Oct._--Last night an old indigo planter with a bottle nose
entertained us with his views on the Ilbert Bill and kindred
matters. He had been twenty years in Bengal; there were fewer
planters now than before the Mutiny; the planters were the backbone
of the Empire, and saved it in the Mutiny, and now were the
backbone of its finance. I asked him to explain this, and he said
that they advanced money to the Zemindars to enable them to pay
the Government dues. They charged no interest, but took villages
in exchange, their only advantage being that the villagers worked
their indigo grounds for them. The planters would all leave India
if the Ilbert Bill passed.

“There is a Mr. Y. on board who bought nine thousand acres of land
last year from the Government, but the natives on it would only
pay rent for sixteen acres, though they occupied it all. He was
very indignant, and said the Indian Empire would go to ruin if
they played any tricks with it. It was a conquered country, and
the niggers were all rogues from the first to the last. The little
tea-planter joined in, but assured us that no improvement was to
be expected from making them Christians. Some of the planters in
his neighbourhood had employed converted coolies, but found them
far worse than the others; they used sometimes to go away all
together and drink for a week at a time. Nobody became a Christian
except for some underhand object, and as soon as he had got it
he went back; he considered drinking part of the conversion. He
mentioned how an Englishman of his district had been condemned
to a year’s imprisonment for manslaughter on false evidence, as
the man he had injured had not died--though the Englishman beat
him. They asked me what the English Government meant to do, what
their idea was in upsetting things? I said I believed it was
merely a question of economy; the Indian Government as it was
did not pay its expenses; it was like sending away an expensive
Scotch gardener from a poor garden; the country would be worse
administered perhaps. I consoled Mr. Y., however, by assuring him
that the people now in office, Lord Kimberley, Lord Northbrook,
and Lord Granville, were as little likely to do anything really in
the direction of freeing the Indians as any three Tories in the
kingdom. In answer to a question, the tea-planter said: ‘Of course
it is impossible to get on without being bullies now and then, but
it is a good rule never to touch the natives unless you mean it in
earnest. If you strike a nigger and he thinks you are afraid to
hit him hard, he runs you in to a certainty before the magistrate,
but if you give it him well, he knows he deserves it. You must
be careful, however, not to overdo it, for they are very soft,
and four out of five have enlarged spleens, and they are capable
without any exaggeration of dying to spite you.’

“_14th Oct., Sunday._--I am worse again to-day, and can do nothing
but sit up and lie down, and wish I was dead. The Moslem servants
have found out we are different from the rest of their masters on
board, and are very attentive. What irritates them particularly,
they have told Sabunji, is that nobody speaks to them by name,
but only as ‘boy’ here, and ‘boy’ there. There is a bitter hatred
between them and the passengers, and no wonder. Not that there is
any actual ill-treatment by these--that was put a stop to three
years ago by a strike among the Bengalis, who refused any longer
to be beaten on the British India boats--but brow-beating there is
in plenty. Last night young Langa, Mrs. Palmer’s brother, came to
sit with us. He told us he had been given his place in the Indian
Mint, although he was not even an Englishman. His father had been
a Polish patriot, and he was indignant at the way the natives were
treated on board. He is an amiable boy of about twenty-three, very
like his sister in face and voice. A yellow butterfly was blown on
board to-day.

“_15th to 18th Oct._--Too ill to write. Last night, however, we
cast anchor at Colombo just after sunset. We expected our friends
to come to us on board, but I was too tired to care. Sabunji went
forth like the raven from the Ark, and did not any more return!”

The next three weeks I spent grievously sick, and then beginning
to be convalescent, at Colombo. On the morning of the nineteenth
our friends Mahmud Sami and Arabi came on board to take us to a
beautiful country house the former had prepared for us, and on
landing we were received by a deputation from the Mohammedans of
the town. The whole road we found had been decorated with flowers
for our reception, and there was a triumphal arch at the entrance
to the house, which was some miles from the landing-place. I was
carried through it all, hardly conscious of what was going on, nor
of the fireworks and illuminations which took place in my honour
in the evening. My journal contains no record of these days until
the 3rd of November, when I find a pleasant description of my daily

“_3rd Nov._--I get up every morning as soon as it is light, and am
carried to the verandah, where I sit and watch the rather curious
view which is in front of the house. The house stands fronting a
piece of fresh water, which is the river’s mouth and is used by
the fishing boats as a harbour. Beyond it there is a long strip of
sand covered with green bushes, and beyond that again the sea. The
fishing boats come in over the surf at daybreak, and then double
back up the reach of still water, and just in front of the house
are run up on the shore. It is astonishing how fast they sail, and
how steady they are in the breakers. But they are of Catamaran
build, and seem able to go where they like, and do what they like.
They are quite light, too, for a man and a boy can pull them up
high and dry without difficulty. When out at sea, those on board
are half in the water, but they cannot upset, because as they
heel over there is a spar resting on the water to which the boat
is spliced. They are obliged, however, to run before the wind as
they cannot easily tack. Then, soon after sunrise, boys come with
goats which they turn out to graze on the green bushes; and then
men with horses and oxen which they bathe in the river. None of
the men swim, but they stand about in the shallow water, ducking
up and down and splashing each other, so that with their long hair
they look just like women. The oxen come in carts, and are taken
out and bathed with pails which are poured over their backs, and
the ponies are treated in the same way. It is a very pretty sight,
and the same beasts and people come every morning, so that I seem
to know them all. I sit there in a dreamy state drinking my coffee,
and then go back to bed.

“Later in the day a sofa is put for me under the other verandah
by the garden, and I have another kind of view. There is a grove
of bananas with fruit nearly ripe, and all day long the little
gray squirrels, which are hardly bigger than mice, run over them,
jumping from branch to branch and looking into the bunches to
see if there are any ripe enough to eat. They make a shrill cry
when a kite or crow passes overhead, which is like a bird’s. Then
there are flowers, red and yellow and blue, which are visited by
little birds like willow wrens, who get at the honey by pecking
through the stalks. But in the middle of the day there are only
butterflies, almost every day new ones, black and yellow, black and
blue, and once one black and green; also small yellow butterflies,
and black and white ones, and a butterfly like a large red Admiral,
and that great russet-coloured one which one sees everywhere in
Asia and North Africa, a link between the East and the West,
_Chrysippus_. These sometimes come into the verandah, and are near
getting caught in the great spiders’ webs under the roof. The
afternoons are generally rainy, but after the showers lizards come
out and climb the bushes, and they have a favourite bush with dark
leaves, in which one day I saw a chameleon. About four o’clock the
sky becomes dark with hooded crows and jackdaws returning from the
town to an island on the river where they roost. They raise a great
clamour, and I have made a calculation that about seventy thousand
pass every evening across the small bit of sky which I can see.
They often stop on a banyan tree as they go by, or on the coco-nut
palms. The other birds seem all afraid of them. At last, as it gets
dark, they are gone, and then two little black and white robins
come out and sit on a post and rail, and hiss at each other like
blackcaps, and a pair of listless yellow-legged thrushes follow
them and hop about among the grass. Then it gradually gets quite
dark, and the fireflies come out chased by birds like nightjars,
and the lamp is lit, and Cowie brings me my tea, and I am carried
back to bed. This has been my life these twenty days.”

During these three weeks, which in some ways were among the
happiest of my life, for I always look back to the periods of
recovery from a severe illness as being such, I was not without
visits from our friends the Egyptian exiles and others of the
Mohammedan community of Colombo. Arabi, especially, came daily
to see me, and I found him of an extreme gentleness and kindness
in a sick room. He was anxious to do all he could for me, and
recommended me such remedies as are used by the fellahin in Egypt,
and even took off from his arm, where he habitually wore it, a
little leathern bag containing a charm or incantation and placed it
upon mine. To this he attributed my recovery, and it may have been
effective in this way, combined with the fresh milk which formed
for the first fortnight my sole diet. I tried to believe it, and
would have willingly believed too the other articles of his simple
fellah faith. With Arabi and the other exiles I naturally had much
talk about the past events of their country. But what they told me
I need not here recapitulate, as I have already embodied it with
much else in my Egyptian Memoirs.

I find in my diary that on the 6th of November I went out for my
first drive, and that in the company of Arabi and Abd-el-Aal I went
into Colombo, and that we saw Gregory’s statue together in the
Cinnamon Gardens, and three days later that I attended a public
dinner given in my honour by the local Mohammedans. At this I made
a public speech. Arabi had proposed the Queen’s health in a few
words of Arabic, and my own speech took the form of a return of
thanks. From the date of their arrival at Colombo, the exiles had
been exceedingly well treated by the Governor of the Island and
his subordinates, and were in the habit of being invited to all
the great receptions at Government House. And on the other hand,
with their own co-religionists, they had attained a position of
the highest consideration, Arabi being in the habit of leading the
prayer in the principal mosque on Fridays.

The Mohammedans of Ceylon are known there as “Moors,” a name given
them originally by the Portuguese, which is applied also to the
Mohammedans of the south-west coast of India. They belong to a far
older Mohammedan settlement than the Moguls of the north, being, in
fact, the descendants of Arab traders who in the first centuries
of Islam came not as conquerors, but as commercial settlers from
Oman and Yemen. Unlike the Mohammedans of the north, they are a
pushing and prosperous community, having most of the shop-keeping
trade in their hands, especially that of jewel merchants. There
is also a comparatively small Mohammedan community of Malays, the
descendants of a force of Malay soldiers formerly maintained by the
Dutch. With them I found living on terms of friendly intercourse
the Brahminical Tamils, who consider themselves to be of Dravidian
race, originally from Southern India, though they have probably
mixed much with the Aryans in past times. They, too, are a pushing
race, commercial and combative, and had driven the Cingalese out
of half the island before the arrival of the Portuguese in Ceylon.
The Dravidians number here and in Southern India some seventeen
millions, and the Tamils are considered their leading branch.
Their form of Brahminism is of a purer type than in the north,
as they hold closer to the Vedas, so much so that the Brahma
Suraj reformers make no way with them; their doctrines have been
forestalled. They are also more particular about the consecration
of their idols, and the performance of their religious ceremonies.
The head of their community at Colombo, Ramanatha, told me that he
had been shocked in Northern India at the rough and ready idols
even the princes worshipped, unconsecrated, in their own houses. He
says there is a good feeling between all the members of the Asiatic
creeds at Colombo, but the Catholics, Methodists, and Wesleyans are
on bad terms with these. The Catholic population is large along
the coast. On the 9th the Tamils entertained me at a banquet, to
which the Egyptian Pashas and several Europeans were also invited.
These were Mohammedan Tamils, of whom there were about one hundred
present. Though unfit for it, for I was very tired, I made a long
speech, or rather sermon, to them on the subject of Mohammedan
reform, and reform in their political life. It was rather a
venturesome attempt, but was well received by them. I spoke, of
course, in English, which all understood.

We also made acquaintance, while in Colombo, with the Governor,
Sir Arthur Gordon, a very excellent man, who was on the best of
terms with the various native communities. There was in Ceylon a
good tradition of this kind, dating, I believe, from Sir William
Gregory’s governorship some years back, and contrasting in a very
marked manner with the relations I afterwards found in India
between the rulers and the ruled. Ceylon’s position as a Crown
colony, with institutions of a semi-representative kind, puts the
natives of the island in a position of comparative equality with
the Europeans, and is answerable, doubtless, for the better feeling
displayed towards them by these, at least in public. There is none
of that extreme and open arrogance we find in Northern India. Nor
was there on the part of the natives I came in contact with any
expression of that race bitterness which in India is universal. On
Sunday, the 11th November, my journal, interrupted by my illness,
begins again to be regularly kept.

“_11th Nov._--We bade good-bye to our friends, and took steamer
for Tuticorin, the southernmost point of the Indian peninsula. The
night before I had a serious talk with Mahmud Sami. He is a man
of a very superior education, and has behaved to us throughout
as our host with the most consummate courtesy. Immediately after
breakfast came some other chief friends among the Moors, with them
Haj Ibrahim Didi, the Sultan of Maldive’s nephew, who is also
Consul for him, though the Maldive Islands are so cut off from the
mainland that he has had no communication with head-quarters for
years. The Pashas came on board to see us off, and I embraced each
one of them as they went over the ship’s side, and, last of all,
Arabi, for whom I feel a true affection. In spite of faults and
failings, there is something great about him which compels one’s
respect. His faults are all the faults of his race, his virtues are
his own.

“Looking back on the last three weeks spent in Ceylon, I recognize
in them perhaps the happiest of my life. When I arrived I was so
weak I could have died happily. But, though I did not die, I have
had such satisfaction as seldom comes on earth, that of seeing
the bread one has cast on the waters return to one a hundredfold,
a feeling that at last the power to do good has been won, and
more than one’s wishes granted. This is true pleasure and true
happiness. I regret the quiet life at Mahmud Sami’s as I regret a
home. We could see the banyan tree in the garden, and the boats on
the shore, and the columns of the verandah as we steamed away. I
doubt whether I shall ever be happier than I have been there.”


[1] A history of Seyyid Jemal-ed-Din Afghani, the well-known leader
of Liberal Panislamism will be found in my “Secret History of the
Occupation of Egypt,” 1907. Mr. Sabunji had been employed by me
in Egypt, and accompanied me there on the present occasion as my
secretary as far as Ceylon.



                                                       “_12th Nov._

“After a good passage of about fifteen hours we sighted the
Indian coast, first the western hills, and then the low shore off
Tuticorin. We have been carrying four hundred and thirty-five
Indian labourers coming home after working in Ceylon. The captain
says they carry 15,000 every year each way. They are fat and merry,
so I judge that they thrive during their absence from home--all I
believe Hindu Tamils. On the pier we were met by twenty or thirty
Moslems, representing the local Mohammedan population of two
hundred families. They had been telegraphed to about us by Ibrahim
Didi. A Moor from Galle, Kasim Biak, did the honours, entertaining
us at breakfast with a friend, Bawa Sahib, also from Ceylon. The
native Moslems seem very poor. I asked them about their condition,
and they complained of having no school. Their Imam had work enough
to do leading the prayers five times a day, and had no leisure to
teach. They also complained of being subject to annoyance from the
Hindus, who came with drums outside their mosque, and that the
magistrate, being a Hindu, would not prevent it. They all wear a
turban here, as do the Hindu Tamils. There seemed to be no English
resident in Tuticorin at all. We only stayed two hours, and then
went on by train, accompanied by our Mohammedan friends, now
increased to about fifty.

“The country for a mile or two inland is pure sand, and very pretty
with its desert vegetation, thorn acacias and groves of dom palms.
The heavy rains had brought up beautiful bright green grass, on
which flocks of long-legged goats were led to feed. By the side
of the railroad I noticed several birds well known to me, the
turtle dove of Egypt, the kite, the hen-harrier, the bee-bird,
and the roller, also birds unknown to me, a little magpie, a
long-tailed blackbird and others--butterflies, too, in some
variety, and flowers, yellow and blue, one like the convolvulus
minor. Later, the country opened into a vast cultivated plain,
perfectly level, but with fine mountain ranges to the west, a
very light soil, but improving as we got further from the coast,
though nowhere good on this day’s journey. It is easy to understand
a drought causing general famine. The cultivation is much as in
the rest of Central Asia, lightly ploughed lands, without fences
or boundaries, scattered trees, acacias or banyans, and at great
distances villages; no sign anywhere of ‘gentlemen’s seats,’ or
of any habitation better than the poorest, herds of lean sheep or
goats, the only cattle a few buffaloes. The whole country has been
recently under water, and this year at least there ought to be
crops, but they are not yet out of the ground.

“At Kumara Puran we came to some low hills, which I think were of
red granite, and here the country was greener, with millet and
rice crops, and more trees. I noticed mulberry trees as well as
banyans, and near the station, Australian gums. Much water about
in the pools. After these hills the land improved, growing more
beautiful; but night came on, and though there was a full moon we
saw little more. About half-past seven the train came to a stop,
and we were made to get out and walk some two or three hundred
yards, as the rails had been washed away by a flood. All around the
frogs were croaking in thousands. In another place was a fine old
stone bridge broken down, with a great stoppage of bullock carts,
and we arrived about nine o’clock at Madura. I was almost dead
with fatigue. Two Mohammedans, Abd-el-Aziz Sahib and another, were
awaiting us at the station, but I could do nothing but get to bed.

“_13th Nov._--Madura is a pretty place, with palm trees and
flocks of parrots. In the early morning we watched them flying
overhead, talking as they went. At nine the Mohammedans came again,
accompanied by an _alem_ of Arab descent, a _sayyid_, who spoke
good Arabic, but with a peculiar old-fashioned accent. We had a
long talk, principally about the misfortunes of their community.
The Moslems throughout Southern India have always been a very
small minority--descendants of the former Mogul rulers of the
country--for the mass of the population never conformed to Islam.
In those days they occupied the chief posts under Government and in
the army, but these have now passed away from them to the Hindus,
who are preferred to them for Government employment because of
their better knowledge of English and better schooling. Their cry
then is for schools, that they, too, may be employed. Unlike the
Moors of Ceylon, none of them are engaged in trade, nor have they
any means of embarking in commerce. Only a few are shop-keepers.
About a dozen have lands, on which they live, and the rest work
for wages for their daily bread. Many died in the famine seven
years ago. They are decreasing in numbers and wealth, and are
overridden, they say, by the ‘_kafrs_.’ It is difficult to see
any way out of this state of things, and I doubt even if schools
would help them much. The _alem_ had heard of course of Arabi, and
also of me; and they all took great interest in the affairs of
Islam beyond the seas. But their ideas are vague. They asked us
several times if we were not relations of the Queen, and I had some
difficulty in explaining our system of government. They enquired
with great interest whether it was true that the Russian Emperor
had sent troops to Afghanistan, and their faces brightened when I
told them that, though I knew nothing of troops, I had seen in the
papers that a Russian Envoy had appeared at Kabul. I fancy they
look forward to a restoration some day of Mohammedan Government
under Russian protection as a way out of their difficulties. Here,
however, it is not easy to imagine any such event, for Hinduism is
clearly all-powerful, and the Mohammedans are few, and they are
strangers in the land.”

Madura is indeed the most interesting Hindu city in India, the
place where the ancient Brahminical religion has been least touched
by foreign conquest, Mogul, or French, or English. There is
absolutely no sign in the city of anything alien. We did not see
a European face, or a trace of Saracenic architecture. A festival
was going on and an immense crowd thronged the streets, thousands
and thousands of men dressed in white, with ochre patches on their
foreheads, and of women in their beautiful gauze drapery, and
carrying flowers. Fortunately I had never heard of Madura and its
famous temple, and it was by accident that we came upon it as we
wandered without guide through the streets. I find the following
very inadequate description of it:

“In the afternoon we drove about the town, the most interesting I
ever saw, and went over the Palace and the Temple. The Palace is
a fine thing, but is being pitilessly restored at great expense
by the Madras Government. Its proportions, however, remain, and
it may be hoped that the damp air will tone down some of the
raw plaster work quickly. We found it the home of squirrels and
parrots and other birds. The view of the Blue Mountains from its
roof is one of the loveliest imaginable. The Temple, however,
is quite another thing. It is the supreme sight of Madura, and
indeed, one might profitably travel from England and return only
to have seen this. It is not only unmatched, but is beyond all
comparison with the rest of the buildings I have seen in the East,
as far beyond them as St. Mark’s at Venice is beyond Spurgeon’s
Tabernacle. In shape it is a vast square composed of courts and
halls, and corridors, deep in shade, with open spaces where the
sun pours down. At the corners are four structures, like great
Towers of Babel, covered, or rather encrusted, with sculptured
gods, monsters, and devils, the whole enclosed with an immense
stone wall, where there are no apertures. The door by which we
entered from the street gave little idea of what was within. It
might have been the entrance to a bazaar, and its comparative
meanness enhanced the quite unexpected wonder we were about to see.
It opened on to a kind of covered way, whose roof was supported
by rows of figures carved in stone, grotesque and monstrous, but
still finely sculptured, the lower parts of them black with the
elbow polish of many generations of worshippers. This corridor was
perhaps three hundred yards in length, and at its entrance were a
number of open shops, where goods connected with the worship were
being sold--‘the buyers and sellers of the Temple’--always thronged
with worshippers grotesque as their gods, with painted foreheads,
and sometimes painted bodies.

“We passed through the crowd unquestioning and unquestioned. There
was no one to explain the meaning of anything we saw. I walked on
as in a dream, being still weak with my late fever, and because of
the hot sun outside. Presently the shut street widened, and we came
to elephants, painted, too, with gilded tusks, which might have
been statues, so quietly they stood, but for the flapping of their
ears and the swaying of their trunks. Beyond them the street once
more narrowed, and was crossed by the framework of a pair of huge
gates of brass, carved also with innumerable gods. Through this we
stepped and at last came out upon an open square tank, surrounded
with galleries, carved and painted, and surmounted with the palm
trees which grow inside the Temple, and at the extreme corner by
one of the Babylonian Towers. Here naked men were washing in the
green water, and we turned aside attracted by a distant sound of
chaunting. We were once more in the gloom, and passed through halls
and corridors of growing obscurity towards what seemed to be the
Temple itself, ‘The Holy of Holies.’ Men here were sitting in a
ring upon the floor, and there were arches of palm trees wreathed
with flowers, and we smelt the smell of incense. It was from these
the chaunting came, but no one took notice of us as we passed. Then
we came on to another open court, where there were more elephants,
and we saw one led away with brass bells upon it, ringing as it
went. Then on through other corridors and still through thousands
of sculptured gods, where worshippers were offering flowers, and so
back once more to the open street of the town. I cannot describe
it more. It is a temple, the home of a worship living still, as it
lived three thousand years ago, and still the resort of a nation of
worshippers. A temple, not a mere house of prayer, and one where
the ancient gods of wood and stone and bronze and gold are still
propitiated with offerings and adorned with wreaths of flowers. I
was thoroughly tired out with what I had seen, but perhaps for this
the better pleased.”

The same night we went on our way northwards, by train, and stopped
while it was still dark at Trichinopoly.

“_14th Nov._--We were awakened this morning in the rest house where
we had slept by a sound of martial music, military noises, ‘and
the shouting of the captains,’ or rather by the hoarse voice of
an old English general giving the word of command to two thousand
Madras Infantry on the parade ground close by. This was the first
sign of anything English since landing in India, for not so much
as a white official had been visible on the railway, and these
sounds were like the breaking of a spell, though still we came in
contact with no Englishmen. We drove after breakfast to another
celebrated temple, passing through the town and under the fort. In
the streets we met a pretty marriage procession, the bride mounted
on a pony, and covered with golden ornaments, and again, a young
married pair similarly decked out in an open carriage. The Temple
of Trichinopoly is at a considerable distance beyond the town,
as large, but less interesting than that of Madura, the roofed
portion being smaller, nor are there the same carved gods, nor the
same appearance of ancient and daily use. We saw it, too, under
less perfect circumstances, for the guides of the place had found
us out, and insisted on explaining all we did not want to know,
and making the elephants salute us, an incongruous thing. It is
hateful to be here as members of the alien ruling caste, reverenced
and feared, and secretly detested. We paid our guides and the
_mahouts_ with open hands. It was all we could do to make them
amends for our presence.

“As the day wore on, returning from the temple, we once more
found the roads alive with men and women, most of the men wearing
the Brahminical paint. There are two clearly distinct types of
countenance among the people, one with narrow retreating forehead,
thick overhanging eyebrows, and coarse features, the other refined
and handsome, with here and there a head (for all go uncovered)
which might have belonged to a Roman senator, yet distinctly not
European. These last are, I suppose, of Aryan descent, the other
of Dravidian. The common peasants here have all the appearance of
savages, so much so that one expects to see bows and arrows in
their hands. They go naked to the waist, and bareheaded, shaving
the front part of the skull, but wearing their hair long behind.
Nearly all the townsmen are painted with white dabs and streaks,
but the Brahmins have a coloured stripe down the forehead, with a
stripe of white on either side. Some of the young Brahmins are very
handsome, and in their clean white clothes, with books under their
arms, are in striking contrast with the peasantry.

“At Tanjore we saw yet another temple, with its colossal bull under
a stone canopy. It is said to be a monolith, but is painted to
imitate bronze. What interested us most was a series of portraits
of Siwaji and his descendants, once rulers of the country, in a
little shrine, the whole enclosure surrounded by a deep moat, and
fortified, but without worshippers, and all deserted. The palace
near it is still occupied by Siwaji’s descendants, dispossessed and
pensioned. They are only women now who live on in this rambling
place, shut up, sad remains of state greatly out at elbows. The
rooms are fine. In the library they showed us some interesting
Indian paintings of the last century, and an illustrated book of
Chinese tortures, which we may imagine the last Rajah consoling
himself with after his loss of power. It was a festival day, and
we saw the pomp and glory of the little court turned out, two
elephants and two camels, a dozen poor led horses, one mounted
officer and twenty soldiers, aged retainers most of these, put
into cast-off English uniforms.” The dispossessed Princes of India
always reminded me of captive wild beasts shut up in cages, lame
and diseased, and dying of their lack of moral exercise.

The last two days of our journey to Madras we were without any
native communication, as we had got beyond our recommendations from
Ceylon, and on the other hand had come in contact as yet with no
Europeans. My journal deals principally with the natural features
of the country, which had become now flat and monotonous, with
crops of rice, mostly under irrigation. I find a list of birds seen
from the train: egret, pied bittern, little bittern, snipe, pied
kingfisher, whiteheaded kite, kite, hoopoe, a variety of roller,
bee-bird, lark, parrot, hen-harrier, shrike, long-tailed blackbird,
myna, partridge, a variety of pheasant, dove, crow, sandpiper,
small cormorant, kestrel, sea-gull, magpie, robin, besides many
small birds I did not see near enough to identify. I also saw
tracks of wild boars in one place. At Chingleput hills began, and a
pretty country with large lakes and tracts of jungle, the formation
granite with red earth and boulders.

“_17th Nov._--Madras. A horrible place. We are at Lippert’s Hotel,
facing the sea, with a broad esplanade in front, down which the red
dust drives. We wrote our names down at Government House. They took
us at first by mistake to the Government Office in the Fort, where
I was invited to sign my name in a book as ‘an officer returning
from furlough, and demanding an extension of leave.’ Government
House, when we got there, was a white pillared edifice standing in
a dreary park. There was a sentry at the door, but no other living
soul, not even a footman out of livery, or a charwoman, to tell
us that ‘the family was out of town,’ but the doors were open and
a book was there. Mr. and Mrs. Grant Duff are at Guindi, another
residence seven miles off.”

We stayed a week in Madras, which was longer than I had intended,
but as soon as it became known that I had arrived I began to
receive visits from the more prominent natives, Hindus as well as
Mohammedans, which interested me.

My first visitors at Madras were a couple of Hindu gentlemen,
editors of the local newspaper, the “Hindu”; their names,
Subramania Ayer and Vira Raghava Chaya; intelligent, clear-headed
men, contrasting by no means unfavourably with men of their
profession in London. Their manners were good, and their
conversation brilliant. The matters principally discussed between
us were the heavy pressure of the Land Revenue on the Madras
peasantry, the burden of the salt tax, the abuses connected with
the Civil courts, the ruin of the cotton manufacture and industry
by the enforced free trade with England, the unreality of the
so-called “productive work,” especially as to roads, and the
conservative opposition of the covenanted Civil Service to all
reform--neither viceroys nor governors were able to oppose them.
I asked what was thought of Lord Ripon by the mass of the people.
“He is the first Viceroy,” my visitor said, “who has been known
to them by name in this Presidency. Hitherto the people have only
known the local collector, but Lord Ripon’s name is known. Indeed
he is looked upon by the ignorant, especially since the recent
agitation on the Ilbert Bill, as a new incarnation of God.” “And
Mr. Grant Duff?” I asked. “We consider him,” he said, “a failure.
He came out as Governor of Madras with great expectations, and we
find him feeble, sickly, unable to do his work himself, and wholly
in the hands of the permanent officials. The Duke of Buckingham, of
whom we expected less, did much more, and much better.”

I found this opinion of Grant Duff a very general one among the
natives. Though a clever man, he had spent all his life in the
confined atmosphere of the House of Commons, and was quite unable
to deal with a state of society so strange to him as that which
he found in India. I was constantly asked by them what line they
should take, and what hope there was for them of any kind of self
government or real reform. And I explained to them frankly what
the position of parties was in England, that the Radicals, of whom
Lord Ripon was in some degree one, would be glad enough to see
India governed for the Indians; that the Tories made no pretence of
governing India except in English interests, and by the sword; and
that between them stood the Whigs, who talked about progress, but
always left things standing as they were. My advice was that they
should press their grievances now while Lord Ripon was in power,
as there was some chance of their being listened to, avoiding
only anything like disorder, which would be a pretext with the
Home Government, which was purely Whig, to stop such few reforms
as Lord Ripon had begun. I encouraged them, however, to continue
the agitation for representative Government in the Councils, and
thought they might get it in twenty or twenty-five years time.
Their general answer was, they would be satisfied if they got it in
a hundred years.

These first visitors sent others to me, and a clever young Brahmin,
Varada Rao, constituted himself my cicerone with those who were
afraid to come to me openly. The most interesting of those he took
me to visit, though it was not timidity but advanced age which had
prevented him calling, was the old Mahratta Brahmin, Ragunath Rao,
some time minister of Holkar and brother of the still better known
Madhava Rao, a man of the highest distinction, much wit, and the
widest possible intelligence. Indeed, his conversation might have
been that of a Socrates, whom in person he much resembled, being a
little rugged man whom I found very simply clad in a shirt, a blue
head-dress, and with no shoes or stockings to his feet, but who
at his first word impressed me with a sense of his integrity and
his vast intellectual superiority. On the high politics of India
his discourse was most instructive, and, like Socrates, he had the
habit of illustrating each point of his discourse with a story
always good and often extremely amusing. He dwelt especially on the
difference there was between the old-fashioned personal rule of the
Indian Princes, with whom there was always the possibility of a
personal appeal to the head of the State, and the blank seclusion
of the English rulers, who were walled off from all knowledge of
what was going on by their ignorance of native life and their
complete severance from native society. In old times it had not
been thus. Under the East India Company, when communication with
England was rare and difficult, the English officials and even the
Governors and Governors-General were thrown to a large extent for
their society on the Indians of rank and position, whose language
they had been obliged to learn and with whom they lived on a
footing of something like equality. Now they lived wholly among
themselves, and were almost without intercourse with natives of any
class, except perhaps the lowest, whom they treated at best with
good-humoured contempt. Thus they heard nothing and knew nothing
and cared nothing for the feelings and opinions of the people,
and the abyss between the rulers and the ruled was every year

He described with great humour the position of a modern Viceroy,
who comes to Calcutta, or rather to Simla, with the idea of
understanding the native case and doing good, and who finds himself
with a crowd of permanent English officials always surrounding
him and pulling him by the coat tail whenever he approaches what
they consider a dangerous subject. His term of years as Viceroy is
at most five. The first two are occupied in getting used to the
climate and way of life, in learning how to behave and what to say
to the native princes, in studying the history of past affairs,
and learning the official view of the larger questions he has to
deal with. The next two years, if he is an honest man and man of
energy, he begins to propound his policy, only to find that he
is everywhere defeated in detail by officials who bow to him and
pretend to agree with him, but who go away and raise obstacles
which defeat his ends, or at any rate delay them till his power to
enforce them is nearly over. Usually he swims with the official
stream, saves what money he can out of his immense salary, shoots
tigers, and amuses himself with viceregal tours and visits and
durbars to the native princes, spending half his years always
away from native India in the Himalayas, and giving balls and
entertainments to the Anglo-Indian ladies. The last year of his
term he is looked upon as already defunct and of no importance, and
he packs up his things and goes home satisfied with having done no
worse than his predecessors.

I wish I had recorded a tithe of his wonderful talk in my journal.
I heard from his friends that his plain speaking had constantly
brought him into collision with the officials, but it had ended by
their being a little afraid of him, so keenly did he understand
their weaknesses, and so bitter was his wit in exposing them. Sir
Charles Trevelyan, who is the only Governor who had left a really
good impression on the natives I came in contact with, had given
him much of his confidence, and an official position with a pretty
good salary, but his successors had done their best to suppress
him. He has, however, too high a social position to be wholly put
down, and private means which enables him so far to hold his own
against them.

We called also on Judge Muteswami Ayar, to whom I had letters from
Ramanatha, but both he and Ranganatha of the Presidency College
made excuse. Being in the Government Service, Varada Rao explained,
they had probably consulted the English officials about the
introductions I had sent them, and were advised to be ill or not
at home. (The natives in the public service are completely under
the thumb of the Government, and unless they have means of their
own dare not offend their English superiors. Their promotions, if
not their places, are at stake, and the Covenanted Civil Service
neither forgets nor forgives. A native is only admitted into the
higher ranks of employment on the understanding that he pulls with
the crew.) So the Judge, after some mysterious discussion with the
servants and goings to and fro, was discovered to be “not at home.”

The same day, 21st November, I received a visit from Mir Humayum
Jah Bahadur, the head of the Mohammedan community at Madras, a
fine old gentleman, with a courtly manner, very formal, and very
cautious of committing himself to opinions on any subject. As
member of a family descended from Tippu Sultan, famous in old days
for its diplomatic talent, he is the leader of the Mohammedan
world here, and presides over all associations and charities, and
I laid before him the school difficulties of his people at Madura.
This rather alarmed him, as he thought I wanted him to move in the
matter with the Government, and recommended me to speak about it
myself to the Governor, Grant Duff. Although he evidently intended
his visit to be one of compliment, his manner throughout was a
defensive one. Every now and then a little gleam of sunshine would
pass over his face, but only to be carefully suppressed. Later,
however, he sent a young Bengalese Mohammedan, Seyd Abd-el-Rahman,
to see me, an intelligent young lawyer of the modern type, who
had married a Eurasian, and visited Europe. His Eurasian wife had
become a Mohammedan, but still dressed as a European, her father
having been English, and we went with him to his house, where she
appeared without a veil to give us tea. We were the first English
people who had shown her any civility since her marriage.

Other visitors that afternoon were the Brahmin head master of
the Hindu middle school, and Rangiar Naidu, a Hindu Zemindar,
a landowner on a large scale. “He complained much of the ill
conditions of the peasantry, who were habitually underfed, and
especially of their sufferings from the salt tax. The land
taxation is more severe now than it ever was, amounting to one half
the gross produce. All are in debt because the Government insists
upon having its due in advance of the harvest, and in money. This
obliges the peasantry to borrow from usurers,--just as in Egypt.
He assures me the Madras ryots are not unthrifty, and if they
could they would lay by their money for an unrainy day. They do
not invest in savings banks, not trusting them, but hoard in coin
or in silver ornaments for their women. But there is no margin
now left them by the land tax. All this is precisely as in Egypt.
He promises to take us over some villages to see how things are
on Friday or Saturday at Tirupati, where we have been invited to
a Hindu festival. Rangiar Naidu is rich and independent of the
Government, which cannot interfere with his position, an hereditary
one. He says the new forest laws are very hard on the people, whose
cattle used to have free pasturage and are dying fast now owing to
the restrictions.

“_22nd Nov._--Young Varada Rao came before I was dressed this
morning to take me to call once more on Muteswami, who now
expresses a great wish to see me privately; and we were just
driving off when we met Ragunath Rao coming on foot to our
hotel. The old man was dressed with more care to-day, having a
cashmere gown on and a handsomer head-dress, but still no shoes
or stockings. He looked the distinguished and polite gentleman
he is. His conversation was even more amusing and admirable than
yesterday, and he speaks quite without reserve about the Government
and its ways. He told us that he and his cousin, who is also a very
rich man, have hereditary estates near Tanjore, and it had always
been their intention some day to retire from Government employment,
and settle down at home. They had been too long absentees, and
wished to look after their estates in quiet. But they had been
obliged to abandon their plan, owing to the little protection given
them against the impertinences of the English district officers,
and even their persecution. He gave us three or four instances of
this. One was of a friend of his, a former magistrate and most
respected official, who had retired, as he himself had intended to
retire, to spend his last days in his own town. He was a man of
independent character, and not wishing to be troubled any longer
with etiquette, neglected to pay any special court to the Resident
Collector. This brought him into official disrepute, and one day
he found himself arrested on a charge of conspiracy, a charge
absolutely unfounded, and involved in legal proceedings, which,
besides endless annoyance, cost him some thirty thousand rupees. I
asked him ‘What kind of conspiracy?’ ‘You don’t suppose,’ he said,
‘I mean a political conspiracy. We are far too frightened here for
anything like that. No, this was a vulgar charge of conspiracy to
cheat and defraud a neighbour. My friend disproved the charge,
but it has left him a broken man. He is now the humble servant of
the Government, and bows to the ground when he sees the smallest
Government officer.’ I wish I could recall all his good stories,
all his wise opinions and illustrations. There are not a dozen
men in the House of Commons who could hold their own with him in

“I have been urging him to come to England, but Varada tells me
it is all a question of caste. If Ragunath would go, many of his
fellow Brahmins would follow his example, for he is leader in
Madras on questions of this sort. The difficulty is this, that
according to Brahminical teaching India is the one land of a holy
life, therefore none who lead holy lives can leave it. It is not
permitted to cross the sea. Twenty years ago it was not permitted
even to go from Madras to Calcutta by steamer. Now it is allowed,
but on condition that no meal is taken on board. All agree that
this strict caste rule must sooner or later be relaxed, but nobody
likes to be the first to break it. Talking of the arrogance of the
English officials, Seyd Abd-el-Rahman’s Eurasian wife, who is a
sensible young woman, tells us that she remembered in her home in
Bengal a collector who used to make people passing down the street
by his house take off their shoes and put down their umbrellas in
his honour.

“Our single English caller, and he was the first Englishman we
had spoken to since landing in India, was a Mr. Laffan, acting
secretary to the Government, curious to know whom among the
Mohammedans I had seen. He affected liberal ideas about India,
and said that the native members of the Legislative Council would
certainly soon be elected by popular vote. I fancy he had come to
find out what I was doing. At last, in the twilight like Nicodemus,
came the Judge, Muteswami, looking rather ashamed of himself, and
with confused explanation of why he had not seen me yesterday. He
is a tall dark Tamil, almost black, a self made man, who began
life as a servant and learnt English from his master’s children.
This may account for his timidity, for he seems a man of worth and
integrity. He explained the Ilbert Bill to me with great lucidity,
especially as to its effects upon English planters in their
relations with the natives. He said that with few exceptions the
planters were very lawless people, that hitherto they had been for
all small offences practically out of reach of the law, because the
distance to the High Courts, where alone they could be tried, was
too great for natives to resort to them. As to the contemplated
change making them amenable to the ordinary Courts, the only fear
was that the native Judges would be too lenient to them for fear of
being thought partial.”

The same night we dined at Guindi with the Governor, Mr. Grant
Duff, “a thin, sickly, querulous man” is my comment on him, “out
of temper with everything around him, yet paid ten thousand a
year by the Madras Indians for ruling them.” I find no record of
his conversation, but remember that his manner to me was somewhat
reserved and suspicious. We did not get back to Lippert’s Hotel
till midnight.

“_23rd Nov._--Our night’s rest was short, for our train started at
six forty-five. Young Varada Rao was waiting for us at the station
to say good-bye. He has sent his servant with us to Tirupati, where
we are to meet his father Rama Rao, who has gone there with other
native big-wigs and a number of Pundits to open a Sanskrit College.
We are invited to take part in the doings there, but shall be too
late for the actual ceremony, which begins at ten. Our visit to
Madras has been on the whole successful. Though we began without
much introduction, we have established capital relations with all
the leading Hindus of the place. The Mohammedans we have seen less
of. They are of little energy or importance in the Presidency.
Their social leaders are pensioned by, and so dependent on, the
Government. The rest are poor and unprogressive.”

It may here be said that we left Madras accompanied by a very
excellent servant, a native Christian named Solomon, who had been
provided for us by our friend Ragunath Rao. Solomon was a dignified
and altogether worthy old man, absolutely honest and faithful in
his service, and with but a slight knowledge of English. As he was
the only native Christian with whom we came in contact in India, I
am glad to be able to give him this high character.

“Tirupati is a very beautiful place, surrounded by high hills,
and is a celebrated resort of Brahmin pilgrims from all parts of
India. The temple, though not very large, has a splendid pagoda at
the entrance, and stands in the middle of the town, and there are
other pagodas at a distance, leading up to a sacred hill not very
far away. The ceremony was over when we arrived at the bungalow,
which had been fitted up at great expense for the expected guests.
It was very hot, and the drive from the station had been tiring, in
country bullock carts drawn by ponies, and we were glad to rest in
the shade, though we had missed the expedition to the sacred hill
which had followed the ceremony. A good luncheon had been prepared
for us, and soon after Rangiar Naidu arrived and took us over the
temple and the town. The gala preparations, he informed us, were
in honour of Mr. T., an English official who had come to represent
the Governor on the occasion. He was away with the rest on the
sacred hill, and would not be back till after dark. Rangiar Naidu
besought us not to let him, or any of those with him, know of our
intended visit to the villages, as he would certainly prevent it.
This T., he said, has a reputation of being a friend of the natives
on the ground of his knowing something of Sanskrit, and patronizing
their educational institutions, but Rangiar and all our friends
are suspicious of him;--old Ragunath Rao spoke of him yesterday
very plainly as a humbug. About nine o’clock, after great lighting
of lamps in a kiosk, the party from the hill returned, escorting
the Government officials in all state--T. a dry, stiff-looking
civilian, very much on his dignity, and surprised and rather
disgusted to find us here. It was evident that Rama Rao had not
told him how we had been invited by his son, and I let the cat
out of the bag, without intending it, by telling Rama Rao in the
official hearing that Varada had come to see us off at the station,
and Rama looked confused and began to talk of other things. It was
painful to see the fear everybody was in of this very ordinary
Englishman, but I suppose he has the power to ruin them, and that
he and his like do ruin those that cross them. With him was another
Englishman, the head of a school department, a more genial man, and
one other. A dinner for a hundred had been prepared, but no more
English had come than these three, and so we five sat down and ate
what we could of it.

“T. was not communicative, but nevertheless we made conversation
on various more or less political subjects, the school inspector,
who liked talking, helping us not a little. Afterwards I had some
conversation apart with Rama, but both he and the Pundits were too
frightened to say much so near the ‘presence.’ They, poor people,
had brought a piece of gold or silver plate to give to the great
man, an offering which he received without a word of thanks, and
had put in his carriage; only to two or three did he vouchsafe
a few words, remaining seated while they stood to listen. It is
inconceivable why these Indians should put themselves to the
trouble of entertaining at such expense and to so little profit.
The kiosk alone cost £30 they told us, and the whole entertainment
cannot have cost far short of £100, which would have better gone
in helping to endow the College. Government gives nothing, and
the thing is to be supported by the funds of the Temple, which are
large. It was amusing to see the relief which came over everybody
when the officials had left, as they did as soon as the fireworks
were over, about eleven. We, too, were not sorry. As there were no
beds, we slept on the floor, on which, also, the servants and the
poor people from outside soon after rolled themselves up--it was a
large place--very happily with Mr. T.’s cushions and carpets.

“I have forgotten to say what was to me the most interesting part
of the day’s proceedings. While waiting in the shade of a grove
that afternoon we had seen a procession come to a little shrine
with offerings close by--a beautiful pagan rite, with drums and
pipes leading the way, and behind a number of women walking with
large copper dishes on their heads filled with rice and flowers as
offerings to the god. They stopped under the grove near us, and
there lit fires and cooked their rice--a merry party sitting on
all the afternoon. Towards evening the women approached the altar,
which was an oblong table of stone supported by a dozen upright
slabs carved with curious devices. Each woman chose her slab, and
painted it with ochre, yellow and red, and then crowned it with
flowers. I asked what it signified. They told me it was Friday,
one of the fortunate days, and that the women had come to pray
for fertility. The rice, after being offered, they will eat, and
count it as a feast. It is seldom the peasants get so good a meal,
for their usual food is only a cake made of a kind of rape. Rice
is held to be too good for common fare.” This was an interesting
day spent in beautiful surroundings, and remains in my mind as one
typical of Southern India.

“_24th Nov._--In the morning Rangiar Naidu came according to
promise with two pony carts, and took us to see the villages. On
the way he explained to us the history of the Sanskrit College and
yesterday’s festivities. Some years ago the English Government, in
pursuance of its policy of non-interference with religious affairs,
gave up its inherited guardianship of the Hindu temples to native
trustees, known locally as ‘churchwardens.’ But the transfer was
made with so little care that in many instances the trustees had
been able to evade the law, and make themselves to all intents and
purposes owners of the estates. In the case of Tirupati, the income
is very large, several _lakhs_ of rupees, and has become vested in
the hands of a single man, R. S., known by his official title of
Mohunt. The abuse of trust in the Madras Presidency had become,
however, so notorious that last year an attempt was made in Council
to pass a bill in remedy of the evil. But this had been strongly
opposed by Mr. T., and so defeated, to the anger of pious Hindus
towards T., but the gratitude of the Temple wardens. It is by
these, or rather by the single Mohunt, that yesterday’s festivities
were arranged. The Sanskrit College is an act of expiation to cover
a misappropriation of the funds, since these are not for education
but for the maintenance of the Temple. As for Rama Rao, his
timidity is explained by his being a member of the Council, and so
revocable at the will of the Government after his three years term
of office. Rama Rao’s family came from Hyderabad four generations
back, where they were servants of the Nizam, but on the occasion of
a marriage they had followed the Nawab of Arcot to Madras. Their
language at home is Telegu, which is that of the Hindus of the

Our visit to the villages occupied us the whole day, and was
most successful. Knowing Egypt as well as I did, I had little
difficulty in ascertaining the facts I was in search of, that is
to say, the proportion of land tax to the gross produce, the local
indebtedness, the effect of the famine of seven years before, the
oppressive incidents of the salt tax which especially affects
the cattle, and the new forest restrictions. The common food of
the ryots I found to be _raghi_, a small grain like rape, which
they make into a cake, or mix into gruel, making it palatable
with red pepper. Few of them have milk to drink, and their lack
of sufficient nourishment is plainly visible in their emaciated
appearance. Their houses, though of mud like those in Egypt,
consist of only one room each, but are kept very clean. It is part
of their religion to wash everything daily. My diary contains
several pages of details regarding the villages we examined, but
these are hardly worth reproducing here. I omit them as I do
similar village inquiries made elsewhere, reserving the results for
a separate chapter.

“Rangiar Naidu accompanied us to the railway station in the
evening, and gave me letters to friends farther on. He is a highly
educated man, was at school with Ragunath Rao, and maintains close
friendship with him. He is of the Khastriah or military caste,
which is not common in the Madras Presidency. His type of face is
distinctly Egyptian, and he might well be a village sheykh of the
Delta. He is a rich man and member of the Municipal Council of
Madras, an elective post which leaves him independent.

“_25th Nov._--By night train to Bellari, the head-quarters of the
famine district, and so of great interest. There were five hours of
daylight before arriving, and we found the country much changed
from yesterday. This part of India is a high plateau, a thousand or
fifteen hundred feet above the sea, with occasional hills of gneiss
or granite, five or six hundred feet higher. The soil is light,
and there is no irrigation, and, in spite of a rather unusually
wet season, the crops looked scanty and poor. No rice is grown,
only _raghi_ and millet, but in some parts cotton makes a fair
crop. Architecturally, there is nothing worth seeing at Bellari,
but we had letters to the leading Hindus and a rich Eurasian, and
have found our visit so profitable that we have decided to stay
on another day. First, however, we were hospitably entertained
at luncheon by the English railway superintendent, Mr. Hanna, an
intelligent man who has been twelve years in the country and likes
it. But of course we learnt nothing much from him, as the English
live in a world of their own.

“In the afternoon, however, eight or nine Hindu gentlemen came to
see us, as highly educated as those at Madras, and even more free
spoken. Among them was a Brahmin of high caste, who had broken his
rule by visiting England, and had even become a Christian there,
losing thereby his caste but not altogether his social position
at Bellari. He spoke about the absurdity of the reason commonly
given by English officials for having no social intercourse with
the natives, namely, that the laws of caste prevent it. ‘Here you
see me,’ he said. ‘A few years ago my caste laws were so strict
that I could not eat with any of these gentlemen’--turning to the
rest who sat round--‘I was obliged to throw away my meals if one
of them happened to look at me while I was eating. Yet it did not
prevent us being the best of friends. Neither, now that my caste
is gone, am I less intimate with them, although they in their
turn cannot now eat with me. Is it then necessary that men should
eat together to be friends? The Europeans receive me no better
to-day, though I could eat and drink with them all day long. The
difficulty is entirely of their making.’ He said this with as
little embarrassment as there might be in England between one who
on religious grounds only eats fish on a Friday, and others who eat
meat. The manner of the speaker, too, was so good, and with so much
conversational charm, that the refusal of the English officials
to associate with him sounded to us particularly ludicrous. These
Hindus are no wit inferior to Italians or Spaniards in their
address, and are very little darker of skin.

“The Eurasian to whom we had the letter was with them, also a
municipal councillor and clearly on excellent terms with the rest.
He assured us it was quite untrue that the mass of the Eurasians
sided with the English in their quarrel with the natives. On the
contrary, their social sympathies were with the latter, and it
was only the richer ones and those in Government employment who
affected English ways. There was no real sympathy anywhere, as the
English despised the Eurasians even more than they did the true
natives, and the Eurasians were under greater disabilities as to
the public service. He himself owns a cotton mill in partnership
with an Englishman here, but they do not mix socially together.
Our talk was principally on these matters. The Brahmin who had
been in England had been received by Bright, Fawcett, Dilke, and
other notabilities, had stayed in country houses, and been fêted
everywhere. Here the collector’s wife is too proud to call upon
his wife. They expressed themselves much disappointed with the
Gladstone Ministry, of which they had had great hopes. Lord Ripon
was the best Governor-General India had ever had, but he had
been thwarted throughout in his work, and had not been properly
supported at home; he had been able to achieve nothing. Mr. Grant
Duff had been the worst disappointment of all. He had come with a
flourish of Liberal trumpets, but had proved a mere windbag, good
at making speeches on generalities, but useless at administration.
He had left all work to the permanent officials, who had thwarted
Lord Ripon’s good intentions everywhere.

“_26th Nov._--Called on Mr. Abraham the Eurasian, and found
him full of information. The pressure of the salt tax here is
incredible, but true. In the time of the Mahrattas and the East
India Company there was a simple tax of five per cent. Salt was
allowed to be made, and the tax was on consumption. Now it is a
Government monopoly, and at the present moment the Government
manufactures its salt at the seaside at eight rupees the _garce_,
a measure of six hundredweight, and sells it at Bellari for two
hundred and eight rupees. Moreover, within the last three years, a
new law has made matters worse, for the use of earth salt has been
forbidden, and whereas before that time thirty _sears_ (the _sear_
is a measure of two lb.) could be purchased for a rupee, now the
peasant can get only eight. Rough brown salt sells here for one and
a half rupee a lb., although it is a common product of the country.
The police are empowered to enter houses night or day, and, on
their accusation of there being a measure of earth salt in it, the
owner of the house may be fined fifteen rupees, or imprisoned for
a month. Many false accusations are thus brought, and pressure put
by the police on the ryots. If the villagers send their cattle
to graze anywhere where there is natural salt on the ground, the
owner is fined or imprisoned, and the salt is thrown in heaps and
burned. The cattle are dying for want of it, and the people are
suffering seriously.

“They talked also much of the extraordinary waste of money on
public works, especially the State railways. The station here at
Bellari cost R100,000, and two others R200,000 and R400,000 a
piece. In the evening we went with Abraham to see his cotton mill,
which has been open for more than a year, and was begun before
the abolition of the cotton duty, and it shows some public spirit
that they have gone on with it notwithstanding. The manufacture
is of cotton thread, which is sold in the town to be made up by
hand weavers. He took us later to see a village where we heard
much the same stories as at Tirupati. We were told many tales of
the famine, the relief of which was so badly managed that no less
than forty persons belonging to the village, though so close to
the railway station, died of hunger. In good times a man could
live here for three half-pence a day, all included. They eat
nothing but _gholum_ and red peppers. During the famine, money was
distributed instead of grain by the Government, so that some died
with the coins in their hands. The million and a half spent in this
district of public money was, according to Abraham, almost entirely
wasted. One officer sent from the north had three thousand rupees
as his travelling allowance for only twenty-two days, and then
returned saying he could not understand the language. The Mansion
House Fund, distributed by the municipality, was better managed,
and saved many lives. Abraham insisted that it was not the want
of railroads that caused the deaths in the district. The Bellari
railroad was in full working order at the time. Neither was it over
population, for there were two million acres uncultivated. The
true reason was the severity of the taxation, and the extinction
of the larger landowners, who used to keep grain in store for bad
years. The remedy should be lighter taxation, and the maintenance
of public stores of _gholum_ and _raghi_ at all the central
stations. Corn will keep well in this dry district underground for
years, and always used to be so kept, but the land is rack-rented
now, and no provision made. The taxes lately have been gathered in
advance of the harvest. Baring, he said, was responsible for much
of this as Finance secretary.

“We dined with Sebapathy Ayar and his wife. It was he who had
become a Christian, having been converted by Dean Stanley and
Miss Carpenter about twelve years ago. The dinner was as English
as possible, and they drank wine. But she wore her Indian dress
and jewels--a nice woman. Afterwards a number of friends came
in, and we had a very pretty nautch with Telegu singers, and all
chewed Betel leaves, which, it appears, can be done in common
without injury to caste. There was one Mohammedan among them from
Bombay. The Hindus here are very courageous and outspoken. They
all discussed the advantages, or rather the lack of advantages of
British rule, without any reticence, and agreed that, while good
had been done in the past, evil was being done now. They were loud
in their praise of Ripon as an honest man, who meant well by them.
But they said that in fact he had been able to do nothing for them.
The officials had made it impossible. No real reform could be begun
till the Covenanted Service was abolished. They did not fancy the
idea which has been put forward of the Duke of Connaught succeeding
to the Viceroyalty. He was young and without experience, and would
be entirely dry-nursed by the officials. Nothing could be worse
than a Viceroy who should only be a figure-head.

“_27th Nov._--By train to Hyderabad, though not yet arrived. But
we are in the Nizam’s territory. I am surprised and pleased to
notice that ever since crossing the Krishna River, which is the
boundary, the cultivation has appeared more flourishing, less
waste land and better crops, sheep instead of goats, and farmers
riding about on horseback, a thing I have not seen since landing in
India. The land, however, is light, and must be very dry and hot
at some seasons of the year. It is a great plain with picturesque
granite rocks here and there, some of them fortified. The Hyderabad
territory is a high plateau situated about the centre of the Indian



                                                       “_28th Nov._

“Arrived at Hyderabad at daybreak. We found Seymour Keay’s carriage
waiting for us, and a very amiable note from Mr. Cordery, inviting
us to stay at the Residency. The note was forwarded by Keay, so
we accepted both the carriage and invitation, and are now at the
residency. I am glad of this, for when we were in England we had
made a kind of half promise to stay with Keay and his wife, but
since then Keay has brought forward several charges against the
Indian Government, which, though they may be true, I do not wish to
identify myself with, and I wrote from Madras to tell him so, and
that I could not, under the circumstances, just now stay with him,
all my movements being reported in the papers. I was advised, too,
at Bellari, to go to the Residency, as it would give me a better
position with the Hyderabad authorities. Now it would seem that
Keay has squared his difference with Cordery, and is not offended
at our declining his own invitation. So all has happened for the

“This is a splendid house, built early in the century in the
Palladian style, extremely handsome and extremely comfortable. We
have a wing of it to ourselves, and could not be better lodged.
The grounds, too, are fine, with great banyan trees, on one of
which there is a large rookery of flying foxes. In the afternoon
we called on the Keays, and Cordery has been good enough to
invite them to dinner. Their position is rather a doubtful one
at Hyderabad. Keay is a banker, and made himself useful in many
ways (being a very clever fellow) to Salar Jung, helping him to
draft his political claims on the British Government, especially
in respect to the Berar Provinces. But he quarrelled with the late
resident, Sir Richard Meade, and accused him openly of receiving
bribes. Now the Government at Simla is a bit afraid of him, and he
has been received back into favour. Keay’s presence at dinner has
served to break the ice of politics, for he brought up all the most
burning public questions.” _N.B._ Keay’s connection with Salar Jung
had made him acquainted with all the ins and outs of the scandalous
persecution to which that great native statesman had been subjected
by the Indian Government, nor did he scruple to make use of his
knowledge as occasion served in native interests. This made him a
thorn in the side of the Calcutta Foreign Office. In 1885, having
made a considerable fortune, he returned to England, and was
elected to Parliament by a Scotch borough as an extreme radical. I
had made his acquaintance in England in connection with a very able
pamphlet he had published, called “Spoiling the Egyptians.”

“_29th Nov._--Our host here, Mr. Cordery, is a man of about
fifty-five, who distinguished himself, I believe, as a young man
at Oxford, and is considered one of the lights of the Indian Civil
Service. He is agreeable, and easy going, and fond of the good
things of life. At first he was very official and reserved, but,
as I have spoken my own views with very little disguise, he has
now become more natural, and I find him a man of considerable
information, some wit, and by no means unsympathetic. As our
host, he is all that a man should be, but it is evident we are
under surveillance here, and I suspect our entertainment at the
Residency is designed to keep us out of mischief. It reminds me of
our hospitable entertainment by the excellent Huseyn Pasha at Deyr,
when we wanted so hard to make acquaintance with the Bedouins. I
have made up my mind, however, to talk quite freely to every one
I meet, whether my speech is reported or not. We have received
two visits to-day at Mr. Cordery’s invitation, for such is the
etiquette, the first from Ghaleb Jung, an official of Arab descent,
who came accompanied by the Munshi of the Residency, deputed, I
suspect, to listen to our conversation. But we talked Arabic, of
which the Munshi knew little, and told the whole history of the
Egyptian War, and our hope of Arabi’s return to power. Ghaleb is by
origin related to the Sultans of Lahaj near Aden, but his family
has been settled here for some generations, and he did not speak
Arabic with any ease.

“A more interesting visitor was Laik Ali, the young Salar Jung, who
has succeeded to his father’s title. He is only twenty-two, but has
already an extremely dignified and at the same time quite natural
manner, just the manner, in fact, of our best bred Englishmen.
This, and his height, which is considerably over six feet, remind
me vaguely of Pembroke, though Salar Jung has no remarkable good
looks to recommend him, and seems likely to grow fat, which
Pembroke never will. He talked well, and with very little reserve,
said he thought the English Government had made a great mistake in
Egypt, and seemed delighted at the prospect of Arabi’s return. I
told him about the letter I had from Sheykh Jemal-ed-Din for the
Nawab Rasul Yar Khan, and he said that the Sheykh had been a friend
of his father’s, and invited us to breakfast with him for Saturday,
promising also to invite the Nawab, so that we might talk without
official listeners. I am immensely taken with this young man, and
it consoles me for not having found his father still alive here.
Salar Jung, the father, was a standing reproach to our Government,
and, according to Lytton, a standing menace. Salar Jung, the
younger, ought to play a leading part in the history of Indian

“With Cordery at the Residency there is one Trevor, a younger, but,
according to my friends at Bellari, a more dangerous, man. He is a
good type of Indian civilian, decidedly clever, and a good talker,
and under him again Melville. They looked on me at first with great
suspicion, but since I have told them plainly that I should like to
see the Covenanted Civil Service, to which they belong, abolished,
we have got on friendly terms.

“After luncheon Major Clerk, the Nizam’s tutor, came to take us
through the town on elephants, which pleased us much. The town is
most interesting, being after Cairo the most gay and busy in the
Mohammedan East. Compared with Madras, it is as Paris to a decayed
watering-place. Instead of the squalid back streets and the pauper
population of native Madras, Hyderabad is like a great flower
bed, crowded with men and women in bright dresses and with a fine
cheerful air of independence, more Arab than Indian. Many of the
men carry swords in their hands, as they do in Nejd, and one sees
elephants and camels in the streets, besides carriages, and men on
horseback. It is impossible they should not be happier here than in
the mournful towns under English rule. And so I am sure it is. We
went to-day to the Palace of the Bushir-ed-Dowlah, from the roof
of which there is one of the most beautiful views in the world.
Hyderabad lies in a sort of elevated basin, surrounded by low
granite hills, picturesque and bare, the town half hidden in green
trees. It has thus something of the effect of towns in Arabia, of
which it in other ways reminds us. It covers a very large space on
account of the gardens inside the walls, and is in truth an immense
city, containing, with its suburbs, 250,000 inhabitants. From the
Palace we went on to Salar Jung’s tank, a beautiful sheet of water
of a thousand acres, with a dam, which seems at first sight too
weak for the mass it sustains as it is very high, and only a foot
and a half thick at the edge, and the water brims over, so that as
you sail about on it, you look down upon the city. But the dam is
really a strong one, being constructed on the principle of an arch,
the better to uphold the water. Passing on, we were taken to what
had been the French barracks a hundred years ago when the French
garrisoned the city.

“_30th Nov._--Out before breakfast to see the Nizam’s stables, a
number of ungainly Walers, and another stable full of Arabs. These
last were very nearly all small horses, and may likely enough have
been bred in Nejd. Mohammed Ali Bey, the Nizam’s master of the
horse, is of Persian descent, an admirable horseman and a good

“After breakfast another Arab visitor called, brother of the El
Kaeti who made himself Sultan of Makala in Hadramaut with English
help, also Seyd Ali Bilgrami, a Mohammedan from Delhi, one of those
brought here by Salar Jung--‘a great pity’ in Cordery’s opinion--to
wake up public opinion. He has had a partly English education, and
has an appointment as civil engineer. His brother, Seyd Huseyn,[3]
was old Salar Jung’s private secretary. He explained to us the
state of parties here. At Salar Jung’s death the Minister’s son,
Laik Ali, was appointed with the Peishkar, a local Hindu nobleman,
to a joint commission of Government, the Nizam being a minor.
The Peishkar paid little attention to business, and young Salar
Jung was kept as far as possible in the background, the principal
influence being exercised by a third official, Shems-el-Omra, an
enemy of Salar Jung’s. And thus affairs had got into a bad state.
This was encouraged by the Residency, whose policy it was to show
that the native Government was unfit to keep order in the country.
Under old Salar Jung the Hyderabad State had been as secure as any
part of India.

“We drove in the afternoon through Secunderabad and the English
cantonments to Bellarum, where the Resident has a country house.

“_1st Dec._--To breakfast with Salar Jung. He showed us his late
father’s horses. Among them two Arabs, the finest I ever saw, one
an old white Hamdani Simri from Ibn Saoud’s stud in Nejd, the other
also white, a Kehailan from Ibn Haddal, fifteen one in height, and
the most perfect large Arab possible. The particulars of their
breeding were given us by one Ali Abdallah, a man of Arab origin
himself, he assured us, connected with the Ibn Haddal tribe. I sat
next to Salar Jung at breakfast, on the other side of me being
Seyd Ali Bilgrami already mentioned. With him I discussed the
whole question of the future of Islam. He had read my book, but
took what he called a more pessimistic view than I do. He agreed,
however, with me that if we could get Arabi and the Azhar Liberals
restored to Egypt, and so a religious basis for reform, the effect
in India would be great. ‘We look,’ he said, ‘to Egypt and Mecca,
far more than to Constantinople (Seyd Ali is a Shiah), but we are
all very backward in India. A religious basis is indispensable.’
He then talked of the pilgrimage, and said he had been consulted
by the English Government as to what should be done to improve the
arrangements for it. He had referred them to my book. As a Shiah,
he does not love the Sultan. The English Government would do far
better to break that connection and protect the Arabs instead, but
he was far from hopeful. Here at Hyderabad Salar Jung’s death had
been an immense misfortune. Of Sheykh Jemal-ed-Din, whom he had
known here, he said he was too much of a socialist and firebrand to
carry through a reformation. He talked, too, of the Mahdi, wishing
him success. He said that if he succeeded it would be repeating
the history of Abdillah in the sixth century of the Hejra. On the
whole, a very pleasant breakfast.

“In the evening Nawab Rasul Yar Khan, who after all had not been at
the breakfast, came to see me, a good little _alem_ of the Azhar
type one knows so well in Egypt, liberal, socialistic, and an
enthusiastic disciple of Jemal-ed-Din’s. He knows no English, but
is learned in Persian, and to some extent in Arabic. In this last
we conversed. He tells me the majority of the Mohammedans here are
Sunnis, but there is little difference between them and the Shiahs,
and no ill-feeling. The mass of the people are quite ignorant of
all that goes on outside the Deccan, but they had heard of the
Egyptian War, and had sympathized with Arabi. Of Lord Ripon and the
disputes in India only those who knew English and could read the
English papers had heard anything. He himself knew very little.
There was no religious learning here, nor any body of learned men.
In all India you would not find a teacher like Jemal-ed-Din. He
produced with reverence out of his pocket a photograph of the
Afghan Sheykh, and also a copy of the ‘Abu Nadara,’ in which my
portrait had appeared, and he read out to us the poetry written
under it. I asked him if there was no Mohammedan newspaper
published here, and he said there was one. But when I gave him a
copy of my Colombo speech for it, he was frightened, and asked
whether the English Government would not be very angry. I like this
little man extremely. He promised to call again on Monday.

“_2nd Dec._--Ik Balet Dowlah (Vikar-el-Omra) called; he is of Salar
Jung’s party, and a liberal, opposed to his brother Kurshid Jah
(Shems-el-Omra), a conservative, and the directing spirit of the
Peishkar party. The Residency, of course, supports the Peishkar
party, as they get more power by working through the reactionaries
opposed to reform,--precisely as in Egypt. Cordery is doing what he
can to get rid of the clever young Mohammedans introduced from the
north by the late Salar Jung. The ablest of these is Seyd Huseyn
Bilgrami. Cordery sent for him this morning to tell him that he
should leave Hyderabad as soon as possible, such was the Resident’s
will. The arbitrary power of the Resident here is beyond belief. I
notice that Ik Balet Dowlah trembled before the little red-faced
Cordery like a boy. Seyd Huseyn does not tremble, but he will
be obliged to go all the same. We had luncheon with him and his
brothers to-day, all very clever men, as also with Mulvi Cheragh
Ali, who is looked upon here as a member of the sect nicknamed ‘of
nature’ by the old-fashioned Mohammedans, because they advocate
a reformation political, social, and religious, on the lines
described in my ‘Future of Islam’ three years ago. Only he thinks
the present Sultan and Caliph might carry it into operation.
This is because he has never visited Constantinople, and so does
not know how hopeless that hope is. With these young men--and we
discussed all these questions--one can talk as freely as with
Englishmen. And I am not surprised at Cordery’s being afraid of
them. The excuse for getting rid of them is that they are strangers
here, which is true, for they are Delhi men. I doubt if Cordery is
pleased at our going to their house.

“We went this evening at sundown to see the flying fox rookery in
the Residency grounds. It was the most curious sight imaginable.
All day long they hang, many hundreds of them together, head
downwards from the branches, making the whole of the great tree
look as if it were infected with some horrible blight. They are
very large, having a spread of nearly three feet across the wings,
but in the day time these are folded up. As the sun goes down and
it begins to darken, they one by one awaken and stretch and scratch
themselves, and at last one lets down a wing and a leg, and drops
from his perch, and flaps away just like a great crow, and is
followed by another and another, till there are thousands in the
air, all going off in the same direction to some fruit garden which
they know, and which they spend the night in pillaging.

“We dined with Major Clerk, already mentioned as the Nizam’s tutor.
Cordery is trying to get rid of him, too, as he is an independent
man, and is honest in looking to the Nizam’s interests instead of
those of the Calcutta Foreign Office.

“_3rd Dec._--Breakfast in the city with Sultan Nawaiz Jung, another
of the Arabs resident here, who is, I find, actual Prince of Shehr
Makalla in Hadramaut. Nearly all the Arabs at Hyderabad have come
originally from the south-east coast of Arabia. He received us
with great pomp, having soldiers of his own in chocolate uniforms,
and sent a smart carriage with an escort of lancers to fetch us
from the Residency. His house is in the City, a very pretty one,
with palm trees growing in an inner court, painted carving, and
a fountain. The dinner, however, was disappointing, being in the
Anglo-Indian style, which is one of the worst schools of cookery
in the world. Sultan Nawaiz is known in Arabia as El Kaiti, and
has a poor reputation there, having gained his wealth and present
principality with British aid by money-lending. Here, too, he is
a money-lender, and at the Residency they say that the Hyderabad
Government owes him thirty lakhs of rupees. He belongs to the
Peishkar party, and talked at breakfast in terms of great ‘loyalty’
to the British Empire. This he may well do, as our Government
supported his claims at Makalla, deporting his rival and victim to
Zanzibar. He is not a pure bred Arab, and talks Arabic with some

“In the afternoon we were taken by Cordery to the races, where we
were presented to the Nizam, a shy little young man of sixteen,
with a rather awkward manner. Salar Jung, who is twenty-two and
over six feet high, stood imposingly beside him. The races were of
a gymkhana sort, elephant, camel and pony races, over which Salar
Jung’s younger brother presided with the master of the horse,
Mohammed Ali Bey.

“Dined with the Keays. A young man Vincent, brother to Howard and
Edgar, has arrived at the Residency from Madras. Like all these
‘politicals’ he is clever, and affects liberal ideas.

“_4th Dec._--At half-past seven we went to the Palace, and saw
all the Nizam’s horses. There were several good Arabs among them.
They gave us an exhibition of tent-pegging, in which the Nizam,
who is a good rider, distinguished himself considerably. Mohammed
Ali Bey, however, who is a really splendid horseman, surpassed all
the rest, and performed the feat a cutting a sheep in two with a
single stroke, using a Japanese sword. We found the Peishkar there,
and were introduced to him, a very old man, bent nearly double,
whom we were surprised to find, for he is a Hindu, able to talk
Arabic. Salar Jung and his brother and many others were there. We
breakfasted in a kiosk out of doors. After the entertainment in
the afternoon, Vikar-el-Omra showed us his horses, and Anne paid
a visit to his Zenana. He has two handsome Arabs, besides others
of less note. He also had an exhibition of tent-pegging, and a
performance of Deccan horsemanship. The Deccan horses are very like
the old-fashioned Spanish horses, and are trained much in the same

“Coming home Mrs. Clerk gave us an interesting account of Hyderabad
politics. She says the young Nizam’s extreme shyness and frightened
manner are due to an accident which happened in his Zenana. While
playing with a pistol he accidentally shot a child, and he has been
made to believe that the English Resident has power at any time to
imprison him for this. He is, however, she says, talkative enough
with her, and declares his intention of managing everything at
Hyderabad himself as soon as he gets on the throne. He likes young
Salar Jung, and respects him because he speaks frankly to him,
but is afraid of Cordery, who supports Kurshid Jah and has placed
one of Kurshid Jah’s sons to be always with him. Cordery is under
Trevor’s influence. Cordery is angry with Major Clerk because he
has opposed a guarantee of the Northern Railway which the Indian
Government for strategical reasons supports. Cordery wants to get
rid of Clerk and Gough and all the former friends of the late Salar
Jung, and to isolate young Salar Jung from such liberal advisers as
Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami. The policy seems to be to keep the Hyderabad
nobles in ignorance of modern thought, and it also looks as if the
Indian Government encourages the bad administration purposely. It
is precisely what they are doing in Egypt.

“_5th Dec._--We received from our friend Rasul Yar Khan this
morning a little compliment, consisting of thirty ‘cups of
sweetness,’ that is to say of that number of dishes of whipped
cream. In acknowledgement, Anne wrote in Arabic, ‘The sweetness of
your gifts delights us, but we are grieved at the absence of the
giver.’ This seems to have been much appreciated, and he now sends
to ask us to dinner, calling me in his note, ‘The defender of the
Moslems.’ Rasul Yar Khan is the chief of the Ulema here, and is,
moreover, a magistrate, and much respected.

“We breakfasted with Ali Abdullah, the Arab superintendent of the
Nizam’s breeding establishment, and met there Salar Jung and his
brother, Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami and others, and went on to drink
tea with them at Salar Jung’s country house at Serinagar. They
talked freely about social and political matters. We discussed
the drinking of wine, which is common among the Mohammedans of
Hyderabad, where there are drinking shops even in the City. I told
them that in England we did not respect Mohammedans who drank wine,
and that very few drank in Egypt, and none in Arabia. I begged Seyd
Huseyn to advise Salar Jung most strongly to speak to Lord Ripon
when he is at Calcutta, and tell him the whole state of things

“Dined with Bushir-ed-Dowlah, a rather dull entertainment of about
forty people, mostly English, our only new native acquaintance
being the chief of the Shiah Ulema, Seyd Ali, a native of
Shustar, with whom we conversed in Arabic. He, too, is a friend
of Jemal-ed-Din’s, he says, but has the name of being ‘a great
fanatic.’ He is a thorough Iraki, and I confess I do not like him.
He remembers Layard at Mosul, when he was a boy. Bushir-ed-Dowlah
speaks very little English. After dinner we were entertained rather
lugubriously with a magic lantern representing the Afghan War.

“_6th Dec._--Anne went with the rest on a long expedition to
Golconda, but I stayed at home, being tired with the constant
gaieties, going only to Seymour Keay’s.

“Dined at Vikar-el-Omra’s, a handsome house--gold plate, nautch,
and illuminations, but no native guests. Vikar-el-Omra is out
of favour with the Residency on account of the quarrel with his
brother Kurshid Jah. Cordery, however, was there and about twenty
English. Major Gough, who is one of the Nizam’s people, was among
them, and begged me to speak to Lord Ripon in support of Salar Jung
when I see him at Calcutta, which I most certainly will do.

“_7th Dec._--Received a visit from a native teacher at the
Moslem school, and we had some interesting talk. He told me the
Mohammedans here were far from happy. They were isolated and
without knowledge of what happened in the outer world. They wanted
knowledge and education; schools there were, but no superior
instruction. They had had a great Minister in Salar Jung, but
he was dead. The men now in power had never left the walls
of Hyderabad. They were in the hands of the English, who were
destroying all the good work that Salar Jung had done. His son
was a good and able young man, who had large ideas because he had
travelled. But the Peishkar knew nothing, and he made a circle
on the table with his finger, signifying the walls of the city.
I asked him about Kurshid Jah, and he made the same sign. The
Government, he said, is in the hands of two or three ignorant men.
Men of learning are being driven from the country. The teacher had
with him a friend who knew Persian. They were both much pleased
to hear that Anne had read the Koran through three times. This is
an old-fashioned man, who evidently hates the English heartily,
but I am struck with his liberality as between Mohammedans; and
Mohammedan Hyderabad, whether Sunni or Shiah, seems ripe for
reform. I had a talk later with Cheragh Ali, mostly about his book.
His book contains nothing more than Mohammed Abdu, or any of the
Liberal Ulema of Cairo, would subscribe to. Indeed, the reforms it
suggests have all been advocated by them, and are defended with
much the same reasoning. I showed him, however, that he was leaning
on a broken reed if he trusted to Constantinople for a reformation.

“We dined at Salar Jung’s, a very beautiful fête, and Anne had
much conversation with him as he took her in to dinner. He has
promised her to entrust me with his father’s correspondence as to
the disputes of recent years. And he has asked us to a private
breakfast for Sunday, when he will tell me everything, and consult
me fully. At these big dinners, unless you sit next any one, there
is no opportunity of talking to him. Every one is afraid, even
if there are no Europeans present, of being overheard by the
Residency retainers. Seyd Ali Shustari was there, and Rasul Yar
Khan, and we talked in Arabic, and thus we had no such fears. The
old Shiah is a poet and a wag, and as such, licensed to be free in
his discourse, even a little _mejnun_, and made great game of the
Resident’s hilarity in his cups. He was outspoken, too, about the
Peishkar. The Hindus, he says, are pleased at the new _régime_,
but the Mohammedans are all angry. The Peishkar was of the party,
but, being a Hindu, he did not dine. He has asked us to a dinner
he gives on Monday, but we shall by that time have left Hyderabad.
He does not dine at table even in his own house with his guests,
but superintends the feast. We cannot stay here longer than until

“_8th Dec._--Saw a Mekkawi, one Seyd Abdullah, a merchant, who gave
us a great deal of information both about Meccan and Hyderabad
politics. He is a great admirer of the Sherif Abd-el-Mutalleb, whom
he remembered as a boy at Mecca, for he has been here thirty years
without going home. He told us of the rebellions of Abd-el-Mutalleb
against the Turks, and how, when they fired at him in the street,
he used to throw his cloak open so as to show he had no fear.
The Sherifs used to keep the Arabs in rebellion for fear they
should join the Turks against them. In his old age Abd-el-Mutalleb
had taken to opium and spent his days in sleep, and so had been
deposed. My visitor is himself a pure Arab, and his language is
easy to understand. His chief lamentation was at living away from
home, and that it was impossible to get Arab wives here. They would
not leave Arabia, and the Arabs of Hyderabad, of whom there are a
large number, were obliged to marry the women of the place.

“With regard to Hyderabad politics, he spoke with the greatest
enthusiasm of the late Salar Jung, who was himself of Arab descent.
He described the state of things when he first came here thirty
years ago, how people killed each ether openly in the streets,
and how the great Minister had established peace everywhere. I
asked him about the Shiahs, and he said there was no quarrel here
between them and the Sunnis. He himself was a Sunni, but they all
prayed together. They were on good terms, too, with the Hindus.
The Hindus did not eat with them, but that was all. Of Laik Ali
he spoke very highly, said he was a young man of good thought
and good language, and would become a great Minister like his
father. All the people loved him. As to the Peishkar he neglected
public business. He had no energy, and letters of importance were
put aside. It was very different from old Salar Jung’s time. I
asked him about the Nizam, whom he spoke of as the ‘Pasha,’ and
he said he was good, not at all dull, but that he was young, and
the nobles about him taught him to be silent in public, and so he
seemed lacking in intelligence, but with his own people he talked
and was merry enough. I like this Meccan merchant much, and doubt
if there are many shop-keepers in London who could give me as
sensible an account of their local politics as he has given me.
The Hindus in the Deccan are mostly men of the lower castes. There
are few nobles or Brahmins among them, and their only rich men are
the money-lenders. The rest are shop-keepers, and out of the town
peasants. The Peishkar is their only great man.

“The Nizam came to dinner at the Residency, and took Anne in. There
was also a large party of Nawabs and dignitaries, the Peishkar,
Salar Jung, Kurshid Jah, Bushir-ed-Dowlah, Vikar-el-Omra, and
the rest, as well as the Roman Catholic bishop and some English.
Kurshid Jah has asked us to dinner for Tuesday, but neither to him,
nor to the Peishkar can we go, as we leave on Monday. The Nizam was
as usual very silent, but this is etiquette. Trevor tells me the
Nizam’s father never spoke at all to the English officials, or even
looked at them.

“_9th Dec._--The schoolmaster called again. He asked me what the
Mohammedans ought to do to better their condition. Every year they
were becoming poorer in India. The Government ruined them where
they had land with taxes, and they had no employment in the towns.
I suggested they should take to trade, learn English, and compete
with the Hindus, and he agreed with me that that might be best. He
said, however, that in many parts a Mohammedan who learned English
was still called a _kafr_ by his fellows. Here at Hyderabad the
taxes were not excessive, but the English system surrounded them,
and English goods were killing the native industries. He said if
nothing were done to help them, the English Government would have
every Mohammedan in the country against them.

“He also complained terribly of the tyranny of the English
officials and their brutal manners. He asked how it was that I was
different from them, that I made him sit down on the same sofa with
myself, that I addressed him politely, and did not treat him as a
slave. The officials, he said, sit without moving in their chairs
and talk to us, while they leave us standing, abruptly in words of
command, without any salutation or words of friendship. You treat
me, a poor man, as your equal. Why is this? I explained to him
there were degrees of good breeding amongst us, and that the better
the breeding the greater the politeness. That the men who came out
to India as Government servants were, many of them, taken from a
comparatively low rank in life, and that, being unused to refined
society, or to being treated with much consideration at home, they
lost their heads when they found themselves in India in a position
of power. I hoped, however, that this might soon be changed. He
said the officials made their nation hated by the people; many
who were willing to think the English Government was good were
estranged by the manners of its officials. He asked me again why
I travelled so far to see them, and why I cared to help them, and
I explained that in youth I had led a life of folly, and that I
wished to do some good before I died, and that I had received much
kindness from the Moslems, and learned from them to believe in God,
and so I spent a portion of every year among them. I like the man

“At ten we went to breakfast with Salar Jung, a farewell visit. We
had bargained to have no English with us, and the party consisted
of himself, his brother, and his sister’s governess Mdlle.
Gaignaud, of Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami, and of our two selves. We talked
very freely of the political situation, which is this. In a few
weeks the Nizam will come of age, and an attempt is going to be
made by the Residency to get his signature to a treaty which, in
renewing the alliance existing between the Nizam and the Government
of India, contains an article abrogating all previous treaties,
thus putting the Berar provinces permanently into English hands.”

The question of the Berars was this. Many years ago, before the
time of old Salar Jung, the Hyderabad State was badly governed,
and its finances became so involved that the Nizam was obliged to
borrow several millions sterling from the Calcutta Government. The
Government took in pledge for the debt the provinces in question,
which were the richest he possessed, it being agreed that they
should be administered by the Government of India until the loan
was repaid. This arrangement naturally gave much employment to
Englishmen and many highly paid posts to members of the Covenanted
Civil Service, and it has consequently been their settled policy to
make the resumption of the provinces by the Nizam impossible. In
this view the provinces have been exceptionally well administered;
the taxation has been light, and everything has been done to make
the peasantry satisfied with English rule, so that they form a
striking contrast with most parts of British India. It was never
expected that the Nizam would be able to repay his debt, but, in
case he could, the prosperity of the provinces would then, it was
thought, be a reason for refusing. This is precisely what happened.
Salar Jung, being a man of great ability, not only restored
order in the Deccan, but brought the Hyderabad finances into so
prosperous a condition that he was able to come forward with the
borrowed millions in his hand, and claimed their repayment and the
restitution of the provinces. It was for his insistence on this
point that his persecution at the hands of the Imperial Government
began, and was carried on relentlessly until his death. The claim,
however, still remained, and could not be contested, as it was
embodied in a public treaty between the two States, and advantage
was being taken of the Nizam’s minority and the death of his
powerful Minister to get it annulled.

“Seyd Huseyn is positive that the draft of the proposed new treaty
is already at the Residency. He has been shown a copy or _précis_
of it, and believes it will either be forced on the young Nizam
as soon as he comes of age, as a condition of his ascending the
throne, or that the signature of the Peishkar will be taken before
that event. This he thinks could be done legally, as the Council
of Regency has sovereign powers. The Council consists of the
Peishkar, old and infirm, of Kurshid Jah, the presumptive heir to
the throne, both men under the influence of the Residency, and of
Bushir-ed-Dowlah, who is without colour or strong character. Young
Salar Jung so far is only secretary to the Council, and so without
voice in its decisions. I find it difficult, however, to believe
that Lord Ripon’s Government would venture to rush so important a
treaty through in the last days of the Regency; and I think it far
more likely that pressure will be put on the young Nizam, partly
by flattery, partly by threats at Calcutta, to get a signature
from him simultaneously with his installation. On the other hand,
the other important matter insisted upon by the Indian Government,
the Railway Convention, has been carried through precisely in this
way with the Peishkar, for Cordery told us so himself, and it is
possible that Seyd Huseyn may be right, and the attempt on the
Berars will be made at once, rather than trust its execution to
the Nizam’s subserviency. This decides me to hasten my journey to
Calcutta, where I shall lay the whole case before Lord Ripon, and
protest against the sharp practice of the Foreign Office diplomacy.

“The existence of the draft treaty at the Residency explains to me
what has hitherto seemed inexplicable, the strong support given
to the Peishkar, in spite of his misgovernment; the isolation in
which Salar Jung is being placed by the dismissal of so many of
his father’s best servants; the stories circulated against the
character of all those who have advocated the retrocession of
the Berar Provinces; Cordery’s words about Laik Ali’s ‘headstrong
character’ and that his only chance was to make common cause with
the Peishkar; the favour shown to Kurshid Jah as heir to the
throne and substitute in case it should be found necessary to
get rid of the young Nizam, along with the bad character Cordery
attributes to the latter; and the tales of his childishness, of
his early corruption with women and other scandals. Cordery at
dinner has talked a great deal to Anne on all these matters. It
also perhaps explains how the other day, when he had been speaking
more severely than usual to Laik Ali, he put his arm paternally
on his shoulder and said Laik Ali must forgive him, for he was
only following his instructions. He made a sort of apology to Seyd
Huseyn, too, when he sent for him the other day. He told him he
must leave Hyderabad for six months, but added ‘I am doing you an
injustice, but it is necessary in the public interest.’ I exhorted
Laik Ali to talk openly of all these things to Lord Ripon when he
sees him at Calcutta, and I have promised to urge Lord Ripon to
pay full attention to him. As soon as he arrives with the Nizam’s
party at Calcutta I will see him and advise him, for none of Laik
Ali’s friends are to be allowed to go with him. He has given me
printed copies of his father’s private correspondence relating to
the Berars and other matters, and will send to me at Bombay a copy
of the minute written by his father on the case. It is a curious
comment on the little trust placed by the native Government in
English administration that he does not send me the minute by post,
but will forward it through an agent to be delivered by hand.

“Talking on general matters of government, Laik Ali said that he
did not think that the Nizam would be fit to govern the country by
himself, as he has thought of doing, but neither is the country
fit for self-government. The custom has been that it should be
governed by a Minister, and doubtless he intends to be that
Minister. I shall do what I can to help him, as he possesses his
father’s traditions, and there is no question he is very popular
at Hyderabad. His age is his only drawback, as he is little more
than twenty-one. I asked him about this particularly, and he said
he was born in August, 1862. But he is far older than his years.
He has invited us to come back for the Nizam’s installation. The
Peishkar’s administration seems to have been signalized by a
general round of plunder as in the old time. It is not only from
Laik Ali that I know this, but from everybody I have spoken to.
When Salar Jung died, Sir Stewart Bailey was sent from Calcutta to
settle matters here, and Laik Ali was appointed Co-Administrator
with the Peishkar, and as such he ought now to be taking his share
in the administration, but this has been prevented. There is no
public office at which business is transacted, and the Peishkar
will not consult him or let him into his house with any regularity
for the discussion of affairs; nor will he send him, as he ought
to do, the documents for his signature. The consequence is he is
powerless to do or to prevent anything, and he says he will throw
up his office if after he has been to Calcutta the position is not
altered. He now has the responsibility without the power, and this
he refuses to go on with.

“We are beginning to be out of favour at the Residency. Cordery is
alarmed at our independent visits to the City. He made a remark two
days ago about it to Salar Jung. Perhaps his sudden announcement
that he is going to Calcutta may be connected with a suspicion that
we know his plans. At four, Rasul Yar Khan came to fetch us to dine
with him in the City, a final breach of discipline, as English
people going to the City are expected to be bear-led by some one
from the Residency. Rasul Yar Khan lives in a little old-fashioned
house, with a pretty court surrounded by arches, and we were glad
of the opportunity of seeing a _bourgeois_ Hyderabad establishment.
He had invited several friends to meet us, Nawaiz Jung, Cheragh
Ali, Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami, and Mulvi Mehdy Hassan; and we had some
good talk. They told us when Lord Beaconsfield came into office ten
years ago, every Mohammedan in India looked to the Conservative
party as friendly to them. But Lord Lytton’s policy had undeceived
them. The Afghan War had been most displeasing and had estranged
every mind, and they had entirely lost confidence in any English
party. They talked, too, of a letter Lytton had written to Lord
Salisbury, which had been published, explaining how Mohammedans
would be excluded from the public service.

“Mehdy Hassan sat next me. He is a native of Lucknow, and told me
I should be well received by the Mohammedans there, for they knew
my name well, and he has promised to give me letters for some of
them. They would be glad to learn the truth about the Egyptian War,
for until a few months ago they had all been deceived about it,
thinking that the English had really gone to Egypt as the Sultan’s
allies. They said I should do well to give a lecture at Calcutta
on the subject, but that it would be difficult to get up a public
protest against future wars waged with Mohammedans, because,
although the thing would be popular, it would be too dangerous for
the leaders in it, who would from that moment become marked men.
They told me I had no conception of the despotism under which India
was held, nor of the danger there was for them in meddling with
politics; Jemal-ed-Din’s stories about the deportation of religious
Sheykhs to the Andaman Islands were perfectly true. The dinner was
a good one, partly European, partly Indian, but we left early in
order to appease Mr. Cordery.

“_10th Dec._--Left Hyderabad by the early train, many of our
friends coming to see us off. The Meccan brought us provisions for
the road, and the schoolmaster was there, and Sultan Nawaiz’s son.
I made them all three sit down on a bench with me, on which Trevor
was also seated, a proceeding English officials are not used to.
Then Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami and others of the Northern Mohammedans
came, and our good little Rasul Yar Khan with his brother insisted
on going with us two hours’ journey on our road. He had gone that
distance, he said, with Jemal-ed-Din, and would go with us. He sent
us some splendid presents last night, including the finest cashmere
shawl I ever saw, which we had some difficulty in sending back,
as also a box of ostrich feathers from Sultan Nawaiz, which his
son brought to the station. But it would never do for us to take
presents, though other English travellers it seems do. The Keays
and several English also came to the station, and Trevor, who I
suspect wanted to know the names of our native friends.

“The country near Hyderabad is very curious, wild, uncultivated
hills, trees and boulders, but beyond there is a rich plain at a
lower level, bearing good crops of _gholum_, flax, and _raghi_,
cotton also, I believe, but I could not distinguish the crop. The
villages in this district have all the remains of fine stone walls,
with round towers, each a little fortress against the raiding bands
which once drew blackmail from them. The largest town, Kalbarga,
seemed to have fine buildings. We travelled on through the night,
and arrived early at Poona the next morning.

“_11th Dec._--Poona is an uninteresting place, without a vestige
of Eastern colour. It stands in a bare plain, feebly relieved by
a river bordered with acacia trees, and some shapeless hills of
trappe formation. Great macadamized roads run everywhere, and
modern buildings of debased Gothic with meaningless belfries and
inscriptions to Sir Bartle Frere dot the landscape. Barracks, of
course, and factory chimneys abound, and institutions of all sorts.
The climate, however, is a healthy one. Poona is 2,000 feet above
the sea, and at one time it was proposed to remove the seat of
Supreme Government here from Calcutta.

“We were taken by Miss Dillon, with whom we are staying, to see
the Deccan College, an absurd building, from the tower of which
we viewed the scene described. It contains a hundred and twenty
boarders, all Hindus but half a dozen, only one Mohammedan. Ninety
of the Hindus are Brahmins. I talked to some of the pupils in the
reading rooms. They told me they read the ‘Bombay Gazette,’ which
represented their views better than any other English paper, but
the best native one was the ‘Hindu Prakash.’ The English Director
struck us as being rather a weak vessel, contrasting unfavourably
in the point of intelligence and knowledge with a learned Brahmin
who explained to us the connection of Hindi, Mahratta, and
Hindustani with Sanskrit. On the other hand, I noticed this learned
man thumbing without ceremony palm leaf manuscripts of the eleventh
century in a way which would have made a book collector’s blood run
cold. In these two incidents the difference between the East and
the West is exemplified.”

In the afternoon a friend of Rangiar Naidu came to see us, and
gave us a number of interesting statistics as to the state of
agriculture in the Bombay Presidency. It is hardly worth, however,
transcribing them here, as they do not differ essentially from
those we received elsewhere, and I have incorporated the result of
all my agricultural inquiries omitted from my diary in the chapter
on “The Agricultural Danger” given at the end of this volume.

On the 12th we went on to Bombay, where we spent a couple of days
in the society principally of a Europeanized Mohammedan to whom we
had brought letters, Mr. Mohammed Rogay, a wealthy man, advanced
and liberal, and the head of the Moslem community. His ideas were
all of the most modern type, far too modern on some points quite
to please me. “He drove us through the native town, which is most
picturesque and cheerful, very unlike Madras. Rogay would like it
all pulled down, and built up again in rows of sham Gothic houses.”
A more interesting personage was Mr. Malabari, editor of the
“Indian Spectator,” a friend of Colonel Osborne’s. “He is a Parsi,
but says his sympathies are rather Hindu than of his own people. He
is an intelligent, active little man, going about constantly from
place to place on philanthropic and political business. He confirms
everything we have heard elsewhere as to the agricultural misery,
and promises to take us a round of inspection on our return, as
well as to get up meetings at which I can express my views, and
agrees that there will be no improvement until India has gone
bankrupt--bankruptcy or revolution, as Gordon suggested.[4] He also
described how such English officials as dared to protest against
the over taxation were persecuted. If any of them espoused the
wrongs of the natives he was bullied out of the service, and then
his evidence was scouted on the plea that he was only ‘a man with
a grievance.’ Such had been Colonel Osborne’s case. Malabari is
only thirty, though he looks eighty. He has written, among other
things, certain loyal poems which are sad trash. He is, however, a
great admirer of Lord Ripon, and he exhorted me to support him with

The rest of our time at Bombay was spent principally in the Arab
stables looking at horses, but of this more on the occasion of our
second visit.

_15th Dec._--Started for Calcutta, and found Gorst[5] in the same
train, and had a long talk with him. Randolph Churchill is as keen
as ever about Egypt, and is going to make a speech about it at
Edinburgh. Gorst has come to India professionally ‘to advise the
Nizam as to the retrocession of the Berar Provinces,’ but I was
in doubt which side he and Churchill took in Indian matters. He
told me, however, that up to the present moment the Fourth Party
had not committed themselves on the Ilbert Bill, and I advised him
strongly to take up the cause of the people. It was going a-begging
among statesmen, for the natives trusted neither the Conservatives
nor Mr. Gladstone, and though they were grateful to Lord Ripon
personally for his sympathy they quite understood he had been able
to do next to nothing for them. There was no reason why Churchill
should not raise the cry of ‘The Queen and the natives of India,’
as against the official class. It seems that Gorst formerly brought
the matter of Berar before Lord Salisbury, and interested him the
right way, but Lytton was adverse, and afterwards it was Gorst who
prosecuted the ‘Statesman’ newspaper on the part of the Government
for its publication of the facts relating to Salar Jung’s attempted
arrest, and the bribe taken by Sir Richard Meade. He told me the
prosecution was dropped in consequence of representations from the
Calcutta Foreign Office that a scandal would be created, and he
himself was of opinion that Sir Richard Meade would have come badly
out of the affair. I warned him how difficult he would find it to
get speech of the Nizam, or to do anything at Hyderabad if staying
at the Residency. But I did not tell him all I knew of the politics
of the place, or about the Draft Treaty, for I mean to set the
facts first before Lord Ripon.

“_16th Dec._--Still in the train. Read up the Hyderabad Blue Books
(those given me by Laik Ali). They are very instructive.”


[2] When Robert Bourke, Lord Connemara, was sent as Governor to
Madras in 1886, I recommended Ragunath Rao to him, and he gave him
once more a post as Minister to one of the Native Princes.

[3] Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami, now member of the Indian Council in

[4] This refers to a talk I had had with General C. G. Gordon at
the end of 1882 in which he had assured me emphatically that “no
reform would ever be achieved in India without a Revolution.”
Gordon, it will be remembered, accompanied Ripon, as his private
secretary, to India in 1880, but soon after their landing at Bombay
had resigned his place. The opposition of the covenanted civil
service to any real reform had convinced him that he would be
useless to Lord Ripon in an impossible task.

[5] Sir John Gorst.



                                                       “_17th Dec._

“Arrived at Calcutta, and were met by Walter Pollen [an
aide-de-camp of Lord Ripon, and a private friend of ours], who
has taken capital rooms for us at 2, Russell Street. Wrote our
names down at Government House, and arranged with Primrose, the
private secretary, that I am to have an interview with Lord Ripon
on Wednesday afternoon. Sent several letters of introduction which
had been given us to Hindus of the place. There is notice of a
meeting of a thousand persons held under Rangiar Naidu at Madras to
protest against the Address presented to T.; I have telegraphed to
congratulate him.

“_18th Dec._--A very busy day, as I had to write a vast number of
letters for the English mail. In the morning Norendro Nath Sen,
the editor of the ‘Indian Mirror,’ called, a well-informed man.
I asked him about Lord Ripon, and he said he was supporting him
all he could in public, but privately he feared Lord Ripon was
weak. In point of fact he had done nothing for the Indians though
he had shown his sympathy and taken their part in their quarrels
with the English. ‘We are thankful,’ he said, ‘for small mercies.
If the Ilbert Bill had been given in its original integrity it
would have been worth something. Now it is worth nothing except
as the recognition of a principle. Still we are thankful.’ ‘As
to the local self-government bill,’ he said, ‘people are very
suspicious. There are many who looked upon it as likely to be
made use of by the officials to impose heavier local rates in the
people’s name than they would venture to do in their own.’ I think
this very likely, as it is exactly what Ismaïl did with his Chamber
of Notables in Egypt. Increased taxation is the aim of all these
despotic governments, of the Indian more than any. Nor were they
satisfied with regard to the Bengal Rent Bill. I asked him about
the Mohammedan community here, and he said they were very timid and
time-serving. He had proposed to them to get up a demonstration
on my arrival, but they had been afraid of the Government. Amir
Ali, the head of the advanced party, was like an Englishman, and
he and his followers played into the hands of the Government. He
himself had more sympathy with Abd-el-Latif, and the old-fashioned
Mohammedans who kept themselves independent, but these were afraid
to express their opinions. They looked on Amir Ali as a renegade.
I have, fortunately, letters to both these leaders, and one from
Jemal-ed-Din to Abd-el-Latif, so I hope I shall be able to gain
their confidence.

“Later Sir Jotendro Mohun Tagore called, a Hindu of rank as he
has the title of Maharajah. He confirmed much of what Norendro
said about Lord Ripon, and was clean against the Rent Bill, but,
as he explained, he was prejudiced on this point, being himself a
Zemindar. The point of the bill is to break the agreement made by
Lord Cornwallis in 1793, by which the absolute ownership of the
land was recognized in the Zemindars. The present tenure is briefly
this: the Zemindars are the proprietors, and cannot be assessed
at more than one-fifth of the gross produce of their estate. They
generally let their land to middlemen or farmers, who employ the
ryots or labourers, just as we do in England. The effect of the
bill will be to transfer the ownership to these occupants, who
will then hold them directly from the Government. At present no
increasing of the assessment is announced, but the agreement made
by Lord Cornwallis being once broken, it seems probable that this
will follow. The Zemindars will be reduced to the ownership only
of such lands as they occupy. The contention of the Government
would seem to be that the land will then be better cultivated and
produce more, and their fifth be proportionately increased. But
Sir Jotendro is of opinion that the old system of husbandry was
safer than any new system is likely to be. The land might be made
to produce more by steam ploughing and high farming, but in the end
the fertility would be exhausted. Here, again, precisely the same
thing has happened in Egypt. He has promised, however, to put us in
the way of seeing some villages here and there that we may study
the question on the spot, and we are to make him a return call in a
day or two.

“Last came Schomberg Kerr, Lord Ripon’s chaplain, who knew my
brother and sister so well years ago. He is a very nice fellow, and
not unlike his cousin, the other Schomberg Kerr.[6] But he was wary
of talking politics, as befits a Jesuit and a private chaplain. I
fancy he makes it a rule to confine himself strictly to spiritual
advice, but I don’t know.

“_19th Dec._--Seyd Amir Ali called, and we talked about Arabi. I
taxed him at once with having written that letter to the ‘Times’
just before the war saying that all the Indian Mohammedans
supported the action of the English Government, and he said he was
sorry for it now, but the Mohammedans had been deceived as to the
true state of the case. They now recognized Arabi as an honest man,
fighting in defence of his religion. I noticed, however, that he
looked rather confused when I charged him with this, but I think
we shall get on well together in spite of the pot hat he wears. I
told him that Gladstone wanted to restore Arabi, and urged him to
protest against any further wars against Mohammedans, whatever the
pretext might be. I told him that the only way to get attention
paid to the wishes of the Mohammedan community was to inspire a
certain amount of fear. By holding their tongues in a crisis like
the Egyptian War, or pretending to sympathize with the Government,
they threw away their advantages. I trusted that if there should be
any serious talk of sending Indian troops to suppress the Mahdi he
would call a general meeting of his party to protest against it.
Amir Ali is a young man not much over thirty, and evidently very
clever, and if he has the courage to take an independent line, may
play a great part. But they say his ambition is to be made Chief

“While we were talking, arrived a dignified old man, Manockji
Rustemji, the Parsi Consul-General for Persia, with his son. We
talked about the Bengal Rent Bill, to which, like everybody else
I have talked with, they are opposed. Sir Jamsetji Jijibhoy is
staying with him, and he promises to send him to see us. I like
this old man very much. He is a friend of Ragunath Rao’s, and spoke
very warmly of him, saying that he was a far cleverer man than his
cousin, Sir Madhava Rao, who has more celebrity but less courage.
We are to call on his wife next week.

“At a quarter to three I paid my visit to Lord Ripon, feeling
rather nervous about it beforehand, but I have every reason to be
satisfied with the result. I had a good hour’s conversation, first
about the state of the agricultural districts which I described,
and afterwards about the really important business of Hyderabad.
I set the whole state of the case before him, the reversal by
the Peishkar and Kurshid Jah of all Sir Salar Jung’s policy; the
dismissal of the skilled administrators; the consequent breakdown
of the administration; the return to old practices of corruption
and the rest of it; and, lastly, ‘what would seem incredible
but for which I could nevertheless vouch’ that the Peishkar’s
misgovernment was strongly supported at the Residency. I made
no charge against Mr. Cordery, who I considered was merely the
responsible person representing the several interests of the
official class. But I could only explain the matter to myself by
supposing that these officials feared a retrocession of Berar, and
so purposely abetted the misgovernment of the State. This had been
done without doubt in former years for similar reasons, and I had
had sufficient experience of official ways in Egypt to make me very
distrustful. Lord Ripon smiled at this and said that official ways
were always a little the same everywhere, but he did not commit
himself to any opinion as to whether I was correct or not. He said,
however, that I must know well how great a difficulty there was
in Hyderabad in finding any one competent to carry on Sir Salar
Jung’s administration. He had considered Sir Salar’s death a great
misfortune, though others, and he believed Lord Lytton, had thought
otherwise. It was the more deplorable to himself because he had
just had the satisfaction of restoring the good relations which had
so long existed between Sir Salar and the Indian Government, but
which had latterly been interrupted, and he had personally a high
opinion of Sir Salar’s integrity and good faith. But who was there
to fill his place?

“I then told him my high opinion of young Salar Jung, both as a
good young man, and one with statesmanlike qualities, which only
wanted practice to develop into a capacity equal, perhaps, to his
father’s. He said that he was glad to hear me say this, for such
had also been Sir Stewart Bailey’s opinion. But Laik Ali was very
young for so responsible a position. I said that he was twenty-one,
and he asked me whether that meant twenty-one according to the
Mohammedan or the English reckoning. I said: ‘According to the
English, as he was born in August, 1862,’ and so was very nearly
as old as his father had been when he first became Prime Minister,
for Sir Salar had been only twenty-four according to the Mohammedan
reckoning, and, if one considered how troubled and disorganized a
State Hyderabad then was and compared it with what it is now, it
would be seen that Laik Ali’s position, if he were made Minister
to-morrow, would be a more favourable one by a great deal than
his father’s had been. Now all the machinery of government was
there, and it only required to be kept going, instead of having
to be created. I also begged him to see the young man himself
privately when he came to Calcutta, and he said he would certainly
do so, and as Laik Ali could speak English, they would not want an
interpreter, and he would give him every encouragement to explain
his position and ideas thoroughly. All Lord Ripon’s manner showed
a thorough good will towards young Salar Jung, and I have little
doubt that he will give him his support. He then asked me about
the character of the Nizam, and I told him I could say nothing
for certain, because he had been so silent in our interviews that
I had not been able to judge, but it was my opinion that he was
far from being without ideas of his own, and very likely a will of
his own too. He asked me whether the people of Hyderabad wished
him to be proclaimed of age this year or not till two years later,
and I said it was not a case of their wishing. They all expected
it to be at once, and would be grievously disappointed if it was
deferred. There was a strong feeling of loyalty and affection
towards the Nizam among the people, and they would resent his being
kept out of his right. He also asked about Bushir-ed-Dowlah and to
which faction he belonged. I said I could not answer certainly,
but I believed Laik Ali considered him to be among his friends.
Bushir-ed-Dowlah seemed to be without strong political colour. Lord
Ripon remarked, however, that he, Bushir-ed-Dowlah, had been on bad
terms with Laik Ali’s father. Of this I knew nothing.

“Then, with some apologies, I mentioned the report about the draft
treaty. At this Lord Ripon laughed, and said it was the first he
had heard of it. He certainly would never consent to taking any
such treaty from the young Nizam. It would be a fraud, and I might
dismiss it from my mind; all that might possibly be asked of him
would be some limitation of his absolute power for a couple of
years or so until they saw how he got on with his Government. As to
a treaty concerning the Berar claim, he, Lord Ripon, was incapable
of proposing it.[7] I said I was sure it was so, and would dismiss
it from my mind. Lord Ripon’s manner, though reserved at first,
was very cordial to me in the latter part of this conversation, and
he shook hands warmly with me and said he was glad I had spoken to
him on these matters, and hoped to see me again. Since my famous
interview with Mr. Gladstone in March, 1882, I have not been so
favourably impressed by any statesman that I have conversed with.
_Absit omen._

“_20th Dec._--Looked in on Knight, Editor of the ‘Statesman,’ who
gave me his views on the decadence of English morality, which he
dates from the first Afghan war. He has been useful as exposing
many of the official iniquities here, and takes, as it seems to
me, generally just views. He would not, however, admit that the
finances were in any danger, but looks rather to a revolution to
end the present system.

“From him I went to Sir Stewart Bailey, and, as the conversation
led up to it, told him something of the state of things at
Hyderabad. He seemed surprised that Cordery was actually supporting
the Peishkar and Kurshid Jah; said he thought he had been weak in
letting things go on so far unchecked; repudiated all idea of its
being done on policy; did not think that Trevor really influenced
Cordery; Trevor was not nearly as clever a man, but very likely he
had been too long at Hyderabad. Sir Stewart, however, spoke with
great sympathy of Laik Ali, and said his was a waiting game, and it
was only a matter of time his becoming Minister. We discussed his
age, and he asked me, as Lord Ripon had done, whether I thought him
capable of being now at the head of affairs. I said of course it
was a very responsible position for a youth of twenty-one, but I
believed him capable of it if really supported and rightly advised
at the Residency. He was very popular in Hyderabad on his father’s
account and his own, and would find no opposition except from the
old Mogul nobles.

“We then discussed the north-west men. Sir Stewart does not like
Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami, says his letters are flippant, but agreed
with me that Salar Jung’s system, to be carried out at all, must
be so through people who had received a modern education. Of Gough
he spoke highly, but not of Clerk. On the whole I am satisfied
with our conversation. It is evident Sir Stewart meant to have
Laik Ali supported when he made the arrangement which left him
co-administrator, and will do what he can for him now. At leaving
he said it was a question whether it might not be better to let
things go on a little longer and then interfere, or to interfere
now on the Nizam’s coming of age. I said I considered they had
gone quite far enough. In any case he promised to talk the whole
matter over with Laik Ali, and I shall be surprised if Trevor is
not removed and a change of attitude insisted on with Cordery.
Talking of past affairs at Hyderabad, Bailey said that Sir Richard
Meade’s alliance with the late Emir el Kebir against Sir Salar Jung
had been most unfortunate, and had ‘dragged the Indian Government
through a deal of mud.’ He did not wish to be quoted in this
opinion, but such was the fact.

“_21st Dec._--Mulvi Seyd Amir Huseyn, deputy collector and
magistrate at court, a friend of Amir Ali’s, came. We discussed the
Bengal Rent Bill, and he told me he had been one of the original
supporters of a scheme to relieve the ryots, and had sent in a
memorandum on the subject to the Government, but now the Bill had
been drafted he had changed his mind about it. He considered that
it would not really relieve the ryots, and would most certainly
be made a precedent for further spoliation of landlords by the
Government, and eventually for increased assessments. The breach
of faith with the Zemindars was glaring, and it was not proposed
to compensate them in any way. [I remember Lytton complaining to
me at Simla in 1879 of the Bengal Land Settlement as an injustice
to Indian Finance, and saying that it would be necessary to break
it.] With regard to the condition of the Bengali Mohammedans, the
Mulvi explained that they were an oppressed community, the Hindus
having it all their own way, and there was very little courage
among them, though the antiquated Mohammedans and Hindus lived on
excellent terms. They dared not take any prominent part against the
Government. He himself was a magistrate and deputy collector, but
he had five English superiors, one above the other over him from
the Collector to the Lieutenant-Governor, who, on the complaint of
any one of them, would be down on him if he expressed his opinions.
I told him India needed martyrs, and until they learned to have
the courage of their convictions nothing would be done for them;
reforms were only granted to the importunate, and on compulsion.

“Next came Kristo Das Pal, a member of the Legislative Council,
and editor of the ‘Hindu Patriot.’ He is looked up to as the most
prudent, yet independent of the Bengali Hindus, and I found him
sensible, and with a very accurate knowledge of the forces with
which he had to deal, both here and in England. He, too, opposed
the Rent Bill, on the ground that it is not a _bona fide_ measure
of relief to the ryot, but the thin end of the revenue wedge which
grudges the comparative immunity of Bengal from rack-renting. ‘If
they were in earnest,’ he said, ‘they would first relieve their
own ryots, who are starving in Madras and Bombay, instead of doing
so out of the pockets of the Zemindars here. It was robbing Peter
to pay Paul.’ The ryots of Bengal, though poor, were rich compared
with those of the other two Presidencies, and needed far less
relief. That this is so would seem to be proved from the fact that
they do not here complain of the salt tax. They are rich enough
not to feel the burden, for it is only hard upon the _very_ poor.
Talking about Lord Ripon, he said Lord Ripon had wished the Indians
well, but with very little practical result, though he was the
best viceroy they had ever had. He was of opinion that, before
anything could be done, the Civil Service must be thrown open and
reorganized. The present civilians had no sympathy with India or
its people. They came and went like birds of passage. They must
also have representation of some sort. At present they had none
except through chance travellers like myself: I promised to do
what I could to make the matter known. He asked me whether I was
in Parliament and could ask questions, and I explained to him my
position and promised, though I could not do it personally, to get
his questions asked in proper form if he would provide me with the
materials. This he agreed to do, and I gave him my address, and the
necessary instructions. But the more I see and hear of the state
of things in India, the more convinced I am that Gordon is right.
‘Nothing will be done without a revolution.’

“In the afternoon we called on Mr. Manockji Rustemji, and found Sir
Jamsetji Jijibhoy with him. He being rich and an old man talks very
freely. It is absurd to suppose that the Parsis do not sympathize
with the rest of the natives. He has known every viceroy since
Lord William Bentinck, and likes Canning the best. Canning stood
up bravely after the mutiny, and prevented innocent blood being
shed. The English wanted martial law proclaimed in Calcutta, and
he refused. Where it was proclaimed, any man who had a grudge
could write an anonymous letter to his neighbour of a treasonable
character. The letter was opened by the police, and the man to whom
such might be addressed would be brought up, condemned without
trial, and hanged. A good old man.

“Called also on Sir Jotendro, who lamented Mr. Gladstone’s
apostasy from the principles he had proclaimed in Midlothian. He
said his speech on the question of making India pay the expense
of the Egyptian campaign had destroyed all confidence in him in
India, and he wondered that any man should be so base. I told him
that in England words said out of office bind no statesman in
office, an explanation which seemed to surprise him. We afterwards
talked poetry, Byron, Moore, Tennyson. He did not understand
Tennyson, preferred Moore infinitely. Sir Jotendro has a handsome
old-fashioned house in the centre of the town, one of the first
houses, he says, that were built in Calcutta; the city had grown up
round it.

“_22nd Dec._--The ‘Englishman’ announces a concordat on the Ilbert
Bill, which Seyd Amir Ali who called this morning declares is ten
times worse than withdrawing the Bill. The English are to be tried
by a jury composed in majority of their own countrymen. This will
make them quite independent of the law, and he talks of getting
up meetings to protest. Mr. Rustemji also called, and Mrs. Ilbert
to ask condolence. She says her husband has been abandoned by
every one, and now by Lord Ripon. She blames Lord Ripon for his
weakness, not the people at home. Lord Kimberley had written to
her husband urging him to stand firm, but the members of council
were frightened out of their wits, and Lord Ripon has followed
them. Her husband is broken-hearted at it all, and they are going
away for a week to hide in some country district. It is all very
disgraceful. I told her I could not understand any one paying a
moment’s attention to the Anglo-Indians. The Viceroy should have
been absolutely indifferent to them and their noise. She said ‘If
you had been Viceroy, I have no doubt it would have been so,’ which
I take as a compliment.

“At last Mulvi Abd-el-Latif, the head of the older-fashioned
Mohammedans, has called. I had a letter for him from Sheykh
Jemal-ed-Din, but I feared he would not come. He is a judge,
and much occupied or would have called before. I found him all,
and more than all I could have expected. He began by telling me
people were afraid here of coming to see me, partly because I was
looked ill on by the Government, partly because they knew I was
taking notes on all I saw or heard, and they were not sure but
what I might compromise them, or compromise their cause by telling
too much. He knew, however, that I had the Mohammedan cause at
heart, for he had heard from Sheykh Jemal-ed-Din what I had done,
and he thought it best to tell me all frankly, and put me on my
guard. Also it would explain to me why the Mohammedans had not
come forward to welcome me. He then sketched the position of the
two parties among the Mohammedans. Amir Ali and his friends had
broken with the mass of the community by affecting English dress
and ways, and posing as reformers, although they were in no way
qualified in a religious sense for such a position. Amir Huseyn
they even considered to be an unbeliever. In any case, Amir Ali
did not represent the Mussulman community in Bengal, for he was a
Shiah, and they were Sunnis. He, Abd-el-Latif, was a reformer too,
though working on other lines. He wished to improve the religious
education of the people, and had been labouring for the last twenty
years to get the Government to establish proper schools. Reform
must be introduced by religious, not irreligious persons, or it
would take no hold on the people. These young men were out of
all sympathy with the mass of the Mohammedans. They knew nothing
even of the religious language, Arabic, or Persian which was the
language of good society. How could they serve as a medium between
the English Government and them?

“In all this I sympathized, but discouraged him from hoping that
the Government would do much to help Mohammedan education as such,
for the tendency was towards merely secular education, and would
hardly be reversed. I hoped, however, that they might be able
to found something in the way of a University which should be
within their means, a University where, as in the Azhar at Cairo,
the students lived on their own resources, and merely attended
lectures. He promised to introduce me to some of the Ulema to talk
these matters over, but he was afraid to have the meeting at his
own house. In fact, he had already arranged that it should be at
that of Dr. Hörnli, the Swiss director of the Madrasa, so that the
Government should not take umbrage. We also talked about Amir Ali’s
letter repudiating Arabi during the war, which Abd-el-Latif was
very angry at. It did not represent their opinions. Now, with the
Afghan War, he said, it was different. They had approved of that,
because they looked on it as an attack on Russia, which was the
greatest of all the enemies of Islam. Thus, I suppose, it had been
explained to them. I told him, however, that I hoped in future the
Mohammedans of India would set their faces against all wars waged
against Mohammedans on whatever pretext.

“I like this man much. He is of the sort I like far better than
Amir Ali and Seyd Huseyn, and yet I fear the others are more likely
to succeed. They represent the future, he the past. He himself has
a son who wears coats and hats and boots to his father’s great
grief, but he said the son complained that in Indian dress he
could not enter the Anglo-Indian houses, such are the difficulties
put in the way of social intercourse. Abd-el-Latif wears eastern
robes and head-dress. It appears that he did not personally know
Jemal-ed-Din, for he was afraid of compromising himself with
one under Government ban. ‘I refrained purposely,’ he said,
‘from asking any official about you, for I should have found it
impossible to see you if they had spoken ill of you. Fortunately
they have said nothing yet, at least not to me.’ This visit has
been a pleasing and a valuable one.

“We dined with Dr. Johnstone the Bishop, a good specimen of
his class, with more liberal views than nearly any Englishman
I have talked to in India. He does not want to convert anybody
or Anglicize them. He was interested in Mohammedan education,
wished them to study their own language, and described a college
he had seen at Lahore. I shall put him into communication with
Abd-el-Latif, as he may be able to help him, having, I suppose,
some interest in official quarters.

“_23rd Dec._--The Nizam arrived yesterday with his suite, and I
went to see Salar Jung and tell him the result of my interview with
Lord Ripon. He seemed very grateful for what I have done, and I
gave him some advice about his relations with the ultra liberal
party among the Mohammedans here. I recommended him to conciliate
Abd-el-Latif and not to be too intimate with Amir Ali, as, though
Amir Ali might be right in the line he took, he, Salar Jung, would
run the risk of sharing his unpopularity with old-fashioned people.
If he was to be minister of a Mohammedan State, he must show
himself truly a Mohammedan. Any suspicion of impiety would diminish
his influence. This was a mere matter of prudence. I think he is
sensible enough to see this. He is coming again this evening to
talk further. I left cards on the Nizam, Peishkar, and the rest.

“In the course of the morning Seyd Nur-el-Huda, a Mohammedan from
Patna, called with his friend, a Christian Brahmin. Nur-el-Huda is
one of the new school, having been educated at Cambridge, but seems
a good sort of fellow. The Hindu, Dr. Sandwal, or, as he writes
it, ‘Sandel,’ is a doctor. He, the doctor, was born a Christian,
as his father was converted many years ago, and I asked him how
it affected his social position. He said it cut him off from all
Hindus, and the English would not receive him either. He had
studied medicine in England, hoping to get practice here on his
return, but it was impossible for a native doctor to compete with
the English official doctors, and though he had had the highest
recommendations from Sir Ashley Eden and others, he could get no
Government appointment either here or in the Mofussil on account of
his race. They are both very angry at the Ilbert Bill compromise,
and the doctor gave me particulars about the pressure which had
been put lately on native officials respecting it. A friend of
his, holding a minor post under Government, had received a
‘demi-official’ letter from his English superior, warning him that
if he attended meetings in favour of the Bill he should suffer for
it. This I can well believe, when I remember the pressure that was
put on officials, even in England, to prevent them from subscribing
to the Arabi Defence Fund last year.

“At 11 o’clock we started driving for Uttarpara, a village some
eight miles up the Hugli, where we spent the afternoon most
profitably with our Zemindar. He is the son of one of the greatest
landholders in the district. His father’s rent roll amounts to
about £50,000 a year. Of this, however, he touches but a small
portion, for the real owner of two-fifths of the property is the
Maharajah to whom he pays £15,000, while he pays another £15,000
in round figures to the Government for the rest. Considerable
reductions on account of bad debts, and the cost of collection
must again be made. Still it leaves him a very rich man as things
go here. Nor has he at all neglected his duties as a landlord.
He lives on his estate, and is the father of the municipality of
Uttarpara. He received us in a public library he built some years
ago, a handsome Palladian house, well supplied with books and
newspapers. They take in the ‘Illustrated,’ ‘Saturday Review,’
and all the Calcutta newspapers; and he intends now to use the
upper part of the building as a college for fifty young men. The
Government has given him nothing in this matter up to now, but
offers £100 a year towards the college. The father is a venerable
old man, reminding me vaguely of Cardinal Newman. He is blind
and very infirm--but talks with vigour. He lamented the growing
ill feeling between the English and themselves, and confirmed
what all old men declare, that the new class of civilian officers
is inferior in every quality, except cleverness, to the old
Haileybury men. With regard to the Ilbert Bill, he said it was an
attempt to reform justice in the country, which greatly needed
reforming. The administration of the criminal as well as the civil
law was very bad. The English did not now understand the ways
of the natives; and those natives, who owed their position to
competition, did not inspire respect from their countrymen, being
mostly chosen from the lower castes. He talked with great feeling,
and evidently sincere regret for the better days which were gone.

“We then drove to some villages with the son, and put our usual
series of questions. It is very evident from the answers that
the Bengal ryots, at least in this district, are far better off
than those of Madras. Our Zemindar estimated the cost of living
for them at about three rupees a month, instead of two as at
Bellari, and they eat rice and fish instead of only _raghi_. I
have promised to attend a meeting on the 29th respecting the
Rent Bill, when the whole question of the state of the peasantry
will be threshed out. Next we saw a village school for boys and
a genteel school for little girls, at which some of the family
were learning with the rest. All this is due to the care of the
landlord, and far different from anything that can be seen in the
whole Madras Presidency, where the Government is the universal
absentee proprietor. On the village green, when we came back from
our inspection, we found an awning put up, and a meeting being
held of the municipality and others--perhaps a hundred people--to
protest against the Ilbert compromise. The proceedings were quite
up to the level of such things in England; resolutions were passed
and speeches made. Surendra Nath Banerji, a Calcutta orator, had
been expected, but did not turn up. But the local speechifying was
not bad, part in English, for our benefit I suppose, and part in

“We did not get home till late.

“_24th Dec._--Mail day, so stayed at home writing letters. To our
great pleasure the Mulvi Sami Ullah of Aligarh (Hamid Ullah’s
father) called with two of his nephews. He arrived here two days
ago to see the exhibition, but will be back at Aligarh to receive
us by the time we get there. We had an animated discussion about
the ‘Concordat,’ the old man explaining that the proper conduct
for the Mohammedans here was being debated, some being for
expressing themselves satisfied, others for making common cause
with the Hindus. All, however, were at heart vexed and angry at
what had been done, and recognized in the Ilbert Bill a matter of
common interest. He had seen Amir Ali yesterday, who had changed
his mind and was now on the Government side. He wants, the Mulvi
explained naïvely, to get promotion, and that is why he supports
the compromise. He himself was for a moderate attitude. I spoke
my mind very plainly, and told them that, if they deserted the
Hindus in this instance, they would never have any reform given or
justice done them for another twenty years. They must sink their
differences and their little private interests if they wanted
to force the Government’s hand. The Bill was the battle-ground
on which the whole principle of legislation for India was being
fought; and the Mohammedans could turn the scale by their attitude
one way or the other. The young men warmly applauded this, and I
think, too, the Mulvi was partly convinced. I told them, if the
Mohammedans only knew their power they would not be neglected and
ill-treated by the Government as they now were. In England we were
perpetually scared at the idea of a Mohammedan rising in India,
and any word uttered by a Mohammedan was paid more attention to
than that of twenty Hindus. But, if they sat still, thanking
Providence for the favours which were denied them, the English
public would be only too happy to leave them as they were. The
Mulvi promised to make my opinion known at a Conference which
had been summoned for this evening to consider the action of the
Mohammedans, and so I trust I may have done some good, at least
with the Liberal party. Of Abd-el-Latif I feel more doubtful, for
there is great ill-feeling in Calcutta between the old-fashioned
Mohammedans and the Hindus.

“They were hardly gone when another Mohammedan called, Mulvi A. M.,
to whom I had had a letter from Seyd Abd-el-Rahman. This is a man
of the type I like best, of the school, in fact, of Jemal-ed-Din,
who here, as elsewhere, laid the foundation of a liberal religious
movement. He gave me a clearer account of the parties in Calcutta
than I have yet received. Amir Ali and his friends have put
themselves out of the pale of Mohammedan society by their English
dress and ways, while Abd-el-Latif and the body of the Mulvis
(Ulema) are too strictly conservative. He had been converted to
the large idea of a Mohammedan reform and Mohammedan unity by
Jemal-ed-Din, and there were many now of his way of thinking who
held a middle position between the rival parties. I urged him too
to join the Hindus in their protest against the compromise, and he
said that if one of the prominent leaders would call a meeting,
he could promise to bring a hundred men to it, but he was only
translator to the High Court, and could not commence the movement.
He then spoke with great sympathy of the work I had done in Egypt,
and of my writings. He speaks good English, but in no other way
affects European manners, wearing his own dress, a little white
skull cap and a long frock. (Sami Ullah and his nephews wear the
fez.) I like A. M. greatly, and have promised to dine with him on
Thursday, and meet the men of his way of thinking. He reminds me
of Rasul Yar Khan, and looks like an Arab of the South, though he
assures me he is a pure Bengali, as far as he knows his genealogy.
He has all the signs of breeding an Arab should have, his thumb
going well beyond the forefinger joint, his complexion clear
and dark and his features regular. Also he is thin and has the
eager frank manner of an Arab, and the lack of reserve. He told
me Jemal-ed-Din had been disappointed with the Mohammedans of
Calcutta, who were afraid of listening to him on account of the
Government. He had found them selfish and unpatriotic. Of Amir Ali
he has a poor opinion. Abd-el-Latif he thinks timid, and the rest
of the Mulvis are intensely ignorant.

“Then I called on Dr. Hörnli, a Swiss, who showed me the Madrasa,
an institution which educates eight hundred boys and young men from
eight to twenty-two years old. There are five hundred English and
Persian students, three hundred Arabic. They pay twelve annas a
month, and most find even that too expensive. There are rooms for
about sixty, who have bedsteads, chairs, and tables, while the rest
board in town. He did not know what became of the students in after
life. He believed the Arabic scholars became Mulvis in the country
towns. There were twenty professors, at from thirty to one hundred
and fifty rupees a month; the head master got three hundred. It was
holiday time unfortunately, and only half a dozen boarders were
left in college.

“Walter Pollen tells us the Viceroy told the Nizam at his reception
that he hoped to see him soon assume the duties of his rank. This
looks well.

“_25th Dec., Christmas Day._--The ‘Indian Mirror’ has a leading
article exhorting all classes to receive us with honour, and to
show their gratitude for our sympathy with the Egyptians and with
themselves. I think we have come at the right time.

“We have had three visits to-day, first from Sambhu Chandra
Mukerji, formerly Minister to the Rajah of Tippara, an independent
prince on the Assam frontier, a very superior Hindu, handsomely
dressed in shawls and a huge shawl turban. He asked me many
questions about Arabia and the Mohammedans in various parts of the
world, and seemed to know their history well, as also the state of
modern affairs everywhere. We discussed Mr. Gladstone’s character.
He had followed his career closely from the day of his article
on ‘Church and State’ downwards, and was of opinion that he had
always been shifty and insincere. He had not been surprised at
his repudiation of the Midlothian doctrines, nor at his conduct
in Egypt. He has evidently a poor opinion of morality as an
element in English statecraft, and rates our party professions
exactly at their worth. How absurd it is to talk of the Hindus as
intellectually inferior to ourselves--indeed as anything but far
our superiors.

“Secondly, Kebir-ed-Din, the joint editor of the one Mohammedan
journal published in Calcutta, a Jewish looking person with a
turban and dyed beard. He said he belonged to the Amir Ali faction,
but except that he talks English, he has nothing of the modern
school about him. I tried to impress upon him the necessity of
supporting the Hindus in the matter of the Ilbert Bill, but found
him exceedingly pigheaded. He seemed quite unable to get beyond
the idea that there were no Mohammedans in the Civil Service
who would benefit by the Bill, or to see that the principle of
legislating in native interests was at stake. I think this was as
much from stupidity as ill will.

“After this we paid a round of visits, but only saw the Lyalls,
who are staying at Belvidere, the Lieutenant-Governor’s official
residence, a really beautiful place. I had some political sparring
with Lyall, which was amusing, as he is very light in hand. Rivers
Thompson, the Lieutenant-Governor, we did not see, he being
seriously ill.

“Ate our Christmas dinner in absolute silence at the _table
d’hôte_, feeling rather ‘like Jews at a christening,’ but received
an agreeable note from Mr. Ghose, the President or Secretary of
the Indian National Association, recording a vote addressing us a
welcome on our arrival, and a hope that our stay in Calcutta would
be for the advantage of India.

“_26th Dec._--A busy morning. Our earliest visitor was Mulvi A. M.,
with whom I talked over the whole range of Mohammedan prospects.
He asked me what I thought of the ultimate fate of India, and I
explained my view that it should be put on the same footing as
Australia, that is to say, that each province should have its
English Government, supported by English troops, but that the
whole civil administration, legislation, and finance should be
left to native hands; that the effect of this would be to put
Northern India practically under Mohammedan, Southern India under
Hindu Government, a solution which pleased him much. He said that
none of the Mohammedans wished to do away altogether with English
government, as it would only lead to fighting, as there was no
chance of Mohammedans and Hindus agreeing for a century to come,
but of course they did not like English administration. It favoured
the Hindus unduly. But, left to themselves, they should be able to
hold their own in all Northern India. The English policy, however,
had been to suppress them, and throw obstacles in the way of their
educating themselves and learning their own power. The Mulvis of
Calcutta were terribly ignorant of politics, and of all that was
going on in the world. At the time of the Egyptian War they had not
known whether Egypt lay North or South or East or West. I am to
dine with him to-morrow, to meet Jemal-ed-Din’s disciples.

“We then talked about education, and discussed the possibility
of getting up a University. The difficulty, of course, is money.
All the great Mohammedan landlords were ruined at the time of the
Permanent Settlement, when their lands were confiscated; and the
other rich men who lived on Government employment were ousted from
it in 1862 by the change of the language of the Courts. Now there
are hardly any rich Mohammedans in Bengal. The masses are living on
daily wages, and cannot even afford the rupee a month necessary for
their sons’ education. While we were talking, Nawab Mir Mohammed
Ali was announced, one of the few remaining Zemindars, a little old
man, very small and wizened, wearing a handsome dress, with a fine
emerald in his cap. We continued our conversation, and I rather
took his breath away by suggesting him as a possible contributor to
the University. A more congenial subject to him was the Bengal Rent
Bill, on which he was eloquent, and he invited me to attend the
meeting on Saturday. Then Abd-el-Latif’s son, in European clothes,
joined us, and we got on the Ilbert Bill, as to which I exhorted
them all strongly to make a concordat with the Hindus, helping
them this time on a promise of help from them when their own
interests were at stake. The old man was rather frightened at this
and went away. I had it out, however, with Abd-el-Rahman, and hope
he will influence his father. Unless the Mohammedans show their
teeth on an occasion of this sort, they will never get attention
paid to their wrongs.

“When they had gone Salar Jung looked in to thank us for all we had
done for him and for the Nizam, and I showed him the memorandum
of my conversation with Lord Ripon. He also invited us on the
Nizam’s part to dine with him on Sunday. It is certainly something
worth doing to have upset the Cordery-Peishkar conspiracy, and
got the Nizam installed; for Salar Jung tells us that Lord Ripon
has announced to the Nizam that he shall come of age in February.
He has also invited us to assist at the installation ceremonies
at Hyderabad, which we will do if possible. Then, if Salar Jung
is named Dewan, our triumph will be complete. Salar Jung has seen
Stuart Bailey, and been very well received by him.

“Next came Surendra Nath Bannerji, the Hindu editor who was put in
prison for questioning Judge Norman’s conduct on the bench. He is
evidently a man of energy, and having been a martyr and survived
it, shows more courage than most of them. He is very angry at the
Ilbert Bill compromise, and let slip the _gros mot_ of ‘revolution’
in regard to it. He was very urgent with me to get the Mohammedans
to join them in protesting, and I promised to do my best this
evening at Amir Ali’s dinner. It is high time certainly they should
sink differences, but the Mohammedans are hard to move. Their
position was well explained a little later by our last visitor this
morning, Mulvi Ahmed, Municipal Councillor and an independent man.
He explained that there was hardly a leading man among the Calcutta
Mohammedans who had any means apart from his Government pay.
Neither Amir Ali nor Abd-el-Latif could afford to come forward as a
champion, as all their prospects depended on the Government. Mulvi
Ahmed drew a most gloomy picture of Mohammedan prospects. They
were all, he said, in despair here in Bengal. It was impossible
for them to do anything, impossible to combine with the Hindus who
were so selfish, they wanted every post for themselves. Out of
forty-eight Municipal Councillors there were only five Mohammedans,
and as more power was given to the natives the Mohammedan position
would get worse and worse. It was their poverty which stood in
their way. They could not pay for the education necessary to pass
the competitive examinations, so they were left behind. I tried to
convert him to my view of energetic action, but in vain. There was
no one to take the lead, and it would result in no good.

“At last all were gone and we went to the races just in time to see
Sherwood beat Euphrates, a very fine race. Sherwood, when moving,
has all the appearance of an Arab, so I reverse the opinion formed
of him in the stable. Euphrates is a great tall animal with a fine
head; but neither he nor Sherwood are horses to breed from. They
lack quality. There was a great gathering of Mohammedans in front
of the race stand, and I saw Abd-el-Latif in close conversation
with Kurshid Jah. The Nizam was there, looking more comfortable and
at ease than I had seen him before. He was full of smiles, and even
talked a little to us.

“We dined at Amir Ali’s, a dinner entirely of Mohammedans, with the
single exception of a Mohammedanized Hindu, a very clever man, who
had been in England, and knew everything and everybody. There were
about fifteen at dinner, and we talked very freely on all matters
of Mohammedan interest, and after dinner some fifty more arrived,
in fact all the leading Mohammedans in Calcutta, Abd-el-Latif among
them, wonderful to relate, and one of his sons--I believe he had
never been inside Amir Ali’s house before--and a cousin of the
King of Oude, and many learned men in turbans and every variety of
dress, and strangers from Bussora and Nejd, all assembled to do us
honour. So I think we may congratulate ourselves upon having made
a successful visit to India. I never expected to be received so
cordially, but the moment has been a favourable one. I do not find
any of that blind devotion to the Sultan which Jemal-ed-Din led me
to expect, but things have doubtless changed since he was here, and
the weakness of Constantinople is producing its natural effect,
contempt. Only for the Sultan personally, as head of the Mohammedan
nation, there is of course a certain loyalty. Still, my opinions
are generally approved, and that is significant.

“I had an opportunity of saying a few words to Abd-el-Latif about
the attitude Mohammedans should take in this Ilbert quarrel, and
he agreed with me that it might be well if they showed their teeth
a little. But he is a cautious man and would promise nothing. With
Amir Ali and Amir Huseyn I was able to do more, and I shall be
surprised if, at the meeting of the National Mohammedan Society
to-morrow, they do not take my view. I proposed that they should
address a dignified and moderate protest to the Viceroy, admitting
that the Ilbert Bill did not immediately affect the Mohammedan
community, but taking their stand on the principle that the
proposed compromise affected the rule of equality before the law.
At the same time I advised Amir Ali to come to a regular concordat
with the Hindus for their mutual benefit.

“The only visits we had this morning were from two Mohammedan
doctors, one a surgeon of the 9th Bengal Cavalry and a native of
Assam, the other a Lucknow man who had been educated at Lahore and
had a grievance about which he had come from Gaya to consult me.

“We dined at Mulvi A. M.’s, an entertainment of a very different
sort from last night’s. He lives in a poor little house in the
old quarter of the town, and we dined in his one room with eight
or nine fellow students, all looking as if they were starved, but
brimful of intelligence. They were most eager to hear what we had
to tell them of Arabi and the Egyptian War, and Jemal-ed-Din and
our hopes for the future of Islam. They talked very freely, and
did not conceal their hatred of England, and their hope that the
Mahdi would drive us out of Egypt. ‘During the Egyptian War,’
they said, ‘we all looked to Arabi to restore our fortunes, for
we are in a desperate state and need a deliverer.’ I told them
of my hopes in Egypt, which pleased them much. They had some of
them read my ‘Future of Islam,’ and the rest were waiting to read
it in Hindustani. For Jemal-ed-Din they professed something like
worship, and they were readers of ‘Abu Nadara’ and the ‘Bee.’ These
young men had very pleasant faces, but their starved bodies were
mere skeletons. They spend all their money on their education, and
I fear the dinner he gave us will cost our host several months’
income. I had no notion he was so poor. Only one of them was well
dressed, a very nice young man, who told us he had been at the
National Mohammedan Association meeting to-day, where, though
the sense of the meeting was hostile to the Ilbert compromise,
no resolution was come to. Amir Ali, who presided, seems to have
contented himself with a neutral attitude, but they are to have
another meeting later--too late probably. The dinner reminded me a
little of some of our visits to the Azhar quarter at Cairo, only
I was never in so poor a house there. The food was cooked in the
Indian way, and we drank water. Our host would not eat, but served
us. They all had excellent manners, and though they spoke without
any reserve, nothing was said which should not have been said. This
visit has given me more insight into Mohammedan ideas in India than
all I have yet seen and heard. It is clear that they would welcome
any deliverer here, Russian or French, or from the Devil. One of
them had read a poem by Victor Hugo in praise of Arabi, and argued
therefrom that the French must sympathize with them. Also the
Government of Chandanagore they say is a model Government.

“_28th Dec._--It appears that the author of the famous ‘Concordat’
is none other than Colvin; so here I find myself once more fighting
him as in Egypt. I have little doubt that he is working the English
newspapers as he did two years ago at Cairo.

“Keay called in the morning, and, as he is going to speak to Lord
Ripon about Hyderabad, I told him briefly of my own conversation,
so as to give him a line. He is writing a full account of the
Hyderabad intrigues for the ‘Statesman.’ Then Abd-el-Latif came,
and we discussed his rivals, Amir Ali and Amir Huseyn, whom he
calls worshippers of Nature. He asked me to attend a meeting of his
society, the Anjuman i Islam, and give them my views on Mohammedan
education; and I think I will do this, though it will be rather
an experiment. Kurshid Jah paid us a visit, but he came with an
English Secretary, and is a dull talker, so I got nothing out of
him. Our short conversation was through an interpreter.

“Then, at twelve, I went to the first meeting of the National
Conference, a really important occasion, as there were delegates
from most of the great towns--and, as Bose in his opening speech
remarked, it was the first stage towards a National Parliament.
The discussion began with a scheme for sending boys to France for
industrial education, but the real feature of the meeting was an
attack on the Covenanted Civil Service by Surendra Nath Bannerji.
His speech was quite as good a one as ever I heard in my life,
and entirely fell in with my own views on the matter. The other
speakers were less brilliant, though they showed fair ability,
and one old fellow made a very amusing oration which was much
applauded. I was asked to speak, but declined, as I don’t wish to
make any public expression of opinion till my journey is over. But
at Bombay I shall speak my mind. I was the only European there,
and am very glad to have been present at so important an event.
The proceedings would have been more shipshape if a little more
arrangement had been made beforehand as to the speakers. But on
the whole it went off very creditably. Both Bannerji and Bose are
speakers of a high order. The meeting took place upstairs in the
Albert Hall, and about one hundred persons were present. Before
the speaking commenced, a national hymn was sung by a man with a
strong voice, who played also on an instrument of the guitar type.

“Walter Pollen dined with us, and after dinner I went to an evening
party at the India Club. This was started a year ago with the view
of amalgamating Englishmen with Indians, but the bitterness of
feeling is now so great that, with the exception of two or three
secretaries in attendance on Indian princes, I believe I was the
only Englishman present. The Catholic Archbishop, however, and
Father Lafont were there, and I had some conversation with them
about Cardinals Manning and Howard. Abd-el-Latif introduced me to a
good many notables, the King of Oude’s brother, the Rajahs of Cutch
Bahar and Tippara, and the Diwan of the Rajput Rajah of Ulwar.
Tippara is a regular Chinaman in feature, and it needed no large
amount of candour in him to repudiate the flattery of his courtiers
when they told him he was a pure-bred Aryan. Cutch Bahar is a
young man with an English education, who appears at race courses
in a white hat, and is popular with the Anglo-Indians. He wore his
own clothes here, but is uninteresting. The Diwan invited us to
stay with him at Ulwar, and I shall certainly do so, as it will be
a good opportunity of seeing a Rajput court. There were also an
uncle of Nebbi-Ullah’s from Cawnpore and about two hundred other
gentlemen of distinction from Calcutta and the provinces, all in
their best clothes.

“_29th Dec._--The only visit this morning was from Delawar
Huseyn, a deputy-magistrate and a sensible man, who gave the same
melancholy account of the poverty of the Mohammedans in Bengal.
I fear their case is nearly hopeless. In spite of their large
population, they are without influence. The mass of them are
extremely poor, mere peasants, or, in the town, day labourers. They
have no commercial connection, and the sons of the few rich men
are obliged to look to Government employment for a living, whereas
the Hindus are rich and pushing. It is a struggle for existence,
in which the Mohammedans are the weakest, and so are going to the
wall. In the north-west, he tells me, it is not so.

“At twelve I went to the second meeting of the Conference, at
which the Civil Service was again discussed; and I made a short
speech, in answer to some complimentary remarks made with regard
to my presence, in which I said that I was glad to have had the
opportunity of being present at these the first meetings which had
a national character in India, and which prefigured the parliament
which they were all doubtless looking forward to. I said that I,
too, looked forward to this, and to their complete self-government.
I believed _all_ nations were fit for self-government, and few more
so than the Indian, and I described the condition of Greece when
it was first set to manage its own affairs, a conglomeration of
robber chieftains, piratical seafarers and an absolutely uneducated
peasant population. Yet, after fifty years, they had an orderly
Government, with universal education, commercial prosperity, and a
shipping which had driven every competitor out of the Levant. In
view of such results, who should say that any nation was unfit for
its own rule? This produced much cheering, and they all expressed
themselves highly delighted with my sympathy. To-morrow Keay is to
come to the meeting, and will speak about the rural distress.

“Then, at three, I went with Anne to another meeting, that of
the Zemindars at the Town Hall. It was a public meeting, and
much more numerous, but the room is badly constructed, and it was
difficult to hear the speakers. They passed resolutions against
the Rent Bill, being all interested in the matter. Our friends
from Uttarpara were there, and Sir Jotendro, and many princes and
Nawabs, and Gorst. We dined at Sir Stuart Bailey’s, Salar Jung and
his brother being there, also Lyall, and Durand, the Foreign Office
Secretary. We discussed the necessity of lying in politics, and I
fear I made some rather uncomplimentary observations, not knowing
that Durand held the position he did.

“Abd-el-Rahman, the son of Abd-el-Latif, with a brother-in-law,
called, and we discussed Seyd Ahmed’s ideas of education and ideas
of religion. They, of course, disapprove. Seyd Ahmed originally
intended to teach everything in Urdu, but has abandoned that for
English, and now the education at Aligarh is wholly English.
Religion is not taught there, they say. Seyd Ahmed began as
a Sunni, then adopted Wahhabism, but is now a Deist. We also
discussed the idea of a university on a religious basis, which is
what it ought to have, and they agreed with me that Calcutta would
not be a good place on account of sectarian differences, expensive
living, and the poverty of the Bengal Mohammedans. My own idea, an
idea which struck me last night as I lay awake, is Hyderabad. It is
central, it is cheap, and it is a seat of Mohammedan Government.
Religious thought would there be free from English and Hindu
interference. With this notion I called on Salar Jung, and found
him delighted at the prospect, and he is sure the Nizam, too, would
be delighted, and he will speak to him and let me know. He is
really grateful to me for what I did for him with Lord Ripon.

“Then I went to the last meeting of the National Delegates, in
which they discussed the National Fund. There was some rather
spirited conversation, and I suggested to Bose, the secretary, that
he should send the hat round, but he said if he did that they would
never come again. However, offers of fifty and one hundred rupees
began to be made, and one rich Zemindar came down for one thousand.
I myself contributed one hundred, and I believe the subscription
ended with a considerable sum. I then offered to give my assistance
in managing their telegrams, and expounded to them the necessity of
publicity as to their meetings and resolutions. I also suggested
that they should raise a fund among those of their number who held
official positions, as an insurance against persecution. This would
give them courage. Also that they should take up especially the
cause of the ryots in Madras and Bombay. That would give a wide
extension to their influence. It was Arabi’s advocacy of the cause
of the poor that brought all Egypt to him.

“Keay then came in and delivered an address about the cause of the
ryots, which was well received. But I notice that the Conference
is very provincial in its interests, as quite three parts of
the delegates are Bengalis. Afterwards there was a discussion
on Parliamentary government in which Bose was eloquent, and I
made a second speech, giving my ideas on what might be looked
forward to--first, elections to the legislative council, secondly,
representation in the English Parliament, and thirdly, home
Parliaments of their own in the different provinces on the Colonial
system. Not many speakers joined in this discussion, which was
restricted to generalities even by Bose. The proceedings terminated
with votes of thanks to Keay and me--and so ended the first
session of the Indian Parliament. May it be memorable in history.

“We dined with the Nizam, but I did not consider it advisable to
talk to him myself about the university scheme, though I shall urge
on him, through Salar Jung, to propose it to the Viceroy on the
occasion of his installation. The moment would be opportune, and he
could not well be refused.

“_31st Dec._--This morning we had a flood of visitors whom I will
name in order.

“Ferid-ed-Din Ahmed, Nebbi-Ullah’s uncle, with Akbar Huseyn, the
translator of my book, the ‘Future of Islam.’ We talked a good deal
about this, and I have promised to write a new short preface, in
which I will say something complimentary about the Sultan--this
rather to conciliate Constantinople than the people here, for,
in reality, they have lost most of their respect for the Ottoman
Caliphate since the Egyptian War. Ferid-ed-Din is not one of the
new school, and he told me he had met the book accidentally, and
had been struck by the Arabic motto on the cover. This had induced
him to read it in spite of some one’s having told him that it was
anti-Mohammedan. It had converted him to believe in an Arabian
Caliphate, and he said it would convert others, for very few
Mohammedans here know how, or why, Abd-el-Hamid claimed to be
Caliph. This is very satisfactory. He then introduced some half a
dozen merchants and chief persons from Allahabad, who came as a
deputation to announce their intention of doing me some honour when
I came to their city. We discussed the foundation of a university,
to which they heartily agreed, condemning the Aligarh College as
irreligious, and they said Hyderabad would be the very best place,
if it was possible to get the Nizam’s patronage. On this point I
reassured them, and doubted only the English Government’s conduct,
and counselled them to treat the matter for a while as a secret.

“Prince Jehan Kadur, brother of the King of Oude, and Prince
Suleyman Kadur, his nephew, called, a visit of compliment, but
the former invited us to stay with him at Lucknow, which will be
pleasant. The King of Oude lives here and keeps a menagerie, which
we are to see.

“Rasbihari Mukerji from Uttarpara came to wish us good-bye, a very
nice youth, grandson of the old man, and an ardent patriot of the
best sort.

“Rajah Siva Prasad, with a note of introduction from Lyall. Mukerji
knew him by name, and warned me that he was a friend of the
English, and had been recently burned in effigy in his native town,
Benares. I found him, nevertheless, a very well educated and clever
man. He contended that the country was continuously increasing in
prosperity, compared it with the state of things a hundred years
ago, and said that within his recollection more land had been taken
under cultivation. I asked him whether the ryots ate more rice than
forty years ago, and he answered ‘The size of a man’s belly does
not increase.’ He is a friend of the Maharajah of Benares, and
invited us, on his part, to stay with the Maharajah for a week.
This man has, of course, been sent by Lyall to show us that there
are some natives who support the Government; but that is all fair.
We will go to him at Benares, and hear what he has to say.

“Abd-el-Rahman Mazhar, of Samaria, and a Cadi of Bagdad, with a
friend. They had just come _via_ Colombo, and had seen Mahmud Sami,
whom he extolled for his learning.[8] He himself had been educated
in the Azhar--a dignified old man, with beautiful white teeth.
He had known Mahmud Sami as a boy, and wondered why the English
Government had attacked him as a rebel.

“Mohammed Ikram-Ullah, Rais of Delhi, and Mohammed Ishak Khan, of
Meerut, men of position, who invited us to let them know of our
arrival in their towns.

“Amir Ali, who was very anxious to explain his true position
as leader of Mohammedan thought at Calcutta; but his attitude
with regard to the Ilbert compromise is not that of a leader.
Mohammed Ikram-Ullah has just told me he supported the compromise
at the meeting they held. He wants to please the Government.
We then argued the question of his hat. He defended himself by
explaining that it gave him more consideration in a crowd. On
railway platforms and such places men in Indian dress were hustled
and pushed about by the railway servants. This is no doubt true.
He appealed to Bose, who had come in, to say whether it was so,
and also whether he had not supported the Indian Association on
the Ilbert and other questions. Young Mukerji, who had sat on in
silence, listening, said to me as he went out: ‘I am glad you told
him about his hat. We all hate that.’

“These visits took us till three o’clock, and we had not even a
moment to get breakfast. Then we went to the Zoological Gardens,
where there are some astonishing tigers, and dined at home with
Walter Pollen, thus ending the year 1883.

“I forgot to mention my conversation to-day with Bose. We discussed
the probability of a revolution, and he said the danger was very
great. People were losing their confidence in Lord Ripon, after
having lost it in the Government at home. They still looked to
English public opinion, but a spark might at any time fire the
train. He asked what amount of influence men like those whose
names were on the Indian Committee exercised, and I told him
‘very little.’ I was not at all sanguine of any great increase of
sympathy with them from the British public, and I strongly advised
the Indians to look to themselves, and themselves only, for help.
We then talked over the details of an agitation. He is to organize
meetings in every part of India, and telegraph constantly to me
in London for publicity through the press. This is the only way,
I maintain, of gaining them any real relief. They must frighten
and coerce the English people into giving them their rights. I am
writing strongly to Eddy Hamilton, pointing out the danger.”


[6] The late Lord Lothian.

[7] _N.B._ Precisely this leonine treaty in the form of a perpetual
lease was imposed on the Nizam twenty years later by Lord Curzon
under circumstances of extreme compulsion.

[8] Compare Lord Cromer’s book, “Modern Egypt,” where this same
Mahmud Sami, a poet and a highly educated gentleman, is described
as an “illiterate” man--a foolish judgement, typical of the
writer’s ignorance of Egyptian character.



                                              “_1st January, 1884._

“To-day our visitors were:

“Mohammed Yusuf, a Member of Council, to whom I broached my idea
of a university, but he is of the worldly school, and says he
would rather have his sons educated at the Presidency College. He
dresses, however, becomingly, in dark clothes, and with a gilt
crown on his head.

“A Sheykh from Yemen came next, who brought a letter of
introduction from Arabi, whom he had visited in Ceylon. He talked
about the Mahdi, and told us that all the Arabs in Yemen and in
Hejaz would join him if he crossed the Red Sea. They were weary
of the Turks. The Mahdi had already a Wazir in Yemen, who was
gathering adherents to the great terror of the Ottoman Mushir.
The Turks had lately inveigled the Harb chiefs into Mecca, and
imprisoned them, which was the cause of the confusion in the
country. Midhat was still a prisoner at Taïf. The old man himself
evidently believed in the Mahdi, and explained to us how all the
signs and prophecies had been fulfilled about him. He was delighted
when I said ‘Allah yensoru’; and when he went away I observed that
Mohammed Yusuf, in spite of his English education, reverently
kissed his hand.

“Five friends of Jemal-ed-Din called to express their sympathy
with ‘The Future of Islam.’ They are all young men, students and
enthusiasts, hating England, I am afraid, with all their hearts.
They are readers of ‘Abu Nadara,’ and they told me the address
of the Ceylon Mohammedans had been printed in the last number.
I showed them Sanua’s last letter to me, which interested them
greatly, especially the page in Arabic he had added for Sabunji,
whom they also know in connection with the ‘Bee.’ What, however,
pleased them still better was Arabi’s letter, which some of them
devoutly kissed. Only one could speak English, but they all had
liberal ideas about religion, in fact Jemal-ed-Din’s. These young
students talk with the greatest boldness on all subjects, and I
like them for it.

“Old Mukerji also came, with a great granddaughter, a lovely little
girl with a skin like stained ivory, and lips of coral, and eyes
with the purest white and the brightest black. These Mukerjis are a
family of the highest caste in Bengal.

“Dined at Dr. Hörnli’s to meet some twenty Mohammedans. I am to
speak my ideas on education in India, to-morrow, at the Anjuman i
Islam meeting. It is certainly an experiment, but I know what I
have to say, and, I think, also how to say it.

“_2nd Jan._--Akbar Huseyn called to talk over his translation
of ‘The Future of Islam.’ He is quite satisfied with the new
preface, which I gave him yesterday, but will leave out some of the
passages referring personally to Sultan Abd-el-Hamid. This, I hope,
will satisfy all parties; and the book, to do good, must not be
condemned as unorthodox. It has, however, he tells me, already done
individual good, and he cited the instance of two of his friends
who had been much affected by it, one of them to the extent of
inducing him to abandon atheistic ideas and resume the practices
of religion. This is most satisfactory; he says that he is sure it
will be universally read in its Urdu form. I told him in return of
my intention of visiting Constantinople, and trying to induce the
Sultan to take up the idea of a Pan-Islamic Synod. We both agreed
that, after the defeat in Egypt, Islam could not afford to wait for
a more legitimate Caliph. What is especially gratifying in all this
is that those who are bringing out the translation are members of
the old school, not of the new. By the new school its ideas were
sure to be accepted, but I hardly expected the other to go so far.
We talked also of the Mahdi and his claims. They would all like to
believe in him, but the opinion here is that ‘the only real test of
his mission is its success.’

“Ferid-ed-Din also came, introducing the Nawab Rajah Amir Hassan,
the leading personage of Lucknow. He invited us to come and stay
with him there; and I do not feel quite sure whether this is to be
as representing Prince Suleyman Kadur or not. He did not talk very
good English, however; so there is doubt.

“This constant talking and writing is beginning to affect my
nerves, and we went out earlier than usual for a drive, calling
on the Princes Jehan Kadur and Suleyman Kadur. The first lives
with his uncle, the King of Oude, in Garden Reach, but he was out.
The second has taken a house in the Circular Road. We took him,
I expect, by surprise, for we found him in his shirt sleeves, in
which state he entertained us. He seems an amiable, good man,
but as he talks no English, and there was no interpreter, our
conversation was in dumb show.

“Then we went to the Exhibition, where we met old Siva Prasad,
and had a long conversation with him. Though he begins by the
proposition that he entirely approves the administrative system
of the British Government, in practice he complains of nearly
everything which other people complain of. He says they don’t
understand the people’s wants, that they overtax them, and are
perpetually raising the assessment. He holds land under them, and
says it is impossible so much as to dig a well without the rent
being raised. Reduced to its simplicity his argument is purely an
historical one--namely, that India was worse off in the matter of
peace and order before they came. ‘For the sake of this,’ he said,
‘let them strip us to the skin. So long as body and soul hold
together, and we have a rag to our loins, we will be thankful,
only we would ask some permanence in their revenue demands--fifty
per cent., eighty per cent., ninety per cent. if they will--but
not always an increase for every improvement we make.’ He then
described the action of the assessment officers, just as others
have done. Yet, for his English views and anti-National attitude,
he has been burnt in effigy in his native town. This speaks volumes
as to the ‘loyalty’ of the Hindus. He had written to the Maharajah,
who will entertain us at Benares.

“The meeting of the Anjuman i Islam was a great success. All
present, some two hundred, were in strictly native dress, with the
single exception of Abd-el-Latif’s son. The proceedings began with
what seemed a very able lecture or sermon in Hindustani, delivered
by Ferid-ed-Din, a man of the old stamp, but full of intellectual
vigour. He explained, it would seem, his ideas of the wants and
needs of Mohammedans in the matter of education, and described my
views of reform as contained in the ‘Future of Islam,’ from which
he made quotations, and mentioned the fact of Anne’s knowledge of
Arabic as an example for all Mohammedans to follow. (We were both
there.) And he also mentioned the university scheme. All this was
very well received. Then Abd-el-Latif spoke, attacking Seyd Ahmed
and his school, and then I, too, made my discourse, Abd-el-Latif
translating it sentence by sentence, as I went on. It is rather
difficult to be eloquent under such circumstances, but after the
first I got on well. I told them how I had travelled up the country
from the south, and how at Madura I had heard the Mohammedans
complain that they had no one to teach them English, and no one
to teach them their religion. I likened their position to that of
the Catholics in England, and told them what efforts had been made
by these in the way of founding colleges on a religious basis,
and a university. I next described the ideas the Nationalists had
entertained at Cairo of reforming and extending the university
education of the Azhar, and I urged them, now that circumstances
in Egypt had interrupted this great idea, to take it up in India.
I believed a great opportunity was offered them thus of assuming
the intellectual leadership of Islam. I then explained in detail my
plan that a university on a religious basis should be founded in
some city where living was cheap, and which should be sufficiently
central to serve the wants of all India. I did not mention
Hyderabad, as the idea ought to come from the Nizam himself. I
urged on the Princes present (for there were representatives
of every reigning Mohammedan house) to come forward and endow
professorships, and poorer men scholarships. It would be an act of
religion, not only an act of philanthropy, and so would gain them
merit in this world and the next; and by connecting their names
with the endowment they would perpetuate themselves in the memory
of good men. I then stated my intention of myself founding such an
endowment, a professorship of religious history, and lastly thanked
them for the welcome they had given us. When I had landed in India
I did not know whether the Mohammedans there would understand the
sincerity of my sympathy, but the result had surpassed all my
expectations. I begged them to believe that I would give my life,
if need was, to help their cause, and begged them to remember me
when I was gone, as I would remember them.

“The speech seemed much appreciated, and a vote of thanks was
proposed to both of us for our services in the cause of religion.
All the principal people of the old school were present, and I
noticed some of our poor student friends, Jemal-ed-Din’s disciples,
one of them acting as shorthand writer of the proceedings. I shall
repeat my argument in the towns of the north to whosoever will
listen; and I fancy the idea will be taken up. But the rich men
sitting in the front row looked a little uncomfortable, especially
an old fellow with his feet tucked up on his chair, who is said to
be the possessor of millions. I must now try and get Amir Ali’s
countenance also, for it is essential that we should unite all

“_3rd Jan._--Old Sheykh Abd-el-Rahman Ibn Hassan Ibn Abd-el-Mari,
of Marawa, near Hodeida, looked in again, and gave me a deal of
valuable information about the horses in Yemen. He says the best
breed is called ‘Beit el Khamaïs,’ and belongs to the Sherifs of
the Ahl Hsaidar, formerly kings of Yemen. They live in the town and
district of Abu Arish, near the seaport of Ghizan, and near the
Assir frontier. These horses are generally bays, with black points
of medium height, and ‘mutlakh el shimal.’ ‘They are better,’ he
said, ‘than any of the horses of Nejd, even those of the Anazeh.’
A year or two ago the Sherif, Ali Ibn Mohammed el Barad, had a son
who was taken as a hostage by the Turks, and shut up in prison at
Hodeida. His father sent men secretly to Hodeida, with five mares,
and they got the boy out of prison by dressing him as a girl. They
rode away without stopping to Abu-el-Rish, which is one hundred
and fifty miles by the map, and the boy and one other arrived, on
the fifth day, on two mares of the Khamaïs breed; the other three
being of inferior blood, died on the road. These horses are not to
be bought even for 1,000 or 2,000 dollars. But the Sheykh thinks
Ali el Barad would give me one if I went to see him. The next best
breed is in Jôf el Mareb, where Sidi Huseyn, a Sherif of Jôf, has
_asil_ horses of the breed ‘el Zahir.’ These are very tall, some
bay, and some white. There are also Kehilans, and Abeyans, and
Hamdanis, as in Nejd. The old man invited us to stay with him at
Marawa, and then pulled a letter from his pocket, which proved to
be a very ingenious begging letter, in verse, calling upon me as
protector of the Moslems to help him, a poor Sherif, to build three
houses for his three sons to settle them in life. I gave him one
hundred rupees, whereupon he rose and politely departed.

“Two young Mohammedans next called, Mohammed Abd el Gaffar and
another. The former wanted permission to translate the ‘Wind and
the Whirlwind’ into Urdu verse, which I readily gave him. I shall
put him into communication with Sidi Lebbe, at Kandy, as he seems
good with his pen, and is correspondent of the ‘Abu Nadara.’

“Kazi Raza Huseyn also came with a friend from Patna to invite us
to stay with him while there. He is Kadi of Patna, and we shall
thus enjoy Mohammedan hospitality, the first, I should fancy, that
for many years has been offered to an Englishman in India. Our
other visitors were Abd-el-Rahman Ibn Abd-el-Latif, Ferid-ed-Din,
and Akbar Huseyn. Ferid-ed-Din will announce our arrival at
Allahabad on the 10th, and will receive us at Cawnpore on the 14th.

“Rajah Nil Krishna, son of the Maharajah of Krishna, came to invite
us to attend a meeting on Indian education at his father’s house
on Saturday. He talked strongly and bitterly of the disappointment
of the Indians at receiving no practical help from Lord Ripon.
‘Why did they teach us to read about liberty and justice and
self-government,’ he said, ‘if after all we are to have none of
these things?’

“We called in the afternoon on Mrs. Ilbert, but missed seeing her
husband. Hunter, the statistician, was there, and I tackled him
as to his figures on the land assessment. He maintained them to
be correct, and said that, as to the Madras Presidency, he had
taken them from official reports. But like everybody else he did
not know Madras. He admitted, however, that the land assessment
of the Deccan was a blot on our Indian administration. I said: ‘A
very large blot,’ for the Deccan is half India. He then referred
me to Mr. Quinton, who was sitting near, as the first authority on
land assessment. But, on inquiry, I found he, too, knew nothing
of Madras, and seemed to have his ideas confined to Bengal, the
North-West Provinces, and the Zemindar system prevalent there.
I told him that every native, without exception, put the land
assessment at from forty to fifty, or even sixty per cent. on the
_gross_ produce. But he would have it that it must mean the net
produce. In districts of the north, where the permanent settlement
does not act, the assessment is calculated on the _rent_ received
by the Zemindar. They do not seem, either of them, to understand
that in three parts out of four of India there are no Zemindars,
and the Government is sole landlord. Also they talk as if the
irrigated districts were the rule, not the exception. Hunter is,
nevertheless, evidently a very able man, and anxious to hear the
views of outsiders. He offered to show me the whole of the land
question in Bengal in a single afternoon’s visit to some villages
near Calcutta.[9]

“At night there was a full dress party at Government House, all
the native nobility and notability present. I made acquaintance
with several new people, among others the Maharajah of Krishna,
an intelligent and distinguished man, besides meeting most of our
native acquaintance. I noticed that both Abd-el-Latif and Amir Ali
were rather shy of being seen talking to me, the latter especially,
but, as I had something to say, I took possession of him and made
him sit down with me. I told him my university plans, and found him
at first rather huffy about it. He said that no Mohammedan in India
cared for a merely religious education, but was vexed when I hinted
that there were some of them who cared only for success in life.
He did not believe anybody would subscribe. He had tried to get
subscriptions for educational schemes and had failed. While we were
talking Lord Ripon came by, and Amir Ali jumped up and pretended
not to belong to me. But when he saw that Lord Ripon stopped to
talk to me he became more cordial. And, afterwards, I got him into
good humour by telling him, as a great secret, of the Hyderabad
scheme. He first objected that the Hyderabad State was going to
ruin; but I told him that would be soon set right, and that the
Nizam was interested in the university, and he said, if that was
the case it would succeed, and promised to help it on in every way
in his power. I told him that my idea was that great latitude
should be given to religious differences of opinion, and he might
have a school of rationalism there if he chose.

“Lord Ripon was very amiable, and expressed a hope that he might
see us at Hyderabad on the occasion of the installation; so I
conclude the Nizam has told him we are expected. Salar Jung also
told me he had spoken to the Nizam, and found him ready to support
the university scheme. Keay made a successful speech this afternoon
at the Town Hall, but I did not go, as he did not specially ask me
to be there, and I had heard all his arguments already.

“_4th Jan._--We had no visits to-day, but went to Government House
at 11 o’clock to hear the Ilbert debate. It was a tame affair, but
not altogether uninteresting. The Viceroy and Councillors sit round
a large table, and the spectators, allowed in by ticket, sit also
round, at a little distance, on chairs. Ilbert, who is a little,
rather young looking man, related the history of the bill, slurring
over the compromise as much as possible. Mrs. Ilbert was sitting
next to us. Then Hunter spoke, quoting some words of Malabari’s in
the ‘Indian Spectator’ as an evidence that native opinion accepted
the compromise. I asked him afterwards if he really thought this
sentence represented either the general opinion, or even Malabari’s
own opinion, and he said he supposed so. Amir Ali next gave his
opinion in a speech which, I think, was the best made, though it
was wonderfully different from his private talk. He introduced,
however, very cleverly a letter the Queen had written at the time
of the Proclamation, which was very effective, and he reserved
his attack on the compromise for the Select Committee. He told
me afterwards that he had been promised to have his amendments
paid attention to if he would only support the Bill. I think
he would have done better to speak his mind. Kristodas Pal was
as unsatisfactory. He dared not speak out and tell the Council
how angry his people, the Hindus, were, and though he made some
pertinent remarks on details, his speech was feeble. Hunter told me
they had got hold of him with difficulty, but he would vote with
them. All this is very disappointing, though I was not prepared for
much, and I confess the commercial man representing the planters’
interests stood out well in contrast, for he threatened the Council
with new agitation if the letter of the compromise was not adherred
to. We then adjourned to luncheon, and after luncheon somebody
discovered that an important clause in the Bill might be read in
two contradictory ways, and the debate was again adjourned to
Monday. The Nizam and his court were present--very much interested,
as it seemed, in all that was going on. I had talk with several
members of the Council, and found them all with the idea that there
was no real excitement among the natives on the question. They will
never see anything until the fire breaks out.

“Later we went to a party at Belvidere, and again met the Hyderabad
party. I had five minutes’ talk at last, alone, with the Nizam,
and asked him to put himself at the head of a movement for a
university. He was the leader of the Mohammedans in India, and the
people looked to him for their redemption. He promised most readily
and emphatically that he would do so, and I suggested to him that
he should speak to the Viceroy about it the day he was installed,
and say that he wished to commemorate his accession by a great
act in favour of education, and I cautioned him to say nothing
about it to any one but Lord Ripon. This too he promised; and I
am to send him, through Salar Jung, a draft scheme for approval,
between this and our meeting him again at Hyderabad. Thus my plan
in visiting India is working itself out in a surprising manner. _El
hamdu l’Illah!_ I had also talk on the same subject with Prince
Ferukshah. He is a great friend and admirer of Amir Ali, whom he
extols as a truly patriotic and disinterested Mohammedan, and I am
glad to hear it. I spoke to him about the university. Like Amir
Ali, he at first said it was impracticable; but when I explained
it, and told him that I had already had promise of support from
several eminent persons, he became more interested, and ended by
wishing it all success. He is Europeanized, but wears a black cap
instead of a hat, and is a most civilized and intelligent man. It
is a pity they hate each other so that they cannot join in any
common action. While I was speaking, Abd-el-Latif came up; and I
noticed that Prince Ferukshah did not speak to him, but turned
away. Fools!

“_5th Jan._--Seyd Mohammed, Abd-el-Latif’s son-in-law, called, a
much cleverer young man than Abd-el-Latif’s son. I like him much,
as he is thorough-going and outspoken. We talked about Shiahs and
Sunnis, and he told me that here, in Calcutta, there is no kind of
ill-feeling between them, or any important difference of ideas. The
Shiahs are not numerous, perhaps five per cent., but they have some
men of high position, such as the King of Oude and his family and
Prince Ferukshah. I asked him whether the Shiahs sided with Amir
Ali, he being a Shiah; and he said on the contrary they were nearly
all of the Conservative Party. Prince Jehan, I remember, was at
the Literary meeting. He then explained the course of education
received by a Bengal Mohammedan. He begins at a vernacular school
at seven years old, in which the language is Bengali only. Then
he goes for three years to the Madrasa at Calcutta, where the
education is in English for four hours, and Arabic or Persian or
Urdu or Bengali, for one hour daily. At fifteen or sixteen, or
later, he passes, by Entrance Examination, into the University.
At none of these places is he taught religion. At the vernacular
school the teacher is generally a Hindu. At the Madrasa, the
Arabic and Persian teachers are Mulvis, but they are chosen by the
Government from among the least religious and most loyal of the
Ulema. Also the Government know nothing of their qualifications in
Arabic or Persian, as they do not understand those languages. In
the University the education is again almost wholly in English, so
that those who have passed the whole course seldom know any other
language, to read and write it with ease. They then become cut off
from the mass of Mohammedans, regard them with contempt, and are
so, by them, regarded. They consequently lose all influence with
ninety-nine per cent. of the community.

“While we were talking, Mohammed Yusuf joined us and asked me where
he should send his children to school in England, and I answered
him with the story of the advice to those about to marry. This
pleased Seyd Mohammed amazingly, and Mohammed Yusuf also promised
to follow my advice. We agreed that there was no objection to
young men visiting England when their ideas and their principles
were formed, but to send a Mohammedan boy to an English school was
simply to sacrifice his religion. I then explained to the new comer
the university scheme, and I hope his boys may join it later. It
was Seyd Mohammed who sent Abd-el-Gaffar to me yesterday about
the ‘Wind and the Whirlwind,’ and no better proof could be given
of the feeling of this section of Mohammedans towards the English
Government. I told them of my intention to visit Constantinople and
to try and induce the Sultan to head a reformation, and they warmly

“Mulvi A. M. called to say good-bye. He was under the impression,
not having been there, that my speech about the university had not
been well received, and this is probably the view taken by Amir
Ali’s party, but I am certain the contrary is the case. A young
university student, Seyd M., who came, also assured me all the
Mohammedan students would take up the idea, especially if I could
get Jemal-ed-Din as a professor. These students are an independent
body between the two great parties, and they worship Jemal-ed-Din.
It is, therefore, to them that the direction of religious thought
will fall as they grow older. Thus has the persecution in Egypt
spread the doctrine of reformation far and wide.

“While we were talking, Cordery was announced, and the others went
away. Poor Cordery! I am sorry for him, as he is terribly down on
his luck about all this business. I told him at once that I had
seen Lord Ripon, and spoken to him about the state of things at
Hyderabad, for I thought it unfair, as I had stayed in his house,
to leave him ignorant of this. He said he was sure it was Laik Ali
who had had the thing published in the ‘Statesman’; but I assured
him that to the best of my belief it was not so. I cannot conceive
that Laik Ali should have done anything so foolish, especially
when he knew from me that Lord Ripon was going to give him a
full hearing, and was favourably inclined. But I fear it has done
him harm, as some of the information, at least, must have come
originally from him, though he probably never meant it to be
published, at least not till the last extremity. There the matter,
however, stands. I forgot to say that Mrs. Clerk told us yesterday,
as a great secret, that the Nizam had asked for Laik Ali as Diwan
from Lord Ripon, and that they considered the matter as settled.
I have a fancy, from things I have noticed in Salar Jung’s manner
the last few days, and also in Vikar-el-Omra’s, that they have been
talked to, probably by Stewart Bailey, about me, as a dangerous
acquaintance, and one in whose company the Government of India
might not like them to show themselves. This struck me after going
to the railway station this afternoon to wish the Nizam good-bye.
Vikar-el-Omra was certainly odd in his manner. I missed seeing
Salar Jung, or I should have spoken to him on the subject, and as
it is I shall write to him before deciding to go back to Hyderabad.
There were a couple of thousand poor Mohammedans come to see the
Nizam off. One of them rushed after the carriage, and, in spite of
outriders and aides-de-camp, climbed up and touched the Nizam’s
knee, the old Peishkar poking at him meanwhile with his stick. We
had agreed to stay at the Clerks while at Hyderabad; but Cordery
has asked us to go to the Residency if we do go, so I have made
excuses to Mrs. Clerk. Hyderabad is such a nest of intrigue, that,
unless I can do good to the university scheme by so doing, I shall
not go back there. I attended a Debating Club meeting at Maharajah
Krishna’s at 4 o’clock, and heard Dr. Ghose lecture, and Bannerji
speak. The latter is certainly a wonderful speaker. He took up
each point of the lecture, and treated each in masterly fashion.
Otherwise the proceedings were uninteresting.

“Dined at home with Walter Pollen.

“_6th Jan._--Our last day at Calcutta. Abd-el-Latif came, and we
had a long talk. He urged me strongly to go to Hyderabad to see the
university scheme started. He assured me of the goodwill of all
the Mohammedans of Calcutta towards me. His tone was cordial, even
affectionate. He came to see us off at the railway station, and we
arranged that I should send an account of my speech at the Anjuman
meeting to the ‘Times,’ so as to show that my ideas were accepted
by the Mohammedans of India.

“Later I called on Hunter and argued the land revenue question
with him again, and he told me he had given great offence by
bringing the matter of over-taxation forward. His book on India
was considered so unfavourable to Government that it had cost him
his post at the Statistical Office. Lord Ripon has sent for him on
more than one occasion, and begged him to moderate his language in
Council--this I was not to repeat. On the whole I like Hunter. He
is more honest than most of them, but after all he is an official.
Going to the station, we stopped at Amir Ali’s to say good-bye,
but heard he was ill with fever. I wonder whether this is to avoid
voting on the Ilbert Bill. On the whole, I leave Calcutta much
satisfied with all I have done, heard and seen, though not sorry to
be once more on the move.”


[9] See Sir William Hunter’s letter in Appendix.



                                                        “_7th Jan._

“Arrived at Patna at half-past 9 o’clock, and found about eighty
of the leading Mohammedans at the City station awaiting us. Our
host, Seyd Rasa Huseyn, drove us in a handsome barouche to his
house, where we have been very comfortably lodged, and sumptuously
entertained, and have made the acquaintance of, I believe, every
Mohammedan of importance in Patna. Patna is one of the Mohammedan
strongholds, as they number 50,000 out of a total population of
150,000; and they still have many rich families and noble families
of the time of the Empire. The Province of Behar, they tell me,
contains also a certain Mohammedan population of ryots, 30,000
or 40,000, who are descended from the Pathan invaders, and are a
warlike race, retaining, however, nothing of their former rank but
their name Malik, the mass of the ryots being Hindus or converted
Hindus. The character of these is quite unwarlike. The Mohammedans,
therefore, hold their heads higher here than in most places.

“We received visits all the morning, meeting our old friend
Mohammed Ali Rogay from Bombay, Nur-el-Huda, Ferid-ed-Din, and
others, also Mohammed Abbas Ibn Huseyn Bafiti, Sheykh es Saadat of
Medina, a young Arab, who invited us cordially to come and stay
with him in Medina, whither he returns in a few months. He says
that if ever we write and tell him we are coming, he will prepare
to receive us, and gave us his address and took ours. He repeated
this invitation more than once, and I am sure it was sincerely
given. The other acquaintance was that of Sirhadé Huseyn, who
once wrote to me from Cirencester. After luncheon we were driven
out to see something of the town and country. The town is old and
picturesque, but we saw no specially fine buildings. We got out
and inspected a village by the river side, but it was too near the
river to be quite a fair specimen of Behar agriculture. One of the
inhabitants, whom we questioned, told us it belonged to a rent-free
Zemindar, and he was a tenant on a permanent rent, that is to say,
fifteen rupees an acre, for three acres. We calculated the gross
produce at thirty-six rupees, so he nets sixty-three rupees a year,
or over five rupees a month, a fortune, but it is land of the best
quality, and he grows maize and potatoes. It is not irrigated, so
does not grow sugar cane. We asked whether he felt the salt tax,
and he said ‘No.’ He was in debt twenty rupees this year, though he
had never been in debt before. He and his family had held the land
for generations.

“We sat down, sixteen or twenty, to dinner, and adjourned at 9
o’clock to the house of Nawab Villayet Ali Khan, the chief nobleman
of Patna, where, in a large hall, about one hundred and fifty
Mohammedans assembled to hear me give a lecture I had promised on
their prospects. I shall not give my speech here, which was almost
entirely extempore, because it is to be printed in one of the local
papers. Suffice it to say that it included, with other matter, most
of what I had said at the Anjuman i Islam, and was extremely well

“_8th Jan._--We left Patna by the morning train, attended to the
station by our host and Nawab Villayet Ali, with some thirty
others, and a disagreeable incident occurred, as the train was
starting, owing to the violence of a Scotch doctor, who threatened
our friends, and especially the old Nawab, with his stick if they
remained near his carriage window. I jumped at him, of course,
and after calling him a blackguard for his conduct, gave him in
charge at the next station, Dinapore. The railway authorities tried
hard to screen him, and proposed to me to compromise the matter,
but I insisted on having his name, and after about ten minutes
he produced his card as Dr. K., Army and Navy Club (in pencil),
Sealkote. So I have written a strong letter to Lord Ripon, warning
him of the state of things, and of the bitterness of native feeling
in consequence of their habitual ill treatment by the English.”

This was a worse case than quite appears from this entry. The
Nawab, with his party of friends, were on the platform wishing me
good-bye, with all possible decorum, when the Scotchman, who turned
out to be Chief Medical Office of the Punjab, put his head and
shoulders out of the next compartment and struck with his stick at
the Nawab and his friends, bidding them, with an insolent air of
authority, to stand back from the neighbourhood of his carriage
window. This happened just as the train moved on, and I had to
wait till the train again stopped before I could take action.
Fortunately, however, Patna has two stations, and in five minutes
we came to the second. There I entered the Doctor’s compartment,
and insisted upon having his name, which he refused, and it was
only by threatening the station-master with reporting the case to
Lord Ripon that I got him to intervene. Several of my Patna friends
had come on by the train, and supported me, or I doubt if I could
have prevailed with him to do his duty. The matter being treated
in this way made a prodigious sensation, as it was the first time
an Englishman had openly taken part with the natives against his
fellow countrymen.

“We arrived at 4 o’clock at Benares, and are the Maharajah’s guests
in one of his empty houses, being attended to by one of his head
servants. The river at Benares is striking, but less beautiful than
I had expected.

“_9th Jan._--In the morning I wrote a letter to Lord Ripon about
the incident of yesterday, in a tone to compel his attention, and I
enclosed it to Primrose with a hint that I should publish it if the
matter was not promptly set right.

“We then went out to pay our respects to the Maharajah at
Ahmednagar, crossing the river in a boat. The Palace at Ahmednagar
is certainly one of the most striking buildings in the world.
The Maharajah received us most kindly. He is a really ‘grand old
man,’ blind with a cataract, but delighted to ‘see’ us. We had a
rather long conversation with him, touching on religion and the
disadvantage of a too-English education for men of the East. In
which opinion we cordially agreed. He had his little Court of old
servants round him, as he sat on the sofa, smoking his hookah, and
his son, an amiable youth, sat in front on a chair, translating
for him our conversation into Urdu. There was nothing of the new
world in all this. He also talked about various Englishmen he had
known, Sir John Strachey among others, whom he laughed at for his
airs of grandeur. On one occasion he had come to pay a visit and
had taken offence because the servants were not all at the door to
receive him, and so had gone home. I told him he would laugh more
if he could see Sir John Strachey in England, glad of anybody who
would take the trouble to say ‘how do you do’ to him. This caused
a chorus. Yet the officials fancy the ‘natives’ rate them at their
own pretensions.

“After seeing the temple and the tank and the various sights of the
Palace, we were rowed down the river in a barge, a really splendid
sight, stopping once or twice to be shown the insides of houses.
Bagdad must have been like this in its great days. But, what is
strange at Benares, there is not a single house south of the river.
Holkar’s house, which has slipped bodily into the Ganges, shows
how all that is solid on the river front will one day go, leaving,
as at Bagdad, only the mud huts they now screen. The temples here
are insignificant compared with those of the South. It has been
a pleasant day of comparative rest after all the talking we have
lately done.

“_10th Jan._--Calling accidentally at the Post Office, we found
important letters from England; and, amongst other good news, I
find my Colombo letter is published in the ‘Times’; also I am
informed that orders were sent to Lord Ripon not to receive me at
Government House.

“We were taken again on the river, which is a still more wonderful
sight in the morning than it was in the evening, and, through
the Maharajah, we had arranged to pay a visit, without which our
Mohammedan tour would have been incomplete, namely, to the last
representative of the Moguls, an elderly gentleman who lives in an
old palace on the river, on a pension, he told us, of 649 rupees, 6
annas, and 3 pice a month, paid him in lieu of his Indian Empire by
Her Majesty. He had had another 249 rupees with his wife, but she
died last year, and now he wanted his case laid before the public.
He was immensely pleased with our visit, for it seems no one ever
thinks of paying him any attention, because he is poor; but we
inundated him with compliments and courtesies, and he was moved
to telling us of his descent from Arungzeb through the Emperor
of Delhi, whose eldest son was his grandfather, and who, being
disinherited by his father, left Delhi and settled at Benares.
Sad old relic perched in a half ruinous house, like a sick eagle,
looking down on the river and the crescent-shaped city, with his
little group of tattered servants. We were pitying him from our
hearts, melted at his pedigree, when he suddenly changed his tragic
tone, and asked whether we would like to see a cock fight, and,
when we assented, jumped briskly on his legs and led the way to
the palace yard, where cocks had already been brought in crowing.
The cock fight, as a cock fight, was a delusion. The birds were
evidently too precious to be allowed to hurt each other, and their
spurs were carefully swathed in bandages, so that no harm was done.
This innocent amusement kindled him for a minute or two, and then
he relapsed into his old listlessness. Wreaths were brought for
us and perfumes, and we bade him farewell, and went on our way.
I would not have missed this visit to the last of the Moguls for

“We went on to Allahabad in the afternoon, and are staying with
Lyall[10] at Government House. There were a large number of
Mohammedans to meet us at the station; among them Ferid-ed-Din,
quite hilarious with the recollection of the row at the Patna
station. We were hurried off, however, to Government House, where
there was a large dinner of uninteresting officials. How dull
Anglo-Indian society is! But when everybody was gone, I unfolded to
Lyall my ideas of Mohammedan reform, and the university scheme,
which last, to my astonishment, he cordially approved, promising,
if it was started in his province, to aid it with a public grant.
He also suggested Jonpore or Rampore as suitable places.

“Ferid-ed-Din came to settle about the presentation of the address
and the lecture, but, after consultation with Lyall, it has been
agreed that the latter is to be abandoned. Ferid-ed-Din suggested
asking him to it, but this Lyall declined to do. I don’t quarrel
with him for this. But it is painful to see what terror he inspires
in the ‘natives.’ Ferid-ed-Din, in spite of his boldness, was
struck speechless in his presence, and stood before him barefooted.
I told Ferid-ed-Din to put his shoes on, but Lyall said he
had better stay as he was. Yet Lyall is very far from being a
narrow-minded man, and we have discussed the most burning questions
without reserve. Talking of the Ilbert Bill, he said it was, as far
as the Anglo-Indians were concerned, a local Bengal measure. It
was quite true the Assam planters regarded it as an attempt to do
away with their right of beating their own niggers. The jury system
could not work there, as it would leave them free to do exactly
what they chose. We discussed the chances of revolution. He would
not agree that it would come in five years, but perhaps in twenty.
But the people of India were a weak race, and would never be able
to stand alone. They would be a prey to seafaring nations on their
seaboard, and to the Russians and Chinese on their land frontier.

“We played lawn tennis, at which Lyall is good, in the afternoon;
and after dinner we went to the Mayo Hall, a public place where
about three hundred Mohammedans presented us with an address of an
effusively loyal nature, to which I replied in a carefully moderate
tone. Everything went off well, but the thing was tame compared
with the Patna meeting, for the fact of our being at Government
House has raised, in spite of us, a barrier between us and the
people. They dare not come to see us there, and dare not talk
openly anywhere. I feel suddenly shut out from all light, as when
one goes through a tunnel on a railway journey.

“In England all seems going well. Churchill has made a grand speech
at Edinburgh about Egypt, and I am glad to see advocates moral
principles of government according to the programme I sketched for
him. Gladstone’s mantle of righteousness, which has slipped off his
shoulders, may be picked up now by anybody. Also I have several
letters about my Colombo letter in the ‘Times.’ It was published on
the 13th, as Churchill’s speech was made on the 16th. From Egypt,
however, there comes news less good. Sherif has indeed resigned,
but Nubar is in his place, and there is talk of increasing the
staff of English employés, and prolonging the occupation for five

“_12th Jan._--Akbar Huseyn and his brother came in the morning,
and we wrote out an account of the meeting last night, and sent it
to the ‘Pioneer.’ In the afternoon there was a garden party, and
I talked to Sir Donald Stewart, the High Court Judge, about the
Patna business. It surprised him, as it surprises every Englishman,
and fails to surprise every native. He said the only similar case
he had brought before him in his twelve years of judgeship, was
one in which certain native pleaders had been insulted in their
robing room in Court. This, however, does not affect the question
of such things happening, because it shows only that no native
ever dreams of complaining, or would have a chance of having his
complaint inquired into if he did. On the other hand they have
been settling a case this very day, in which a Hindu railway clerk
beat an Englishman, and have sentenced the clerk to ten months
imprisonment. Several of our Mohammedan friends were at the party,
among them Ferid-ed-Din, but I noticed that they mixed with none of
the English, talking only to each other or to certain Hindus.

“At dinner there were several intelligent people, especially a Mr.
Patterson, who is on good terms with the natives, and spoke of
them as I have not yet heard an Englishman speak. But he served
with Garibaldi in Italy, and so has ideas of liberty the rest have
not. The other was a young Strachey, son of Sir John, a true chip
of the old block, with his father’s way of sitting with his head
on one side like a sick raven, and the same spectacles and soft
voice, a clever youth. I had another long talk with Lyall about the
prospects of a Mohammedan reformation, and he reminded me of our
dinner at the Travellers in the summer of 1881, with Morley and
Zohrab, and of how I was then looking for a prophet in Arabia to
proclaim him Caliph. He thinks Egypt will certainly now be annexed.

“_13th Jan._--I was nervous all day yesterday at getting no answer
from Lord Ripon. But at dinner last night the post arrived, with a
most gracious letter, which makes me feel ashamed of my own violent
one. I shall now leave the matter entirely in his hands, and I am
glad of it, for it might interfere with my larger plans to have to
fight a newspaper battle on such a field.

“Since writing this, Lyall has spoken to me also about the Patna
business, and tells me Lord Ripon has sent him a copy of my letter,
and begged him to urge on me the excision of such portions of it
as treat the general question, because, Lyall says, if it were
brought forward in that form just now, there would be a terrible
row all over India, and it would upset Lord Ripon altogether. He
has had a terribly hard time lately, and another angry question
would be too much for him. He said he could promise me on Lord
Ripon’s part, that if I would rewrite the letter in this sense,
Lord Ripon would see justice done in the matter. He was not a man
to do less than justice, and he, Lyall, would advise that Dr. K.
be brought down to Patna to apologize to the Mohammedan gentleman,
and that an order should be issued to the Railway Company for the
better protection of natives. Of course I readily agreed to all
this, and have now rewritten the public letter, and posted it, with
a private one of thanks, to Lord Ripon. Nothing could have been
better. But Lyall charges me I should tell no man--no Englishman
that is--for I have already shown my first letter to several
Mohammedans, and sent a copy of it to Villayet Ali. Rajah Amir
Hassan called on his way to Lucknow, where we are to stay with him.

“In the afternoon we went with Mohammed Kazim, a friend of
Ferid-ed-Din, to see some villages across the river, and saw also
the Hindu pilgrims encamped in the river bed, at the junction of
the waters. I feel in high spirits to-day at things having gone
so exactly as I intended them to do in connection with the Patna
incident. I could not really have published the first letter at a
moment like this, and now Lord Ripon is under an obligation to me,
and I shall have a right to speak about the university.

“Another long talk with Lyall. He told me that the Ceylon
authorities had telegraphed about me to those of Bengal, and I
fancy, though he did not say so, that he has been instructed to
look pretty closely after me. It is also evident that Ferid-ed-Din
has been warned not to go too far; and Lyall advised me to allow
myself to be directed by Rajah Amir Hassan at Lucknow, as to whom
to see and not to see, which means that he, too, has been warned
to keep me out of dangerous company. I have been very frank with
Lyall about my plans and ideas. Government opposition now would
only strengthen me with the Mohammedans. They would do far better
to help than to hinder me, for my ideas do not really run counter
to any liberal interpretation of the continuance of British rule
in India. Lyall, as a man, is everything that is charming and
sympathetic; as an official he has graduated in a thoroughly bad
school. It was he who, more than any one else, ruined Salar Jung’s
administration in Hyderabad, and he admitted nearly as much to me.
Salar Jung, he said, presumed upon the fact of his good government
to claim what he could not get, that is, independence of the
Paramount Power. There were certain things which the Government
of India would always insist upon advising about, and having its
advice followed. But Salar Jung did not see this. He thought he
could rely on his own cleverness, and extra-official sympathy in
England. But this could not be allowed. On that point he agreed
with Lytton that Salar Jung was a dangerous man. It was not part
of the Imperial policy that the Berar provinces should ever be

“_14th Jan._--The ‘Pioneer,’ instead of publishing the account
of the meeting at the Mayo Hall, has printed a vicious little
paragraph, saying that the natives of Patna regard me as a paid spy
of the English Government. This is too much, and I expostulated
with Lyall about it on the ground that the ‘Pioneer’ is a
semi-official journal, a fact which, with certain qualifications,
he admitted, and sent at once for N., the sub-Editor--Allen, the
Editor, being away. After a sermon from Lyall, N. was shown in to
me, a lackadaisical youth in a check suit, apparently still in his
teens, and so frightened he could hardly speak or find his way
to a chair. I was sorry for the boy, and dealt with him mildly
when he stammered an excuse that the paragraph had been inserted
as a joke, and he promised repentance, and to print the address
verbatim as well as my speech, and also to print, when it should
arrive, any letter from the Patna Mohammedans. Lyall tells me he
is a youth who spends his time playing lawn tennis, and picks up
his information in such places. They make use of him, however, to
insert communiqués (one of them was Cordery’s explanation a few
days ago), and Colvin is thick with Allen, the Editor, lodging,
I understand, in the same house with him at Calcutta. Colvin, he
says, has always worked the press. He himself has made the rule
only to work anonymously to the extent of writing articles he was
prepared, if challenged, to avow. But he is of opinion it is best
to keep out of it altogether. It is Colvin, no doubt, who has
prompted the spiteful tone of the ‘Pioneer’ towards myself. But how
ridiculously these newspapers rule the world.

“_7th to 15th Jan._--We went to Lucknow, the party here breaking up
at the same time, Lyall going on a tour of the province, his wife
and daughter to a ball at Lucknow. Mulvi Wahaj-ed-din and about
twenty others came to see us off at the station, but we have seen
nothing of them, for they won’t come to Government House to be
treated like servants. Nothing happened on the journey except that
at Cawnpore about one hundred Mohammedans had assembled to see us
while the train stopped. One of them recited some verses in Arabic,
and an address was promised, but they had had no time, they said,
to write one. There are not many Mohammedans at Cawnpore, and only
one can speak a little English, so our interview was limited to
compliments, bowings, and hand shakings.

“At Lucknow we were received by all the great people, two of the
Oude princes, and our host, Rajah Amir Hassan, who drove us to his
house in a state carriage and four. He made many apologies to us
for the poorness of his abode, which was, in fact, a small palace,
and explained that his own palaces had been burned down at the time
of the Mutiny, and this house was given him in exchange by the
English Government. It was late, and we had no more time than to
dine and go to bed, the Rajah dining with us, the first time in his
life, he told us, he had ever dined with Europeans, nor had he ever
entertained an Englishman in his house.

“_16th Jan._--We have had a great deal of conversation with our
host, who is a man of much intelligence, though a rather bigoted
Shiah. He explained to me the dogmatic differences they had with
the Sunnis, the principal of which, he said, was that the Shiahs
asserted God’s justice, and that the prophets had been without
sin and infallible. He also went through the old discussion about
Ali’s succession to the Caliphate with warmth; and told me a number
of other curious things connected with his sect. Lucknow is its
stronghold in India, as the Court was Shiah during the last eighty
years of its existence. We then talked of Hyderabad. Sir Salar Jung
had been a great friend of his, and he had recommended Seyd Huseyn
to him.

“In the afternoon he drove us round the town and showed us the
Imambara, where he said a prayer on the tomb, touching it with
his right hand. Also to the Residency ruins, while he told us the
history of the Mutiny from his own point of view. His father had
sided with the mutineers and been the chief leader of the Shiah
faction among them, till the massacres occurred, when he left them
in disgust and went to his own fort, at Mahmudabad, where he took
ill and died. Twelve of Amir Hassan’s brothers and cousins were
shot, blown up, or hanged by the English, and he alone was left,
a boy of ten, to be educated by them. All the family property in
Lucknow was confiscated and destroyed, for the English destroyed
one third of the city, and so he comes in for an inheritance of
woe. Looking, however, at the ruins, which are very beautiful, he
said: ‘We have agreed to forget our history, and the days of our
glory. But the English refuse to forget it. They leave their ruins
standing to perpetuate the memory of bloodshed. If I could do it,
I would persuade the Lieutenant-Governor to have them razed or

“The Rajah is only thirty-six years old, but his hair is very gray,
and he looks fifty. He complains of his liver, and I have strongly
advised him, for the good of his soul and body, to make the land
pilgrimage from Kerbela to Mecca, and he says he will certainly do
so. He does not go into English society, because he dislikes being
disrespectfully treated. The officials are very tyrannical. Of
General Barrow he spoke very highly, as of one who had saved them
from destruction after the Mutiny, and he showed us a statue of
him the Talukdars of Oude are going to set up. He is President of
the Talukdars’ Association, and takes considerable part in public
affairs, besides having started some indigo factories. Altogether
he is a superior man.

“_17th Jan._--We went to the 10th Hussar ball last night, in the
Chotar Menzil, a beautiful room robbed by the Government from the
princes of Oude. Wood, the Colonel, is an old friend of mine, and
we met Brabazon and Lady Lyall and the Franklins.

“There is a furious article against me in the ‘Pioneer,’ written
evidently by Colvin, or inspired by him, to the effect that I am
stirring up sedition in Patna and other Mohammedan centres. The
text, however, of it is the ‘Wind and the Whirlwind,’ and its tone
is exactly what I could most have wished. Good hearty abuse as a
revolutionist can do me nothing but good. In the same sheet they
publish the text of my Allahabad address.

“I am to give a lecture here and receive an address to-morrow, and
have been busy preparing. In the middle of the day we went to a
horse sale of the 10th Hussars, and had luncheon with them; and
then we drove through the city with the Rajah, he lamenting over
the ruins. A great road has been run through the city by pulling
down the houses of poor men. Hardly any got compensation, and the
ruins make a causeway raised about twenty feet above the general
level. This is called Victoria Street.

“We had several visits: First, Mohammed Ibrahim, chief Mujtahed
of the Shiahs, a dignified old man who talked good Arabic. He
did not fancy a university at Hyderabad, because the Government
was Sunni. He lamented the decay of religious institutions here
in Lucknow. Secondly, Prince Mirza Mohammed Madhi Ali Khan, a
polite and amiable personage who talked no English, but had sent
us last night an enormous tray of fruits and sweetmeats. Thirdly,
Ihtimam ed Dowlah Nawab Haidar Huseyn Khan, an elderly nobleman of
Lucknow. Fourthly, Rajah Tasadak Rasul Khan, a nobleman related to
the princes, in very fine clothes. I find, however, that no Sunni
has been to see us, nor any of the small people of the town, who
are the most interesting. Perhaps our host is carrying out Lyall’s
instructions; perhaps he discourages Sunnis. It is tiresome, but
cannot be helped.

“We were taken to-day to see the Shiah Madrasa, a poor little
place, where seventy pupils, men and boys, are taught religion,
logic, and arithmetic up to the rule of three. I was begged to
examine them, and asked who was the Mogul leader who had sacked
Bagdad, but was told that no one knew history. Then I put the
problem of the herring and a half costing three half-pence, and six
boys, on slates, worked out the problem, two correctly.

“_18th Jan._--We went out in the morning to see the Hoseynabad
Imambara, which is certainly the most beautiful thing in Lucknow,
though less imposing than the great Imambara. Here we took off our
shoes, which pleased the Rajah greatly, and at his suggestion we
refused the wreaths offered us by the guardian, this on the ground
that, it being a charitable endowment, the money spent on these
wreaths given to English visitors was misspent. The way in which
this endowment is misappropriated is astonishing. The guardian is
a Hindu, appointed by the English trustees with a salary of four
hundred rupees a month, and quite recently they have spent £10,000
on building a ridiculous clock tower as a memorial to Sir George
Couper, the man most hated by the Mohammedans of Lucknow. These are
the things that bring the English name into contempt.

“Prince Mahdi Ali called again and one or two others, but there
seem to be few Mohammedans here who know English, except among the
younger men, and these did not come to the house. In the afternoon,
however, they came to the meeting. We talked with the Rajah about
the land assessment, and he gave us the following as the proportion
between the ryot, the Talukdar, and the Government. Of a field
producing one hundred maunds, the ryot would keep sixty (that is
three-fifths, of which fifteen or twenty would represent the seed
corn, and forty or forty-five for his profit and labour). Of the
remaining forty maunds the Government takes twenty or twenty-five,
leaving fifteen or twenty to the Talukdar. He said this would be an
average reckoning.

“The meeting in the Kaisar Bagh Hall was the most successful we
have yet had. All the religious chiefs, Sunnis and Shiahs, and
many of the noblemen of Lucknow, and altogether about one thousand
persons were present, as well as about a dozen Englishmen. Three
addresses were presented, and I made a long speech of an hour and a
half, which, as it is to be printed, I will not give here.

“Lyall has written to apologize for the article in the ‘Pioneer,’
which he says he knows comes from Calcutta, and he will give orders
that I am to be well received everywhere in his province. This is
good of him, though nobody can do me much good or harm now. My only
anxiety is Hyderabad, and I think I shall write to Lord Ripon and
ask him whether he wishes me to come or not. Unless he gives me his
countenance, my going back there will do more harm than good. We
came away by the night train to Aligarh.

“_19th Jan._--Mulvi Sami Ullah, Seyd Ahmed, and a number more of
the Aligarh Mohammedans, met us at the station, and we are staying
in Sami Ullah’s house, a bungalow furnished in extra English
taste, and having a certain chill simplicity which savours of the
convent. One expects a crucifix and a holy water stoup in every
room. The Mulvi’s dress is almost a cassock, and he has something
of the manner of a Don. I can understand why the Aligarh men are
not liked. I myself feel rather constrained with them, for one does
not know whether to treat them as pious Mohammedans, or latter-day
disciples of Jowett. Not that they are not extremely amiable, but
there is a tone of apology in their talk to me, as much as to say
‘we are not such infidels as you suppose.’

“I am rather disappointed in Seyd Ahmed. He is certainly a _beau
vieillard_, but does not inspire me with entire confidence.
His features are coarse, his hands coarse, and I should not be
surprised if he turned out to be a _faux bonhomme_. But this is a
first impression, and he speaks very little English. I have not
had a real opportunity of judging him even superficially. We went
over the College, which is certainly a wonderful work. It is on a
large scale, but without pretence, and no money has been wasted on
ornament. The boys were out playing cricket, which they did as well
as an average lot of English schoolboys, and seemed to take full
interest in the game. Among them was the new English Principal of
the College, Mr. Beck, a pretty little young man with pink cheeks
and blue eyes, certainly not an average Englishman; and an average
Englishman certainly could not succeed here. So Beck may succeed.
He is probably clever.[11]

“The Collector, Mr. Ward, and the Judge have called, by Lyall’s
orders, and I had some talk with the former about the ill feeling
between Englishmen and natives, which he seemed to think could not
be helped. I don’t suppose it can. The Judge seems a better sort,
but when we went to take tea with his wife, she at once asked Sami
Ullah to ‘take a peg,’ and then apologized for her thoughtlessness.
A good sort all the same.

“We sat down, a dozen, to dinner, but as no one could speak English
well, it was a dull party. There were two Rais in the company who
belong to the old-fashioned party, and with them I had a little
talk. On the whole Aligarh bores me.

“I forgot to say that Mr. Ward mentioned it, as an instance of
rough behaviour on the part of the natives, that a day or two
ago an Englishman having accidentally shot a Hindu boy, the
native police had arrested the man, made him walk some miles, and
detained him two days at the police station, and then brought a
charge against him. He said the wound was little more than a skin
wound, and that the bullet had glanced from the ground while the
Englishman was shooting blue deer.

“_20th Jan._--Letters have come from England, and a great number
from Patna, strengthening the general case of the insults offered
to natives. I shall now write to Lord Ripon again. We paid a visit
to the dispensary, where we happened to see the boy wounded in the
neck by the bullet, half an inch deep the English doctor said, and
within very little of the jugular artery. Also to the Mosque, where
we were received with great honour by the chief preacher here.
The Mosque has just been restored with excellent taste. I noticed
that Sami Ullah did not take off his shoes to go inside. The
repairs have cost £10,000, partly paid out of a _wakf_, partly by
subscription. They have made me promise to make a speech to-morrow,
but it will be difficult not to give offence, for party feeling
runs high.

“We drove to a village and ascertained a few useful facts. The
proportion of seed corn to harvest is one to six, and they give
their cattle salt twice a week. We dined at Seyd Ahmed’s, a mixed
party of Mohammedans and Englishmen. Seyd Ahmed told me he quite
agreed with my fifth chapter of the ‘Future of Islam.’

“_21st Jan._--The meeting was a failure compared with the others.
Most of the old Mulvis would not come, I suppose because it was
convened by Seyd Ahmed. But they sent me a very nice address in
Arabic, and some of them were there, including one who is a dwarf.
I did not know quite what to say between the two parties, and I
doubt whether Seyd Ahmed altogether liked my discourse. It was
certainly not a success. Still I think it may do good. It will put
them on their religious mettle.

“Since writing this, I hear that my speech was immensely
appreciated by the greater number of those present, only they
did not like to express their feelings strongly in Seyd Ahmed’s
presence. I have talked, too, with Seyd Ahmed, and hope no offence
has been taken by him. I fancy he has considerable experience of
people differing from him, and he tells me he shall lay to heart
the suggestions I made. I like him better than I did at first, and
have no doubt he is a good and sincere man. But my taking part,
in a way, with his enemies cannot of course be agreeable to him,
especially as he is just starting on a trip to the Punjaub to
collect funds for his college. Ikhram Ullah of Delhi is here, and
goes with him, being Seyd Ahmed’s nephew and disciple. It was on
him we counted for introductions at Delhi; but he has promised to
go back and start us there. I feel a little doubt as to how we
shall get on. The ‘Pioneer,’ I hear, has rather frightened people,
and Ikhram Ullah tells me we are watched by spies. However, the
thing is almost done now, and our reception at Delhi is not of
vital importance. I have written to Lord Ripon to ask his leave to
be at Hyderabad for the installation. It is evident to me now that
the Calcutta Foreign Office has warned Salar Jung and Vikar-el-Omra
against intimacy with us, perhaps also the Nizam. With Lord Ripon’s
countenance, however, we need not mind that.

“At night there was a dinner at the Aligarh Institute in my honour,
at which Seyd Ahmed presided, and the Collector and other English
officials were present. I sat between Seyd Ahmed and Mr. Ward.
The latter talked about the future of India, and said he wished
to see a parliament in India. Anything was better than being
governed by the English Parliament. He complained that the English
in India were disfranchised. They had no vote in England, and no
representation here. Seyd Ahmed read a speech in which he proposed
Her Majesty’s health, which was drunk in tea, and then my health
and a great many expressions of loyalty, and Sami Ullah also spoke,
and then Seyd Ahmed sang, with much spirit, a few Arabic verses in
my honour. After which I replied briefly, explaining that I was not
come to India to stir up strife, but to help the cause of peace and
goodwill. That I should like to see the Indians and English living
in harmony together, but the condition of social intercourse was
social equality. There were none at this dinner but men of Seyd
Ahmed’s school, but about fifty others came in in the evening.
Anne came also, but did not dine.

“_22nd Jan._--We left for Delhi by the morning train, Mulvi
Mohammed Abbas Huseyn, the chief of the Shiahs, presenting me with
a separate address before starting. He is one of the old-fashioned
ones, and I like him especially. He wears the white turban, and
dresses like an Egyptian Alem. At the station everybody was
present, Seyd Ikbal Ali had come all the way from Faizabad to see
us, Seyd Ahmed and all of them, who started a ‘hip hurray’ as
the train moved off, but Mohammedans are not good at cheering. I
promised Seyd Ahmed to send him a subscription, and wished him,
very heartily, success.”



                                        “_22nd Jan._ (_continued_).

“At Delhi we were met by Ikhram Ullah with three of the chief
noblemen of the town, Nawab Ala-ed-din, Ahmed Khan, chief of
Loharo, a prince Mirza Suliman Jah, of the Mogul family, and
Ala-ed-din’s son, Emir-ed-din Feruk Mirza. The Nawab accompanied us
to the hotel, where he had taken rooms for us, and, as he speaks
English, we had a long conversation, principally about Egypt. But I
found him very ignorant as to the state of affairs there. He asked
very particularly about the Sultan, and I answered, as I always do,
that I believed him to be a good man in private character, and with
the wish to improve his Empire, but quite ignorant of the world,
and surrounded by a set of avaricious Pashas. I cannot discover any
enthusiasm in India about the Turkish Empire, and very little about
the Sultan.

“In the afternoon I went out alone to return the visits of
the Nawab and princes. The Nawab explained to me that he was
a pure Turk (Turcoman) by descent, his family having come
only three generations back from Samarcand, and having always
married with women of their own blood. He was, till last year,
a semi-independent sovereign, and he abdicated in favour of his
son, and is now living on a small income at Delhi. He also told
me that his uncle, an illegitimate son of his grandfather, had
been hanged here in Delhi for the murder of Mr. William Fraser, he
says, unjustly, though he evidently thinks it served him right for
having usurped the greater part of the family property. He says
that he got the property by bribing this Mr. Fraser, and that he
was accused of the murder by the Government in order to confiscate
the estates, which were very large. He showed me a picture of this
uncle as a young man riding out with his attendants, and another
of the Mogul Court, in which his father and this very Mr. Fraser
figure. The old gentleman is a curious old-world type, with a fair
knowledge of English, and the reputation of being a good Arabic and
Persian scholar, as well as a sportsman and good rider. He has only
one wife, ‘thank God.’

“With the Prince we talked Arabic, which he speaks better than most
of the Indians, and he was helped in it by an Alem, his cousin
by marriage, who spoke it colloquially. We discussed the Mahdi,
whom they were delighted to hear me speak well of, and Arabi, for
whom they expressed great respect, and Tewfik’s character, and the
Sultan’s. All these things interest them extremely. The Prince is
a cousin of our friend at Benares, and enjoys a pension of five
hundred rupees a month. He lives in a little old house in the old
town, and keeps a little old Court of old servants like his cousin.
But he is a much more intelligent man, younger and better educated.
He was immensely pleased with my visit, and has promised to take us
to see the Kottub on Thursday, which is eleven miles off.

“This hotel stands on the ramparts, and is a really nice place, its
proprietor a negro of Algerian extraction, but born in France and
a Christian. He knows a few words of Arabic and no more, dresses
in ultra English dress, has served as naval engineer on board Her
Majesty’s fleet, and is more of a John Bull than anybody I know
except Zohrab. His helmet is monumental.

“I may here note that I heard from Akbar Huseyn of a case in which
liberties had been taken by an English official with a Hindu woman,
whose husband’s relations, finding her ‘no longer of any use to
them,’ killed her and laid her outside his tent. The case was taken
up, and though there was no kind of doubt as to the facts, those
who brought it forward were proceeded against by the Government
as having brought a malicious charge, and were sentenced to a
fine of one thousand rupees each, and three months imprisonment.
My informant added: ‘They will never allow a charge to be
substantiated against an official for fear of injuring the British

“_23rd Jan._--Ikhram Ullah brought us four Mohammedan gentlemen,
with whom we conversed about the political position to be taken up
by Mohammedans in India, and their opinion seemed to be that there
should be more common action with the Hindus. But one of them was
of opinion that the Hindus were impracticable, because they would
not permit the killing of cows. He and Kadi Huseyn, a Shiah, talked
English, but the Sunnis talked none.

“Later we went with Robinson, our black host, to see the fort and
the great mosque, among the few wonders of the world. The mosque
is far and away the finest mosque, the palace far and away the
finest palace; and, except Madura, they stand together first in the
universe. The palace is full of intense interest, for it was here
that the great events of the last three hundred years happened, and
in modern times that the last Emperor of Delhi, after the retaking
of the city by the English, was tried ignominiously for murder.
A dentist whom we met to-day tells us he happened to go into the
hall of audience during the trial, and saw this last of the Mogul
kings crouched before the Military Commission, dressed in a piece
of sacking and a coarse turban ‘like a coolie.’ Here, too, the
English soldiers slew and destroyed some thousands of innocent men
in revenge for the death of about one hundred. The old Loharo chief
assures us 26,000 persons were killed by the soldiers or hanged or
shot or ‘blown up’ during the eight months following the capture
of the city. The city was deserted, and whole quarters and suburbs
razed to the ground. Such are the resources of civilization. The
dentist says he saw nineteen men hanging together in one spot,
and put the number executed at several thousands. I suppose no
Englishman will ever dare write the real history of that year.

“We dined with the Nawab, his son, Prince Suliman Jah, and Ikhram
Ullah, and had some instructive conversation. The son, Emir-ed-din
Feruk Mirza, who is now reigning chief of Loharo, gave me an
amusing account of how young princes were brought up by the British
Government when it happened to become their guardian. They are
taught to ride and play lawn tennis, and the Resident writes that
they are enlightened and loyal princes. Then they are placed on
the throne, but find it dull, and go to Calcutta where they spend
their money. Then they come back and grind their subjects with
taxation, and the Resident writes that they are barbarous and unfit
to govern. Lastly, the Government intervenes and administers the
country for them. He is a very intelligent young man himself, and
his father complains of him because he is too old-fashioned. But
I expect he knows better than the old man the ins and outs of our
modern diplomacy. The old man is a curious type. During the Mutiny,
he tells me, he remained in the city because he could not leave
it. But he kept up communication with the English, and for this
reason he was not hanged, as most people were, or his property
entirely confiscated. It is quite evident to me, however, that,
while expressing loudly his loyalty, all his sympathies are with
the old _régime_. What he did not like about the mutineers was that
most of them were Hindus. But Heaven forgive me if he loves the
English. Things, too, have changed mostly since then, and it is my
firm conviction that in the case of a new mutiny every man, woman,
and child, Mohammedan and Hindu, will join it. The Nawab is a bit
of a humbug, but I like him all the same. He belongs to a school
which is rapidly passing away, the school which allied itself with
the English Government from motives of interest, or sometimes out
of a sincere admiration for some individual Englishman. All this
is gone. The old men’s loyalty has become lip service, and the
young men hardly conceal their thoughts. Nothing is more striking
in India than the absolute want, at the present day, of native
enthusiasm for any particular man. Lord Ripon had this till lately,
but he is the last who will have had it.

“_24th Jan._--We were to have gone on an expedition with Prince
Suliman to the tombs of his ancestors, and the Kottub; but it
has been put off, luckily as it turns out, for Colonel Moore
came in to-day to see us from Meerut. I would not have missed
him for much, as he is the only Englishman I have met who quite
understands the natives, and sympathizes with our ideas. He is
acting as bear-leader to the Duke of Connaught, where he lives in
an uncongenial atmosphere, for he describes the Duke and Duchess
as being of high Tory ideas about English rule in India, quite
unsympathetic with the people. Even if they wished to see anything
of them it would be impossible, for there is great jealousy on the
part of the Indian Government.

“We talked over the whole situation in India, and agreed that it
was impossible so absolutely unsympathetic a Government should not
come into collision, some day, with the people. The Indians were
the gentlest people in the world, and the easiest to govern, or
we could not maintain our rule for an hour. As it was, they had
only to combine against us passively to make the whole machine
stop working. About Egypt, where he acted as Chief Interpreter, he
gave us some valuable information. He knew the whole of the Palmer
history, and had read the report whose existence the Government
denied. In it Palmer stated that he had spent £25,000 on his first
journey between Gaza and Suez on bribing the Bedouins. This money
was secret service money, immense sums of which had been expended.
He had seen and talked to Sultan Pasha, and described him as a
‘miserable fellow.’ On the day of the Khedive’s entry he had been
in the streets and heard the mob cursing the Khedive and all his
family, and cursing the English. He had refused to stay in Egypt,
as, knowing Arabic, he did not like being perpetually insulted. On
the other hand he was no Arabist. He had not seen Arabi, and did
not believe in his patriotism.

“Colonel Moore took us round the city, along the ridge which the
English held during the siege, and explained the strategical
position clearly; and he showed the spot in the Chunda Chowk where
the bodies of the King’s two sons were thrown by Hodson after he
had shot them. He had taken them prisoners at Humayum’s tomb, and
had promised them their lives, but explained that a crowd had
gathered round on his way back to the city with them, and so he
had taken a rifle from the troopers, and shot them both where they
sat in their carriage. The King he had spared, and he had been sent
to die a prisoner at Rangoon. It is a hideous story one side and
the other; but what is certain is, that for every hundred English
killed, the English exacted a thousand native lives, mostly of
innocent men. So, too, the Bedouins seized by Warren in revenge of
the Palmer murder were not those who did the deed. This admission
from Moore, who, better than any man, knew the details of this
business, is of importance. He said the official lies told about
Egypt passed all bounds of belief.

“While we were sitting talking after our drive, a letter came,
about which Primrose had telegraphed me some days ago. It was from
Baring, delivering to me officially a message from Sherif Pasha to
the effect that I should not be permitted to land in Egypt. Moore
was much amused to learn how matters stood. I expect Baring is
personally annoyed at all I told him having come true. On the other
hand, Primrose telegraphs that Lord Ripon says I am at full liberty
to accept Cordery’s invitation to the Residency at Hyderabad, a
much more important matter to me just now than visiting Egypt. I
look upon the university scheme as certain of success.

“_25th Jan._--I have written out a ‘draft scheme of the Deccan
University,’[12] and posted it to Salar Jung with a letter for
the Nizam. I am satisfied with it. Also I have written a letter
to Gordon about his mission to the Soudan, which was announced
in the telegrams two days ago. I consider that he will certainly
come to grief if he holds to the opinion he expressed to me last
year about the necessity for Egypt of retaining Khartoum. I have
a letter of Eddy Hamilton’s in my possession now, saying that he,
Gordon, was considered in Downing Street to be out of his mind. But
time works strange revenges. All this, with about a dozen other
letters, I wrote yesterday.

“My letter to Gordon is as follows:

                                      “Delhi, _24th January, 1884_.


  “I feel obliged to write to you about your mission to the Soudan.
  I see it announced to-day by telegraph, without explanation of
  its object, but I cannot wait till more definite news arrives,
  and I desire to warn you. It may be you are going there to make
  peace between the Mahdi and our troops in Egypt, to acknowledge
  his sovereignty in the Soudan, and arrange terms for the
  evacuation of Khartoum. If so, I can only wish you God speed. It
  is a good work, and you will accomplish it. But if, as I fear
  it may be, from the tradition of some of those in power, the
  object of your mission is to divide the tribes with a view to
  retaining any part of the country for the Khedive, to raise men
  for him, and scatter money, it is bad work, and you will fail.
  It must be so. Neither your courage nor your honest purpose, nor
  the inspiration which has hitherto guided you, will bring you
  success. I know enough to be able to assure you that every honest
  Mohammedan in Egypt and North Africa and Arabia sympathizes with
  the Mahdi’s cause, not necessarily believing him to have a divine
  mission, but as representing ideas of liberty and justice and
  religious government, which they acknowledge to be divine. For
  this reason you will only have the men of Belial on your side,
  and these will betray you.

  “I beg you be cautious. Do not trust to the old sympathy which
  united Englishmen with the Arabs. I fear it is a thing of the
  past, and that even your great name will not protect you with
  them. Also consider what your death will mean: the certainty of
  a cry for vengeance in England, and an excuse with those who ask
  no better than a war of conquest. I wish I could be sure that all
  those who are sending you on your mission do not forsee this end.
  Forgive me if I am wrong in my fears; and believe me yours, very
  gratefully, in memory of last year,

                                            “WILFRID SCAWEN BLUNT.”

“To-day we spent in visiting the great monuments south of Delhi, in
company with the Loharos and Prince Suliman Jah, who organized the
expedition. We breakfasted at Humayum’s tomb, over whom our friends
the Loharos said prayers, he being their ancestor, not Prince
Suliman’s. It was touching to see this, and to notice a little
offering of withered flowers on the tomb of a man so long dead. We
went to the top of the monument. Prince Suliman, who is well read,
or rather well learned, in history, gave us the story of Humayum
and his dynasty, and pointed out to us on the Hindu fort the tower
from which his great ancestor fell while looking at the stars. They
brought him here and buried him, and his widow raised this pile,
under which the rest of the members of his family lie. Thirty-five
emperors and kings of Delhi lie buried, he told us, within sight
of where we stood. Parrots were building in the chinks of stone;
but there are guardians still of the tomb. It was here that later
the last King of Delhi fled, and was taken by Hodson, with his
two sons, while they were praying, and on the way back from here
that he shot the young princes, our friends’ uncles. We asked him
whether they had been brought back here to be buried, and he smiled
sarcastically. They were thrown like the corpses of dogs into
the street in Delhi, and none knows where they now lie. The King
himself lies buried in Rangoon. From this we went across to the
beautiful mosque and more beautiful tombs of other ancestors, and
of a dead Persian poet, which we found decked with fresh flowers.
Our friends talked all the while of these dead heroes as still
living, and, when the young Loharo exclaimed ‘This country is full
of poets and kings and learned men,’ I, for a moment, thought he
meant at the present day. But it was of those under ground he was
talking. The living people of the place are only poor guardians of
the tombs who live on alms.

“With the Kottub I was less interested--though we climbed to the
top--and mourned with our friends the decay around us. It is
here that the bloodiest of all the battles between Hindus and
Moslems was fought, 200,000 being slain. We talked of Tamerlane,
and I denied he was a Moslem, but my friends warmly supported
his character in this respect, and said he was a friend of the
Seyyids, though they knew of his cruelty and savage conquests and
his pyramids of skulls. But he, too, was their ancestor. With the
Prince we talked in Arabic. He is a Shahzadeh through his mother,
the daughter of the King of Delhi, and he is great grandson of the
Emperor Akbar.

“Coming home, while we were changing horses, I talked to them of
the university, about which they enthusiastically promised to
busy themselves. It appears that Ikhram Ullah, being Seyd Ahmed’s
nephew, had told them nothing of this scheme. They spoke strongly
against Seyd Ahmed as a ‘nature worshipper,’ not a Moslem, and the
young Loharo will get up the Committee here at Delhi. This visit
took the whole day, and we only got back to our hotel at sunset.

“_26th Jan._--We left Delhi for Ulwar. In the gray of the morning
the old man, the elder brother of the Prince but by another mother,
called with messages of farewell and a little box containing the
Prince’s photograph, and some small ornaments, a present from his
wife, which being of no value we gladly accepted.

“At Ulwar we were met at the station by the Diwan and the
Mohammedans in the Maharajah’s employ, and were driven to the
house of His Highness’s doctor, Dr. Mullen, an Irishman, and an
excellent fellow, with a real knowledge of the country, and much
sympathy with the people. According to him, Ulwar and Rajputana,
generally, are very lightly taxed. The assessment made by Colonel
Paulett is only one-sixth of the net produce, and the Maharajah
constantly remits arrears. Of him he spoke very highly as a young
man who did his duty well as a ruler, and as being an excellent
judge of character. He also praised the Diwan. We discussed most of
the political and social problems of India, and he takes rather an
optimistic view of things from his experience being almost entirely
of Rajputana. But he admitted that in other parts there was a
very dangerous ill-feeling between the English and the natives,
though he said they would never rebel again after the lesson of
the Mutiny. I disagree with him here. On the whole an honest good
fellow who does his duty and seems to be liked by all.

“In the evening we called on the Maharajah in his country palace,
and found him with his Court, looking on at lawn tennis. He is
very fond of horses and of sport, but it is difficult to have
conversation of an intimate nature with a man in his position.
Mullen tells me he, the Maharajah, was not highly struck with Laik
Ali when they met at Calcutta, but that the Diwan thought well of
his abilities.

“The Mohammedans of Ulwar are much in decay. Sheykh Wajidah told me
that most of them are hardly Mohammedan except in name, dress like
Hindus, and have no education. He himself is from Lucknow, and his
friend Enait Ullah, the Commissioner-in-Chief, is also from the
North-West. The Maharajah is very liberal to Mohammedans, but the
community is not flourishing. They said they had heard of me as a
friend of Islam, and were delighted at the university idea. They
did not like Seyd Ahmed.

“_27th Jan._--Visited the city palace, which is one of the most
beautiful in the world. We were shown the library, where there was
a splendid Koran, and portraits of the Emperors Baber, Humayum, and
Akbar. The first two pure Mongols in face, with little slant eyes,
the other a regular Brahmin in appearance, as he was in character.
Also the armoury.

“In the afternoon we came on to Jeypore.

“_28th Jan._--Jeypore is a less interesting place than Ulwar, and
we saw it in a less interesting manner. The only Mohammedan I met
was the hotel guide, an Agra man, who had been educated in the
Agra College. He told me there were a good many rich Mohammedans
at Jeypore, both Zemindars and in the Army, besides shop-keepers,
forming one-third of the population. The chief Mulvi’s name is

“We called at the Residency, dull people; and waited at home for
a couple of hours before the train started, expecting the visit
of Mir Kurban Ali, a member of Council, to whom I had written
announcing our arrival. But he did not come, which shows how
difficult it would be to establish relations, except through

“We went on through the night towards Bombay.

“_29th Jan._--All day travelling through an interesting country not
unlike Nejd, only far better wooded. The only incident, an English
lawyer at the buffet asking me whether I knew that ‘Mr. Blunt of
Egyptian memories’ was in the train. He told us a good deal about
Hyderabad, where he has practised; was there when Salar Jung
died, and had had an appointment to see him on business that very
morning; was of opinion he had not died a natural death, though the
Residency doctors had certified it was cholera, but no post mortem
was made. Some had put it down to tinned oysters, and several
persons present at the picnic had been unwell but recovered. Salar
Jung’s collapse was sudden and so complete he hardly spoke, and
left no orders or directions about anything. There was a great deal
of talk at Hyderabad about the probability of faction fights, but
he himself did not think it would come exactly to that.

“_30th Jan._--Arrived at Bombay for breakfast. A pile of letters
and newspapers. Gordon already half way to Khartoum, taking with
him the ex-King of Darfour. He is sure to come to grief, and I hope
my letter will catch him in time.

“Called on Malabari, who, I think, is a little ashamed now of the
line he took about the Ilbert compromise. He seems to think they
will never get anything now without something like a revolution,
which is wholly my own opinion. Also called on Mr. Mandlik, the
Hindu Government pleader, who holds the highest position of any
native’s at the Bombay bar. I told him the Patna story. He told me
he had often been insulted himself; on one occasion turned out of
a railway carriage neck and crop between Benares and Allahabad.
Every native in Bombay had been subjected to such incidents, and he
mentioned the instance of the Chief Translator to the Government,
promising to furnish me with proofs.

“_1st Feb._--Finished letters, and then started by midday train for
Hyderabad. At dinner, in the refreshment room, saw, for the first
time, a native in his own dress. He looked rather shy and nervous,
like a _femme honnête_ at Mabille, and I asked him if he did not
expect to be rudely treated. He said ‘Oh, they look at me, but I
am not afraid.’ He was a Mohammedan tradesman, and before going he
gave me his card. When I told him my name, he said he had heard of
me through the newspapers.

“_2nd Feb._--All day in the train, which was several hours
behind time owing to the crowds of people flocking to the
installation--everything at the refreshment room at Wady eaten up
by the Viceroy, who is just ahead of us--flags, greens, and flowers
at all the stations--finally arriving at 9 p.m., to find that
Cordery and all his guests are at Bolarum, so that we have had an
eleven mile drive on the top of the railway journey. Solomon and
the luggage only turned up this morning, 3rd February, having slept
out somewhere on the road.”


[10] Sir Alfred Lyall, K.C.B., G.C.I.E., then Lord Governor of the
North-West Provinces.

[11] Mr. Beck certainly succeeded and acquired a notable influence
with the young generation of Mohammedans. His death, some years
ago, caused universal regret.

[12] See Appendix.



                                                        “_3rd Feb._

“We are established in tents at a camp just outside the Residency,
where Kurshid Jah does the honours to all strangers in the Nizam’s
name. It consists of a large _shamiana_ and fifteen principal
tents arranged in a street, with flowers, in pots, down the whole
row--very pretty certainly, but it wants the natural attraction
of camp life, the individual choice of site one always finds in
Arabia, and there are no beasts of burden near it, so that it has
an unlocomotive look, ‘like a swan on a turnpike road.’ However,
here we are. The tents seem to be occupied principally by members
of the various suites, for the Commissioner-in-Chief is here, as
well as the Viceroy, and the only _bona fide_ traveller besides
ourselves is Gorst. He tells me Churchill has written to me urging
me to come home at once, as a great campaign is beginning in
Parliament. We talked over Churchill’s speeches. He said he would
have to modify the one on the franchise, but approved of the Irish
one, as I do, although I don’t agree with a word of it, wishing
to see Ireland independent. He asked me what I thought of the
Egyptian speech, and I said ‘_C’est magnifique; mais ce n’est pas
la guerre._’ It has probably had something to do with the upset of
Sherif’s ministry, but it has spoiled Arabi’s chance, at least for
the present.

“This has been a day of profit. We breakfasted at the Residency
with the Viceroy, who received us very cordially, and then drove
down to Hyderabad, where we called on the Clerks and Keays to get
news. Clerk is evidently very much down on his luck, as he tells
us Salar Jung is. They consider that Cordery and Kurshid Jah are
carrying all before them. The idea of cholera in Hyderabad is all a
‘plant’ to get the Viceroy away from sources of intelligence. There
has been no cholera, but Kurshid Jah cunningly chose, when his
choice was given, to superintend the arrangements outside the town,
leaving the internal arrangements to Salar Jung. His idea was that
the Viceroy would decide the dispute about the Diwanship, and that
the Viceroy would take Cordery’s advice or Durand’s; but I think
he has outwitted himself, for Lord Ripon will leave the choice to
the Nizam, and so in all probability it will fall to Salar Jung.
Bushir-ed-Dowlah is in a great rage because the question of his
precedence over Kurshid Jah has been decided against him. At first
he threatened to leave the country and never return, but when he
heard the news of the Nizam’s installation being fixed for this
year he was pacified, as he believes the Nizam can reverse the
decision. His secretary, Colonel C., told me this, and that when
the news arrived he laughed ‘from the top of his head to the soles
of his feet.’ And he, Bushir-ed-Dowlah, is also delighted at the
birth of the Nizam’s son and heir, because it cuts Kurshid Jah’s
son out of the succession. And so he has given up his idea of
exile. Keay is full of a new letter he has written to Lord Ripon
about the railway scheme, which certainly seems a famous swindle.
I sent a letter by him to Salar Jung, begging him to see me
to-morrow, and to send Seyd Huseyn and Rasul Yar Khan. The nuisance
of being out here at Bolarum is beyond conception; and Lord Ripon
has told Anne that he is much disgusted at it. Walter Pollen,
who has to do aide-de-camp’s duty to-morrow, will have to drive
seventy-two miles backwards and forwards in the day.

“We dined at the Residency, Anne sitting between Lord Ripon and Mr.
Grant Duff, I next to Primrose, an arrangement made on purpose;
and he and I talked the whole time. We began about Baring’s letter
and my relations with Downing Street and the Foreign Office,
about which I spoke with absolute frankness, as well as about my
relations with Churchill. He said the letter had surprised him;
and it is evident Eddy has written to him lately, for he said he
believed I was for Halim’s return to Egypt. He talked with the same
apparent frankness, and we discussed the advantage of telling the
truth in politics. He assured me neither Lord Ripon nor he ever
lied about public matters; the most he himself ever did was in the
case of impertinent questions being asked him, when he thought
a lie was sometimes necessary. I told him Lyall’s views on the
subject, and we discussed Lytton’s character, and Dufferin’s. He
asked me my opinion of Dufferin, and I told him I did not consider
him at all a serious man; but I thought he would make, in some
ways, a successful Viceroy, because he would take the Indians in
with his good manners and sympathy and pretty speeches, but he
would do nothing for them in the way of giving them liberty. He
told me he had been in correspondence with Malabari; and that it
had been touch and go work when the Ilbert Bill was compromised.
Malabari had written to him very frankly on the subject, and he had
shown the letter to one of the civilians, whose only remark had
been, ‘What cheek of a native to write like that.’ I warned him not
to try such tricks as the compromise twice; and he seemed quite
to admit that it was a shady business, and that nothing but Lord
Ripon’s immense popularity pulled him through. ‘Lord Ripon,’ he
said, ‘was very near going down to posterity in India as a traitor
instead of a benefactor.’

“We then talked about the Patna business, and he said inquiries
had been made; but I told him it was useless making them through
the civilians, and that Lord Ripon should send down one of his
own aides-de-camp--and I suggested Walter Pollen--to hear their
complaints. He promised as soon as they got back to Calcutta to
have the inquiry properly made. But I must insist further on this.
I got him also to take down Ragunath Rao’s name for Lord Ripon to
see him as he went back through Madras, and Mandlik’s at Bombay.
The latter, however, he already knew. I saw Trevor watching us.
He was sitting opposite, but could not hear what we were talking
about. Cordery, too, looks very uneasy. I don’t think Lord Ripon
has talked to him at all yet.

“After dinner Lord Ripon came to me and took me aside into an
inner room, and asked me my opinion as to whether the Nizam would
speak frankly to him about his wishes, as he considered that these
wishes ought to be the first consideration in appointing to the
Diwanship. I told him that it entirely depended on his own manner
towards the Nizam, and that if he took the Nizam by the arm,
and spoke kindly to him and reassured him, and told him that no
ill consequences would follow, and he would not be dethroned or
deported or otherwise punished, he no doubt would speak exactly
what he thought. I felt sure he had been intimidated by people
here (meaning Cordery), and would require encouragement. Here at
Hyderabad he was quite a different being from what Lord Ripon had
seen him at Calcutta. I had seen him looking frightened here, as
if afraid to speak. Lord Ripon then spoke about the difficulty
there was in finding any one to advise the new Diwan for his good.
All the English about him wanted money and things for themselves.
I said that it required somebody who really wished well to the
Hyderabad state, that I felt sure there would be no difficulty in
making things go well if the will was there. I could do it myself,
I was confident, if I only had time to devote to it. But who in
the world was there? I then told Lord Ripon about the university
scheme, and seeing him interested, said that I had hopes the Nizam
would make himself its patron--indeed, I believed he had the
intention of speaking to Lord Ripon about it--and hoped he would
give it his approval. Lord Ripon said he quite approved of it, and
thought it would do great good, and agreed with me that a religious
basis was essential to all education, and he should certainly
encourage the Nizam to proceed with it. He answered me, laughing,
that he acquitted me of all idea of preaching sedition. This is
very satisfactory.

“_4th Feb._--It struck me, during the night, that Moore would be
the man to make things go here, and I shall certainly propose it
to Lord Ripon, that he should be appointed special adviser to the
Diwan. At breakfast sat next to Primrose and Father Kerr, and
afterwards talked to Primrose about Lord Ripon’s coming interview
with the Nizam, and impressed upon him strongly the necessity of
reassuring the Nizam, for I was certain intimidation was exercised
on him by Cordery. I also explained my view of the action of the
Foreign Office with regard to Hyderabad, how they had feared Lord
Ripon might give back the Berar province, and so had connived at
misgovernment in order to make this impossible. The retention of
Berar was a cardinal point of policy with the Foreign Office, and
they did not scruple about the means. We were then interrupted by
Primrose being sent for by Lord Ripon, and while I was waiting till
this was over, the guard of honour and band arrived for the Nizam’s
visit, and we went back to our tent to be out of the way.

“Primrose told me to-day that he was in correspondence with Godley,
but very little with Hamilton, that he had been quite as averse
to the Egyptian War as Godley was: and I warned him that they
must not think of sending Indian troops against the Mahdi, as the
Mohammedans would be very indignant. (He said there was no chance
of that, and that it had been a great question in 1882 how the
Mohammedans would take the sending of troops.) But they had a great
respect for the Sultan as long as he appeared as their champion;
they would not listen to him if he went against them; they did
not care much for his spiritual claims, witness that they were
publishing my book in Urdu at Calcutta.

“The Nizam’s visit was announced by a salute of twenty-one guns,
and I hear from Walter Pollen that after the ceremony His Highness
had a long talk of over half an hour with the Viceroy, and came out
looking much excited; so I fancy he has told all his thoughts. At
luncheon were Bushir-ed-Dowlah and Salar Jung, and I sat next the
latter, and improved the occasion, and had a talk with him also
afterwards on the verandah. I told him of my conversation last
night with Lord Ripon, and assured him that the choice of a Diwan
would be left to the Nizam. This, he said, he had been told by
Mr. Durand on his way back from Calcutta. But he asked me several
times, and earnestly, ‘Are you sure Lord Ripon means well to us, to
the Hyderabad State?’ I told him I was sure of it, but not of the
Foreign Office. The Foreign Office and the Viceroy were two very
different things. ‘Oh yes,’ he said, ‘we know that. But are you
sure of Lord Ripon?’ I said: ‘Very sure, and I intend to propose to
him to appoint some Englishman, whose duty it will be to counsel
the Diwan, not in English, but in Hyderabad interests.’

“I then talked to him about the university, and he said the Nizam
would certainly take it up, but not till after the ceremonies.
He would not have time to think of it. But I urged on him very
strongly not to let the Nizam miss the opportunity of announcing
at least his intention to the Viceroy. He seemed surprised to hear
that Lord Ripon should have approved the scheme, but said, if that
was the case, the Nizam should certainly speak to him. I then gave
him some good advice. I said: ‘You are likely now to be made Diwan,
and so you will have, after the Nizam, the highest position of any
Mohammedan in India. If you aspire to lead the Mohammedan world
you must be careful not to offend their prejudices. You should
hold a middle course. The general of an army does not go forward
reconnoitring. He stays with the main body. This you must do. Be
careful not to be too European in your dress or thoughts, or at
any rate language, for this will give offence.’ He said: ‘It is
hard for one brought up as I have been.’ ‘But,’ I said, ‘you must
sacrifice something if you are to play a great political part.
Don’t at any rate throw yourself too entirely into the Aligarh
set.’ He said: ‘Oh, I don’t care about Seyd Ahmed. My father always
used to say he was a humbug. He cared only for display.’ I said:
‘I don’t want you to go so far as that, but be moderate and be

“I trust that Laik Ali may become Diwan, for, under good guidance
at starting, he may make a very good minister. I am sure he means
well, but he is a bit childish, and his manner is not quite so good
as one would wish. He has an abrupt way of talking, which strangers
might take for rudeness; some have, as I know. I noticed that
Cordery’s manner to him and Bushir-ed-Dowlah was not _empressé_.
Bushir-ed-Dowlah was in high spirits. Salar Jung has not told Rasul
Yar Khan of my arrival, giving as his reason that yesterday he,
Rasul Yar Khan, being Sadr es Sadur, was occupied all day with the
Nizam, praying with him on the occasion of his birthday. I feel
pretty sure, however, that there was some other reason, and hold
to my belief that he and the Nizam and Vikar-el-Omra were warned
against me in Calcutta, probably by Stewart Bailey. His manner
to-day was very cordial as in old times, but I noticed he seemed a
little uneasy, as if watching to see who might be watching us.

“Father Kerr sat at my other hand at lunch. He is sad, having just
received a telegram announcing his mother Lady Henry Kerr’s death,
whom I used to know so well years ago at Huntlyburn.

“We stayed quiet all the afternoon, and dined at the camp, as there
is a large official dinner at the Residency. I sat next to Mr.
Lambert, the head of the secret police, who said he had heard from
Primrose about the Patna affair, and was making investigations. I
gave him an exact narration of the thing, which he did not seem
to have had correctly; and he expressed unbounded astonishment
at it, as an incident the like of which had not occurred in his
twenty-one years’ experience. He would not hear of its being a
common thing for natives to be insulted on the railways, and seemed
even a little to doubt my accuracy. But I think I convinced him,
at any rate, about the particular incident. As an instance of
the contrary, he told me how Villayet Ali had written to him and
asked for a special compartment for himself and friends to go to
the Exhibition a little while before, and how he had willingly
written to the station master about it. But the tale seems to me to
prove, if anything, the danger natives run--or why should a special
compartment be needed?

“At half-past 9 o’clock we went to the Viceroy’s _levée_, and Lord
Ripon, as soon as he saw me, came to me rubbing his hands, and
said, ‘Well, I have had my talk with him [the Nizam], and I flatter
myself, at last, that he has told me everything.’ Lord Ripon did
not say precisely what this everything was, but I gathered from
him in our subsequent conversation, which lasted about a quarter
of an hour, that there had been some ‘eye-openers.’ ‘There is no
doubt either,’ he said, ‘about his wishes. He spoke them strongly
and decidedly; and my opinion clearly is that they ought to be
followed.’ I did not press to know whom it was the Nizam wished
for as Diwan, for I shall learn that later, but I feel no doubt
it is Salar Jung. I asked Lord Ripon, however, whether on the
whole he had been favourably impressed by the young Prince, and he
said: ‘Oh, very much so. He has ideas and opinions of his own. But
I told him things which I fancy he is not likely to hear again,
and which will be good for him.’ So I suppose he has given him a
thorough good talking to about his morals. Lord Ripon was anxious
to know, and asked me to find out if possible, what the Nizam’s own
impression of the interview had been, and I shall probably be able
to do so to-morrow.

“I then suggested to him my idea about an official adviser being
appointed to the Diwan, whoever he might be, with written
instructions to work in Hyderabad interests, not those merely of
the Indian Government; and I expressed my opinion strongly about
the Foreign Office policy in respect of the Berars. Lord Ripon
would not admit that I was correct in my view of the case, but
his protest was feebly made. The essential in any settlement of
the Hyderabad problem is to remember that the Resident cannot be
trusted to advise for good. What Lord Ripon said was: ‘Would not
this be introducing new Englishmen into Hyderabad? It seems to me
that there are too many already. I should like to make a clean
sweep of them all.’ I said: ‘By all means make a clean sweep.’ I
suggested, however, that Moore might be intrusted with the new
duty, as a man who really understood and sympathized with the
native races, and really wished them well.

“We were talking a quarter of an hour in this way, very much in
evidence, and I noticed poor Cordery watching, and Clerk once
even came up and interrupted our conversation. I don’t know what
they can all think of my position here as the Viceroy’s adviser,
in spite of the ‘Wind and the Whirlwind,’ and everything else.
Indeed, it is a singular one, and it shows how strangely politics
are managed here, and at home, too, for that matter, for I am going
about with a decree of exile from Egypt in my pocket, no more nor
less than if I was a proclaimed rebel.

“_5th Feb._--A day to be marked with white. We went quite early
into Hyderabad to the Clerks, where we had tea, and then went
on to the Chou Mahaila Palace, which is the old palace where
installations have always taken place, and where Mahbub Ali was
this morning installed. The city was a magnificent sight, crowded
with people and decked with flags, the people most of them sitting
on the ground, and even some of the soldiers on duty so seated,
as they used to be at Haïl. Everything was most orderly, with the
single exception of one man, probably an Arab, who seemed to have
been making a disturbance, for he had a sword drawn in his left
hand, and was being led away by four or five others. We arrived
at the same time as Cordery, and walked through the palace garden
to the open hall where the Durbars are held. Here the nobles were
assembling, and those officers of the English cantonments who had
received invitations, perhaps one hundred and fifty of each, the
natives occupying the right, the English the left of the thrones.
We had reserved seats, Anne’s close to the thrones, mine a little
way down, and I sat next to Lambert and close to Gorst. We had
an hour to wait, but we occupied it talking to Rasul Yar Khan,
Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami, and others of our friends, who were in fine
feather, for our balloon has gone up at last, and at 2 o’clock last
night Salar Jung was named Munir el Mulk and Diwan. The news began
to be whispered round, though it seemed too good to be true, for,
till the last moment, it had been believed that Cordery and the
Foreign Office would carry the day. But it was soon proved by the
arrival of the Peishkar, who came to take his seat next the thrones
but was bundled out of it, to his confusion, and made to take his
chair several places down. Poor old man, he seemed quite dazed, for
it was the first he had heard of his disgrace.

“There was a good deal of confusion, too, among the nobles, and C.
whispered to me that his Nawab, Bushir-ed-Dowlah, had fainted just
as he stepped into his carriage, the news being brought to him that
his chair had been put below Kurshid Jah’s, and so had gone home
to bed. But the triumph of the Salar Jung party was crowned when
he and Saadut Ali arrived with the Nizam, all three wearing yellow
turbans in sign of their alliance. Salar Jung, I must say, showed
considerable dignity and absence of visible elation; but the _coup
de théâtre_ to us who knew what lay behind the scenes was all the
more striking. The Nizam and Viceroy arrived together, and sat down
together on two chairs in front of the two equal thrones, and,
after some announcement made by Mr. Henderson, who did the duty of
herald, Lord Ripon made an excellent speech full of good advice and
piety, though I was a little disappointed that he did not allude
to the Nizam’s position as head of the Mohammedans of India, but
perhaps this was thought indiscreet. Lord Ripon alluded, however,
to old Salar Jung’s services to the State, and declared the policy
of the Indian Government to be that of peace and goodwill towards
the Nizam’s, and the encouragement of good government and progress.

“The speech affected me almost to tears, and it seemed to affect
the Nizam, whose answer, drawn up for him by Seyd Huseyn, was
almost inaudible. He behaved, however, with considerable dignity
during the rather trying quarter of an hour when, seated on his
throne by Lord Ripon’s side and girt by that nobleman with a new
diamond-hilted sword, put on on the wrong side, he waited to be
photographed, for such was the banal termination. Swords also were
given to Salar Jung, Peishkar, and Kurshid Jah, the latter’s with
an ivory hilt, reminding one of a large paper cutter, perhaps
lest he should go home and commit suicide with it, for he must
have been very angry. I hear the poor Peishkar was so utterly
confounded that he walked home immediately after the ceremony
without waiting for his carriage, and was picked up somewhere in
the street by his servants, having lost his way. But this may be
an exaggeration. Lord Ripon has a pleasant voice speaking, but his
style is that of a sermon, which, however, suited the occasion, and
all the Hyderabadis, except the disgraced nobles, seemed delighted
with him. I believe this appointment of Salar Jung to be generally
popular. But Rasul Yar Khan told me there were some who were not
best pleased.

“Then we drove back to Mrs. Clerk’s, where the
Commissioner-in-Chief and Sir Frederick Roberts were also invited
to luncheon. Sir Donald Stewart is a dear old fogey, but with wits
enough to appreciate Colonel Moore, and Sir Frederick is a gallant
officer of the unostentatious, strictly professional type. I like
them both. We stayed there the afternoon, and went in the evening
to a great banquet at the Palace, in the new part of it, which is
extremely handsome and built in excellent taste only about twenty
years ago by an Italian architect. The illuminations, both in the
Palace and in the city, and for miles round, surpass anything I
ever saw attempted in Europe, even at Paris in the palmy days of
the Empire. There were at least two hundred guests at this dinner,
which was held in a very long hall. Anne was taken in by the
Viceroy, but I had to shift for myself, and was fortunate enough
to get hold of Seyd Ahmed, the Persian attaché and translator of
the Foreign Office, an Afghan with whom I had a most instructive
conversation. He had been educated by some missionaries at
Peshawar, and is to a certain extent denationalized, but is a good
Sunni, and seems still fond of his own people. He was employed
in that mission to Shere Ali which was refused admittance to
Ali Musjid. I asked him his candid opinion about the Afghan War,
and he said he could not approve it either at the time or now,
though Shere Ali had brought it on himself by intriguing with
the Russians. He said, moreover, that any Mohammedans who might
have pretended to me that they approved the war were hypocrites,
for all were strongly against it. The Mohammedans of India were,
nevertheless, loyal as a body, though not all. They were so from
interest. He lamented the quarrels which divided them, and was
sure I was doing a good work in bringing them together. If they
only were united, and knew their strength, the Government would be
obliged to do something for them. But they were far from united.
He did not approve of Seyd Ahmed of Aligarh, though far from a
bigot. He had been brought up an utter bigot till he went to
school at Peshawar, but now his ideas were changed. He also told
me he had travelled with Major Napier in Persia, and corroborated
much of what Malkum Khan had told me of the Persians. He was of
opinion that they were doomed to fall to Russia, they were so much
diminished in numbers, only three to five millions in a territory
as large as India. Afghanistan was far more prosperous. He would
not hear of his countrymen being treacherous, except to Englishmen,
who they thought were spies, or in cases of blood feuds among
themselves. He thought I might travel safely among them, and the
best way to go would be through Persia. He had heard Malkum Khan’s
history, much as I had heard it from Malkum Khan himself. I met
Vikar-el-Omra after dinner, who seemed in his old friendly mood.
I asked him how he liked the new political arrangement, and he
said he thought he did, but Salar Jung was very young to be Diwan.
I believe his idea had been a council of seven, with himself as
one of them. So he is naturally a little disappointed. I told him
I thought the success or non-success of Salar Jung would depend
mainly on the kind of advice given him by the Resident. We slept at

“_6th Feb._--A telegram from Ferid-ed-Din begging me to
congratulate the Nizam in the name of the Mohammedans of Allahabad
and the North-West Provinces, and also a letter signed by some
hundred of the chief Mohammedans of Patna expressing their
confidence in me. I have written to Salar Jung with the first
message to beg him to remind the Nizam of his promise to speak to
the Viceroy about the university, for it appears that Lord Ripon
told Anne he had expected the Nizam to broach the subject. But
they seem lukewarm about it, and, if they don’t take it up more
seriously than they seem now inclined to do, I shall wash my hands
of them, and look to Lucknow as a better place. It would ruin the
scheme to establish it here without thorough and determined support.

“We went to a review with Sir Frederick Roberts, and had a good
deal of talk about Egypt and the Mahdi. There is a telegram to-day
announcing a new victory and Baker’s flight from Tokat. It seems,
too, certain that some at least of the Khedive’s troops went over
to the Mahdi. This will seal the fate of Khartoum, I hope, before
Gordon arrives there. But the military here all count on a campaign
with Indian troops. I warned them, however, that such an adventure
would be most unpopular with the Mohammedans of India, and with all
classes of natives.

“We lunched with the Viceroy, but everybody was busy with the
mail which goes this evening, and my only conversation was with
Cordery about architecture. I feel that he is very angry with me,
and no wonder. I hope Lord Ripon won’t leave him here. It is not in
human nature that, having been foiled in his plans and forced to
recognize Salar Jung as Minister, he should cordially support him,
and less than cordial support will not do.

“There was another great banquet this evening, at the Bolarum mess
rooms, given by Cordery to the Viceroy and the Nizam, and before
it Lord Ripon again took me aside, and asked if I was satisfied
with the arrangements he had made, and if I had found out what the
Nizam really thought of the lecture he had given him. I said I was
sure it had had the best effect, and later I made certain of it
by asking the Nizam himself, whom I found exceedingly nice about
this, and about the university, which he seems really interested
in. He did not however, as I had expected him to do, speak to Lord
Ripon about it at the dinner; but he will to-morrow, at a Council
which they are to have at the Residency, and he has told Anne
that he wants to have the university here near the town, perhaps
at Serinagar. He seemed also immensely pleased at the interest
taken in him by the Mohammedans of India, and if he is encouraged
he is sure to go on well. I told Lord Ripon all this again after
dinner, and again proposed appointing an official adviser to the
Diwan, independent of the Resident, and Lord Ripon said there was
certainly something in the idea, and I am to have a private talk
with him to-morrow.

“Everything, therefore, is going on wheels. Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami,
however, with whom I had a long talk, says the Government of India
will never consent to such a plan, and asked me besides whom they
could possibly trust to advise them for their good. I mentioned
Moore, and he said he knew him and had a high opinion of him, but
the Government would never consent. I told him Lord Ripon was
capable of doing many things the Government of India did not like,
and I have some hope the idea may be taken up. Otherwise we must
get rid of Cordery. It seems Lord Ripon is likely now to stay out
his time in India, which is a good thing, as it will give things a
start. I told Seyd Huseyn I was sure, if they were going badly, the
Nizam might write to Lord Ripon, or perhaps it would be better, on
smaller matters, Seyd Huseyn should write to Primrose. I was glad
to see Seyd Huseyn at this banquet of Cordery’s, as it shows his
position is re-established. It is just two months since Cordery
announced his intention of exiling Seyd Huseyn, and, in fact, gave
him notice to quit. Of course Cordery is angry.

“Colonel Dobbs, whom I sat next to at the dinner table, declares
the Foreign Office will not allow any official proceedings to be
taken against the ‘Statesman’ for its libels, but that Abd-el-Hak
will probably bring a private action. He also talked about the
railway scheme, which he defended, but not, as I thought, very
successfully. He said he thought there would be no greater loss
than at present over the old railway, and it might be found to pay.
He is a director of the old line, and attributed its nonpayment to
the action of the Indian Government, which for political purposes
had insisted, in opposition to Sir Salar Jung, on having the line
run through an unremunerative country. All these admissions are of
value from a man avowedly hostile to Salar Jung. Geary, editor of
the ‘Bombay Gazette,’ sat at my other hand, and we had a deal of

“In talking to Lord Ripon I mentioned my disappointment at his
having made no allusion to the fact of the Nizam’s being the head
of the Mohammedans in India, but he said ‘We didn’t dare do that.
We had to remember that though a Mohammedan prince, he has many
more Hindu than Mohammedan subjects.’ I did not press it further.

“_7th Feb._--We spent the morning at the Residency, looking over
some colts which Ali Abdallah had brought for Sir Frederick
Roberts’s inspection, and after luncheon I had a long talk with
the General about Egypt, especially as to our military position
there. I asked him whether it was not a mistake to occupy a country
against the will of its inhabitants, instead of seeking their
friendship. And he said certainly it was elementary in military
matters to hold as little disaffected territory as possible. This
was the mistake which had been made in Afghanistan. It had been his
idea there to leave the Afghans to choose their own ruler, which
would have been the best way of gaining their friendship. But the
authorities had decided on having a man of their own choosing, and
they had put up Abd-el-Rahman, and were now obliged to subsidize
him heavily to keep him on his throne. I told him no amount of
subsidies would keep Tewfik on his. He then asked me why Arabi had
not defended the Canal, and I told him that it was from the idea
he had that England would come to terms with him, and he did not
want to offend all Europe. He said they would have come to terms if
Arabi had won the battle of Kassassin instead of losing it. He then
observed that he considered Egypt a very difficult country for us
to hold, that it could be easily invaded from Syria. But to this
I would not altogether agree, as there was only one road by which
troops could possibly march, and that was not an easy one. I told
him, however, I considered that the Power which wished to hold the
Suez Canal should certainly look to its position in Syria, and we
then discussed the best line of defence against Russia. I told him
I thought the line from Scanderum to the Euphrates the shortest,
and therefore the best, and I drew him a sketch map of the hills
and rivers. He said he had been consulted about the possibility
of holding Diarbekr against the Russians, but had come to the
conclusion that it would be almost impossible now that Kars was
gone. To this I quite agreed. Another advantage, too, of the line
between Scanderum and Aleppo is that it fairly marks the division
of the Arabic and Turkish speaking populations. I fancy, however,
another line of defence could be found further south if this one
would not do. I like Sir Frederick. He is a man without pretence,
and I have no doubt a real good soldier.

“In the afternoon we drove to the Mir Alum Tank in procession
behind the Viceroy, much, as we believe, to Cordery’s disgust,
for he raised difficulties about the carriage, and certainly
discouraged our going. But Anne had been particularly invited by
the Nizam himself, and the Viceroy supports us openly. So we went.
The Nizam was very amiable to us, and Salar Jung asked me to stay
on a day or two and come to breakfast with him, and talk things
over. We steamed round and round the lake for an hour, and then had
our photographs taken in a group, where I figure between Salar Jung
and Cordery--I have no doubt to his still greater disgust--just
behind the Viceregal chair--Anne, and Mr. and Mrs. Grant Duff
seated with the Nizam and Lord Ripon;--Vikar-el-Omra, Saadut Ali,
Mohammed Ali Bey, and a certain grouping of aides-de-camp behind,
one of whom was Walter, make up the party. This will be historical.

“We dined at the Residency, but went to bed instead of to the ball
given at the Bolarum mess, for we are really at the end of our

“_8th Feb._--This morning, after breakfast, Lord Ripon sent for
me, and we talked over the Patna business. I read over to him the
strongest passages of the letters I had received about it, and
suggested that it would be far more soothing to their outraged
feelings if he sent one of his own aides-de-camp (_e.g._, Walter
Pollen), than if he had the enquiry conducted through the regular
channels. He promised to consider this, and, I think, will act in
accordance. Next, I asked him to see Ragunath Rao when at Madras,
and he promised to do so, and he took his address, and I warned
him he was not in favour with the officials. Then I spoke to him
about Gordon, who is reported in this morning’s telegram to have
been captured by the Mahdi’s people; and I told him if it should be
found necessary, I believed I could go to the Mahdi without much
danger, and I told him, under secrecy, of the Sheykh I had met who
was in communication with the Mahdi, and who, I believed, would go
with me. But he said he feared the Government at home looked upon
me with too much disfavour to think of making use of me, though for
his part he should not mind recommending it, if asked his opinion.

“Lastly, Lord Ripon talked to me, though I did not begin it, about
the position here. He asked me to speak to Salar Jung, first, about
the finances of the country, and urge him to declare the whole
deficit, or floating debt, at once. He had reason to believe it was
a large one. Next, to recommend him not to quarrel with Abd-el-Hak,
who, he told me, was strongly supported by the India Office, and
was too clever a man not to be dangerous if neglected. It would be
better--though I was not to deliver this as a message--to provide
him with a place. It would be only prudent to shut Abd-el-Hak’s
mouth. The railway scheme was powerfully supported at home, and
he believed there was some exaggeration in the charge it would be
on the Nizam’s Government. He thought it might pay. At least it
was not certain to be a loss. I did not, however, understand from
Lord Ripon that the scheme was approved beyond the possibility of
disavowal, though Seyd Huseyn, whom I saw later in the afternoon,
seemed to think it was so. Lastly, I was to assure Salar Jung
that as long as he, Lord Ripon, remained in India, he would see
that he was properly supported. What might happen after his term
of office was over he could not say, but they would have a year,
or thereabouts, to establish things on a firm basis, and ought
then to be able to take care of themselves. I asked whether,
supposing things were again going badly between Salar Jung and
the Residency, he might write to Lord Ripon. But Lord Ripon said,
‘You had better not give them any such message. They are pretty
sure to write without your suggesting it, and I shall keep my eye
on the Hyderabad State, and shall be sure to hear if anything is
going on wrong. I am glad I have been here, because now I know
something of the people and the place, and I shall always take a
deep interest in its welfare.’ I asked him if the Nizam had spoken
about the university, and he said he had. He had expressed his
intention in general terms, and apparently without understanding it
much, of founding a university, and he, Lord Ripon, had approved,
remarking only that he must count the cost, and not embark in any
scheme which should burden the finances. I told him we wanted his
patronage more than his money, and I promised to see that he was
not unfairly pressed to contribute. Then I thanked Lord Ripon for
his kindness to me, and took my leave.

“The party at the Residency broke up to-day, the Viceroy and Grant
Duff going back to Madras, and we to the Clerks at Chanderghat.
The Commissioner-in-Chief went yesterday, and Sir F. Roberts goes
to Bombay. Cordery stays a day or two at Bolarum, and goes away,
he told us, in April or May, to England for three months leave.
This means that he will not return, and there is talk of Henderson
as his successor. I don’t fancy him. _C’est un grand sec_--the
ideal of the office man--not at all what is wanted. We lunched
with Seyd Huseyn Bilgrami, who is now practically Minister, and
had a long talk about the situation. He said he would certainly
draw up a financial statement showing all the deficit, and that he
intended to make it his rule to be quite straightforward in all his
dealings, on the principle that honesty was the best policy. I told
him, of course, that I approved, and that he must remember that the
Hyderabad State existed on sufferance, supported only by public
opinion at home. The policy of the Indian Foreign Office was one of
encroachment, and, but for English opinion, they would annex every
independent State; nor would public opinion protect them, except
they showed themselves worthy of protection, I said: ‘In all your
dealings show yourselves honester than the Indian Government. It
is not saying much or asking you to do much, but this will be your
best protection.’ About the railway he seemed to think there was
no help for it; but he did not fancy the idea of having dealings
with Abd-el-Hak. Abd-el-Hak was a desperate intriguer, and should
be suppressed; he was not so clever as people thought; the letters
he wrote were not his own; he was incapable of writing anything
worth reading. They must make the best they could of a bad job
with the railway; it had been imposed upon them with a view to
ruining the State; it could not possibly pay more than its working
expenses, and there would be a charge for twenty years on the State
of £200,000, a tenth of the revenue. It certainly is an outrageous
business. About the university he seemed to think there would be
much practical difficulty, though he decidedly wished to have it
here when I said that we did not absolutely depend upon the Nizam’s
help. He promised, however, to read over the draft, and talk about
it again on Sunday, when I am to have a conference with Salar Jung.
Unless they take the thing up more warmly than this, I am inclined
to think we had better look elsewhere.

“We had a discussion at luncheon with his brother and Cheragh Ali
about the Mahdi, one or two being opposed to him on the ground
that he was adverse to the Ottoman Empire, and on the more general
one that ‘If he is not the Mahdi, he is an impostor; if he is,
we ought all to join him’--a thing nobody seemed willing to do.
The majority, with Seyd Huseyn, however, agreed that he was a
Mohammedan representing Mohammedan interests, and so ought to be
supported, and this is very strongly my own view. Dined at the
Clerks’, and went to bed early.

“_9th Feb._--Rasul Yar Khan came and spent the morning with us,
talking over the university scheme, which he warmly approves, but
warns me that it runs great risk of failing in the working out,
and would have me keep the management in my own hands. But this I
cannot do. He says it must anyhow be independent of the Government
here. He will do all he can for it in any case. Also a poet, who
calls himself the Bulbul of the Deccan, called with a complimentary
ode in the Nizam’s honour in English and Persian. He says he can
write poetry in seven languages, but his English verse is funny. He
travelled, as a boy, with Sir something Binney in Persia, and is
now Court poet here.

“Later we went to the races, and I had a few words with Salar Jung
about the university. I told him, unless he was prepared to take
it up energetically we should look elsewhere than to Hyderabad.
The people of the north were determined to have a university, and
if not here, would have it at Lucknow or Delhi. He spoke, however,
strongly about it, promising to give it all his support, and quite
admitted that the advantage received by the Hyderabad State would
be as great as any it could give. I told him we did not need the
Nizam’s money, but his patronage, on account of his great name. He
talked of Kalbarga or Aurungabad as suitable places, but Rasul Yar
Khan is for Golconda, as being nearer to Hyderabad and containing
plenty of buildings. We are, however, to dine to-morrow with Salar
Jung, and discuss the whole matter, and the day after at a farewell
dinner with the Nizam. If I can bring this to a good end I shall
have done enough for one winter. I doubt if ever a university was
imagined, planned, preached, and accepted before in six weeks from
its first conception. This, however, is only gathering in a harvest
I have ploughed and sowed for, and watered with my tears, for
almost as many years.

“I have spoken to Clerk about it, and he is strongly in favour of
Aurungabad, where he says there are heaps of old buildings, and he
introduced me to Mir Abdu es Salaam (Ferdunji, the Parsi Talukdar
is the next most important man at Aurungabad), chief Subar there,
who happens to be at Hyderabad, and who invited us to stay with him
at Aurungabad. Dined with Seyd Huseyn. He showed me, before dinner,
a long telegram dictated by Cordery, which has been sent to the
‘Times of India,’ and of which Seyd Huseyn has obtained this secret
copy. It explains the nature of the new council here, which Cordery
seems to have invented as a fresh dodge for pulling the strings. It
also says the railway scheme is to be pushed on, and explains the
reasons which induce him and Trevor to take leave this summer.

“_10th Feb._--Another visit from the Bulbul, who has brought a copy
of Arabic verses composed in our honour, and requests that we will
forward to Lord Ripon a rhymed address in seven languages. I have
corrected his English version, purged it, that is, of its most
absurd blunders, but it still remains a highly amusing composition.
He brought his son with him, a bright boy of fourteen.

“Seyd Huseyn came next, and we talked the university scheme over
fully. He foresaw great difficulties of administration, which I
have no doubt he does not exaggerate. But I think his real doubt
was as to the reality of the support I am counting on in the
north. This I was able to remove by showing him the addresses I
had received, especially from his own town, Lucknow, which bear
the signatures of all the great Mulvis. I put it, however, plainly
to him whether he was prepared to support the scheme thoroughly,
as otherwise I should not risk establishing it at Hyderabad, and
he promised to do his very best, especially when I had explained
to him the political bearing it would have, and the influence
it would bring to the Hyderabad State. We agreed, therefore, to
act together in this matter, and it is only now a question of
details. He does not fancy Golconda, saying it is unhealthy, and
that the buildings there could not be given. He thinks Serinagar
far better, but all would have to be built there from the ground.
I fancy he would like to have the thing under his own eye and
management, as he was formerly professor at the Lucknow College.
I do not, however, want the university to be too entirely under
Government control here, as one never knows who may succeed to
power. A Mohammedan university, unless guaranteed by charter, would
run a poor chance in the Peishkar’s Hindu hands. Mohammed Kamil
then looked in and spoke of the enthusiasm there was among the
Mohammedans here for Lord Ripon, because he had saved the State
from destruction.

“Lastly came Mademoiselle Gaignaud, the Salar Jung’s French
governess, who told us a number of extraordinary things connected
with Hyderabad life and politics. The late Sir Salar was the best
and noblest of men, never said an unkind word or did a dishonest
action in his life. All, even his enemies, respected him; and the
old Emir el Kebir, the bitterest of them all, sent for him on
his death-bed, and recommended his sons to his care. I asked her
about Sir Salar’s own death, and she told me she had no doubt in
the world that he was poisoned. He had not complained of anything
till 9 o’clock on the Wednesday evening, the evening of the water
party at the Mir Alum tank, and he died at a quarter past seven on
the Thursday. On the Tuesday he had dined at the Residency. The
symptoms were not those of cholera. There was no vomiting, except
such as he himself caused by putting his fingers down his throat.
He complained only of a burning in his throat and chest, and great
thirst. After death his colour remained unchanged. Of the two
English doctors, one said it was not, the other, Beaumont, said it
was cholera, but no post mortem examination was made. She drew a
fearful scene of the confusion in the Zenana on the occasion, and
of the old minister being plied with potions mixed by two holy men,
who wrote words in Arabic and Persian and Sanskrit on leaves, and
made an infusion of them, the English doctors being only called in
after 3 o’clock in the afternoon, when there was no more hope, and
his pulse was gone. A crowd of women friends and relations, eight
hundred of them, had collected in the house, and when they heard of
the Minister’s death, for he died in the outer part of the house,
they shrieked, and cursed, and screamed, and rolled upon the floor,
tearing their clothes, breaking their bracelets, and behaving like
mad creatures, nobody fully recovering her senses for a week.

“We dined to-night with Salar Jung. It was a merry party, no
English but ourselves and young Hugh Gough who was brought up at
school with them. Rasul Yar Khan was there, and Seyd Ali Shustari
the poet, who made great fun of his rival, the Bulbul, and the son
of a late minister of Oude, and Mohammed Ali Bey, and half a dozen
intimates. At dinner there was a deal of fun made about the recent
political crisis, the poor old Peishkar’s trouble at finding his
chair changed, and his wandering in the streets afterwards, and
Kurshid Jah’s disappointment, and Trevor’s discomfiture. Trevor
knew nothing till the moment of the installation, nor was anything
absolutely settled till 7 o’clock that morning, when the chairs
were changed. Salar Jung told us he had had the management of
everything in the city himself, down to the _menu_ of the banquet,
and had planned all the illuminations with his own hand, and the
whole had cost no more than 22,000 rupees, while Kurshid Jah had
spent, I think he said, four lakhs on what was done outside the

“After dinner I had a long private talk with Salar Jung, first of
all giving him Lord Ripon’s messages and recommendations about the
finances, about Abd-el-Hak, and about the promise he made him of
support. All these he promised to respond to, and the more readily
as Lord Ripon had already spoken to him about them, having taken
an opportunity in the train after I saw him. Salar Jung spoke in
the warmest terms of Lord Ripon, and I have explained to him the
situation as regards English politics thoroughly, and he promises
to let me know if new troubles arise, as also to give me copies
of certain documents which it may be advisable to make public. He
promised to follow the advice about Abd-el-Hak, and to place on
record a temperate protest against the railway scheme, leaving the
whole responsibility for the injury done to the Hyderabad State on
English Government shoulders. We then discussed the character of
the principal English statesmen; and he told me that Lytton had
been especially kind to him when in England, and he thought very
likely he might now regret the harm he had plotted to his father. I
told him, however, to trust none of them; and I don’t think he will
be easily taken in, either by Goschen or Dufferin, should either
come as Viceroy to India.

“About the university he is now, I can see, in earnest; he promised
to subscribe personally, and also on the part of the State. But I
cautioned him to be moderate about the latter. He also considers
Kalbarga as decidedly the best place, as there is a fine old
mosque there, recently restored by his father, and plenty of old
buildings which we can have. He promises that the Nizam shall write
me, without delay, such an answer to my letter to him as we can
publish, so as to start the thing; and to push it on with all his
might during the next year, while Lord Ripon is still in India. He
will write to Kalbarga announcing our arrival on Tuesday. This is
by far the most satisfactory talk I have had yet with Salar Jung.

“I see in the papers that it is a false report about Gordon, so I
hope he may yet get my letter in time, and take my advice. Things,
however, are looking very like a new war.

“_11th Feb._--We had several visitors to-day, the Bulbul and his
son, who brought a poem in our honour, and Seyd Ali Shustari, who
brought another poem, and laughed at the Bulbul’s. We had a long
discussion with him about the Mahdi, who, he said, could not be
the real Mahdi because there had not been seven years of famine
immediately before his appearance; besides, he was to come suddenly
out of the sand in Hejaz, and to be an Arab. This last, however,
I assured him he was, and he agreed that at least he was Hami el
Muslemin, if not Mahdi, and chuckled greatly over the successive
victories against Hicks, Moncrieff, and Baker.

“Mohammed Kamil came to make arrangements for me to make a speech
to the Mohammedans, but there is not time to do the thing properly,
and besides Cordery might interfere, so we did not agree to it. But
they are all to write me a letter which I will answer. Then Rasul
Yar Khan, whom I urged to get up an address of thanks to Lord Ripon
for having saved the State of Hyderabad from ruin, and several
English people.

“I had a long talk with Clerk about the university, and he promised
to do all he can to help it on. He thinks Kalbarga will do very
well as its site, though he likes Aurungabad better. Salar Jung has
written a note promising the Nizam’s answer for to-morrow, and he
has telegraphed to the officials at Kalbarga to order all attention
to be paid us to-morrow when we stop. Sabapathy, from Bellari,
came, too, with Seyd Ali Bilgrami and others, and Mirza Agha Khan,
the Nizam’s Persian tutor, whose employment seems over, as he talks
of going to England for three years. He certainly belonged to the
Kurshid Jah faction.

“We dined at the Palace, the Purani, where the Nizam has now
installed himself with his mother and grandmother and one wife, the
mother of his son and two daughters. There were several Englishmen
and women of his suite at table, and for the first time in history,
wine was served. Of course the Nizam drank none, but it was an
innovation of his own devising, and not, as I think, a happy one.
The presence of the English prevented any lively conversation, and
I think the Nizam was rather sleepy, as he had been up and at work
since sunrise. Salar Jung seems to have put his shoulder to the
wheel in earnest, and if they only go on as they have begun, all
will go well. We bade good-bye to them all, and the Nizam promised
to send us his photographs, and Salar Jung, what is more important,
the letter, and then we went home.

“_12th Feb._--It is five months to-day since we left Crabbet,
and now we have our faces turned homewards. We went by train to
Kalbarga, Rasul Yar Khan accompanying us as before as far as the
second station. Henderson, the secret policeman, was in the train,
and we had some conversation with him about Hyderabad affairs, and
especially about the railway scheme, which he thinks will pay, at
least in a few years time. I asked him what it was that had made
our Government at home press on the scheme as it had done, and he
said he ‘supposed it was the Baring interest.’ This reminds me that
in recording my conversation with Salar Jung on Sunday, I have not
given the whole of his views about this railway scheme, and his
father’s connection with it. It would seem that when Lord Ripon
restored amicable relations with the minister at Simla, he gave
him a definite promise that, if all went well, he would restore
the Berar provinces to the Nizam as soon as the Prince should come
of age. This became known to the Foreign Office, and it is without
doubt the cause of all the trouble that has since happened.

“Young Salar Jung is strongly of opinion that the railway scheme
was pushed on with the distinct object of disordering the Hyderabad
finances, and his father seems to have been well aware of its
dangerous nature, though he played with it probably in order to
propitiate the Indian Foreign Office, for he said to Clerk the
day after agreeing to the first negotiations, ‘I have put my foot
I know into the serpent’s mouth; but I shall always be able to
withdraw it.’ It is, however, distinctly denied by all who knew him
that he ever really approved the scheme, or intended to carry it
through. The history of how it has been pushed forward by Cordery
since his death is so scandalous that it is impossible to believe
he should have been acting without orders. He has told me enough
himself to prove that this was the case, and, although the Foreign
Office missed their object of fully ruining the Hyderabad State,
they have succeeded partially. It is beyond a question that had
Cordery been able to persuade Lord Ripon to put off the Nizam’s
coming of age for two years, and so prolonged the Regency, the
finances would have been ruined past redemption. As it is, they
have succeeded in this, that Lord Ripon with all his goodwill has
not been able to keep his promise about the Berars, which will
still remain as the perquisite of the Indian Civil Service. Cordery
will leave Hyderabad, but his zeal will be rewarded elsewhere, and
Lord Ripon dares not disgrace him. I could not have believed these
things if they had not happened under my own eyes, and if Cordery
had not himself shown me so much of his hand.

“At Kalbarga we were met by Kader Bey, the chief Talukdar, and
Rustemji and Enait Ali, his subordinates, anglicized Indians all,
and well informed, though uninteresting. With them we visited,
in the dusk of the evening, the fort and mosque of Kalbarga, a
splendid place which we at once decided would do in every respect
for the university.

“_13th Feb._--Went out at sunrise to visit villages, and put our
usual questions. They are distinctly more flourishing than nearly
any we have visited, and Rustemji, who is by no means a small
believer in English systems, declares they are not exceptionally
so. In one village we, for the first time, received the answer that
‘Nobody was in debt for they had enough to live upon.’ Neither do
they complain much of the salt tax, though salt is dearer here
than in Bellari, only saying that it used to be cheaper, that
is, twelve seers instead of nine to the Halli Sicca rupee. The
Hyderabad Government charged five per cent. over and above the
English Government price. The assessment is about thirty per cent.
on the gross produce, at which figure, too, Rustemji puts the
Bombay assessment. The seed corn he calculates at from fifteen to
twenty per cent., but a villager we asked put it at one in twelve.
I strongly advised these revenue men to advocate a reduction of the
assessment, which they agreed would bring ryots in from British
territory, and pay in the end. They thought fifty years assessments
would pay, too, on these lines.

“Spent the day in the bungalow as it was very hot, and at half past
4 o’clock went on to Bombay, after having instructed two of the
Mulvis of Kalbarga in my ideas, and gained their support for the

  _N.B._--The following is the account given me by an Indian
  gentleman in whom I have confidence, of the final act of the
  long official intrigue here described at Hyderabad, which had
  for its object the permanent retention of the Berar provinces by
  the Government of India: Twenty years after Lord Ripon’s visit,
  another viceregal visit was paid to Hyderabad, and the Nizam
  was pressed by Lord Curzon at the close of an entertainment at
  the palace to accord him a perpetual lease of the Provinces
  for the Indian Government, and the Nizam, in deference to his
  guest, verbally consented. In the morning, however, he would
  have recalled his promise, and it was only on compulsion, and on
  threat of deposition, that he signed the treaty laid before him
  as a binding document by the Resident. The form of a lease was
  chosen to evade Lord Ripon’s honest assurances at the time of the
  installation, and there are many precedents for the subterfuge.
  The Nizam, my informant added, refused for four days to take food
  after this occurrence.



                                                       “_14th Feb._

“Arrived at Bombay at 11 o’clock. I see the ‘Bombay Gazette’ has
published the Patna letter, and there is important news from Egypt.
Sinkat has fallen to the Mahdi, and Mr. Gladstone has ordered 4,000
English troops to the Red Sea. Next we shall hear that Khartoum has
fallen and Gordon has been killed, and then there will be a regular
Soudan expedition on the scale of the Abyssinian one. I shall
protest against the employment of Indian troops.”

We spent the next few days mostly in the Arab stables with
Abd-el-Rahman, Eid el Temini, and other dealers from Nejd,
arranging for the taking of horses to England for the intended Arab
race at Newmarket. It resulted in our taking back four with us to

“_18th Feb._--No letter has come from the Nizam, so I am writing
again to get one. They are really the most aggravating people to
deal with. A vote of censure is expected in England, and if the
Ministry go out of office Lord Ripon will follow, and there will be
an end of the university and everything else. Gordon has arrived at
Khartoum, and has issued a proclamation announcing the slave trade
to be henceforth free. This is in accordance with a conversation
I had with him last year, for I remember well his admitting that,
in spite of all, he had done more harm than good by his crusade
against the traffic. The only point indeed we differed on was as to
the necessity of retaining Khartoum for Egypt. I have always been
for limiting Egypt to its old frontier at Assouan, and abolishing
slavery in Lower Egypt, and encouraging its abolition elsewhere.
But the Anti-Slave Trade Association does not want slavery
abolished any more than a huntsman wants to abolish foxes. Their
livelihood depends too entirely on it.

“We spent the afternoon at the stables with Abd-el-Rahman Minni and
Eid el Temini, and arranged with the latter that he should go with
us next winter to Nejd, starting from Jerusalem and travelling by
Kheybar to Aneyzeh. He is himself of the Harb Tribe, but he knows
them all, and we could go to the Ateybeh, who are now in high
feather, having beaten Ibn Rashid and the Shammar several times.
The son of Saoud has joined, and is living with them, declaring
that he will not go back to Riad until Ibn Rashid is destroyed. He
is on good terms now with his uncle Abdallah, but remains with the
Bedouins. Abd-el-Rahman will give us letters to them all, and he
says there would be no danger or difficulty in going to Riad. They
would all be delighted to see us. So, therefore, let it be. We need
to see the desert again, and we need to visit Medina.

“_19th Feb._--Had luncheon at Parel with the Governor, Sir James
Fergusson, whom I remember in old days. He is a good fellow of
the old Tory type, believing that all is for the best in the best
of possible worlds, and firmly convinced that the Anglo-Indian
administration is worked perfectly by high-minded and disinterested
men, having the welfare of the natives at heart. He himself
undoubtedly has, but I cannot think he knows all that happens
under his Government. Talking of the Mahdi, he quoted his own head
_chuprassi_ as having told him that the man in Africa could not be
he. He admitted, however, that the forest conservancy had been a
great evil, and was making the hillmen very angry. The ryots on all
other points were highly delighted at our rule. He would not hear
of any danger of a revolution, because seven years ago a Mahratta
Brahmin had been discovered trying to excite rebellion, and in his
diary had been found complaints of the people being as dull as
stones to his preaching. The assessment everywhere in Bombay was
low, the people everywhere but in the hills and at Poonah were well
affected, and he thought a war with the Mahdi would be popular.
This is possibly true to some extent in the city of Bombay, because
war would bring wealth in the shape of contracts and employment.
I told him frankly my views, and he was at pains to convince me
that they were wrong. He has asked us to stay with him a few days
in Government House before we go. To the races later, where we
found Mohammed Ali Rogay and Ali Bey the Turkish Consul. They will
dine with us to-morrow. Mr. Gladstone states in Parliament that he
disbelieves Gordon’s having proclaimed free slave trade.

“_20th Feb._--Wrote letters all the morning and then went to call
on Prince Agha Khan, where I met a Persian Mulvi of repute, and
had a long talk about the Mahdi. This reverend gentleman would
not hear of his being the real Mahdi, who, of course, ought to be
a Shiah, but they seemed to think him better than English rule
in Egypt. I could not get the Prince to give a decided opinion
one way or the other. His father was head of a sect in Persia,
and was driven out with some thousands of his followers, and they
settled at Bombay, where he was considered to the day of his death
a saintly personage. His son inherits something of his position,
and is visited by many devotees from Persia, but he is inclined
to worldly interests, and thinks a great deal about horse racing.
He showed me his stud, and I am glad to say has agreed to send his
best horse Kuchkolla to Newmarket for the Arab race.

“Mohammed Ali Rogay and Ali Bey came to dine with us. We discussed
the condition of Turkey, the Sultan, and the prospect in Egypt. Ali
Bey is of opinion that the fortune of Islam is bound up with the
maintenance of the Ottoman Empire, but he would see a new system
introduced into the administration, for the Mohammedan population
was dying out. ‘There are no young men in the villages,’ he said,
‘none but old ones left.’ I could not, however, get anything more
definite out of him than a suggestion that the personal power of
the Sultan should be curtailed, and the Government intrusted to a
Council, that the official language should be Arabic instead of
Turkish, and that the revenue collected in the provinces should be
spent in the provinces.

“_22nd Feb._--Gordon’s proclamation in favour of the slave trade
has been fully confirmed, and Gladstone’s later denial seems only
to have been a dodge in view of the Vote of Censure, which has been
thrown out by a majority of eighty-one. On the whole I am glad of
it, as, though the poetical justice would have been admirable, we
should lose our game altogether just now with the Tories, as they
would certainly annex Egypt and invade the Soudan.

“I went to call on Malabari, and afterwards to the stables, where
I had a long conversation with Abd-el-Rahman, partly about the
condition of the inhabitants of Bombay, but principally about
horses. We talked of Rogay, who, Abd-el-Rahman says, makes two
mistakes. He is a disciple of Seyd Ahmed (he told me so himself
the other day), and he mixes himself up with politics. This,
Abd-el-Rahman deplores. But they are friends, and he says he is
a good-hearted man. Abd-el-Rahman is a vice-chairman or something
of the Anjuman i Islam, and will attend the meeting which is
now put off till Friday. His heart, however, is in horses, as
becomes an Arab and a horse dealer, and we soon got back to them.
Abd-el-Rahman tells me the Nejd horses take longer to get into
condition when they come over poor than the Anazeh horses. He says
three quarters of the racing Arabs are bay, which is certainly the
case at present, as The Doctor is the only first-class gray horse
now running. Among the ponies this is not so much so.

“_23rd Feb._--Yesterday evening I received the letter promised me
by Salar Jung, which has been wandering about, having been first
sent to Kalbarga. It is most satisfactory. The Nizam signifies in
it his readiness to see the university founded at Hyderabad, he
records the Viceroy’s approval, and he invites me to return to
Hyderabad to complete the work.[13] This ‘crowns the edifice.’ I am
now only anxious to get home.

“Ghulam Mohammed Munshi called. He has spent twenty years, he tells
me, trying to get up a Mohammedan school at Bombay, and has at last
succeeded. He seems a good old man, though apparently a follower of
Seyd Ahmed. He was the first organizer, too, of the Anjuman i Islam
here, and was sent to see me by Abd-el-Latif, who had telegraphed
to him. He gave me some particulars about the Bombay Mohammedans.
Agha Khan has 30,000 followers who count as Shiahs, but they are
hardly Mohammedans, as they neither pray nor read the Koran nor
fast. They are called Khojas, and the sect began not in Persia, but
in Kutch, being originally poor; they are now rich and prosperous
traders and shopkeepers. The late Agha Khan kept them very
strictly, forbidding them to attend the public schools. The rest of
the community are Sunnis. The original Mohammedans of Bombay are
called Kokhnis. They are Shafites, as they were converted by the
Arabs, and are shopkeepers. The rest are descended from northern
immigrants, and are mostly Hanafites. He tells me the Mulvis are
very much averse to education, but they are all coming to the
Anjuman meeting on Friday, when there will be about five hundred
persons present.

“Dined at Mr. Gonne’s, where I had some talk with Sir William
Wedderburn, a very superior man indeed. We discussed the
agricultural question, and agreed, I think, on every point,
except that he seems to hope for more good from Lord Ripon’s
local self-government scheme than I do. He said: ‘The village is
the unit. What we want is to have one village, only one village,
really examined, and the fact ascertained that it does not pay the
cost of its cultivation.’ Agriculture in India does not suffice to
keep the people alive. In old days it was an accessory only; now
it is their sole resource. Formerly they were weavers, mechanics,
carriers, as well as farmers, and now these trades are stopped, and
they cannot live on the land. He agreed with me about the necessity
of a permanent settlement everywhere. He said: ‘The assessment is
not merely a land tax, nor merely a rent. It is more than both of
these. It is a poll tax, and a tax on labour, for it takes more
than the whole agricultural profit, the excess being levied on
wages received for other than agricultural work done.’ This is a
good description of the facts. I told him what Gordon had said to
me about the hopelessness of expecting anything being done for
the Indian people until they had made a revolution; perhaps if
the Government went bankrupt it would do as well. But he said it
was incredible how long governments could go on after they were
practically insolvent. We are to have another talk to-morrow.

“_24th Feb., Sunday._--A visit from Sir Jamsetji Jijibhoy who
called to invite us to see the Towers of Silence with him. He is
a young man of great simplicity and apparent honesty, who seems
to do his duty in public matters, but rather to avoid politics.
There is, however, nothing more absurd than to suppose that
the Parsis are not on the native side of the quarrel with the
Anglo-Indians. Their position was well explained later by the
editor of the ‘Rast,’ Kaikhosna Norrosji Kabraji, with whom I had
a very long conversation. He said that the Parsis came originally
from Persia, twelve centuries and more ago, having been driven
out by the Moslems. The Hindus had received them, but on certain
conditions. They were to abstain from cow’s flesh especially, and
to use certain Hindu forms in their marriage ceremonies. They were
persecuted constantly, and repressed, and were in danger of dying
out when the English came to Bombay. For this reason they have
always supported the English raj, and would support any Imperial
Government which should succeed the English. They had become very
prosperous and wealthy, and education had brought them a wish
to take part in public affairs. They were now with the Hindus
in the struggle going on for Home Rule, though they had no wish
to weaken the connection with England, which was all to their
advantage. I asked him about their priests, and he told me they
were very ignorant, that their ritual was in Zend, which few of
them understood. It was a language closely allied to Sanskrit,
a good Sanskrit scholar being able to read Zend, but few knew
either. The richer Parsis, however, had taken full advantage of
public education, though they complained, like the Mohammedans,
of a lack of religious instruction. He did not think education in
England a good thing for Parsis, though he had sent his son there
to read for the Civil Service Examination. He only knew one Parsi
who had returned improved from England. That was one of the Wadia
family. Most were spoilt by it. One had ended by marrying his aunt.
Others had stayed in England altogether. He had been instrumental
in getting up the ‘God save the Queen’ movement with Canon Harford,
having translated it into Gujerati. I explained to him the Egyptian
and Soudan situations, and he has already begun to write in his
journal against sending Indian troops. I also explained the
political situation in England, and promised to see his son and
give him good advice.

“Ali Hamid Bey also called, and we are to dine with him on Friday,
before the Anjuman meeting. I like the young man.

“At 4 o’clock Sir William Wedderburn called, and we had a long
talk. He considers that the chief reforms to be looked to are: 1.
To have a fixed sum allotted for the Civil List, so as to make the
multiplication of offices impossible. At present, sons and nephews
and cousins of Members of Council are stuck into the uncovenanted
Civil Service _ad libitum_. They get posts of two or three hundred
rupees a month, and cannot live on it, and so do their work badly.
It is just two and three hundred rupee places that would form the
prizes of the native Civil Service. Sir William thinks the English
civilians should be few and well paid. They are now multiplied
needlessly. 2. To do away with the Indian Council in London.
They are now made a Court of Appeal, but they are all members of
the old covenanted clique, and so are incapable of unprejudiced
decision. 3. He is in favour of a permanent settlement everywhere
at one-sixteenth of the net produce. 4. He would have an option of
paying in kind or in money. 5. He would have agricultural banks.

“He described the state of things at the end of Lytton’s reign
as bordering on revolution. Armed bands were beginning to go
about, having the sympathy of the people. They were put down with
great difficulty. In the Bombay Presidency, Sir Richard Temple
contributed much to this state of things. Lytton’s policy of show
corrupted them all, and Temple exaggerated it. Temple was a man
without principles, good or bad, and his idea of getting on was to
head every cry popular with the Anglo-Indians. Thus, during the
famine, when the cry was ‘Save life at any cost,’ he had immense
heaps of grain collected conspicuously in every station, much of
which rotted and was lost, and he issued a minute to the effect
that two pounds of grain should be the daily ration. Then came a
reaction. It was found that the country was being ruined by this
wholesale distribution, and he issued another minute that one pound
was a quite sufficient ration, the truth being that one and a half
was about the reasonable portion. He was answerable, too, for the
severity of the forest laws. Because it was a popular cry that
timber should be preserved, he issued a minute confiscating whole
districts to this purpose.

“Dined at Sir Frank Souter’s. Abd-el-Rahman and Kamr ed Din
Tyabji and a couple of Parsis were there, Sir Frank having what
is considered here great sympathy with the natives. But it seemed
to me that without intending it, he was insulting them in nearly
every word he said, although he is evidently a most kind-hearted
man. These mixed native and Anglo-Indian parties are colourless
things, and the conversation is all unreal, neither side speaking
its real thoughts. I suppose, if the truth had been told, it would
have been something of this sort. _Souter_: ‘You are welcome to
my house and honoured guests, because I am an English gentleman,
and I think it right that natives should be civilly treated. But
I know that you are still half savages, and hope you will take no
liberties.’ _The native guests_: ‘We come to dine with you because
it is a good thing to stand well with those in power. But you
grow rather brutal after your sixth glass of champagne.’ It is
astonishing the amount of liquor consumed here in India.

“_25th Feb._--Malabari called, and I had a long talk with him about
my plans and ideas, and he has promised to help them on all he can.
He is going to get up a small meeting of Hindus and Parsis, but I
told him I would sooner not make a speech for fear of saying too
much. We lunched with Mr. L., a typical Anglo-Indian, at the Yacht
Club,--a tall, dry man, Judge of the High Court, who has carried
on through life the recollection that he was a sixth form boy at
Eton, and in the cricket eleven. He would like to see Afghanistan
annexed, and himself sent to administer justice there. With him
General H., who, just as Sir James Fergusson quoted his chuprassi,
quoted his native troopers as authorities for the contempt with
which the Mahdi was regarded by Mohammedans in India.

“To the stables, where we spent a pleasant hour talking and making
arrangements with Eid el Temini about visiting Nejd next winter.
We decided it would be best to start from Bussora and Koweit,
and we agreed to meet him there about the 1st of December. Dined
at Dr. Blane’s, and sat between Lady S. and Miss T. The former
complained of the shabby way the Anglo-Indian officials were
treated by Government, and thought it hard India should not be
governed entirely for their benefit. They all hated India so much
that they ought to be handsomely treated for being obliged to live
there. What would India do without them, and what would England do
without India? How could England ever have conquered Afghanistan
without Indian troops? How could she have conquered Egypt? This is
a sincere woman. Miss T. is a serious person. She would see the
agricultural condition of the Indian ryot raised by inducing him to
plant fruit trees and keep market gardens. She has been four months
in India, but has not yet gone beyond Bombay.

“_26th Feb._--The Diwan of Kolapur, a Mahratta Brahmin, called.
He confirmed Sir William Wedderburn’s estimate of Sir Richard
Temple, but added that he was the best informed of any Governor
they had had. It was not from ignorance that he erred, but because
he only looked to his own advancement. I asked him about the land
revenue of Kolapur, and he said it was about twenty per cent. of
the gross produce, the same as in Bombay, but the districts varied.
The Bombay Deccan was very poor land, not so good as Kolapur, and
there might be some districts as highly assessed as one-third. I
asked him if he thought Indian finance in a satisfactory state.
He said the agricultural revenue will diminish, because the land
is becoming impoverished, but they may make up in other ways by
opium and salt taxes. The salt tax was much complained of, both
on the sea coast, where it interfered with the fishing industry,
and inland, where the cattle were suffering from want of it. He
could not explain why, in Northern India, they should not give salt
to their cattle, but supposed they were able to give them better
food. He was on the Famine Commission and spoke very highly of Sir
James Caird, though he said that from want of time he had not been
able to understand certain questions, and so had made mistakes.
He seemed to think that Wedderburn was too kind to the ryots, and
doubted the success of his bank scheme, at any rate financially. He
had, of course, a very high opinion of him, both as an honest man,
and as one who knew. He likes Fergusson, but says he knows nothing
that is going on. Wrote multitudinous letters, among others to Amir
Ali and Abd-el-Latif, exhorting them each to unite with the other
over this university scheme. But I hardly expect they will.

“The photographs have come representing us with Lord Ripon and
the Nizam and Grant Duff, me standing next to Cordery, behind the
Viceroy’s chair. There is humour in this; and I shall send copies
to my various friends in token of the university scheme having
succeeded. It will give them courage. After all, Ragunath Rao could
never get to see Lord Ripon, and he writes rather comically about
it. We are staying with Fergusson at Parel.

“_27th Feb._--There is an article in the ‘Bombay Gazette’ this
morning about the university, well and courteously written, and
which I am told is probably by a Mr. West of the High School.
It is, of course, against it, but will attract attention, which
is what we most want, and cannot by any possibility do harm. At
breakfast I told Sir James Fergusson that I was going to a meeting
of Hindus and Parsis, and asked him for a carriage to go in. He
told me very frankly he did not like my going from his house,
though when I explained that it was not a public meeting, and that
it would be held at the house of Kashinath Telang, an honourable
member of his own council, he agreed to send me. But he spoke to me
very strongly and very earnestly about the danger of my exciting
the native mind by appearing to sympathize with their grievances.
He could not understand how, as an Englishman, I could reconcile
it with my conscience to do this. The Government of India was a
despotism of a paternal and beneficent character, which was day
and night working for the people’s good, and any agitation would
only impede its efforts. There were, of course, ambitious natives
who had their own ends to serve by making out a case against the
Government, but he could assure me their tales were lies. He knew,
of his personal experience, that the Government officials were
entirely anxious to do what was right, that the people looked up to
them as their protectors from injustice, and that he believed there
was no better Government in the world, or one more respected. He
asked me what subjects I proposed to discuss with them, and hoped
I should eschew politics, and he spoke so earnestly and well that
I had not the heart to say how precisely his good faith proved
all the native argument. No one can doubt Sir James’s loyalty.
But who are his eyes and hands and ears? His chuprassi, who tells
him that the Mohammedans despise the Mahdi; Sir Frank Souter, who
tells him, on his experience as a police officer and a friend of
the natives, to trust no native’s word; Mr. L., who would like to
extend his High Court jurisdiction to Afghanistan, and the old
Commander-in-Chief. I said, however, that I could not promise not
to talk about politics, but I would say nothing inflammatory,
and I felt quite certain that no sympathy I could show them or
suggestions that I could offer, would make them more dissatisfied,
or make them any clearer-headed about a remedy than they were
already. He asked me what they complained of, and I instanced the
absence of any real Court of Appeal for grievances. At this he
broke out and protested that nothing could be less true, that every
day appeals were made to him, and the decisions of lower officials
reversed by their superiors or himself. All were anxious to do
justice to the poor, sometimes only too anxious. Only the other day
he had had to censure an officer for making too strong a complaint
as to the oppression of the people. He had written that the people
were being ruined by the Government. There was no want of sympathy
for them anywhere. I said: ‘Yet you censured him.’ He said: ‘Yes,
because he spoke too strongly.’ I like Sir James, because he is
quite honest and plainspoken. But were not the Austrian officials
in Lombardy equally sure that their Government was the best in the
world, and did not Lombardy rise and cast them out? Ignorance is a
greater danger than ill-will.

“To the meeting. I confined my questions almost entirely to
agriculture and finance. The general opinion of the meeting about
local finance was that its condition was not satisfactory, that
the assessments were far too high, and that the resettlement every
thirty years was a bar to capital being invested in the land. ‘In
the old days,’ one speaker said, ‘we used to look on the land as
our best investment; now we avoid it. If a permanent settlement
were introduced we should again invest in land, just as they do
now in Bengal.’ (This in answer to the question, what would be the
result of a permanent settlement?) ‘The land would thus fall into
the hands of capitalists, but the whole policy of the Government
had been to discourage middlemen, because it looked on them as
drones who kept a portion of the honey from coming to the proper
hands, its own. This was a natural law of economy which legislation
could not interfere with without harm.’ The meeting was unanimously
in favour of a permanent settlement as the only solution of the
agricultural difficulty, and as, by itself, a sufficient remedy. I
asked about the assessment, and it was agreed, after some argument,
that about one-third of the gross produce was a fair calculation
for Bombay. One half of the net produce was the pretension of the
Government officers. Gujerat was the most fertile district, but the
assessment was high. Wells were taxed, and so the sinking of new
ones discouraged. A landowner of Gujerat, Yavinhal, told me his
assessment had been raised on account of the possibility of making
a well. I mentioned Sir James Fergusson’s assurance that there was
no wrong in India without a remedy, and asked if it was so. This
caused general laughter; and Rao Shankar, the Oriental translator
to the Government and a man in whom Sir James Fergusson has the
greatest confidence, went so far as to say that he had never known
the instance of an appeal from assessment having been favourably
met. They were all against the salt tax, and one man mentioned
the condition of the population of the Koucan, south of Bombay,
as suffering most from leprosy. They could no longer cure their
fish against the monsoon when fishing was impossible. The district
between the Ghauts and the sea was very poor, so poor that the
villagers only existed by coming in for mill labour, part of the
year, to Bombay. The cultivation there did not pay its expenses.

“I asked them, since taxes must be raised, how they would raise
them. They said: ‘By import duties. We should all like these, as
they would affect only the rich.’ I asked them about the income
tax, and here there was a difference of opinion, Telang being in
favour of it, but others said it was only a little better than the
license tax, and Mr. Ferdunji, C. I. E., a leader among the Parsis,
denounced them both alike. It is evident that this tax is unpopular
in India, but the license tax seems to combine its disadvantages
as an inquisitorial tax, without raising sufficient money. The
highest rate paid by any man, however wealthy, in Bombay, is only
two hundred rupees, so it is a tax on the middle classes only,
not on the rich. Those who have an income of five hundred rupees
are exempted. They were all very much amused at Sir James’s fear
of my influencing their minds, and it is plain they have no great
idea of his intelligence, though they hold him honest. Yet these
are the pick of the native community, Members of Council, of the
Corporation, and officials of all sorts. Who then are the people
Sir James gets his ideas from? Who are the satisfied natives? I
have not met a single one since I came to India. We did not touch
directly on any political subject.

“At dinner, at Mohammed Ali Rogay’s, we had a great discussion
about the Mahdi, to whom all wish success. There were several men
of the old school with whom I talked Arabic, and we talked also
about the Turkish Empire and the new university.

“_28th Feb._--A long talk with Sir James after breakfast.
He admitted more than in our previous conversation. Thus he
acknowledged the evil of the salt tax, and all the evil of the
forest tax, though he said the latter was being remedied. The way
the evil had been done was this. In 1878 a law had been passed
in Calcutta ordering the enclosure of lands, and that they should
be marked out within the year. With the ‘usual dilatoriness’ of
the administration, this was put off till the last month, when
arbitrary lines were drawn, with an explanation that these would
be rectified later. Execution, however, was begun, and hundreds of
families were turned out of their holdings without consideration,
but things were now being remedied (after six years!). I asked
what became of the people, and Sir James said ‘Some emigrated,
some disappeared.’ Compensation, he said, was given ‘wherever
titles existed,’ but these were people who had been encouraged to
cultivate bits of the hill. The wrong was nearly redressed now.

“Sat at dinner next to Mr. West. He is a clever man, much wrapped
up in his own conceit, and very intolerant. He is Vice-Chancellor
of the university here, and attacked my ideas about founding a
Mohammedan university. The Mohammedans were incapable of reform,
being fatalists and fanatics; they had burnt the library of
Alexandria; their creed could not adapt itself to circumstances.
What would a Mohammedan community do at Rome under a Papal
Government? How could they get on without mosques? At Kalbarga they
would only encourage each other in ignorance and fanaticism, and
the end of it would be that they would bring the Nizam’s Government
to grief.

“_29th Feb._--Rode with Fergusson on a Turcoman horse, which had
belonged to Shere Ali. He is very frank and amiable now he has
spoken his conservative mind, and on many points we agree, for
instance, on the necessity of import duties, and the reduction
of the salt tax, and I think he is not altogether averse to a
permanent settlement, though he will not hear of there being
now any over assessment, or of officers having any interest in
raising assessments. Only the other day the supreme Government had
lowered some newly-made assessments twenty per cent. But this cuts
both ways, as it seems to show that they were too high. We also
agreed that it would be well to get the native states to disarm.
I thought they would consent, but he was sure they would not, and
was surprised to hear me say that in Hyderabad they would not much
mind it. He is a good fellow, and, I am sure, does his best as a
kindly despot and liberal landlord. But he is in the hands of his

“I wrote a quantity of letters, while Anne went out looking
after things. Then we called on Mrs. Malabari and arranged with
Malabari that I should correspond with him, and he would help on
the university scheme all he could in his paper. Then to dinner
at Hamid Bey’s,--Rogay, Bedr-ed-Din Tyabji, and others, also
guests--and after it to a meeting of the Anjuman i Islam, about
five hundred persons present. They presented me with an address,
and I made a long speech expounding my ideas. We did not touch on
politics. There was a beautiful sight in the heavens to-night,
the crescent moon with the evening star exactly over it and quite
close, like the Mohammedan device. This should mean a victory for
the Mahdi either at Suakin, where they talk of an imminent battle,
or perhaps the fall of Khartoum. I never saw a moon and star like
this before.

“_1st March._--We left India to-day, being exactly the anniversary
of our leaving Egypt two years ago, and we are going home with
something of the same vague hopes and fears. We have only taken
our tickets to Suez, but I do not mean to land there, as it would
only give them a triumph to have me arrested, and I can strike them
a severer blow by moderation.

“As we were leaving Government House, Professor Monier Williams and
his wife arrived. I had some talk with him about the things that
interest me, and he invited me to come and stay with him at Oxford,
and give a lecture on Mohammedan education. This I promised to do.

“And so we leave India, well satisfied with what we have done, but
not a little glad now it is over.”


[13] See Appendix.



Such was my Indian tour of 1883-1884. It will be rightly asked by
those who have read thus far how it came about that I wasted so
great an opportunity for good as then seemed open to me, and did
not return the following year, or indeed in any subsequent year,
to carry out the mission which appeared marked out for me. I often
ask myself the same question. Looking back at the position I held
for a moment with Hindus, Mohammedans, and Parsis alike, I am
filled with regret that in the sequel I should have put it to so
little purpose. If I had had the perseverance to pursue the course
I had begun, and had followed it out unflinchingly to its full
results, I believe that I might have brought about great permanent
good for the people whose interests I had espoused, and perhaps
with the Mohammedans encouraged them to a real reformation, social
and intellectual, if not political. To do this, however, it would
have been necessary for me to devote the whole of my life to this
special work, and to give up every other interest which I had at
heart and all my private affairs at home. It would have required
something more than sympathy to bring me to the point; and I
suppose my mind lacked the impetus of a full faith, without which
complete devotion to a cause more than half religious could not be.

Nevertheless I left Bombay with an entire intention of returning
the following winter, and of making a new tour for the collection
of the funds necessary for the proposed Mohammedan University. I
had already received promises of over £20,000, the greater part
being the intended gift of my friend the Rajah Amir Hassan, of
Lucknow; and, with the patronage of the Nizam and Lord Ripon’s
approval, the accomplishment of at least this part of my plans
seemed already within my reach. If it was frustrated, the fault,
though partly mine, was not wholly so. A series of misfortunes
happened in the course of the year which combined to defeat it, and
which nothing but very persistent determination on my part could
have sufficed to overcome.

In the first place Lord Ripon, though he had established a state
of things at Hyderabad favourable to reform as far as the native
elements of the government were concerned, had not been able to
impose his will altogether on the Calcutta Foreign Office. Trevor,
indeed, left soon after, but the _personnel_ of the Residency at
Hyderabad, in spite of all that had passed, was not thoroughly
changed. Cordery was allowed to remain on in power, and, as we
had foreseen, the old intrigues were quietly renewed. The young
minister, Laik Ali, was left without advice of any profitable
kind by the Resident, and through his youth and inexperience
made mistakes by which his enemies were not slow to profit. The
confidence and friendship which had from the outset existed between
him and the Nizam were undermined, and both were frustrated in
their better intentions, and, in accordance with the time-honoured
plan in dealing with native states, were encouraged to neglect
their public duties and indulge in a life of pleasure destructive
of their more serious energies. Thus the year was not out before it
became clear to me, from the reports I received, that the Nizam’s
patronage of the university scheme was not one which could be
prudently relied on.

Another misfortune was Lord Ripon’s resignation of the Viceroyalty
before his term of office was fully over. Frustrated in his larger
design of endowing India with something like free institutions, and
finding himself without real support from the Government at home,
he recognized that it was useless for him to prolong his stay, and,
amid the lamentations of native India, he returned to England a
defeated, if not a disappointed man.

Under his successor, Lord Dufferin, things lapsed into their old
groove, and all hope vanished of serious political reform. The
Mohammedans were, indeed, favoured by the new Viceroy as far as
their employment in the administration went, but anything like
vigorous action among them was once more discouraged. Thus, snowed
upon officially, the idea of an independent university, existing on
its own resources and subject to no influence of official fear or
favour, necessarily languished, and was abandoned by the timorous
souls of those whom for a moment I had persuaded to take it up
courageously. It is rare in India to find persistent energy in any
undertaking not patronized by Government. The death blow to the
scheme followed a little later when Rajah Amir Hassan, who had
persevered in it so far as to commence founding a college for his
Shiah co-religionists at Lucknow was attacked by an illness which
ended in insanity. Even if I had returned to India, it is doubtful
whether I could have done anything to neutralize these misfortunes.
As it was, I allowed myself to be discouraged by them into a
gradual abandonment of my Indian plan, and turned my energies into
other channels, which seemed to me at the time more practical.

My first enthusiasm was already cooled by a visit I paid to
Constantinople in the autumn of 1884. It had seemed to me that the
best chance of infusing general life into the university scheme
was to obtain for it the Sultan’s patronage. In spite of all I
knew of Abdul Hamid’s character, I thought it just possible that
if I could get speech with him I might persuade him to use the
enormous influence his name and Caliphal title gave him in Moslem
lands in the direction I desired. But my visit was a failure; I
found the Sultan personally inaccessible, except through such
channels as I was unwilling to employ, and at an endless expense
of time and money. At Constantinople the reign of corruption was
supreme, nor was any approach to the head of the Moslem faith
possible except by intrigue with the Court officials. It will be
seen, when I publish the sequel to these memoirs, how entirely the
atmosphere of the palace was opposed to serious ideas, and I left
Constantinople convinced that it was useless any longer to fight
against circumstances or attempt the impossible. Other interests
at the same time allured me away, the urgency of the crisis in
Egypt, the tragedy of Gordon at Khartoum, the general election of
1885, the Irish Home Rule movement, and the attempt I then made to
enter Parliament as its supporter. Thus, while I still continued to
interest myself in the fortunes and misfortunes of India, I never
again aspired to take a leading part in its affairs.

All the same, I think I may lay claim to have contributed something
towards the cause I had made specially my own, that of the Indian
Mohammedans. On my return to England in the spring of 1884, I found
Lord Randolph Churchill more than half disposed to go with me in
my plans for them, and to make himself in Parliament a champion
of Islam. It was partly through my persuasion and example that he
started on his tour in India the following winter, and the letters
I gave him for my Indian friends contributed not a little to his
success in that direction, though in the sequel his political
interests were too diverse to hold him permanently to any one
line of action. His visit, nevertheless, taken in connection with
his appointment in 1885 to the India Office under Lord Salisbury,
marks a turning-point in the official policy towards the Indian
Mohammedans which has ever since been followed. As a community
they were encouraged, not, indeed, as I had intended, but as a
counterpoise to the Congress movement of the Hindus; and gradually
the idea expounded by me in “The Future of Islam” has come to be
adopted as the Government’s own and used to its own purposes.

Nor was I forgetful of the promise I had made to my Hindu friends
of expounding to my fellow countrymen at home the griefs of which
I had been witness in India; the infinite poverty of its people;
the economic ruin they had suffered at our hands; the oppressive
character of the land assessment constantly enhanced, aggravated
as these things were by new forest laws and a salt tax levied on
the very poor;--and, no less, the arrogance of their official
rulers; the growing ill-will between class and class, and the
causes of what was rapidly becoming race-hatred between Englishman
and Indian. In the course of the summer of 1884 I embodied these
in a series of papers contributed to the “Fortnightly Review,” and
republished by me at the end of the year under the title “Ideas
about India,” a little work, which being now long out of print, I
propose here, as a natural sequel to the diary, to add in the form
of final Chapters.

There will be found among them a scheme of constitutional reform
not very different from that which we now see, after the lapse of
a whole generation, timidly and half-heartedly propounded at the
India Office, when all the grace of a spontaneous act of justice
has been lost with a lost opportunity. Such as they are I give
them unaltered, omitting only such portions of them as are merely
redundant of the diary, and adding here and there an explanatory
note recording changes which in the last quarter of a century have
come about. Alas, such changes have been seldom for the better, and
in its main features the condition of India is to-day economically
the same as what it was in Lord Ripon’s time, with only the
accumulated burden of poverty which famine years and years of
pestilence have brought about.

India’s famines have been severer and more frequent, its
agricultural poverty has deepened, its rural population has become
more hopelessly in debt, their despair more desperate. The system
of constantly enhancing the land revenue has not been altered.
The salt tax, though slightly lowered, still robs the very poor.
Hunger, and those pestilences which are the result of hunger, are
spread over an increasing, not a diminishing, area. The Deccan ryot
is still perhaps the poorest peasant in the world. Nothing of the
system of finance is changed, nothing in the economy which favours
English trade and English speculation at the expense of India’s
native industries. What was bad twenty-five years ago is, according
to all native evidence, worse now. At any rate there is the same
drain of India’s food to alien mouths. Endemic famine and endemic
plague, with British India’s universal bondage to the village
usurer, are facts no official statistics of prosperity can explain

Nor has the chasm of race antipathy been at all narrowed. All the
causes of ill-will noted by me in 1884 are still existent in an
aggravated form, and find stronger ground of action now; and there
is one besides, unnoticed then, which may perhaps be added. There
can be no question that the twenty-five years which have elapsed
since 1884 have seen a change in the attitude of the white races
of mankind towards their fellow men of other hue and lineage, and
in their avowed conduct towards them. The old religious teaching,
Christianity’s best claim to the world’s regard, was that all
men were brothers at least in the sight of God, but this has
given place to a pseudo-scientific doctrine of the fundamental
inequalities of the human kind which, true as a statement of fact,
has been exaggerated and made political use of to excuse white
selfishness and white exclusiveness, and to reinforce the white
man’s pretension of rightful dominion over the non-white world at
large. I call this “pseudo-science,” because nothing really of the
sort exists under the world’s natural law. Darwin’s rule of the
“Struggle of Nature” and the “Survival of the fittest” included no
assertion of superiority in one race rather than another, giving it
dominion over the rest, nor has any species in the world’s natural
history prevailed in this way. Its survival has been, not by its
greater strength or even by its greater cunning, but by its better
adaptability to its local surroundings. Yet it is common to hear
Darwin quoted as an authority favourable to imperial domination and
race intolerance in lands unsuited to European survival, and it
is precisely under conditions such as we find in India that these
arguments find most favour with Englishmen. As a rule the English
in the East, missionaries apart, are not much of Christians, and
their tendency is to become less and less so in the progress of
modern ideas.

On the other hand the Indian races, many of them quite as
intellectual as the European, have been far from standing still.
Quite apart from such education as they have been receiving in
Government schools and colleges, the knowledge of the facts of the
Western World and its ways has been spread far and wide among them
by their ever-increasing intercourse with European travellers, and
the facilities they have themselves acquired of travel. If every
Government school in India were closed to-morrow, and every native
newspaper suppressed, I doubt if the spread of such information
would be greatly checked, this class of facts being conveyed from
mouth to mouth rather than by writing; and it is at any rate
certain that, at least in the towns of India, Englishmen are
appraised pretty generally at their real value, and their moral
weaknesses and intellectual limitations are known to every one,
even the poorest.

I confess I do not see how this unfortunate tendency of things is
to be mended by any rules or regulations issued to the Anglo-Indian
Civil Service. I am the more in despair about it, because I
have noticed precisely the same evil growth, though in a less
dangerous form, in Egypt. When I first knew Egypt, seven years
before the British occupation, the best possible relations existed
between Englishmen and native Egyptians. There was much familiar
intercourse and respect on either side, and English travellers,
rare in those days, were proud to be invited to the houses of rich
Cairo Moslems, while among the poor in the villages they were
always welcome. But the false position assumed by our people since
the occupation of 1882, that of rulers and ruled, the rulers being
aliens and affecting airs of race superiority over the natives,
has destroyed all this. Pleasant social relations can only continue
where those concerned meet on an equal human footing, and of all
inequalities the inequality of race is the most unsocial. In
India things have gone so far that I doubt if any measure, short
of placing the administration of the country wholly into native
hands, by abolishing the covenanted Civil Service as a privileged
body and reducing the Europeans employed to the position of well
paid servants not masters, would induce Englishmen to forgo their
pretension of exclusiveness, and bring them down to the level of
their merits, whatever these might be, as useful paid employés.

As to the concluding Chapter, that on “The Future of
Self-Government,” I leave it without comment as it was written
twenty-five years ago, though I should have liked to have drawn
from it a moral and to have applied it to the state of things we
see in India to-day. That, however, is forbidden me in deference to
the present difficulties of government, and also as being alien to
the historical character of the present volume. The suppression,
nevertheless, of free thought and speech in India, by the new
press laws, and the revival of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment
without trial, is a subject which I cannot let pass without a
protest, lest I should seem to approve. Such methods of government
are not only repugnant to me, but are, I am sure, as futile as
they are reactionary. If persisted in, they can only mean that
the Government relying on them has no serious intention of true
progressive reform.



I believe it to be an axiom in politics that all social convulsions
have been preceded by a period of growing misery for the
agricultural poor, combined with the growing intelligence of the
urban populations. Certainly this was the case in Europe at the
time of the Reformation, and again, following the lead of France,
in the last century; and, most certainly and immediately under our
own observation, it has been the case in Ireland and in Egypt at
the present day. Where there is complete ignorance, misery may be
accumulated almost without limit by a despotic power. Where the
mass of the population is prosperous, no growth of knowledge need
be feared. But it is at the point where education and starvation
meet that the flame breaks forth. This is a truism. Yet there are
few who recognize how absolutely true it is of India.

No one accustomed to Eastern travel can fail to see how poor the
Indian peasant is. Travelling by either of the great lines of
railway which bisect the Continent, one need hardly leave one’s
carriage to be aware of this. From Madras to Bombay, and from
Bombay again to the Ganges valley, distances by rail of seven
hundred and eight hundred miles, one passes not half a dozen
towns, nor a single village which has a prosperous look. The
fields, considering the general lightness of the soil, are not
ill-cultivated; but there is much waste land; and in the scattered
villages there is an entire absence of well-built houses, enclosed
gardens, or large groves of fruit trees, the signs of individual
wealth which may be found in nearly every other Oriental country.
The houses are poorer than in Asia Minor or Syria, or even Egypt,
and are uniform in their poverty. There are no residences of any
wealthier class than the poorest, and the little congregations of
mud huts are without redeeming feature in the shape of stone-built
mansion or whitewashed dwelling at all superior to the rest.
Such exceptions one finds in every province of the Ottoman
Empire, except perhaps in Irak, and one finds them in Persia. But
throughout the great central plateau of the Indian peninsula, they
are wholly absent.

Nor is the aspect of poverty less startling if one looks closer.
Entering a Deccan[14] village one is confronted with peasants
nearly naked, and if one asks for the head man, one finds him no
better clothed than the rest. The huts are bare of furniture;
the copper pots are rare; the women are without ornaments. These
are the common signs of indigence in the East; and here they are
universal. Questioning the peasants, one ascertains not only that
they do not eat meat, for this is often against their religious
custom, but also that they eat rice itself only on holidays. Their
ordinary food is millet mixed with salt and water, and flavoured
with red peppers; and of this they partake only sufficient to
support life. Of luxuries other than the red peppers they seem
entirely destitute.

In every village which I visited of the British Deccan I heard
complaints of poverty resembling most closely those to which I
was accustomed in Syria and Egypt--complaints of over-taxation of
the country, of increase and inequalities of assessment, of the
tyranny of local overseers (not necessarily Englishmen) charged
with levying the rates, complaints of the forest laws, of the
decrease of the stock of working cattle, of their deterioration
through the price of salt, of universal debt to the usurers.
The only complaints conspicuous from their absence were those
relating to insecurity of life and to conscription, the two great
evils of Western Asia. And I will say at once before I go further
that immunity on these heads goes far in my opinion towards
counterbalancing the miseries which our rule would otherwise seem
to have aggravated in the condition of the Indian ryot.

The special evils which we have imposed upon him are, however,
only too apparent. In former days, though his land assessment or
rent was very likely as high as now, it was mitigated for him by
custom and by certain privileges which our system of administration
has deprived him of. In bad seasons when his crop was poor he
enjoyed remissions which are very seldom granted now. The lord
of the land to whom he paid his rent lived within reach of him,
and in days of distress might be cajoled into pity or possibly
frightened into moderation. But the landlord now is a formless
thing--the Government--which no tears can reach, no menace turn
away. It is represented only by a succession of changing agents,
strangers to the country, ignorant of the people and their wants,
and whose names the ryots rarely learn to know. This is a constant
complaint in their mouths, and the condition of British India under
the modern system is a striking instance of the evils of absentee
ownership. For the last hundred years it has been the constant
aim of the Madras Government to destroy all ownership in land but
its own, and it has so far succeeded that it stands now alone
throughout the greater portion of the Presidency face to face with
the peasantry. If these were happy the result might be good. But in
their actual circumstances of chronic starvation it seems to me a
very dangerous one.

With regard to the actual amount of the assessment, I made what
inquiries I was able, endeavouring, so far as possible, to
ascertain what proportion it bore to the gross value of the crop,
and, although I state it with all due diffidence, I think I am not
wrong in putting it at 35 to 40 per cent. for the Deccan district.
It may well be considerably more, but I think it can hardly be
less. In any case, I feel quite certain that Dr. Hunter’s figures
in his book (which, be it remembered, is the accepted handbook
about India) are enormously wrong, where, quoting the Famine
Commission, he states that “the land tax throughout British India
is from 3 per cent. to 7 per cent. on the gross out-turn.” Seven
per cent. would of course be a very light rent in any country, but
40 per cent. would be inordinately high, and I am quite sure that
impartial inquiry would prove that, in the Deccan at least, my own
figures are far more nearly correct. In Bengal, I know there are
lands assessed as low as 1 per cent.; but Bengal is a prosperous
country, nearly the only one in British India, and is precisely the
exception which best proves the general rule by exemplifying the
causes of agricultural poverty.

It is, however, not merely the amount of the assessment which
weighs upon these Deccan ryots, nor merely the inelasticity of its
collection. If the natives themselves are to be believed, there
are other causes of poverty directly due to the British connection
which have had a far more disastrous effect upon the prosperity
of the country than any taxation has produced. The reason, these
say, why the ryot of the present day is poorer than his predecessor
of fifty years ago is this. Under the ancient system of native
rule, and during the early days of the Company, the agricultural
population was not wholly dependent on agriculture. It had certain
home industries which employed its leisure during those seasons
of the year when labour in the fields was useless. There was the
carrying trade which could be engaged in with the bullocks used at
other times for ploughing. There was peddling of ghee and other
home-made wares; and above all there was the weaving industry,
which employed the women, and the men too during their idle time,
and helped them to pay their rent. But modern improvements and
modern legislation have altered all this. The railroads have very
much destroyed the carrying trade; native industries have been
supplanted by foreign ones, and the introduction of machinery
and of foreign cottons has broken up every hand-loom in the
country. The ryot, therefore, is reduced to the simple labour of
his fields, and this does not suffice him any longer to live and
to pay his assessment--therefore he starves. This account of the
matter has been very ably set before the English public by Sir
William Wedderburn, and I do not propose to argue it out here. But
I can testify that it is the account also given by the natives
themselves, and that I have no doubt that it is strictly true.

The official account is different. According to apologists of the
Strachey school, over-population caused by the security of our rule
is the sufficient reason of all distress, and it is possible that
this may be correct of Bengal and other districts enjoying more
prosperous conditions than those of which I am now speaking. But as
applied to the Deccan it is manifestly untrue. For nothing like
the whole area of cultivable land is taken up, and the population
is scanty rather than excessive. The causes of distress and famine
must be looked for rather in the growing impoverishment of the
existing population, than in its numerical excess--in its enforced
idleness during part of the year, and in the disappearance of the
whole class of large proprietors who in former times used to lay
up stores of grain to keep their peasantry alive in the droughts.
It is my opinion, in common with that of the most intelligent
native economists, that a permanent settlement of the revenue,
such as there is in Bengal, would do more by the creation of a
wealthy class of landowners in the Deccan, towards mitigating the
periodical famines there, than any other form of legislation could,
or the covering of the country with a whole network of railroads.

Other modern grievances of the peasant are, first, the new Forest
Laws. These were introduced some years ago in consequence of
the growing famines which, it was argued, were caused by the
irregularity of the monsoon rains, which in their turn were caused
by the denudation of the forests. Admitting as true all that can
be said of the necessity of strong measures to prevent destruction
in these, and to increase the area of vegetation, the _modus
operandi_ seems to have been needlessly violent, and most injurious
to the people. One would have supposed that so wide an object as
the regulation of the rainfall would have been provided for out of
Imperial funds. But this was only done in part. The bulk of the
loss fell on individual peasants. Wherever I went in the Madras and
Bombay presidencies I heard of common lands enclosed and rights
of pasture withdrawn, and this without any compensation at all
being given to the possessors. The plea seems to have been that,
in the days of the Mohammedan Empire, the Mogul was lord of all
uncultivated lands, and that therefore, although time and custom
had intervened for generations, the land might be resumed. The
effect in any case has been disastrous. The leaves of trees are
largely used in India for manure, and the supply is now cut off.
The pasture has been reduced and cattle are dying of hunger. Where
wood had been free from time immemorial, so much a load now has to
be paid. In the Ghauts of Bombay matters seem to have gone farther
still, and after the great famine of 1877-78 Sir Richard Temple
had whole districts enclosed, evicting the ryots and destroying
their villages. The ryots in turn set fire to the forests, and but
for his timely resignation of office it is said the whole country
would have been morally and physically in a blaze. I know that
the ill-feeling caused by his high-handed action--which reminds
one of that attributed to William Rufus when he enclosed the New
Forest--has left behind it memories bitter as those in Ireland to
this day. Bad or good, necessary or unnecessary, the Forest Act has
much to answer for in the present state of discontent among the

Allied to this, and even more general in its pressure on the poor,
stands, secondly, the Salt tax. Its oppressive character has been
much disputed; but in the Madras Deccan and the poorer districts
of Bombay there should be no doubt whatever upon the matter. It is
the one great theme of complaint, the one that touches the people
most nearly and is most injurious in proportion to the poverty of
the sufferer by it. The comparatively well-to-do ryot of Bengal and
North-Western India does not feel it and does not complain of it.
But wherever there is real pinching in the necessities of life,
there the salt monopoly raises a clamorous cry. It is only the very
poor who are obliged to stint themselves in salt; but the very poor
are, unfortunately, the rule in Southern India. In the Deccan,
moreover, its pressure is more galling, because natural salt lies
on the ground, and the people are therefore starved of it as it
were in sight of plenty. In several villages which I passed the
ryots told me that they had been reduced to driving their cattle
by night to the places where salt is found, that they may lick it
by stealth; but the guards impound them if thus caught infringing
the law; and latterly orders have been given that the police should
collect in heaps and destroy all salt whatever found in its natural
state above ground. In other parts I heard of a kind of leprosy
attacking persons deprived of this necessary article of diet; and
especially on the sea-coast south of Bombay the disease was spoken
of as prevalent. The fact of there being no complaint with regard
to the salt tax at Calcutta or in Northern India, has caused the
Indian Government to be callous in this matter, and I fear the
fact that it brings six millions sterling to the revenue is an
additional reason why it is likely still to be overlooked. But it
is one that is nevertheless very urgent in the poorer districts,
where it is causing real and increasing suffering, and where it is
regarded with well-founded anger. The price of salt sold to the
people by the Government is reckoned at from 1200 to 2000 per cent.
on its cost value.

Lastly, and this is the case all over British India, the peasantry
is deeply, hopelessly in debt. It is curious to find this prime
cause of the Egyptian Revolution faithfully reproduced in India
under our own paternal and enlightened rule, and through the
same causes. Agricultural debt came into being in either case
with European methods of finance; and, although the subject has
been thoroughly threshed out by previous writers, I shall perhaps
be pardoned if I once more briefly explain the process. In old
times, as I understand the case, in Oriental lands money was
practically unknown to the peasantry. Their dealings were in kind,
and especially the land tax paid to the Government was paid not in
coin but in corn. The whole of the peasants’ security, therefore,
if they wanted to borrow, was their crop--and, if at sowing-time
they needed seed, it was recoverable only at the harvest; at
which time also the Government took its share--a tenth according
to strict Mohammedan law, or it might be a fifth, or in times of
grievous tyranny the half. Nothing more, however, than the crop of
the year was forthcoming. No lender, therefore, would advance the
impecunious cultivator more than his seed corn or the loan of a
yoke of oxen, and there was no possibility on the Government’s part
of anticipating the taxes. The economic law of ancient Asia was to
do things parsimoniously, to spend according to the means in hand,
and at most to store up wealth for rainy, or rather rainless, days.

But with European administration came other doctrines. Wealth,
our economists affirmed, must not be idle; production must be
increased; resources must be developed; capital must be thrown into
the land. The revenue, above all things, must be made regular and
secure. In order to effect this, payment in money was substituted
for payment in kind, a regular tax for an irregular portion of
the crop;--and, while the rate was nominally lowered, no loss
from accidental circumstances was to be allowed to fall upon the
Government. So much coin must be forthcoming every year as the
tax on so many acres. In countries like England where the system
is understood, where markets are at hand, and money plentiful,
this is undoubtedly the best and most convenient form of levying
the revenue. But in the East its introduction has always produced
disorder. In the country districts of India, as in Egypt, corn
could not be sold in the public market at its full market price,
and, when the day came for payment of the Government dues, the
peasant had the choice either of selling at a grievous loss or of
borrowing the money. He generally borrowed. I believe it may be
stated absolutely that the whole of peasant indebtedness in either
country originally came from the necessity thus imposed of finding
coin to pay the land tax.

The change, however, put immediate wealth into the hands of
Government, by lessening the cost of collecting the revenue, and so
was approved as a beneficial one; and by an inevitable process of
financial reasoning borrowing was encouraged. It was argued that
capital, if thrown into the land, would increase the wealth of the
agriculturist along with the wealth of the revenue. But how induce
the investment of that capital except by increasing its security?
In order to enable the agriculturist to borrow, he must be able to
give his debtor something of more value than the crop in his field.
Then why not the field itself? The laws of mortgage and recovery
of debt by safe and easy process were consequently introduced, and
courts appointed for the protection of creditors. This completed
the peasant’s ruin. Finding money suddenly at his disposal, he
borrowed without scruple, not only to pay taxes and to improve his
land, but also for his amusements. Whether I am right or wrong in
the details of this history, it is an indisputable fact that at the
present moment there is hardly a village in British India which is
not deeply, hopelessly in debt. In the course of my inquiries I do
not remember to have met with a single instance of a village clear
of debt even in Bengal.

This is the last worst evil which English administration has
brought upon the Indian peasantry, and when one considers all their
poverty and the depth of their increasing liabilities one finds
it difficult to have patience with the optimist views of men like
Sir John Strachey, who see all that they have created in India and
find it very good. That we have done much that is of advantage to
agricultural India no one will deny, but have we not done it still
more harm? We have given the ryot security from death by violence,
but we have probably increased his danger of death by starvation.
This is a doubt which is beginning to assert itself vividly in the
minds of thoughtful Indians, and it is one that Englishmen too will
do well, before it is too late, to entertain.

Admitting, then, the general fact of India’s growing agricultural
poverty, what should be our remedy? I confess to being a little
sceptical of the legislative nostrums partially applied and
proposed to be applied by the Imperial Government to a patient
manifestly in want of a complete change of treatment and a long
period of financial rest. Nor do I see my way to accepting
such alleviations as the Bengal Rent Bill, or the founding of
agricultural banks, or even local self-government, though all
these things may be good, as a sufficient check to the evils fast
accumulating. At best they may succeed in shifting the burdens of
the people a little on this side or on that. They will not lighten
them really by a single pennyweight, nor restore the confidence of
the people in the humane intentions of the Government, nor put off
even for a year the trouble which on the present lines of policy
must certainly ensue. I do not believe in legislative remedies
for the starvation of the ryot or in the possibility of relieving
his position except at the sacrifice of interests too strongly
represented both at Calcutta and in London to be assailed with any
chance of success. Finance, not legislature, is the cause of all
the evil; and until that is put upon a sound footing, the rest is
of no real value.

When I was at Calcutta, I constantly discussed this matter with
the leading native economists, and I know, too, their ideas
in other cities; and at Bombay it formed the chief subject of
attention at the meeting specially convened to instruct me with
regard to the wants of the Presidency. I know, therefore, what
Indians think about Indian finance, and I believe their reasoning
is sound. According to these, the vice of the Calcutta budgets
lies in the fact that, whereas in every other country the finance
Minister looks solely to the interests of the country he serves,
in India he looks principally to the interests, not of India,
but of England. Two English interests have to be served first,
before any attention can be paid to the necessities of those who
supply the revenue. First, the Anglo-Indian Administration must be
maintained in full employment, in pay, allowances, and according
to native ideas in luxuries; and secondly, every kind of advantage
must be given to English trade. It is unnecessary for me to argue
out the question of the excessive costliness of the civil and
military establishments of India. These are notorious in the world
as surpassing those of all other countries to which they can be
fairly compared in the present time or the past. And, although they
may also lay claim to be the most efficient, it does not prevent
them from being a vast financial failure.

It is a perpetual astonishment to travellers to note the
scale of living of every Englishman employed in India, in
however mean a capacity. The enormous palaces of governors and
lieutenant-governors, their country houses, their residences in
the hills, their banquets and entertainments, their retinues of
servants, their carriages and horses, their special trains on
their journeyings, their tents, their armies of retainers and camp
followers--these are only samples of the universal profusion; an
equally noble hospitality reigns in every bungalow on the plains;
and endless dinners of imported delicacies, with libations of
imported wines, tempt night after night the inhabitants of the
most solitary stations to forget the dismal fact that they are in
Asia and far from their own land. No Collector’s wife will wear an
article of Indian manufacture to save her soul from perdition, and
all her furniture, even to her carpets, must be of English make.

I remember early in my travels having the good fortune to enjoy the
hospitality of a country station-master on the Indian Peninsular
Railway, and being astonished to find him living in better style,
and in a house larger than most English rectories, while we were
driven out after luncheon by his lady in a charming phaeton drawn
by a pair of stepping ponies. There was no reason, however, for
astonishment. He lived as all Englishmen in India do, that is to
say, about five times as well as in his rank of life he possibly
could do at home, and he was worthy of his good fortune. Only it
must not be supposed that the natives starving outside are at all
proportionately the better for the brave living of their rulers. I,
an English traveller, profited as a guest, and I am half ashamed
to say how sumptuously I fared. But the poor ryot was, in fact, my
host--not the other--for it was he whose labour fed me, though he
did not share the meal.

I say, a traveller cannot fail to be impressed, and, if he have
any powers of reflection, disagreeably so, with this profusion.
There is surely no country in the world where in the midst of such
starvation there is so much waste; certainly none where the expense
of it all is borne so wholly and directly by the poor. I wonder
whether any one has calculated the number of miles of macadamized
road in the various Anglo-Indian cantonments, not a yard of which
has ever served any purpose beyond that of enabling the officers’
wives to pay each other visits in their carriages? I wonder whether
any one has calculated the numbers of absolutely useless clock
towers and Gothic memorials erected by Sir Richard Temples to Sir
Bartle Freres, and Sir Bartle Freres to Sir Richard Temples in
the various Presidencies? I wonder whether any one has calculated
how many hogsheads of champagne the water-drinking ryot has paid
for in the last half-century as an unaccounted item of his yearly
budget? These things strike the imagination of the traveller. They
do not strike the resident in India. They are not arguments, but
impressions; and yet they mean something.

If, however, the ryot must maintain the luxury of his English
administrators before his own wants can be supplied, so, too, must
he maintain the English trader to the ruin of his own trade. I
am repeating native arguments when I complain that the necessity
of considering the advantage of Manchester capitalists stands
seriously in the way of an honest framer of the Indian Budget, and
that, whereas the Finance Minister of every English colony is at
liberty to raise money by import duties and generally does so, the
Indian Minister is precluded from that source of revenue. I have
argued the matter of Free Trade out with the native economists,
and they seem to me perfectly to understand it. They know that
as applied to England, a manufacturing country which imports its
food, Free Trade is considered a necessity of financial life. But
they deny that the doctrine applies with equal cogency to India.
India, they say, is a produce-exporting country like the United
States or the Australian colonies. It imports no single article of
prime necessity, iron and coal perhaps excepted, and the cotton and
other manufactured goods consumed there are luxuries only used by
the rich, and especially by the Europeans. It is certain that no
ryot in all India wears any cotton clothing of foreign make, or has
his means of existence made one wit cheaper for him by Free Trade.
Import duties, then, would tax the rich only, and the rich in India
are hardly taxed at all. Yet, because Free Trade is of advantage
to England, India must forgo her own advantage. This, the natives
say, may be a political necessity, but it is not ruling India
financially for India’s good. I confess I do not see where the flaw
in their argument lies.

They say, moreover, that Free Trade in manufactured goods has
destroyed the native industries and given nothing in their stead.
When the hand-looms a hundred years ago were ruined in the English
counties, the rural population migrated to the towns and found
work in the great factories. But in India this has hardly at
all happened. The ryot who used to weave is left without labour
of any sort during his spare time, for distances are great and
there is little demand for labour in the towns, and he remains of
necessity idle, so that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion
that a present of his labour has been made by Anglo-Indian finance
to his English rival. The doctrine of advantage from buying in the
cheapest market does not help him, for he buys nothing cheaper;
and if the English manufacturer shares the advantage with any
one in India, it is with the town consumer, not with the ryot.
Every native economist, therefore, whom I have spoken with on the
subject, would impose import duties on manufactured articles except
machinery. Thus, they say, a tax would be levied upon the rich; and
if it acted as a protection and stimulus to home manufactures, why,
so much the better. With protection, factories could be established
in the Indian country towns in which the surplus labour of the
ryot would find employment, and so the injury done him be in part
redressed. If this doctrine is unsound, I shall be glad to hear in
what manner; for at present it seems to me to have not a little

I was surprised to find, in an assemblage mainly of rich men, that
most of those who composed the Bombay meeting already alluded to
were in favour of some form of income tax. Not that they altogether
denied its general unpopularity, but from the necessity they
recognized of taxing wealth. They said that in one shape or other
incomes had always till recently been taxed in India, and that,
though there were great difficulties in the way of collecting
any sort of income tax fairly, it had always been accepted. The
present licence tax, they assured me, was much more hateful and
far less profitable than any true tax on income, and seemed framed
on purpose to distribute its pressure most unfairly. It seemed
hardly credible, but according to present regulations the keeper
of a small shop in the native quarter was taxed as highly for his
trade as the richest English banker on ’Change; all the charge
upon the latter’s income, though he might deal in millions, being
twenty pounds per annum in the form of a trade licence. The present
system was, in fact, only another advantage given by the framers
of Indian budgets to English trade; and they assured me that the
people who really prevented a proper income tax from being imposed
in India were not the native tradesmen, but the English officials
whose salaries would be directly touched by it. If it were possible
to levy import duties and a tax on incomes, the agricultural poor
might be relieved, but hardly in any other way. I offer these
suggestions for what they may be considered worth.

The prime measure, however, of agricultural reform, on which all
native India seems agreed, is the granting of a permanent revenue
settlement to every province, such as was ninety years ago granted
to Bengal, and limiting thereby the preposterous claim of the
Government to all ownership in land. This right of State ownership
has worked everywhere, or nearly everywhere, its full natural
result of impoverishment and disaffection; and Bengal, which has
been exempted from its action, has alone remained prosperous. I do
not propose to argue out this great question here. But I intend to
return to it on a future occasion; and it will be sufficient for
me now to say, that the value placed by native opinion on a fixed
revenue settlement is the cause of the strong agitation actually
in progress against the Bengal Rent Bill. This measure, in spite
of Lord Ripon’s immense popularity, is decidedly unpopular, and
native politicians see in it a first blow struck at the prosperity
of the only province which has hitherto escaped the universal drain
of wealth into the Imperial coffers; nor am I without reason to
believe that so it was intended, not by Lord Ripon, but by some of
his advisers. At present, however, I only state the fact that a
permanent settlement of the land revenue is urgently demanded by
all India.[16]

To sum up, Indian economists are in favour, first, of import duties
on manufactured goods such as are imposed in Australia and other
colonies; secondly, of a shifting of the financial burden as far
as possible from the agricultural poor to the commercial rich; and
thirdly, of a renunciation by the Government of its indefinite
claims upon the land. These views will probably be considered
preposterous in England, where we have cut-and-dried principles of
economy in contradiction to them. But it is certain that all native
opinion is against us, and that our present system is bringing
India very near to ruin. Surely, there must be something wrong in a
state of things which has produced the spectacle of a Government,
after having absorbed to itself the whole land rent of a country,
still finding itself constantly in financial shifts. The Government
of India, as landlord, does practically nothing for the land. All
is squandered and spent on other things; and the people who till
the soil are yearly becoming poorer and more hopeless. This I call
the agricultural danger, and if it is not one I again ask where
the flaw in my reasoning lies. At least it is a reasoning held by
ninety-nine out of every hundred educated and intelligent Indians.

  _Note._--Since this was published, in 1884, some reduction, as
  already stated, has been made in the iniquitous salt tax; but
  most of the other economic evils still prevail, some of them in
  an exaggerated form. No attempt has been made, by the imposition
  of import duties, to re-create the lost native industries, nor
  has any permanent settlement of the land revenue been granted,
  notwithstanding the example of its astonishing success in
  restoring agricultural prosperity under very similar conditions
  in Egypt. Famines continue to be attributed by Viceroy after
  Viceroy, not to their true economic causes, but to the “act of
  God” in withholding the rain, which in spite of the forest laws
  is still in periodical default. Imperial expenditure has not been
  lessened, nor has the burden of personal debt on the ryot’s back
  been relieved. He is still the rack-rented tenant of an absentee
  state-landlord throughout the greater part of British India.


[14] I include in the term “Deccan” the whole geographical area of
the central and southern plateau of India; not merely the Nizam’s

[15] Since this was written factories especially for cotton goods
have been established by native enterprise in Bombay, but have been
met in the interests of Lancashire by measures designed to limit
their competition with imported goods. Lord Cromer with the same
object imposed “countervailing excise duties” in Egypt.

[16] It was, I believe, a maxim of Sir John Strachey’s that, in
the interests of Finance, the Bengal Settlement must by hook or by
crook be rescinded.



If agricultural distress is the major premiss of revolution
in India, the growth of political education in the towns is
its minor--political education, that is, unaccompanied by any
corresponding growth of political power.

With all my belief in Asiatic progress, I confess that before my
recent visit to India I was not prepared to find this latter at
all so far advanced as in fact it is; and from first to last I
remained astonished at the high level at which native intelligence
in political science already stands. I had judged it till then by
such scraps of Indian newspaper criticism as I had come across,
quoted not seldom by English writers in a hostile sense, and I
had judged it wrongly. The newspapers of India, at least those
edited in English, are neither on a par with our own, nor do they
bear an equal relation to the mental powers of those whose views
they expound. I mean that, whereas in England an article in the
“Times” or in one of the leading magazines, on a given subject,
is, as a rule, intellectually superior to the speeches statesmen
are delivering on the same subject, in India the oral arguments
are always the best.[17] Nor is it too much to say that for
conversation of a political character there are few races in the
world which can equal those of India, or that it would be difficult
from our own House of Commons to choose men capable of sustaining
a successful argument with the best educated Indians on any of
the subjects specially interesting to them. I was throughout
struck by this. The native mind is quick, lucid, and, it seemed
to me, also eminently judicial; and I found it distinguished by
the absence of all such passionate exaggeration as I had been led
to expect. Though in some of the public speeches I heard made at
Calcutta the flowers of rhetoric were certainly not wanting, I
did not find anything but what was substantial in the arguments
used, and I was repeatedly conscious of being tempted myself to
use stronger language than any which even at private meetings was
indulged in by the speakers. It seemed to me that a great deal
more might have been said without violating the truth, that evils
were often minimized, advantages dwelt on, and that there was a
general disposition to understate rather than exaggerate matters
in discussion. Often in conversation I have been on the point
of protesting against the too naïve confidence of men known as
demagogues in the good faith of English political action, against
their implicit trust in the virtue of reason and a just cause,
and their belief that, when they should have proved their griefs
to be well founded, relief would thereupon be given. They seemed
intentionally to ignore the selfishness and indifference of party
statesmanship in England with regard to India, and to be only too
willing, in spite of political deceptions, still to be deceived.

It is indeed remarkable that, considering how much real ground
of complaint there is against the present state of things, how
just and deep are the causes of personal resentment stirring the
minds of men, how galling to them are the everyday incidents of
being ruled by an alien race, and how little prospect there is of
any speedy change, there should be so few agitators of Indian
opinion who speak even in secret of any real rupture with England
as a thing to be desired. I hardly met with one on my travels
seriously so minded; and all seemed vividly to remember the evils
of their past history, and to see in them a warning of possible
dangers in the future and a reason for caution in their words and
actions. This, I say, was remarkable, and to one who, like myself,
was seeking the germs of self-governing power in India, presented
itself as a very hopeful sign. Froth, fury, and passionate
denunciation I found little of in India. Of logical argument I
found much, and of that reasoning from facts which is the best of
all reasoning, and which in politics goes by the name of common

While, however, I observed and am able to testify to the extreme
moderation of what may be called the responsible leaders of native
opinion in their purely political views, I could not fail in my
intercourse with the educated of all classes to become aware of
the ever-widening gulf of personal dislike which separates these
from the individual Englishmen who rule them. The question of
race hatred in India is a very delicate one to approach; and I am
conscious of accepting no little responsibility in venturing to
treat of it at all; and if I have resolved to attempt it, it is
that I consider it would be affectation in a writer on India to
pass over so marked and growing a feature of modern Indian society,
and that there are cases where the truth at any risk should be
told, and where facts, however painful and humiliating, are better
stated in their nakedness, while they can still be stated calmly,
than left to disclose themselves in some violent form at a day when
calm judgement shall have become impossible.

It is my distinct impression, from all that I have seen and
heard, that the ill-feeling now existing in India between the
English there and the indigenous races is one which, if it be not
allayed by a more generous treatment, will in a few years make
the continued connection between England and India altogether
impossible, and that a final rupture of friendly relations will
ensue between the two countries, which will be an incalculable
misfortune for both, and may possibly be marked by scenes of
violence, such as nothing in the past history of either will have
equalled. We have seen within our own recollection a complete
obliteration of kindly feelings in Ireland, brought about
originally by injustice, later by want of understanding. We are
seeing the same thing repeated through the same causes to-day in
Egypt. And to-morrow we may well find the case of India equally
hopeless. I do not believe it to be already so; but the injustice
is there, and the people are beginning to be awake and to resent
the stupidity of those who, representing England in India, wantonly
affront them; and unless the English public at home, with whom as
yet the Indian races have no quarrel, becomes awake too to the
danger of its own indifference, the same irreparable results of
a general race hatred will follow. Only it should be remembered
that, whereas Ireland and Egypt are countries comparatively
insignificant in extent and population, and for that reason easily
overawed by force, India is a vast continent peopled by races ten
times more numerous than ourselves, and that the convulsion when
it comes will be on a scale altogether out of proportion to our
experience, and so the more alarming. Let India once be united, as
Ireland and Egypt are, in a common sentiment of hatred for all
that is English, and our rule there will _ipso facto_ cease. Let
it once finally despair of English justice, and English force will
be powerless to hold it in subjection. The huge mammal, India’s
symbol, is a docile beast, and may be ridden by a child. He is
sensible, temperate, and easily attached. But ill-treatment he will
not bear for ever, and when he is angered in earnest, his vast bulk
alone makes him dangerous, and puts it beyond the strength of the
strongest to guide him or control.

The account given me by the oldest and best informed of my native
acquaintance (and I am not talking here of Bengali demagogues,
but of men holding, it may be, or who have held high office under
Government, and are deservedly trusted by it), of the gradual
estrangement which has come about within their recollection
between themselves and the English in India, is most instructive.
In the days, they say, of their youth, thirty and forty years
ago, though there were always among the Company’s officers men
who from their abuse of power were disliked and justly feared,
the general feeling of the natives towards the English civilian
was one of respect and even of affection. The Indian character
is affectionate, enthusiastic, and inclined to hero-worship; and
the English in early days, from their superior knowledge and
strength of character, exercised no little fascination on the
native mind. Nearly all of the older men talk with reverence and
esteem of certain teachers who instructed them in youth, and of
certain early patrons to whom they owed their success in after
life; and they willingly acknowledge the influence exercised over
themselves and their generation by such individual example. The
English official of that day, they affirm, had more power than now,
but he exercised it with a greater sense of responsibility, and
so of honour, in its discharge. He took pains to know the people;
and in fact he knew them well. Except in the very highest ranks of
the service he was readily accessible. He lived to a great extent
among the people, and according to the customs of the people. He
did not disdain to make friends with those of the better class,
and occasionally he married among them, or at least contracted
semi-matrimonial relations with the women of the land. This may
have had its ill consequences in other ways, but it broke down
the hedge of caste prejudice between East and West, and gave the
official a personal interest in the people, which no mere sense of
duty, however elevated, could supply. The Englishman of that day
looked upon India not unfrequently as his second home, and, taking
the evil with the good, treated it as such. England could only be
reached by the Cape route. Travelling was tedious and expensive,
the mails few and far between; and many a retired officer had
at the end of his service become so wedded to the land of his
adoption, that he ended his days in it in preference to embarking
on a new expatriation. It is easy to understand from this that the
Anglo-Indian official of the Company’s days loved India in a way
no Queen’s official dreams of doing now. Also that, loving it, he
served it better than now; and was better loved in return.

Steam communication, however, with England and the increased
facility given by it of maintaining home associations, had, even
before the death of the Company, begun to effect a change in the
way of living of its officers, a change which the Mutiny of 1857
accentuated and finally made complete. Gradually, as a visit to
England became easier, leave was more frequently applied for;
and the officer, returned from furlough, brought back with him
a renewed stock of Western prejudices. He no longer considered
himself cut off from the political life of his own country, or
occupied himself so exclusively with the politics of India; and he
came to look forward to other ways of distinction than those the
Indian service offered him. Lastly, the Mutiny itself, with the
bitter memories it left behind, put an end to the contracting by
Englishmen of native habits and native ties. With the introduction
of railways, quick posts, and telegraphic messages, Englishwomen
ceased to dread India as a field of marriage; and every official
now dreamed of making an English home for himself in the station
where he lived. Thus he cared yearly more and more for English news
and English interests, and less and less for those of India.

I shall no doubt incur anger by saying it, but it is a fact that
the Englishwoman in India during the last thirty years has been
the cause of half the bitter feelings there between race and race.
It was her presence at Cawnpore and Lucknow that pointed the sword
of revenge after the Mutiny, and it is her constantly increasing
influence now that widens the gulf of ill-feeling and makes
amalgamation daily more impossible. I have over and again noticed
this. The English collector, or the English doctor, or the English
judge may have the best will in the world to meet their Indian
neighbours and official subordinates on equal terms. Their wives
will hear of nothing of the sort, and the result is a meaningless
interchange of cold civilities.

Nothing in the world can be more dreary than the mixed assemblies
of the Indian natives and their Anglo-Indian patrons--inverted
Barmecide feasts, where everything is unreal but the meats
and drinks, and all the rest is ill-concealed distrust. I have
more than once assisted at them, and always with a painful
feeling. Englishwomen in India look upon the land of their exile
unaffectedly as a house of bondage, on its inhabitants as outside
the pale of their humanity, and on the day of their departure
home as the only star of hope on their horizon. The feeling may
be a natural and an unavoidable one, for it is probable that
race prejudices are more deeply rooted everywhere in women than
in men, but I affirm that it is most unfortunate, and under the
circumstances of growing education in the country, a very great and
increasing danger.

The excuse commonly made by the Anglo-Indians for the lack of
social cordiality between themselves and well-to-do natives is that
the caste regulations of the latter bar real intercourse. A man
who will neither eat with you nor drink with you, it is said, nor
admit you to his own wife’s society, cannot be really intimate in
your house. But I confess I cannot see the force of that argument.
In my own case I certainly did not find that caste prejudices
prevented my forming the most agreeable relations with a number
of Indian gentlemen, Brahmins of high caste, and Mohammedans, as
well as Parsis and native Christians, nor did I find any who did
not seem quite willing to treat me on an equal footing. I found
no difference of any insurmountable kind between their ideas and
my own; not more, indeed, than would have been the case had they
been Spaniards or Italians. The fact of their not breaking bread
with me, I am sure, constituted no kind of obstacle to our kindly
relations. On the other hand, it is obvious that, as regards the
native Christians at least, the rule cannot apply. These have no
caste prejudices, yet they are just as much excluded from the pale
of English society as the rest.

It will hardly be credited in England, but in this present year
of grace, 1884, no hotel-keeper in India dares receive a native
guest into his house, not on account, of any ill-will of his own,
but through fear of losing his custom. When I was at Bombay in the
winter I was treated with the greatest kindness and attention by
various members of the native community, and by none more so than
by Mohammed Ali Rogay, the leading Mohammedan of the city. He had
travelled in Europe, dressed in European dress, and had even so far
adopted our manners as to subscribe to all the public charities and
to drive a four-in-hand. Yet, happening one day to ask him to dine
with me at my hotel, it was explained to me that this could not be,
at least not in the public room, “lest the English guests should
take offence and leave the house.”

In Bengal and Northern India things are still worse, and I think
it is not too much to say that no native gentleman, whatever his
rank, age, or character may be, can visit a place of public resort
frequented by Englishmen, especially if he be in native dress,
without a certain risk of insult and rough treatment. Railway
travelling is notoriously dangerous for them in this respect, and
nearly all my native acquaintances had tales to tell of abuse from
English fellow-passengers, and of having been turned out of their
places by the guards to accommodate these, and now and then of
having been personally ill-treated and knocked about. Men of high
position, therefore, or self-respect, are obliged, either to secure
beforehand special compartments for their use, or to travel third
class. The second class they are especially afraid of. I should
not make this statement unless I had received it from unimpeachable
sources. But I have been assured of its truth among others by
two members of the Supreme Legislative Council at Calcutta, who
separately narrated to me their experiences. I know also that one
of the principal reasons with certain of the leading natives of the
Presidency towns who have adopted the European dress has been to
escape thereby from chance ill-usage.

A painful incident of this liability to insult occurred last
winter in my presence, which, as ocular evidence is always best,
I will relate. I had been staying at Patna with the principal
Mohammedan nobleman of the city, the Nawab Villayet Ali Khan, a
man of somewhat advanced age, and of deservedly high repute, not
only with his fellow-citizens, but with our Government, who had
made him a Companion of the Star of India for his services. On my
departure by the morning train on the 7th January last, he and some
thirty more of the leading inhabitants of Patna accompanied me to
the station, and after I had entered the railway carriage remained
standing on the platform, as orderly and respectable a group of
citizens as need be seen. There was neither obstruction, nor noise,
nor crowding. But the presence of “natives” on the platform became
suddenly distasteful to an English passenger in the adjoining
compartment. Thrusting his head out of window he began to abuse
them and bid them be off, and when they did not move struck at them
with his stick, and threatened the old Nawab especially with it if
he came within his reach. I shall never forget the astonishment of
the man when I interfered, or his indignation at my venturing to
call him to account. It was his affair, not mine. Who was I that
I should interpose myself between an Englishman and his natural
right? Nor was it till, with great difficulty, I had procured the
aid of the police, that he seemed to consider himself other than
the aggrieved person. Now I can affirm that there was absolutely
no reason for his conduct. He was a middle-aged man of respectable
appearance--a surgeon-major, as it turned out, in command of a
district in the Punjab; he was travelling with his wife; it was in
the morning, when ideas are calmest, and he was otherwise without
excuse for excitement. In fact, it was a plain, unmistakable act
of class arrogance, such as it has never been my lot to witness
in any other Eastern country that I have yet visited. Moreover,
it was evident to me that it was no unusual occurrence. The
railway officials and the police treated it as a matter of small
importance, did their best to screen the offender, and declared
themselves incompetent to do more than register my complaint. On
the other hand, the Nawab and his friends confessed with shame
that, though they were insulted, they were not surprised. It had
happened to all of them too often before for them even to feel any
special anger.

“We certainly feel insulted,” writes one of them to me a day or two
later, “but are powerless to take any action on it. We are used to
such treatment from almost every Anglo-Indian.”

“We account for his conduct,” says another, “by supposing that he
thought us (the natives) to be nothing less than brutes and wild
creatures”; while a third remarks:--

“From this you will see how our ruling race treats us with scorn
and contempt. Had we been in English dress, then we would not,
perhaps, have been so much hated.”

“I beg to assure you,” writes a fourth, “that the incident was not”
(an only) “one of its kind, but such treatment is becoming general.
The alarm and dread with which the Anglo-Indians are regarded
cannot be described. Alas! we are hated for no other reason but
because we have a dark colour; because we put on a national dress;
and because we are a conquered race.”

“Allow me to say that it will be difficult for England to hold
India long if such a state of feeling is allowed to progress
without any check.”

And so on through a mass of letters. I have hope now, however, that
the Government, before whom I laid this case, is taking it up. The
Nawab has lodged a formal complaint with the Collector; Lord Ripon
has promised that it shall not be allowed to drop; and my only fear
is that, through the procrastination with which all inconvenient
complaints are met in India by the subordinate officials, the
apology due to the offended gentlemen will be deferred so long that
its effect will have been in great measure lost.[18]

Another cause of the bad relations in modern times between the
Indians and their English masters has been explained to me to be
this:--Under the East India Company the official hierarchy, being
the servants of a commercial corporation, were mainly recruited
from certain families already connected by ties of service with
India, and imbued with traditions of rule which, though far from
liberal, were yet on the whole honourable to those who held
them, and not antagonistic to native sympathies. The officer of
the Company looked upon himself as the protector of native India
against all comers, his own countrymen as well as others; and
it was generally found that, where European planting and native
interests clashed, the Collector or magistrate was inclined to
favour the latter rather than the former in decisions which might
come before him. As a rule he belonged to a rank of life superior
to the non-official Anglo-Indian, and the distinction of class
was felt. Indeed, it often happened that there was more sympathy
of breeding between the Company’s servant and the well-born Hindu
or Mohammedan gentleman than between the same servant and the
English adventurer of the towns or the English indigo-planter
of the country districts. With the adoption, however, of open
competition for the civil service, another class of official
has been introduced into India, who is distinctly of a lower
social grade, and who in so far exercises less authority over his
trading fellow-countrymen, and, the natives say, is less kind and
considerate towards themselves. A young fellow, say the son of an
Ulster farmer, is pitchforked by a successful examination into high
authority in Bengal. He has no traditions of birth or breeding
for the social position he is called to occupy, and is far more
likely to hobnob with the commercial English of his district than
to adapt himself to the ceremonial of politeness so necessary in
Oriental intercourse. He is looked upon by the European planters as
one socially their inferior, and by the well-bred native as little
better than a barbarian. He is lowered, therefore, I am told, in
the social scale, and is far more frequently under the influence of
his tag-rag English fellow-countrymen than in former days. I cannot
say that I have met with men of this description myself, but I
have heard of them frequently, not only from the natives, but from
the English too, as a new difficulty of the situation.

What I did notice was, that throughout the agitation on the Ilbert
Bill, the planters had a considerable backing in the official
world. It was evident that the two societies were united in a way
which would have been impossible in old times, in their opposition
to the native hopes. This change of class in the members of the
Civil Service, and--what I am personally inclined to think more
important still--their change of duties, must be considered if
we are to estimate the increased irritation between race and
race. The modern system of bureaucratic regularity, where all is
done according to printed forms and fixed rules, entails on the
civilians many hours daily of irksome office work, unknown in
early times; and has had the double effect of wearying their zeal
and of secluding them still further from the people. Red tape has
strangled initiative in collectors, magistrates, and district
officers, and has left them no time for personal intercourse with
those they govern. “How can we sit gossiping with the natives,” say
these, “when we can hardly get through our daily work as it is by
the greatest economy of time?” A valid excuse, truly. Yet it was
exactly by gossip that Lawrence and Nicholson, and Meadows Taylor
gained their influence in former days.

I consider myself fortunate in having been at Calcutta at the
precise moment when the Ilbert Bill controversy was at its
fiercest, not on account of any special interest I took in the
Bill itself, but for the instructive display of rival passions and
motives it evoked. Lord Ripon has most unjustly been blamed for
unnecessarily causing the conflagration. But in truth all the
elements of a quarrel were there already in the strained relations
just described as existing between Englishmen and natives; and it
was an accident that the particular ground occupied by the Ilbert
Bill should have been chosen on which to fight the battle of race
prejudice. The history of the affair as viewed with natives’
eyes was this. When Lord Ripon arrived in India, he found the
ill-feeling between the two classes very bitter, and he wisely
determined on redressing, as far as in him lay, class disabilities,
thus carrying out the liberal doctrines proclaimed over and again
for India by his party while out of office. For such a work no man
could have been better suited by temperament or conviction. It is
hardly sufficiently understood in England how large a part personal
integrity plays in acquiring the sympathy of Orientals for their
rulers, and how impossible it is to govern them successfully either
by the mere mechanical instruments of a system or by individual
talents, however great, when these are divorced from principle. The
display of ingenuity and tactical resource which imposes on our own
political imagination and sways the House of Commons is absolutely
valueless in the East; and charlatanism is at once detected and
discounted by its acute intelligence. The Englishmen, therefore,
who have succeeded most permanently in India have rarely been
the most brilliant; and the names which will live there are not
those which their English contemporaries have always ranked the
highest. Moral qualities go farther; truth, courage, simplicity,
disinterestedness, good faith--these command respect, and above all
a solid foundation of religious belief. Such qualities the natives
of India acknowledged from the first in Lord Ripon, and no amount
of mere cleverness could have placed him on the pedestal on which
he stands to-day with them--or rather, I should perhaps say, on
which he stood until the desertion of the Home Government forced
him into an abandonment of his position as a protector of the

I am glad to be able to bear testimony to the fact that no Viceroy,
Lord Canning possibly excepted, ever enjoyed such popularity as
Lord Ripon did in the early part of last winter. Wherever I went in
India I heard the same story; from the poor peasants of the south
who for the first time had learned the individual name of their
ruler; from the high-caste Brahmins of Madras and Bombay; from the
Calcutta students; from the Mohammedan divines of Lucknow; from
the noblemen of Delhi and Hyderabad--everywhere his praise was in
all men’s mouths, and moved the people to surprise and gratitude.
“He is an honest man,” men said, “and one who fears God,” and in
this consciousness all have seemed willing once more to possess
their souls in patience. To say that Lord Ripon has been a failure
in India, through any fault of his own, is to say the reverse of
a fact patent to the whole native world. He has been the most
successful governor India has ever had, because the most loved; and
the only sense in which he can be said to have failed is in so far
as he has failed to seek the favour of the English ruling class or
impose his will on the Home Government.

Of his legislative measures I must speak with less enthusiasm. The
spirit in which they were brought forward was Lord Ripon’s own; but
the drafting of the Bills was the work of others; and they have
been doubtless disappointing. Thus, the Local Self-Government Bill,
though admirable in idea as marking a first step towards native
administration, is in itself a poor thing, and is appreciated
as such even by Lord Ripon’s most cordial admirers. The powers
it grants are too exiguous, the ground it covers is too small,
the checks it imposes are too stringent, for the Bill to excite
any great enthusiasm with the natives, and it is difficult for an
Englishman to peruse its provisions without wonder at its ever
having gained the name of an important measure of reform. Put in
a few words, the Local Self-Government Bill means that the native
communities are to be allowed to mend their own roads, to levy
their own water rates, and devise their own sanitation, on the
condition and provided that the Commissioner of the district does
not think them incapable of doing so. This for the first time after
a hundred years of English rule! I know what the natives think of
the measure, and how little it fulfils their expectations; but no
higher tribute can be paid to Lord Ripon’s popularity than that
they have been sincerely grateful to him for it.

Thus, too, the Ilbert Bill, of which we have heard so much. It
was in itself an infinitesimal measure of relief from native
disabilities. It provided that native judges, under certain
exceptional conditions, in country districts, should have
jurisdiction over Englishmen, a jurisdiction long ago fully granted
them in Ceylon with no ill results, and also granted in India in
the presidency towns. The only province, as far as I could learn,
which would have been at all seriously affected by the Bill was
Bengal, where the English planters saw in it a check to their
system of managing and mismanaging their coolies. I heard a good
deal about this from some Assam planters with whom I sailed on
my way out to India, and I know that that is how they regarded
it. “It is all nonsense,” these told me, “to suppose you can get
on without an occasional upset with the niggers, and our English
magistrates understand this. But if we had native magistrates
we should be constantly getting run in for assault.” In other
districts, however, where milder manners prevail, there seemed to
be no such dread of the Bill; and as to the probability of any
real abuse of their position by native judges with Englishwomen,
I am certain that the whole thing was purely fictitious. But the
agitation against the Bill became dangerous from the fact that it
was all along fostered by the Anglo-Indian officials, who chose the
Bill as a battlefield on which to contest the principle of Lord
Ripon’s Liberal policy. In the Local Self-Government Bill they had
seen a first blow struck at their monopoly of power, and they seem
to have made up their minds to permit no second blow. They were
aided by the English lawyers, who recognized in it a menace to
their professional advancement; and by the planters for the reasons
I have given; and, following the example of the “Times,” the whole
press of England soon joined in the cry. The natives, too, from
first to last, fought the battle as one of principle, though with
far more moderation than their assailants.

I was present in Calcutta on the day when the compromise,
negotiated by Sir Auckland Colvin, was announced to the public,
and I know the effect it produced on native politicians. It was
everywhere looked on as a surrender, and a disgraceful one; and
there was a moment when it was doubtful whether popular indignation
would not vent itself in more than words. But Lord Ripon’s personal
popularity saved the situation, and moderate counsels prevailed. It
was recognized even by the most violent that the pusillanimity of
the Home Government, not of the Viceroy, was in fault; and it was
felt that, should popular indignation turn now upon Lord Ripon, no
Viceroy would ever again dare befriend the people. The compromise,
therefore, was accepted with what grace was possible, and bitter
feelings were concealed, and the day of indignation postponed.

I consider the attitude of native opinion on this occasion vastly
creditable to the political good sense of India, though it would be
highly dangerous to trust to it another time. The evil done will
certainly reappear, and be repaid upon Lord Ripon’s successors.
Down to the last year the natives of India, completely as they
had lost faith in the official system and in the honest purpose
of their covenanted rulers, still looked to the Home Government
as an ultimate Court of Appeal, able to defend them if not always
willing. The weakness, however, of the Cabinet on this occasion to
resist a wholly unjust and unscrupulous attack upon them was now
apparent, and I doubt extremely whether they will ever again have
confidence in Ministerial professions. The Government was entirely
committed to the passing of the Bill, yet it gave way before the
clamour of an insignificant section of the public, abetted by the
sworn enemies of all reform in India--the Anglo-Indian bureaucracy.
The spectacle was not an edifying one, and I know that the natives
appreciated it entirely on its merits, and I am much mistaken if
they did not also come to the conclusion that the justice of a
course was insufficient for its triumph in politics, and that the
only path of victory henceforth lay through agitation. If this is
so, there is little chance of peace in the future of the sort which
governments love.

I do not like to complain of evils without at the same time
suggesting remedies, but it is difficult to recommend an immediate
remedy for the evils I have been depicting. The ill-feeling which
exists between the English in India and the natives is due to
causes too deep-seated in the system we have introduced, and
until that system is changed, little real good will be effected.
I would, however, point out that there is as yet no true hatred
of race between Englishmen and Indians, but rather one of class
only, and that it is yet within our power in England to change the
threatened curse into a blessing. The quarrel in India up to the
present moment is with the Anglo-Indians only, not with the English
nation; and though recent disappointments have begun to shake their
confidence in the Home Government, the natives have not wholly
lost their belief in the sympathy of the land where liberty was
born. Between the two classes--the English of India and the English
of England--they still draw a distinct line, and race hatred in
its true sense will not have been reached until this line is
obliterated. They say, and truly, that in England such of them as
go there find justice, and more than justice, that they are treated
as equals, and that they enjoy all civil and social rights. They
come back proud of being British subjects, and preserve none but
agreeable recollections of the Imperial Island. They do not wish
for separation from its Government, and are loyal before all others
to its Crown. But the contrast of their subject-life in their own
land strikes them all the more painfully on their return, and they
are determined to procure reform. “Reform, not Revolution,” is
their motto, but reform they have made up their minds to have.

With regard to the direction any new change should take, the
educated natives argue thus: Purely English Administration, they
say, in India has had its day and needs to be superseded. It has
wrought much good in the past by the introduction of order and
method, by raising the standard of public morality, and by widening
the field of public interests. As such it deserves thanks, the
thanks of a sick man for his nurse, of a minor for his guardian, of
a child for his preceptor. But further than this, India’s gratitude
cannot go. It cannot be blind to the increasing deficiencies of
those who rule it, or forgo for ever the exercise of returning
strength and coming maturity. The Anglo-Indian bureaucracy has
become too hard a master; it has forgot its position as a servant;
it has forgot the trust with which it was charged; it has sought
its own interests only, not those of India; it has wasted the
wealth of the country on its high living. Like many another
servant, it has come to look upon the land as its own, and to order
all things in it to its own advantage. Lastly, it has proved itself
incapable of sympathy with those whose destinies it is shaping. It
neither loves India nor has been able to command its love; and by
an incapacity of its nature it is now exciting trouble, even where
it is most anxious to soothe and to cajole. Meanwhile the sick man
is recovering, the child is growing up, the minor is about to come
of age. He has learned most of what his tutors had to teach him,
and his eyes are open to the good and the evil, the wisdom and the
want of wisdom, the strength and the weakness of his guardians. He
desires a participation in the management of his own affairs and
a share in the responsibility of rule. To speak practically, the
Civil Service of India must be so remodelled as to make the gradual
replacement of Englishmen by natives in all but the highest posts
henceforth a certainty.

It is not proposed, I believe, by any section of the Indian
public to extend present demands farther than this. But, as with
all political reformers there is an ideal towards which they look
as the goal of their endeavours, so in India the goal of advanced
thinkers is complete administrative independence for the various
provinces on the model of the Australian colonies. Their thought
is that by degrees legislation as well as administration should
be vested in native hands. First it may be by an introduction of
the elective system into the present councils, and afterwards by
something more truly parliamentary. The supreme Imperial Government
all wish to preserve, for none are more conscious than the Indians
that they are not yet a nation, but an agglomeration of nations so
mixed and interblended, and so divided by diversity of tongues and
creeds, that they could not stand alone. An Imperial Government and
an Imperial army will remain a necessity for India. But they see
no reason whatever why the practical management of all provincial
matters should not, in a very few years, be vested in their hands.
That the present system of finance and the exploitation of India
to the profit of Englishmen would have to be abandoned is of
course certain. But there is nothing in India itself to make this

I refrain here from any attempt to sketch a plan of ultimate
self-government for India, but I have argued the matter out with
the natives, and I intend in a future chapter to set it forth
in detail. Suffice it now to say that a change of some sort is
immediately necessary, or at least an assured prospect of change,
if worse calamities are to be avoided. The danger I foresee is
that, with an immense agricultural population chronically starved,
and a town population becoming every day more and more enlightened
and more and more enraged at its servitude, time may not be
given for the slow growth of opinion in England as to the need of
change. I am convinced that if at the present moment any serious
disaffection were to arise in the native army, such as occurred
in 1857, it would not lead to a revolt only. It would be joined,
as the other was not, by the whole people. The agricultural poor
would join it because of their misery, the townsmen in spite
of themselves, because of their deep resentment against the
Anglo-Indians, and the native servants of the Crown because of the
checks placed on their advancement. The voice of reason, such as
now prevails in the academical discussions of the educated class,
would then be drowned in the general noise, and only the sense of
anger and revenge remain. I know that many of the most enlightened
Indian thinkers dread this, and that their best hope is to make the
reality of their grievances, the just causes of their anger, heard
in time by the English people. They still trust in the English
people if they could only make them hear. But they are beginning to
doubt the possibility of attracting their attention, and they are
very nearly in despair. Soon they may find it necessary to trust no
one in the world but themselves. To-day their motto is “Reform.”
Let us not drive them to make it “Revolution” to-morrow.


[17] The literary calibre of the native Indian press has immensely
increased since this was written.

[18] The apology was made, a lame one enough and rather tardy;
but as Mr. Primrose, Lord Ripon’s private secretary, remarks in
his letter of August 29, 1884, forwarding me a copy of it, “The
mere fact of a European addressing a formal apology to a native
gentleman is worth something.”



It is never well to have travelled from Dan to Beersheba and to
record that one has found all barren; and in my present chapter I
shall endeavour to paint the brighter side of the India which I saw
last winter. The material misery of her peasantry has been enough
described, and the bitter feeling of her townsmen educated to a
sense of their fallen estate as a conquered people; and it remains
to me to show the compensating good which by the mysterious law
which rules all human things is being born out of their otherwise
unredeemed misfortunes. The apologists of British rule boast that
they have given India peace, and peace doubtless is a noble gift;
but it has given her far more than this. What really deserves all
Indian thanks, and is indeed an inestimable acquisition, because it
contains within it the germs of a reconquest of all the rest, is
that it has given her liberty of thought. This is a new possession
which India never had, and never perhaps would have had, but
for English influences, and it is difficult not to see in it a
gift undesigned, but which, like the last treasure issuing from
Pandora’s box, is destined to transform the curse of conquest into
the blessing of a wider hope.

I am not one of those who love the East only in its picturesque
aspects, and I have no quarrel with Europe because it has caused
the East to change. I note, indeed, the destruction of much that
was good and noble and of profit in the past by the unthinking and
often selfish action of Western methods; but I do not wish the past
back in its integrity, or regret the impulse given to a new order
there of thought and action. I know that time never really goes
back upon its steps, and no one more readily accepts than myself
the doctrine that what is gone in human history is irrevocably
gone. On the contrary, I see in the connection of East and West a
circumstance ultimately of profit to both; and while the beauty of
its old world is being fast destroyed, and the ancient order of its
institutions subverted, I look forward with unbounded expectation
to the new cosmos which shall be constructed from the ruins. I am
anxious, indeed, to save what can still be saved of the indigenous
plan, and to use in reconstruction something of the same materials;
but I see that the new edifice may well be made superior to the
old, and I should be altogether rejoiced if it should be my lot to
share, however humbly, in the work of its rebuilding.

To speak plainly, the ancient order of Asiatic things, beautiful
as it was, had in it the germs of death, for the one reason that
it did not change. India especially, in old days, did not change.
Conquerors came and went; dynasties rose and perished; and years
of peace and war, of plenty and of famine, trod closely on each
other’s heels, while men were born and lived and died in the same
thoughts. It was the natural life, the remnant of a society which
still followed the law of instinct rather than of reason; but even
in the natural world health must be attended with growth or it will
turn into decay. The intellectual growth of India by the middle of
last century had long stopped; and there was no sign anywhere, when
our English traders first appeared, of a new beginning. Thought had
resolved itself into certain formulae from which there seemed no
escape; and the brain of the body politic, unused and oppressed
with its own mental restrictions, was growing every generation

We have seen the ultimate result of such inaction in other
lands, in Asia Minor, in Persia, and, till within recent memory,
in countries nearer home. It was seen everywhere in Europe in
the Middle Ages, and seems to be a condition natural to all
human societies at a certain stage of their growth. If too long
prolonged it would seem they die, leaving their places empty, as
in Babylonia, or being absorbed in other more vigorous societies,
as the Byzantines were absorbed by the then vigorous Turks. In
almost every case the intellectual awakening has been quickened
from without, by the presence near it of an intelligence more
living than its own and generally hostile, and it may safely be
affirmed that the action and reaction of nations on each other’s
intellectual life is in itself a natural and necessary law of
their development. Thus Mediaeval Europe owed the new birth of its
thought to the invasion in the eighth century of the cultivated and
chivalrous Moors through Spain; and the Catholic Church reformed
its lax discipline, not four hundred years ago, in the presence of
advancing hosts from Western Asia. Something of the same process,
therefore, may be also traced in the counter-wave which has now for
the last hundred years and more been driving Europe back in menace
to the East. Asia has been awakened by it at last to her danger,
and is slowly informing herself with the victorious reason of the
West, and assimilating to her needs that intellectual daring which
is her adversary’s strength. And nowhere more so than in India.
After its long sleep the Indian intellect is rising everywhere
refreshed, and is attempting each day more boldly to strike out new
lines of speculation on the very subjects where it had been most
closely and most hopelessly confined.

All this India indubitably owes to England. Nor is there any
point on which the intellectual methods of the West have been
brought more strongly to bear in Asia than on its creeds. The
ancient monotony of religious practice divorced from religious
intelligence, is slowly giving place to intrusive questionings
which will not be appeased by mere formulae, and men of all faiths
are discussing and reasoning where a hundred years ago they only
asserted. We have witnessed within the last generation something of
this everywhere in Western Asia, but in India it is perhaps still
more marked; and it seems certain that, whatever evil may have been
there wrought to other interests, the interests of its religions
will have been served by our rule, unconsciously, perhaps, and
unwillingly, but none the less really. Paradoxical as it may sound,
the wholly secular rule of aliens, whose boast it is that they have
established no State creed, will be found to have renewed the life
of faiths and given them a stronger, because a more intelligent,
mode of being. The spiritual believer will be strengthened; and the
very pagan will be no longer “suckled in a creed outworn,” but in
living beliefs which will seek to exercise a moral influence on his
conduct more and more for good. To speak precisely, what I see will
be the outcome of such education as England is giving to the Indian
races is a reformation of each of their several religious faiths,
leading to purer thought in their followers, and above all to purer

The creeds of India, speaking generally, are four: the Hindu, which
under various forms embraces four-fifths of the whole population;
the Mohammedan, which is principally powerful in the North of
India and Bengal, and which includes a census of fifty millions;
the Christian (Roman Catholic), found mainly in the extreme South;
and the Parsi.

Of these, Hinduism alone would seem to be a truly indigenous
faith, or one wholly in harmony with the instincts of the rural
population; and it is impossible for a traveller not to be struck
with the tenacity of the ancient superstitions which are its
groundwork. Hinduism belongs to an older order of religions than
any now practised in the West. It is not a religion at all in
our modern sense of being a strict code of morals based upon any
revealed or written law; but, like the popular beliefs of ancient
Greece and Rome, is rather a mythology resting on traditional
reverence for certain objects in certain places. It is essentially
national and local. It does not seek to embrace humanity, but is a
privilege of the Indian races only; and it cannot be practised in
its purity elsewhere than in India. India, according to Brahminical
teaching, is a sacred land, and there alone can be the shrines of
its gods. There alone man can lead a perfect life, or worship with
spiritual profit. Certain localities are specially holy--not, as
with the Christians or the Mohammedans, on account of the tombs of
holy men, but in themselves as being the chosen homes of the divine
powers. All rivers in India thus are sacred, precisely as were
groves in ancient Italy, and on their banks the temples of the gods
are built and spiritual influences felt.

From an aesthetic point of view nothing can be more seductive to a
stranger from the West, or more surprising, than the spectacle of
Hindu worship at one of these ancient shrines--the processions of
women to some lonely grove by the water-side on holiday afternoons
with their offerings of rice and flowers, the old-world music of
pipe and tabour, the priests, the incense, the painted statues of
the immortal gods, the lighted fire, the joyous sacrifices consumed
with laughter by the worshippers. No one can see this without
emotion, nor, again, witness the gatherings of tens of thousands
clothed in white in the great temples of Southern India for the
yearly festivals, and not acknowledge the wonderful continuity of
thought which unites modern India with its European kindred of
pre-Christian days. The worship of idols here is a reality such as
untravelled Englishmen know only from their classics. The temples
of Madura and Seringam are more wonderful and imposing in their
structure than all the edifices of Europe put together, and the
special interest is that they are not dead things. The buyers and
the sellers still ply their trade in the porticoes, the birds have
their nests beneath the eaves. There are sacred elephants and
sacred apes. The priests chaunt still round lighted braziers. The
brazen bulls are anointed each festival day with oil, the foreheads
of the worshippers with ochre. There is a scent of flowers and
incense, and the business of religion goes on continuous from
old time, perhaps a little slacker, on account of the increasing
poverty of the people, but not less methodically, or as a living
part of men’s daily existence. When I had seen Madura I felt that
I had at last seen a temple of Babylon in all its glory, and
understood what the worship of Apis might have been in Egypt. This
worship of the gods--not any theological or moral teaching--is
the foundation of the Hindu religion, and what is still its
distinguishing feature.

At the same time it is beyond a doubt that among the cultivated
Brahmins, who have always acknowledged a higher philosophy than
that of the people, there is a renewed tendency towards the
spiritualization of beliefs. The philosophy of the Vedas is a
high one, and presents to the restored activity of thought a
standard for reform in intellectual conceptions; and although the
Brahminical system is without an absolute written code of morals,
it is easily reconcilable with the highest, and akin to all that
is best in the Semitic teaching. Nowhere more than among the
Hindus is the tradition of domestic virtue a noble one, or the
relation of father and child, of husband and wife, acknowledged
as a sacred one. The vices, therefore, which ages of intellectual
sleep have engendered, are readily recognized as evils now that the
intellect is once more awake; and all that is best in the Christian
moral code is being instinctively adopted into their system by
the enlightened modern Brahmins. This is the common feature of
all religious reform. Vicious practice is the concomitant of
intellectual sloth, and as that sloth yields to action the practice
reforms itself, usually after the model of whatever has roused it
from its sleep.

Thus we see the modern Brahmins proclaiming the morality of
unselfishness in no other language than that in which Christian
divines proclaim it, and making it peculiarly their own. They have
the same teaching as these about truth and justice and integrity,
and appeal in the same way to conscience as a guide. They choose
what is best, and make it harmonize with their own best traditions,
and the result is a general elevation of tone in the upper ranks of
life which presages a corresponding reform in the lower.

This sometimes shows itself, as must also naturally be, in
extravagance. There is a tendency always in such movements to
imitate servilely; and so we see in the rising generation of the
Hindus a certain advanced party which aims at making itself wholly
European. A very few of these have adopted Christianity, but far
more have contented themselves with an abandonment of their beliefs
in favour of philosophies more or less agnostic. Others, again,
without ceasing to be professed Hindus, have contented themselves
with throwing off caste restrictions; and a considerable body in
Bengal and Northern India have formed themselves into a special
sect, known as the Brahmo-Somaj, which would seem to hold doctrines
little different from the vaguer forms of Theism. In the South
of India, however, which is the stronghold of Brahminism, these
extreme innovations have taken little root, and instead there is
found only a more reasoned form of the traditional beliefs. Whether
the worships of Vishnu and Siva and the rest of the national Indian
gods, have a sufficient backbone of practical ethics to undergo a
great moral reform without losing in the end something of their
vitality as popular beliefs, I am not prepared to say; but I feel
certain that distinct moral improvement connected with these
worships is in progress, and that the result up to the present has
been an increased interest with the leaders of Hindu society in the
welfare and social improvement of their religious communities. This
shows itself in exertions made to spread education, in anxiety for
the better management of religious trusts, in the restoration of
temples, sometimes at very large individual cost, and in the rising
agitation against child-marriage and in favour of the re-marriage
of widows.

Something of the same process may be observed in the case of the
Parsis. These would hardly require mention as an Indian sect
at all were it not for their very great intelligence and the
lead they have recently taken in native political life. They are
insignificant in point of population, and very restricted in
their locality. Bombay alone of the great cities finds them in
large numbers. But their wealth there, their commercial aptitude,
and their persistence in availing themselves of every means of
education, have placed them in a position of large and growing
influence. They are, as is well known, the descendants of the
fire-worshippers of Persia, and still hold closely to their
traditions. The religion of Zoroaster, originally simple and
philosophical, seems, in common with the rest of the religions
imported into India, to have become overgrown there with grosser
thought and less worthy practice, and to have adopted many of
the superstitions peculiar to the Indians. Some of these seem,
indeed, to have been forced on the Parsis by the Hindu rulers at
the time of their first settlements, and others to be the result
of the general decay of knowledge due to political conditions. The
Parsis, however, were among the first to take advantage of the
intellectual liberty which has been the atmosphere of India since
the coming of the English, and being also extremely keen traders
they have profited more than others by the commercial _régime_ of
modern times and have grown rich. Well educated, well mannered,
and naturally inclined to good, their religion is now simplifying
itself once more, and the tendency of Parsi thought is, even more
than the Hindu, towards a spiritualization of theological dogmas
and a reform in social practice. Any one who has been with an
educated Parsi over their “Towers of Silence” in Bombay must have
been struck with the pains at which they are to interpret in a
philosophical sense their ancient practice of exposing the dead;
or who has discussed social questions, with their desire to improve
the condition of their women. Of the Parsis, however, and of the
native Christians of Southern India, I will not speak at length.
I saw too little of them to learn anything of real value; and the
great numerical superiority of the Hindus and Mohammedans entitles
them alone to general attention.

My own special attention was naturally most directed to the

Mohammedanism, as is well known, entered India from two separate
sides and under two separate conditions. Its first appearance was
on the western seaboard in the shape of Arab traders, who came with
the double mission of propagating the faith and making money. These
were peaceful preachers, who relied for success not upon the sword
but upon the power of persuasion, and the Mohammedanism implanted
in this form is still to be found on the west coast, in the Kokhnis
of Bombay, the Moplas of Malabar, and the Moormen, or Moors (“os
Moros” of the Portuguese) of Ceylon. They are a busy, prosperous
people--shopkeepers, pedlars, jewellers, or plying certain
handicrafts, and notably that of house-building.

It was extremely interesting to me to find at Colombo the
descendants of the ancient Arab settlers of the eighth and ninth
centuries still keeping up the commercial tradition of Arabia
intact. They number in the whole island of Ceylon about a quarter
of a million, and are among the most prosperous of its inhabitants.
I found them an old-fashioned community, more occupied with this
world than with the next, and only to a very small degree affected
by modern thought. Indeed, such change as was to be noticed among
them was of as recent growth as the advent in Ceylon of Arabi and
his fellow-exiles, whose larger experience of the great outside
world of Islam and the prestige of their late championship of the
faith had begun to make its impression on their thoughts. Until
their arrival no Mohammedan in the island had ever sat down to meat
with men of another faith, and very few had sent their children
to any secular school. The example, however, of the exiles was
beginning to be followed, and I found the Moormen already anxious
for wider instruction, and to come into communication with the
general body of the faithful. It will be a curious result of
Egypt’s misfortunes if the persecution of her patriot chiefs shall
have brought ideas of religious liberty to the Mohammedans of
Southern India; yet it is what seems to be happening. It would be
well if these Moormen were more widely spread than they are, for
their commercial instincts are a healthy element, and one much
needed in the Mohammedan community of India proper.

As I crossed from Ceylon to the mainland and left the coast I first
came in contact with the other and more common Mussulman type--the
descendants of the northern invaders--men wholly distinct from the
busy traders just described, and neither prosperous nor advancing.
The Mohammedans of the inland districts of the Madras Presidency
are the poorest in India. They represent the extreme wave of Mogul
conquest southwards, long ago spent and now receding. They are the
descendants, not of preachers and converts, but of the garrisons
of the north, and their occupation of government gone, they are
fast dying out from want of a means of living. The condition of
the small Mohammedan communities of such towns as Tanjore and
Trichinopoly is very pitiable. Isolated in a population wholly
Hindu, possessed of no traditional industry, without commercial
aptitude or knowledge of other service than the sword’s, they seem
dumbly to await extinction. Their few rich men, owners of landed
property, grow daily less and less at their ease, preyed upon as
they are by an army of helpless and needy relations. They fall in
debt to the Hindu money-lenders, are yearly less able to discharge
their liabilities, and bit by bit the civil courts engulf them.
Those who have no land are reduced to manual labour of the simplest
sort on daily wages. It is a hard but inevitable fate, the fate
which rests upon the law, that none shall live who cannot earn
his bread. These Mohammedans of Southern India are the extreme
exemplification of evils from which the whole community are to
some extent suffering. In the south they are few and hopeless, and
have almost ceased to struggle. In the north the danger of their
condition is rousing them to new activity.

The stronghold of Mohammedan India is the North-West, and there
Islam is far from hopeless or disposed to perish. Intellectually
the equals, and morally the superiors of their Hindu neighbours,
the Mohammedans of the Upper Ganges Valley have not forgotten that
till very lately the Administration of India was almost entirely
in their hands, and they look upon their declining fortunes as
neither deserved nor irremediable. Their historical status is that
of descendants of those Tartar and Persian and Afghan conquerors
who have at various times invaded Hindustan from the North-West,
or of the Hindu converts, principally Rajputs or Pathans, made by
these. Their race, indeed, is nowhere pure, except in the case
of a few princely and noble families, but the tradition of their
origin remains intact, and is at the same time their weakness and
their strength--their strength, inasmuch as it supplies them with
a certain standard of honour beneficial to all societies; their
weakness, inasmuch as it has given them prejudices against the
ordinary means of living open to all the world.

The pride of conquest is the bane of all Mohammedan societies
sprung from Northern Asia, and the Mohammedans of India form no
exception. The Moguls never condescended to trade, but either
settled on the land or took service, civil or military, under
government; and their descendants are still swayed by the same
proud instincts. Their misfortunes in India came upon them in
successive waves. Forced by the Mahratta wars into an alliance
with the East India Company, the Mogul Emperors became early
dependent on these; and with the gradual absorption of the
Delhi Monarchy, the exclusive privilege of rule departed from
the Mohammedan caste--not all at once, but by degrees as new
regulations were enacted and a new system introduced. The first to
suffer were the landowners. By a certain fiscal measure, known as
the “resumptions,” requiring all holders of lands to show their
title deeds, the Mohammedans, who often held by prescription
rather than by written grant, lost largely of their estates, and
so were reduced to poverty. Next, the military services were in
great degree cut off for them by the extinction of the native
armies. And, lastly, the Act, changing the official language from
Persian and Hindustani to English, took from them their still
leading position in the civil employment. The Mohammedans had up
to this more than held their own with the Hindus, as Hindustani
was their vernacular, and Persian the language of their classics;
but in English they were at a distinct disadvantage, for that was
already the language of commerce, and so of the educated Hindus.
Nor could English be learned except at the secular schools, to
which Mohammedans were averse from sending their sons as tending
to irreligion. The sources, therefore, of their employment were on
every side curtailed, and a growing poverty has been ever since
the natural result. The military revolt of 1857, which in Oude and
at Delhi assumed a specially Mohammedan aspect, completed their
disfavour with the English Government, and with it their material

At the same time, owing to circumstances which I have never
heard fully explained, it is an admitted fact that numerically
the Mohammedans of Northern India have been and are a rapidly
increasing body. This may have been due at times to extensions
of British territory, or to conversion among the lower castes of
Hindus, or to other causes; but it is certain that, whereas in old
calculations the Indian Mohammedans were placed roughly at thirty
millions, and more recently by Dr. Hunter at forty millions, they
are now by the last census acknowledged to number fifty millions
of souls, although the increase of the general population of India
has been not at all in like proportion. With regard to their
actual position, therefore, we are faced with the unsatisfactory
phenomenon in Northern India of a vast community growing yearly
more numerous, and at the same time less prosperous; of a community
owning the instincts and the traditions of administration
excluded yearly more and more from the administration; and of a
community which has good grounds for tracing its misfortunes to
the unfavourable conditions imposed upon them by the Imperial
Government. The Mohammedans of Northern India, there is no
denying it, are restless and dissatisfied, and the only question
is in what form their repressed energy, fired by misfortune and
threatened with despair, is likely to find its vent. It may be in
two ways--for their own and the general good, or for their own and
the general harm; and I believe that at the present moment it lies
largely within the power of those who rule India to guide it to the
former and turn it from the latter.

All who are responsible for tranquillity in India must be aware
that there are influences at work, both within the country and
beyond its borders, adverse to that tranquillity, and that at no
time have these been more active than within the last few years,
or engaged on ground more carefully prepared to receive them by
the unwisdom of English policy. I am not, and have never been,
an alarmist about Russian invasion. Viewed as a power hostile to
India, Russia is and may for ever remain innocuous, and I should
view with equanimity her approach to the Hindu Kush, or even to
the actual frontier, were it impossible for her to appear there
as a friend. But as a friend I fear her. If our selfish system of
government for our own and not for India’s good remains unchanged;
if we do nothing to secure Indian loyalty; if we refuse to give to
the people that assurance of ultimate self-government which shall
enable them to await in patience the realization of their hopes;
if we continue to treat them as enemies subdued, as slaves to work
for us, as men devoid of rights--then it is certain that within a
given time all the external world will appear to the Indians under
a friendly guise, and Russia as being the nearest, under the most

Nor can it be denied that under present circumstances the Czar’s
Government has much to offer which the people of India might be
excused for thinking twice before they refused. The Russian,
himself an Oriental, would be probably less hateful as a master
than our unsympathizing official Englishman. But it is far from
certain that it would be at all as a master that he would present
himself to Indian hopes. He might well appear as an ally, a
liberator from the deadly embrace of our financial system, a friend
of liberty, sound economy, and material progress. Who is to say
that Russia should not, in exchange for a new commercial pact
with herself, offer to establish India in complete Home Rule, and
thus outbid us in the popular affection? It would not be hard to
persuade India that she would gain by the change, and, Englishman
as I am, I am not quite convinced that she would on all points lose
by it. In any case, it might well be that men would risk something
in the desire of change, knowing that at worst it would not be much
worse for them than now.

Nor is there any section of the community to which this kind of
argument would apply more strongly than the Mohammedan. The present
order of things is distinctly threatening them with ruin, while
just outside the frontier, and almost within hand’s reach of them,
live men of their own race and faith who are still self-ruled.
What could be more natural than that they should look to these for
support and succour, or to the still stronger Power beyond, if it
should present itself as, in any special manner, their religious
protector? Our own political unwisdom of the last few years has
made this for the first time a possibility; and what was a mere
chimera in the last generation is rapidly becoming a practical

Whatever may have been the defects of the old Ottoman alliance,
there is no question that it was popular in Mohammedan India, that
it symbolized the friendship of England for the outside world of
Islam, and that it left to Russia the invidious post of Islam’s
chief enemy. For this reason the recent Afghan war, in its earlier
stages, was condoned, it being understood as an indirect repulse
of the Northern Power; and it was not till later that it was
looked upon with general disfavour. But the doubtful arrangements
of the Berlin Treaty, the discreditable acquisition of Cyprus and
the abandonment of Tunis--when these things became slowly to be
understood--operated a change in men’s minds, and prepared them
for still stronger reprobations, when, for the first time, England
showed herself distinctly the aggressor in Egypt.

In spite of the illusions of Ministers on the subject, or the
subtleties to which they had recourse, it is beyond a doubt that
the Mohammedans of India wholly sympathized with Arabi during the
war; that they were disgusted with the false issues raised in
connection with the Sultan’s proclamation of his rebellion; and
that for the last two years Russia has ceased to hold with them the
position of the most dangerous enemy their faith has to fear. I do
not say that as yet the distrust is absolute. No little loyalty
still survives for the English Crown as contrasted with the English
Ministry; but it is quite certain that the history of Egypt’s ruin
since the war, and the apparent design of our Government to destroy
all that is best and foster all that is least good in Islam, is
working on all sides a change. In the decay of Constantinople
the Moslem world is looking more than ever for a champion; and
if England refuses the office it may well be offered to another
Christian Power.

This, I say, is one way in which Mohammedan India may be taught
to seek its salvation from accumulating evils. The other--and
to my mind the far more hopeful way--it is in the power of our
Government still to encourage them to choose. Three years ago I
pointed out, in a book entitled “The Future of Islam,” the view
which Indian Mohammedans took of her Majesty’s duties towards them
in connection with her assumption of the Mogul title; and, while
I was in India last winter, I had the satisfaction of finding
my statement of their case fully accepted by those whom it most
concerned. The Indian mulvis, Shiah as well as Sunni, held that
her Majesty, in making herself Empress of India, had accepted a
legal responsibility toward the Mohammedan community which involved
a distinct obligation of protection in return for their loyalty,
especially in such matters as the administration of their religious
trusts, the furtherance of their education, and the arrangements
connected with their pilgrimage; and they had even caused a
translation of my statement to be published in Hindustani.

With regard to religious trusts, I found everywhere complaint
of their being misapplied. It appears that at the time of the
_resumptions_, many of these were confiscated on the arbitrary
ground of defect in title, and others later on apparently no ground
at all but public convenience. The locally notorious case of the
Mohsin trust in Bengal has now been in part remedied, but it is
worth quoting as a case which the Government has been forced to
acknowledge, and it has been cited to me as an example of numerous
cases less well known in which similar injustice still exists.
In this, a large property was bequeathed by a rich Mohammedan
explicitly for pious uses, yet for many years the income held in
trust by the Government was devoted, not to any Mohammedan purpose
at all, but to the education of Hindus. This, I say, has been
acknowledged; but I have been repeatedly informed that sufficient
property is still in Government hands to satisfy, if it were
devoted to the uses originally intended, all the pressing needs
of Mohammedan education; and I have the authority of Dr. Leitner,
Principal of the Lahore Government College, for stating that in the
Punjab alone _wakaf_ property to the value of many thousand pounds
yearly is being officially misapplied.

Of the pilgrimage, I will only say that the need of organization
in the shipment of pilgrims is still strongly demanded, and of
protection while on their journey. Something has been, indeed,
done in the last three years, but exceedingly little; and the
Indian Mohammedans regard such protection as a duty of the Imperial
Government, made more than ever necessary by the growing abuses
connected with the quarantine and other vexatious regulations at

Again, with regard to their education, the case of the Mohammedans
is this: Like the Catholics in England, they are extremely attached
to their religion, and anxious that their children should inherit
in its purity a blessing to which they themselves were born; and
they consider that a merely secular education, such as is offered
by the State, does not suffice for their need. In no country in
the world is the position of a teacher towards his pupil a more
powerful one than in India; and the Mohammedans see that at the
Government schools and colleges the masters are, almost without
exception, English or Hindu. The great mass of the orthodox,
therefore, hold aloof from these, and the consequence has been
that they find themselves deprived of nearly all State aid in
their education, and, for the more rigid, of all public education
whatsoever. It is of course cast in their teeth by their opponents
that this is mere fanaticism and prejudice; that they refuse to
learn English out of disloyalty, and that they desire no progress
and no modern instruction. But, whatever may have been the case in
former days, I can confidently assert that it is certainly not true
now; and I hold the position taken by the Indian mulvis to be an
unassailable one in justice, or on any other ground than the theory
that all religion is pernicious and should be discouraged by the
State. I do not say that the State in India has taken its stand
publicly on this ground, but in practice its action with regard
to public education affects Mohammedans in no other way. This,
therefore, is a point on which the Imperial Government may, if it
will, intervene as a protector, and in which its action would be at
once appreciated by its Mohammedan subjects, and be recognized by
them as a title to their loyalty.

Lastly, I would repeat what I have said elsewhere as to the special
nature of the connection between the political and the religious
organization of all Moslem societies. Mohammedans look to the
government under which they live as a fountain of authority; and
they expect that authority to be used; and it is useless to repeat
to them that the Government is impartial to all religions and
indifferent to their own. Indifference with them is tantamount
to neglect of duty; and as such the Mohammedans of India regard
the present abstention of the English Government. There are
many liberal-minded men among our high officials, and not a few
friends of Islam. But the tide of official movement is not in
this direction; and the general feeling is indifference. What I
mean is that I would have the matter taken up with vigour, as an
Imperial duty, and not in Oude only and the North-West, but in
every province where the Mohammedans are a numerous community. The
advancement of their education, their encouragement in commercial
and industrial pursuits, and a faithful protection of their
religious interests abroad, will secure to the English Crown the
renewed trust of its Mohammedan subjects. The neglect of these
things, and a prosecution of the present evil policy of doing harm
to Islam, will secure beyond redemption their disloyalty. It is a
thing seriously to consider and decide while time is yet given. It
soon may be wholly too late, for nothing is more certain than that
the Indian Mohammedans, like those elsewhere, are in a crisis of
their history; and that, by disregarding their just complaints,
we are allowing griefs to grow which will some day overwhelm us
with confusion. “England,” if I may be allowed to repeat what I
said three years ago, “should fulfil the trust she has accepted
by developing, not destroying, the existing elements of good in
Asia. She cannot destroy Islam nor dissolve her own connection
with her. Therefore, in God’s name, let her take Islam by the hand
and encourage her boldly in the path of virtue.” This, in spite of
the victory of force in Egypt, is still the only wise and worthy

On the whole, the intellectual and religious aspects of India under
English rule are what I found there of most hope, and I am glad
to think that they could hardly have been witnessed under other
domination than our own.


[19] Much of what is here recommended as England’s duty towards
Islam has within the last two years been taken to heart by our
rulers, and adopted as a part of English policy. It is only to
be regretted that in India the motive seems to have been the
encouragement of Mohammedan loyalty as a counterpoise to the Hindu
movement for self-government, 1909.



Before considering the case for self-government in British India, a
few words may be said about the semi-independent Native States.

There is an interest attaching to these Native States which is
twofold for the political observer. They present in the first place
a picture, instructive if not entirely accurate, of the India of
past days, and so serve in some measure as landmarks and records of
the changes for good and evil our rule has caused. And secondly,
they afford indications of the real capacity for self-government
possessed by the indigenous races.

When one has seen a native court, with its old-world etiquettes,
its ordered official hierarchies, and its fixed notions, one
learns something, which no amount of reading could teach, about
the tradition of paternal government long swept away in Madras and
Bengal. One recognizes how much there was that was good in the
past in the harmonious relations of governors and governed, in
the personal connection of princes and peoples, in the tolerance
which gave to each caste and creed its recognized position in the
social family. One is surprised to find how naturally such adverse
elements as the Hindu Brahmin and the Mohammedan nobleman lay down
together under a system which precluded class rivalry, and how
tolerant opinion was in all the practical details of life. One does
not readily imagine from the mere teaching of history the reason
which should place a Mussulman from Lucknow in command of the
army of a Rajput prince, or a Hindu statesman in the position of
vizier to a Nizam of the Deccan. Yet seeing, one understands these
things, and one recognizes in them something of the natural law
existing between “the creatures of the flood and field” which makes
it impossible “their strife should last.” In the traditional life
of ancient India there was an astonishing tolerance now changed to
intolerance, an astonishing order in face of occasional disorder,
and a large material contentment which neither war nor the other
insecurities of life permanently affected. It is impossible, too,
after having visited a native court, to maintain that the Indian
natives are incapable of indigenous government. The fact which
proves the contrary exists too palpably before one’s eyes. The
late Sir Salar Jung was as distinctly a statesman as Lawrence or
Dalhousie; and among the Mahrattas there are not a few diwans to be
found in office capable of discharging almost any public function.

At the same time it is abundantly clear that in all that
constitutes intellectual life the India of old days, as represented
in the still independent States, was far more than a century behind
the India of our day. Mental culture is at the lowest ebb in the
capitals of the native princes. They possess neither schools on any
large plan, nor public libraries, nor are books printed in them nor
newspapers published. I was astonished to find how in the centre of
busy intellectual India large flourishing towns were to be found
completely isolated from all the world, absorbed in their own local
affairs, and intellectually asleep. At certain of the native courts
history is still represented by the reciter of oral traditions,
letters by the court poet, and science by professors of astrology;
while the general politics of the Empire hardly affect, even in a
remote degree, the mass of the unlettered citizens. Last winter’s
storm over Lord Ripon’s internal policy left the native States
absolutely unmoved. There is both good and bad in this.

With regard to their material prosperity, as contrasted with
British India, I can only speak of what I have seen. The
territories of the native princes are for the most part not the
most fertile tracts of India; and one cannot avoid a suspicion that
their comparative poverty has been the cause of their continued
immunity from annexation. Nearly the whole of the rich irrigated
ricelands of the peninsula are now British territory; and the
estates of the Nizam, and the two great Mahratta princes Holkar
and Scindia, comprise a large amount of untilled jungle. These
countries possess no seaports or navigable rivers, and their arable
tracts are not of the first order of productiveness, while the
Rajput princes are lords of districts almost wholly desert. It
would be, therefore, misleading to compare the material wealth of
the peasantry in any of these States with those of Bengal or the
rich lands of the Madras coast, for the conditions of life in them
are not the same. But, poor land compared with poor land, I think
the comparison would not be unfavourable to the native States.
I was certainly struck in passing from the British Deccan below
Raichore into the Nizam’s Deccan with certain signs of better
condition in the latter. Most of the Nizam’s villages contain
something in the shape of a stone house belonging to the head man.
The flocks of goats, alone found in the Madras Presidency, are
replaced by flocks of sheep; and one sees here and there a farmer
superintending his labourers on horseback, a sight the British
Deccan never shows. In the few villages of the Nizam which I
entered I found at least this advantage over the others, that there
was no debt, while I was assured that the mortality during the
great Deccan famine was far less severe in the Nizam’s than in her
Majesty’s territory.

It must not, however, be supposed that in any of the native
States the ancient economy of India has been preserved in its
integrity. Free trade has not spared them more than the rest.
Their traditional industries have equally been ruined, and they
suffer equally from the salt monopoly; while in some of them the
British system of assessing the land revenue at its utmost rate,
and levying the taxes in coin, has been adopted to the advantage
of the revenue and the disadvantage of the peasant. On the whole
the agricultural condition of the Hyderabad territory seemed to me
a little, a very little, better than that of its neighbour, the
Madras Deccan, and I believe it is a fact that it is attracting
immigrants from across the border. The Rajput State of Ulwar,
where I also made some inquiries, was represented to me as being
considerably more favourably assessed than British Rajputana.

The best administered districts of India would seem to be those
where a native prince has had the good fortune to secure the
co-operation of a really good English assessor, allowing him to
assess the land, not with a view to immediately increased revenue,
but the true profit of the people. Such are to be found in some
of the Rajput principalities, where the agricultural class is
probably happier, though living on a poor soil, than in any other
part of India; for the assessor, freed from the necessity which
besets him in British territory of raising a larger revenue than
the district can quite afford, and having no personal interest
to serve by severity, allows his kindlier instincts to prevail,
and becomes--what he might be everywhere in India--a protector of
the people. I trust that it is understood by this time that I am
far from affirming that Englishmen are incapable of administering
India to its profit. What I do say is that selfish interests and
the interests of a selfish Government prevent them from so doing
under the present system in British territory. Thus it is certain
that the Berar province of Hyderabad under British administration
has prospered exceedingly; and its prosperity affords precisely
that exceptional instance which proves the general rule of
impoverishment. What may probably be affirmed without any risk of
error is, that the best administered districts of the native States
are also the best administered of all India.

With regard to the town population, I found the few independent
native capitals which I visited exhibiting signs of well-being
in the inhabitants absent in places of the same calibre under
British rule. With the exception of Bombay, which is exceptionally
flourishing, the native quarter, even in the Presidency towns, has
everywhere in British India a squalid look. The “Black Town” of
Madras reminds one disagreeably of Westminster and the Seven Dials:
and there is extreme native misery concealed behind the grandeur of
the European houses in Calcutta. The inland cities are decidedly
in decay. Lucknow and Delhi, once such famous capitals, are shrunk
to mere shadows of their former selves; and there is a distrustful
attitude about their inhabitants which a stranger cannot fail to
notice. The faces of the inhabitants everywhere in Northern India
are those of men conscious of a presence hostile to them, as in
a conquered city. In the capitals of the native States, on the
contrary, there is nothing of all this, and the change in the
aspect of the natives, as one passes from British to native rule,
is most noticeable. The Hyderabadis especially have a well-fed
look not commonly found in the inland towns, and are quite the
best dressed townsmen of India. There is a bustle and cheerfulness
about this city, and a fearless attitude in the crowd, which is a
relief to the traveller after the submissive silence of the British
populations. Elephants, camels, horsemen--all is movement and life
in Hyderabad; and as one passes along one realizes for the first
time the idea of India as it was in the days when it was still
the centre of the world’s wealth and magnificence. That these gay
externals may conceal a background of poverty is possible--English
officials affirm that they do so; but at least it is better thus
than that there should be no gaiety at all, nor other evidence of
well-being than in the bungalows of a foreign cantonment.

Nor is the cause of the better condition far to seek. Whatever
revenue the native court may raise from the people is spent
amongst the people. The money does not leave the country, but
circulates there; and, even where the profusion is most irrational,
something of the pleasure of the spending remains, and is shared
in and enjoyed by all, down to the poorest. In British India the
_tamachas_ of governors-general and lieutenant-governors interest
no one but the aides-de-camp and their friends; and a large portion
of the revenue goes clean away every year, to the profit of other
lands and other peoples.

Of the administration of justice in the native States I had no
opportunity of forming an accurate opinion, but I am willing to
believe that it is less satisfactory in these than in British
India. The only advantage that I could distinctly recognize in
compensation was, what I have already mentioned, the absence of
the Civil Courts, which are so loudly complained of in the latter
on account of the encouragement they give to usury. It is worth
repeating that the only villages I found free from debt in India
were in the Nizam’s territory. With this exception, it is probable
that British justice is better everywhere than “native” justice,
and there is certainly not the same check exercised in a native
State by public opinion over the doings of magistrates and judges.
In all this the native States are far behind the Imperial system,
for the despotic form of rule is the only one recognized in any
of them, Hindu or Mohammedan, and there is no machinery by which
official injustice can be inquired into or controlled. The ideas of
liberty are spreading slowly in India, and the native States are
hardly yet touched by them.

Having said this much about the native States, in which there is as
yet no clamour for reform, I will go on to the question, one quite
apart from them, of British India proper.

Unless I have wholly failed to make my reasoning clear, readers
of these essays will by this time have understood that, in answer
to the question propounded at the outset of this inquiry--namely,
whether the connection between England and India is of profit to
the Indian people; and to the further question whether the Indian
people regard it as of profit--I have come to conclusions on the
whole favourable to that connection.

My argument, in a few words, has been this: seeking the balance
of good and evil, I have found, on the one hand, a vast economic
disturbance, caused partly by the selfish commercial policy of the
English Government, partly by the no less selfish expenditure of
the English official class.

I have found the Indian peasantry poor, in some districts to
starvation, deeply in debt, and without the means of improving
their position; the wealth accumulated in a few great cities and
in a few rich hands; the public revenue spent to a large extent
abroad, and by an absentee Government. I have been unable to
convince myself that the India of 1885 is not a poorer country,
take it altogether, than it was a hundred years ago, when we first
began to manage its finances. I believe, in common with all native
economists, that its modern system of finance is unsound, that far
too large a revenue is raised from the land, and that it is only
maintained at its present high figure by drawing on what may be
called the capital of the country, namely, the material welfare of
the agricultural class--probably, too, the productive power of the
soil. I find a large public debt, and foresee further financial

Again, I find the ancient organization of society broken up, the
interdependence of class and class disturbed, the simple customary
law of the East replaced by a complicated jurisprudence imported
from the West, increased powers given to the recovery of debt, and
consequently increased facilities of litigation and usury. Also
great centralization of power in the hands of officers daily more
and more automatons and less and less interested in the special
districts they administer. In a word, new machinery replacing, on
many points disadvantageously, the old. I do not say that all these
things are unprofitable, but they are not natural to the country,
and are costly out of proportion to their effect of good. India has
appeared to me at best in the light of a large estate which has
been experimented on by a series of Scotch bailiffs, who have all
gone away rich. Everything is very scientific, very trim, and very
new, especially the bailiff’s own house; but the farms can only
be worked now by skilled labourers and at enormous expense; while
a huge capital has been sunk, and the accounts won’t bear looking

On the other side, I have found an end put to the internecine wars
of former days, peace established, security for life given, and
a settled order of things on which men can count. I have never
heard a native of India underrate the advantage of this, nor of
the corresponding enfranchisement of the mind from the bondage in
which it used to lie. A certain atmosphere of political freedom
is necessary for intellectual growth. Where men were liable to
fine, imprisonment, and death for their opinions there could be
no general advance of ideas, and the want of personal liberty had
for centuries held India in mental chains. No one had dared to
think more wisely than his fellows, or, doing so, had speedily been
stopped by force from teaching it to others. But under English
rule, with all its defects, thought has been free, and men who
dared to think have kept their heads, so that a generation has
sprung up to whom liberty of opinion has seemed natural, and with
it has come courage. The Indians in the towns are now highly
educated, write books, found newspapers, attend meetings, make
tours of public lectures, think, speak, and argue fearlessly, and
an immense revival of intellectual and moral energy has been the
result. It is not a small thing, again, that the gross licence
of the old princely courts has given place to a more healthy
life--that crime in high places is no longer common; that sorcery,
poisoning, domestic murder, and lives of senseless depravity are
disappearing; that the burning of widows has been abolished, and
child-marriage is now being agitated against. These things are
distinct gains, which no candid Englishman, any more than do the
candid natives, would dream of underrating. And, as I have said
before, they supply that element of hope which contains in it a
germ of redemption from all other evils. This is the “per contra”
of gain to be set in the balance against India’s loss through

It would, therefore, be more than rash for Indian patriotism to
condemn the English connection. Nor does it yet condemn it. There
is hardly, I believe, an intelligent and single-minded man in the
three Presidencies who would view with complacency the prospect
of immediate separation for his country from the English Crown.
To say nothing of dangers from without, there are dangers from
within well recognized by all. The Indians are no single race;
they profess no one creed, they speak no one language; highly
civilized as portions of their society are, it contains within its
borders portions wholly savage. There are tribes in all the hills
still armed with spear and shield, and the bulk of the peaceful
agricultural population is still in the rudest ignorance. The work
of education is not yet complete, or the need of protection passed.
All recognize this, and with it the necessity for India still of an
armed Imperial rule. Were this withdrawn, it is certain at least
that the present civilized political structure could not endure,
and it is exceedingly doubtful whether any other could be found
to take its place. I do not myself see in what way the issue of a
rupture could be made profitable to the Indian nations, nor do I
understand that the exchange from English to another foreign rule
would improve their condition.

At the same time I recognize that it is impossible the present
condition of things should remain unchanged for more than a
very few years. For reasons which I have stated, the actual
organization of Anglo-Indian government has become hateful to
the natives of India, and however much their reason may be on
the side of patience, there is a daily increasing danger of its
being overpowered by a passionate sentiment evoked by some chance
outbreak. Nor do I believe that it will be again possible for
England to master a military revolt, which would this time have the
sympathy of the whole people. Moreover, even if we should suppose
this fear exaggerated and the evil day of revolt put off, there is
yet the certainty of a Government by force becoming yearly more
costly and more difficult to carry on. It is a mistake to suppose
that India has ever yet been governed merely by the English sword.
The consent of the people has always underlain the exercise of our
power, and were this generally withdrawn it could not be maintained
an hour. At present the Indian populations accept English rule as,
on the whole, a thing good for them, and give it their support. But
they do not like it, and were they once convinced that there was
no intention on the part of the English people to do them better
justice and give them greater liberty than they have now, they
might without actual revolt make all government impossible. It
cannot be too emphatically stated that our Indian administration
exists on the goodwill of the native employés.

What then, in effect, should that reform be, and towards what
ultimate goal should reformers look in shaping their desires and
leading the newly awakened thought of India towards a practical
end? While I was at Calcutta I attended a series of meetings at
which this question was put in all its branches, and at which
delegates from all parts of India discussed it fully; and in what
I am now going to say I can therefore give, with more or less
accuracy, the native Indian view of Indian needs. Many matters of
social importance were debated there, many suggestions made of
improvements in this and that department of the administration,
and the financial and economic difficulties found their separate
exponents; but it was easy to remark that, while all looked forward
to the realization of their special hopes, none seemed to consider
it possible that any real change would be effected as long as what
may be called the constitution of the Indian Government remained
what it now is. The burden of every argument was, “No reform is
possible for us until the Indian Government is itself reformed.
It is too conservative, too selfish, too alien to the thoughts
and needs of India, to effect anything as at present constituted;
and just as in England reformers at the beginning of this century
looked first to a reform of Parliament, so must Indian reformers
now look first to a reform of the governing body of the country.”
Constitutional changes are needed as an initial step towards
improvement; and it is the strong opinion of all that nothing
short of this will either satisfy Indian hopes or ward off Indian

The Indian Government as at present constituted is a legacy from
days when the advantage of the natives of India was not even in
name the first object with its rulers. Its direct ancestor, the
East India Company, was a foreign trade corporation which had got
possession of the land, and treated it as a property to be managed
for the exclusive advantage of its members, either in the form of
interest on the Company’s capital, or of lucrative employment for
relatives and friends of the shareholders. The advantage of the
natives was not considered, except in so far as their prosperity
affected that of the Company; and in early days there was no
pretence even of this. India was a rich country, and for many years
was held to be an inexhaustible mine of wealth, and was treated
without scruple as such. Nor was it till the trial of Warren
Hastings that any great scandal arose or any serious check was put
to the greediness of all concerned. The directors in London, and
their servants in the three Presidencies, had a common object of
making money, and the only differences between them were as to the
division of profits, while all alike grew rich.

The government of the country was then vested in a Board of
Directors sitting at the India House, and delegating their
executive powers to a civil service of which they themselves had in
most instances been originally members, and whose traditions and
instincts they preserved. It was a bureaucracy pure and simple,
the most absolute, the closest, and the freest of control that
the world has ever seen; for, unlike the bureaucracies of Europe,
it was subject neither to the will of a sovereign nor to public
opinion in any form. Its selfishness was checked only by the
individual good feeling of its members, and any good effected by
it to others than these was due to a certain traditional largeness
of idea as to the true interests of the Company. It was only on
the occasion of the renewal of the Company’s charter that any
interference could be looked for from the English Parliament and
public; and so it continued until the Mutiny.

In 1858, however, the Company as a Company came to an end. The
Board of Directors was abolished, dividends ceased to be paid to
owners of Indian stock, and the Government of India was transferred
nominally to the English Crown. At that time there was a great talk
of reforming the system of administration, and it was publicly
announced that India should for the future be governed in no other
interest than its own. A royal proclamation gave the natives of
British India their full status as British subjects; they were no
longer to be disqualified for any function of public trust, and no
favour was to be shown to English rather than to native interests
in the Imperial policy. The programme was an excellent one, and
was received in India with enthusiasm, and caused a real outburst
of loyalty to the English Crown which has hardly yet subsided.
Its only fault, indeed, has been that it has never been carried
out, and that while the Indians have waited patiently the plan has
been defeated in detail by vested interests too strong for the
vacillating intentions either of the Government which designed the
change, or of any that have succeeded it. In spite of all official
announcements and statements of policy, and royal proclamations,
the principle of Indian government remains what it has always
been--that is to say, government in the interests of English trade
and English adventure. The more liberal design has faded out of

The explanation of so great a failure I believe is this. When the
sovereign power was transferred from the Company to the Crown,
it was considered convenient to preserve as far as possible the
existing machinery of administration. The East India Company had
formed a civil service composed of its own English nominees,
whose interests had gradually become part and parcel of the
general interest of the concern; and they had obtained rights
under covenant which secured them in employment, each for his term
of years, and afterwards in pension. These rights the English
Government now recognized, and the same covenant was entered into
with them as had formerly been granted by the Company, and thus a
vested interest in administration was perpetuated which has ever
since impeded the course of liberal development.

The only real change introduced in 1858 was to substitute
appointment by examination for appointment by nomination; but the
composition of the service has remained practically the same, and
the English covenanted civilian is still, as he was in the days
of the Company, the practical owner of India. His position is
that of member of a corporation, irremovable, irresponsible, and
amenable to no authority but that of his fellow-members. In him
is vested all administrative powers, the disposal of all revenue,
and the appointment to all subordinate posts. He is, in fact, the
Government, and a Government of the most absolute kind.

But the covenanted Civil Service is also a wholly conservative
body. Composed though it may be admitted to be in large part of
excellent and honest men--men who do their duty, and sometimes more
than their duty--it has nevertheless the necessary vice of all
corporations. Its first law is its own interests; its second only
those of the Indian people. Nor is it casting a reflection on its
members to state this. There has never been found yet a body of men
anxious to benefit the world at large at the expense of its own
pocket; and the Indian Civil Service, which is no exception to the
rule, sees in all reform an economy of its pay, a curtailment of
its privileges, and a restriction of its field of adventure. Such a
service is of its very nature intolerant of economy and intolerant
of change.

When, therefore, I say, in common with all native reformers,
that the first reform of all in India must be a reform of its
covenanted Civil Service, I am advocating primarily the removal of
an obstruction. But the covenanted service is also at the present
day an anachronism and an entirely needless expense. Fifty, and
forty, and even twenty-five years ago, it may have been necessary
to contract on extravagant terms and for life with Englishmen of
education, in order to obtain their services in so remote a country
as India then was. Such men a generation since were comparatively
rare, and the India House, and after it the India Office, may
have been right in establishing a special privileged service for
its needs, and in granting the covenants it made with them. But
modern times have altered all this, and now the supply of capacity
is so great that quite as good an article can be obtained without
any covenant at all. The commercial companies have all long ago
abandoned the old idea, and get their servants for India now as
for other parts of the world, in the open market; nor do they
find the quality inferior because they enter into no lifelong
engagements with them. And so also the Indian Government must
do in times to come if it is to keep its head financially above
water. It is altogether absurd at the present day to contract
with men on the basis of their right to be employed and pensioned
at extravagant rates as long as they live. It is not done in the
English diplomatic service, whose duties are somewhat similar, nor
in any other civil service that I know of. I feel certain that
as good Englishmen could be obtained now at a third of the pay,
and without any further covenant than the usual one of employment
during good behaviour, as are now at the present rates and under
the present conditions. If not, it would be far better to dispense
with English service altogether, except in the highest grades, and
employ natives of the country at the lower rates, which would still
be high rates to them. The excessive employment of Englishmen has
been a growth of comparatively recent date, and is working harm in
every way.

Instead of the covenanted Civil Service, therefore, there would be
an uncovenanted service obtained in the open market, and endowed
with no more special privileges than our services at home. The
members of this would then be under control and, in a true sense of
the word, the servants of the State. Now they are its masters.

That they are its masters has been abundantly proved by the success
of their efforts to thwart Lord Ripon’s policy during the last
three years. Lord Ripon came out to India on the full tide of
the Midlothian victory, and quite in earnest about carrying out
Midlothian ideas; nor has he faltered since. But the net result of
his viceroyalty has been almost _nil_. Every measure that he has
brought forward has been defeated in detail; and so powerful has
the Civil Service been that they have forced the Home Government
into an abandonment, step by step, of all its Indian policy. This
they have effected in part by open opposition, in part by covert
encouragement of the English lay element, in part by working
through the English press. When I arrived in India I found Lord
Ripon like a schoolboy who has started in a race with his fellows
and who has run loyally ahead, unaware as yet that these have
stopped, and that all the world is laughing at his useless zeal.
The Anglo-Indian bureaucracy had shown itself his master in spite
of Midlothian.

But if the covenanted Civil Service is an obstructive and
burdensome legacy from the defunct Company, so too is the
constitution of the Indian Government in London. In 1858, when
the Company came to an end, the India House was replaced by the
India Office, and the Board of Directors by the Indian Council:
a change which was doubtless intended to signify much, but which
in practice has come to signify hardly anything at all. The India
Office represents of necessity the traditions of the past, and
the Council, which was designed to check it, has proved a more
conservative and acquiescent body than even the old Board of
Directors, its prototype and model. The reason of this is obvious.
The Council, composed as it is almost exclusively of retired civil
or military servants, views Indian matters from the point of view
only of the Anglo-Indian service. It is even less amenable than
this is to the influence of new ideas, and is more completely out
of touch with modern native thought. Its experience is always that
of a generation back, not of the present day, and it refuses, more
persistently even than the younger generation in active service, to
admit the idea of change.

Thus the Secretary of State, who is dependent on this blind guide,
is in no other position at home than is the Viceroy in India.
Ignorant, as a rule, of all things Indian, and dependent for advice
on the India Office and his Anglo-Indian Council, he never gets at
the truth of things, and blunders blindly on as they direct. It is
almost impossible for him, however robust his will, to hold his own
as a reformer.

The reforms, therefore, at home and in India which native opinion
most strongly and immediately demands are, as regards India, that
the active Civil Service should be remodelled, by the abolition of
all covenants for lifelong employment, and by the liberal infusion
of native blood into the non-covenanted service. It is proposed
that as vacancies occur a certain proportion--say a third or a
fourth--should be reserved exclusively for men of Indian birth, and
that thus by degrees the whole Civil Service, with the exception of
the highest posts, should become indigenous. Also, as regards the
Government at home, that the Secretary of State for India should
have the advice of native as well as Anglo-Indian retired officials
on his Council in London. Until this is done they consider that the
Government of India will continue to be carried on in the dark, and
thus that reform will remain as hitherto, abortive.

It is obvious, however, that such initial changes are a first
step only in the direction of reforms infinitely more important.
What India really asks for as the goal of her ambitions is
self-government--that is to say, that not merely executive but
legislative and financial power should be vested in the native
hands. At present the legislative authority of each Presidency
resides in the Governor in Council, and there is no system
whatsoever of popular representation, even of the most limited
kind. The Councils are composed wholly of nominees, and, except
in very small measure, of English official nominees, and their
functions are limited to consultation and advice, for they are
without any real power of initiative or even of veto. In each of
these Councils a few natives have been given places, but they are
in no sense representatives of the people, being, on the contrary,
nominees of the Government, chosen specially for their subservience
to the ideas of the Governor of the day; and their independence is
effectually debarred by the further check that their appointment is
for three years only, and reversible at the end of such period by
the simple will of the Governor. All the other members--and they
form the large majority--are English civil or military officers,
who look to appointments on the Councils as the prizes of their
service, and who usually represent the quintescence of official
ideas. Lord Ripon, indeed, took pains to get together men of a
liberal sort in his own supreme Council; but as a rule those who
enjoy this position are anxious only to secure reappointment at
the end of their three years’ term. Thus, instead of representing
the ideas current among the native classes from which they spring,
they serve merely as an echo or chorus to the Governor, or to the
permanent officials who sway the Governor. This is not a healthy
condition of things. The remedy should be, as a first condition,
that the native councillors should be elected by the various
classes of the community, and that their tenure of office should
be made independent of the Governor’s pleasure. I am convinced
that the system would work with good results; and if also the
number of councillors were increased and their powers of debate
and interpellation enlarged, an excellent basis would be laid for
what all Indian reformers look to as the ideal of their hopes,
provincial parliaments. That India is unfit for local parliamentary
institutions of at least a rudimentary kind I cannot at all admit.
Indeed it seems to me that few people would profit more rapidly
from a public discussion of public affairs than the temperate
conservative Hindus. For a while, indeed, it would doubtless be
necessary to retain a large English element in their councils,
but the Indian mind educates itself with great rapidity, and in
another generation they might probably without danger be entrusted
with the sole care of their own domestic legislation, and the sole
control of their finances.

At the same time, I would not be understood as advocating for
India anything in the shape of an Imperial parliament. Empires and
parliaments to my mind have very little in common with each other;
and India is far too vast a continent, and inhabited by races
far too heterogeneous, to make amalgamation in a single assembly
possible for representatives elected on any conceivable system.
Possibly in the dim future some such thing might be, but not in
the lifetime of any one now living, and any attempts of the sort
at present would find for themselves the inevitable fate of the
Tower of Babel. The Imperial power should, on the contrary, if
it is to be effective, remain in the hands of a single man; and
instead of weakening the Viceroy’s authority I would rather see
it strengthened. But with the provinces and for all provincial
affairs, self-government is a growing necessity, and the present
age is quite capable of witnessing it in practice.

The crying need of India is economy, and for this the
decentralization of finance is the only cure. Each province should
have its own budget and its own civil lists, which should be voted
annually by the Council of the province. Its civil service should
be its own, its police its own, and its public works its own,
without any right of interference from Calcutta, or any confusion
of provincial with Imperial accounts. At present, from the vastness
of the country ruled, and the variety of Imperial services which
have their seat at Calcutta or Simla, waste and jobbery receive no
adequate check. Places are multiplied, men without local knowledge
are employed, and the accounts are confused. Supervision by
those who bear the burdens of taxation under such a system is
all but impossible, and no one knows precisely how and why the
expenses charged in the general budget are incurred. But, were
the provincial accounts held strictly separate, and subjected
to the inquisition of a local assembly composed of men who, as
natives of the province, would know the needs and capabilities
of the province, none of the present abuses would have a chance
of surviving. With the best will in the world, the heads of
departments at Calcutta cannot really control the details of
expenditure in Madras or the Punjaub, and as a matter of fact there
is everywhere enormous waste and enormous jobbery.

I should like, therefore, to see each province of India entirely
self-managed as regards all civil matters, raising its own revenue
in its own way, providing for its own needs of internal order,
public works, and administration of all kinds, and controlled by
the constant supervision of its own provincial assembly. In this
way it would be possible to differentiate at once between the
various provinces as to their special needs and the composition of
their special services. In some the expenditure, and with it the
taxation, might be at the outset reduced by the employment almost
entirely of native servants; in others the substitution of native
for English service would have to be more gradual. In some, large
public works might be profitably afforded; in others, economy would
have to be the rule. In all there would be an incentive to reduce
unnecessary expenditure, seeing that the burden of providing for it
would fall directly on the province.

On the other hand it is clear that, as long as India remains under
the protection of England, certain charges on the revenue and
certain executive and legislative functions would have to remain
Imperial. These would be, first, charges and responsibilities in
respect of the army and navy; secondly, the diplomatic relations;
thirdly, the general debt; and fourthly, the customs.

With regard to the army, there can be no doubt that the charge
should be an Imperial one, for though Southern India has little
need of troops to preserve order within her borders, she enjoys,
in common with the North, that immunity from invasion which the
army alone can guarantee, and she should have an equal share of
the burden of its cost. To adopt a system of provincial armies
would, in my view of the case, be both a mistake of economy, and an
injustice to those provinces which lie upon the frontier, as well
as a considerable danger from the rivalries they might engender:
a mistake of economy, inasmuch as the higher commands would be
multiplied, and the less warlike provinces would at an equal cost
provide inferior material to the general strength of the empire; an
injustice, inasmuch as the North-Western provinces would have to
bear nearly the entire burden of defence. Strongly, therefore, as I
advocate decentralization in all matters of civil administration,
I as strongly advocate centralization in matters military. The
Imperial army, according to my ideas, should be under the sole
control of the Viceroy, officered, I think, by Englishmen, and
composed of the best fighting material to be obtained in India,
irrespective of prejudice in favour of this or that recruiting
ground. It is manifestly the first condition of an army that it
should be efficient, and the second that it should be without
political colour, and on both grounds I am inclined to think that
Englishmen would prove more useful servants to India in a military
capacity than any native class of officers could be. Much as I
believe in Indian capacity for civil duties, I accept it as a fact
that Englishmen make better commanders of troops, and are worth
more even in proportion to their superior pay; while there is no
question that they would be exempt, as native officers would not,
from religious and caste influences, and thus more reliable as
impartial executors of Imperial orders. The Indian Sepoy army,
then, as I would see it, should be as distinctly Imperial and
English as the civil services should be provincial and native. In
saying this I am stating my private opinion only; I believe that
native opinion is in favour of native military service. But, as I
understand India, the time has not come for that. When India is a
nation it will be time enough to think of a national army.

The diplomatic relations, again, of India must of necessity remain
Imperial, and their management vested solely in the Viceroy. Indian
diplomacy, as at present managed, is a complicated and costly
thing; but in the India of the future we may hope this will be much
simplified. Two cardinal points of policy might with advantage be
observed: the first, to keep wholly apart from foreign intrigues
and foreign wars; the second, to keep rigid faith with the still
independent native princes within the border. Of foreign wars
India has long had enough, and more than enough. The Chinese, the
Persian, the Afghan, the Abyssinian, the Egyptian, and now the
Soudanese, all these India has been forced to take part in, solely
against her interest and her will. Apart from their money loss,
there is in these wars a loss of dignity, which the Indian people
are beginning to resent. Those who have been educated in the humane
literature of Europe find it humiliating that they, a conquered
people, should be used as the instrument for conquering others.
What quarrel had India with the unfortunate Egyptians? What quarrel
has she with the unfortunate Arabs? The educated Indians resent it
bitterly, too, that India is made to pay the cost. But these things
need no comment. They are but a part of that absolute selfishness
which has been the principle of all our past relations with India,
and in the new birth of India these too must be changed. The
diplomatic relations with the native States have been a tissue
of fraud and aggression. In the policy of the future, aggression
must be abandoned. There is but one true policy towards the native
States; and that is, by giving them the spectacle of a British
India more happy than their own to invite their inhabitants to
share its advantages. Who can doubt that were India self-governed,
prosperous, and happy, the old native principalities would one by
one spontaneously be merged in it.

With regard to the Debt, much as we may regret that it was ever
incurred, it must remain, I fear, in our new India a charge on the
Imperial Government. Its annual interest, like the cost of war
and diplomacy, should be apportioned as a fixed charge to each
province in proportion to that province’s wealth, except in so far
as it relates to the guarantees of railways, which might be made a
charge on the provinces served by them. It should, however, be a
cardinal point of policy that no further debt should be incurred
and no further guarantees given for Imperial works. The provinces
henceforth should be charged with all works of communication,
irrigation, and improvement, the utility of which they will best

Remain the Customs. These too must remain an Imperial matter; and
it may be hoped that when, in the future, India’s interest, not
England’s, comes to be considered in her government, they may
be made to return a fair profit to balance some of the Imperial
charges. To India free trade has proved no blessing, and a return
to import duties is a first principle of sound finance, which
self-governing India will undoubtedly insist on. The majority, I
believe, of our English colonies see their advantage in these, and
so will India, unless, indeed, some fair equivalent be given. As it
is, all the profit is on England’s side, on India’s all the loss.

Such, very briefly and imperfectly given, is my scheme of
self-government for India. That it is one possible--I do not say
easy--to realize few will doubt who have marked the wonderful
success achieved in a case not very dissimilar nearer our own
shores. The Empire of Austria, within the recollection of men
of the present generation, was a bureaucratic despotism of the
harshest and least sympathetic kind. It had got within its rule, by
conquest or inheritance, a half score of nations, owning no ties
of birth or language, and united only by a common hatred of their
oppressors. The Austrian official of 1847 was a byword of arrogance
and self-sufficient pride, and while vaunting to the world the
virtues of his own method of rule, was preparing the way for a
general revolt against the Empire. Few who watched the history of
those days believed that Austria was not doomed to perish, and
none that she was destined to achieve the love of her people. Yet
we have lived to see this. We have lived to see the Hungarians
reconciled, and the very Poles who in their despair had filled
Europe for fifty years with their denunciations, thanking Austria
for her share in their ruin. If this has been possible through
the gift of self-government, all things are possible; and India
by the same means of honest government, each province for itself,
may become happy and thankful, as the Austrian nations have. One
principle keeps these together without force, their loyalty to the
wearer of the Imperial crown; and fortunately this is a principle
we have in India already framed to our hand. There is no question
that the Indian populations are possessed with a strong feeling of
personal attachment for her Majesty the Queen, and while they grow
yearly more and more estranged from their Anglo-Indian masters they
yearly look with more and more hope to England and to her who sits
upon the English throne. This is a sentiment of the utmost value,
and one which may yet prove the salvation of the Indian Empire, in
spite of all the Anglo-Indians can do to wreck it. I look to it
in the future as the true bond of union which shall retain for us
India, not as our inheritance, for it will not be ours to possess,
but as a co-heir to our good fortunes. India will not then be lost
to England, but will remain to us a far greater glory than now,
because it will have become a monument of what we shall have been
able to achieve for the benefit of others, not merely for ourselves.

I dare not, however, dwell too much upon this prospect. I know
the huge perils which surround the birth of every new thing in
the political world, and I know the unscrupulous rage of vested
interests threatened. The interests of the Anglo-Indians stand
stoutly in our way, and the interests of an ever more hungry
commerce and an ever more pitiless finance. Commerce and finance
find their gain in the present system. Manchester must be appeased
before India can hope to live, and to stop suddenly the career of
Indian extravagance would injure trade in many a North of England
town. Debt in India unfortunately means dividends in Lombard
Street; and so I dare not hope. I am tempted rather to quote as
only too likely to prove true certain desponding words which I once
heard uttered by General Gordon when, speaking of the prospect of
reform in India, he told me, “You may do what you will. It will be
of no use. India will never be reformed until there has been there
a new revolt.” But what will that revolt be, and how will it leave
our power of reformation?[21]


[20] In reprinting this chapter I have incorporated with it part of
another chapter on the Native States.

[21] _Note._--The reader must once more be reminded that this
chapter, with the three that precede it, was written full
twenty-five years ago. Its scheme of constitutional reform was
scoffed at then as fanciful and Utopian. But the Asiatic world
has marched on, and English opinion to-day seems to have awakened
at last to its recommendations as a coming necessity. Whether
the concessions now being elaborated so tardily at the India
Office will suffice to allay the bitter feelings aroused by the
reactionary policy of a whole past generation since Lord Ripon’s
time, I forbear to prophesy. It is the common nemesis of alien rule
to be too late in its reforms, and, even with the best intentions,
to give the thing no longer asked, because its knowledge of the
ruled has lagged behind. I deliver no opinion. It must suffice
me that I have recorded my full testimony in this volume to a
historical understanding of the India I knew in 1883-1884, during
the too short rule of its best and wisest Viceroy.




The lamentable decline, during the last forty years, of the
Mohammedan community of India in wealth and social importance,
while at the same time it has been numerically an ever-increasing
body, makes it a matter of anxious consideration with those who
love their religion to consider by what means best to avert the
danger attending such a condition of things, and to restore
prosperity to the community and its activity as a living and
beneficial influence in the progress of the Empire.

It is acknowledged that the evil has been principally brought about
by the changed condition of the country. From a ruling and favoured
race, the Mohammedan community has become only one of many bodies
unfavoured by the State; and the fall from their high station was
at the time accompanied by a corresponding collapse of energy;
while, later, accidental circumstances, such as the change of the
official language from Persian and Urdu to English, still further
aggravated their misfortunes.

These, though they may regret them, the Mohammedans now know
that it is useless to complain of. They have ceased to look for
any reversal of the political settlement of India as a British
province; and accepting the fact, they are fully aware that a new
departure is necessary for them in correspondence with their new
circumstances. Nor is this conviction lessened by the consideration
that it would seem to be the tendency of the age to put every year
more and more administrative power back into native hands, so
that in the future there may be expected to be an ever-increasing
competition between the various sections of Indian society for
advantage under the imperial rule.

Again, it is no less acknowledged that, in the modern conditions
of Indian life, that which principally conduces to the advantage
of each community is its superiority in education. The force of
natural character is no longer a sufficient element of success, and
acquired intelligence is daily asserting itself more strongly as
the condition of all participation in public life. Instruction in
the arts and sciences of the Western world is at the present day an
absolute necessity for high success; and even in the lower walks
of life a certain knowledge of these things has become desirable
for all perhaps but the lowest class bound to agricultural labour.
Certainly no large community, such as is the Mohammedan in India,
could hope to hold its own without a general increase of learning;
and it is no longer contended by any section of the community that
secular knowledge can be dispensed with, or that it is, if rightly
directed, at all opposed to the best interests of religion.

On the other hand, it is equally certain that the vast majority of
those who profess the faith of Islam look upon that faith as the
most precious inheritance bequeathed them by their fathers, and
decline to put it in peril for the sake of any worldly advantage.
They consider that, in seeking the general good of a Mohammedan
community, the first and absolute essential to be considered is the
good of the Mohammedan religion; and this is their first thought,
too, when the practical question of individual education comes
before them. All Mohammedan fathers are desirous that, before
everything else, their sons should inherit their own gift of faith
in the one true God and the teaching of His apostle.

Thus, then, it happens that, while recognizing fully the necessity
there is for worldly knowledge, the mass of respectable Mohammedans
have held back, and still hold back, from the purely secular
education afforded in Government schools and colleges to Hindus
and Christians with themselves. They look with suspicion on the
teaching, and with more than suspicion on the teachers. They refuse
to believe that any education can be a sound one which is without
a religious basis. They see that neither history nor philosophy
nor Western literature can be taught by unbelievers in the divine
mission of their Prophet without serious risk of undermining their
pupils’ faith; and they find no institution in India in which these
necessary branches of human learning are taught to Mohammedans
wholly by Mohammedans. Neither the Indian University, nor the
Calcutta Madraseh, nor the Hooghly College, nor even the College of
Aligarh entirely fulfil this condition. In the Indian University
there is at the present moment no single Mohammedan professor.
At the Madraseh, the president and many of the professors are
Englishmen; and at Aligarh also the principal is an Englishman, and
there are English and Hindu teachers. In none of them is there the
certainty that religious influence other than Mohammedan shall not
be brought to bear upon the students.

Lastly--and this is the most important consideration of all to the
leaders of the Mohammedan community of India--they find in all
the Empire, no central school of religious thought such as is to
be found in other Mohammedan lands. Although their population is
the largest of any now existing in the world, they are without a
recognized seat of learning which can claim for them to be the
fountain head of orthodox opinion. They have no central body of
Ulema, whose teaching and discussion should serve to keep alive the
intellectual activity of the religious teachers and so give its
tone to the whole mass. They feel this to be the most serious want
of all of their situation in presence of the growing intelligence
of other religious bodies around them.

In view of all these circumstances, the following resolutions have,
therefore, been suggested, and are now put before the Mohammedan
community at large:

1. That in each town a Provincial Committee shall be formed, to
consider where and under what conditions it will be best to found
an educational establishment on a large scale, which shall equally
satisfy the religious and the secular wants of the community; and
to raise subscriptions for that purpose.

2. That, this being done, a Central Committee shall be convened,
the same to be composed of one delegate from each of the Provincial
Committees, in order finally to decide the questions raised in the
Provincial Committees.

3. That, if possible, his Highness the Nizam of the Deccan be asked
to become the patron of a Central Establishment, as being the most
powerful Mohammedan prince now reigning in India, and that a humble
petition be addressed to his Highness in that sense. The following
suggestions also are made:

1. That the educational establishment should take the form of a
university, to be called the Deccan (?) University, empowered to
grant degrees in religion and in secular knowledge, and to appoint
professors in both branches of learning for such as shall repair
to its metropolis (say Hyderabad) for their education. It is hoped
that his Highness the Nizam may be pleased to grant a building to
serve as university hall and lecture-rooms.

2. That, under the university, each province of the Indian Empire,
or, if funds suffice, each great city, should erect or purchase at
its own cost a building for its own students in the metropolis, the
same to be called the college of that province or city, at which
lodging (not board or furniture) should be provided at nominal
rates to the students. These colleges should be the property of
the provinces or cities erecting them, and should be managed by
provincial or city trustees appointed by themselves in such manner
(subject to the general laws of the university) as they shall
themselves think most desirable. Thus each province or city would
practically pay for and manage its own education.

3. That an appeal be made to the Mohammedan princes, noblemen,
talukdars, zemindars, and rich merchants to found professorships
for the university, the same to bear the name of their founders,
and to be vested as religious endowments in the hands of
university trustees, the duty of the professors being to give
gratuitous public lectures to all students of the university. A
donation of Rs.30,000 shall be considered equivalent to founding
a professorship, and shall entitle the donor to have his name
perpetually connected with it--this, although it may be hereafter
considered necessary to increase the provision out of university
funds. Such donors should moreover be granted the title of
“Founders” of the university, and should form its special council.

4. That a similar appeal be made to poorer men to found
scholarships under the like conditions, except that Rs.10,000
should be the sum entitling the donor to perpetual remembrance--the
said scholarships to be granted in the form of monthly stipends of
thirty rupees to such students as, having graduated in religious
and secular knowledge in the university, may be chosen by special
competition, on the condition that they shall act as schoolmasters
in provincial towns and districts. The object of this provision
will be to spread religious and secular education throughout
the country. The founder of three scholarships to have the same
privilege and title as the founder of a professorship.

5. That special provision be made in the scheme for the religious
needs of the Shiah as well as of the Sunni communities.

6. That his Highness the Nizam be prayed to grant a perpetual
charter regulating the university according to the rules usual in
such institutions.

7. That a memorial be at the same time addressed to his Excellency
the Viceroy of India, stating the objects of the university, and
humbly praying the countenance of the Imperial Government for the

                                          Hyderabad Deccan,
                                               _February 13, 1884_.


  I am desired by his Highness to inform you, in reply to your
  letter of the 24th of January, enclosing a memo. embodying a
  scheme for the formation of a Mohammedan University, that his
  Highness cordially approves of your suggestions, and will give
  every support in his power to any attempt that may be made
  to carry them out. His Highness had the honour of holding a
  conversation with his Excellency the Viceroy during his short
  sojourn here, in the course of which he understood that his
  Excellency was prepared to countenance and support the scheme.

  I am to say that his Highness regards the scheme as one
  calculated immensely to advance the cause of Mohammedan progress,
  and that he will be glad if Hyderabad is given the honour, by
  preference, of becoming the centre of the movement. As, however,
  the scheme has originated with you, and you have taken the
  trouble of ascertaining the views of the leading Mohammedans
  in all parts of India, his Highness would have wished that you
  had prolonged your stay in this country so as to see it carried
  out. In any case, if your other engagements give you time to pay
  another visit to Hyderabad, his Highness will be gratified to
  have your assistance in the matter. His Highness is glad to say
  that his Excellency the Viceroy has promised him his.

                           Believe me, yours very sincerely,
                                                        SALAR JUNG.



                                               _6th January, 1884_.


  I have been unable to procure a copy of the “Settlement
  Handbook.” But here is one which I have borrowed. With regard to
  the Madras settlement, some detailed facts will be found at pp.
  668 and 672, among other places.

  The rules are: (1) First calculate the actual average produce
  and actual average value of it, over a period of years. Say
  the actual gross produce thus ascertained is 100 bushels. (2)
  Then deduct from the average actual gross produce one-sixth,
  as an extra allowance for risks of the season; leaving 83⅓
  bushels. (3) Take an average of one-fourth, or 25 per cent., from
  this reduced gross produce as Government Revenue; this is four
  eighty-thirds and a half, = 20-3/4 bushels.

  The 20-3/4 of bushels are about one-fifth of the actual gross
  produce (100 bushels), which has already included the risk of
  seasons, for it is the actual produce yielded, as a matter of
  fact, on an average of many years and seasons.

  The 20-3/4 bushels are about one-half of the _net_ produce after
  allowing for cost of cultivation and all possible risks; and this
  is probably what your _raiyat_ friends meant in Madras.

  The actual yield of each class of land is estimated by many
  experiments, sometimes 1,300 in a single district. The Famine
  Commissioners, by independent inquiry, came to the conclusion
  that the average land tax throughout India was only 5-1/2 per
  cent. of the gross produce; but their calculation included Bengal
  and the Permanently Settled Districts. I have not been able to
  examine afresh the evidence on which they based this conclusion;
  but they were careful men, and by no means favourers of the
  _status quo_.

  I am no favourer of that _status_ in many parts of India; and if
  you care to go into the question I shall be happy to send you
  my exposure in Council of the heavy burden imposed by our Land
  Assessments on the Deccan peasant. The speech was telegraphed
  verbatim to the “Times” fourteen months ago; but, if you did not
  see it, and care to look at it, I can get you a copy.

  I send you the foregoing facts, not to convert you to a system
  which has grievous defects, but to enable you to deal with that
  system without running into little inaccuracies which would be
  laid hold of as vitiating your main argument.

  I have been much impressed by your sympathy for the hard lot
  of the peasant, whether in Egypt or in India, and by your
  determination to find out the facts for yourself. If at any time
  you desire to compare the information thus collected with the
  statistics officially accepted by the Government, I shall be
  happy to render you any assistance in my power.

                                        Very faithfully yours,
                                                      W. W. HUNTER.



                     9, Albert Hall Mansions, Kensington Gore, S.W.
                                           _November 15th, 1904_.


  Very many thanks for your “Ideas about India” which you have so
  kindly sent me. I look forward with pleasure to reading your
  work, and I know I shall find much in it of the greatest interest
  to me. Although I have only just glanced at what you then wrote,
  I can see that all you say is as true now as it was then--the
  impoverishment of the millions, and the reckless extravagance of
  their effeminate rulers, living away from the people in their
  mountain retreats nine months usually out of the twelve. You may
  put down much of India’s woes to the farce of a government whose
  officials are perched away in the clouds, absorbed in their own
  amusements, etc., “in the hills,” and unmindful of their duty to
  the people. Lord Curzon has done something to break down this
  Simla curse of India. Lord Randolph Churchill was a very great
  loss to India. Had it been fated that his time at the India
  Office could have been prolonged, he would have set many things
  to rights there. The hard work he did do there went a long way to
  break him down, as it did to a good man of the name of Moore he
  found there, and who died, I think, about the same time as Lord
  Randolph Churchill. I should like some day, when you are again
  in England and I alive, to send you a copy of a letter I wrote
  to Lord Ripon, and of an official report I sent in showing what
  the state of things was during the last years of the Nizam’s
  minority, affecting as it did his training, etc. I much doubt
  whether this ever got beyond the Residency.

  I had no idea that your knowledge as to what was really going
  on at Hyderabad had so largely influenced Lord Ripon. You are
  perfectly right in what you say as to his being put away at
  Bolarum, removed from the city, etc. I had offered my house but
  was told there was fear of cholera! That matters went wrong
  subsequently between the young Salar Jung and his master was no
  fault of what Lord Ripon did. Foiled in what they had aimed at,
  the party in power had other sinister objects in view, and with
  the underhand support of the Residency these they carried out.
  They, of course, saw that a difference between the Nizam and his
  young minister opened the road to their designs, especially as
  the latter--who was throughout in the wrong--was supported by
  Cordery, which, of course, made matters worse. From the first,
  when Salar Jung asked me, when here in England, to take up the
  appointment--which I declined at first and for some weeks--I
  determined, when I had accepted it, to hold myself entirely
  aloof from the Simla clique and its ways, of which I was not
  an admirer. After you left, my summary removal by the party in
  power was an object to be kept in view. But the first attempt was
  so clumsy that even Cordery could give it only a half-hearted
  support. Afterwards they succeeded. My agreement with Salar
  Jung was to serve ten years, and fifteen if required to do so.
  The young Nizam, unknown to me, as I was in England on sick
  leave for three months, had asked to retain my services for the
  full period, but the Government of India, of course prompted by
  Cordery, abruptly refused the Nizam’s request.

  Pray pardon all this personal recollection of what occurred
  then, but my pen has run on! Your pp. 132, 133, as to the
  Emir-el-Kabir, the colleague forced by Lord Lytton on Salar Jung,
  this is what was written of him by Sir George Yule, one of the
  best men we ever had as Resident at Hyderabad and who retained
  Salar Jung’s friendship to the day of his death:

  “In spite of Salar Jung’s repeated remonstrances, we have
  forced upon him as his colleague a man who was notoriously
  his personal enemy, a man who had heavily bribed others in
  scandalous intrigues against him, and whose servant had openly
  tried to murder him.” This was the man--the tool--we wanted to
  work Salar Jung’s humiliation to the bitter end. Such had been
  his iniquitous intrigues in former years that a more honest
  Government than Lord Lytton’s had ordered that he was _never_ to
  be present at any Durbar where English officers were present.

                                             Very truly yours,
                                                      CLAUDE CLERK.

       *       *       *       *       *

                                           9, Albert Hall Mansions,
                                                _April 29th, 1905_.

  I often look at your “Ideas about India,” and find always
  something to interest me and to inform me. Lord Ripon’s policy in
  making the young Salar Jung _Dewan_ was of course a risky one.
  But it was, as you well know, the right course. That it would
  have been crowned with success there is no doubt whatever--I
  was behind the scenes throughout--in my mind, had Lord Ripon
  gone only one step further and changed the Resident. Cordery
  was bound hand and foot by the action of those with whom he
  was associated, and they were supporting the very party in the
  city--which Cordery went so far as to call “our party”--who had
  determined on the moral ruin of the Nizam during a two years’
  prolongation of the minority, during which they would have kept
  the lid of the Treasury open without scruple of any sort or
  kind. As it was, Lord Ripon had not been gone from Hyderabad
  for a month before that party, supported through thick and
  thin by Cordery, had gained the ascendancy. The difference,
  originally but a trifle, between the Nizam and his Dewan, was
  skilfully fanned by the bribed members of the Nizam’s and the
  Dewan’s entourage, and an open breach between the two was then
  inevitable. How our Government acted to retain the young Salar
  Jung in power--when they knew it was too late--is an amusing
  story, but too long to trouble you with here. But I would like
  some day when you are again in London to send you my official
  reports for the last years of the Nizam’s minority. These were
  written by me yearly and submitted to H.H.’s Government and
  then sent on through the Resident to the Government of India
  (Foreign Department). I ought to have been called on to explain
  the statements I had made, or H.H. ought to have been desired
  to dismiss me on the spot, considering what I had stated. But
  this only being the truth, the Government of India did neither,
  fearing the result. My reports were left entirely unnoticed and
  this after the Government of India’s repeated declarations that
  it, the Government of India, was _the guardian_ of H.H. and
  deeply interested in his education, welfare, etc. But I was much
  in the way of the party in power, and soon opportunity was found
  of getting me out of Hyderabad.

                                            Yours very truly,
                                                      CLAUDE CLERK.


  Abd-el-Ghaffar, Mohammed, 129.

  Abd-el-Hak of Hyderabad, 191, 194, 195, 196, 202.

  Abd-el-Latif, Nawab, head of the Sunni Mohammedans at Calcutta, 14,
      86, 97, 98, 99, 104, 110, 111, 127, 131, 134, 138, 219;
    his son-in-law, Seyd Mohammed, 134, 136;
    his son, Abd-el-Rahman, 99, 108, 109, 117.

  Abd-el-Rahman Minni, Sheykh, Arab horse-dealer of Bombay, 208, 209,
      211, 212, 216.

  Abd-el-Rahman, Seyd, of Madras, 41;
    his Eurasian wife, 41, 44.

  Abraham, Mr. Matthew, of Bellari, 53.

  “Abu Nadara,” James Sanua, editor of, 13, 64, 123.

  Afghans and Persians, 14, 98, 188, 192.

  Agha Khan, The Chief of the Khoja sect, residing at Bombay, 210,
      211, 212, 213.

  Agricultural danger, the, 82, 236-254.

  Ahmed, Mulvi, Municipal Councillor of Calcutta, 110.

  Akbar Huseyn, translator of “Future of Islam,” 119-124, 146, 163.

  Ali Abdallah, of Hyderabad, 62, 68.

  Aligarh College, 119, 155-160.

  Ali Hamid Bey, Turkish Consul at Bombay, 211-215.

  Allahabad, 144-150.

  Amir Ali, the Honble. Seyd, Leader of the new school of Mohammedans
      at Calcutta, 86, 87, 96, 97, 98, 103, 104, 105, 110, 111, 113,
      121, 128, 131, 138, 219.

  Amir Hassan, Rajah of Mahmudabad, 125, 148, 149, 152, 153, 154, 155,

  Amir Huseyn, Mulvi Seyd, Deputy-Collector, 93, 97.

  Anjuman i Islam meeting at Calcutta, 124, 126.

  Arab horses, 61, 62, 66, 67, 110, 129, 208, 212.

  Arabi Pasha, 15, 22, 23, 25, 88, 98, 112, 113, 118, 124, 289.

  Arabs in India, 59, 60, 61, 65, 66, 71, 209, 211, 212, 213, 287.

  Bafiti, Mohammed, Sheykh es Saadat of Medina, 139.

  Bailey, Sir Stuart, 78, 92, 93, 109, 117, 182.

  Banerji, Surendra Nath, the Calcutta orator, 102, 109, 114, 137.

  Baring, Sir Evelyn, Lord Cromer, 11, 14, 55, 120, 167, 177.

  Barrow, General, 152.

  Beck, Mr., of Aligarh College, 156.

  Behar, Province of, 139.

  Bellari, 50-55;
    famine at, 54.

  Benares, 142, 143, 144.

  Benares, Maharajah of, 120, 142, 143.

  Bengal Permanent Land Settlement, 86, 94, 108, 221, 252.

  Bengal Rent Bill, 86, 93, 94, 102, 108.

  Bentinck, Lord William, 95.

  Berar Provinces, intrigue for the retention of, 58, 74, 75, 77, 83,
      89, 91, 149, 179, 184-205, 206, 336.

  Bilgrami, Seyd Ali, 61, 63, 204.

  Bilgrami Seyd Huseyn, private secretary to Salar Jung, now member of
      the Indian Council in London, 61, 64, 68, 74, 75, 77, 79, 93,
      185, 186, 190, 191, 199, 200.

  Bolarum, 174, 190.

  Bombay, 82, 173, 174, 208-226.

  “Bombay Gazette,” 191, 208.

  Bose, Mr., Secretary of the National Conference at Calcutta, 114,
      118, 121.

  Bulbul of the Deccan, 198, 199, 201, 203.

  Burmah, 16, 17.

  Bushir-ed-Dowlah, nobleman of Hyderabad, 69, 73, 76, 91, 180, 182,

  Calcutta, 85-138.

  Calcutta races, 110.

  Caliphate, Arabian, 13, 119;
    Ottoman, 63, 119, 124.

  Canning, Lord, 95, 270.

  Ceylon, 19-26.

  Chandanagore, 113.

  Cheragh Ali, Mulvi, of Hyderabad, 64, 70, 79, 197.

  Christians, Native, 24, 46, 51, 55, 100, 282.

  Churchill, Lord Randolph, 9, 12, 83, 84, 146, 175, 177, 230, 334.

  Clerk, Major, the Nizam’s tutor, 65, 67, 184, 198, 204;
    his letters in Appendix, 335, 336;
    Mrs., 137, 196, 197.

  Colombo, 19, 26.

  Colvin, Sir Auckland, 8, 113, 150, 272.

  Connaught, H.R.H. the Duke of, 55, 165.

  Connemara, Lord, 43.

  Constitutional Reform, plan of, 215, 310-326.

  Cordery, Mr., Resident at Hyderabad, 58, 80, 89, 136, 150, 174, 178,
      179, 182, 184, 185, 190, 191, 193, 196, 199, 203, 206, 219, 228,
      335, 336.

  Cornwallis, Lord, his land settlement of Bengal, 86.

  Council, Indian, in London, 215, 316.

  Councils, Provincial, 316, 317, 318, 319.

  Couper, Sir George, 154.

  Covenanted Civil Service, 36, 40, 43, 47, 55, 60, 75, 83, 95, 114,
      116, 206, 215, 234, 267, 268, 273, 275, 310-318.

  Curzon of Kedleston, Lord, 91, 205, 334.

  Debt, Public, 323.

  Debts, Village, 7, 42, 232, 243-246.

  Deccan College, 81.

  Deccan horsemanship, 67.

  Delawar Huseyn, Deputy-Magistrate at Calcutta, 115.

  Delhi, 161-171;
    capture of, 169, 170;
    horrors committed at, 163, 164;
    last King of, 163, 167, 169.

  Deportation, 13, 80, 235.

  Dobbs, Colonel, 191.

  Dravidians, 23, 34.

  Dufferin, Marquess of, 177, 202, 229.

  Durand, Sir Mortimer, Secretary to the Calcutta Foreign Office, 117,

  Eden, Sir Ashley, 100.

  Eid el Temini, Sheykh, Arab horse dealer at Bombay, 209, 217.

  Emperors of Delhi, 172.

  Englishwomen in India, 248, 261, 262.

  Eurasians, 41, 44, 51, 52.

  Famine, 2, 50, 54, 216, 232, 241.

  Ferdunji Nowrosji, Parsi Councillor at Bombay, 223.

  Fergusson, Sir James, Governor of Bombay, 209, 219-224.

  Ferid-ed-Din Ahmed, Mulvi of Cawnpore, 119, 125, 126, 139, 144, 145,
      147, 148, 189.

  Ferukshah, Prince, 134.

  Finance, 247-254.

  Flying foxes, 65.

  Forest Laws, 42, 210, 216, 224, 241, 242.

  Frere, Sir Bartle, 81, 249.

  “Future of Islam,” 62, 112, 119, 123, 124, 126, 158, 231, 295.

  Future of self-government, 107-118, 234, 235, 299-326.

  Gaignaud, Mademoiselle, Governess in Salar Jung’s household, 70, 200;
    her account of Sir Salar Jung’s death, 200, 201.

  Geary, Mr., editor of “Bombay Gazette,” 191.

  Ghaleb Jung, an Arab of Hyderabad, 59.

  Ghose, Dr., of Calcutta, 137.

  Ghulam Mohammed Munshi, of Bombay, 212.

  Gladstone, Rt. Honble. W. E., 1-5, 9, 14, 83, 96, 106, 146, 208,

  Godley, Sir Arthur, 180.

  Gordon, General C. G., 83, 95, 167-168, 189, 194, 208, 213, 230;
    my letter to, 168.

  Gordon, Sir Arthur, 24.

  Gorst, Sir John, 83, 84, 175-185.

  Gough, Major, in the Nizam’s service, 69.

  Grant-Duff, Sir Mount Stewart, 36, 37, 41, 45, 53, 177, 193, 196,

  Gregory, Sir William, 23, 25.

  Hamilton, Sir Edward, private secretary to Mr. Gladstone, 9, 11,
      122, 177, 180.

  Hanna, Mr., a Christianized Hindu, 51.

  Henderson, Mr., of the Secret Police, 186, 196, 204.

  “Hindu Patriot,” 94.

  “Hindu Prakash,” 81.

  Hindu worship, 24, 31, 32, 46, 48, 49, 282-285.

  Hodson, Colonel, 166, 169.

  Holkar, Maharajah, 301.

  Hörnli, Dr., Swiss Director of the Calcutta Madrasa, 98, 105, 124.

  Humayum, Emperor, his tomb at Delhi, 169.

  Humayum Jah Bahadur, head of Mohammedan community of Madras, 41.

  Hunter, Sir William, statistician, 130, 132, 133, 138, 239, 291;
    his letter in Appendix, 332.

  Hyderabad, 57-82, 175-207, 304.

  “Ideas about India,” 231, 335.

  Ik-Balet-Dowlah. See Vikar-el-Omra.

  Ikhram Ullah, of Delhi, Seyd Ahmed’s nephew, 121, 158, 161, 163,
      164, 170.

  Ilbert Bill, 5, 16, 17, 44, 85, 96, 100, 102, 103, 106, 108, 109,
      111, 113, 121, 132, 133, 145, 177, 269, 271, 272, 273.

  Ilbert, Mrs., 96, 130, 132;
    Sir Courtenay, 132.

  Import duties, 223, 224, 250, 251, 253.

  Income Tax, 223, 251, 252.

  “Indian Club,” 115.

  “Indian Mirror,” 85, 106.

  “Indian Spectator,” 82, 132.

  Industrial ruin, 213, 239, 240, 247-251, 253, 306.

  Insults to Natives, 121, 141, 146, 147, 148, 150, 152, 157, 174,

  Jehan Kadur, Prince, brother of the King of Oude, 120, 125.

  Jemal-ed-Din Afghani, Seyd, 12, 13, 63, 80, 97, 99, 108, 112, 123,

  Jeypore, 172.

  Jijibhoy, Sir Jamsetji, 88, 95, 214.

  Johnstone, Dr., Bishop of Calcutta, 99.

  Kabraji, Kaikhosna Nowrosji, editor of the “Rast” of Bombay, 214,

  Kaisar Bagh meeting, 155.

  Kalbarga, 81, 198, 203, 204, 206, 207.

  Keay, Seymour, Mr., 58, 116, 118.

  Kebir-ed-Din, Mohammedan editor in Calcutta, 106.

  Kerr, Rev. Schomberg, S.J., Lord Ripon’s chaplain, 87, 179, 182.

  Kimberley, Earl of, Secretary of State for India, 18, 96.

  Knight, Mr., editor of “Statesman,” 92.

  Kokhnis, 213, 287.

  Kolapur, Mahratta Diwan of, 218.

  Kottub, the, 165, 170.

  Krishna, Maharajah of, 130, 131, 137.

  Kristo Das Pal, editor of “The Hindu Patriot,” Member of the
      Legislative Council, 94, 133.

  Laik Ali, Salar Jung (the younger). _See_ Salar Jung.

  Lambert, Mr., head of Secret Police, 182, 185.

  Land assessment, 42, 86, 87, 130, 155, 171, 207, 213, 218, 221, 222,
      225, 239.

  Land Settlement, Permanent, 94, 213, 216, 221, 222, 225, 241, 242,
    recommended, 252.

  Local Self-Government Bill, 85, 213, 246, 270, 271, 272.

  Loharo, Chief of, 161, 165, 169.

  Lucknow, 150-155.

  Lyall, Sir Alfred, Lieutenant-Governor of North-West Provinces, 6,
      11, 107, 117, 120, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 150, 157, 177.

  Lytton, Robert, Earl of, 6, 7, 79, 89, 94, 177, 202, 216, 335.

  Madhava Rao, Sir, 38, 88.

  Madras, 35-45, 303.

  Madrasa, Culcutta, 135.

  Madura, 29-33.

  Mahbub Ali. _See_ The Nizam.

  Mahdi Ali, Prince, of Lucknow, 153, 154.

  Mahdi, the Soudanese, 112, 123, 125, 168, 180, 189, 194, 197, 203,
      208, 209, 210, 217, 223.

  Mahmud Sami Pasha, 19, 25, 120.

  Malabari, Behramji, Parsi editor of the “Indian Spectator,” 82,
      173, 177, 211, 225.

  Malays of Ceylon, 23.

  Malkum Khan, Prince, 188.

  Mandlik, Mr., 178.

  Manockji Rustemji, Mr., 88, 95.

  Mayo Hall meeting at Allahabad, 145, 149.

  Mazhar, Abd-el-Rahman, Cadi of Bagdad, 120.

  Meade, Sir Richard, 58, 84, 93.

  Mehdy Hassan, Mulvi, of Lucknow, 79.

  Mir Alum tank, 61, 193.

  Mirza Agha Khan, the Nizam’s Persian tutor, 204.

  Moguls, Last of the, 143, 144.

  Mohammed Ali Bey, Master of Nizam’s Horse, 193, 201.

  Mohammed Ibrahim, Chief Mujtahed at Lucknow, 153.

  Mohammed Yusuf, Member of Calcutta Council, 123.

  Mohammedan Question, 278-298.

  Mohammedans of Southern India, 27, 28, 29, 41, 45, 287, 288, 289.

  Mohunt, the, 49.

  Monier Williams, Professor, 226.

  Moore, Colonel, 165, 166, 167, 179, 184, 187, 191.

  Moors of Ceylon, 23, 25-27, 287, 288.

  Mukerji, Rasbihari, of Uttarpara, 101, 120;
    Sambhu Chandra, 106;
    family of, 124.

  Mullen, Dr., at Ulwar, 171.

  Mulvi A. M., 104, 107, 112, 136.

  Muteswami, Judge, of Madras, 40, 42, 44.

  National Conference at Calcutta, 114, 116, 117, 118.

  Native States, 299-305.

  Nawaiz Jung, Sultan El Kaiti, Prince of Hadramaut at Hyderabad, 65,
      66, 79, 80.

  Nizam, Mahbub Ali, the, 62, 66, 67, 72, 77, 110, 137-183, 186, 189,
      190, 192, 193, 195, 197, 198, 203-206, 210, 212, 219, 330, 334,
      335, 336;
    his stables, 61, 66;
    intrigue against, 67, 70, 74, 75, 76, 89, 90, 91, 93, 109, 117,
      119, 136, 179, 205, 206, 228;
    his installation, 91, 109, 119, 132, 155, 159, 175-207.

  Norendro Nath Sen, editor of the “Indian Mirror,” 85.

  Nur-el-Huda, Seyd, of Patna, 100, 139.

  Oude, King of, 120, 125.

  Palmer, Professor, his mission, 15, 16, 19, 166, 167.

  Parsis, 214, 285-287.

  Patna, 139-141;
    outrage case, 141, 146, 147, 174, 178, 182, 194, 264-266.

  Patterson, Mr., 147.

  Peishkar, the, Minister of the Nizam, 62, 70, 71, 76, 78, 137, 185,
      186, 201.

  “Pioneer, The,” Anglo-Indian newspaper of Allahabad, 8, 149, 150,

  Pollen, Walter, A.D.C. to Lord Ripon, 85, 177, 180, 194.

  Poona, 81.

  Poverty of India, 50, 213, 236-246, 254.

  Press laws, 2, 235.

  Press, Native, 255.

  Primrose, Sir Henry, Lord Ripon’s private secretary, 9, 85, 142, 167,
      177, 179, 180, 191, 266.

  Princes of India, 35, 38, 162, 164, 301, 302, 304.

  Purani Palace at Hyderabad, 204.

  Queen Victoria, 2, 3, 132, 325;
    her proclamation, 132, 312.

  Race hatred, causes of, 73, 74, 100, 101, 102, 231-235, 255-277.

  Ragunath Rao, a distinguished Mahratta Brahmin of Madras, 38, 42,
      43, 88, 178, 194, 219.

  Rajputana, 171, 172.

  Ramanatha, Mr., head of the Tamil community at Colombo, 24.

  Rangiar Naidu, Zemindar of Madras, 41, 50.

  Rasul Yar Khan, Nawab, of Hyderabad, 14, 59, 63, 71, 80, 182, 185,
      187, 197, 198, 201, 203, 204.

  Raza Huseyn, Seyd, Kadi of Patna, 129, 139.

  Ripon, Marquis of, 1-4, 36, 37, 55, 76, 77, 82, 83, 85, 88-91, 95,
      96, 109, 122, 131, 132, 136, 137, 138, 141, 147, 148, 177-184,
      186, 187, 189-196, 202, 203, 205, 206, 219, 228, 229, 232, 253,
      268-273, 315, 334-336;
    his character, 3, 4, 55, 96, 97, 148, 269, 270, 326;
    reasons of his failure, 5, 6, 53, 55, 95, 122, 130;
    his ideas, 37;
    talks with, 89, 90, 91, 92, 178, 179, 190, 194, 195, 196;
    his opinions about Berar, 91, 183, 184;
    his speech at the Nizam’s installation, 186, 187;
    his great popularity, 270-273.

  Roberts, Field Marshal Sir Frederick (Lord Roberts), 187, 189, 192,
      193, 196.

  Rogay, Mr. Mohammed, wealthy Moslem of Bombay, 82, 139, 210, 211,
      223, 225, 263.

  Saadut Ali, Salar Jung’s brother, 186, 193.

  Sabunji, Mr., 12, 13, 19.

  Salar Jung, Sir (the elder), 61, 63, 74, 89, 90, 149, 186, 191;
    his death, 63, 89, 173, 200, 201, 212, 300, 335.

  Salar Jung (the younger), Laik Ali, 66, 68, 70, 72, 76, 77, 90, 91,
      93, 99, 109, 132, 180, 182, 183, 186, 188, 189, 190, 193, 194,
      195, 197, 201, 202, 204, 205, 228, 330, 334, 335.

  Salt tax, 2, 36, 41, 50, 53, 95, 140, 158, 207, 218, 222, 223, 224,
      232, 242, 243, 254.

  Sami Ullah, Mulvi, of Aligarh, 103, 105, 155, 156, 157.

  Sandwal, Dr., a Christian Hindu, 100.

  Sanskrit College, 46, 49.

  Scindia, Maharajah, 301.

  Sebapathy Ayar, a Christianized Hindu, 55, 204.

  Self-Government, the future of, 299-326.

  Seyd Abdallah, merchant of Mecca, 71.

  Seyd Ahmed Afghani, 187-188.

  Seyd Ahmed, Mulvi, of Aligarh, Founder of Aligarh College, 117, 127,
      155-160, 181, 188.

  Shankar, Rao, Pandit, Oriental translator to Bombay Government, 222.

  Shere Ali, Amir of Afghanistan, 187, 188.

  Shiahs and Sunnis, 63, 72, 134, 151, 153, 154, 163, 212, 213, 295.

  Shooting accident, 157.

  Shustari, Seyd Ali, a poet and wag, 69, 71, 201, 203.

  Sirhadé Huseyn, of Patna, 140.

  Siva Prasad, Rajah, 120, 125.

  Solomon, our servant, 46, 174.

  Souter, Sir Frank, 216, 217.

  Southern India described, 27;
    Moslems of, 27-29, 41, 45, 287-289.

  “Statesman, The,” 136, 191.

  Stewart, Sir Donald, High Court Judge, 146, 187.

  Strachey, Sir John, 6, 142, 147, 240, 246, 253.

  Subramania Ayer, journalist of Madras, 36.

  Suleyman Kadur, Prince, 120, 125.

  Suliman Jah, Prince, of the Mogul family, 161, 162, 164, 165.

  Sultan, Ottoman, 13, 63, 64, 79, 111, 125, 161, 230.

  Tagore, Sir Jotendro Mohun, 86, 87, 96.

  Tamils, the, of Ceylon, 23, 27.

  Tanjore, 34.

  Tea Planters, 17, 18, 145.

  Telang, Kashinath, member of Bombay Council, 220, 223.

  Temple, Sir Richard, 216, 218, 249.

  Tenth Hussars, 153.

  Tippara, Rajah of, 115.

  Tirupati, 46-49.

  Trevelyan, Sir Charles, 40.

  Trevor, Mr., 60, 67, 80, 92, 93, 178, 199, 201.

  Trichinopoly, 33.

  Tuticorin, 27.

  Tyabji, Bedr-ed-Din, of Bombay, 225.

  University, Mohammedan, 98, 117, 119, 126, 127, 131, 133, 134, 167,
      179, 190, 198, 199, 200, 202, 203, 204, 206, 208, 212, 227;
    scheme of, in Appendix, 337.

  Ulwar, 171, 172, 229.

  Uttarpara, 101.

  Varada Rao, of Madras, 38, 42, 45.

  Viceroy’s Council, Debate on the Ilbert Bill, 132, 133.

  Vikar-el-Omra, Ik Balet Dowlah, nobleman of Hyderabad, 64, 67, 69,
      73, 137, 157, 182, 188, 193.

  Village evictions, 242.

  Village poverty, 50, 53, 54, 55, 87-94, 95, 102, 118, 140, 158, 207,
      213, 232, 236, 237, 306.

  Villayet Ali, Nawab of Patna, 140, 141, 183, 264.

  Wedderburn, Sir William, Bart., 213, 215, 216, 240;
    reforms recommended by, 215.

  West, Mr., Vice-Chancellor of the Bombay University, 219, 224.

  “Wind and the Whirlwind, The,” 14, 136, 153, 184.

  Yemen, politics of, 123;
    horses of, 128, 129;
    a sheykh of, 128.



Transcriber’s Notes:

Several proper names do not agree with currently accepted
spellings, but have not been changed except to make index entries
correlate with the text where possible, as noted below. Uncommon
spellings (e.g. adherred, premiss) which were not clearly printing
errors were left unchanged. Inconsistent hyphenation (e.g.
shop-keeper, shopkeeper) was left as printed, as most likely to
reflect the original diary entries.

“congregrated” changed to “congregated” on page 12. (Egyptian
exiles congregated there.)

“Englishmen” changed to “Englishman” on page 156. (an average

“Vice-Chanceller” changed to “Vice-Chancellor” on page 224.
(Vice-Chancellor of the university)

“or” changed to “of” on page 242. (the great famine of 1877-78)

“betwen” changed to “between” on page 305. (the connection between
England and India)

“Temimi” changed to “Temini” on page 339. (Eid el Temini)

“Ghalum” changed to “Ghulam” and re-alphabetized on page 339.
(Ghulam Mohammed Munshi)

“Ayar” changed to “Ayer” on page 343. (Subramania Ayer)

“Trichinopoli” changed to “Trichinopoly” on pages 288 (such towns
as Tanjore and Trichinopoly) and 343 (index entry).

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