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which has brought an evident change in the quality of the trade of Bengal, I am not authorized, by any specific knowledge, to say, that a general injury has been felt by the country; perhaps, the losses which have been sustained are counterpoised by the augmentation of the cargoes, though of a different species, which are now transported, annually, to Europe. HAviNG already noticed the large influx of European specie, or bullion, in this country, and the cause of the cessation of this traffic, I will offer some desultory sentiments, on the subject of the diminution of the coin in Bengal, of which, grievous complaints have long existed. During the Mahometan administration, private wealth was usually expended on the spot where it had been acquired ; and though severity and oppression might have been exercised in the accumulation, yet, by its quick circulation, through the many channels of luxury, the
country at large was improved and embellished,
without any decrease of the general currency. It may be urged, Sthat the expenditure of Europeans, in their public and private buildings, has, adequately, supplied the wants of the ar. tisan and labourer. But, I am led to hazard an
opinion, that this amount falls much short of
that applied by the preceding princes to the construction of mosques, baths, Hindoo tem
ples, grand reservoirs of water, spacious gardens,
India will be invested in Indian produce, and sent to Europe, for the express purpose of discharging the bills drawn; the position is clear, excepting in the event of unforeseen calamity, that the sales of the cargoes, in Europe, will enable the East-Iadia Company to discharge the requisite payments. In testimony of the vast inherent resource of Bengal, it is necessary to observe, that the wealth of this province, which has supported, by its millions, the Coromandel and Malabar coasts, foreign and domestic wars, and the trade of China and Bencoolen, must have been accuniulated in the space of sixty or seventy yeafs.
From the period of Auruugzebe's death*, until nearly the date of our territorial establishments in India, when the Moghul Empire still preserved a large possession of its power, the balance of the revenues of Bengal was punctually conveyed, in specie and f bills, to the Imperial treasury. The remittance of this amount has been known to cause so great a scarcity of money, that many persons, possessed of even large property, have incurred difficulties, in defraying their domestic expences. Though the maritime commerce of Bengal does
♦ This Prince died, A. D. 1707. , ,
'J- A crore of rupees^ or million sterling, has been sent in the course of one year from Bengal to Delhi.
not maintain the vigour which accompanied it, whilst the Europeans were confined to the coasts of India, and exercised simply the profession of merchants, a brisk and important trade is yet carried on at Calcutta. The advantageous traffic ffcat subsisted formerly between this port and Pegue, Siam, and the Malay islands, now feebly remains; and, unless some .favourable change is speedily effected, bears the appearance of a total failure. Though these branches of commerce, silver bullion, gold-dust, and precious stones, were introduced into Bengal; from whence, in return, raw and wrought silks, coarse cotton cloths, opium, and salt-petre, were exported. It hath also been alleged, that, within these late years, the maritime trade of Bengal has received a check from an embargo, or, what is tantamount, an excessive high duty laid on the importation of foreign salt. This restriction has reduced the number of ships, and lessened the considerable exportation of grain, which, before that period, annually to»k place at the port of Calcutta: yet, though it may have injured the exterior commerce, the revenue of the Ganges salt has been increased, by this restriction, to an amount never produced at any former period. It is painful, perhaps not just, to expatiate on the defects, or the misfortunes of a country, and hold them out to public view; without proposing remedies for the ilk that are exhibited. The scantiness of my local knowledge, will only permit toe to say, that as the welfare of the British dominion in India, ultimately depends on the prosperity of Bengal, no labour should \te thought irksome, no rational plan left untried, which may improve its revenue, or encourage its trade. ', ..; ,
On the $9th -of May I arrived at Berhara* pore. fn this cantonment, which is large and commodious, are stationed three regiments of Sepoys, and a battalion of Europeans. On the lvSth of June* made an encursion to Mooieshedabad, and its environs, that I might view the theatre on which those interesting schemes had been agitated, which, after a series of intrigue and bloodshed, advanced the English to the dominion of a wealthy kingdom.
At the distance of a mile below the city, and on the opposite bank of the river, stands the burying place of Ali Verdy Khan, known also in India by the name of Mahobut Jung; a man, who, by his abilities as a soldier and a statesman, raised himself from a private condition, to the Subahdarry of Bengal. He maintained an obstinate war with the Mahrattas, for the space ef eight years, and was, after an obstinate