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von Burke erhaltenen Pension von 1796, die dem Minister Pitt, vorgelegten Gedanken über Brotmangel und Theurung
Die bisher noch ungedruckten Werke Burke's sollen mit einem ausführlichen Leben dieses grossen Staatsmannes und seinem Briefwechsel bald nachfolgen. Dr. Lawrence und Mr. King, die von Burke 'zur Sonderung seiner Papiere ernannten Testaments-Exekutoren, machen Hoffnung zur baldigen Bekanntmachung derselben. Das wichtigste von den ungedruckten hinterlassenen Werken Burke's ist eine Geschichte Englands von den ältesten Zeiten bis auf die Regierung König Johann's. (Siehe die Anzeige des 4ten Bandes der Burkeschen Schriften im 112ten Stück der Göttingischen gelehrten Anzeigen vom Jahr 1802.
1) SPEECH ON Mr. Fox's EAST-INDIA BILL. (Wir können bei der ansehnlichen Länge dieser Rede nur
einige Bruchstücke derselben unsern Lesern mittheilen. Burke macht zuförderst, nach einem kurzen Eingange,
folgende Schilderung des Brittischen Reichs in Hindostan): With very few, and those inconsiderable intervals, the British dominion, either in the Company's *) name, or in the name of Princes absolutely dependent upon the Company, extends, from the mountains that separate India from Tartary, to Cape Comoria, that is, one and twenty degrees of latitude!
la the northern parts, it is a solid mass of land, about eight kundred miles in length, and four or five hundred broad. As you go southward, it becomes narrower for a
*) Die Ostindische Hundelsgesellschaft erhielt ihren Stiftungsbrief (Charter) 1600, ihre heutige Einrichtung 1702 und 1708. Die weitläuftigen Besitzungen der Engländer in Ostindien stehen nicht unmittelbar, unter der Englischen Regierung, sondern sie em pfangen ihre Gescize durch die Dazwischenkunft einer Versammlung von Direktoren (Directors of the East India Company), die hinwiederum von einer mit der Regierung der Angelegenheiten Indiens beauftragten Commission (Board of Commissioners for the affairs of India) abhängig, und zuweilen auch der Revision einer allgemeinen Versammlung der Eigenthümer unterworfen ist. non kurzen, jedoch ungemein gehalireichen Aufsatz über Indostan von William Playfair, findet man im liten Stücke von Posselt's Europäischen Annalen vom Jahre 1802 S. 165.
space: it afterwards dilates; but narrower or broader, you possess the whole eastern and north-eastern coast of that vast country, quite from the borders of Pegu. Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa, with Benares (now. unfortunately in our immediatė possession) measure 161,978 square English miles;. a territory considerably larger than the whole kingdum of France. Oude, with its dependent provinces, is :53,286 square miles; not a great deal less than England. The Carnatic, with Tanjore and the Circars, is 65,948 square miles, very considerably larger than England; and the whole of the Company's dominion, comprehending Bombay and Salsette, amounts to 281,412 square miles; which forms a territory larger than any European dominion, Russia and Turkey excepied. Through all that vast extent of country, there is not a man who eats a mouthful of rice, but by permission of the East-India Company.
So far with regard to the extent. The population of this great empire is not easy to be calculated. When the countries of which it is composed, came into our possession, they were all eminently peopled, and eminently productive; though at that time considerably declined from their ancient prosperity. But since they are come into our hands! :However, if we take the period of our estimate immediately before the utter desolation of the Carnatic, and if we allow for the havock which our government had even then made in those regions, we cannot, in my opinion, rate the population at much less than thirty millions of souls; more than four times the number of persons in the island of Great Britain,
My pext inquiry to that of the number, is the quality and description of the inhabitants. This multitude of men does not consist of an abject and barbarous populace, much less of gangs of savages, like the Guaranies and Chiquitos, who wander on the waste borders of the river of Amazons
the Plate; but a people for ages civilised and cultivated; cultivated by all the arts of polished life, while we were yet in the woods. There have been (and still the skeletons remain) princes, once of great dignity, authority, and opulence. There are to be found the chjefs of tribes and nations. There is to be found an ancient and venerable priesthood, the depository of their laws, learning, and history, the guides of the people whilst living, and their consolation in death;
a noblity of great antiquity and renown; a multitude of cities, not exceeded in population and trade by those of the first class in Europe; merchants and bankers, individual houses' of whom have once vied in capital with the bank of England, whose credit had often supported a tottering state, and preserved their government in the midst of war and de solation; millions of ingenious manufacturers and mechanics; 'millions of the most diligent, and not the least intelligent, tillers of the earth. Here are to be found almost all the religions professed by men; the Braminical, the Musselmen, the Eastern 'and the Western Christians. If I were to take the whole aggregate of our possessions there, I should compare it, as the nearest parallel I can find, with the Empire of Germany. Our immediate possessions I should compare with the Austrian dominions, and they would not suffer in the comparison. The Nabob of Oude might stand for the King of Prussia. The Nabob of Arcot I would compare, as superior in territory, and equal in revenue, to the Elector of Saxony. Cheyt Sing, the Rajah of Benares, might well rank with the Prince of Hesse, at least; and the Rajah of Tanjore (though hardly equal in extent of dominion, superior in revenue) to the Elector of Bavaria. The Polygars, and the northern Zemindars, and other great Chiefs, might well class with the rest of the Princes, Dukes, Counts, Marquisses, and Bishops, in the Empire; all of whom I mention to honour, and surely without disparagement to any or all of those most respectable Princes and Grandees.
All this yast mass, composed of so many orders and classes of men, is infinitely diversified by manners, by religion, by hereditary employment, through all their possible combinations. This renders the handling of India a matter in a high degree critical and delicate. But wh! it has been handled rudely indeed. Even some of the reformers seem to have forgot that they had any thing to do but to regulate the tenants' of a manor, or the shopkeepers of the next countytown.
It is an empire of this extent, of this complicated nature, of this dignity and importance, that I have compared it to Germany; and the German government; not for an exact resemblatice, but as a sort of middle term, by which India might be approximated to our understandiage, and, if possible, to our feelings; in order to awaken something of sym
pathy for the unfortunate natives, of which, I am afraid, we are not perfectly susceptible, whilst we look at this very remote object, through a false and cloudy medium.
(Weiterhin zeigt er, dass die sogenannten barbari
schen Oberherrn Indiens ihre Unterthanen unendlich besser, als die christlichen Europäer
behandelt hätten, und sagt:) The several irruptions of Arabs, Tartars and Persian's into India. were, for the greater part, ferocious, bloody, and wasteful in the extreme: bur entrance into the dominion of that country, was, as generally, with small comparative effusion of blood; being introduced by various frauds and delusions, and by taking advantage of the incurable, blind, and senseless animosity, which the several country powers bear towards each other, rather than by open force. But the difference in favour of the first conquerors is this: the Asiatic conquerors very soon abated of their ferocity, because they made the conquered country their own. They rose or fell with the rise or fall of the territory they lived in. Fathers there deposited the hopes of their posterity; and children there beheld the monuments of their fathers. Here their lot was finally cast; and it is the natural wish of all, that their lot should not be cast in a bad land. Poverty, sterility, and desolation are not a recreating prospect to the eye
man; and there are very few who can bear to grow old among the curses of a whole people. If their passion or their avarice drove the Tartar lords to acts of rapacity or tyranny, there was time enough, even in the short life of man, to bring round the ill effects of an abuse of power upon the power itself. If hoards were made by violence and tyranny, they were still domestic hoards; and domestic profusion, or the rapine of a more powerful and prodigal hand, restored them to the people. With many disorders, and with few political checks upon power, nature had still fair play: the sources of acquisition were not dried up; and therefore the trade, the manufactures, and the commerce of the country flourished. Even avarice and usury itself operated , both for the preservation and the employment of national wealth. The husbandman and manufacturer paid heavy interest, but then they augmented the fund from whence they were again to borrow. Their resources were dearly bought; but they were sare; and the general stock of the community grew by the general effort.
But under the English government all this order is reversed. The Tartar invasion was mischievous; but it is our protection that destroys India. It was their enmity, but it is our friendship. Our conquest there, after twenty years, is' as crude as it was the first day. The natives scarcely know what it is to see the grey head of an Englishman. Young men (boys almost) govern there, without society, and without sympathy with the natives. They have no more social habits with the people, than if they still resided in England; nor indeed any species of intercourse but that which is necessary to making a sudden fortune, with a view to a remote settlement.' Ania mated with all the avarice of age, and all the impetuosity of youth, they roll in one after another; wave after wave; and there is nothing before the eyes of the natives but an endless, hopeless prospect of new flights of birds of prey and passage, with appetites continually renewing for a food that is continually wasting *). Every rupee **) of profit made by an Englishman is lost for ever to India. With us are no retributory superstitions, by which a foundation of charity compensates through ages, to the poor, for the rapine and injustice of a day. With us no pride erects stately monu
*) Burke deutet auf die Leichtigkeit, mit welcher sich die Bedienten der Ostindischen Compagnie in wenigen Jahren ein ansehnliches Vermögen erwerben. Gewöhnlich (sagt Spreng el in einer Anmerkung zu seiner im historischen Portefeuille von 1784 befindlichen Uebersetzung von Burke's East - India Bill,) dient ein junger Engländer zwölf bis funfzehn Jahr, bis er ein Rath oder Mitglied einer der vier Englischen Regierungen oder Präsidentschaften wird. Eine solche Stelle z. B. in Madras, bringt ihrem Inhaber, ohne was er an Sporteln, Accidenzen, durch Handel, oder sonst gewinnt, 16000 Dukaten jährlichen Gehalts. Die jungen Engländer gehen erst als Schreiber in den Dienst der Compagnie. In dieser Stelle bleiben sie fünf Jahre. Hierauf dienen sie drei Jahre als Faktore, und eben so viel Jahre als Unterkaufleute (junior merchants). Zuletzt werden sie Oberkaufleute, und rücken nach der Anciennetät in die erledigten Rathsstellen ein. Dergleichen nach Indien gehende junge Leute sind meistens Söhne. von Parliamentsgliedern, oder solche, die 18 bis 24000 Thl. fiir eine Indische Schreiberstelle bezahlen können. ,**) Rupee, eine in Hindostan überall gangbare. Münze. Sie beträgt ungefähr in Deutschem Gelde 16-18 Gr. Hunderttausend solche Münzen, nennt man ein Lac.