J. Forbes (John Forbes) Royle.

Essay on the productive resources of India [electronic resource] online

. (page 4 of 32)
Online LibraryJ. Forbes (John Forbes) RoyleEssay on the productive resources of India [electronic resource] → online text (page 4 of 32)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

accounts of the introduction into it of Cloves,
Cinnamon, Nutmegs, and a statement that all
East- India plants flourished there. Capt. Bligh,
when employed in transporting the bread-fruit
in 1793 into the West- Indies, also delivered with west-indies.
it a number of fruit-trees of tropical countries,
into the gardens of St. Vincent's and of Ja-
maica, as well as into that of St. Helena. But
these islands have obtained many of the most
useful plants from the French colonies, as
the Coffee, Black Pepper, and Nutmeg. The Plants imro-
fortunate capture, by Lord Rodney, of a French
East Indiaman, put them in possession, with
other plants, of the Ceylon Cinnamon, and of
the true Nankeen Cotton, from which some cloth
was manufactured at Glasgow in 1785. Gui-
nea Grass, now of so much importance in Ja-
maica, as forming the chief food in the graz-




Introduction of ing and breeding farms, was accidentally ob-
tained from the coast of Guinea, as food for
some birds which were sent to Chief Justice Ellis.
Nortii Ame- North America, havinsr been colonized from
Europe, it was natural that the inhabitants
should, from the suitableness of the climate,
introduce the Corn culture, as well as the Fruit-
trees of the Old World. Hence it is not sur-
prising to observe, that their most extensive arti-
cles of export are of foreign introduction. Thus,
Rice, an undoubted native of India, and where it
has been extensively cultivated from the remotest
antiquity, now affords food to many of the in-
habitants, and forms much of the export trade
of parts of the New World. Mr. Dalrymple,
Editor of the Oriental Repertory, states ** that
he was informed by the late Mr. Hazard, who
assured him he learnt from one of the parties
concerned, that Rice, the staple of Carolina,
was the result of a small bag of Paddy, given as
a present from a Secretary of the East- India
Company to a Carolina trader." In a sub-
sequent page he corrects this statement, men-
tioning that the Rice was given by Mr. C. Dubois,
Treasurer of the East- India Company.
Cotton. Cotton, now so successful a culture, was intro-

duced from other countries ; the Nankeen, ac-
cording to Mr. Spalding, from China, the Sea-
island kind from the West- Indies, and the Green
Seed, or Georgian Cotton, he supposes from
Smyrna, but its origin is doubtful, as it was culti-


vated before the Revolution. The present ex- introduction of

^ Plants.

cellence of American Tobacco is not due to
superiority of the soil, but is the result of the
unwearied attention both of the government
and of cultivators to the improvement of its
produce ; for the American planters seemed to
think, in former times, as Indian Zumeendars
appear to do at the present day, that " ajiy thing
was good enough for the merchants'' — Tatham
on Tobacco, p. 141. — The government, in 1639, improved Cui-

. , ture of Tol)acco

anxious to improve the quality of Virginia pro- in America
duce, issued rules for checking over-luxuriance. Government.
and appointed officers (sworn to do their duty
impartially) to see them enforced, as well as
for rooting up inferior plants. Every hogshead
of prepared Tobacco was moreover taken to
government warehouses, to be inspected by com-
petent officers before it could be exported, and
all of an inferior quality condemned to be

The Dutch, though jealous of the extension of "^^ Dutch,
the Spices beyond the limits they prescribed, yet
paid considerable attention to the vegetable pro-
duct-s of their colonies. They established a garden
of large extent at Cape Town, which was divided
into four quarters, each of which was planted
with the trees, plants, and flowers, that are
peculiar to each of the four parts of the world ;
and hence in this one enclosure were to be found

• Tatham on Tobacco, p. 69-106 ; and 138, 207 ; London,


the several gardens of Europe, Asia, Africa, and
America. Many of the fruits of Europe were
also introduced, and the Vine has been the source
of their principal article of export.

Arts of Culture in India.

Arts of Culture Noticing the different kinds, and detailing the
early history of Culture, and the stages of its
introduction into different countries, has not
been for the gratification either of idle or of
curious inquiry, but that we might make the
experience of the past serve us as lessons for the
future. This especially with reference to that coun-
try, which we hope to prove is neither so sterile,
nor so stubborn in soil, so limited in range of
climate, nor deficient in intelligence of popu-
lation, as to make it improbable that, by fol-
lowing the course which has in other countries

Soil and cii- {^qq^ gQ succcssfuUy Dursucd, we shall attain, at

mate varied as ^ l '

is the Culture, least, an equal degree of success. For the soil
of India is rich in many parts, varjed in others ;
and the climate affords us sufficient variation of
temperature, as well as of dryness and moisture,
to allow of the cultivation of Rice at one season,
and at another of that of Wheat and Barley. The
inhabitants also are acquainted with many, and
have the merit of originating some, of the approved
Hindoos well proccsscs of Agriculturc, as the rotation of crops
Agriculture. and the drill husbandry. They are probably not
more bigoted to the practices of their forefatliers,
than many an English fanner has shown himself,


when he has remained unconvinced, even by the Hindoo Cnju-


successful practice of a neighbour of his own
rank and occupation, nor than the Italian, who
stops discussion, by saying, " I do as my father
of blessed memory did before me, and that is

The Hindoo cultivator must, however, be To be improved

by example,

taught by example rather than by precept, and
those who teach must endeavour to fortify their
precepts, as well as their practice, by taking care and by Practice
that both are conformable to principle. Thus, the principle,
experience of other nations, as well as of other
places, may be made suitable to new situations,
where, though all the requisites for successful
practice are present, yet they may not be in the
same relative proportions as elsewhere. A mo-
dification of pmctice is therefore essentially ne-
cessary, to compensate for such variations in the
richness or poverty of the soil, the dryness, or
moisture of the climate, in order to attain the
same ends ; otherwise our precepts may be as
empirical and as unsuited to the new situation,
as they are adapted for the places where they are
practised. The result, therefore, may be as un-
successful as those which we are endeavouring to

That we may have correct data for comparison, information re-
as well as be able to ascertain the nature and ex- c^tmi

* " Facio cune faceva la bucm anima di miopadre, e cio


India— infer- tent of the information to be referred to in our

mation con-
cerning, future reasonings, it is desirable to take a cursory

view of the means which have hitherto been
adopted to develop and improve, and the know-
ledge which we possess respecting, the physical
capabilities of India.

By this it will be seen that the information

upon which we rely is sufficiently authentic, and

drawn from an extensive enough basis to warrant

authentic and the inferences which are dcduccd. The results also

varied. , ^ • -i er^ •

which have already been obtained are sufficient
to justify the most sanguine expectations for the
future. It is not, therefore, premature to state,
that our knowledge of the Soil, Climate, and
Vegetation of the Indian empire, though not
sufficiently minute in all particulars, is yet full
enough in many, to entitle us to draw legitimate
Results of Ex- inferences on a number of subjects. The success

periments war- . • i • i •

Online LibraryJ. Forbes (John Forbes) RoyleEssay on the productive resources of India [electronic resource] → online text (page 4 of 32)