Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

interior part of the country, or was taken in the attempt, and put to death, has never been known, no tidings having ever been heard of him since that period.

Many anecdotes of attached and faithful Indians similar to this recorded in Mr. Cruso's journal might be adduced. The contrivance of the native halcarrahs and spies to conceal a letter are extremely clever, and the measures they frequently adopt to elude the vigilance of an enemy are equally extraordinary. Many instances have occurred of their suffering severe torture and a cruel death rather than betray their trust. War, although replete with misery, is certainly the means of calling forth some of the noblest virtues and finest traits in the human character, from the commander in chief to the soldier in the ranks. The events of a campaign, a battle, or a siege, furnish occasions for all—but alas, by what dreadful scenes are they contrasted! Truly sings a venerable poetess in the present eventful period of Europe.

"Bounteous in vain, with frantic man at strife,

Glad Nature pours the means—the joys of life;

In vain with orange-blossoms scents the gale,

The hills with olives clothe, with corn the vale;

Man calls to Famine, nor invokes in vain,

Disease and Rapine follow in her train:

The tramp of marching hosts disturbs the plough;

The sword, not sickle, reaps the harvest now;

And where the soldier gleans the scant supply,

The helpless peasant but retires to die;

No laws his hut from licens'd outrage shield,

And War's least horror is th' ensanguin'd field!" A. L. BArbauld, 1811

[blocks in formation]

In reply to the representation made to Lutoph Ally, as beforementioned, by the commandant of Onore, he declared it was his earnest wish to preserve friendship with the garrison, and requested a suspension of hostile measures until the arrival of letters from the sultaun, which he was assured would terminate the existing difficulty. Another letter was immediately sent from Captain Torriano enforcing the former conditions, and stating to Ludoph Ally that his adherence to the treaty would best prove the friendship he professed; his conduct, not his language, was the subject of complaint; while the former continued unreformed, no credit would be given to the latter. The crafty Persian, perceiving there was no medium between a breach and compliance, prudently resolved on the latter. He sent in a polite explanatory message, accompanied by a supply of ten sheep, of which the commandant immediately expressed a proper sense; the sheep were paid for; and a seasonable supply of other refreshments were received into the garrison.

When the English captured Onore fort, there were two large vessels on the stocks, belonging to Hyder Ally. These stood in the centre of the outworks. A message was now sent from Ludoph Ally, founded on a falsehood, that as Tippoo Sultaun, in consequence of the treaty of peace concluded between him and the English, would in a few days send an order for his troops to take possession of the fort, he requested to be permitted immediately to take charge of the two ships, and build a shed in the fort, for the preservation of the sultaun's arms and military stores which had fallen into our hands, and would now be returned agreeably to the late treaty. Lutoph Ally received for answer, that as he had informed the commandant the ships and arms, together with the fort itself, were so shortly to be delivered up to the sullaun's troops, the compliance with his request was too trifling on the eve of such an important event; and that in the interim all possible care should be taken of the articles in question.

On the 27th of September, a boat was observed from the ramparts to approach Onore bar, on which two others belonging to the sullaun were sent to meet her. On coming alongside, a gentleman went from the boat newly arrived into one of them, and on landing at the batteries was conducted to Lutoph Ally. The garrison of Onore having been long cut off from all communication with their countrymen, their anxiety may be easily conceived. In this state of agitation, Captain Torriano sent his palanquin to the sultaun's grand battery, for the accommodation of the stranger, which soon after returned with Mr. Cruso, who had been appointed head surgeon of the hospital at Onore, and brought letters from Brigadier General M'Leod, commander in chief at Mangulore, and Lieutenant Colonel Campbell, lately commandant of that garrison. These letters informed Captain Torriano of General M'Leod's arrival at Mangulore on the 20th of August; and confirmed his suspicions respecting his correspondence with Colonel Campbell, who had never received one letter intrusted to the care of Lutoph Ally.

The letters from General M'Leod and Colonel Campbell bearing such honourable testimony to the conduct of Captain Torriano and his brave comrades, must not be entirely omitted. The general wrote thus:—" I give you and your brave little garrison much joy and praise for the gallant defence of Onore. I beg you to publish in your orders my hearty approbation and thanks to yourself, and all therein. Every thing here wears the appearance of peace: the sultaun seems anxious for it; and I have every reason to suppose that we shall agree to an equal one with him. Be, however, careful and vigilant. I go to Seringapatam with the sultaun, who is to give me up all the English prisoners as a preliminary, and has already released the officers taken at the Octagon.

Signed, N. M'leod, Brigadier General, &C."

The contents of Colonel Campbell's letter were equally satisfactory.

"The gallant and spirited defence which you and the brave troops under your command have made, merit from your employers their highest encomium and approbation. It is with pain I reflect on the number of brave fellows who have fallen on that service. However, we have the satisfaction to think that a soldier killed in the execution of his duty dies happy and gloriously. Yout exertions have been very great; and no doubt the fatigue "both of duty and work must have been extremely severe on your small garrison, particularly on yourself. I sincerely congratulate you upon the prospect of your brother and our other friends of the Bednore army being released ; the sultaun having promised to send all the British prisoners to their respective settlements upon parole, as soon as General M'Leod arrives at Seringapatam; where, at the sultaun's desire, the general accompanies him to assist in negociating the peace.

Signed, J. Campbell, Lt. Colonel, &c."

Among other communications from Mr. Cruso, he mentioned, that although the litigious and evasive disposition of the nabob, and the insolence of his people, had heretofore rendered every thing extremely disagreeable to the garrison of Mangulore, yet, before he left it, things were ameliorated; some cattle had been sent in and distributed to the troops, and a few of the officers were permitted to extend their ride beyond the works.

In hopes of preventing the continued desertions, by once more inflicting exemplary punishment, another sepoy was blown from the mouth of a cannon; and as a natural distrust of the enemy now prevailed, all the Europeans and additional gunners were ordered to sleep every night by the guns, and the sepoys off duty to lie on their arms at their respective stations; the commandant himself thenceforward sleeping every night close to the principal breach.

On the 15th of October a subahdar from the enemy's camp announced the arrival of Maw Mirza Khaun, to take the command of the sultaun's army before Onore, in the room of Lutoph Ally Beg; with a request from the new commander that a person of understanding might be sent from the fort, to oommunicate with him on a subject of great importance. Messaubar, the subahdar formerly employed in negocialions with Lutoph Ally, was accordingly dispatched to head-quarters. After the commandant's congratulatory compliments, Mirza was informed, that presuming from his confidence with the sultaun he was intrusted with more discretionary powers than his predecessor, so the generous feeling of a gallant soldier (which was bis general character) could not fail to insure a proper use of them. Hence he trusted that the treaty

« ForrigeFortsett »