Autobiography HTML version

[6] A few dedicatory lines acknowledging what the book owed to her, were prefixed to
some of the presentation copies of the Political Economy on iets first publication. Her
dislike of publicity alone prevented their insertion in the other copies of the work. During
the years which intervened between the commencement of my married life and the
catastrophe which closed it, the principal occurrences of my outward existence (unless I
count as such a first attack of the family disease, and a consequent journey of more than
six months for the recovery of health, in Italy, Sicily, and Greece) had reference to my
position in the India House. In 1856 I was promoted to the rank of chief of the office in
which I had served for upwards of thirty-three years. The appointment, that of Examiner
of India Correspondence, was the highest, next to that of Secretary, in the East India
Company's home service, involving the general superintendence of all the
correspondence with the Indian Governments, except the military, naval, and financial. I
held this office as long as it continued to exist, being a little more than two years; after
which it pleased Parliament, in other words Lord Palmerston, to put an end to the East
india Company as a branch of the government of India under the Crown, and convert the
administration of that country into a thing to be scrambled for by the second and third
class of English parliamentary politicians. I was the chief manager of the resistance
which the Company made to their own political extinction, and to the letters and petitions
I wrote for them, and the concluding chapter of my treatise on Representative
Government, I must refer for my opinions on the folly and mischief of this ill-considered
change. Personally I considered myself a gainer by it, as I had given enough of my life to
india, and was not unwilling to retire on the liberal compensation granted. After the
change was consummated, Lord Stanley, the first Secretary of State for India, made me
the honourable offer of a seat in the Council, and the proposal was subsequently renewed
by the Council itself, on the first occasion of its having to supply a vacancy in its own
body. But the conditions of Indian government under the new system made me anticipate
nothing but useless vexation and waste of effort from any participation in it: and nothing
that has since happened has had any tendency to make me regret my refusal.
[7] In 1869.
[8]The saying of this true hero, after his capture, that he was worth more for hanging than
any other purpose, reminds one, by its combination of wit, wisdom, and self-devotion, of
Sir Thomas More.
[9] The first was in answer to Mr. Lowe's reply to Mr. Bright on the Cattle Plague Bill,
and was thought at the time to have helped to get rid of a provision in the Government
measure which would have given to landholders a second indemnity, after they had
already been once indemnified for the loss of some of their cattle by the increased selling
price of the remainder.
[10] Among the most active members of the Committee were Mr. P.A. Taylor, M.P.,
always faithful and energetic in every assertion of the principles of liberty; Mr. Goldwin
Smith, Mr. Frederic Harrison, Mr. Slack, Mr. Chamerovzow, Mr. Shaen, and Mr.
Chesson, the Honorary Secretary of the Association.