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research and actual experience. They are on this account the more creditable to their author, and intrinsically the more valuable. They may also be well regarded as eminently philosophical-admirably accordant with the conclusions of the speculative or discursive faculty, as well as the authentic records of past history.
That man is formed to be a social being is a truism. In him the principle of sociality is instinctive. This principle is first developed in the domestic union. It is next extended and manifests itself in the varied family relationships. Of these the source and nourisher is mutual affection. But whenever the social principle, as has been well observed, “ extends beyond the family, as it naturally tends to do, it developes a new idea—that of justice, or securing to every person his individual right. Man does not create the relation of right, it comes into existence at the same instant with society." And as society, whether more or less perfectly organized, is founded on right, it follows that “the upholding and enforcing that right," must be one great object of society—an object of increasing interest and importance, at every progressive stage towards the highest summit of civilization. Now, it must be seen, by referring to the IXth No. of this work, that the Khonds are not loose, scattered, isolated, wandering savages-that, though unhappily possessing many barbarous practices, they yet retain many primitive ideas, with a loosely coherent form of organized society, framed after the ancient patriarchal model. To the maintenance of this hereditary form, to which they are passionately attached, in any adequate degree, the enforcement of right or, more generally, the administration of justice, is indispensable. But the provision for securing this earnestly desiderated end, is one of the most defective and incommensurate parts of all their institutions. Hence their keen appreciation of the value of such a boon, if judiciously conferred, and the boundlessness of the resulting gratitude towards the party which might be instrumental in confering it. And hence, too, the extent and intensity of the influence for good, which such a benefactor might legitimately exercise over them.
The records of history, both ancient and modern, will furnish numberless examples of the keenness with which tribes, not sunk into utter savagism, can appreciate the value and importance of justice, and the eagerness with which they can sue for it, from whatever quarter it may reasonably be expected to be obtained. Looking to modern times, we are informed by Mr. Kolff, that, in his recent examination of the Indian
mental in gratitude conferred,
Archipelago, he “ found the islanders invariably engaged in war, and, conscious of the mutual sufferings they inflicted on themselves, most of them erpressed antiety that the Dutch would establish their supremacy over all parties, and become umpires in their quarrels." . Looking at ancient times, we find Herodotus, as quoted by Goguet, telling us, “ that the Medes, after having shaken off the yoke of the Assyrians, were some time without any form of Government. They soon became a prey to the most horrid excesses and disorders. There was among them a man of great prudence and wisdom, named Dejæces. The Medes very often applied to him to decide their differences. Dejoeces heard their complaints, and determined their disputes. His wisdom and discernment soon gained him the esteem of the whole country where he lived. They came even from other parts of Medea to implore his assistance. But at last being oppressed by the multiplicity of affairs which increased every day, he retired. Confusion and disorder instantly returned. The Medes held a public assembly, in which it was unanimously
was, to elect a king. The choice fell upon Dejæces.” In the present state of the Khond tribes the spirit and substance of
Asiatic islanders and ancient Asiatic Medes-may, mutatis mutandis, with strict propriety, be literally applied to them.
Torn and distracted by interminable feuds and sanguinary quarrels, which they have no means of adjusting, except by farther unavailing violence and bloodshed; and wearied and worn out by the dreariness, insecurity, and utter hopelessness of such an anarchical state of things; they seem fully prepared to have the proffered good offices of a duly accredited British agent, if endowed with “great wisdom and prudence,” with as much hearty good will as the Medes of old welcomed the services of Dejæces. And were the decisions of the agent as satisfactory as were those of Dejæces of old, why should not the result be correspondent? If, in order to “put an end to their calamities,” they did not unanimously resolve to elect him as their king, -seeing that he would be precluded by allegiance to his own sovereign from yielding to any such requisition,might they not be expected, in imitation of the Eastern Archipelago islanders with respect to the Dutch, earnestly to request him, in the name and on behalf of his own government, to
umpire in their quarrels ?” And this grand consummation being once realized, in a way so productive of peace, so
gladdened with the prospect of permanent security, and so fraught with multitudinous collateral benefits,—the realization of all other legitimate objects could not fail gradually to follow in its train.
Having thus unfolded, as fully as our limits can well admit of, the general scheme of operation proposed by Captain Macpherson, both in its guiding principles and leading details, we must return to our narrative.
After returning from his expedition into the south western and previously unvisited Khond districts,-shattered in health, but richly laden with new information and experience, the agent proceeded to the Eastern districts of Goomsur, now become a British province, to examine into the state of affairs in that quarter. The four Hill districts of this province occupied by Khonds are Bara Mútah, Athara Mútah, Hodzoghoro, and Chokapad. As regards the general civil order and tranquillity of these tracts of country he was enabled to report favourably. When the province became British, public peace had been maintained. The happy result was, a great diminution of the amount of bloodshed ; contests had been on a small scale; and the murderous axe had been rarely used. Numerous decisions of questions of disputed right had been passed by the local authority. These had taken effect, for the most part from the weight of our authority, and from their justice aloneno agency having been employed to execute them, but that of Sam Bisaye, the principal Khond Chief. But when justice was thus, in any instance, administered, it was simply for its own sake, and by way of accomplishing what was in itself an important end, without any direct or immediate reference to the attainment of other ulterior and equally important ends, such as the abolition of the Meriah sacrifice. The consequence was, that, as regarded the extinction of this sanguinary rite, little or no real progress had been made, though for six years the Khonds had been British subjects, and various efforts had been made by Government authorities towards its suppression. Major Campbell, after ascending the Ghats in January 1841, to ascertain the state of things, was obliged to report, that matters appeared rather to assume a retrogressive aspect—that “the intention to continue the sacrifice of human victims existed with undiminished force”- that “ persuasion and remonstrance had not had the anticipated effect”and that unless more decided measures were adopted, the Meriah sacrifice would not cease, though it might not be performed openly."*
a retrosan victims existed had not had the anticnted, thië Me
* See Calcutta Review, No. XII. p. 72.
What these “more decided measures” were meant to be, we may safely infer from an expression employed two years before by the same gentleman. In his Report of January 1839, he says, “the more I see of the Khonds the more is my opinion confirmed, that, unless we address ourselves to their fears, as well as to their better feelings, our steps for the suppression of the Meriah Pújah will be slow indeed." * ' Captain Miller had previously declared, that, in the rescue of human victims, " force and intimidation were the means that he employed.”+ And, subsequently, Colonel Ousely, with the blunt energy of a soldier, fearlessly declared his conviction that the “ only argument” which the Khonds “could understand," was that which would be “ supported by force ; "I while Mr. Mills, the Commissioner of Cuttack, gave vent to his own impression of the apparently insuperable difficulties, by putting on record the memorable deliverance, viz. “ CONCILIATORY MEANS ALONE WILL NOT EFFECT THE SUPPRESSION OF THE RITE. FORCE MUST PRECEDE CONCILIATION."S Seeing, then, that neither the argument of force had been applied, on the one hand, nor the argument of clearly appreciated and permanently guaranteed benefits on the other, we need scarcely be surprized at Major Campbell's report, that the “intention to continue the sacrifice of human victims existed with 'undiminished force.”
Such was believed, by Major Campbell and others, to be the state of feeling among the Khonds of Goomsur, at the time when Captain Macpherson returned from his expedition to the South Western districts--a state of feeling, the existence of which the searching inquiries of the latter soon tended to place beyond the possibility of a doubt. In his report, dated 15th August, 1842, Captain Macpherson thus writes :
“ The Khonds of the tracts of Bara Mútah and Athara Mútah state, that after the Goomsur war in 1836, they believed that the Government was determined to suppress the sacrifice. In the beginning of 1838, they gave a formal pledge to discontinue the rite, but not of their free will, or believing the practice to be in any degree exceptionable in reason or in justice, but in compliance with the orders of the Government as represented to them, with the consequences of refusal, by Sam Bisaye of Hodzoghoro, then lately set over them. This pledge they never regarded as in any degree binding, and they never observed it, while it was not observed by Sam Bisaye. But the rite was discontinued within their limits to a great extent from the fear of punishment, although it was still occasionally performed in public, and frequently in private. Finding that no punishment followed its practice, and seeing it freely performed in the adjoining district of Sam Bisaye, it has been gradually resumed with all the old
* See Calcutta Review, No. XII. p. 71. 1 See Calcutta Review, No. XII. p. 92.
+ See Calrutta Review, No. XII. p. 58. $ See Calcutta Review, No. XII. p. 88,
forms. And this year it has been performed every where and for the most part publicly, with little or no apprehension of consequences. Fourteen or fifteen public sacrifices have been offered in the three districts of Athara Mútah, Bara Mútah, and Hodzoghoro, and large preparations are now making for future offerings.
Whether or not the whole number of Khond offerings was diminished during the period in which the sacrifice was partly suppressed, and partly converted into a secret rite, in these districts, it is difficult to determine. I have been able to discover no Khond resident in them who professes to hare, in any year, actually gone without the flesh for his land. And the few non-sacrificing Khonds of the border, whom I have had an opportunity to question, and who abstain from the water of land that has been polluted with human blood within the year, assure me that there was no where, in those tracts, any interval of purity.”
Another fact, of the utmost importance as regards the understanding of the future consequences of events, brought to light, at tbe same time, by Captain Macpherson, was, that “ Sam Bisaye, his family, and Hindu dependents in Hodzoghoro, were regarded by the Khonds, and, in point of fact, were, the great supporters of the rite.” By referring to the ninth number of this work, page 37, it will be seen what the title 66 Bisaye" indicated. It was conferred on the great chief who stood in the twofold relation of “federal Patriarch of a cluster of Khond tribes," and “ Agent for Khond affairs” to the neighbouring Zemindar-Rajah. At the time of the outbreak of the Goomsur war, Dora Bisaye was the person who held this twofold office, in connection with the Zemindar-Rajah and Hill Khond tribes of Goomsur. Being a rebel, his office was forfeited, and himself ultimately sentenced to perpetual imprisonment. At the commencement of the war, Sam Bisaye was simply chief of one of the Khond tribes, occupying the district of Hodzoghoro. During the first year of the war his conduct proved treacherous in the highest degree.* But having behaved better, and, indeed, having rendered some important services during the second year of the war, he was, by way of recompense, though not without strong misgiving on the part of Mr. Russel, invested with the office of the late Dora Bisaye, and duly constituted, with much pomp and ceremonial, head of all the Khond tribes of Goomsur. In reporting this fact to his Government in May 1837, Mr. Russel said, “It may perhaps be thought that the conduct of this man, during the first part of the late insurrection, attaches too much suspicion to his character, to justify the confidence now reposed in him ;” and then goes on to shew, that in the very peculiar state of things, a better choice could not, on the
* See Calcutta Review, No. 1X. p. 16-17.