Imágenes de página

in truth, very like Egypt—that is, it is relations with the Sikhs, immediately the fertile valley of a river running before their invasion of our territory, through a barren country, where no rain is frankly admitted by Mr Campbell. falls. But there is this difference-first, After mentioning various military that while no broader, it is not so long, movements calculated to give them nor has the fine delta which constitutes alarm, he describes a political diffithe most valuable portion of Egypt ; second, that while Égypt is free from culty as to certain lands belonging to external predatory invasion, Scinde is the Sikh state, lying on our side of exceedingly exposed to it; and, thirdly, the Sutledge, which he says had been that while Egypt has a European mar- 80 managed by two successive poliket for its grain, Scinde has not. Alto- tical agents, Sir Claude Wade and gether, the conquest was, at the time, as Sir George Clerk, that through their concerns India, much as if we had taken personal influence “it bad so hapthe valley of the Euphrates.

pened that our wishes were generally “Half a dozen years later, when we attended to." He thus concludes :advanced over the plain of the Indus, and annexed the Punjab, we must have

“ Sir George Clerk having been proarranged to control Scinde too, directly moted, new men were put in charge of or indirectly, as might be done cheapest; assumed as a right what had heretofore

our frontier relations, and seem to have but during those intermediate years it was a gratuitous loss, and the chief cause

been yielded to a good understanding. of the late derangement of our Indian

In 1845 Major Broadfoot was political finances.”—(Pp. 137-139).

agent. He was a man of great talent

and immense energy, but of a rather The better sword gives the better overbearing habit. In difficult and delititle! When such is the doctrine the Sikhs. ... Altogether, I believe the

cate times he certainly did not conciliate maintained, even by a man of the fact to be, that had Sir George Clerk repen, we cannot wonder at its finding mained in charge of our political relaà ready expositor in the man of the tions, the Sikhs would not have attacked sword.

us at the time they did; it might have But, in truth, Mr Campbell's sword been delayed: but still it was well that plea, having the merit of honesty and they came when they did.”—(Pp. 142, openness, is by far the best that has 143.) been advanced; and yet, as he shows, The annexation of the Punjab folit is only available in support of the lowed hard on the conquest of Scinde, right, and not of the policy, of the and both events may be regarded as measure. After-events, he observes, sequels to the Afghan expedition, and alluding to the conquest of the Pun- this again as but a fuller development jab, have given a value to Scinde, of the anti-judicial school, which, since which in itself it did not possess; but the downfall of the Cornwallis system, he has omitted to remark that the one has held almost undisputed sway on event very probably grew out of the the banks of the Ganges. other. The Sikhs, who not only had When a government essentially desrefrained, like the Ameers, from mo- potic, like that of British India, sponlesting, but had even assisted us in taneously engages to adhere to the our recent difficulties, had some rea- rules of judicial procedure in dealing son for apprehending that, in due time, with its own subjects, a pledge is the policy pursued in Scinde would be thereby given to neighbouring states extended to their own more inviting that towards them also its conduct country ; while, as if to remove an will be regulated on principles of jusobstacle to an apparently desired mis- tice and moderation. understanding, Sir George Clerk was We admit that the ruling power promoted to the nominally higher may thus sometimes create obstrucpost of lieutenant-governor of Agra, tions to its own progress along the and an officer, his very opposite in path of improvement; but it seems every quality excepting earnest zeal probable that such self-imposed reand undaunted courage, was appointed straints should more frequently opeto be his political successor at Lahore. rate (to borrow a term from the rail

Though he is little disposed to state way) as " breaks” to save it from any case too favourably for the party precipitately rasbing into acts of rashopposed to us, this peculiarity in our ness or injustice.


History confirms these conclusions, F. H. Robinson's pamphlet is written and shows the practical result to have in a frank conversational style, indibeen precisely what a priori reasoning cative of his earnest sincerity and his would have led us to expect.

real sympathy with the people of the Five great wars were waged in Upper Ganges, among whom his offiIndia during the second or judicial cial life has been spent. We could period of its administration--that is, wish occasionally that his language from 1793 to 1830. These were—the was a little more measured, for there Mysore war in 1799, the Mahratta

are passages to startle some of his war in 1803, the Nepaul war in 1814, readers, and so to impair the general the Pindaree war in 1817, and the effect of his otherwise interesting Burmese war in 1825. There is not pamphlet. one of these against which even a of the style, as well as the matter, plausible charge of injustice can be of Mr Campbell's more elaborate maintained by our bitterest foreign work, hardness is the chief characterfoes, or most quick-sighted censorious istic. Indeed, he seems to discard countrymen.

all ornament from the one, and all The acuteness of Mr Cobden him. sentiment from the other, and to aim self would be at fault if he were to at nothing beyond correctness as to try to make out a case against the his facts, and positiveness as to his authors of any one of these wars, to deductions. In this he fully succeeds. satisfy a single sensible man beyond His volume is a repertory of useful the circle of the “ Peace Society. facts, and his conclusions can never

But how is it with the wars which be misapprehended. Some of Mr have occurred since, wandering from Campbell's descriptions also judicial ways, the rulers of Gangetic amusing ; and we insert, as a speciIndia have pursued whatever course men of his lighter style, the following for the moment found favour in their sketch of the day of a magistrate and own eyes, with little or no reference collector in Upper India, that func. to the feelings of their subjects, and tionary whose labours are so little with hardly a show of deference to known to any but those of his own the laws enacted by their prede- service, o the people among whom cessors?

he lives. After enumerating many The Afghan war of 1838, the Scinde out-of-door duties despatched in the affair of 1843, the Gwalior campaign course of an early morning's ride, the of 1844, have each in their turn, espe- description thus proceeds :cially the two first-named, been made the subject of comments neither cap- At breakfast comes the post and the tious nor fastidious, but resting on packet of official letters. The commisindisputable evidence, and supported sioner demands explanation on this matby reasoning such as pre-formed pre- ter, and transmits a paper of instructions judice alone can resist. The two wars

on that; the judge calls for cases which in the Punjab come under the cate

have been appealed; the secretary to gory of the just and necessary; and Government wants some statistical inforLord Hardinge's generous use of the that the prisoners are growing too fat;

mation ; the inspector of prisons fears privileges of victory, at the close of the commander of the 105th regiment the first of these hard-fought conflicts, begs to state that his regiment will halt did much to re-establish our character

at certain places on certain days, and for justice and moderation. But still that he requires a certain quantity of these wars are, we fear, coupled in the flour, grain, hay, and eggs; Mr Snooks, minds of the people of India with the indigo-planter, who is in a state of those out of which they sprang, and chronic warfare with his next neighbour, share in the reproach attaching, in has submitted his grievances in six folio their estimation, to the invasion of sheets, indifferent English, and a bold Afghanistan

and the conquest of hand, and demands instant redress, failScinde.

ing which he threatens the magistrate We have now reached a point aspersion of his character as a gentleman,

with Government, the supreme court, an where we may stop to consider the several merits of the works on our

a Parliamentary impeachment, a letter to

the newspapers, and several other things list at the head of this article. Mr besides. After breakfast he despatches

his public letters, writes reports, examines tour in the Tyrol, he had met an inreturns, &c.

telligent Austrian general who, in the “During this time he has probably a course of conversation on our national succession of demi-officials from the neigh resources, said that he could underbouring cantonments. There is a great stand all the elements of our greatness complaint that the villagers have utterly, without provocation, broken the heads of except our Anglo-Indian empire, and the cavalry grass-cutters, and the grass

that he could not understand. The cutters are sent to be looked at. He goes

vast amount of administrative wisdom out to look at them, but no sooner appears

which the good government of such than a shout announces that the villagers an empire demanded, bafiled his comare waiting in a body,with a slightly differ- prehension. ent version of the story, to demand jus- The Austrian general, perhaps, tice against the grass-cutters, who have would not have readily assented to invaded their grass-preserves, despoiled the explanation of the marvel given their villages, and were with difficulty by the young French naturalist, Vicprevented from murdering the inhabitants. So the case is sent to the joint from the contines of Tartary, in

tor Jaquemont, who, in a letter dated magistrate. But there are more notes; some want camels, some carts, and alí August 1830, thus writes to a relaapply to the magistrate ; then there may

tive in Paris: “ The ideas entertained be natives of rank and condition, who

in France about this country are come to pay a serious formal kind of absurd ; the governing talents of the visit, and generally want something; or a English are immense ; ours, on the chatty native official who has plenty to contrary, are very mediocre ; and we say for himself.

believe the former to be embarrassed “ All this despatched, he orders his when we see them in circumstances carriage or umbrella, and goes to cut- in which our awkwardness would be cherry-his regular court. Here he finds a sufficiency of business ; there are po- translation of Victor Jaquemont's Let

completely at a stand-still.”—(English lice, and revenue, and miscellaneous cases of all sorts, appeals from the orders of his ters, vol. i. p. 169). subordinates, charges of corruption or

The lady whose three volumes come misconduct against native officials. All next under our notice is certainly petitions from all persons are received one of the most intelligent travellers daily in a box, read, and orders duly of her sex who has visited India since passed. Those setting forth good grounds the days when Maria Graham, afterof complaint are filed under proper head- wards Lady Callcott, amused her ings; others are rejected, for written rea- readers in England, and enraged son assigned. After sunset, comes his many of her female acquaintances in evening, which is probably like his morn- India, by describing the latter as ing ride, mixed up with official and demiofficial affairs, and only at dark does the

under-bred and over

generally wearied magistrate retire to dinner and


It is curious to observe how little to private life.”—(Pp. 248-249).

change the lapse of forty years seems Mr Kaye's essay recommends itself to have made in the outward pecuby the same easy flow of language as liarities of Anglo-Indian drawingmade his History of the Afghan War

room life, and how much in unison such agreeable reading. His plan the two fair authors are in their redoes not admit of his giving more marks on their own countrymen. tban a series of sketches; but his out- Mrs Colin Mackenzie, however, has lines are so clear, and his selection of enjoyed opportunities which her pretopics to fill up with is so happy, that decessor could not command, of obwe can safely recommend his volume serving the private and domestic side to any one who, without leisure or of Oriental life, and has evinced a inclination for more minute study of wonderful aptitude in turning these the subject, may still wish to obtain opportunities to the best account. The some general idea of the administra- great charm of her work is that it tion of our vast Eastern empire. In admits us within the Purdah, and lets a note at page 661, Mr Kaye informs us see what is hidden from all Eurous, that in the summer of 1852 the pean masculine eyes,—the interior, Duke of Newcastle told the Hailey- namely, of an Asiatic household. bury students that, during a recent It is pleasing to read an English lady's lively account of her own been, like the late Sir Charles Napier, friendly intercourse with families of one whose errors of the pen are more another faith, upon whom her indus- than redeemed by a career of long trious energy, quickened and regulated and glorious services. Still, though by a zeal for her own religion, openly this consideration may soften, it ought avowed and studiously exhibited as not silence criticism, for errors her main motive of action, cannot, never more require correction than we imagine, have failed to produce a when heralded by an illustrious name. deep and lasting impression. We An additional reason for not passing trust that Mrs Mackenzie's example over the last work of so distinguished may be followed by many of our a man is, that it contains many adcountrywomen; for the information mirable remarks on the Native army, in which, of all others, the English well deserving to be detached from functionaries in the East are most the mass of other matter in which deficient—that regarding natives in they are imbedded. The contents of their private and domestic sphere-is the book may be classed under three precisely what our ladies alone have heads : Censure of individuals ; centhe power to acquire and impart. sure of public bodies ; suggestive reMrs Mackenzie, it is true, mingled marks on the civil and military chiefly with the Afghans, who are a administration of India. more attractive race than the people On whatever comes under the first of India.

of these heads, our strictures shall be The Afghans, also, must have felt brief. inclined to open their hearts to the We find in the list of those cenwife of one who, both as a soldier in sured, the names of so many of the the field, and afterwards as a captive best and ablest men who have taken in their hands, had commanded the part in Indian affairs, either at home sincere respect of those among whom or in the East, that we feel loth to he was thrown. But though all can give any additional publicity to what not have her advantages, there is no we have read with pain, and would lady whose husband holds office in gladly forget. Public bodies being India, who, if she makes herself ac- fair targets to shoot at, the censures quainted with the languages of the coming under the second head are country, will not find native women open to no objection excepting such of rank and respectability ready to as may arise from their not standing cultivate her acquaintance, and thus the test of close examination. The afford her the means of solving some Court of Directors, the Supreme of those problems of the native cha- Council of India, the whole body of racter which elude all the researches the Civil Service (with one or two of our best-informed public function exceptions), the Political Agents, the aries. Having said thus much in Military Board in Calcutta, and the praise of Mrs Mackenzie's book, we Board of Administration in the Puncannot but censure most strongly the jab, follow each other like arraigned attempt at spicing her work with criminals in the black scroll of the gossipping tales calculated to wound author's antipathies. To notice all the feelings of private individuals that is advanced against those inamong her own countrymen, and even cluded in this catalogue would be of the officers of her husband's own impossible, for a few lines may conservice, with whose characters she tain assertions which it would fill a deals with a most unsparing degree folio to discuss. Of the East India of reproachful raillery, designating Company, the instrument through individuals as Colonel A., Major B., which India has been providentially or Captain C. of the Regiment, preserved from the corruptions of an stationed at such a place, so that aristocratic and the precipitancy of there cannot be a doubt as to whom a more popular rule, Sir Charles the anecdotes, which are always to Napier's view is not more enlarged the discredit of the parties, refer. than what we might bave got from

The difficulty of commenting on a bis own Sir Fiddle Faddle, of whom posthumous work is much enhanced he has left us (at page 253) so amus

the author happens to have ing a description. Though capable, as

we shall soon see, of rising above the is totally incompatible with the necesprejudices of his profession on other sary unity and indivisibility of a points, he looks at this singular Com- government. Yet it is admitted that, pany and its governing Court with in England, “when war comes, the the eyes of a Dugald Dalgetty, who, war-minister is the real commander," while pocketing the commercial body's -(p. 220.) The author evidently felt extra pay, accounts it foul scorn to how much this admission must tell be obliged to submit to such base and against his own complaints of undue mechanical control.

interference with his authority; for he But none are all bad, and we rejoice endeavours, by some feeble special to see it admitted at page 210 of the pleading, to abate its effect, and to unfriendly book before us, that “the prove the “poor Indian general," with Directors, generally speaking, treat his £15,000 a-year, to be more untheir army well;" and at pages 49, 261, favourably placed than his confrère in that the Company's artillery, formed England. under the rule of these very Directors, One circumstance, however, is such, is "superb, second to none in the that while the latter is excluded from world-perfect." Yet it never seems the Cabinet, the former can take his to have occurred to the author, that seat at the Council-Board, and his those under whose rule one depart- part in the guidance of the counsels of ment has reached perfection, are not the State. likely to blunder in every other, as in It is, we think, greatly to be rehis moments of spleen he made him- gretted that Sir C. Napier did not self believe. So able a man as Sir C. more frequently avail himself of this Napier could not always be blind to privilege, for by keeping apart from bis own inconsistencies; and accord- the Supreme Council he lost the ingly, in the midst of some declama- benefit of free personal communication tion on what India might be under with equals, and incurred the evil of royal government, he seems to have having none near him but subordibeen suddenly brought up by a thought nates, whom he could silence by a about what the Crown Colonies word or a look. really are.

The Civil Service is represented From this dilemma he escapes by simply as a nuisance requiring immesaddling one distinguished personage diate abatement. with the blame of all that is wrong in We are told that "a Civil form of the colonies, and thus punishes Earl government is uncongenial to barbarGrey for the speech about Scinde, ous Eastern nations." There is some made by Lord Howick, some ten truth in this, if a proper stress is laid years ago, in the House of Commons. on the word barbarous. In the first

To the Supreme Council of India, chapter of the fourth part of his work, though he was one of their number, Mr Kaye has shown how, in reaching the author never makes any but dis- the outskirts of civilisation, we are paraging allusions. Discontented with brought into contact with rude tribes being a commander-in-chief under a like the Beloches in Scinde, "to whose ruling body, of which he was himself feelings and habits the rough ways of a member, he sought to be recognised Sir C. Napier were better adapted as the head of a separate military than the refined tenderness or the government. He wished, in short, to judicial niceties of the gentlest and be, not what the Duke of York was wisest statesman that ever loved and in England, but what, under peculiar toiled for a people." But the error of circumstances, the Duke of Wellington such reasoners as Sir C. Napier is, was in Spain during the war in the that they would treat all India as barPeninsula. In this he was not singu- barous, and rule it accordingly. Now, lar; for we suspect that the real cause with all our respect for Sir C. Napier's of that uneasiness in their position, talents, we doubt much whether he stated at page 355, to have been mani- would have governed the more civilfested by many of Sir C. Napier's ised provinces of Upper India better predecessors, is to be found in a desire than the late Mr Thomason, whom he on their part for such an independency condescends to praise-(p. 37); or of military administrative power, as managed the subtle and well-man


« AnteriorContinuar »