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MOST of the following chapters previously appeared in the pages of the Bengal Magazine, and their republication in the form of a book calls for an explanation, the more specially as they do not pretend to any merit such as would justify their reappearance. The only explanation, however, that is offered, lies in the importance of the subject, as well as in the very painful conviction which the writer has often felt, that the claims of the cultivating classes have somehow been ignored and unrecognized.