Sivut kuvina

danger of loss or interruption, he is taken on each sheet of a letter inobliged to send several convey tended for India, is fixed at one ances of every important commu. shilling and two pence. Now, fanication. A similar aggravation mily letters are seldom comprized also presents itself in regard to law- within less than two sheets and an papers, and other important do- envelope, and are thus taxed at cuments, which are at once volu- nearly four shillings, previously to minous, and therefore expensive for receiving the post-mark. If to this a single postage, and of which, for is added the ship-postage levied by the reason already given, several the local goveroments in India, copies must be sent, and therefore every letter is charged with a postseveral heavy postages incurred. age of five shillings, over and above

But, beside these, there is ano. the inland postage, both in India ther description of correspondence and in England, before it reaches wbich yields in pothing in its claims the band of the person to whom it on every well-wisher of the best is addressed. This tax increases interests of society, and on which with the size of the packet; and the regulations make a serious at- it must not be omitted to remark, tack. This is the correspondence that even restraint upon the size is between friends and families. I a private and social evil, scarcely less need not suggest to your reflec- than the total suppression of cortions, Sir, what is the value, in a respondence. How often are not private or a social view, of pre- those interests, to which I have beserving, during absence, this species fore alluded, promoted by the very of intercourse. I need not point garrulity of familiar intercourse ; out to you, how often its inter- by the practice of saying every thing ruption leads to cessation, and its which can be said, rather than the cessation to the most serious effects attempt to say the least that may on the fortunes, the fates, and the answer the immediate purpose. In happiness of individuals. Still less, the resolution to save a sheet of need I call upon you to remember, paper, how many things may be how often natural indolence, in a omitted, dear to the heart, and of great many minds, renders such influence on our future lives ! an intercourse, under the best en- In looking, as in few words I couragement, that is, amid the shall now do, to the political congreatest facility, slow, unsteady, siderations which belong to the suband difficult of continuance; and ject, these private interests will be how little, in general, there is seen to constitute not the least im. need of any artificial let to assist portant among those of the public. this neglect, subsidence, and ob. The provocation to evade so severe literation of former attachments and a law, the facilities it in itself affords affections. And how much will to smuggling, and the loss to the it not be assisted, by a cause wbich revenue from the necessary aimimust so often be accepted as an apo- nution of the number of letters logy, and so often operate as a serious passing through the London Postmotive, for an omission to write! Office, are obvious mischiefs, ato

It appears, that the third part tached to, and inseparable from the of the packet-rates authorized to be innovation: But even these are

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

things of small account, in the es- East-Indies, and from the East-Indies to timate of a measure, which, as I Great-Britain, and that all such letters

so transmitted have in consequence behave just insisted, tends to break, in our fellow subjects, the babit of in addition to the rates of postage here

come subject to a new and heavy impost, attachment to home; to deny the in- tofore in use. dulgence, and therefore to palsy the That, evēr since the first incorporation existence, of the feelings which bind of the East-India Company, the Directors them to their connections in this of that Company in Great-Britain and country, and not less to estrange the custom of receiving all letters which

their Governments abroad have been in those in this country from them. individuals might be desirous of transAbsence and silence deaden the me

mitting to or from their several Presimory ; but it is memory which feeds dencies in the East, and of forwarding and sustains the affections : friends, the same in their public packets by every duties, loves and country, are alike opportunity of conveyance, whether by exposed in the common forgetful

their own or by private ships. That this

arrangement has afforded ample satisfacness or separation ; and, where the

tion to all persons interested by their parent loses a child, the youth a

pursuits or connexions in the maintepatron, and the maid a husband, nance of a regular intercourse between there, also, from the like cause, Great-Britain and India, and has been the state loses a subject.

proved by the experience of a long series But all, or nearly all the topics of convenience, dispatch and punctuality.

of years to be adequate to every purpose I have touched upon, are intro

That the Governments of the Company duced into a petition which, in May in India have been accustomed to levy last, in support of the prayer of the certain rates of ship postage, on all letLondon Memorial, received the sig- ters so received for transmission to natures of the Public at Calcutta;

Great-Britain in their public packets, as

well as on all letters transmitted to India a copy of which petition, not find

by the Hon. the Court of Directors, for ing that it has yet been reprinted distribution at those Presidencies respecin England, I have taken the li- tively. And that your petitioners have berty to enclose, at the same time at all times cheerfully submitted to pay begging your excuse for the length the rates of postage so established, reat which I have written. - I am, &c. garding them as a fair and just compen

sation for the expence incurred, and the PUBLICUS.

important accommodatiou afforded. To the Hon. the Commons of the United That the same rates of ship postage

Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, still continue to be levied as heretofore in Parliament assembled ;

by the Governments of the Company The humble Petition of the under- abroad, in addition to the heavy rates

signed Merchants, Agents, and now imposed by the legislature, and to others, Inhabitants of the town of the established charges of inland postage, Calcutta and other places, subject both in Great Britain and in India. That, to the Presidency of Fort William, while the office of receiving, transmitting in the East-Indies,

and distributing the contents of all pacSheweth ;-That your petitioners have kets of ship letters continues to be exlearned with great concern, that the pro- ercised by the servants of the Company visions of an act of parliament of the abroad, it were unreasonable to expect a 54th George III, cap. 169, entitled, “An relinquishment on the part of the ComAct for making certain Regulations re- pany, of this charge of ship postage. And “ specting the Postage of Ship Letters that, so long, therefore, as the act above " and of Letters in Great Britain," have cited shall remain in force, the interbeen construed to apply to private letters course by letter between Great Britain transmitted from Great-Britain to the and these her remote dependencies must

[ocr errors]

eontinue subject to a double impost, un- country by the only private ship which known to his Majesty's subjects in any

has completed her voyage from England, other quarter of the world.

since the regulations prescribed by the That this aggravated charge bears with new act have been carried into effect. peculiar hardship on many of your peti- That the largest possible accession tioners, who are accustomed to carry on which the public revenues could be exa voluminous commercial correspondence pected to derive from the ship-postage on with Great-Britain, subject to the acci- Indian letters, mus be so perfectly indents and perils of a longer voyage than significant, that it were disrespectful in that between any of his Majesty's colo- your petitioners to presume, that such nies and the mother country, and requir

an object could have any weight in reconing therefore for its security that a greater ciling your Hon. House to the continued number of copies of each dispatch should sanction of means questionable in prinbe transmitted ;-a precaution more par- ciple and vexatious in their operation: ticularly necessary in the case of those And your petitioners would further, with packets which are in general the most all humility, suggest, that even this trivial bulky, and consequently subject to the accession, if any such has ever been heaviest rates of postage, such as, law contemplated, will in all likelihood be at papers, invoices, bills of parcels, policies least counterbalanced, by a corresponding of insurance, and other important mer- reduction of the receipts heretofore decantile documents.

rived from the inland postage on Indian That for the charges of postage to letters, a reduction which must be the which the correspondence between his necessary consequence of the general curMajesty's colonies and Great Britain has tailment of private correspondence, the long been subject, the inhabitants of diminished bulk and number of commerthose colonies are well compensated by cial dispatches, the rejection by persons the accommodation which they derive residing in England of the duplicates and from a regular establishment of packets, triplicates of letters of which the originals maintained at great expense by his Ma- may have previously come to hand, and jesty's Government. But that the same other means of counteraction or evasion observation does not at all apply to the to which those who must feel the pressituation of your petitioners, who are sure of the law, will naturally be induced not in the enjoyment of any such benefit, to resort. to whose correspondence no aid or faci- Your petitioners beg leave in conclu. lity has hitherto been afforded by his Ma- sion humbly to represent, that the moral jesty's Government, and who cannot influence of an impost of this nature may therefore but feel a charge of this nature not be altogether unworthy of the attenas a tax on the transmission of their own tion of your Hon. House ;-an impost, letters by their own conveyances.

which, in many instances, must prove a That, far from considering the provis bar to frequent communication between sions of the act of the 54th George III, members of the same family,—which, to as likely to facilitate or secure the more the extent of its operation, is in truth a regular transmission of packets by private tax on the indulgence of the best feelings ships trading between this country and of our nature, tending to restrain and Great-Britain, your petitioners are not discourage that habitual intercourse bewithout apprehension, lest the severe tween his Majesty's subjects in the East penalties, with which by the terms of and the objects of their early attachment, that act, every irregularity on the part of which serves to cherish and keep alive those entrusted with the care of ship- their social affections, and to strengthen letters is liable to be visited, may be the the bonds which unite them to the counmeans of altogether deterring respectable try of their birth and their allegiance. persons from undertaking such a charge, Your petitioners therefore humbly pray, or from permitting any letters, whatever that your Hon. House will be pleased to be received on board their ships to take the premises into consideration, apprehension in which your petitioners and will grant to your petitioners' such are confirmed, by the almost unprece- relief, as to your wisdom shall seem meet. dented circumstance, of no packets what

And your petitioners will soever having been transmitted to this

ever pray, &c.


To the Editor of the Asiatic Journal. SIR, - The opportunity your is from this impression that I tremProspectus has promised of an im- ble to think that the time may come, partial discussion of East-Indian when precipitate and misguided zeal topics, induces me to offer


for ever put it out of our powe following remarks on the important er of being the honoured instrusubject of introducing Christianityments of imparting the light of among the natives of the East.

Christianity to that benighted peoThat man is the agent of an over- ple. ruling Providence in the accom- It must, however, be recollected plishment of its designs, is not to that the duty of legislation is not be doubted; nor can it be question- fully accomplished in providing ed that he is an accountable agent. merely for the temporary wants Our nature, however, is so liable to of the subject. It has to do with err, and our best feelings so subject rational, accountable, and immorto mis-direction; that much inis- tal beings. The rulers of the earth chief

may be done, even at the time are the stewards of the interests of when we are most conscious of the its inhabitants, and their account purity of our intentions to perform must one day be rendered before a the will of that Providence ; and tribunal, supreme in power and in when I contemplate the excessive justice, a power whose dispensation veneration of the natives of India of mercy was not intended for any to a religion which from the re- favoured part of the world, and who motest periods of antiquity has been has not promised in vain that “ his that of their forefathers, and the name shall be known among all nalively jealousy they have constantly tions." exhibited on the slightest innova- I have heard much, Sir, of the tion, added to the imminent dangers sublimity of the Hindoo religion, and arising from an imprudent zeal, 1 the amiable disposition of its gentle must confess that however I may be votaries ; and on reference to some satisfied with the expediency or ne- of the opinions of our Anglocessity of evangelising India, yet I Indians given at the bar of the am by no means convinced that the House of Commons, it would aptime for that great work has yet ar- pear, that the moral standard of the rived.

native character is equal, if not suThis consideration, coupled with perior, to that of our own nation.* the idea of the possibility of the de- As to the religion of Brahma, how- , sign being pushed to the risk of ever comparatively pure it may have losing our Indian dominions, has been in its earliest stages, it is now, not, I fear, sufficiently struck some according to the testimony of moof the most enthusiastic supporters dern writers, the most wretched of missions. I trust, Sir, I am as system of craft, tyranny, absurdity, much alive as any man to the high

# Vide Minutes of Evidence before Select value of immortal interests ; and it Committee of the House of Commons,

and gross idolatry, that ever debased lation is wholly inseparable from the the understanding of rational crea- native character, and that to work tures. Surely, Sir, it can only arise a reformation or even a check, from a morbid state of feeling when would be both an ungracious as a man can, after reading of the well as hopeless task.

The perni. horrors * of Juggernauth, and of cious tendency of this mode of reathe strewed bones of a million of soning is forcibly noticed by Sir its devotees, still expatiate on the James M'Intosh, as appears by the happiness of the natives of India, following citation from bis charge and gravely conjure us to let them to the jury at Bombay in 1805. He continue to enjoy the benefits of the thus expresses himself: Hindoo religion. In regard to their But as long as the scandalous character, it is well known the fa. " acquiescence, I had almost said vourable prejudices the excellent “connivance, of the English inSir William Jones imbibed in his “ habitants lasts, as long as our studies, and carried with him to houses are filled with servants who India, as to the morality of the na- have been detected in fraud and tive Indian, as well as the complete theft, so long ought we to con. change which practical experience

6 sider ourselves as corrupters of so quickly wrought in his opinion. our servants, and through them

The frightful features of moral " the body of the natives, and so turpitude also, which the judicial long will, I fear, the efforts of our proceedings in India so invariably “ laws and magistrates be in vain.” present, must ever be at variance - The same able magistrate in alluwith the high colouring so often ding to the prevalence of perjury, given to the native character. The says, it is “ an offence, the fretruth is, the European is struck “quency of which I formerly spoke with the patient submission and

" of from information, but now yielding gentleness of his native ser- " speak from large and deplorable vants, especially when contrasted " experience; I mean the crime with the independent character of “ of perjury.” Again, a woman those he has left at home; his being asked by the Recorder (Sir harshest commands are obeyed with J. M·Intosh) whether there was alacrity and smiles, and he cannot any harm in perjury? she replied, but remember with complacency, “ that she understood that the Engthose whose every exertion were so

“ lish had a great horror of it, but wholly devoted to his pleasures and

" that there was no such horror in caprice. He is, it is true, general

- her aware that more than half of this Having thus offered the foregoing is mere masquerade, and that be- opinion, supported as it would ap, neath a service so flattering to the pear by the judgment of those, who eye, is concealed a continual plot to from professional and local expe. defraud and deceive. This is over

rience were enabled so well to aplooked with a supineness, probably preciate the standard of native moarising from the idea, that dissimu- rals, it will perhaps be anticipated

that I am convinced of the expedi* Vide Dr. Blichanan's Christian Re- ency of the introduction of Chrissearches.

tianity; and in such conviction I

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »