The proprietors struggled in vain to bring about a closer union.
But for both proprietors and Jesuits a surprise was in store.
The reformers of the previous reign had endeavoured to make the emancipated peasantry administratively and economically independent of the landed proprietors; the conservatives of this later era, proceeding on the assumption that the peasants did not know how to make a proper use of the liberty prematurely conferred upon them, endeavoured to re-establish the influence of the landed proprietors by appointing from amongst them " land-chiefs," who were to exercise over the peasants of their district a certain amount of patriarchal jurisdiction.
But it is a good thing for proprietors who perish morally, bring remorse upon themselves, stifle this remorse and grow callous, as a result of being able to inflict punishments justly and unjustly.
The directors of the Company were disposed to act upon this resolution; but in the court of proprietors, with whom the decision ultimately lay, Hastings always possessed a sufficient majority.