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factory at Surat to the court of the Great Mogul of Agra, succeeded in recovering from a fatal illness the daughter and heir of that great potentate. The ordinary course of events in so generous a climate would have been, we should think, to have raised the successful practitioner to the throne which he saved from an early pall; but the maxims of trade seem to have crept as far as the palace of the Great Mogul, and instead of raising Dr. Boughton at once to royal honors, the grateful father thought it more expedient to endow him with the privilege of trading wherever he liked throughout the Mogul empire. We are sorry to say that the physician was devoid of those romantic considerations which should have induced him to have retained for ever so touching a keepsake, for it seems that no sooner had he left the court, than, to the horror of his royal benefactor, he sold his charter to the East India Company, who immediately took advantage of it by erecting, in 1656, on the banks of the Hoogly, on the spot where Calcutta now stands, the trading-house that was to form the centre of a future empire.
Could the merchants who were present at its erection have looked beyond its site, they would have seen a country which was at once the most vast and the most fertile that had ever been inhabited by a civilized nation. They would have seen to the north the lofty limits of the Himmelayahs, while far to the south were stretched along the Arabian Sea, the mountains of Gaut, confining the rich and beautiful coasts of Cutch and of Belochistan. To the south lay Bengal, purple with poppy fields, and by them stood the Ganges, with its crooked roots coiled round the spot where their settlement was planted. If they had been pointed to the vast tract of Chinese Tartary, swathed around the centre of Asia like a belt which it would take a degree of latitude to measure, and had been then turned farther to the west, where the golden gates of the capitol of Persia were opened before them; and had then been told that over the vast region upon which their eye wandered, they should soon bear sway, that their children should be nobles, and their servants nabobs, they would probably have shrunk from such perilous honors, and would have drawn their heads back again within the limits of their trading-house, to nestle in quiet in the comfort of unmolested gain. Fraud and violence! The field was red with blood, and the council chamber tangled with snares; and if they could have anticipated the sad temptations into which their probity might be seduced by their avarice, and the misery and the bloodshed that would follow, they might have been contented to traffic with a Hindoo prince, or to higgle with a Chinese mandarin. We do not charge on the British authorities the deliberate conception of those measures of deceit which were afterwards perpetrated by their agents. They were brought about by the supposed necessity which was induced by the perfidy of the chiefs who opposed them. We must in the first place remember the relative positions of the combatants, and reflect that the army of the one was vast, though imperfectly disciplined, while against it was opposed a handful of foreign troops whose polished armor could scarcely compensate for their inferior size. In 1756, a dispute took place between the English factory in Bengal, and the nabob of that country, which was the cause of that horrible Calcutta massacre, which afforded the English so admirable a plea for the vengeance which they determined to wreak. If Clive wanted provocation for the conquest he was about to make, there it was. He was at Madras at the time, at the head of nine hundred men; but with that intuitive sagacity which marked him even in the hours of his most fearful onsets, he marched to Calcutta, before the native forces could awake from the sleep into which their glutted cruelty had cast them. An army of 20,000 Indians tottered out to meet him, but like puppets in an assaulted show-box, they were annihilated in the shock.
But it was not at the threshold of the palace that Clive could rest. There arose a civil war between the pretenders to the Bengal throne, and in order to settle the disputes which by a little concession they could have extinguished, the rival candidates called in the assistance of an arbitrator, who at a blow drove them together from their prey. The British general found all Bengal looking on with indifference at the tournament in which their leaders were engaged; and while the few native troops who entered into the contest were ranged on the side of Meer Jaffier, Surajee, who boasted an equal title to the crown, found that through the aid of the remnant of the French army, he was more than a match for his rival. The wild but splendid game that had been chalked out by Dupleiss on the Asiatic peninsula, had then been pushed to desperation, and it was a final and desperate move, that the civil disturbances in Bengal were fomented, and the claims of Surajee had been supported by the remains of that celebrated army which had once claimed the continent as its prize. Clive soon determined on the policy which was most congenial to his interest. Though his original troops were rather weakened than reinforced by their victories, and though his native allies thought it presumptuous in them to buckle themselves arm to arm with heroes whose prowess bore about it marks of inspiration, he marched directly against the French and Indian army of 60,000 drilled soldiers, and so tumultuously defeated them that their cannon was left in many cases on the field before the slow torch had touched their powder. The old Jugurthian tactics were renewed. Meer Jaffier was placed on the Bengal throne more firmly than any of his ancestors, because he was placed there as a column on the capital of which his allies had erected a sovereignty so ponderous, that if he flinched, he would be crushed beneath its weight. He became, at the best, the mesne tenant of the kingdom of which he had once possessed the absolute fee, and he found that Clive was a lord paramount, who would exact from him the minutest homage, as well as the most enormous rent. The sum of twenty millions of rupees were drawn from him as a tribute for assistance which he would have willingly dispensed with; and he found, after he had held the sceptre a little while, that his allies claimed it as their prerogative to appoint his successor, and ultimately to supersede himself.
The Dutch troops, who had for some time past played a conspicuous part in the Carnatic, made an ineffectual effort to regain their lost position. Clive succeeded by dint of manoeuvres, which, unfortunately for his character, he was very much addicted to, in buying from the emperor of Delhi through an annual stipend, which, at the time it was granted, was not meant to be persevered in, his feudal sovereignty over the province of Bengal. Nothing now remained for the company to effect, than by the aid of a few more easily purchased victories, to dethrone the surrounding nabobs, and to huddle them together in an asylum, as the pensioned dependents of the British crown. The governor-general, for to that rank Clive had been elevated, had officially proclaimed the incapacity of the reigning princes for the province of government, and argued therefore that it was his duty, as self-constituted overseer of the plantations which he had ransacked, to draw away from them their remaining authority, and to assume for himself the equitable direction of their affairs. It would have been more conformable to precedent to have formally sued out a writ of chancery for the committing the custody of the refractory nabobs to a special committee, who should be appointed directly by the government who had humbled them; but as Lord Clive was unwilling to pass through the labyrinth of so tedious a procedure, he cut at once the chain which kept up the semblance of national authority, and in ten years after the first English victory, the ancient principalities of Hindoostan were demolished.
In the year 1785, when Warren Hastings was withdrawn from the post of governor-general, in which he succeeded Clive, to play the victim in the most splendid instance of ineffectual prosecution on record, the British arms had made conquests in the south of India, as extensive as those
'which they had previously achieved in the north. The provinces of Guntoor and the Circars had been wrested from the viceroy of Deccan; who, though nominally the subject of the Great Mogul, had been, till the hour of his final overthrow, the independent ruler of ten millions of people. We shall not detail the means by which the conquests of Warren Hastings were effected. They are written in words that cannot easily be washed away. Forty years ago, he was acquitted'after a trial the longest and the most harassing in history; but he was acquitted because, as the disgrace which he had already suffered had brought him close to his grave, it seemed an unnecessary exertion of public justice to hurry him to a violent and ignominious death; because, secondly, his friends had been committed on a national scale, as the widows and the fatherless whom he had robbed had been the princes of an ancient though plundered empire; and because, finally, he had come with empty pockets through the trea.
'sures which he had collected for his masters, without having undergone the accusation of having peculated for anybody but for themselves.
It is probable that the subsequent administration would willingly have extricated themselves from the tortuous policy that had been adopted by Clive and Hastings, but it was more easy to weave the snares which they had invented, than to drop them after they had lost their use. Like the South American buffalo hunters, they had careered over the plains of India with lassoo in hand, in pursuit of the objects of their chase, but as their victims had grown alert under the experience, and had become accustomed to its exercise, they found it difficult to hit upon any scheme which they could manage so well, which would not be easily eluded. We think that had Lord Clive pressed his conquests with that singleness of purpose which in his greatest difficulties he displayed, he would have planted his standard more strongly, for it would have been propped up by the respect of the conquered people. But the rudest nation among them could not but see through the flimsy veil that was flung before their eyes. It became with them the consummation of art, to cast back on the face of the deceiver, the snares which he had constructed for their own detention. They had been traitors themselves from the beginning, and they were not so much enraged at being temporarily defeated, as at being entirely out-duped. But had it not been for their extraordinary good fortune in the selection of a chief, and for the occasional assistance of the French revolutionary government, the insurgent tribes would have been one by one annihilated, before they could have had the opportunity to have con. •olidated their strength. Hyder Ali had been in his boyhood a camel. driver; and among the wild and warlike tribes who hover over the sands of Arabia, he had caught his habits and his principles. Implacable hatred to England, devotion to whatever could oppose her, had become the cardinal passion in his breast, and he stood by the camp-fires of the Indian council like Scipio in the Roman senate, in urging, summer and winter, the destruction of their successful enemy.
The crusade against the usurping nation, the delivery of the brahminical city from their profane hands, the second destruction of Calcutta, became the objects to which for years his energies had been directed. He had been able, even in his own short lifetime, to span the history of the English conquests in India, and as each fresh inch of ground had been snatched away, he had steeled himself anew for the task of indiscriminating revenge which he was meditating. Supported by France, he marched suddenly against Madras, which was then the centre of the British forces, and so unexpected and vigorous was his onset, that it shook to its roots the youthful empire of Bengal. Accepting from the revolutionary convention the title of French Citizen, he held in the one hand the Jacobin cap and the liberty pole; while in the other, he brandished the bloody sword and the loaded sceptre which the absolute princes of his own land had wielded. The Sultan of Mysore hung out of his prisoncastle a bloody banner, on which he had written the epithets which were borne by the most sanguinary levellers of the reign of terror.
When the Marquis Wellesley heard that Tippoo Saib, who had, on the death of his father, Hyder Ali, succeeded to the command of his army and treasures, had marshalled together his forces, and had concentrated the scattered energies of the Mahratta chiefs, he saw with that plain sagacity which formed his chief characteristic, that on the event of the approaching struggle hung the destiny of the east. The viceroy of Deccan, who had for some time fluctuated between the councils of the French and English residents, had at last unfurled his colors, and was just on the eve of taking the field with the tricolored cockade perched on the crest of his mussulman's turban, when he was startled by the charge music of the British trumpets. The baked meats which he had prepared for the funeral ceremonies of his enemies, were served up as the wedding feast which adorned the nuptials into which he found himself rather unwillingly dragged. The troops which he had equipped to lead against Calcutta, were turned about, and found themselves marching against the Mahratta chiefs. Tippoo Saib had seen too many examples of English gallantry, to doubt the manner in which the new alliance had been achieved, or the object for which it had been contracted; but it is said that when he saw the Hindoo and the English soldiers mingled rank by rank, he rode anxiously around the camp, and extorted again from the swarthy chiefs that token of wild allegiance which can alone afford to them the solemnity of an oath. The naked arms of the Indian captains, the blood drawn from their veins, the solemn incantations which were sung around them by their priests, the strange charms which their magic required, and the uncertain hour which had been chosen to invoke them, were fitted to impress on the superstitious minds of those who joined in the ceremony, the awful stability of their engagements. It was under the command of Colonel Arthur Wellesley that the British troops stormed Seringapatam. The blackhole of Calcutta, we have said, was the overture to those terrible scenes of violence and fraud which desolated for half a century the Carnatic: it is certain that in the siege of Seringapatam, though the tragedy may have not been completed, that the catastrophe occurred which formed the morale of its plot. The Calcutta massacre was then avenged with a fierceness far more akin to poetic justice than to natural equity. Tippoo Saib was slain, and of the Mahratta captains not one escaped to the mountains, and by their defeat and death, a territory of more than 50,000 square miles was passed into the hands of the British government. Within a year, the Mogul empire was virtually dissolved, and in the south, the provinces of Coimbatoor, Canara, Wynaad, and Tanjore, with Meradabad, Rohilcund, Doab, and Allahabad in the north, were added to the company's possessions.
The eastern subjects of the British queen amount now to upwards of two hundred millions in number. The inhabitants of Bengal, of Agra, of Madras, and of Bombay, who constitute one half of the whole number, are placed under the immediate direction of the governor-general and his council, while the remaining provinces, though they retain the paraphernalia of their ancient princes, and profess to be nominally subject to them alone, are under the feudal dominion of the British authorities. Their princes are subsidized by the company's funds; and as the only title by which they are able to excite the loyalty of their subjects consists in the degree in which they preserve the memory of their ancestors' grandeur, they find that their importance rises and falls precisely in the proportion in which they are inflated by the all-powerful assistance of the British treasury. Taking the subsidized provinces in view, the country over which the authority of the governor-general is recognised amounts to 1,250,000 square miles. It contains within its limits the most fertile portion of the earth, and one that is fitted above all others for the seat of a vast and splendid empire; for while its surface is so broken by vast and gigantic mountains as to afford a climate for every production, from the sugar-cane and the rice-plant of the torrid zone to the coarse grain of the arctics, it is so intersected by rivers as to open its most remote and sheltered recesses to the commercial requisitions which they are so well calculated to excite. The Indus, the Jumna, the Ganges, and the Burrampooter, are navigable for 1,500 miles above their mouths, and the two last pour into the Bay of Bengal each hour a flood of water amounting to a billion of cubic feet. The city of Calcutta, though a century ago it consisted of little more than a nest of trading cities,* contains now a
* Count BjomKtjcma, in the valuable work which he has lately published on the statistics of British India, has stated, that before the English settlement was founded, the spot on which Calcutta now stands was a desert. We do not wish to dispute his authority on so slender a basis as that which is presented by a German legend-writer, but if we mistake not, the particulars relating to the foundation of Calcutta, are laid down with peculiar distinctness by Arnt, in his life of the Emperor Pai-wai. Were it not for the corroborating circumstances which are presented in the earlier adventures of Romulus and Remus, it would be a matter of some question whether the youthful exploits of that illustrious potentate were not so extravagant as to render his whole existence mythological. He had been stolen when an infant, by a troop of apes, from the woods which formed his play-ground, and might probably have lived among them in a state of congenial association till his days were spent, had he not been caught by a Punch-exhibiter, who was on the look-out for monsters to deck his show-board. Paiwai became remarkable for the adroitness with which he united the man and the beast.