THE NEW RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS OF INDIA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Children of one family.
[Sidenote: Two physical changes on the face of a country.]
When we consider how the face of a country has been altered during the lapse of time, two great changes may be noticed, both of them due to the action of man. First we may observe that the whole general character of the country has undergone transformation. Gone are the ancient forests of Scotland, which of old in many districts clad the whole countryside, and with them have gone the wild animals which they sheltered. The forests destroyed, and the rainfall in consequence less abundant, the surface marshes and lakes have in many places vanished, taking the old agues and fevers in their train. Instead of the strongholds of chieftains in their fastnesses, surrounded by bands of their clansmen and retainers, has come the sober, peaceful, life of independent tenants, agricultural or artisan. And so on, down through the general changes wrought on the face of a land by modern conditions of life, we might watch the evolution of new features of the landscape. But we turn to the other kind of change, which is more noticeable at first sight, and is more directly due to the action of man. Great, laboriously cultivated, fields now stretch where formerly there was only waste or forest, or at best small sparsely scattered patches; and the very products of the soil in these new spacious fields are in many cases new. Where, for example, even in Britain before the close of the seventeenth century, were the great fields of potatoes and turnips and red clover, and even of wheat, which now meet the eye everywhere as the seasons return? Where in India before the British period were the vast areas now under tea and coffee, jute and cotton, although the two last have been grown and manufactured in India from time immemorial? “It might almost be said that, from Calcutta to Lahore, 50 per cent. of the prevalent vegetation, cultivated and wild, has been imported into India within historic times."