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pointment would have been more desirable at a later period; but it was not certain that it could be got then; and so the boy must take the tide at the flood. Still it seems to have been resolved that as much delay should be interposed as could be permitted. In the summer of next year, Mr. John Pasley, a London merchant, brother of Mrs. Malcolm, paid a visit to Burufoot, and proposed to take his nephew with him to London, to have him brushed up a little before his presentation to the honorable court to pass for his cadetship. “ So mere a child ' was he, (says Mr. Kaye) that on the morning of his departure,

when the old nurse was combing his hair, she said to him, Now Jock, my mon, be sure when ye are awa’, ye kaim ye'er head ' and keep ye'er face clean ; if ye dinna, ye'll just be sent haim ' again.” “Tut, woman," was the answer, “ye'ere aye sae feared, 'ye'll see if I were awa amang strangers, I'll just do weel

aneugh.” When we first read this anecdote, we were disposed to regard it as apocryphal; but we landed, after deep cogitation, in the conclusion that it is authentic, but that the deduction which Mr. Kaye draws from it is erroneous. He supposes that John's hair was combed every day by the old nurse; but we know enough of Scotch farm-house life to be sure that a boy of his stamp must have performed this office for himself at a very much earlier age. It was only because he was starting for London that the faithful old woman thought it her duty to “ mak the callant a wee thocht dacent," and this she would have insisted on doing, if he had been a score instead of a dozen

And Jock did “ weel aneugh” among strangers. After seeing the wonders of the great metropolis, he was sent to school for a short time; but apparently the appointment which Governor Johnstone had secured for him, must be taken up within the year. There was no minimum age at that time prescribed for entrance into the Company's service; but each cadet was required to present himself before the Court of Directors, and receive their consent to proceed to India. “So, towards the end of ' that year, 1781, John Malcolm was taken to the India-House,

and was, as his uncle anticipated, in a fair way to be rejected, when one of the Directors said to him 'Why, my little

man, what would you do if you were to meet Hyder Ali ?" Do, Sir ! said the young aspirant, in prompt reply, 'I would out with my sword and cut off his head. “You will do,' was the rejoinder,

let him pass.' And so the matter ended. Now we presume that we ought to be very indignant at this scene, and to congratulate ourselves on the fact of our living in these days of competition, and the Philosophy of History, and the Differential Calculus. Well, these are all very well in their place; but it

Sept., 1857.

years old.



would be well if a few “ marks” could be given for such juvenile spirit as was displayed in Malcolm's answer.

Although his commission, as a cadet of Infantry in the Madras army, was dated in October, 1781, Malcolm did not sail till the autumn of the following year, and did not reach Madras till the 16th of April, 1783, when his age was a fortnight short of fourteen years. Although his life on the braes of Eskdale had made him large and strong, his appearance was juvenile even for his years. The fresh bloom of his undowny cheeks, and the merry twinkle of his bright eye, and his unsophisticated manners, were those of childhood. He soon became a favourite with all who came into contact with him. Under the designation of “Boy Malcolm," a soubriquet that long adhered to him, he gained quite a reputation, in a small way, as being" at the bottom” of all the pranks and mischief in which young ensigns are wont to indulge. We are afraid that he did not stop here ; but that at this period of his life he passed over the line that separates mischief from vice. If so, he soon returned. He had been trained up as a child in the way of goodness, and the promise was fulfilled to his faithful parents, that he should not long wander from that path. By the beginning of 1788, we find him speaking of his career of folly as a thing of the past; and his good resolutions was not like the morning cloud, or the early dew. During all the rest of his life, while he retained an unusual share of the buoyancy of youth, he seems never to have strayed from the paths of virtue. One effect of his youthful folly was the contraction of debt. An ensign's pay in those days was very small; but he ought to have been able to live upon it. He had applied to his uncle in London for a remittance, and he had sent him £200. But the letter came into the hand of his brother Robert, who judiciously withheld the money, and allowed the young ensign to work his way back to independence," Do not" (says Robert Malcolm,

“ writing to his mother, in February, 1789) blanie John, poor fellow. Nothing but distress led him to what he did. It was

even unknown to me till I received my uncle's letters, which 'I suppressed, and wrote to John in a different style than his

uncle had done. Had he got the money my uncle ordered, — 'viz. £200-he would effectually have been ruined. But I ' knew too well his situation to give him a shilling. He has ' now cleared himself from debt, and is as promising a character ' in his profession as lives.” We see then that in the course of six years, he got into delt, and got out of it. Now we know that the former process is easy enough, but that the latter is not specially easy for any one, and that it must have been specially difficult for a young man on an ensign’s pay, as an ensign's pay was in those days. If then we suppose that for half of the six years


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he was getting into debt, and for the other half getting out of it, it will follow that he only exceeded his pay during the first three years, by as much as he was able to save out of that pay in the second three years; and it is scarcely supposable that that was so much as fifty rupees a month. But suppose he were only two years in getting into debt, and four years in getting out of it, at the rate of fifty rupees a month, he must have overspent his income to the extent of Rs. 100 a month.

In 1790, Malcolm got a taste of soldiering in earnest. In that year, Lord Cornwallis went to war with Tippoo Sahib, and Malcolm's regiment was part of the force appointed to co-ope. rate with the Nizam's troops, and was first employed in the siege of Copoulee. This fort stood out for six months, and at last capitulated, in consequence of the taking of Bangalore. Malcolm's corps was then “ordered to join the main body of

the Nizam's army, which, accompanied by the Resident, Sir • John Kennaway, was then assembling to march upon Seringa'patam, and co-operate with the British forces under Lord · Cornwallis.” Here he was brought into acquaintance with “ Sir John Kennaway, Mr. Græme Mercer, and others of the ' diplomatic corps, then representing British interests at the

Court of Hyderabad.” And this was the turning-point of his career. Through his intercourse with those gentlemen, his ambition was fired. He resolved to distinguish himself in the diplomatic line; and from this time he is to be regarded as an aspirant to le numbered amongst those “politicals,” whom it has become fashionable of late years to decry, but to whom India owes a large debt of gratitude. His first step was to study Persian, and for this purpose, Mr. Mercer lent him his Moonshi. The defection of the “ Boy Malcolin,” from the ranks of the all-day idlers, was a calamity which they strove, by all the enginery of banter and cajolery, to prevent; but like Mr. Longfellow's Excelsior, he turned a deaf ear to the voice of the charmer. At the same time he studied, with characteristic earnestness, the complicated questions of our relations with the native powers, and left no means unused to prepare himself for serving the state in the line that he had now marked out for himself. After a short leave of absence, on sick-certificate, he joined the camp of Lord Cornwallis before Seringapatam, and was appointed by His Lordship, probably on the recommendation of Sir John Kennaway, interpreter to the Nizam's troops. But his stay there was short. His health again broke down, and he was obliged to go again to the sea-coast on sick-certificate. He seems to have remained there till the end of 1793, when he was obliged to apply for leave to Europe ; and in February, 1794, he sailed for old England, and reached it in such vigorous


health that it was difficult to persuade people that his sickcertificate was aught else than bonao.

Malcolm had been a dozen years absent from home when he re-visited it. And this is just the proper time for an Indian to be absent from home. If he return earlier, he has not felt enough of the longing which makes him fully estimate the blessing: If he be much later, the changes that have occurred during his absence, are so marked, as greatly to sadden his enjoyment. Malcolm seems to have found things at Burnfoot pretty much as he left them. All that he had left behind were a dozen years older ; but the change on them was not nearly so great as on himself. We presume that there must have been also a considerable addition to the flock during his absence; for it is not likely that all the seventeen Malcolms were born, before the fourth son was thirteen years old. Be this as it may, we may be sure that there was joy in Eskdale on the day that young Malcolm put his foot over the threshold of Burnfoot. Father and mother, and brother and sisters, and cousins of all degrees, and neighbours and dependents, rejoiced with no faint jubilation. We know something of the joy of such a return from exile ; but the more we know of it, the less do we feel disposed to speak or to write of it. The joy of his visit was enhanced by the circumstance that his brothers Pulteney and James arrived from the West Indies during the time of John's being at home. But there was a dash of bitterness in the cup of bliss,-as in what cup of earthly bliss is there not? Three sons had


to the West Indies, and two had gone to the East. Robert was still in the East, but he was well. Two had come from the West, but one, George, a fine young sailor, had fallen a victim to yellow fever in the beginning of the year. It was the first time that death had invaded the Burnfoot circle,

During his residence in England, Malcolm entered with characteristic zeal on the advocacy of the rights of the Company's officers, and did good service to a good cause; and by his letters in the newspapers on this subject, attracted the notice of men in power. But the months sped on as only months of furlough do speed. His health was quite re-established ; indeed the home voyage had been sufficient for that; and his duty lay not at Burnfoot, but at Madras; and to Madras he must go. He had reached England in July, 1794, and he left it in May, 1795. He had the advantage of going out as Secretary to Sir Alured Clarke, who was proceeding as Commander-in-Chief to Madras. On their way they stopped at the Cape of Good Hope, and brought to a close the war that was then being waged between the Dutch and the English. It is so delightful to catch a historian of Mr. Kaye's almost finical accuracy "tripping,” that


we cannot resist the temptation of “shewing him up." He states, truly enough, that the fight in which General Clarke defeated the Dutch, gave the Cape Colony to the English : but he adds, not truly enough, that by the English it has ever since been retained. Now of course, Mr. Kaye knows very well, though he seems for the moment to have forgotten, that the Cape was given up to the Dutch in 1802, that it was re-taken by an Indian hero, Sir David Baird in 1806, and even then was held rather as a province than a colony till 1814.

After a stay of some two months at the Cape, the voyage for India was resumed, and was brought to a close somewhere about the end of 1795. For a little more than a year, Malcolm seems to have remained with the Commander-in-Chief at the Presidency. His hands were of course full. “ The employment,' ” he says, writing to his mother, “is of that nature as to leave 'me hardly one idle moment; all the better, you will say; and all the better I say;" —and all the better we say. I

He was now twenty-seven years old, he had got a fresh impulse, physically and mentally, during those ten months at home—and all the better, we repeat with all the circumstance of editorial oracle, that he had hardly an idle moment. In the beginning of 1797, Sir Robert Abercromby resigned the Command-in-Chief of the Bengal army; Sir Alured Clarke succeeded him; and General Harris succeeded Sir Alured Clarke in the command of the Madras army. Clarke was unable, for some reason which Mr. Kaye professes himself unable to explain, to take his secretary with him to Bengal; but Harris was happy to retain him, and although he would have liked to accompany his old master, he was happy to remain. “ It may be gathered (says his biogra• pher) from his letters, that John Malcolm was never more in ' a ' laughing' mood than at this period of his life. He had good health, good spirits, and good prospects. He was still

Boy Malcolm ;' and he wrote, both to his friends in India and to dear old Burnfoot, in a strain which must have imparted something of its own cheerfulness to the recipients of his

laughing epistles.” But while he was thus joyous and lighthearted, he was not idle. This was emphatically his period of study. He had marked out for himself the career of a "political,” and while people who only casually saw him, regarded him as only the light-hearted and gay “ Boy-Malcolm,” he was carrying on an extensive correspondence with the best-informed men of the country, getting from each his views on various points of policy, and digesting these views into elaborate “minutes.” Some of these he submitted to Lord Hobart, who received them graciously, and encouraged him to proceed with his self-imposed task.

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