All the members of the administration, 
besides, trade more or less upon their own account
and it is in vain to prohibit them 
from doing so. Nothing can be more completely 
foolish than to expect that the clerks 
of a great counting-house, at ten thousand 
miles distance, and consequently almost quite 
out of sight, should, upon a simple order 
from their master, give up at once doing any 
sort of business upon their own account
abandon for ever all hopes of making a fortune, 
of which they have the means in their 
hands; and content themselves with the 
moderate salaries which those masters allow 
them, and which, moderate as they are, can 
seldom be augmented, being commonly as 
large as the real profits of the company trade 
can afford. In such circumstances, to prohibit 
the servants of the company from trading 
upon their own account, can have scarce 
any other effect than to enable its superior 
servants, under pretence of executing their 
master's order, to oppress such of the inferior 
ones as have had the misfortune to fall under 
their displeasure. The servants naturally 
endeavour to establish the same monopoly in 
favour of their own private trade as of the 
public trade of the company. If they are 
suffered to act as they could wish, they will 
establish this monopoly openly and directly, 
by fairly prohibiting all other people from 
trading in the articles in which they choose to 
deal; and this, perhaps, is the best and least 
oppressive way of establishing it. But if, by 
an order from Europe, they are prohibited 
from doing this, they will, notwithstanding
endeavour to establish a monopoly of the 
same kind secretly and indirectly, in a way 
that is much more destructive to the country
They will employ the whole authority of government, 
and pervert the administration of 
justice, in order to harass and ruin those who 
interfere with them in any branch of commerce, 
which by means of agents, either 
concealed, or at least not publicly avowed
they may choose to carry on. But the private 
trade of the servants will naturally extend 
to a much greater variety of articles than the 
public trade of the company. The public 
trade of the company extends no further than 
the trade with Europe, and comprehends a 
part only of the foreign trade of the country
But the private trade of the servants may 
extend to all the different branches both of 
its inland and foreign trade. The monopoly 
of the company can tend only to stunt the natural 
growth of that part of the surplus produce 
which, in the case of a free trade, would 
be exported to Europe. That of the servants 
tends to stunt the natural growth of every 
part of the produce in which they choose to 
deal; of what is destined for home consumption
as well as of what is destined for exportation
and consequently to degrade the 
cultivation of the whole country, and to reduce 
the number of its inhabitants. It tends 
to reduce the quantity of every sort of produce, 
even that of the necessaries of life, whenever 
the servants of the country choose to deal in 
them, to what those servants can both afford 
to buy and expect to sell with such a profit as 
pleases them. 
From the nature of their situation, too, the 
servants must be more disposed to support 
with rigourous severity their own interest
against that of the country which they govern
than their masters can be to support 
theirs. The country belongs to their masters
who cannot avoid having some regard for the 
interest of what belongs to them; but it does 
not belong to the servants. The real interest 
of their masters, if they were capable of understanding 
it, is the same with that of the 
country;[42] and it is from ignorance chiefly
and the meanness of mercantile prejudice
that they ever oppress it. But the real interest 
of the servants is by no means the same 
with that of the country, and the most perfect 
information would not necessarily put an end 
to their oppressions. The regulations, accordingly, 
which have been sent out from 
Europe, though they have been frequently 
weak, have upon most occasions been well 
meaning. More intelligence, and perhaps 
less good meaning, has sometimes appeared 
in those established by the servants in India
It is a very singular government in which 
every member of the administration wishes to 
get out of the country, and consequently to 
have done with the government, as soon as he 
can, and to whose interest, the day after he 
has left it, and carried his whole fortune with 
him, it is perfectly indifferent though the 
whole country was swallowed up by an earthquake
I mean not, however, by any thing which I 
have here said, to throw any odious imputation 
upon the general character of the servants 
of the East India company, and much less 
upon that of any particular persons. It is 
the system of government, the situation in 
which they are placed, that I mean to censure, 
not the character of those who have 
acted in it. They acted as their situation naturally 
directed, and they who have clamoured 
the loudest against them would probably not 
have acted better themselves. In war and 
negotiation, the councils of Madras and Calcutta, 
have upon several occasions, conducted 
themselves with a resolution and decisive 
wisdom, which would have done honour to 
the senate of Rome in the best days of that 
republic. The members of those councils
however, had been bred to professions very 
different from war and politics. But their 
situation alone, without education, experience