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when announced, and are soon entirely discredited, from the subsequent conduct of the same individual being found to be completely at variance with his pledges and professions. Neither the candidates who offer themselves, nor the voters by whose support they succeed, care, in general, one straw about the good of the people of India; although this is so constantly put forth as the chief motive of both, that it is now discredited even in the few cases in which it may really be consistent with the truth. The candidate enters the field perhaps three or four years before he can obtain his seat: he undergoes a pilgrimage through every street in London, more wearying and humiliating than a pilgrimage to Jerusalem or Mecca: he expends at least a thousand pounds on every occasion of coming to the ballot, and he is, perhaps, moderately successful, if he comes into the Direction after three years of penance, and three thousand pounds of expense, to say nothing of the risk which is run of all this ending in entire failure.

Is this labour, this zeal, and this expenditure, undertaken for the good of the people of India alone? Ask the same parties to give one year of gratuitous labour to any investigation, committee, or even the task of printing and publishing at their own cost, for the information of their countrymen and mankind, the result of their experience in India, and plans for its improvement. They will smile at the simplicity of such philanthropy. Ask them to expend one thousand pounds towards the formation of a fund for really benevolent purposes, or to establish an Association for the purpose of advocating the rights, and improving the condition of the natives of Hindoostan. They will put up their purses, and wonder at your presumption. Nay, ask them even to sign a requisition, merely entreating the Directors to grant the natives of India some means of telling the story of their wrongs, and you will find them shrink from that or any other act which could lead even to the inference of their entertaining opinions of their own, on any subject whatever, except in unison with those of the honourable body of which they aspire to be a member. Thus much for the public spirit of the Candidates. And, as to the Proprietors, by whose votes the Directors are nominated, let them be asked the same questions, and the results will be nearly the same. The object of the one is to dispense patronage; the object of the other to share in its distribution. For this, each of them will endure fatigue, will undergo long journeys, will expend their money liberally, and will make the loudest vauntings of their independence. But let the Directors be divested of their salaries, (paltry as they are admitted to be,) and of all the patronage or power of dispensing places in lieu of fortunes on those whose advancement they desire, or exchanging them for other considerations with strangers, and we should soon observe but few candidates in the field, and equally few voters preferring India stock to any other description of funded property to which no peculiar expectations beyond a fixed dividend was attached.

This test is infallible; and the only way by which a truly virtuous and public-spirited individual is to be distinguished from one whose devotion to the common weal is merely in profession, is to learn what

are the personal and pecuniary sacrifices in labour, time, and money, which the individual makes in the prosecution of his supposed duty; and, on the other hand, what are the honours, emoluments, and considerations, which cheer the mere professor to his task; and how much of these he voluntarily relinquishes when demanded by the public good. If tried by this test, there is no doubt but that many of both these classes would be found sadly wanting.

In commencing the present article, however, it was not our intention to enter so fully into the subject adverted to, but merely to glance at some of the facts which have peculiarly marked the late and pending election, and which have come to our knowledge through various authentic channels. The system would require a volume to detail with that minuteness in which it really ought to be exposed to the people of England, at whose expense, as well as that of the natives of India, it is upheld. But that, perhaps, had better be deferred until another year, when the expiration of the charter will begin to excite anticipations, hopes and fears; and when the ears of Englishmen generally will be more open to the subject than now, though it is every day rising in interest and importance. For the present, therefore, we shall merely advert to passing events.

Since our last, a ballot took place at the India House, on the 8th of March, the several candidates going to the poll being Mr. Henry Alexander, Mr. James Stuart, and Mr. Mackinnon. The success of the former was very marked, his election being obtained by the suffrages of nearly 900 votes, while Mr. Stuart did not obtain 500, and Mr. Mackinnon little more than 400. Entertaining the opinions that we do on the subject of such elections, it would be perfectly useless to compare or contrast the characters of the Candidates, because we believe, that with nine Proprietors out of ten it does not weigh a feather in the scale. But, indeed, there is only one of the three individuals named, of whose public life any thing remarkable is known; and private life is not only beyond our proper sphere of observation, but, in the case in question, is wholly beyond our inquiry. We know no illof either; and, if we did, we should think it out of our province to advert to it, except it bore distinctly on the performance of the public duties aspired to be filled by each. Nevertheless we rejoice at the issue which placed Mr. Alexander so decidedly at the head of the poll; first, because his public character, as far as it is known, is without any blot or stain, and has not left a trace of any inclination towards arbitrary power; and, secondly, because it is notorious that very powerful efforts were made by those who have that inclination to keep him out of the Direction, which must be taken as a symptom of his being unacceptable to them, from difference of opinion and disposition-in itself a high recommendation to all those of independent minds. Of Mr. Stuart, however, we cannot, conscientiously, say as much. His public conduct is known; his transactions in India have left a stain on his public reputation; and he, with all sorts of liberal professions in his mouth when they were fashionable in India, has shown an inclination to arbitrary power, which every mer

chant, every banker, every friend of frank and open conduct, every advocate of the colonization of India, and enjoyment of its inhabitants, ought to mark by their decided disapprobation; and which, if there be but a strong effort made by those who compose these classes, may yet keep him out of the Direction. If any man desires to appreciate Mr. Stuart's character rightly, let him look back to his transactions in the Hyderabad affair, and he may judge for himself. It would seem, however, as if there were really some misgiving on the minds of the Directors themselves as to his success; and if it were so before the issue of the 8th of March was known, the result of that day must have quickened their zeal in proportion. Of the impression created on some minds by the activity of the Directors, we subjoin the following specimen, which is a copy of a written communication addressed to us fcr publication, and which we give verbatim :


On the last election of an East India Director, we found the DeputyChairman (Sir George A. Robinson) and his friend, Mr. Lushington, of the Treasury, actively canvassing the Proprietors of East India stock in favour of one of the candidates; and those two Gentlemen, together with sixteen Directors, are at present equally active in support of the same candidate! It is notorious, that the law vests the election of Directors exclusively in the Proprietors of East India stock. Is it, therefore, constitutional or correct, that either the Treasury or the Directors should interfere with the freedom of election, or the rights of the Proprietors, in favour of any particular candidate, by exercising an influence which it is well known their official cha racter gives them, and thus transfer the right of election from the electors to the elected, and the Treasury? Mr. Astell and Sir G. A. Robinson, two party-men, and stout advocates on other occasions of rights and privileges, cannot divest themselves of their official character and influence while they are Directors; they are desirous of filling the Direction with their own creatures; they do not hesitate to exert their influence in making the Direction a self-existent body, and thus boldly attack and violate the rights and privileges of the Proprietors. It can be proved that Proprietors, who came at their request from the country, and who voted against Mr. Alexander and Mr. Mackinnon, have received appointments to India! Can the House of Fletcher, Alexander, and Co., and the House of Inglis, Forbes, and Co., be justly blamed for combining in support of their own candidates, and to oppose a union so grossly indecent, and pregnant with subversion and ruin to the East India Company? Mr. Astell is also canvassing for another candidate, (Lieutenant-Colonel Sir William Young,) thus dictating, through his influence and patronage, to the Proprietary, and filling the Direction with his followers.

Deputy-Chairman's Circular, dated East India House, February 1826.

Permit me to solicit your vote and interest for Mr. James Stuart, who is candidate for a seat in the East India Direction, and who means to come forward to the ballot at the election for supplying the vacancy caused by the retirement of your late worthy Director, Mr. Hudleston.

Having been more than thirty years in the civil service of the Honourable Company in Bengal, and having held the station of a Member of the Supreme Council, Mr. Stuart possesses an extensive knowledge of their affairs.

On these PUBLIC GROUNDS, I trust that you will think him deserving of your support; and I beg to assure you, that in affording it, you will confer a great obligation on MYSELF.



The facts here stated are neither new nor wonderful; they are in every body's mouth in private; but it is surprising that they are not adverted to in the Court of Proprietors in public. A man cannot be transported, without trial, for speaking his mind freely in England; and although he might injure his pecuniary interests by an open declaration of his thoughts and feelings in a body of which he is a member, this ought not to deter him; for, really, the virtue which is only practised when it can be done without injury to one's prosperity, is no virtue at all; and it is a prostitution of the term so to use it. The true virtue is that which is exercised at all hazards, and which is not deterred from its pursuit though thorns beset its path in every direction. It is easy enough to be pure where there is no temptation, bold where there is no danger, and independent where there is nothing to lose by its display; but something beyond this is requisite to establish a claim to permanent reputation. As to the influence said to be used by Mr. Astell and Sir George Robinson, one might safely ask, whether the Proprietors themselves were not greatly to blame in permitting it to be exercised? An independent man, to whom such a circular as that of the latter should be sent, would re-direct it to the honourable Baronet, with a note expressive of his surprise at such an invasion of the rights of election. But if men will quietly receive such attempts to influence their judgment, they will be repeated on all occasions; and, as it is truly said, that without receivers of stolen goods thefts would be useless, so it may be added, if there were none who suffered their privileges to be usurped by their own servants, the usurpation would not be attempted. No man asks another for the entire control of his purse, because none are found to yield this up willingly; but men do ask each other for the entire control of their judgments, because that is of much less value, in their estimation, than their money; and while they safely guard the one, they very freely part with the other.

But to return to the letter. The combinations of Directors to exclude or bring in whom they please, is not only an invasion of the rights of the Proprietors, but is in violation of the natural order of things they are themselves but servants; they hold their seats avowedly by the will of others; and therefore any attempt to influence that will in their capacity as Directors should be resisted. That they should desire to fill the Direction with those who entertain the same views with themselves, can be no subject of blame: all mankind desire the association of those who think with them; but there is an essential difference between the endeavour to do this by an appeal to reasons addressed to the understanding, and the incitement of rewards, or the distribution of patronage. It is this, therefore, which forms the evil, and not the existence of a desire common to all. If, however, the Proprietors would reform this state of things, they should give their

servants, the Directors, a salary adequate to their duties, and take from them all patronage whatever, either dividing it among the body generally, according to the amount of their interest in the common capital of the Company, or selling the appointments, by public auction, to duly qualified persons, (to whom the power of purchase should be limited,) or by a fixed scale, as in the case of army commissions, and forming a fund out of the produce of such patronage for some of the thousand benevolent purposes which have yet to be accomplished before we perform half our duty to the people whom we have conquered and despoiled.

The combination of the two mercantile houses named, instead of being a subject of censure, as the writer would seem to think it had been made by some, ought to be a matter of congratulation to the Proprietary body at large, and of just pride to the members who promoted it. A combination to resist undue encroachments on rights and privileges is the more valuable, because it is so rare: we should like to see them of every day occurrence, and then such encroachments would speedily decrease.

The circular of Sir George Robinson contains, among much that is sufficiently common-place, or matter-of-course, a few expressions that are remarkable. He does not lay before the Proprietor addressed any choice of pretensions between different men, but begins at once to solicit his vote and interest for his particular protegé. His highest recommendation of him is, that he has been "more than thirty years in the Civil Service;" as if this were any peculiar merit. Why, the most unprincipled as well as the most ignorant and imbecile of men might lay claim to a greater amount than this: for some such have been more than fifty years in the same service, and are yet but drivellers after all. Aye-but (continues the worthy Chairman) having been more than thirty years in the service, and having been a member of the Supreme Council, Mr. Stuart possesses AN EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR AFFAIRS. What then?-It is clear that this service in India and this knowledge cannot be necessary or indispensable qualifications: for, if so, how could such men as bankers, West India merchants, Turkey traders, surgeons, sea captains, and all manner of men get into this same Direction, some of them having never seen India at all, nor ever given its affairs a moment's attention till they became candidates. That a man might pass a century in India, and have no enlarged knowledge of its interests, must be clear to every capacity. That a man may never visit India, and yet be distinguished for his profound and accurate knowledge of all that belongs to the country, it is sufficient to name its distinguished historian, Mr. Mill. But even then, supposing the knowledge to be perfect, by whatever means attained, it is the use to be made of this which should be the chief object of inquiry. If one man possessed but little knowledge, and were zealous in applying that little to the good of his fellow-creatures, he would be greatly superior to him who should know infinitely more, but pervert his information to the more successful oppression of mankind. These grounds of mere knowledge

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