1. Parliamentary Papers.
2. Speech of the Earl of Shaftesbury, delivered at Wimborne. Nisbets.
3. The Letters of Indophilus to the Times. Longmans.
4. A Glance at the Past and Future, in Connexion with the Indian Revolt. By MAJOR-GENERAL TUCKER. Effingham Wilson.
5. A few Remarks earnestly addressed to the Men of England, Political and Mercantile, upon the present Crisis in Indian Affairs. Darton and Co.
6. Papers on the Application of Roman Letters to the Languages of Asia. Longmans.
7. Reconstruction of our Indian Empire. By ROBERT LUARD. Effingham Wilson.
8. What shall we do at Delhi? By EDMUND WHEELER.
9. India and Europe compared. By LIEUTENANT-GENERAL JOHN BRIGGS. W. H. Allen and Co.
ONE of the most natural questions at the present time is, — What is the value of India to England? If it costs us so much to retain it, to what extent are we repaid? The Bishop of Oxford, in his speech at Chester, replies that, apart from all considerations of cost or gain, we are under an obligation to hold India for the physical and moral benefit of its immense population, providentially committed to our care. This is a noble answer, and will satisfy those who, in taking their views of national duty, wish to stand on the highest level. Others are always ready with the obvious remark, that we want an outlet for our young men, and that there is none in the world like India. This also satisfies many, especially those who have family relations with the country. Another class replies that the prestige derived from the possession of so grand an Asiatic Empire adds incalculably to our weight and dignity in the council of European nations. Others point to the fact that, from the very earliest periods, the commerce of India has raised whatever country has for the time possessed it, to the head of the commercial world; instancing Tyre, Alexandria, Venice. Portugal, the Dutch, and ourselves.
Any one of these answers is sufficient to show that India is at least worth the trouble we take in retaining it; yet many minds are never satisfied without some positive and tangible profit, and would feel great satisfaction in being able to say to themselves that we have made so much a year, more or less, by our possessions in the East. These often feel disappointed from the fact that England derives no direct tribute from India, our imperial exchequer never having received a penny from all our territories beyond the Cape, — a circumstance to which our continental neighbours, who observe our proceedings in the East with more interest than candour, would do well to direct their attention. Notwithstanding the absence of tribute, however, it is easy to give the positive man of profit and loss an answer as to how much India is worth to England. It would not, indeed, be worth while to do so, did the answer affect only such as he; but it is of a nature to impress nobler minds with a sense of the manifold debts we owe, individually and nationally, to the very land on which we are now shedding so much precious blood.
Among the recent parliamentary papers is one curious docu-ment, of eleven folio pages, entitled The Home Accounts of the East India Company. This return shows that the outlay of the Company in England for the last year has been nearly seven millions of money; but about two millions and a quarter of this, being railway funds, may be taken as raised in England, leaving more than four millions and a half laid out among us by the East India Company, out of moneys brought from India.1 This is paid away in a great number of items, the chief of which are, the dividends on East India stock, and the Company's debt; the charges of the Court of Directors and the Board of Control, with military stores and transport, and the support of Colleges. If we add the remittances annually sent, through other channels than the East India House, for support and education of families, the fortunes brought home, and other sources of income easily enumerated, it is certain that the estimate lately made by Mr. Montgomery Martin (in the Introduction to the new issue of his work on India) of five millions a year, is by no means too high. This accruing for sixty years gives us a total money gain of three hundred millions, or at least ten pounds a head for every man, woman, and child in the United Kingdom. 2
This, however, is but a small part of our actual yearly gain. The Indian trade, excluding the Singapore branch, is fifty-five millions; and some sixty thousand of our own population are always maintained in India, of whom say fifty thousand are withdrawn from the overcrowded labour market, and ten thousand from the poorer gentry. Families enriched by Indian for-tunes are settled in every county: residences for 'Indians,' which caused much outlay in their erection, and require much for their maintenance, have risen from Devonshire to Inverness.
These facts are sufficient to show the most sordid that the struggle in India is not for shadows, if looked at only from a financial point of view. Yet the less our attention dwells on that view the better in every respect, even as affects wealth itself; for we shall reap more benefit from the blessings of Providence upon a policy which postpones the interests of the moment to the welfare of the people whom we have to form anew, and considers less our gains than our duty to the Supreme Ruler of nations, than will ever accrue from one which cannot see either farther or higher than profit or loss of the current year. Every generous man will feel that the fact of his country being largely enriched by another, gives the latter a strong claim upon our best efforts for the welfare of its people; while every Christian will feel that those from whom we receive temporal benefits, ought to be specially remembered in the diffusion of our spiritual blessings.
It is remarkable how little additional light the lapse of three months has thrown on the causes of the mutiny. The great events with which the interval has been crowded have not brought to view proof of a concerted scheme for a general rising previous to the outbreak at Meerut; and therefore the po-sition of those who uniformly maintained that none ever existed is strengthened. This side is ably represented by 'Indophilus,' whose studies, talents, and opportunities of knowledge give him a title to be heard second to no man in the kingdom. He even maintains that the Hindus were the first movers in the rising, and that the Mohammedans only joined as taking advantage of their excitement. It is, however, increasingly manifest, — in fact, now beyond doubt, — that those who treated the affair of the cartridges as a trifle, or a feint, were totally wrong. Lord Shaftes-bury has called attention to the fact, — a fact of memorable, not to say of amazing, significance, — that the mutineers have never, in any of their communications or proclamations, alleged a single grievance suffered at our hand. The only exception to this which we can recall, was an allusion to the treatment of 'the ruler of Oude,' made in the Delhi proclamation, and implied in the overtures of Nana Sahib to the garrison of Cawn-pore. But, this one point excepted, let it be told to the wide world, that the men who stood up in Satanic frenzy to destroy us, laid no charge of wrong or cruelty against us. But equally notable with the absence of this is the constant reference to the intended outrage on caste by the unclean cartridge, whether in the evidence at Barrackpore, in the protests on parade, in intercepted letters, or in the proclamations. The resentment felt against this by the Sepoy is not to be set down to so refined a feeling as reverence for religion; but to the horror felt by all men against outlawry, of which loss of caste is the most dreadful form to every Hindu.
Whether there was a concerted rising fixed to take place on a given day, is at least doubtful; the arguments of Indophilus and the evidence of facts being strong against that supposition, though not, we think, conclusive. But certainly there was active con-spiracy and mutual excitement to insurrection going on long before the outbreak. We have not yet, it is true, seen facts alleged prior to the cartridge shock; unless in the case of a writer in Blackwood, who says that the Fifty-fifth at Peshawur were holding treasonable correspondence with a hill chief five months before the fighting began. But even this may only be a misstatement of a month; for all the other symptoms appeared after January.3 One point, however, has become tolerably clear, — that the mutiny had no connexion with Missions or Missionaries. The candour with which the press, at first disposed to the other view, has come round to the one which facts supported, is greatly to its credit; and among the tokens of encouragement which those who have long desired to see India Christianized may discern amid the present sorrows, none is more hopeful, or more unexpected, than the tone taken by most of our journals and political speakers. Let us hope that the same overruling power which is manifest in this bend-ing of thought into right directions, will dispose the British press and Government to a steady and courageous support of Christianity; then we should soon see the natives regarding it with more attention and candour than they have ever done.4
One of the most singular episodes of the whole rebellion occurred on the banks of the great central river Nerbudda, far south and east of Delhi, at Jubbulpore. The Commissioner, Major Erskine, had the singular happiness to retain the fealty of his regiment, the Fifty-second, stationed at that place. Month after month, they resisted temptation, and fulfilled their duties.
In the mean time a certain Shunker, a small Rajah of the wild Ghonds, had conspired with his son to murder the Europeans, and had probably secured the partial assent of the Sepoys. He was surprised, tried, and blown away from the cannon's mouth. But evidence was not wanting that he intended to set about his slaughtering devoutly; for the following poetical invocation to Devi, or Kali, the goddess of all cut-throats, was found: —
'Close up the mouths of tale-bearers,
Having chewed the tale-bearers, eat them,
Grind to pieces the enemies,
Kill the enemies:
Having killed the English, scatter them,
O Mat Chundu, (O mother Devee,) let none escape.
Kill the enemy and their families,
Protect Sunkur Mahades and preserve your disciples,
Listen to the calling of the poor,
Make haste, O Mat Hacbuka, (Devee,)
Eat the unclean race,
Do not delay, and devour them quickly,
O Ghar Mat Kalika (O terrible mother Devee).'
This effusion has excited amusement in England, but, with poor Shunker, it was as serious as invocation can be. Kali was to him a true, a terrible, and a present power, whose favour would give him success, and to whom the blood he should shed would be sweeter than nectar. Yet his verses hardly reach the height of orthodox ferocity; as any reader may learn for himself, who will turn to the translation of the ' Sanguinary Chapter of the Kalika Purana,' given in the Asiatic Researches;5 from which we give the following prayer: —
'Let the sacrificer say, Hrang, Hring, Kali, Kali! O horrid toothed goddess, eat, cut, destroy all the malignant; cut with this axe; bind, bind; seize, seize; drink blood; spheng, spheng; secure, secure. Salutations to Kali.'
The execution of Kali's sincere worshipper Shunker was too great a trial for the long-tested loyalty of the Fifty-second. That night they quietly deserted, leaving their officers unharmed; and one detached company let two stationed with it escape, while another carried Lieutenant Macgregor away. But this exceptional corps, hankering still after its reputation, sent a letter addressed to its Colonel: — ' To his Excellency, the Lord of Clemency, the bountiful of the age, his Excellency Colonel Sahib Bahadoor: may his power be perpetual.' In this they propose that he shall send them six weeks' pay, and also ten of their comrades who had remained loyal; and they, in return, will send back Lieutenant Macgregor, whom otherwise they 'will not kill, but, having bound him, will take him to Delhi.'
It need not be said that their companions were retained, and means taken for their dispersion. A Madras column, intended to relieve Saugor, where seven hundred persons were shut up without a European soldier within 250 miles, was recalled, fell in with the mutineers in a jungle, and defeated them with severe loss. Thus at the very time when the decided turn of affairs at the head quarters of rebellion began to point out to the Madras Sepoys that their interest clearly lay on the side of loyalty, this victory over Bengalees came to excite their martial spirit; and may possibly prove of some consequence in its results. Yet Saugor still remained in its critical position. And after the defeat of the Fifty-second, the mangled corpse of poor Macgregor proved that even they could not rise above the murder level of their nation. Had it not been for this atrocity, one must leave felt considerable kindliness to the Fifty-second.
That a station should be found 250 miles distant from the nearest European soldiers, is one out of many illustrations of the fact, that our system in India was not a strictly military Government, but stood in vivid contrast with that of our continental neighbours, even in their domestic territory. At the time of the outbreak we had only twenty thousand British bayonets in the Bengal Presidency, among 136,000,000 of people, many of whom have Princes and armies of their own; or about half of what is considered a good garrison for Paris, among a population nearly four times that of all France. Only three thousand British troops were in the whole of the Agra Presidency, twice as populous as Prussia. You might find king-doms equal to Bavaria with one station of European troops, some equal to Hanover with none at all. For a population equal to that of all continental Europe, we have about two hundred military stations; certainly less than France alone. Indeed, on the Continent one seems to be always among a conquered people; for soldiers swarm everywhere, and, in some German towns, you may count every third man you meet in uniform.
When, therefore, either home reformers or foreign critics tell us that our dominion has been one of brute force, we may smile at their innocence of facts; and, as to the latter, wonder at their modesty in provoking a comparison with the Governments they live under. Our French neighbours pity the Hindus; and one of their public bodies, Conseil, spoke of the mutiny as the rising of an oppressed people, un peuple comprimé. Now how do the two people compare? Not one editor or councillor in France can take a journey without leave of his Government; every Hindu could go where, when, and how he pleased. No Frenchman can call a public meeting of his fellow-citizens; every Hindu British subject could. No Frenchman can begin a journal without many Government formalities, sums deposited, and censorship perpetual; every Hindu could, without any of these, before the outbreak. And so we might go on, showing that in all points of real liberty the Hindu was raised far higher than the French citizen stands.
As to taxes, the Hindu pays upon salt, so does the Frenchman; and we condemn both Governments, but our own most. Yet the following comparison, taken from General Briggs' admirable little book,6 tells not unfavourably: —
AVERAGE PER HEAD OF TAXATION YEARLY.
In England, 1852 £1 19 5
In France 1 12 0
In Prussia 0 19 3
In India 0 3 8_
We may add, that in the city of New York the municipal taxes alone are about six millions of dollars a year, or some two pounds a head for all the population.
It is certain that the fearful troubles which have overtaken us have not been permitted by the King of Nations, without faults to be punished and repented of; but, on the other hand, it seems to us equally certain that those faults have not chiefly lain in severity or injuries to the people: for though our rule has been blameworthy in several respects, even as to temporal affairs, it has, on the whole, done more to save human life, and improve the opportunities of wealth and happiness, than any political change ever rapidly effected among mankind. To heated poli-ticians this may seem a random assertion; with us it is a convic-tion, the result of years of study, and based on facts which we are ready at any time to produce. Yet in the midst of a mild and beneficent reign, on a soil which we have purged of traditional blood-stains, and guarded from habitual devastation; from a people to whom we lead given security of life and property, freedom of conscience, person, and opinion, and from a class which we especially indulged; we are suddenly overwhelmed with all the humiliations which can be heaped on a people who eventually conquer. It seems the stroke of God: He, our King, is rebuking us; and this is pointedly declared in the fact that the calamity springs from ignorance of the religion we hold; for, had they only possessed a moderate knowledge of what our God and His service were, they could never have been deluded into the belief that we were going to convert them by hogs'-lard.
Ignorance of Christianity alone exposed the Sepoy to panic. That ignorance was not accidental, but the result of a studied procedure on our part; a procedure calculated on the principle of keeping Christianity in the background for fear of offending idolaters. It was done with open eyes, on purpose for a definite reward; and, as by a rebuke from Omnipotence, it is made the means of bringing down what only Divine mercy has prevented from being destruction. And just here is the manifest error of the only outspoken and masterly apology for the East India Company with which we have met among the recent issues of the press. A writer in Blackwood's Magazine for November, who defends the Company with talent and know-ledge worthy of a great cause, takes the ground, that they must have done their duty even in a religious point of view, because the motive of the Sepoys in rising was to resist forced conver-sion. But the very fact that they feared conversion by grease is an eternal infamy to the East India Company and to the British nation, which tolerated its trading in religion, by which our very army was kept so ignorant of our Christian institutions, not to speak of the spirit and power of our holy religion, as to be seriously disturbed by such bugbears. The constantly avowed policy was to introduce inventions, science, all material improve-ments openly, and Christianity by stealth. To this day many persons of experience think themselves profound and far-seeing in advocating the continuance of this course; though their stealth is the parent of the distrust which has exposed the Sepoys to the seduction of conspirators. Stealth is not English; stealth is not Christian, and that is enough. Stealth begets ignorance and suspicion; and we want knowledge and confidence. For knowledge of Christianity, of its toleration, its demand for conversion of heart and life, its precepts, spirit, and rites, will thoroughly assure any British subject, that from it he has only to anticipate protection in all things not contrary to law and order.
On the point of neglecting to Christianize our subjects in India, the reproaches of French and other continental writers are strong and better founded. No Englishman would advocate Government efforts at conversion, or inducements of office or public favour to converts; for that would only bring over crowds of hypo-crites. But we do demand perfect equality for the converted native with the unconverted, and indications that the spread of true religion is not a cause of uneasiness but of pleasure to the authorities. These can only be given in the pervading spirit of administration; but in that they must appear.
Our amiable friend the Univers, who loves us as dearly as a Jesuit is ever likely to love a powerful Protestant nation, tells us that our only hope of governing India well lies in sending out plenty of Missionaries of his own particular hue. We are not here in the region of mere conjecture; his recipe has been tried, not by us, but by Portugal and France; and with what signal advantage to those nations! In a curious work of Voltaire's, little known, his Fraqmens Historiques sur l'Inde et le Général Lalli, we have some light on this question. After Lally's battle at Wandewash, his soldiers mutinied, — not his Sepoys only, but his French troops, — and threatened to desert to the English, if not paid. He borrowed, he gave, and he laid his hand on a Jesuit named Lavaur, from whom he got thirty-six thousand silver livres, which he had reserved 'for himself, or his Missions.' Certainly a few Missionaries of this calibre might be of use in straits. Then came a great defeat, and a second outcry of the French soldiers, that they would go over to the conquering English, who could pay them well; but again one of the Missionaries, 'who was dignified with the title of Bishop of Halicarnassus,' brought in two thousand Mahrattas. This also looks useful; but what follows is not encouraging: 'They' (the Bishop's Mahrattas) 'did not fight at the battle; but, to perform some warlike exploit, they pillaged all the villages which still remained to the French, and divided the booty with the Bishop.' He adds, in a note, that the name of this worthy Prelate was Norogna, a Portuguese; and that poor Lally sometimes said to him, 'My dear Bishop, how have you managed to be neither burned nor hanged ?' The history of Portugal and France in India gives no great encouragement to try a contingent of Jesuits.
As our last article on the Sepoy Rebellion went to press, the telegraph announced the disaster at Dinapore. Then followed the darkest moment since the commencement of the outbreak. The force sent to relieve the beleaguered garrison of Arrah was greatly mismanaged, and miserably defeated. Disturbance rapidly overspread Behar; Havelock was menaced on three sides at once; and, for a moment, it seemed doubtful whether he might not be cut off, and the rebellion spread in one unbroken tide from Delhi to Calcutta. Hearts which never before quailed for an instant, did almost quail then; and, now that the danger is overpast, we may devoutly thank Providence that the worst was not realized. The bad effects of that Dinapore affair have been great: the province next to the metropolitan one overrun with rebels; Koor Sing emboldened; the supports to Havelock delayed; the safety of Rewa, Jubbulpore, and Saugor desperately risked; and the garrison of Lucknow, even after relief, plunged again into danger, — are enough of bitter fruit. We should blame poor General Lloyd for these disasters, only as we should a nurse at a boarding-school for the death of boys who had been placed under her care when suffering from a cold, and had been continued under it after the affection turned to scarlet-fever. He naturally thought that, notwithstanding his 'gouty feet,' which prevented him from acting with his troops, he was in mind and judgment equal, if not superior,' to the younger com-manders at the station, and, therefore, quite fit to treat scarlet-fever, or any other disease. On the other hand, we should no more exempt Lord Canning from blame, the whole blame, of what then occurred, and of the consequences which followed, than we should exonerate the master of the school for leaving boys to the nurse, because she thought she could manage as well as a doctor. General Tucker, in his pamphlet, gives the following statement as to the difficulties caused to the military authorities in removing incapable men from positions of responsibility: he speaks of the period when he was himself Adjutant-General of Bengal.
'Vacancies existed on the Divisional and Brigade Staff, and at once some half-a-dozen incapables were set aside; and the Commander-in-Chief thus secure, as he imagined, of the support of the Indian Government, nominated junior officers, considered more equal to the performance of such responsible duties. But the affair did not thus terminate; Colonel Stuart fell sick, and was succeeded, though he was known earnestly to deprecate such an appointment, by the present Military Secretary; and at an interval of some two years, the Corn-mander-in-Chief was called upon by this officer, in the name of the Government, to state more specifically the reasons for passing over one of these worn out, used-up, old Generals, a man who, in his best days, had been notoriously inefficient.' — Tucker, p. 17.
Such conduct as this in profound peace might be tolerated, were it not for the certainty that evil habits perpetuate themselves into critical times; but that any officer of doubtful physical or mental qualities should be left in charge when such an epidemic was abroad, is beyond the ordinary limits of folly.
The first relief from this gloom was given by the noble little band at Arrah. Mr. Wake and his comrades, surrounded by thousands, 'in a billiard-room, with open arches, which had been closed with loose bricks, whitewashed, to look hike a wall,' sustained not only a siege, but the terrible news that the force sent for their relief had been cut off: —
'They tried to smoke them out by burning large quantities of chillies (red pepper) to windward; to stink them out by driving Mr. Wake's horses (he had a valuable stud) up to the building, and shooting them there; and to blow them out, by a mine, which was countermined, and when the ground was afterwards examined, hardly a foot of earth was found between. The Sikhs were repeatedly offered 500 rupees (£50) each, besides other advantages, if they would give up the Europeans; but the faithful and merry fellows, several of whom bore honourable scars which they had received in their wars with us, only called out, “Come a little nearer, we can't hear;” and when their tempters had been drawn from behind their cover, they were saluted with a shower of bullets. Mr. Wake, knowing that he and his English comrades would be skinned alive if they were taken, arranged with one of them to shoot each other at the same moment, if it came to that.' — Letters of Indophilus, p. 39.
In the meantime, Major Eyre, with 200 men, all Europeans, and three guns, was advancing from a direction opposite to that taken by the unfortunate Dinapore detachment, and the annals of English gallantry contain nothing more memorable than the action at Beebeegunge. Attacking about 2,500 Sepoys posted in a wood, they drew that whole force upon them in a succession of encounters, until at last, surrounded on almost every side, they were apparently about to be hemmed in, and cut to pieces as of old the much larger brigade of Colonel Baillie had been by Tipu. But, instead of waiting for the attack, Major Eyre at the critical moment, gave his handful of Englishmen the word; and then came the cheer, the charge, and the victory. This first triumph was nobly followed up: Major Eyre, pursuing a sort of Rajah, Koor Sing, whom the Dinapore mutineers had joined, and who besides had raised a force of his own, bravely attacked, and brilliantly carried successive positions, till he dashed a manly and cheering dispatch from Koor Sing's house. This hopeful intelligence had hardly begun to reassure us before we learned that Havelock, instead of allowing himself to be hemmed in at Cawnpore, had taken the first opportunity of an enemy coming within reach, to march out and attack him. It was against Bithoor that he led his incomparable men to his ninth victory. Suffering as they did from the terrible heat of the march, — more than sufficient in itself to exhaust any men, — they nevertheless promptly and terribly defeated the enemy, capturing two guns. The letter of a soldier of the Highlanders recounts, with natural pride, that when the General rode up, and they received him with a cheer, he said, 'Don't cheer me, Highlanders; you have done it all yourselves.' On hearing which, Old England gave a hearty cheer both for Havelock and the Highlanders. The horrors of the mid-day marches under an Indian sun will be appreciated by those who remember the fact, that when the Seventy-third — one of the first, if not the first kilted regiment that ever landed in India — was marching against Hyder Ali, as Innes Munro tells us, 'two hundred of the best men in the corps dropped down on the road, overpowered by its vertical and scorching rays.'
Whilst Havelock kept the organized forces of the enemy at bay, his gallant coadjutor, Neill, was vigorously administering military government and restoring order in the vicinity of Cawnpore. We have seen nothing to give us the impression that this brave officer, strong and stern as he was, ever inflicted cruelties. He knew, so far as we are able to judge, how to distinguish between vengeance and punishment; and, whenever the latter was deserved, administered it with an energy arising from the conviction that he did right, and did not cause, but prevent, misery. He made the proud Brahmins sweep the British blood which they had murderously shed; but so far have those wretched men contrived to imbue some of us with their own prejudices, that even Englishmen have been found to reproach him for this. How they would have felt had they stood with him in those human shambles where the delicate limbs of English ladies and infants were strewn around, — where a room was discovered with large heaps of childrens' hands and feet, evidently chopped off during life, — where some twelve or twenty women had lain for a night under or amidst the corpses of their slaughtered companions, and then at morning been themselves slaughtered; and where the walls were scratched with such words as 'Remember us!' 'Revenge us!' — we will not say; but if they had thought then that to make the men who had shed that blood under the inspiration of a caste frenzy, wipe it up, as a humiliation of caste pride, was anything but a wise and appropriate punishment, we should leave them to their opinion. General Neill has now passed beyond the censures and the praise of men; but he will be ever remembered as one of those who most signally contributed to maintain the spirit of our countrymen in India, at a time when, had it been broken, even for a day, no one can foresee the consequences; and when much done by the highest authorities tended to break it.
We will not enter into any detail of the horrors of Cawnpore, — of that awful scene when treacherous destruction was poured upon the boats; or the further scene, when the captured fugitives having been dragged back, the husbands kneeling down to be shot, the wives clinging round their waists, and the chaplain reading a few hurried prayers, the dark murderers stood around, till the order was given to drag the women away, and when, all but one, who would not be separated from her husband, having been removed, the murderous volley, and then the slaughtering bayonet, concluded the second but not most tragic of the scenes. We will hardly allude to the last, when women and children only were the victims; but there is something so awful, so uncommon in what is related of the effect produced by its traces upon the Seventy-eighth Highlanders, that we cannot pass it without men-tion. Finding the hair of Miss Wheeler, the daughter of Sir Hugh, the men separated it from the head, laid aside the greater part to send home to her relatives, and distributed the rest in locks among themselves. They then sat down and soberly counted each man, how many hairs he had; 'and, when this task was accomplished, they one and all swore most solemnly by Heaven and the God that made them, that for as many hairs as they held in their fingers, so many of the cruel and treacherous mutineers should die by their hands.' This story, given by the Bombay Telegraph, has in it something of the wild Highland chivalry of vengeance, which seems both to give it a tinge of authenticity, and to throw us back three centuries. We almost feel as if we were in the clan and haunts of Roderick Dhu.
Such terrible episodes in the struggle may go far to show where the difference in point of ferocity lies between the Englishman and the Hindu. It is not that the nature of the latter is in itself more imbued with fury than our own; for in many respects it may be taken as milder; but that, in it, the cruelty natural to all races of men is not only unchecked by religion, which in Christian countries so exalts mercy and chides every unnecessary or malignant injury to the human person, but on the contrary is cherished at once by sacred rites the history of the gods. Such facts as those we have above alluded to, of the heaps of children's hands and feet found at Cawnpore, are nothing new in the history of the heathen; but only tell us how mournfully uniform the crimes and miseries of humanity have been through a long course of years. Visitors to the ruins of Thebes will remember, amid the halls of Medinet Habu, that the great Rameses, that Egyptian god-king, sits in those fine old sculptures with heaps of his enemies' hands piled before him, regularly numbered by the thousand, and other proofs of mutilation so barbarous as to be unmentionable. These melancholy stone witnesses of three thousand years ago only tell us that the splendid heathen Monarch of Thebes, and the polished heathen Rajah of Bithoor, the one on the ancient Nile, the other on the modern Ganges, are children of the same stock, with the same savage passions, destitute of the only training which has ever succeeded in humanizing men.
Among the many gloomy feelings induced by late atrocities, there is one which somewhat relieves us. The English press generally has taken every cruelty as if it was something espe-cially studied to dishonour us nationally; whereas, in fact, nothing has been done to us that may not be paralleled in dacoity, or the robbing of villages, much more in the greater shocks of war. The account given of a slaughter of Bengalee women in Agra, and the attempts even upon religious pilgrims on the Jumna, show that when once the old spirit of disorder was set free, by the momentary paralysis of our authority, the natives were as ready to loot, violate, and kill Hindus as English. It has ever been so, as we heave said above. Innes Munro, stationed within a few miles of Madras when Hyder's army suddenly announced its approach by volumes of flame and smoke, thus describes what remained after the hurricane had passed: — 'Villages all found reduced to ashes, and the streets strewed with slaughtered infants and decrepit old people who had been unable to make their escape.' This not upon Europeans, but upon natives! At the great battle of Paniput 40,000 Mahrattas remained prisoners in the hands of the Moslems, nearly all of whom were massacred, the Affghans 'alleging in jest, as an excuse, that when they left their own country, their mothers, sisters, and wives desired that when they defeated the unbelievers, they would kill a few of them on their account, that they might also possess a merit in the sight of the prophet.'
Lord Shaftesbury, in his noble speech at Wimborne, a speech as the Times said, 'worthy of the patriotism, the religion, the warm sympathies, and the sterling zeal which have always been connected with his name,' and which we are glad to see separately printed, gives us the following: —
'Where have you heard of such cruelties perpetrated in cold blood, when I tell you I myself heard a letter the other day, from the highest lady now in India, describing that day by day ladies were coming into Calcutta, their ears and their noses cut off, and their eyes put out; when I tell you that children of the tenderest years have been reserved to be put to death in cold blood under circumstances of the most exquisite torture, — not in the moment of excitement, as you may read in the pages of history, as when the town of Magdeburg was sacked by the Imperialists, — but here, reserved in calculating ferocity, to be tortured with circumstances of the utmost refinement and imagination before the eyes of their parents, who were not only made to witness the cruelties inflicted, but forced to swallow portions of the flesh cut from the limbs of their children, and themselves afterwards burned upon a slow fire to gratify the malignity and the hellish temperament of creatures bearing the human form?'
His Lordship had before said, 'These atrocities ought to be known as marking a period in the history of our race, marking that at this time, in the nineteenth century, men should be found in any nation capable of such prodigious crime;' and perhaps his auditors thought that his courage had stood him so far in stead as to enable him to tell all he knew. But no, he could not; for he knew what, if told, would have made every woman there shriek, and every man stamp with rage. We dare not write, and no Englishman (dare publicly speak, what Satan inspired the Sepoys to do, and Providence permitted to fall upon some of our national kinsfolk.
While, however, the natives are incomparably more cruel than Englishmen, the avenging oath at Cawnpore, and the fearful charge of our troops in every encounter, show that fury is stronger in our race than in them; and that the national influence of Christianity in keeping down cruelty and revenge is not to destroy passion, but to make it sleep till Justice calls, when it wakes up, strengthened by repose: and hence there is nothing human so terrible as the boiling of British blood. But in such conflict as we have been dragged into, we run great danger of degenerating from just resentment to habitual fierceness. Since government began, there never was a case where stern punishment was more loudly called for by every Divine law and human interest; and, therefore, none in which more care should be taken to make punishment tell with full moral effect, by separating it from all indiscriminate or heedless severities.
When Havelock's second capture of Bithoor, and Eyre's two swift-succeeding victories, had relieved the public mined, the aspect of affairs at Delhi began steadily to improve. From the moment when the command fell into the hands of General Wilson, a change of tone was observable in communications from the camp. The men were much less exposed to loss from the -enemy, without inflicting less upon them; and it was an en-couraging recollection that the new Commander was the first who had struck a blow. Marching out from Meerut on the 30th of May, some days before General Barnard reached Delhi, Brigadier Wilson, with 1,000 men, was attacked by 6,000 of the mutineers in the first confidence of their strength, flushed with their double triumph at Meerut and Delhi, and doubtless certain of destroying him and his little band. They were speedily defeated, with the loss of several guns; the General at the same time showing remarkable care for his own men. He had not been long in command at Delhi before he was joined by Brigadier Nicholson, fresh from his victories on the banks of the Ravee, and backed by a siege-train and a strong column. He had been only a few days in camp when opportunity occurred to test his value. The rebels marched out with a view to gain our rear, and intercept the siege-train which was approaching. Nicholson soon overtook them at Nujuffghur, and gained a brilliant victory, capturing much of their baggage, and waiting to blow up a bridge, which effectually cut them off from our rear. The siege-train reached the camp, the hour of doom was hastening, and a white flag came from within the walls. The rebels were willing now to submit, and to give up all actual murderers. The British Government,' General Wilson replied, 'holds no terms with murderers arid mutineers. We accept nothing but unconditional surrender. Any other rebel coming to propose terms will be hung. All future negotiation will be carried on at the cannon's mouth.' And presently fifty mouths of fire were vomiting destruction upon the devoted city. A few days sufficed, the breaches were practicable, the columns ready, and Nicholson was to lead the storm. The first men to move that day were the 'precious remains' of that wonderful Sixtieth Regiment of Rifles, who all through the siege had been performing feats of heroism, and of one of whom the record has been written, — ' J. Macpherson fought with nine bullets in him; the tenth killed him.' The Rifles sprang to the front as skirmishers; the columns knew the signal, and in a moment were rushing to the breaches. One moved, not for a breach, but for the Cashmere Gate, and, as it approached, twelve men, leaving the head of the column, walked forward, carrying powder-bags. A hail of bullets was immediately poured upon them from the walls and through the open wicket, but Lieutenant Home succeeded in fixing the bags, Sergeant Carmichael and a native being shot beside him, and then Lieutenant Salkeld advanced to light the match, was twice wounded, and tumbled into the ditch, yet holding up the port-fire as he fell. Serjeant Burgess succeeded in igniting the match; but, doubting of his own success, said to Salkeld, 'I am afraid the match has not lighted, Sir.' At the word 'Sir,' he too fell dead. This instance of the habit of military respect in such circumstances is quite as striking and more affecting than the well-known one of the man on board the 'Kent' East Indiaman, who, when the ship was burning and leaking, took time to go to ask an officer if he might use the rope of his hammock. But Burgess had not lost his life in vain. His comrade, Serjeant Smith, rushing forward to see if the match had caught, found it was lighted, just in time to shelter himself in the ditch. Then came the blast, and then bugler Hawthorne, who had stood beside the little party through the whole, sounded the charge, and repeated it thrice, and, as the other columns reached the top of the breaches, the one so heroically called dashed through the gate.
Within the walls Nicholson formed his men in that main-guard which was so often mentioned in the terrible narrative of the day of the massacre; and, moving forward, thence cleared the northern part of the ramparts as far as the Cabul Gate. Delhi was entered, but Nicholson fell. One-third of the whole storming force had suffered from the fire of the enemy, — a proportion of which we do not recollect any example in Indian warfare, except at the Duke of Wellington's great battle of Assaye.
The siege was now turned into a street fight, which lasted for six days; and the fact that in this time the loss on our side, additional to that sustained in the first assault, has been comparatively slight, reflects great credit on the judgment of the General. Our recent European history furnishes an instance of a street fight lasting four days in Paris, in which the insurgents had not the benefit of a strong fort, such as that within which the palace of the Moguls stood, or of a great magazine, or of a detached fort like Selimghur; and yet, of General Cavaignac's army, five Generals were killed, and the loss of his troops was so great as never to be fairly published. At the storming of the magazine in Delhi, the terrible British cheer, and the accompanying rush, scared away opposition, and its immense stores were ours again without loss. But the rebels afterwards made a fierce onset for its recovery. In the struggle, a Serjeant of artillery, mounting upon the roof, got a number of shells, and, deliberately lighting the fuses, pitched them with his own hands among the assailants, who very soon took to flight. We should like to hear that this man was added to the distinguished four, Home, Salkeld, Smith, and Hawthorne, on whom General Wilson promptly bestowed the Victoria Cross: proud badge, with a beautiful name. At last, the 'red fort,' of which the palace is part, was found evacuated, and Delhi was our own.
We have no clear statement as yet of the measures taken with regard to the townspeople. General Wilson's Order, delivered to the troops before the storm, has been much praised, but we were struck with one significant omission. He told the men to give the mutineers no quarter, — a direction which all would have counted upon, — and to spare women and children, — another point on which there could not be a doubt; but on the point where difference of opinion, or anxiety, could arise, he was silent, namely, what was to he done with the non-combatant male population. Considering the extent to which the soldiers might identify the men of Delhi with the proceedings of the mutineers, and the certainty that many of them had participated in the crimes with which the city had been stained, one could easily foresee that, in the rage of the onslaught, the troops, and especially the Ghoorkas and Punjabees, would be likely to deal death with an undiscriminating hand. Yet multitudes of the townspeople had no share in the rebellion but as sufferers. We, therefore, do not think that General Wilson's Order deserves any of the praise it has received on this point. He ought to have marked out a line for his men. From the private accounts of the proceedings, it is evident, that in different parts, and perhaps at different times, the troops acted in very dissimilar ways. Streams of townspeople, including both men and women, passed out through our camp unhurt. One young officer, writing, says, that 'when he saw men, who perhaps were the very ones who had taken part in the atrocities passing along, he almost felt induced to say that the soldiers ought to drive their bayonets through them; but that he took care not to say it aloud, lest they should take him at his word.' Others state that all who sought quarter, not being Sepoys, received it; and there seems an entire agreement that no woman or child was sacrificed, except by accident in one case. One says, 'Our camp is swarming with old men, women, and children, without food or money. They have lost everything, and are obliged to be fed by our Commissariat.' On the other hand, one writer says, that 'all the men were killed, and that forty or fifty, being found hiding in one house, were put to death.' Others say that those who were found with articles of European plunder in their houses, or who were suspected of having taken part in thee cruelties, were shot. From all these statements we may infer that some portion of the forces exercised the greatest humanity and forbearance, whilst others indulged in sanguinary licence; aced it remains to be seen whether the latter were English, or some of our native auxiliaries. We are ashamed to say that one writer, evidently an officer, expresses a strong wish that the General's Order had not exempted women from slaughter, because he thinks the women of Delhi had sufficiently shared in the practices of the Sepoys, and had shown such a disposition to plunder, as to deprive them of all right to protection. If it be true, that Europeans were found inside crucified, and a poor girl naked, and covered with sores, a raving maniac chained to a bastion amid a cannonade, and even children with their feet nailed to rafters, and their heads down; that men left wounded were soon after found with their heads cut off; we do not wonder at the men being wild. Yet, we think there is indication in the accounts that only they suffered who, by concealing themselves, made the men believe that they were guilty; and that all who sought quarter, not being Sepoys, found it. The current events of history con-stantly bear witness to the shortness of human foresight, and the presence of an overruling power. We all regarded the first delay in the capture of Delhi as a great calamity; and it did involve sufferings, and encourage outbreaks, which would not otherwise have occurred. But the continuance of our force there held the rebels to the one point where they could do least harm; allured fresh brigades to ultimate ruin; and, what perhaps is the most momentous advantage, brought the disaffection of the Sepoys fully into action, and thus forced the battle to be fought out once for all, on a grand scale. The prolongation of the struggle also secured the attention of the English people to India, and enlisted their interest in it, so that those who before scarcely knew 'whether Sanscrit was a language or a province,' begin now to have some glimmering of information; and those who had scarcely observed whether India was governed on atheistic or Christian principles, provided the politics of their own party were ascendant at home, now begin to feel shame and regret for the past, and to resolve to do their duty as citizens, and as members of the Christian Church. Our seemingly calamitous delays before Sebastopol led to the exhaustion of Russia; and thus at Delhi the same unseen hand which humbled us by toilsome months of impotence, was at the same time mysteriously advancing our interests and those of India. It now proves that General Barnard ordered the assault and that only a miscarriage in the arrangements prevented it: a result which we may now hold to be providential.
About ten miles from the city of Delhi stands one of the most celebrated architectural monuments of the Mussulmans, — the Kottub Minar, a magnificent circular tower, 240 feet high, built for the greater part of polished red granite, for the remainder of white marble, skilfully fluted, and surrounded by four galleries. It appears to leave been intended for one of the minarets for a grand mosque which has never been completed. This is precisely one of those impressive works of which declaimers are fond of telling the British Government that they would leave none behind them if their reign in India were terminated. Here, the aged representative of the Great Moguls, with his Zenut Mahal, (the Ornament of the Palace,) his chief Queen, surrendered to a British officer; the heir of a great line yielding up the last gasp of power at the foot of a proud monument. Two of his sons and a grandson, discovered by the same officer hiding in another spot of dynastic celebrity, the tomb of the Emperor Humayun, were seized and shot. The poor old man, ninety years of age, and his captive Queen, were carried back to the city which had so lately been filled with bloodshed in their name, carried into the palace that once was their own. On the same night, September 21st, that the palace of the Moguls received the Emperor and Empress as captives, hardly permitted to live, it witnessed another equally unwonted scene. The world has long heard the fame of' its Dewan Khas, its exquisite Hall of Audience, all lined with pure white marble, richly flowered and inlaid even to the floor; with marble arches opening into the imperial gardens on one side, and the court of the palace on the other; and even these are covered with carving, gilding, and inlaid work in admirable taste, with inscriptions in Persian interspersed; among which is the one made familiar to all by Moore's translation in Lalla Rookh, —
'O, if there be an Elysium on earth,
It is this! it is this!
There General Wilson assembled his heroic comrades to com-memorate not so much their own triumph as that of their country; and then the victor proudly pronounced words which everywhere awaken the loyalty of Englishmen, but which never have been uttered in a scene where ancient associations, recent excitement, and the prospect of future dominion concurred to arouse similar enthusiasm. No wonder that the health of Queen Victoria, given at such a time and place, was caught up with a cheer which rang out loudly through the marble halls of the palace: but here came in a new trait of strangeness; for the cheer was caught up by our staunch moun-taineer levies, the Ghoorkas, who were assembled outside; and thus the British Isles and the Himalaya Mountains united their voices, over the fallen throne of the Moguls, to hail the milder sceptre of our Christian Queen; while the helpless representative of the ancient line heard the final knell of one of the most glittering dynasties that ever proved the perishableness of human grandeur.
Among the pamphlets named at the head of this article, is one written with considerable ability on the question, 'What are we to do with Delhi?' advocating the solemn destruction of the entire city. This has been rather a favourite idea with the press; but in our last number we protested against ruining the dwellings of the common people, and would maintain that position with increased conviction. Others, again, propose that the palaces and gardens of the city should be bestowed upon our native allies, the Rajahs of Jheend aced Puttiala; but we should prefer that no palaces remained. Others would erect a new City, and make it the seat of our government, thus securing, as they imagine, the traditional honours of Delhi, with the other supports of our ascendancy. We should much prefer dis-mantling all the fortifications, levelling the palace, removing every public office, and everything which could contribute to the importance of the place; and then leaving it to the swift, sure work of decay. In spite of the court, the residency, and the garrison, and the other large government expenditure, the city has been declining; and we may learn how much its decrease would be accelerated by a course of simple neglect, from the example of Seringapatam, which is now an obscure place of twelve thousand inhabitants. True, Seringapatam did not possess the ancient traditions of Delhi; but, on the other hand. Delhi had not the modern power and enterprise of Sening-apatam. What now is Kanoje, which was so wonderful a city before the Moslem conquest? and what Oude, (not the country. but the city,) the royal metropolis of Rama? Let England not seek any robe of investiture from the Mogul; but, quietly putting him and his capital out of her way, confirm her power on new and better foundations.
The triumph of our arms at Delhi had scarcely been known, before Lord Granville, in his friendly defence of Lord Canning at thee Mansion House, dwelt upon the argument of success in his favour. Whatever success is due to him must be nearer Calcutta than Delhi; for he has had no more connexion with the proceedings leading to its fall than Lord Granville himself. Whether he has made the most of Calcutta and the resources arriving, there is fair ground for debate; but as to the North--West he has been a spectator; for not a soldier, or a shilling, has he been able to send from the Presidency. The eastern base of operations under Lord Canning, and the western under Sir John Lawrence, have been as independent as the fleets of the Black Sea and the Baltic were in the last Russian war. Apart from the army, and some little reinforcements from Bombay, Sir John Lawrence alone has presided over the course of the struggle north or west of Agra. Lord Canning himself has in worthy terms recorded his pre-eminent merit and services. Ruling the Punjab as he did, reinforcing our besieging army, and inheriting, to some extent, the claims of his noble brother; we believe most close observers of the contest felt something like humiliation in seeing his public acknowledgment from his country gazetted as an advance of a single grade on the scale of Knighthood. The difference between K.C.B. and G.C.B. must be greater in the eye of the Government than in that of the nation, since it thought it worth announcing as a reward for man who with kingly talent had ruled an excitable country, held down a mutinous army, and at the same time mightily supported a trembling empire. A coronet was seldom more nobly merited.
While the British prowess was being proved in the great attack on Delhi, it was still more wonderfully shown in the illustrious defence of Lucknow. Month after month Colonel Inglis and his memorable companions had stood alone against a kingdom: not in a regular fort, but in a place used as a residency. -Women and children were crowded in with the men, and as numerous as they; yet they stood on like heroes. Havelock came within two or three days' march of them, and drew off their assailants, giving an opportunity for a sortie, in which supplies were secured. Their noble helpers were compelled to retreat; yet this did not break their spirit. They wrote in good heart, and performed incredible feats. Long was Havelock kept waiting, distressingly long, — we felt it so in London; how must they have felt it at Lucknow? At length, after two weary, weary months, his reinforcements were up, and a bridge of boats ready. The sufferers wrote that they could hold good till September the 23rd; on the 19th, Havelock crossed the Ganges for the third time. For what reason we know not, the Government had sent a superior officer to supersede him; but this was Sir James Outram, who had the taste and honour to leave the command in his hands, and go on only in his civil ca-pacity. We believe that it was by Sir James's advice that we neglected to disarm Oude after taking possession, as we head done in the Punjab, according to Lord Dalhousie's sensible policy; and therefore, having involved us in heavy trouble by bad statesmanship, he acted with all the more discernment in leaving to another the military honour of conquering obstacles which would never have been half so great, had he not prevailed on Lord Canning to reverse the policy of his able predecessor. Havelock's tenth triumph was soon gained over the enemy in an intrenched position; and a charge of volunteer horse, some hundred strong, led by Outram, hurried the rebels into down-right flight. They were so hotly pursued, that guns were for-saken on the road, or pitched into wells; bridges were left standing; and the delivering army, small but invincible, swept on to its goal of real glory. They had reached Cawnpore too late; and if all the fury of tens of thousands could avail, they would be too late once more. It was the 22nd of September, one day before that to which it had been said that they could hold out, when Havelock's force caught the distant sound of guns. How those hero hearts leaped then! Their countrymen who, dead or living, had made an immortal history, were yet spared, and at their post! They would send them a message through the air.
We hate the horrid voice of cannon, and do not admire the man who, having ever heard it when it said 'sudden death,' does not hate it. Yet there are times when that odious roar is kindlier than the voice of woman. Such we have always said it is, when, on the open sea, the boom of a British gun says to the slaver, 'Yield up thy prey into the open arms of England.' Such, pre-eminently such, was it that day, as from a distance, from the direction of Cawnpore, it heavily rolled through the residency at Lucknow. How the pale women rose in their beds! How the soldiers would say one to another, —
'Did you not hear it? No, 't was but the wind!
How hearts beat during the pause! How the boys jumped when —
'That heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat!'
How faces change and brighten as boom follows boom, too steady for chance firing, too slow for battle, — boom, boom, each one clearing away a doubt, till at last the oldest and wariest permits the children to see his face beam all over; and then the twenty-first boom, and it ceases. It is, it is a salute, a royal salute for them! Old England at the door; Queen, people, all the nation crying unto them, 'We come!' How the babies were hugged at that moment! And what would one have given to see the eye of Havelock as he watched the flash of those herald guns! Surely that good man lifted it up to bless Him who had chosen him to send this hope to those who were ready to perish.
Three or four miles this side of Lucknow, a country-seat of the Oude Princes stood in the midst of a great enclosure, surrounded by a wall ten feet high, and called the Garden of the World, — Alumbagh. Here fifty guns, and a strong force, awaited Havelock. The post seemed impracticable; but our soldiers were there to do or die. The battle cry was, 'Remember Cawnpore.' After an obstinate struggle, the enemy fled precipitately, and Havelock, placing his sick and wounded under a sufficient force in this strong place, marched forward unencumbered. A flat lay between them and the city, a canal crossed the flat, and the enemy had no time to destroy the bridge. Our band reached it, crossed it, and now it was their turn to be affected by sounds from the distance. The garrison must have spent a night of horrible suspense, after the battle at Alumbagh. Were their friends defeated? It was wearing late the next day, when, amid the steady din of guns, a slogan from a bagpipe was caught by the fevered ear of a Highland soldier's wife dreaming in delirium. If the tale be true, she rushed to the batteries screaming out the news, 'Here's help at last!' The soldiers held their fire; then an awful pause; then a murmur of the men, a wail from the women, and poor Jessie Brown sank down on the ground. But after a few moments, springing up again, she screamed so that all heard even there, 'Will ye no' believe it noo? The slogan has ceased indeed; but the Campbells are coming! D' ye hear? D' ye hear?' They did hear the 'savage and shrill' note, which sounded to them as 'the voice of God.' And they 'all, by one simultaneous impulse, fell upon their knees, and nothing was heard but bursting sobs and the murmured voice of prayer.' Then they arose and sent across thee plain one loud, wild, exulting shout of joy, joy, joy.
As the deliverers pressed on, something unwonted broke on their ear; they listened, — it was the fragments of a cheer, a British cheer, borne across the plain; and see! handkerchiefs, flags, cloths, are waving, and hurrah follows hurrah, till they catch the cry, 'God save the Queen!' and return it with, 'Should auld acquaintance be forgot?' Stern was the hour of vengeance at Cawnpore, stern satisfaction in sorrow; but O how sweet this moment of glory united with joy! The rest was only the work they had come to do; fighting, and pressing on; fighting, and falling, and making head; and let the friends of those who fell remember, that they first heard the rejoicing shout of those for whom their lives were given. Slowly, but steadily, as the sun is hasting down, the standards of Havelock approach the second enclosure, where the flag of our fathers has not ceased to wave over the dust of' Henry Lawrence. And now Neill falls; strong-hearted Neill; who with his Madras Fusileers sounded the first note of encouragement which reached us from the feeble side of our operations, Bengal! But here, still pressing on, is the hero hand that placed the mangled, yet honoured, fragments of our sisters at Cawnpore under the sacred protection of the British flag; and for him Providence has reserved the second and the greater joy of delivering those whom the same wild beasts had so long hoped to devour. Considering the number, position, and discipline of the enemy, the battle of Plassey was eclipsed by the relief of Lucknow. Had we all been looking on when Wellington and Blucher embraced each other on the heights of La Belle Alliance, we should heave raised a cheer; but had we been looking on when Havelock and Inglis met, we should have dropped tears. That day of joy was the same as that one which our Queen, acknow-ledging the chastisements of God, published to her people a call to general humiliation.
Lucknow is the symbol of the whole train of providential dispensations through which we leave been led in this crisis: severe chastisement, pursued till it threatened destruction; wonderful deliverance, coming nigh to the actual manifestation of an unseen hand. How deep our humiliation at Delhi! how manifold, delicately combined, and yet obvious even to the heedless, the extraordinary circumstances which conduced to our final triumph! circumstances which those who will not speak of human affairs otherwise than as if our race were 'a fatherless world,' call 'un-precedented,' 'perfectly unaccountable,' 'such as the oldest could not remember;' while wiser men thankfully acknowledge, in seasons, health, the wondrous fidelity of raw native levies, and the unspeakable magnanimity of our meanest soldiers, clear proofs that He who afflicted us, was yet reserving us to fulfil, with more fidelity, His purposes of good to India. And what applies to these two cities holds good of all the events of the rebellion. It came sudden as a hurricane out of a clear sky, lashed the waves up on every side, foundered some of our stateliest barks, made all strain as if for dissolution; and ere help from us could reach them, the violence was overpast, and Lucknow even delivered. The blow was to fall in a way that would confound our foresight, and mock our boast of sagacity; the deliverance to come in one which would show that when Providence means to save, many or few are equally fit instruments. Our first victory in India, that which opened Arcot, followed a succession of scandalous failures, and was given to us entirely by a thunder-storm, without one blow struck by -human hand. Just previous to the present war, in which able leaders spring up in every march, was the long struggle of the Crimea, throughout which we were groping in vain for a General, to the astonishment of the world: and even the Royal Prince, now commanding in chief, was careful to say, on landing from the scene, 'It is a soldiers' war.'
The two elements of power among men are, wisdom and cou-rage; and in proportion as Providence would exalt a people, they are gifted with these qualities.
The cloud which had opened for a moment closed round Lucknow, for a second time, heavier and more charged wits thunder than before. They could not move the women and children, and were cut off even from Alumbagh. O for those regiments which were slowly sailing, as if to witness a fźte, instead of pressing to a rescue! They might — quite enough of them — have been with Havelock; but he was left to fight, and England to tremble and to pray; to tremble, not for the empire, but for the man who had done so much to save it; and for Inglis, and Outram, and the glorious fragments of their united bands. Thank God that they are safe at last! Sir Colin Campbell, after six days' fighting, has delivered them. Outram is wounded, Havelock's son wounded, but the great General seems yet unhurt. May he be spared to see the welcome England will give him whenever he comes
'A Civilian,' whom it is not difficult to identify with an author of some pretensions, hastened to Delhi immediately on the news of its fall. There it became his duty to examine the documents found in the palace, which threw some light upon the kind of government that had been organized during the Sepoy reign. It appeared that the King had not been military commander, and that his civil authority was checked, and his councils guided, by a body who bore not any native name, but that of a 'court.' This was composed of Sepoys exalted to dignities which also were worn under English names, 'Colonels,' a 'Brigade-Major,' and a 'Seketur,' that is, Secretary, which latter was the most important man of all. In fact, nearly all English terms were retained. One 'Colonel' prepared a memorandum on the best mode of governing the country; in which he states that there is no doubt that with all the faults of the English, their government was the best that Hindustan ever saw; and that the future administration should be based on their model.
In the first part of his communication, this able 'Civilian' lets us know that the army which had taken Delhi is totally exhausted; in fact, so overdone, that 'for all campaigning purposes there is an end of them for the present;' and his previsions are gloomy. But the next scrap of his letter, dated five days later, is written far on the road to Agra, the Civilian, having turned into march-ing companion to a 'pretty little force, three thousand strong, and equal to anything,' formed out of that army which he had just 'ended.' A battle had already been fought at Bolondshuhur; and though the Sepoys played the guns much better than we, they had to take to their heels, which the Ninth Lancers rendered unavailable for many. This was Colonel Greathed's first victory. His force passed on, the broken and flying rebels keeping out of its reach; but at two places little engagements took place, and a native fort was blown up, in which operation Lieutenant Home, the hero of the Cashmere Gate, fell; while about the same time his fellow starsman Salkeld sank under his wounds. Thus two names which had in a day become dear to all Britons, were on the morrow added to the multitude who prove that the pathway to glory leads across the highway of death; and that all gains which do not provide for the life beyond the grave, are but for a day. Greathed's column reached Agra, one hundred and forty miles from Delhi, early on the morning of the sixteenth day. They had made heavy forced marches on the last two days. Hardly had they taken a hurried breakfast, when some men beating tom-toms rushed forward, cutting down one or two of our men; and presently a large force was upon them, one of our guns taken, and artillery playing on our astonished camp. Then came a proof of what metal these men were made of, respecting whom our 'Civilian' had said that even before they started for Delhi 'there was an end of them,' and who were now beaten down by great fatigue. Out rushed the artillery; before a fifth gun had been fired upon them, they were sending back their thunder. Out rushed the Sikhs, prompt as Britons, and for the time as brave. Out rushed the Lancers, forgetful of all the charms of uniform, charging in light dress, and giving some bard of our time a theme for a new 'Song of the Shirt.' Out rushed a regiment from the fort, at a distance from the scene of action; and when they came up, the enemy were in retreat, almost flight, and Colonel Greathed had ordered a halt. But Colonel Cotton, of the new regiment, took the command, and would dash forward. The retreat became a flight, the flight a dispersion; and on they race for ten miles, forsaking guns, baggage, and all their valuables, yet not able even thus to escape terrible slaughter. A strong river at last stayed our soldiers and sheltered the dispersed survivors.
Thus, in less than three weeks from the capture of Delhi, a large part of the Doab (the land between the two great rivers) was completely cleared by a small force. Yet we could never understand how the press and Parliament united to place Greathed's march in comparison with Havelock's from Allahabad to Cawnpore. Both were meritorious in an eminent degree; but the circumstances were very unequal. Havelock marched early in July, just after the summer solstice, Greathed between two and three months hater; yet the former made hundred and twenty-six miles in eight days, the latter a hundred and forty in sixteen. Havelock had 1,800 men, Greathed 3,000; yet the former met his enemies in intrenched positions as many as 12,000 at a time, the latter never had to face above 5,000 or 6,000, and that only once, in open fight. Havelock had no cavalry to set on the foe when 'scattered to the winds;' Greathed had Sikh sabres and British lances. Havelock found an advancing and unbeaten enemy, drunk with blood, flushed with triumph, having their military and political head; Greathed followed a flying remnant, who had been beaten a hundred times, and were now leaving their head, their fortress, their capital, and their dreams behind them.
We make no pretensions to settle the respective claims of those worthies, whose appearance on the scene has been a joy to every family group, whose names we will never cease to honour. We only tell out our own feelings, leaving every man to form his. To our view, two men stand in front of the historic handful: John Lawrence and Henry Havelock, — the wonderful Governor, the illustrious General; civilian and soldier, worthy to bear thee burdens of England, entitled to receive her blessing. These men have earned coronets. Then we would place Inglis, Wilson, Greathed, Eyre: the last a greater man than the second, but confined as yet to a smaller sphere. These men have opened an account with the British empire; they have enriched us every one, with moments of patriotic pride, with tears of' joy which we would have paid for heavily could we have bought them; and he is not a Briton who would not wish the national reward to be such that he should feel that his own store, however small, had contributed some share. We believe neither Eyre nor Wake, the brilliant gemini of Arrah, is yet knighted.
Havelock told his soldiers, that since they conquered unaided, in the face of difficulties so immense, England would remember them as a stay of the empire in the time of peril. It is in the
calm day of coming peace, when we are settling down again amid our comforts, that these words ought to come to our remembrance. How are that General and those men to be rewarded? The effect of the first announcement of reward for Havelock was comic; a good service pension of a hundred a year! Our first impulse was to record our humble hope that the Government of this wealthy and magnanimous nation would offer Lord Macaulay a penny a line to write the history of Havelock's march. But this was not fair: the Commander-in-Chief cannot create patronage; so in giving all that fell into his hands he has done his best. But has the nation done its best? If Lord Dalhousie deserves five thousand a year, (and we would not grudge him a farthing of it,) wheat does Havelock deserve? He and Sir John Lawrence leave dared, and endured, and achieved greater things for England than all the Governors-General and Commanders-in-Chief put together, since Lord Hastings' day. Count up the means at their disposal, the dif-ficulties in their front, and the history they leave behind, and you will acknowledge that we do not speak rashly. Lord Dalhousie added territory, they have reconquered territory; and compare his campaigns of the Sutlege and Burmah, as to all that honours a nation, with those of Delhi and Cawnpore! A community ought never to remain in debt to an individual; so far, at least, as the amplest reward can acquit it of debt, for services which each of its members would have paid for beforehand within part of his blood. One thousand a year to Havelock, at sixty-three, in the heat and heart of battles! The campaigns of the Sutlege owed all to great armies, and nothing to generalship, yet they got a sixfold reward. If Havelock had taken twenty thousand men and three months to enter Lucknow, he would have been a Peer.
Then as to the soldiers, we wish to be able to recognise every man who fought at Delhi, Cawnpore, or Lucknow, wherever we meet him. Let not their decoration be the ever-repeated florin, which is all that English genius seems capable of inventing; and which, whether it is given for Kaffir or Sikh wars, or for the Crimea, we civilians cannot well distinguish, and do not much care. But there it hangs, whether on English breasts in Whitehall, or French in the Champs Elysées, or Piedmontese in the Strada del Re, always the same dull florin piece. The heroes of Delhi, Cawnpore, and Lucknow are not men whom we should be content to pass with the ordinary feeling of admi-ration for a brave soldier. They are family benefactors, in addition to being heroes. Even those of us whose wives have been safe by our side, and our mothers in the better country, feel nevertheless that they fought the battle of our wives and mothers.
They charged against fearful odds, crying, 'Remember the Ladies, Remember the Babies;' and now the ladies of England ought to remember them. It seems to us that no decoration fitly honours them but one coming from the women of their fatherland. Let gold be gathered by our ladies, not one atom being accepted but what has been worn by a British lady;
(some precious trinket would surely be cast into the collection warm from the person of England's Queen;) let all be melted, refined to the purest standard, made into the finest golden hair, and then let a braid be fixed, by a lady's hand, on the breast of every one who shared in any of the three combats we have named. Wherever we saw that braid of golden hair, if we did not actually take off our hat, we should do so in our heart. Were this project set on foot, by ladies fitly placed, so much would be given (ay, some widows would almost give their wedding ring rather than not share in the work) that enough would remain to make a noble memorial for Havelock, Inglis, and Wilson; for the widow of Neill, and the mother of Nicholson.
Among the prodigies of the rebellion, we must not omit Lieutenant Osborne, at Rewa, who alone, and so ill as to be prevented from lying down, able only to take rest in a chair; yet by the threat that he could take six lives before he lost his own, backed undoubtedly by that heroic stamp of character which alone gives moral power to such threats, held a mutinous regiment in dread, and had his messages conveyed through a disturbed kingdom, till the turn of the tide brought Madras troops to his neighbourhood, and then all fell before this still lonely man. Rewa is a kingdom of one million two hundred thousand inhabitants.
The return tide set in earliest from the north-west, and from that direction it has run the strongest since we last wrote. In the interval, Sir John Lawrence has enabled the Generals whom he supported to take Delhi, clear the Doab, relieve Agra, and reach the outpost of Lucknow. During the same period Lord Canning, on whom all the reinforcements of the Chinese expedition and the Cape have poured in, has been so much hampered by the doings of Lloyd's Loyals, that he has been able only to send an inconsiderable reinforcement to Havelock, with which none but men so chivalrous as he and Outrane would have crossed the Ganges to invade a country with four hundred forts, and perhaps seventy thousand combatants. Happily, Sir Colin has now got his home-help at hand, and is in the field. The return tide from the south has been irregular, — destitute of that character of prodigy which marked the civil direction of the movement from the north-west, and the military conduct of that from the east. Yet our position now is, on the whole, greatly improved, in comparison wide what it was three months ago. Many then thought us sanguine; yet we did not venture to predict that before the reinforcements from home took the field, Delhi would fall; the whole country thence to Calcutta be opened; Lucknow be twice and effectually relieved; the Gwahior force be driven from its own state, the Indore one helplessly routed, and the political danger of the empire com-pletely overpast; nothing remaining but to clear Oude, and extinguish embers in different provinces.
As to the effects of the rebellion, we said before that one of the first would be a restoration in the native mind of the old dread of British prowess. Perhaps many then thought this in-ference doubtful; but so extraordinary have been the displays and results of valour, that we may confidently anticipate that the na-tive mind, for a while possessed with the idea that fate had sealed our doom, will rapidly veer to the opposite opinion that the Heavens fight for us. They were looking for our destruction, and perhaps will reason like the Maltese barbarians as to Paul:
'After they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.'
We also said that the display of our national resources would be equally impressive with that of individual prowess; and now that each of the Presidencies weekly witnesses the arrival of more and yet more of those forces which come too late to see the crises of the rebellion, but in time to confirm our triumph, this will not admit of a doubt. Yet on this point we have much to regret. No one need say that proper vigour was used at Calcutta in providing transport, in finding horses, (which might have been brought from Madras by dismounting a regiment or two,) in using the Ghoorkas, or in disposing of forces that arrived. Troops enough to make Havelock secure were kept watching dis-armed Sepoys, when these might have been put on board ships, and kept out of mischief; but that would not be agreeable to them, nor indeed quite regular. We need only write the word Dinapore to recall a melancholy waste of power. The Home Government, also, unhappily trusted to the opinions of the Calcutta authorities, and lost weeks in sending reinforcements, when every moment lost was a life lost. Even after the news that mutiny had become full blown and triumphant rebellion, slow ships were employed. True, when Lord Palmerston became fully awake, and took matters into his own hands, amends were splendidly made. Yet the fright-courage of Lord Canning, who would not take precautions for fear of showing weakness, and the excellent ignorance of Mr. Vernon Smith, led the Government so far astray, as to endanger Havelock and Outram, and replunge Inglis into the gulf of uncertainty from which we had hoped he was finally snatched. It is noble in a powerful Minister, like our Premier, to stand by damaging subordinates, up to a certain point; but when it is no longer damage alone to his own power and influence, but to the public welfare and the national sympathies, nobleness is better shown by returning them to the obscurity they would adorn. What a blessing it would be were Lord Canning in the Post-office, and Mr. Verdant Smith in some green park in Northamptonshire!
We are very far from going the length of the Calcutta people, who have served Lord Canning greatly by their intemperance; but on the other hand the idea put forth by his friends, that he is unpopular only at Calcutta, is unfounded. He is unpopular in England, and odious in India. It is equally incorrect to date his unpopularity, as his advocates carefully do, from the passing of the Act against the Press. That Act greatly and justly increased his unpopularity; but long before its appearance, the British community in India felt itself without a competent head. Its members were at first prepossessed in favour of Lord Canning, but daily events proved that they were in the hands of an ordinary man without Indian experience, at a crisis which demanded an extraordinary man with Indian experience. And this ordinary inexperienced man could despise information, could smile at warnings, could risk empires, and be cold and changeful; afraid to take measures, and therefore forced to run risks, which are vaunted as proofs of courage! He is not equal to the post, either in ability or experience; and therefore, as Lord Palmerston must now feel that he has done all that the most chivalrous friendship could demand to sustain him, we trust he will put into his place an extra-ordinary man with Indian experience; and Sir John Lawrence, as Mr. Kinnaird plainly enough told the House, is such a man.
Lord Ellenborough is set up by both Lord Derby's friends and some extreme liberals, as the true and proper man. His Lordship is in his place making able speeches, well worth hearing and sifting; but preserve us from a second reign of his in India! Lord Canning is too cold to permit the metaphor that such a change would be 'out of the frying-pan into the fire;' but it would be out of the shallows into the whirlpool. The man who with loud paeans restored the importance of a temple which had boasted, as part of its appointments, of five hundred dancing girls, many of them daughters even of Rajahs, is not the one to be again intrusted with the honour of' England in the East. Nor is one who never lost an opportunity, in his speeches, of setting Christianity at a disadvantage in its conflict with the atrocious superstitions of India, until the loud, voice of public horror compelled him during the late short Session to he cautious, the one to inaugurate a new régime of frank and elevated Christian statesmanship. One of the bad effects of the Government defences of Lord Cameeeing is, that many are driven to look to this undesirable alternative.
The effect which we before pointed out, of a juster estimate of native character following these events, is daily becoming more apparent. With the light we now have it is partly amusing, partly distressing, to read the solemn evidence given by our greatest Indian statesmen to Parliament on this point in former years. Warren Hastings, in 1813, with singular expressions of solemnity, repelled the charges of vice brought against the natives, and affirmed that they are 'as exempt from the worst propensities of human passion as any people on the face of the earth;' and added, to guide our legislature, 'Gross as their modes of worship are, the precepts of their religion are wonderfully fitted to promote the best ends of society.' Sir John Malcolm, making an exception against the Bengalees Proper, (from whom no Sepoys were taken,) says of the rest, 'They are brave, generous, humane, and their truth is as remarkable as their courage.' He especially refers to the very nations who have been conspicuous in the late outrages. Another truly great man, Sir Thomas Munro, informed the same Parliament, 'If civilization is to become an article of trade between the two countries, I am convinced that this country will gain by the import cargo;' one of the marks of civili-zation among them, which he singles out for emphasis, is, 'a treatment of the female sex full of confidence, respect, and delicacy!'
These statements were soberly made by men of real discern-ment, with high reputation to lose; and are a fair sample of that 'traditionary' creed respecting the Hindu religion and institutions, of which an apt modern exponent is 'P.' in the Times; whom we cannot mention without expressing our admi-ration of the masterly style in which that journal blew the dust to leeward, which was cast in our eyes by 'traditionary' P.'s and Q.'s. Stark staring facts now tell the world that the Missionaries alone understood the true character of the Hindus; and the public is painfully but conclusively taught that their religion is a source of wickedness and misery so great, that no good man can help wishing to see it forgotten, or bidding God speed to all who labour to supplant it by 'the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.'
Yet we fear that in India the revulsion from old feeling is proceeding too far. No wonder that so many horrors should create intense dislike; and especially when the Government seemed bent, even at the height of the crisis, on crossing the Europeans on whom it depended, to flatter the miserable Bengalees who dare not fight, but know well how to put on airs. It showed, we think, ignorance of human nature, both native and English, as great as could be imagined; greater than beforehand any of us would have set down as possible to be carried out in practice. The British are generous and forgiving; and had their just desire for strong measures been met at the crisis, their generosity would have corrected excessive aversion after the worst was past. Instead of this, they have been galled into a state of soreness which years of wise and healing rule will hardly cure. Instead of making every native feel that when n it came to a question of force, England was stern in her strength, and so turning them into ready and faithful adhe-rents, we gave them all the impression that we were holding our own by their indulgence, and were deeply anxious to com-mend ourselves to their forbearance; thus aggravating diffi-culties for the present, and preparing disasters for the future.
Yet the deep hatred of everything native which now breathes in India, natural as it is, and heightened as it may be by feeble policy, is a bad and a dangerous thing. It is so un-English, that the only fear we leave of its lasting is on the ground that if a weak system of government continue, irritation may be kept up till it becomes settled. We wish for vigour now, because we wish for beneficence always. The natives are not the innocents. and their institutions are not the models, represented by 'tra-ditionary' officials; but, on the other hand, let us ask what we should be ourselves, had we been brought up to worship Kali and Siva; to pray to cows, snakes, and monkeys; to look on torture by fire, by spikes and hooks, on death by crushing, burning, drowning, as religious acts; to have every place of worship furnished with prostitutes, every sacred story redolent of lust; and to believe that all mankind, whether neighbours or foreigners, except our own caste, were of a different nature, which no change could elevate to ours, and no number of gene-rations bring nearer? To us the wonder is, not that Hindus have depths of vice which would make even bad men here quake with horror; but that with their disadvantages they yet retain so much that is amiable. We spurn with far more feeling the contempt which would treat them as incapable of elevation, than the flattery which represents them as already too good to need Christianity. They have all the elements of our own nature, and, when blessed with 'pure religion aced undefiled,' will become among the foremost of mankind, if not in vigour, yet in social virtues, intellectual feats, and the gentler arts of life. They are -not to be hated, hunted, and beaten down; but to be firmly ruled for their good, with an outspoken display of moral superiority, and a careful disregard of prejudices which hinder their improvement. To infuse into the English the feeling that they are the Normans and the natives the Saxons, according to Lord Ellenborough's * unhappy illustration, is what we should denounce. Their relative positions are to be totally different. The English do not want to replace them, to absorb them as a people, and as proprietors. Our only national ends are those which are best, incomparably best, for the Hindus. Were it not our duty to make their happiness, prosperity, and moral elevation, the great aim of our rule, it would be our interest.
Even in the present fearful times how many traits of native fidelity have been recorded, some as elevated as history can produce! The Meerut storm had only swept over, when a white child was brought in by a Fakir, who had rescued it; and when offered a reward, he refused; but requested that a well might be dug in his name. And we trust that hereafter Christians to whom that name will not sound foreign will often by that well think on the good act done by Himam Bhartee of Duroura. Even in Oude, many of our hunted countrymen found good friends and faithful shelter; and in many a village the Hindu women showed real womanly tenderness for sufferers; not a few were concealed, fed, and clothed by Brahmins. That beautiful tale told by a lady from Aurungabad ought never to be forgotten. A trooper warned two ladies in time, got them away, and one of his debtors says: —
'We continued the journey for several successive days, till we reached Ahmednuggur, and he endeavoured the whole time, by the most vigilant attention and kindness, to lessen the discomforts of the road. In the course of the four or five days I several times offered him a bag of rupees, which I begged, nay, besought him to take and use as freely for his own wants as for ours; but I could only persuade him to take very small sums from time to time, as they were required for our expenses. Again and again, in the course of our subsequent intercourse, knowing him to he much embarrassed by a large and unavoidable addition to his usual expenses, I begged him with great earnestness to allow me to relieve his necessities, or even (as I found it impossible to induce him to listen to this proposal) to accept any sum he might require for a time, and till possibly he might be in better circumstances. He said it would be a “great disgrace” to him to accept money from me, and that he only desired “that his name might be good” among the English, and neither by tears nor entreaties could I ever persuade him to change his mind. I had some difficulty in inducing him even to accept as a memorial a ring of little value, which I chanced to have on my finger when I bade him farewell; but the tears streamed from his eyes when I told him I felt I owed him more than ever I could repay, and that to the latest hour of my life I should consider him one of my most valued friends.'
Now the name of Booran Bucksh ought to be 'good with the English,' while they have a history. His noble acts and manly tears ought to assure us all that the foul deeds which have been perpetrated come not from creatures of a different blood to our-selves; but from a branch of our own fallen family, still under the debasing influence of superstitions, above which the blessed Gospel has raised ourselves.
The position of the native Princes in this conflict should never be forgotten; Rajpoot, Mahratta, and Sikh, Ghoorka and Moslem, they heave entitled themselves to respect for prudence at least, many of them for active and courageous help. Holcar and Scindia both contended, at personal risk, against bodies of troops disciplined by us. The Nizam and his Minister energetically and effectually co-operated within that excellent officer General Coffin, in preserving peace at Hydrabad. A Rajah from Oude sent succours to the refugees at Nynee Tal, in spite of threats that his life would be taken. And as to the two Rajahs of Jheend amid Puttiala, especially the latter, it is impossible to speak too highly either of their conduct, or of the actual debt we owe them. Had they been faithless, or even lukewarm, our brave force at Delhi might have perished at its post. Were all the instances of devotion to us and our régime collected, we doubt whether anything equal could be shown in history, as manifested toward a dominant handful of foreigners, when to native eyes their cause seemed desperate. We hope that more spirit will be shown in rewarding our native friends, than has yet appeared in our treatment of our own heroes.
The effects of the outbreak upon religion in India cannot be small. Ostensibly, it arose from a religious panic, which itself showed at once the absurdity of the system which the Sepoys prided in, and their amazing ignorance of that which their masters were afraid to display too openly. Moslem and Brahmin joined hands against Christians, as such. Even in the court of Delhi, as it now proves, in forming plans for their future government, they stated that ours was the best they had ever known. But ignorant of our religion, and seeing it kept in the background, they naturally believed it to be deceitful, and rose against an imagined stroke of guile. Thus, then, for the first time, Chris-tianity has had its martyrs in India, native as well as European. Not a few Hindus have died because they believed in Christ. Some of them were Preachers of the Gospel; and their blood will form the seed of future Churches. On Mohammedism the effect must be disastrous: the grand old pageant at Delhi is no more; the power of Oude will be completely broken; tens of thousands of their bravest men will fall or be transported; large numbers of their subordinate chiefs be ruined, and multitudes of their families scattered to the winds. Their loss in population will be great, in influence incalculable.
As to the Brahmins, their positive loss in men will be greater; the infamy of Nana Sahib will rest upon their caste, and military life will be closed against them. In the eyes of the mass of the population both of these classes will appear to be placed under the ban of Fate. Had our authorities the honesty which either of them if triumphant would have, to proclaim aloud, that our trust being in the one living and true God, His hand has been mightier for us than all the gods of our enemies against us; the natives would believe it, feel it, and unconsciously prepare to accept our faith. Whether the 'traditionary policy' will be too strong for this simple act of Christian gratitude and manly honesty, we cannot say. A better spirit is among our public men, and they may tell the Hindus plainly what is true, and what it would be a blessing for them to hear. But whether they do or not, those whose joy it is not to wait on human powers, but to serve the King of Kings, will proclaim the fact which they gratefully feel, and many a native will own its truth. Gathering earnestness from the blood of slaughtered converts, and courage from the manifold tokens that India is given by Pro-vidence to Christian ascendancy, the followers of our Redeemer will not only renew, but much extend, their efforts, and with greater effect than ever.
It is true that Lord Derby even to-day, with a dis-play of feeling and information which would have been more worthy of that remarkable Indian statesman Lord Broughton, throws superb doubt on the prospects of Christianity in the East, albeit he does it the honour to wish it success. Does Lord Derby believe in his heart that the thinking, inquiring Hindus are to continue worshipping cows, ghosts, serpents, and devils to the end of time? Does he believe that the Father of all men has no better thing in store, for so large a branch of our human family? Does he know that already nearly seven hundred Hindus are preaching the Gospel? that about one hundred and twenty thousand are his fellow Protestants? that the Christians of Krisnagur petitioned Government to be employed in conveying stores to thee seat of war, and were refused by Lord Canning, because they volunteered as Christians, not as subjects? that in Central India, when mutiny was rife in a Bombay regiment, sixty native Christians being in it kept the Colonel acquainted with all that was going on? — a fact which illustrates what might have been the case in most regiments, had our policy not been to discourage conversion.
The measures now to be adopted with a view to the future, affect the suppression of the revolt, the re-organization of the army and administration, the progress of enlightenment, and the relations of the Crown and Cabinet to the Indian Government. As to measures of suppression, they bear first upon rebel Princes, not one of whom should be allowed to stay in India, whether great or little; and such as have been guilty of murders should be punished just as common murderers.
After the Princes come the Sepoys, who from mutineers became rebels, and emboldened if they did not induce all the others. We entirely agree with 'Indophilus' in the view, that when large numbers of these shall fall into our hands, wholesale slaughter in cold blood would disgrace us; and that to send them down the country in chains for transportation across the terrible 'black water,' — that water which at once will destroy their caste and shut out the hope of home,. — will heave a greater effect on the imagination of the natives than any amount of killing, which is in their traditions a tale twice told. But let no slackness be used in tracking these men out. Mercy quite as much as justice demands that, 'on the anti-Thugee principle,' every village, every haunt should be scoured, and not a man who fought against 'his salt' be left to propagate the idea of future crime.
As to the people, those who have only followed chieftains in arms, ought to be let escape; those who are convicted of murder or robbery punished. But burning villages is a barbarous proceeding which makes no moral impression, except that you are the strongest for the moment, and as bad as others. Transpor-tation of a few Head-men would have far more moral weight.
As to the reorganization of the army, every day tends to incline us more and more to Colonel Macdonald's view, that we ought to have no regular Sepoy army whatever; that, local forces for extra military duties being organized, and the native police system perfected and carried out, the army for real war should be British, with the exception of very subordinate corps. We take for granted that one Sepoy disciplined by us is worth three native soldiers of any other school. The present war has proved a hundred times over that one British soldier is worth five Sepoys after the best training. One to ten has been the ordinary proportion for our men against the most accomplished enemy India could produce; and as to the other forces which have often joined the Sepoys, they hardly wait to count them. It is a perfectly safe calculation to say, that an army of eighty thousand Britons is equal to a Sepoy force of four hundred thousand. At the battle of Maharajapore in 1843, Lord Gough led 14,000 men to attack 18,000 Mahrattas. At Goojerat he had 24,000 against 60,000 Sikhs. The metal of the army was not British steel, but an alloy. Let every man in Asia know that every rifle and cannon in India is in trusty hands.
In the new administration of the country, the very first step ought to be the disarming of all the people, and dismantling every petty fort. Carrying arms is the resort of those who are cursed with barbarous Governments. A strong Government is a general protector; and the example of the Punjab gives great hope as to the result of depriving the natives of a temptation to plunder and fight.
A chief point in the new administration of India is one on which we take it for granted that the mind of all is made up; namely, that henceforth all public acts should be done in the name of the Queen, and not of the Company. Fancy the efforts of a native to get an idea what the Company is! 'Is it a King?' 'No.' 'An army?' 'No.' 'A religion?' 'No.' 'It is a sabé.' 'Ah, a society?' 'Yes.' 'Of Padres [i.e., parsons] ?' 'No.' 'Of Kings?' 'No.' 'Of officers?' 'No.' 'Of Pundits [i.e., learned doctors]?' 'No; of merchants!' 'Of merchants! Ah, a society of merchants! and does the society of merchants do the sirkar business (the Government) of England?' 'No, the Queen does that!' 'And does the Queen do the sirkar business of Ceylon?' 'Yes.' 'Not the Company! And who is highest, Queen or Company?' How often have we been put through such a catechism! We suppose it was some one who was puzzled under it, that invented the answer which is not un-common in India, That the Company is an old woman that never dies.
When the Rajah of Puttiala, our staunch and helpful ally, was at Calcutta, Lord Dalhousie gave him many presents from the Company, on which he looked with more or less interest; but on a portrait of the Queen being presented, he took it in both hands, raised it above his head, and bowed under it. We ought to set before the mind of every native an intelligible idea of a sovereign power. This can be done by proclaiming Her Majesty Queen of India; and occasion ought to be taken then to declare once for all the relation of the Crown and Government to religious questions; our own Christianity being fully stated, and its principles of toleration, of opposition to purchased, forced, or hypocritical conversions, announced; and then the protection which we give to all in their religious observances, placed on its true basis, not of 'respect' to their superstitions, but of obedience to our own religion. This frank and true position can be understood and will be trusted in; but professions of respect for heathen abominations, and opposition to the spread of our own religion among the natives, are things not to be believed in. They will beget distrust, as will all quibbling.
The Queen proclaimed, the Governor General ought to be Viceroy, with power of conferring Knighthood; and some native order of nobility should be bestowed on meritorious Rajahs. We would have no more councils than one; but several Governors, acting like Sir John Lawrence, or Sir Mark Cubbon, independently of councils; men, in fact, and not boards; and, consequently, fit men, and not pets sent there to be provided for. If any new native States are constituted, or any of the confiscated ones continued in separate identity, it would not be amiss to try Dhuleep Singh, the young Christian Prince.
A considerable revision of our revenue arrangements must be made; and this will offer a fit opportunity for putting an end to the odious traffic which we carry on in opium. We greatly regret to find such a writer as 'Indophilus' apologizing for this enormity, on the ground that our tax is a restraint on its pro-duction. Is that the purpose for which we cultivate it? for which we make it up in packages by Chinese weight, though bound by treaty not to introduce it into China? for which we turn our Government into a drug auctioneer, and use our British flag in the Chinese waters as a shield for smuggling? 'The opium branch of business' is the dignified language in which this death-dealing trade is spoken of in the papers of the House of Lords, lately published. And we would put it to 'Indophilus,' whether he is prepared to recommend our Queen, when she administers her grandest possession in her own name, to enter the Auction Mart at Calcutta, and carry on 'the opium branch of business.'
It is notorious that we tax it, not to check its consump-tion, but to get gain. We seal it with our Government seal; we grow it by Government money; we collect it in Government stores; we auction it on account of Government, and publish the proceeds as Government revenue. We studiously adapt it to be used in violation of the law of nations, in disregard of treaties. We infest a coast with it, the natural protectors of which warn it off by law, as a foreign-bred pestilence. We repay by barbarous and deadly debauch the people who send us our most civilizing beverage. We hurt our lawful commerce by wars which this directly or indirectly causes, and we debase our navy into a real, though not an avowed, protector of smuggling. We make the name of Christian a shame in the eyes of the heathen, and the protests of Britons against slave trade and slavery a hypocrisy in those of Spaniards and Americans. How often does any Englishman, in a tour through the United States, feel ashamed of this foul, foul blot!
While we write, a high-placed Indian officer, in a private letter, thus speaks of the present state of things: — 'The state of the country precludes the advance of money by Government, and the growth of poppies by the Ryots. The opium fields are now Aceldamas; we leave but to prevent a revival of the trade. God has put a temporary stop to it. We have the opportunity of rendering that perpetual, by breaking the connexion between the Indian Government and the infamous traffic.' Is this culti-vation to be renewed? Drowned by the hand of Providence in blood, are the British people going to set it up afresh? It is generally understood that Lord Elgin carries to China instruc-tions to 'persuade' the Chinese authorities to legalize it. Christians persuade heathens at the cannon's mouth to abet debauch! Undoubtedly the power is now in the hand of the British people to end this abomination; and if we do it not, we can no longer throw the responsibility on that most convenient scapegoat, the Company. 'We owe to Lord Shaftesbury the paper which tells us of ' the opium branch of business;' and may God grant that to the debtors of his philanthropy, already extending from the coal-pits of England to the sheep-walks of Australia, may be added many on the shores of China!
As to the Home Administration of India: the doom of the double Government is sealed; and even if we risk losing much, we shall gain what is indispensable, — direct responsibility. Such bandying of accountability, as was lately witnessed between Mr. Smith and Colonel Sykes, respecting the slow ships, must end. A statesman of high order must stand up before Parliament, as answerable for the doings of the INDIA DEPARTMENT. But at the same time, it will never do to have all the affairs of that vast and unique empire exposed to the direct influence of any vote which may be won by surprise from a thin and heedless House. This would be more dangerous, in some respects, than even the want of proper Parliamentary control. The colonies have a breakwater between them and our legislature, in their local Par-liaments. India cannot have that provision; but a breakwater must be found; and the only form which at present seems feasible, is that of a well qualified Council, of which the new Secretary of State for India shall be President. We said in 1853, that of all reforms, the one most imperative was that the responsible Minister should personally meet the Directors, as they had the knowledge and he the power. We would now repeat this. Let the new Council be composed, say of twelve or fifteen persons, drawn as largely as possible from the old Court of Directors, and recruited from the same class. Let them all be excluded from seats in Parliament, to prevent collusion or entanglement with the Cabinet of the hour. Let the Chief Secretary for India retain the power, now held by the President of the Board of Control, of overruling the Council on his own responsibility; but under the obligation, not now existing, of meeting and hearing the Council. Care should be taken that the patronage of India be not made, as always has been feared, an engine of national corruption. The competitive system hap-pily removes the civil service from this possibility; and either by the same means, or by the sale of first commissions, or by the continuance of the patronage as part of the remuneration of the members of the India Board, the military appointments ought equally to be placed in a position where they will not be a national temptation. Our public morality never had so severe a test as it would be subjected to, were the Indian patronage assumed by the Cabinet.
Above every question affecting the form of our future adminis-tration, rises the importance of making its spirit worthy of a nation professing Christianity. Those who have always dreaded the open avowal of our faith, imagine that we desire Government to make war on the native religions, and to proselyte. This their total misconception of the feelings of Christians illustrates their misconception of those of Hindus. In fact, religion, like other things, is not understood by those who do not attend to it.
We do not wish Government to invite, reward, or specially favour converts: on the other hand, we demand that it shall give them every civil right, and open before them every avenue to respect, or employment, which their heathen relations enjoy. We do not wish it to pay a single Missionary or build one church for natives; but we do claim that every one of its Christian servants shall be free, as an Englishman's birthright, to promote the advancement of Christianity, in his individual capacity, by whatever means he may see fit. We do not wish it to violate any man's caste; but it ought not to suffer, in its offices or army, that on any inch of public ground another law shall he mentioned than the law of the land; leaving private circles sacred to private scruples. We do not wish it to rob even the temples of snakes or of Kali of their property; but we loudly demand that a searching inquiry be made into the expenditure for heathen and Mohammedan worship, in every district, not half of which is known even to the Court of Directors; and that all payments from the public revenue be terminated; and all temple lands now administered by us, returned to the village com-munities, to be used as they please. We are now, in the Bombay Presidency alone, paying £30,000 a year for heathen worship, and land to the value of £100,000 a year is held on condition of idolatrous worship being performed, otherwise Government would resume it. In some of our schools even the name of Christ is omitted, when it occurs in an ordinary school-book. Without this flagrant outrage, the exclusion of the Bible from all Government schools is a public affront to our religion. We claim that this shall end; and that, as in Ceylon, the first hour of the day in every school conducted by Government be devoted to reading and explaining the Bible, attendance being optional. Without proselyting, the Government may practically preach Christianity by a beneficent and paternal regard for the happiness of the people, strict faith in all its dealings, morality in its revenue, and energy in improving the country; avowing, at thee same time, as the basis of all English virtues, that blessed Gospel which has made England fit to rule India, and head all the continent of Asia.
Last modified 7 August 2007