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Summary of the Administration of the Indian Government by the
MARQUESS OF HASTINGS, during the period that he filled the office of Governor-General. London. Earle, Berkley-square. Printed for private circulation.
Some extraordinary process, which baffles all the common rules and conceptions of administrative ability, seems invariably connected with our government of India.
In Europe, the soldier of talent and intrepidity, the honest and acute financier, and the vigorous and high-minded statesman, are naturally the most fitting agents or masters of public affairs. But no sooner do these very men touch on that mysterious and fiery soil of Aurora and the Ganges, than a most surprising revolution takes place, and their powers are destined to undergo an utter perversion. The painful consequence is necessary. Complaint on complaint urges itself up through the meek bosoms of the Court of Directors, like acrid gas through water, until after half a dozen years of declared and ruinous incapacity abroad, and hapless and bitter sufferance at home, the Governor-general is brought back, to have his services voted a mallity, and his claims to honour flung in his teeth by a charge of peculation. Curious as this revolution is, the phænomenon does not stop here. The same climate, which has the power of thus turning European integrity and talent into fraud and fatuity, has the admirable power of transmuting the lower qualities of mankind. Men who moved in mediocrity both of principle and intellect, and would have continued so to move till their dying day, have been proverbially remarkable, in the reports of the honourable Court of Directors, for the vigorous ability, the profound wisdom, and the stainless purity of their con
VOL. I. NO. I.