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for a cessation of arms would, in future, be as closely adhered to as it had hitherto been scandalously neglected.
Mirza, in return, professed the highest respect for an officer and garrison who had so bravely maintained their post; lamented the little intercourse which had hitherto passed between them and the sultaun's camp, and hoped a sincere friendship would thenceforth take place, instead of the distrust and distance which had hitherto subsisted. Mirza admitted the propriety of the commandant's representations, promised the minutest attention to the treaty, and expressed his regret that a personal interview had not been desired. After many other compliments and promises, Mirza declined performing any of the latter until he should receive Capt. Torriano's answer to a request from Tippoo Sultaun himself, sent by his own vackeel (or ambassador) who accompanied the subahdar on his return to the fort. This suspension of his civilities to the garrison, Mirza was pleased to say, arose, not from any doubt of an immediate compliance with the sultaun's request, but from anxiety to acquaint his sovereign with its success, before he entered on other business.
This request proved to be a repetition of that formerly made by Lutoph Ally, respecting the two ships upon the stocks, with this difference, that whereas that officer had only desired to lake charge of them, Mirza stipulated for four hundred workmen being immediately employed in repairing the injuries they had sustained during two sieges, and from the inclemency of the monSoon; at the same time intimating that much might depend upon a ready compliance. An immediate answer being requested, the vackeel was instantly returned with the following:—That the sultaun's extraordinary request could not be complied with; but as one of his declared views was to shelter the ships from the weather, it was engaged, if proper materials were sent in, they should be applied to that purpose; and as this refusal did not affect the treaty, which no where restored the marine-yard to the sultaun, Captain Torriano deemed it in full force, and insisted that the article for supplying cattle should be immediately complied with.
Shortly afterwards another messenger arrived from Mirza, to express his surprise at the little attention paid lo the sultaun's request; and as he must suppose there had been some mistake in its delivery, he sent another person to state it more clearly, when he was assured of receiving a different reply; particularly if well understood that Mirza's complying with the treaty must depend in a great measure on granting as a favour what had been made the express condition of acceding to his demands.
Captain Torriano, justly incensed, desired the second emissary to acquaint his master, that conceiving the request to have been first made in obedience to the sultaun's commands, while his own mind reprobated his conduct, he had preserved great moderation in his answer, which he flattered himself would have been ascribed to its true source, a personal delicacy to Mirza. But since a repetition of the demand had been made, he deemed it an insolent puerility, so little becoming the character of Mirza, that he hoped he did not err in imputing it to the short-sighted policy and chicanery of the brahmins by whom he was surrounded. That the proper time for restoring the ships would be, when the sultaun's troops were able to take the outworks in which they stood; until that event, the commandant was determined, not only to keep possession of the vessels, but, if wood for fuel was not immediately supplied for the garrison, the ships would be broken up for that purpose. This answer was just delivered, when a boat proceeding from Onore fort to Fortified Island was prevented going out of the river. To the spirited remonstrance on this fresh insult Mirza replied, that as no anxiety had been expressed to continue on a friendly footing with him, no favours were to be expected.
As yet there had been only a war of words, affairs seemed now ripening to action; and few situations were more unpleasant than that to which the garrison was now reduced. The commandant seized the opportunity afforded by the detention of the boat, to inform Mirza, that finding him resolved on a recommencement of hostilities, he should regulate himself accordingly. If cattle were not sent in the next day, he would recall the English guard from the sultaun's trenches, and order his men out of the fort—if the boats going from Onore to Fortified Island met with any further impediment, the English galliot (an armed vessel) should be stationed at the entrance of the river, to ward off any insult, and prevent the passage of all boats belonging to the sullaun. And that although he wished not to be the aggressor, he would certainly defend himself if attacked, having every thing to hope from the bravery and attachment of his garrison; which, although considerably weakened by death and the desertion of the Mai war poltroons, was fully sufficient to resent insult; and, wearied by the mean and paltry impositions daily practised by an insidious enemy, was impatient for an opportunity of becoming their own avengers.
This line of conduct produced the same effect on Mirza as it
had previously done on Lutoph Ally. He declared the severity of the sultaun had made him so strenuous respecting the ships; but as the adoption of violent measures was far from his intention, he trusted there might be an immediate accommodation. Having obtained this point, affairs went on smoothly until the 26th of October, when Captain Torriano received a letter from Colonel Campbell, dated the 13th, at Mangulore, informing him of a surprize intended on his fortress, and advising him to be on his guard. This letter was brought by the faithful spy formerly mentioned. In consequence every operation that could be conducted with secrecy, was immediately commenced. Frazes, chevaux de frize, and fascines, were prepared, trees brought into the fort, and the approach to the covert-way rendered difficult by trous de loups. Organs of various sizes made from the damaged arms, (and so formed that forty or fifty barrels be discharged at one time) to place round the fort and covert- way, and every precaution taken to meet the exigency.
The following day one of the Company's cruizers, with General M'Leod on board, anchored off the port; the general sent a letter and some provisions to the commandant, who knowing his answer would be.safely received, informed the general that he was guarded against the arts as well as arms of the enemy, that every exertion would be made by his small garrison, and trusting in him for relief, they would not disgrace the British arms.
About this time Mirza having a diseased leg, requested a visit from the surgeon. Mr. Cruso accordingly repaired to head-quarters, and finding Mirza's case required attention, paid him frequent visits; establishing, on his professional abilities, a connection
VOL. IV. T
highly useful to the English garrison. At the first interview Mr. Cruso discovered Mirza to be the same officer who commanded in the sultaun's trenches before Mangulore, when the British guard entered them, agreeably to the articles of cessation; and it was said his highness had been so greatly incensed at some civilities he had shewn our troops, that he removed him with a severe reprimand. This in some measure accounted for his late conduct at Onore. On all Mr. Cruso's visits Mirza professed the highest respect for the British character, and a partiality for their customs, manners, and even dress; producing a pair of silver buckles made in the sultaun's camp, after an English pattern, and wishing to procure some shoes and a pair of boots from Europe. At the next visit Mr. Cruso carried him the best supply of those articles procurable in the garrison.
Gaming having arrived at an alarming pitch in the garrison, the commanding officer published an order, purporting that as that abominable vice prevailed to so great a degree among the non-commissioned officers and privates, the first man found guilty should be punished with the greatest severity ; and that any man who lost his money by this breach of the articles of war, should not be obliged to pay it. At this time intelligence was received that Captain Mathews brother of General Mathews, and Lieutenant Wheldon, having been shipwrecked on the coast belonging to the rannee (or queen of Cannanore) were sent by her to Tippoo Sultaun, when the inhuman tyrant, with that wanton cruelty which marked his character, doomed them both to a most ignominious death.
The commanding officer observing the daily desertions from the different sepoy corps, issued a general order, in which he of