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PRINCELY PHILANTROPHY. The Maharajah of Darbhanga, in Bengal, has established a hospital and dispensary for female patients near his ancestral seat in the district of Darb- hanga, Behar, and is erecting new quarters for its accommodation at a cost as Rs.55,000, in connexion with Lady Dufferin's Medical Aid Women's Fund. This announcement reached England by the last mail; and to those who can remember India as it was some twenty or thirty years ago this novel form of benefaction will serve as a striking reminder of the great social changes that have taken place in that country during the period that India has been The India of the Queen." It is also one of many illustrations that recent mails have brought home of the firm hold that the movement for medical aid to the women of India, inaugurated by the Countess of Dufferin, and specially encouraged by Her Majesty the Queen, has taken on the imagination and sympathies of the Princes and people of India. But probably very few persons in this country, even of those who have had dealings with India, will be aware that this liberal and enlightened gift is only the latest, and one of the least considerable, of a long series of philanthropic acts on the part of this great Hindoo noble, which have been on a scale of mag- nificence hardly ever equalled. The Maharajah of Darbhanga, who is at once a. Knight Commander of the Indian Empire, and a member of the Viceroy's Legis- lative Council, is one of the premier nobles of British India. He is the head of a princely Hindoo family that became eminent under the benign rule of the Great Mogul, Akbar, and is said to have received the Raj or principality of Darbhanga from the favour of that potentate. The earliest Sanad or patent conferring the Raj—that is now extant at the Palace in Darbhanga was given by the Mogul Emperor Farrukhsiyar. Not many of the great houses of Bengal survived the disasters of the early years of Lord Cornwallis's 11 Permanent Settle- ment of the revenues of Bengal; but the immense possessions of the Darbhanga family enabled it to tide over those years of difficulty, and it has con- sequently enjoyed the full benefit of later years of prosperity. An interesting chapter in Sir William Hunter's Statistical Account of Bengal" is de- voted to the history of this principality, from which it appears that more than half-a-million sterling had been saved during the minority of the present Maharajah by the British officials placed in charge of the Raj by the Court of Wards but of these savings no less a sum than £300,000 was expended on charitable relief and relief works during the terrible famine of 1873-74-six years before the Maharajah came of age. The revenues of the Raj at present are something over £200,000 per annum; and the Maharajah pays nearly jB50,000 a year to Government as his revenue assessment or land tax. In 1685 the revenues derived by the Raj from the district of Tirhoot alone amounted to £ 79,000; and the prin- cipality also extends over large portions of the districts of Monghyr, Pumiah, and Bhagalpur-the Purniah estates having been granted by the Mogul Emperor Shah Alam in 1776. Besides the half-million sterling of savings during the recent minority, from 1860-1879, debt was paid off to the amount of 70 lahks, or about another half million sterling. It may be assumed that the Maharajah had not much authority during his minority in the matter of the contribution of JE300,000 to charitable relief. But since his coming of age, in 1879, the published accounts of the Raj show that he has expended in similar philanthropic works and charity a further sum of about £ 340,000. The female Hospital just opened, which forms the Maharajah's contribution to the Countess of Dufferin's Jubilee Memorial, is the third hospital actually built and endowed by him on the Raj; besides which he has constructed and main- tains no fewer than 23 schools, of which one is an Anglo-vernacular or higher-class school. He also contributes largely to the cost of three dispensaries, 23 village schools or pathsalas," and four other schools. He has opened 150 miles of new roads, and planted 20,000 trees on these roads. The irrigation works he has exe- cuted in the Monghyr district alone have cost about £ 70,000. Besides this contribution to the Countess of Dufferin's Jubilee Fund, the Maharajah has contributed about a lakh of rupees to other memorials of her Majesty's Jubilee. For instance, the Raj servants, Pandits, and other dependents got more than Rs.30,000 distributed among them to give them a joyful remembrance of the occasion. And when her Majesty conferred on him the Knight Commandership of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire the Maharajah's loyal gratitude took a similar benevolent form; he remitted one-eighth of the year's rental to all his tenants-a remission amounting to nearly £30,000, and likely to cause great rejoicings in many hundreds of homes. And this most liberal gift came on the top of two of the most extraordinary remissions of rent ever granted by any landlord in any country; for in 1882 the Maharajah by a stroke of a pen cancelled all arrears due to him throughout the principality, amounting to no less a sum than £185,253 10s. and in 1885 he similarly cancelled a large proportion of rents due to: him, amounting to £53,979 12s. When asked, as a pious Hindoo, to subscribe to the Benares drainage works, he put down a contribution of a lakh of rupees ( £ 10,000). The Maharajah is a good and fluent speaker in English, and was appointed by Lord Ripon to a seat in the Legislative Council of India. He has received at Darbhanga at various times State visits, both from the present Viceroy and from the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal; and, as his estates march with the bound- less jungles of the Nepal Terai for a great many miles, the Maharajah is at all times able to show his guests some of the finest sport to be had in India He was reappointed to the Legislative Council by Lord Dufferin, who has more than once spoken publicly in very strong terms of his remarkable liberality and public spirit. He is also a Fellow of the Culcutta University and the most prominent patron of Sanscrit and English learning in Bengal.

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