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know, and that without seeing, save at rare intervals, any sign of European administration. Nor is this confined to British India. It is almost the same in Native States. Even along the lofty forest and mountain frontier that separates the native (protected) principality of Sikkim from Nepal-the only really independent Indian Statean Englishman may journey unarmed and alone, except for a couple of native attendants, for a week or more. When he asks his friends at Darjiling, before he starts, whether he ought to take a revolver with him, they smile at the question. There is not so complete a security for native travellers, especially in native States, for here and there bands of brigands called Dacoits infest the tracks, and rob, sometimes the wayfarer, sometimes the peasant, escaping into the recesses of the jungle when the police are after them. But dacoity, though it occasionally breaks out afresh in a few districts, has become much less frequent than formerly. The practice of Thuggi which seventy years ago still caused many murders, has been extirpated by the unceasing energy of British officers. Crimes of violence show a percentage to the population which appears small when one considers how many wild tribes remain. The native of course suffers from violence more frequently than does the European, whose prestige of race, backed by the belief that punishment will surely follow on any injury done to him, keeps him safe in the wildest districts 1.
I have referred to the enclaves within the area of the
1 An incident like the murder in 1889 of the British Resident at Manipur, a small Protected State in the hill country between Assam and Burma, is so rare and excites so much surprise and horror as to be the best proof of the general tranquillity. In that case there had been some provocation, though not on the part of the Resident himself, an excellent man of conciliatory temper.
Roman Empire where rude peoples were allowed to live after their own fashion so long as they did not disturb the peace of their more civilized neighbours. One finds the Indian parallel to these districts, not so much in the Native States, for these are often as advanced in the arts of life, and, in a very few instances, almost as well administered, as British territory, but rather in the hill tribes, which in parts of central, of north-western, and of southern India, have retained their savage or semisavage customs, under their own chiefs, within the provinces directly subject to the Crown. These tribes, as did the Albanians and Basques, cleave to their primitive languages, and cleave also to their primitive forms of ghost-worship or nature-worship, though Hinduism is beginning to lay upon them its tenacious grasp. Of one another's lives and property they are not very careful. But they are awed by the European and leave him unmolested.
The success of the British, like that of the Roman administration in securing peace and good order, has been due, not merely to a sense of the interest which a government has in maintaining conditions which, because favourable to industry are favourable also to revenue, but also to the high ideal of the duties of a ruler which both nations have set before themselves. Earlier Empires, like those of the Persian Achaemenids or of the successors of Alexander, had been content to tax their subjects and raise armies from them. No monarch, except perhaps some of the Ptolemies in Egypt, seems to have set himself to establish a system from which his subjects would benefit. Rome, with larger and higher views, gave to those whom she conquered some compen
sations in better administration for the national independence she extinguished. Her ideals rose as she acquired experience, and as she came to feel the magnificence of her position. Even under the Republic attempts were made to check abuses of power on the part of provincial governors. The proceedings against Verres, which we know so well because Cicero's speeches against that miscreant have been preserved, are an instance of steps taken in the interests of a province whose discontent was so little likely to harm Rome that no urgent political necessity prescribed them. Those proceedings showed how defective was the machinery for controlling or punishing a provincial governor; and it is clear enough that a great deal of extortion and misfeasance went on under proconsuls and propraetors in the later days of the Republic, to the enrichment, not only of those functionaries, but of the hungry swarm who followed them, including men who, like the poet Catullus, were made for better things1. With the establishment of a monarchy administration improved. The Emperor had a more definite responsibility for securing the welfare and contentment of the provinces than had been felt by the Senate or the jurors of the Republic, swayed by party interest or passion, not to speak of more sordid motives. He was, moreover, able to give effect to his wishes more promptly and more effectively. He could try an incriminated official in the way he thought best, and mete out appropriate punishment. It may indeed be said that the best proof of the
1 Poems x and xxviii. It is some comfort to know that Catullus obtained in Bithynia only themes for some of his most charming verses (see poems iv and xlvi). Gains would probably have been ill-gotten.
incompetence of the Republican system for the task of governing the world, and of the need for the concentration of powers in a single hand, is to be found in the scandals of provincial administration, scandals which, so far as we can judge, could not have been remedied without a complete change either in the tone and temper of the ruling class at Rome, or in the ancient constitution itself.
On this point the parallel with the English in India is interesting, dissimilar as the circumstances were. The English administration began with extortions and corruptions. Officials were often rapacious, sometimes unjust, in their dealings with the native princes. But the statesmen and the public opinion of England, even in the latter half of the eighteenth century, had higher standards than those of Rome in the days of Sulla and Cicero, while the machinery which the House of Commons provided for dealing with powerful offenders was more effective than the Roman method of judicial proceedings before tribunals which could be, and frequently were, bribed. The first outbreak of greed and corruption in Bengal was dealt with by the strong hand of Clive in 1765. It made so great an impression at home as to give rise to a provision in a statute of 1773, making offences against the provisions of that Act or against the natives of India, punishable by the Court of King's Bench in England. By Pitt's Act of 1784, a Special Court, consisting of three judges, four peers, and six members of the House of Commons, was created for the trial in England of offences committed in India. This singular tribunal, which has been compared with the quaestio perpetua (de pecuniis repetundis) of Senators created by a Roman
statute of B. C. 149 to try offences committed by Roman officials against provincials, has never acted, or even been summoned1. Soon after it came the famous trial which is more familiar to Englishmen than any other event in the earlier relations of England and India. The impeachment of Warren Hastings has often been compared with the trial of Verres, though Hastings was not only a far more capable, but a far less culpable man. Hastings, like Verres, was not punished. But the proceedings against him so fixed the attention of the nation upon the administration of India as to secure for wholesome principles of conduct a recognition which was never thereafter forgotten. The Act of 1784 in establishing a Board of Control responsible to Parliament found a means both for supervising the behaviour of officials and for taking the large political questions which arose in India out of the hands of the East India Company. This Board continued till India was placed under the direct sway of the British Crown in 1858. At the same time the appointment of Governors-General who were mostly men of wealth, and always men of rank and position at home, provided a safeguard against such misconduct as the proconsuls under the Roman Republic had been prone to commit. These latter had little to fear from prosecution when their term of office was over, and the opinion of their class was not shocked by offences which would have fatally discredited an English nobleman. The standard by which English public opinion judges the behaviour of Indian or Colonial officials has, on the whole, risen during the nineteenth century; and the idea
1 See Sir C. P. Ilbert's Government of India, p. 68. The provision creating this Court has never been repealed.