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'I talk not of mercy, I talk not of fear ;
The first appearance of this short History was in 1844, and the whole impression having been long since exhausted, the present renewal, with some additions, in a limited number of copies, is chiefly for the supply of private friends and relatives. The principal details were obtained by me from the late Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, appointed on his first arrival in India as assistant to my father the judge and magistrate of Benares, and present at the time of the revolt.
There were episodes in the late Indian Mutiny not unlike the events here recorded. Had the first outbreak at Meerut, in 1857, been as speedily quenched, and the mutinous regiments prevented from marching to Delhi, the perils of that crisis might have been greatly diminished.
Vizier Ali was probably encouraged in his attempt at Benares by the aspect of affairs on the side of Mysore, where Lord Wellesley had been summoned from Calcutta by the war with Tippoo Sultaun, terminated only by the defeat and death of that Prince at Seringapatam in the following May, about four months after the failure of Vizier Ali. Had the latter not been so speedily put down, the spread of revolt at such a period might have taxed the resources of the Indian Government. Lord Wellesley's appreciation of the service rendered at Benares is recorded at page 75, in testimonials from himself.
J. F. D.