Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO HENRY REEVE, ESQ. - Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville, vol. 2
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TO HENRY REEVE, ESQ. - Alexis de Tocqueville, Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville, vol. 2 
Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville. Translated from the French by the translator of Napoleon’s Correspondence with King Joseph. With large Additions. In Two Volumes (London: Macamillan, 1861). 2 vols.
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TO HENRY REEVE, ESQ.
Tocqueville, January 30, 1858.
I should have thanked you sooner, my dear friend, for the last number of the Edinburgh, but, like the rest of the world, I have been attacked by influenza. The quiet to which it condemned me, and condemns me still—for it is not quite cured—gave me leisure to read the whole, except the last article, which I have not yet begun. It has interested and instructed me. The historical fragment on Mr. Addington’s administration, and the last years of Mr. Pitt, pleased me much. All the characteristics of our friend Lewis are in it—the clearness, the precision, the accuracy of detail observable in the work of a first-rate engraver, faithful to his model. This mode of representing a man so considerable as Pitt, and so important a period, is most valuable, and I hope that Lewis will perform his promise of carrying on the subject in a subsequent number. Pray, when you see Lewis, tell him that I read it with infinite delight. Give him our kindest regards, and describe to him our reverence for a Chancellor of the Exchequer who, while he has to manage the finances of England during a Chinese war and an Indian rebellion, finds time and ideas sufficiently at his disposal to write excellent historical articles. Pray do not forget me when you see Lady Theresa.
I now come to your own article, which I sincerely think by far the most important in the whole number.* Nothing written on that subject has so much interested and struck me. The subject is too great for a single article. Much, therefore, is wanting in yours. Many questions, and considerable questions, are not brought forward. The position occupied by the Review, which is not a collection of historical essays, but one of the great organs of a political party, and also the nature of the subject itself, imposed restrictions on you, which forbad your examining narrowly the past government of India, or clearly predicting the government that is to come. Your object was merely to expose the general and habitual state of this immense dependency, and on this you have taught me much, and made me reflect much. This may not appear to you great praise. Though I have studied India more than most Frenchmen, I know much less of it than the Englishmen who have really turned their attention to it; but I believe that they are few, and that the English public must have recived from your article an impression similar to mine.
You have explained to me one important truth among others, with respect to which my ideas were confused: the difficulty of increasing your Indian income, and the peculiar nature of the land revenue, which is rather a rent than a tax. I knew that your revenue arose only from direct taxes, or monopolies; but I was not aware of the difficulty of raising a revenue by any other means—a difficulty which renders your income more burthensome and more precarious. The large number of military men, unconnected with the Government, is also an important fact, of which I knew little. I never had appreciated it. To tell you all that your article suggested to me would require not a letter, but a long conversation, or a volume. I have covered it with pencil marks.
One of my great doubts respects the advantage of introducing an European population. Even if possible, I think it so dangerous that I am inclined to renew the old prohibition of purchases by Europeans. My principle is yours, that Hindostan cannot be kept against the will of the Hindoos. Now I have always found that when not European rulers, but European settlers have been introduced into the imperfectly civilized populations of the other quarters of the globe, the real or affected superiority of the strangers has so wounded the interests and the vanity of the natives, that it has been more hateful than any real political oppression would have been. If this be true as to almost all the European races, it is peculiarly the case as to the English race, the most ingenious in turning to its own advantage the capabilities of a country; the least sociable, the most reserved, and (I may say, since this fault is intimately allied with some noble qualities), the proudest of the European races. When I think over all that you have done for your native army, its discipline, its high pay, its pensions, and its many indulgences, I feel that no auxiliary army was ever so well, so magnificently treated as that which has committed all these horrors. But, without having visited India, I can affirm that no European officer ever held himself so aloof as yours does from his Asiatic soldiers, was less acceptable to them, less one of their comrades, even with respect to those who wore the same epaulette. Though companions in arms, they were so separated by differences of civilization and race, that they felt that they were not only not equals, but not fellow-creatures.
I believe that a searching examination will show that this was the real cause of the revolt of the Indian army. Many secondary causes assisted, but this was the grand one. These horrible events were not a resistance to oppression, but a rising of barbarism against pride.