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IV. was the speedy consequence: The Emperor commanded his benefactor to name his own reward: And the generous Hamilton solicited privileges for the Company.* The festival of the marriage, however, succeeded; during which it would have been unpolite to importune with business the imperial mind; and six months elapsed before the ambassadors could present their petition. It was delivered in January, 1716; and prayed, "that the cargoes of English ships, wrecked on the Mogul's coast, should be protected from plunder; that a fixed sum should be received at Surat in lieu of all duties; that three villages, contiguous to Madras, which had been granted and again resumed by the government of Arcot, should be restored in perpetuity; that the island of Diu, near the port of Masulipatam, should be given to the Company, for an annual rent; that all persons in Bengal, who might be indebted to the Company, should be delivered up to the presidency on the first demand; that a passport (dustuck, in the language of the country), signed by the President of Calcutta, should exempt the goods which it specified from stoppage or examination by the officers of the Bengal government; and that the Company should be permitted to purchase the Zemindarship of thirty-seven towns, in the same manner as they had been authorised by Azeem Ooshaun to purchase Calcutta, Suttanutty, and Govindpore." The overbearing power of the vizir could defeat the grants of the Emperor himself; and he disputed the principal articles. Repeated applications were made to the Emperor, and at last the vizir gave way, when mandates were issued confirming all the privileges for which the petition had prayed. To the disappointment, however, and grief of the ambassadors, the mandates were not under the seals of the Emperor, but only those of the vizir, the authority of which the distant viceroys would be sure to dispute. It was resolved to remonstrate, how delicate soever the ground on which they must tread; and to solicit mandates to which the highest authority should be attached. It was now the month of April, 1716, when the Emperor, at the head of an expedition against the Seiks, began his march towards Lahore. No choice remained but to follow the camp. The campaign was tedious: It heightened the dissensions between the favourites of the Emperor and the vizir; the ambassadors found their difficulties increased; and contemplated a long, and probably a fruitless negotiation, when they were advised to bribe a favourite eunuch in the seraglio. No sooner

* This incident is related with some additional circumstances by Scott, History of Aurungzebe's Successors, p. 139. From the manner in which he speaks of the Emperor's disease (he speaks very vaguely), he appears not to have thought it of the sort which is generally represented; the question is of small importance.

was the money paid, than the vizir himself appeared eager to accomplish their Chap, re designs, and the patents were speedily issued under the highest sanction they could possibly receive. There was a secret in this part of the transaction, of which the eunuch had made his advantage. The factory at Surat, having lately been oppressed by the Mogul governor and officers, had been withdrawn by the Presidency of Bombay, as not worth maintaining, till greater security were obtained. It was recollected by the Moguls, that in consequence of oppression the. factory at Surat had once before been withdrawn; immediately after which an English fleet had appeared; had swept the sea of Mogul ships, and inflicted a deep wound upon the Mogul revenue. A similar visitation was now regarded as a certain consequence; and, as many valuable ships of the Moguls were at sea, the event was deprecated with proportional ardour. This intelligence was transmitted to the eunuch, by his friend the viceroy of Guzerat. The eunuch knew what effect it would produce upon the mind of the vizir; obtained his bribe from the English; and then communicated to the vizir the expectation prevalent in Guzerat of a hostile visit from an English fleet. The vizir hastened to prevent such a calamity, by granting satisfaction. The patents were dispatched; and the ambassadors took leave of the Emperor in the month of July, 1717, two years after their arrival.

The mandates in favour of the Company produced their full effect in Guzerat Privileges a»and Deccan; but in Bengal, where the most important privileges were conceded, the subahdar, or nabob as he is called by the English, had power to impede their operation. The thirty-seven towns which the Company had obtained leave to purchase, would have given them a district extending ten miles from Calcutta on each side of the river Hoogly; where a number of weavers, subject to their own jurisdiction, might have been established. The viceroy ventured not directly to oppose the operation of an imperial mandate, but his authority was sufficient to deter the holders of the land from disposing of it to the Company; and the most important of the advantages aimed at by the embassy was thus prevented. The nabob, however, disputed not the authority of the President's dustucks; a species of passports which entitled the merchandise to pass free from duty, stoppage, or inspection; and this immunity, from which the other European traders were excluded, promoted the vent of the Company's goods.*

The trade of the Company's servants occasioned another dispute. Beside the Disputes, business which the factors and agents of the Company were engaged to perform Ihe1pnTatT

* Orme, Hist, ut supra, ii. 20—25.

Book IV. on the Company's account, they had been allowed to carry on an independent <~^^^> traffic of their own, for their own profit. Every man had in this manner a trade of the double occupation and pursuit; one for the benefit of the Company, and one Srvanuy" for the benefit of himself. Either the inattention of the feebly interested Directors of a common concern had overlooked the premium for neglecting that concern, which was thus bestowed upon the individuals entrusted with it in India: Or the shortness of their foresight made them count this neglect a smaller evil, than the additional salaries which their servants, if debarred from other sources of emolument, would probably require. The President of Calcutta granted his dustucks for protecting from the duties and taxes of the native gavernment, not only the goods of the Company, but also the goods of the Company's servants; and possibly the officers of that government were too little acquainted with the internal affairs of their English visitants to observe any distinction. The Company had appropriated to themselves, in all its branches, the trade between India and the mother country. Their servants were thus confined to what was called the country trade, or that from one part of India to another. This consisted of two branches, maritime and inland; either that which was carried on by ships from one port of India to another, and from the ports of India to the other countries in the adjacent seas; or that which was carried on by land between one town or province and another. When the dustucks of the President, therefore, were granted to the Company's servants, they were often granted to protect from duties, commodities, the produce of the kingdom itself, in their passage by land from one district or province to another. This, Jaffier Khan, the viceroy, declared it his determination to prevent; as a practice at once destructive of his revenue, and ruinous to the native traders, on whom heavy duties were imposed: And he commanded the dustucks of the President to receive no respect, except for goods, either imported by sea, or purchased for exportation. The Company remonstrated, but in vain. Nor were the pretensions of their servants exempt from unpleasant consequences; as the pretext of examining whether the goods were really imported by sea, or really meant for exportation, often produced those interferences of the officers of revenue, from which it was so great a privilege to be saved. Interrupted and disturbed in their endeavours to grasp the inland trade, the Company's servants directed their ardour to the maritime branch; and their superior skill soon induced the merchants of the province, Moors, Armenians, and Hindus, to freight most of the goods, which they exported, in English bottoms. Within ten years, from the period of the embassy, the shipping of the port of Calcutta increased to 10,000 tons.

The year 1730 was distinguished by transactions of considerable moment in Chap. I. the history of the Company. In England, a new sovereign had but lately y^Q^ ascended the throne; an active and powerful Opposition made a greater use of The public bethe press, and more employed the public mind as a power in the state, than any p^ent^d"^ party which had gone before them; success rendered the trading interest enter- ^'{J^c""1 prising and high-minded; the human intellect was becoming every day more pany's monoenlightened, more penetrating, more independent; and experience daily testi- P°'y'fied the advantages of freedom in all the departments of trade.

Though the gains of the East India Company, had they been exactly known, would not have presented an object greatly calculated to inflame mercantile cupidity; yet the riches of India were celebrated as proverbially great; the boastings of the Company, in the representations they had made of the benefit derived to the nation from trading with India, had confirmed the popular prejudice; and a general opinion seems to have prevailed, that the British subjects at large ought to be no longer debarred from enriching themselves in the trade which was invidiously, and, it seemed, imprudently, reserved for the East India Company.

Three years were still unexpired of the period of the Company's exclusive A new plan charter; yet the plans of those who desired a total alteration in the scheme of trade pr<yd an the trade were moulded into form, and a petition, grounded upon them, was pre- i^enthF"the sented to the legislature so early as February, 1730. formofapeti

As the payment of the sum of 3,200,000/. which the Company had advanced to government at an interest of five per cent., was a condition preliminary to the abolition of their exclusive privileges, the petitioners offered to lend to government an equal sum on far more favourable terms. They proposed to advance the money in five instalments, the last at Lady-day in 1733, the date of the expiration of the Company's charter; requiring, till that period, interest on the money paid at the rate of four per cent., but offering to accept of two per cent. for the whole sum, from that time forward: Whence they observed that a saving would accrue to the public of 92,000/. per annum, worth, at twentyfive years' purchase, the sum of 2,500,000/.*

For the more profitable management of this branch of the national affairs, the following was the scheme which they proposed. They would constitute the subscribers to this original fund a company, for the purpose of opening the trade,

* See a distinct summary of the proposals, and of the arguments pro and con, in Anderson's Hist, of Commerce, A. D. 1730. For the proceedings in parliament, consult the Journals, with Boyer's Political State, and Cobbett's Parliamentary Hkt.

Book IV. in its most favourable shape, to the whole body of their countrymen. It was Jy^"~""' not intended that the Company should trade upon a joint stock, and in their corporate capacity; but that every man in the nation, who pleased, should trade in the way of private adventure. The Company were to have the charge of erecting and maintaining the forts and establishments abroad; and for this, and for other expenses, attending what was called "the enlargement and preservation of the trade," it was proposed that they should receive a duty of one per cent. upon all exports to India, and of five per cent. on all imports from it. For ensuring obedience to this and other regulations, it should be made lawful to trade to India only under the license of the Company. And it was proposed that thirty-one years, with three years' notice, should be granted as the duration of the peculiar privileges.

It appears from this account, that the end which was proposed to be answered by incorporating such a company, was the preservation and erection of the forts, buildings, and other fixed establishments, required for the trade in India. This was its only use, or intent; for the business of trading, resigned to private hands, was to be carried on by the individuals of the nation at large. And," if it were true, as it has been always maintained, that for the trade of India such forts and factories are requisite, as no individual, or precarious combination of individuals, is competent to provide, this project offers peculiar claims to consideration and respect. It promised to supply that demand which has always been held forth, as the peculiarity of Indian trade, as that grand exigency which, distinguishing the traffic with India from all other branches of trade, rendered monopoly advantageous in that peculiar case, how much soever proved to be injurious in all others. While it provided for this real or pretended want, it left the trade open to all the advantages of private enterprise, private vigilance, private skill, and private economy; the virtues by which individuals thrive, and nations prosper. And, at the same time, it afforded an interest to the proposed Company in the careful discharge of its duty; as its profits were to increase in exact proportion with the increase of the trade, and, of course, with the facilities and accommodation by which the trade was promoted.

As no trade was to be carried on by the Company, the source whence dividends to the proprietors would arise was the interest to be received from government, and the duties upon the exports and imports. As the territorial and other duties belonging to the forts and establishments in India were deemed sufficient to defray the expense of these establishments, this interest, and those duties, were described as competent to yield an annual return of five or six per cent. upon the capital advanced; and no risk being incurred, as in the case of a

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