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direct executive power to be compared with our parliament. But there is a good reason for this difference in their form of government, which is an unqualified democracy.
The growth of our legislature, from its first small beginnings to its present rank and power in the state, is in perfect keeping with the happy germination and eventual branching out of all our free institutions, from the primary notions of freedom cherished in the minds of our ancestors. The word "Parliament " does not appear to have been used in England until the reign of Henry III. It probably came to us from France. Indeed Johnson derives it from the French word "Parlement," which may have proceeded from Parler la ment-to speak one's mind; in the same way as "Testament," from Testari mentem-to attest the will or disposition. Or "ment may have been added after the same fashion as we find it in engagement, impeachment, and other words in our language. One of the authorities seeking out an original etymology of his own, declared it to be composed of two words, viz., "Parium-Lamentum "--that is, the Lamentation of the Peers! "because" (as he thinks) "the peers of the realm did at these assemblies lament and complain each to the other of the enormities of the country." It is quaintly remarked by another commentator that this is indeed a sad etymology. The French derivation is probably the right one, for the word was applied to general assemblies of the states, under Louis VII. in France, about the middle of the twelfth century; and the first mention we find of it in our statute law is in the preamble to the statute of Westminster, 1.3 Edward I., A.D. 1272, the same year in which Henry III. died.
The assembly now described by this general term is the undoubted descendant of a general council, which, under various appellations in the different languages that have prevailed from age to age in this country, has met periodically from time immemorial to order the affairs of the kingdom, to amend old laws, and make new ones whenever they were required. How this council was originally constituted is a question not easily to be settled. It is enough for us to know that archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, knights, citizens, and burgesses, sat in the councils which were held in the reign of John. Neither is it very clear when or by what mode of proceeding it happened, that the council, which originally sat in one house together, separated into two, one being composed of the sovereign in his political capacity and the two first estates of his realm, viz., the lords spiritual and temporal; the other of the third estate-the knights, citizens, and burgesses, designated under the general term the " Commons," of the kingdom. The sovereign is supposed to be present in the house of lords whenever they sit, and it is in that house that he performs all legislative acts, either personally or through royal commissioners. It is there also he meets the commons whenever he wishes to address them, at the commencement or at the conclusion of a session, or at any other time. He alone has the power to summon, prorogue, or dissolve the parliament. Exceptions to these general observations have occurred in times of civil war, and violence, and usurpation on every side; but into those variations it is not necessary here to enter.
The house of lords, besides being a branch of the legislature, is the highest court of justice in the country, and this is a peculiar prerogative which it does not share with the house of commons. On the other hand the commons have claimed and maintained from time immemorial the privilege of taxation as their own, in which they do not allow the house of lords to participate in any manner, or under any pretext whatever. The slightest alteration by the lords in a money bill sent from the house of commons vitiates the whole proceeding. The bill must return again to the house of commons, where the alteration is expunged without any ceremony. This fiscal privilege was by no means of the same degree of importance in the earlier ages of the constitution as it has been in these latter years, because so long as the sovereign had a large revenue of his own, he was in a great degree independent of the commons; but he is now entirely dependent upon them, as he has scarcely any income which he does not derive from their annual
vote. For although the amount of that income is determined at his accession, it is payable only by virtue of an annual vote of the
The chairman of the house of lords is the lord high chancellor, or his deputy. His office, however, does not prevent him from addressing the house in his capacity as a member, whenever he may think fit. When he does so, he quits his seat on the woolsack, and uniformly addresses the house from the opposition side, a custom which probably has arisen from the fact that the episcopal benches are upon the ministerial side, and it would not be quite consistent with decorum to turn his back upon them. He sits upon a woolsack, as also do the judges when summoned to attend in the house. The reason is, that the throne is immediately behind the chancellor's seat; and an ordinary bench with a back to it like the others would not be consistent with the respect due to majesty. The other woolsacks for the judges have their origin in a similar cause with reference to the peers at each side of the house, as the judges sit in the middle of the house on each side of the chancellor.
The lords do not, when speaking, address their chairman as the commons address their speaker. The style of the former is “ My Lords," not "My Lord." Indeed it would be very difficult to define the authority of the chairman of that house. It is his duty to put the question, and declare the sense of the house; but beyond that he seems to have no sort of control.
The house of commons consists of six hundred and fifty-eight members-knights, citizens, and burgesses; the knights being elected by the counties, the citizens and burgesses being chosen by cities, borough towns, and the three universities of the united kingdom. Writs or letters are issued out of chancery by advice of the privy council, addressed to the sheriffs of the counties, and to the mayors or other returning officers of the cities, boroughs, and universities, directing the returns to be made within a stated day. The house being constituted proceed to elect their speaker, whose nomination must be confirmed by the crown. The authority of the speaker is very extensive, although when in the chair he is precluded from addressing the house upon any matter under discussion, unless it involve questions of order, or of the law of the house. When the house is resolved into a committee-a proceeding which frequently takes place, for the purpose of discussing the details of bills with greater facility-the speaker then sits in his capacity of an ordinary member, and may use his privilege of speech as often as he thinks fit.
The speaker appoints all the officers of the house, consisting of the serjeant and deputy serjeant-at-arms, the clerks, messengers, porters, &c. The serjeant-at-arms, or his deputy, sits in an elevated chair near the bar; he is the executive officer of the house, being charged to put into force all written warrants or verbal orders issued by the speaker. By virtue of such orders or warrants he arrests members, or any other persons whom such mandates direct him to bring before the house; and they remain in his custody until he receives authority from the speaker for their liberation.
The privileges of each house of parliament are very extensive. They are the only institutions in this country whose power is not strictly defined by law. The prerogatives of the crown are very well known, and clearly defined either by prescription or by statute. But the authority of parliament is wholly uncontrolled. The power of the house of lords is in every respect as extensive for the maintenance of its privileges as that of the house of commons.
It is unquestionably for the benefit of the people that a member of the house of commons should possess full liberty of speech within the house, restricted by no regulation except that suggested by the ordinary sense of Christian charity, and the forms of civilised society. It is a curious fact, that when adventurous printers first published to the world speeches delivered in either house of parliament, they were severely punished for such acts, which were decided by both houses to be violations of their privi leges; and that now the house of commons asserts as one of its highest privileges the right to publish, and sell to anybody who
chooses to buy, accounts of their votes and proceedings, as well as the reports of their committees; and that they claim exemption even from the law of libel in thus extending their liberties beyond the precincts of their own chamber.
The newspaper reporters, who dared scarcely to use a notebook in the gallery not many years since, have now a gallery exclusively to themselves, situated immediately behind and above the speaker's chair; and it may be truly said that it is to that gallery, not to the speaker, all speeches are now addressed. The style of address ought to be, if forms could be dispensed with, not "Mr. Speaker," but "Gentlemen of the Press." In the popular assemblies of Greece, Demosthenes, Eschines, and the other great orators of that age, always commenced their parliamentary speeches thus-" Athenians!" Our parliamentary debaters do, in fact, address themselves to the country, through the newspapers; and they might as well at once begin their harangues, after the Athenian style, by the word "Britons!"
We have, however, a particular national fondness for what are called "legal fictions; " that is to say, plausible phrases or forms, which cover with a decent veil principles deeply rooted in our constitution. It is the beauty of our system that by means of such fictions chiefly the whole machinery of our government works with the most admirable harmony. One of these fictions tells us, for instance, that those very reporters who, by their power of rapid noting and composition, give to the world in a legible state the whole of a long night's debate within two or three hours after that debate is closed, are nothing more or less than "strangers in the house, who have no right to remember, much less to publish, any part of the speeches they have heard in their own gallery! Another fiction is this-that the house of lords has no right to know what has been said in the house of commons, and vice versa. They have a perfect right to know what has been done there, and they do know it, by means of the printed votes. But when a member of either house would wish to refer to a speech spoken in the other, he must not name the house, he must say, "in another place." There are no positive rules upon these points; but such rules are supposed or feigned to have been adopted at one time or another; and it is very certain that, ludicrous as they may appear upon a superficial view, they are attended with real advantages, for they help materially to preserve the privileges essential to the functions of both branches of the legislature.
It is very curious to trace the connexion of that dangerous fellow -the PRINTER with parliament. The practice of printing and selling the votes of the house of commons commenced before the revolution, to a very partial extent. But not long after that period it was regularly established, and has since continued uninterrupted, except during a part of the year 1702. It was soon after resumed; and in 1723 we find that the well-known booksellers of that day, Jacob Tonson, Bernard Lintot, and William Taylor, though not in partnership, undertook (as members of the trade still frequently do) a joint venture in printing, publishing, and selling these votes, by appointment of the house. They were usually sold at twopence each number, sometimes at a penny. From the year 1729 to 1777 they were printed and sold by J. Nichols, sen., and Mr. Bowyer, who accounted to the speaker for the profits, which generally averaged about 2407. a-year. It was by such sale that the votes were then in fact distributed; and the public had rarely any other regular reports of what passed in the house, except by means of these publications.
But in the year 1772, the proceedings of the house began to be noticed regularly in the newspapers, in consequence of which the profits arising from the sale of the votes rapidly declined. The printing of them, however, was continued at the expense of the treasury. In 1817 fresh regulations were made upon this subject, which have been continued down to the present day.
At first the matter of these publications consisted only of a mere abstract of the proceedings. In 1742 the abstract became more detailed, and petitions were entered at full length. But the latter gradually increased so much in number, that it was found necessary, when the new regulations of 1817 were made, to give mere
summaries of ordinary petitions, those only being printed at length which were specially ordered by the house. Since 1833, the practice of printing even abstracts of petitions in the votes or appendix has ceased altogether; and no petitions are now printed as a part of that publication. It is competent, however, to any member to move that a petition should be printed and delivered with the votes; and the house affirms or rejects the motion as it thinks fit.
The practice of the house, as to the printing, publishing, and selling the reports of committees, and other miscellaneous papers, has very much varied from time to time. From 1763 down to the present day, all documents printed by the house have been delivered gratuitously to members. Several officers of the house also received a certain number of those documents, by way of perquisites, which they sold (at rather high prices, however,) to any person who. might choose to buy them. In a great majority of cases, any person interested in the report of a committee might get a written copy of it at the vote office by paying the regulated fees for it, unless it was the report of a secret committee. In 1835 a resolution was passed by the house of commons to the following effect: "That the parliamentary papers and reports printed for the use of the house should be rendered accessible to the public, by purchase, at the lowest price at which they can be furnished; and that a sufficient number of extra copies should be printed for that purpose." The object of this resolution was to defray a portion of the heavy expense of printing, and to put an end to the sale of papers by officers of the house for their own advantage, which had, in fact, to some of those officers become a lucrative and a very questionable species of trade.
With respect to petitions, although some are printed upon motion by order of the house, and delivered as a supplement to the votes as speedily as possible, the general rule now is to refer them, when laid upon the table, to a committee appointed for the purpose at the commencement of each session. Petitions relating to undue returns, or to private bills, are referred, the former to committees constituted by ballot, the latter to committees the members of which are selected. But the sessional committee above-mentioned is charged with the duty of classifying all other petitions (except those printed by special order), and of preparing such abstracts of the same as shall convey to the house all requisite information respecting their contents. These abstracts are reported to the house from time to time, together with the number of signatures to each petition. The committee has the power of directing the printing at full length of such petitions as may seem to require it. Thus an effectual check has been established with reference to the printing of petitions, which in former years was carried to a most extravagant extent. Cases are known in which several individuals, who wished to bring particular subjects before the notice of the public, have written pamphlets upon them, and to save themselves the expense of printing and publishing such pamphlets, converted them into petitions to the house of commons, and so had them printed and circulated at the expense of the treasury!
Another very material alteration with respect to petitions has taken place in the house of commons. Formerly a member, when presenting a petition, might make one speech on presenting, another in moving that it be laid on the table, and another on moving that it be printed. Now he is precluded from making a speech at any stage of the proceeding. He merely mentions the object of the document in as few words as possible. He may, with the permission of the house, have it printed, and subsequently found a motion upon it, if he thinks fit: and an excellent regulation this is, for it has stopped up one great channel through which much of the time of the house was most unnecessarily wasted, while it has by no means abridged the right of the people to make known their grievances to parliament. This regulation, however, has not yet been adopted by the house of lords, although the inconvenience of speaking upon the mere presentation of petitions has been acknowledged in that house on more than one
To form a proper idea of this noble and generous creature, we
been together the more cordial is their detestation of one another. This is almost invariably the case.
ought to see him in his native wilds, untamed and undisciplined tlemen's antipathies than what is afforded by what may be called If you would have a little more amusement with the old genby man. Wild horses are found in several parts of the old continent, and in the warm climates of Africa; but in his natural state he is a mild, inoffensive creature. In this state they live together in large herds of five or six hundred, and each of their companies is always furnished by faithful sentinels, who give notice of the least danger. Herds of wild horses are found in Turkey, China, and the Cape of Good Hope; but the most beautiful, generous, and swift of the kind are found in Arabia. The Arabs catch them
in traps, and try their fleetness and strength by pursuing the ostrich; the Arabian horse being the only animal that can keep up with this bird. The Spanish genet is counted next in value to the Arabian barb; they are beautiful, but extremely small. The Italian horses are very fine large animals; the Danish horses are low and strong; the German horses are small; but the Dutch excel all others, except the English, for the draught. The racehorses of England possesses the greatest fleetness, and have run a mile in little more than a minute. The horse was entirely unknown in the new continent till introduced there by the Spaniards.From a Visit to the Farmhouse.
THE PUBLIC OFFICE.
SOME snug billets about these establishments. Some nice little quiet pasturages where elderly gentlemen may graze undisturbed, and grow sleek and fat, and, finally, slip comfortably into their graves. But did the reader never observe that there exists a certain quiet, composed, but inveterate hatred between the subordinates in public offices; a cordial detestation of each other? The reader must have remarked it, we think, but whether he has or not, there can be no doubt of the fact, taken as a general one. This mutual dislike, however, be it observed, is almost exclusively confined to the elderly clerks-to the hard-featured, cleanly little old gentleman with the bald head-to the round-faced old gentleman with the brown scratch wig-and to the long-faced old gentleman in the flaxen peruke. It is to these worthies, then, that the official sort of hatred of which we would speak is especially confined. At least, it is in their case alone that it assumes the ludicrous character under which we feel disposed to contemplate it. The younger clerks, if they entertain any grudge at each other, express it openly, which is in no way amusing; but the old boys carry it under a calm exterior, that when viewed aright renders it sufficiently comical.
With them it is a deep-seated but cold and passionless dislike, which no possible occurrence can ever remove, or even in the smallest degree abate. It is fixed and transfused into their system, and has become a part of their nature.
Yet the old boys never quarrel outright; never bully one another; never commit any overt act of hostility. Their warfare is conducted on a quiet, orderly principle-its existence being made manifest only by snappish queries and still more snappish
It is seldom, however, that they speak to each other at all. Not oftener than they can possibly help. They will not open their lips to each other for weeks, if they can by any means avoid it. Heaven knows what ails the old fellows at one another, what can be the cause of that mortal grudge and hatred that they entertain for each other. It is impossible to tell; for, in truth, they cannot tell themselves. They just hate one another; and that's all that can be said about it.
Yet they have been twenty years together, probably much longer a circumstance, one would think, which should have inspired them with some liking for each other, if not positive regard. Quite the contrary, however. It has had the effect only of making them hate each other the more. The longer they have
its official exhibition, take an opportunity of having a little private conversation with one of them, and turn that conversation on the subject of his colleagues; and if you manage the thing adroitly, you may calculate on being presented with a very full and very entertaining view of his hatred of his official brethren. Begin with remarking how arduous his duties are. This is a favourite theme with all who are well paid and who have little or nothing to do with all who hold snug sinecure situations. Never mind how glaringly inapplicable the remark may be your sincerity will never be doubted for a moment; for the sinecurist always thinks himself one of the worst used, hardest wrought, and worst paid men in existence. He will, therefore, swallow your sympathy at once and without hesitation.
"Bless me, Mr. Wetherley, what a deal you have to do here." With a faint smile of conscious martyrdom meekly borne, “Ah! my dear sir, you don't know the half of it. Toiled like a galley-slave, my dear sir. Not a moment to breathe. Half-past nine in the morning till half-past three, never an instant away from that desk. It would kill an elephant. If I hadn't the constitution of a horse I couldn't stand it."
"Your colleagues seem to take it easy enough, however. They don't seem to oppress themselves with work. Why don't they relieve you of part of the toil ?"
"They" pronounced in a tone of inexpressible contempt. "Ay, they certainly do take it easy enough. Were we all to do so I don't know what would become of the business. Not I, I'm sure."
"Yet that old gentleman at the upper end of the desk there seems to go through his work pretty cleverly."
"Humph! mere child's play, sir. I'd get a boy of twelve to do all that he does. Never here on any day till a quarter to ten, and away again as the clock strikes three. He takes it easy enough, to be sure. But it's the way everywhere; the willing horse gets the most work."
"He seems a pleasant old gentleman, too."
"Pleasant! Hah, I only wish you had a week of him, and you find out whether he's pleasant or not. Why, sir, there isn't, I will venture to say it, a more disobliging man in all Christendom than is Mr. Dickenson there. No, not one. Why, sir, it was but the other day that I asked him-and it was the first favour I had asked him for the last dozen years, for he had played me a trick of the same kind; so, you see, to tell you a secret, we don't exactly row in the same boat together.-I asked him, I say, the other day, to lend me his penknife a moment, as I had left my own at home; and what do you think he said? Why, he said he wouldn't; that he hadn't penknives to lend to everybody who chose to ask them. There's a pretty fellow for you. There's one to get on with, eh? That man, sir, wouldn't step an inch out of his way to oblige his father. That he wouldn't." "Bad enough, bad enough, indeed, Mr. Wetherley. How then, do you get on with the other gentleman-the long-faced gentleman in the flaxen wig?"
"Six and half a dozen." Here a rapid series of significant words and very hard winks, meant to intimate to you that the elderly gentleman in the flaxen wig is no better than he should be. In discussing this colleague's character, however, there is an affectation of candour that is particularly amusing.
"Why, as to Mr. Waghorn, sir, I have nothing to say against Mr. Waghorn; nothing. And I suppose he has nothing to say against me. At least, I should fancy not. But some people have
queer ways of doing things, and do queer things, too, sometimes. They know themselves best what these things are. For my part, I say nothing about them. There's such a thing as underhand dealing in the world, however. I presume it can't be denied." No. It certainly cannot. Neither can it be denied, we think, that Mr. Wetherley meant to insinuate that his colleague, Mr. Waghora, was one of those underhand dealers, and therefore, not a man to ride the ford with. He, in fact, hates him; and that is the short and the long of it.
Now, the jest of all this is, that each of these worthy officials say precisely the same thing of each other. Mr. Dickenson speaks of Mr. Wetherley exactly as Mr. Wetherley has spoken of him. Mr. Waghorn, again, does the same thing. So there is no love lost between them. They all cordially hate and detest one another.
THE ISLAND OF CEYLON.
THE island of Ceylon is becoming, under the fostering care of British government, an important and valuable portion of our Eastern possessions. We have emancipated the natives from the degrading servitude of their chiefs, by which they had been ground to the earth; we have opened up roads through a country hitherto almost impassable; given to the people the benefits of an improved administration of justice; organised a police; established a savings' bank, which is resorted to with confidence; encouraged the internal improvement of the island; and otherwise helped, by an enlightened policy, to develop its physical resources, and promote the moral well-being of the inhabitants. If British rule had been always as beneficially exercised as it has been in Ceylon, the extension of our dominion in the East would be a blessing to humanity.
Major Forbes, of the 78th Highlanders, has just issued, in a couple of volumes, the knowledge acquired during "eleven years in Ceylon." The title of the book is given below*. We shall select from it some passages for the instruction and amusement of our readers, such as may serve to give them some idea both of the Major's book and of its subject.
“The beautiful scenery of Ceylon," says Major Forbes, "its mild climate, rich vegetation, and some of its valuable natural productions, have already been made known to the British public. The immense consequence of this island, from its position, and the harbour of Trinkomalee, could never have been overlooked; so long as the British crown holds sway in India, or British merchants shall trade to the East, its importance can hardly be overrated now, however, not only are the resources of this country, its most remote valleys and elevated plains, better known to Europeans; but the history of its inhabitants and of the island, its former state and late improvement, equally excite curiosity and demand attention. From the native chronicles we find that the ancestors of a people whom Britons long regarded as savages, and for some time treated as slaves, existed as a numerous and comparatively civilised nation, at a period antecedent to the discovery of Great Britain and its semi-barbarous inhabitants.
"The ancient and continued annals of the Cingalese race have been preserved for upwards of twenty-three centuries, and describe the erection or formation of all those extensive works-cities, tanks, temples,-whose ruins and numerous inscriptions remain to verify the historical records. For a great proportion of that long period the natives of Ceylon will be found to have remained stationary, or to have retrograded in arts, perhaps in intelligence; whilst Britons, advancing in civilisation with extraordinary rapidity, benefiting by experience, and improving in policy, have voluntarily abandoned their arbitrary rule in the island, for a mild, free, but still efficient government. From this circumstance Ceylon is already advancing beyond that barrier of mediocrity which in Asia seems to have arrested mind and manners at a particular point of civilisation.
"Institutions suddenly yet not rashly reformed; direct taxes on cultivated land first moderated, then carefully arranged, fairly
Eleven Years in Ceylon. Comprising Sketches of the Field Sports and Natural History of that Colony, and an Account of its History and Antiquities. By Major Forbes, 78th Highlanders. In two volumes, 8vo. Bentley, London.
levied, and finally redeemed; a whole people passing in an instant from a state worse than slavery to all the blessings of freedom, with perfect safety to the government, and incalculable benefit to the subject; a rapid improvement in the face of the country; a most beneficial change in the native character; generally diminished taxation; rapidly increasing revenue; a prosperous and happy people; and it is not too much to say an improved climate, -are the effects of the later years of British authority in Ceylon. "Additional interest is given to the changes so happily introduced into this island, by its contiguity to the vast possessions of Great Britain in India; for although the same legislation that has proved so successful in Ceylon might be inapplicable to the bitants cannot fail to provoke comparison, as it certainly invites neighbouring continent, yet the relative prosperity of their inhainquiry.
Another subject of very great interest is, the general introduction and rapid diffusion of the English language: this paves the way for Christianity, which it requires but little foresight to predict must gradually, perhaps rapidly, extend itself over the great majority of the natives of Ceylon."
and a superficial area of 25,000 square miles. Ceylon is in length 275 miles, with an average breadth of 100,
"Although the island is situated between six and ten degrees of north latitude, and between eighty and eighty-two degrees of east longitude, it enjoys a much more temperature climate than countries whose geographical position would be considered more favourable. From its size, the sea-breezes range across it; and the great elevation of the mountains not only insures a certain degree of cold, but attracts so many clouds and so much moisture of the fields, over one half of the country." as to insure the evergreen of its forests, and unceasing cultivation
Ceylon was known to the Greeks and Romans as a land of gold, precious stones, and spices. "Under the reign of Claudius," says Gibbon, "a freedman, who farmed the customs of the Red Sea, was accidentally driven by the winds upon its coasts; he conversed six months with the natives; and the king of Ceylon, who heard for the first time of the power and justice of Rome, was persuaded to send an embassy to the emperor." In modern times, the Portuguese were the first to attempt to secure the island. They landed in 1505, and for upwards of a century were almost continually at war with the native powers. The Dutch gradually supplanted, and finally expelled them in 1658. But the Dutch, though they remained a long time in Ceylon, and defeated an attempt of the French to supplant them, never obtained any permanent footing in the island; and were, in their turn, dispossessed by the British.
"In 1796, a British armament from the south of India, under the command of Colonel Stewart, took possession of all the towns and territory held by the Dutch in Ceylon, comprising the whole sea-coast, and a belt of unequal breadth all round the island: it is this territory which is usually denominated the Maritime Provinces. However able the arrangements or efficient the force, the warlike operations were not of a nature to excite interest or require detail; even Colombo, strongly fortified and fairly garrisoned, made no resistance.
"Ceylon_remained for two years under the government of Madras, and during that short period some disturbances occurred, and considerable dissatisfaction was created by the employment of natives from the continent of India, in collecting the revenue and other duties, which, under the Portuguese and Dutch, had always been efficiently performed by the Cingalese headmen.
"In 1798, Ceylon was taken from under the authority of the East India Company; and the Honourable Frederick North arrived as governor."
For years our footing in Ceylon was precarious, and it cost the lives of hundreds of our troops, and thousands of the natives, in the contests which ensued. In 1815, Sir Robert Brownrigg, the governor, took the king of Kandy prisoner, dethroned him, or at least procured the native chiefs to do so, and to cause the Kandians to transfer their allegiance to the British government. But in 1817 the native chiefs broke out in insurrection, which for nearly a year proved extremely harassing.
"A protracted warfare of small military posts established throughout the country, and detached parties in continual motion, pursuing an armed population in a mountainous and wooded country, was naturally productive of considerable loss to the
British force; for, although few fell by the weapons of the Kandians, exposure and privations proved fatal to many. Driven from their villages, their cocoa-nut trees cut down, their property and crops destroyed, and unable to till their land, the natives suffered severely from sickness and famine, besides those who fell by the fire of the British troops, or suffered execution for their treasonable actions. Dr. Davy, who had the best opportunities of ascertaining the loss of life occasioned by this rebellion, estimates that of the British at one thousand; and I believe he certainly is not over the amount, when he says that ten thousand natives were cut off by war or its consequences at this period.
"After the rebellion had continued for nine months, no favourable impression had been made by the great exertions of our troops, who were nearly exhausted by incessant fatigue and extreme privations in a tropical climate; it is even understood that arrangements were in contemplation for withdrawing the British force from the interior, when a sudden change occurred. This was principally caused by disunion amongst the leaders of the rebels, who were incapable of continued perseverance in any one object, or of sacrificing their petty jealousies and personal disputes, even to forward a cause in which they had perilled their lives and hereditary properties; things almost equally dear to a Kandian chief."
The insurrection was at last put down; and "on the termination of hostilities and return to order, an entire change in the management of the Kandian provinces was accomplished. The paramount influence of the chiefs in the different districts was destroyed, by placing civilians, or British officers, in authority over them, to collect the revenue and administer justice; while all the inferior headmen, instead of being appointed annually by the chief, received their situations direct from government. This arrangement not only gave increased security to the government, but enabled the poor native suitor to obtain that justice which he had little chance of receiving under the former system, where money or influence might alike bias the judge or direct the evidence. "We could not blame the chiefs if they had attempted to reestablish a native dynasty, which was hallowed in their eyes by its antiquity, and by conformity to the established religion; but to call their exertions in this rebellion patriotism would be to dignify it with a name of which their motives were unworthy. Selfinterest, and to restore their own power over the mass of the people, whom they had so long oppressed, was their principal aim and final object: the restoration of a native monarchy was a secondary consideration, but a necessary step; the means by which they endeavoured to accomplish their purpose were often cruel, and generally treacherous."
"After the departure of Sir Robert Brownrigg, Sir Edward Barnes, who succeeded to the government, planned and superintended with unceasing vigilance the opening up of the Kandian provinces, by the formation of extensive carriage-roads, and building substantial bridges. Under him, the country derived all the benefit that could be produced by unrecompensed compulsory labour, which was exacted according to the customs of that despotism, to the powers of which the British government had succeeded. The untiring vigilance and personal activity which Sir Edward Barnes exerted in superintending public works alone caused so vicious a system to be of public benefit; under any man of less energy, unrecompensed compulsory labour would have been an unmitigated curse, enforcing caste, depopulating the country, and producing no adequate results. Each subdivision of class or caste was called out for service by its own headman, who, as he received no pay, depended for the amount of his perquisites and peculations on the number under him: it was therefore-a motive paramount to all others in natives-self-interest which insured the headman retaining all the members of his department in their original vocation and due subjection. Not only did this system maintain caste with the utmost strictness, but it retained and supported in full power over the people those headmen whose interests could never be otherwise than opposed to a regular government.
"It must also be considered that, without injustice to individuals, regularity of system, backed by power to enforce all legal rights, enabled the British government to exact much more, both of labour and revenue, than any native despot would have ventured to demand.
"In 1831, Sir Robert Wilmot Horton arrived as governor; and next year, in consequence of the report of his Majesty's commissioners of inquiry, the Magna Charta of Ceylon, the order of the king in council, abolishing all compulsory service, reached the
island, and the native inhabitants passed in a day from a state more bitter than slavery to the most perfect freedom In their former oppressed state, it is true that justice was impartially administered to the rich and to the poor, in so far as the facts of the case could be ascertained; yet the rich man was disgusted by impartial conduct in the judges, while the poor suitors did not benefit by it; for the rich litigant could bribe the influential native in office, and he could command the oaths of those who, placed and secured under his control, were not only liable to be overworked by his orders, but were even subject to punishment by his caprice.
A charter soon followed the abolition of forced labour, and the people, having already obtained freedom, now found easy access to substantial and speedy justice, whilst every situation was thrown open to their competition; and the acquirements and character of the individual, not the colour of his skin, became the only tests of fitness for every office. Three gentlemen, natives of Ceylon, were introduced into the legislative council on terms of perfect equality with the other unofficial members, although it required some firmness on the part of government to carry into effect this liberal provision of the supreme government."
Amongst the inhabitants of Ceylon, the Veddahs are remarkable.
"The Veddahs are an uncivilised race, thinly scattered over an extensive, unhealthy tract of country, lying between the maritime province of Batticaloe on the eastern coast and the Kandian hills. They are the descendants of Yakkas, the aboriginal inhabitants, who were in possession of the eastern part of Ceylon when Vigeya and his followers landed B.c. 543; and having then escaped from the fury of these invaders into the depths of the forest of Bintenne and Veddaratta, have there preserved the purity of their race and the superstitions of their ancestors. All Veddahs are considered to be of the Goyawanzae (the highest caste now existing in Ceylon); and such of them as I have seen do not in any respect differ from what other natives would become, if compelled to use the same exertions, to endure the same privations, and like them to live as wanderers in a forest-wilderness. The village Veddahs have permanent places of residence, cultivate small portions of land, and communicate, although they do not mix, with the other natives of the island. The forest Veddahs subsist by hunting, or on such fruit as the earth yields spontaneously; and they obtain arrow-blades, the only article of manufacture which they covet, through the intervention of their own headmen and their brethren of the villages. Their headmen-Kandians of the neighbouring districts,-in talking to Europeans, generally exaggerated the wild nature of the Veddahs; and never endeavoured to amend the habits, extend the comforts, or improve the appearance of these poor people. This is easily accounted for; the less civilised the Veddahs were, and the less they were known, the more easy it was for those in authority over them to impose on their credulity, and thus obtain for a trifle ivory and dried deer-flesh, the produce of their bows. This race has, perhaps, the scantiest measure of covering of any people who know the use of cloth, and pretend to wear it; their whole dress consisting of a small piece of cotton cloth depending in front from a string tied round the loins. The Veddahs 'have a curious way by themselves of preserving flesh : they cut a hollow tree, and put honey in it, and then fill it with flesh, and stop it up with clay, which lies for a reserve to eat in time of want."
"The Veddahs may more properly be termed rude than savage, being as free from ferocity as from any trace of civilisation. Their present state is an inheritance from their ancestors, who, driven by oppression and treachery into solitudes, had to suffer hardships, under which they retrograded to the condition in which we now find them, and in which they have continued for more than twenty centuries. I cannot in any other manner account for the extraordinary fact of a people declining into the lowest state of mental debasement, accompanied by the endurance of bodily hardship, and thus continuing for so many ages, although acknowledged to be equal in rank with the best of a comparatively civilised nation, in the midst of whom they lived, and with whom they possessed a common language. The cruel and perfidious conduct of the Singha race of conquerors naturally inspired the Yakkas with feelings of terror and distrust, which in after times were maintained in their descendants by continued acts of violence of the Cingalese towards the Veddahs.
"The different families of the forest Veddahs are said to preserve boundaries in the woods, and only within their respective limits to kill the game which is their principal food. Without any regular religion, the Veddahs—like every other untutored race—