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failed to quote. Taken with the context, it speaks volumes. It tells that Edwardes, who fought and won two battles at the bead of bands of " the people" had not their confidence,—that Nicholson, who for months swept the Sind-Sagur Doab, in the face of two hostile armies,—that Taylor, who cleared Derajat of Affghans, as well as of Sikhs, both of them without other soldiers, than the untrained peasants of the soil, had not the confidence of the people. Sir Henry Lawrence might have pointed to those officers, also to Colonel George Lawrence, who, by personal influence, and by his hold on the people, and on the very Sikh soldiers, restrained the latter for six months, after mutiny was among them. He might have quoted the still more notable fact, of the people, that is one tribe, raising the British banner, and, unaccompanied by a single British Officer, or soldier, ejecting the Seikh faction from Dera Ghazi Khan. He could further have shown that such was the state of security in the country, which Sir Charles Napier asserted had risen against its oppressors, that, from first to last of the war, single officers and trains of Commissariat waggons and camels, slightly guarded, and often altogether unattended, traversed in perfect safety the length and breadth of the Sikh country east of the Chenab. Surely, with such facts to bear out his opinions, Sir Henry Lawrence was moderate in simply denying undue credit to one officer, at the expense of all others who had been employed under him in the Punjab, during the years 1846 and 1847.
Like many other passages in Sir Charles Napier's book, an essay might be written in disproof of the possibility of a people* enabling their leaders continuously, during a war of nearly twelve months, to hold their district "in perfect subjection." All history proves the contrary. The Duke of Wellington, the very Napiers themselves, have recorded the fact, that a mob is helpless against disciplined troops. Major Abbott's levies were no exceptions: holding as strong a country as any in the world, they could not prevent two Sikh Regiments, in Puklee, joining Chutter Singh's main body in the plain of Huzara. The less said about the battle the better. Whether it was treachery, or whether it was cowardice, the levies, holding a strong pass, deserted their Officers, and fled before they were hurt, before the Sikhs were within matchlock range. Surely, this fact, with the other now related by Major Abbott, that the Sikhs were able to withdraw their garrison from the top of Gundgurh, (a mountain from time immemorial against them, where they had met many bloody defeats, and where Abbott's staunchest partisans resided,) proves that the people could not hold the country in opposition to the Silihs.
* Sir Charles could not have understood the force of the terms he was using. The fighting people and the working people, especially in Huzara, are perfectlydifferent The very protection given to the latter often obtains, not the confidence, but the ill will of the former. Major Abbott had the singular good fortune to attach both classes.
It might further be urged, that the same military means, and ability, that enabled Chutter Singh to bring off his detachment and garrison, and to withdraw out-posts, that, defending nothing, might any day be over-powered or starved out, would have enabled him, from Rawul Pindee, the Indus or Peshawar, at one or other of which his head quarters remained during the war, to work his will in the plains of Huzara and Rawul Pindee. Or Dost Mahomed might at any time, with the 12,000 men Major Abbott assigns him, from his even nearer positions, have done what Major Abbott describes his having done for "about eight days," previous to the battle of Gujrat.
Sir Charles Napier talked and wrote a great deal about the affections of the people, and of how he could and would have managed the Punjaub border: until he made the Scinde frontier over to Major Jacob, he had little to boast of in his arrangements in that far more manageable quarter. His assertions of the non-necessity of troops, of 15,000 being sufficient for the whole Punjaub, was very fanciful. To imagine that any where in India, in plains, or hills, the people would pay a Rupee without feeling certain that bayonets were within hail, is somewhat Quixotic. Moderation, mercy, and benevolence, are all most proper, they are excellent auxiliaries, they will do the work admirably when the main body is within reach, but unsupported, would be as useless as are the Bengal Police in a row.
Though Major Abbott had a real knowledge of the people, ha seems to have fallen somewhat into Sir Charles Napier's error regarding Huzara, or not always to have remembered his own and their peculiar circumstances. He had been the means of conferring immense favors on the district. He had been sent as a messenger of mercy, to rescue a proud and a long persecuted race from tyranny. He carried out his orders admirably, and attached the large majority of the chiefs and people to himself. But in Huzara, as elsewhere, long oppression had begotten treachery, treason and violence. Thus many still remained in the land, who loved not the tranquillity that had been brought about. Some of these, from the first, were with the enemy, others remained to fetter Abbott's hands. With some again the remembrance of kindness had already passed away: they could not appreciate it. They hungered only for the spoliation Abbott prevented. He tells us, too, that he "was so crippled in means 'as seldom to have even gunpowder for more than two hours' 'action; further, that his communications were threatened with 'Cashmere, from whence my treasure was derived." He might have added, that his arms were somewhat worse than those Sir Charles Napier facetiously designated as a bit of a barrel, a bit of a lock, &c. These are surely reasons enough why Major Abbott could not have held Huzara in perfect subjection during the war.
According to our information, the Sikhs held the cultivated plain, and the British partisans held the mountains; neither party probably collecting much revenue. The Sikhs helped themselves to what they could get, and Abbott's friends got some compensation for loss of crops in the monthly pay they received from him. We are however open to conviction, and will be glad to acknowledge our error, when we see in the promised book, detailed statements, shewing what treasure was received from Cashmere and elsewhere, and what collections were made in Huzara during the year of insurrection. We shall also require the other indications "of perfect subjection" in communications kept up, &c., &c.
We do not altogether understand the allusions Major Abbott makes to a powerful party, headed by a high functionary having an interest in taking a particular view of the nature and origin of the late struggle in the Punjab. But again we say we shall be glad to hear all Major Abbott has to say. Magna est Veritas et prevalebit.
We are still more at a loss to understand how Major Abbott's partial or entire possession of Huzara prevented the Sikhs making the strong country of Rawul Pindee the seat of the war; or how, if defeated in the latter tract, they were to be at the mercy of the Huzarahs, more than they were after the rout at Gujrat. The fact is, the further they had to fly, after the first rally, the more would have been their disorganization. At Jelum they were in better case to fight than at Rawul Pindee. Panic-stricken as they were, we never heard that Abbott's or any other levies detained them, for an hour, even at the formidable Margulla Pass. Had Major Abbott seen the Sikhs retreat from Gujrat, or had he witnessed the dauntless bearing with which their French Brigade at Sobraon, long after the British troops were in possession of the works, and of the banks of the river, effected their retreat, passing literally through our troops, and receiving the fire of whole regiments on their flanks, as they steadily, with ranks closed up, moved down to the deep and rapid ford, already covered with their comrades' corpses, he would not have supposed that, while a single regiment held together, they would have been at the mercy of any hill-men, especially of tribes miles and miles off their line of retreat.
A simpler reason than that assigned by Major Abbott, for Shere Singh and Chutter Singh preferring the Jetchnab to the ScindeSagur Doab was, that there they could better recruit and find supplies. At Chileeanwala the Sikh army were nearly starved, at Rawul Pindee, or in the Huzara, they would have been entirely so
If they erred in meeting us in the open plain, their tactics would not have been improved, by removing the war from the neighbourhood of a Rajput and Jaut population, toa Mahomedan country; especially as to the last hour the Sikhs had no strong reasons for knowing which side Dost Mahomed might take; common sense, and his own interests, were against the line he did take.
One word more. Major Abbott's letter seems to imply that Major Nicholson also requires defence against Sir Henry Lawrence. The following are the terms in which that officer was mentioned:
"Major John Nicholson, at the head of loose bands of militia, 'was the terror of the Sikhs in the Scinde-Sagur and Rechnab 'Doabs. His hundreds were good against Chutter Singh's thou'sands. At Ghuzni, and during both the Sikh campaigns, as 'more recently in the hills above Bunnu, he has shown himself to 'be of the stuff that, not only soldiers, but great Generals are made 'of. If Nicholson live, and prove not one of the very best com'manders of his day, I am greatly mistaken." ,
Major Abbott's full length picture can hardly depict Major Nicholson in more favorable colours, as a soldier, than does the above brief sketch. He may, however, tell of the more glorious laurels his friend has since won. How his name is respected, as well as feared, throughout Bunnu, Dera Ishmael Khan, and their borders. How, like Major Edwardes, he has afforded another proof, that an excellent soldier may be an excellent Civil Administrator.
We have thus shewn that neither Major Abbott nor Major Nicholson has any cause of quarrel with any thing that has appeared in these pages. Nevertheless, we repeat that we shall welcome the promised volume. Huzara is a worthy theme, and has scarcely had its fair share of public notice. Major Abbott may not be an "Oberlin," nor did his terms of service, or his opportunities admit of his opening out the resources, and civilizing the people of Huzara, as sixty years of continued incumbency enabled the unrivalled pastor of the Ban de la Boche to do for that mild valley; but he has the honor, a very proud one, of for six years having been the patriarch in peace, and the leader in war, of as troublesome a people as any in India, of having won and retained their affections, and of having left the district, more attached to British rule than any other in the Punjab, not excepting even Khangra.
He has found a worthy successor in Captain Becher, a man after his own heart; and when the latter shall have intersected the valleys with roads, the dreaded dell of Khagan will no longer be a terra in cognita; and we may hope that Jehandad Khan's country, even up to the Black Mountain, may be brought within the pale of civilization.
Christ our Life; in its Origin, Law and End. By Joseph Angus, D. D., Member of the Royal Asiatic Society. London, 1853.
The Essay before us, originated in the public application of a gentleman connected with the public service of the East India Company, for an " Essay on the Life of Christ," adapted to Missionary purposes, and suitable for translation into the Vernacular languages of India
There is a reported saying- of the great Macaulay, that Prize Cattle are only fit for candles, and Prize Essays to light them. This saying may not be universally true, but we are prepared to admit its truthfulness in reference to all Prize Essays, written in England, towards the conversion of Hindus. It may be laid down as an axiom, that no man, however learned and gifted, can effectually write an Essay of this description, unless he has resided in India, conversed with the natives on religious subjects, and is, to some extent, acquainted with the vernacular languages of India. Different nations, speaking various languages, have different modes of communicating and apprehending religious truths. To prove this, we have only to refer to the symbols of Egypt, and Assyria, and the writings of the prophet Ezekiel. Every Missionary well knows, by painful experience, the extreme difficulty of making religious truth, and that entirely new, intelligible even to the most learned pandits.
It appears to us, that the best,—'he very best, Life of Christ, is that written by the Evangelists. If we take for granted, that they wrote under the guidance of inspiration, we must also take for granted, that infinite wisdom has employed both the mode and the style best adapted to realize the end of their composition. There is about the Gospels an orientalism of style, and great truths are delivered and clothed in beautiful and parabolic garb. Hence their beautiful adaptation to the people of India.
The Essay before us, is divided into two sections, respectively termed the Introduction, and the Life of Christ. In the former, we have a brief account of the origin and the progress of idolatry, with its moral results. The latter contains the Life of Christ, according to the most approved method of harmonists. Looking at the Essay simply as a literary and theological composition, we think neither better nor worse of it than of hundreds of others, scattered through the religious world; and it may prove a very estimable book in the hands of students and intelligent Christians. Our business is not with the book, from that point of view ; but to determine whether or not it is adapted to answer the purpose of translation and circulation among the natives of this country.
We are painfully compelled to acknowledge our conviction that, in this respect, the Essay will prove a failure; and these are our reasons. Books written by Europeans, ignorant of the languages of the East, abound in phraseologies, figures of speech, indistinct allusions, and quotations, which a Hindu cannot understand. We have seen figures of speech cast in a European mould, introduced into religious tracts, which no native can understand. Again, theological writers in Europe are so much in the habit of addressing intelligent Christians, that they fall into the habit of addressing Hindus in the same style, taking for granted that they understand what they do not, and cannot.
We shall bring before our readers some phrases taken at random