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ber, Sir George Barlow despatched a letter to the Secret Committee on the subject of the mutiny, into which he introduced very grave reflexions on Malcolm's conduct. Of the existence of this letter, Malcolm knew nothing till it was laid before parliament three years after, and printed in a Blue-Book. He then wrote and published a plain statement of the facts of the case, and left his conduct to the judgment of the world.
Malcolm had left Masulipatam on the 22nd of July, and reached Madras on the 26th. By this time it had been resolved by Lord Minto's Government to send him to Persia; and he was again summoned to Calcutta to receive his orders. Before he could obey this call, he was informed that Lord Minto was about to visit Madras, and would see him there. Accordingly, on the 11th of September, the Governor-General arrived at Madras, and Malcolm was soon ready to proceed to Persia. At this point Mr. Kaye's first volume closes, and at this point we shall close our present article, believing that the life of Malcolm is so germane to an Indian Review, that it may well bear to be made the subject of more than one article. We intend therefore to trace his subsequent career in our next issue.
ART. VIII.-1. An Introduction to the study of Universal History,
in two dissertations : I.--History as a study, II.- On the Separation of the early facts of History from fable. By Sir JOHN STODDART. (Encyclopædia Metropolitana.)
London, 1850. 2. History of England, from the fall of Wolsey to the death of
Elizabeth. By J. A. FKOUDE. London, 1856.
HE human race has been compared to an ever-green tree,
which, amidst continual change in every successive portion, still preserves an identity of verdure throughout these ceaseless renovations. Generation after generation passes, but the human race remains, age by age advancing in collective knowledge and power,
“And the individual withers, and the world grows more and more." And just as in the tree the leaves fall in irregular though certain succession, and some from the previous summer will linger on amidst the next spring's more vigorous offspring, so we see it to be in man. The generations do not pass away at once; the law that periodically changes the entire population of the globe, acts by a gradual and irregular influence; and long after a new generation has risen to occupy the places of the former, a few representatives of other days linger amongst it, to bear witness to the events of their youth, like Horace's laudator temporis acti. It is this interlacing of generations, which renders history possible. If the change were sudden and abrupt between one generation and another (as we see it to be in many insects and plants), an impassable chasm would lie between every age, and those which preceded or followed it; and the growing experience of mankind would be impossible. The treasures of one age would be no longer transmitted to another, to accumulate with thought's compound interest; each would struggle on, with its own hardly won pittance of knowledge,-born itself in intellectual beggary, and leaving the same destitution to its sons. But such could never be the condition of man, if this life was to be a stage of mental as well as moral discipline,—if the human race was to be self-trained, by a long process of culture, to the maturity of their powers, and complete dominion over the blind forces of nature around them. For this, it is essential that every age should advance,—that it should inherit the discoveries of all its predecessors, and transmit them with usury to its successors.
And yet without books how faint and uncertain is the link
between the present and even a comparatively recent past. Year by year, not only of persons but of things
“The memory fades
From off the circle of the hills;' and the events which were once known to every one, become ere long confused and uncertain, and unless perpetuated in writing, inevitably fade into a shadowy fiction. Year by year lesseus the number of surviving witnesses ; even those that linger on lose the remembrance, under the wear of age and the constant pressure of new objects on the attention. We cannot stop the current of life, but are inevitably borne on to new associations and circumstances, which gradually obliterate and falsify our recollections.
There is a deeply real sketch in Dickens's “Old Curiosity Shop," of Kit's taking his children in after years to see the house where little Nell had lived with her grandfather ; " but
new improvements had altered it so much, it was not like the
same. The old house had been long pulled down, and a fine • broad road was in its place. At first he would draw ' with his stick a square upon the ground to show them where " it used to stand. But he soon became uncertain of the spot, ' and could only say it was thereabouts, he thought, and that " these alterations were confusing."
Years bring the same confusion to the memories of us all ; and if the interlacing of generations renders history possible, by thus preserving witnesses of past events and representatives of a vanished age, it is contemporary narrative only, which can really make that history authentic.
In fact, what is all history at bottom, but an attempt to solve an impossible problem, which yet admits of an indefinite approximation to the truth? We can never wholly recall a byegone age, or re-produce it in all its colours and lineaments; but its representation may vary between almost infinite limits, between the barren lists of the dynasties of Magadha, and a Gibbon's Decline, or Grote's Greece. Sir Robert Walpole's celebrated saying, " don't read me history, for that must be false,” is thus far literally true; but it involves a practical fallacy. We can never express the exact area of a circle, because we can never exactly express the ratio between the radius and the circumference; but we can indefinitely approach it for every practical
purpose ; and thus, though we can never exactly attain to the full historic truth, there are no limits to our progress in its pursuit.
But still, as we said, the exact attainment is beyond our reach, because the age is past. No efforts of the reason or imagination can recall the age of Queen Elizabeth in all its circumstances, because we can never bridge over the innavigable sea of three centuries, " which washes with silent waves between us." We cannot call up from the dead any witness to clear our doubts, we are left entirely to silent monuments, which tell us their written message, but are dumb, if we question them farther. We have nought but the memorials which the age itself may have left us,—we are entirely dependent on the faithfulness and capacity of their authors for all that we can ever know. One hour's converse with Pericles or Augustus might clear up a thousand difficulties in Greek or Roman History, but that hour is a hopeless wish; we must be content to grope our way amid conjectures and doubts, where any contemporary could solve our difficulty in a moment. An Athenian cobbler could settle at once the disputes of scholars about the ecclesia, and the legislation of Solon and Cleisthenes; but alas ! the witness has absconded, and our court's subpæna has no power to produce him. The carelessness or inaccuracy of contemporaries entails an endless task on their successors, and hence history is so filled with conjectures that can never be proved or disproved, and chasms that no erudition can fill up.
Let us look for a moment at India, and her early history before the Mohammedan conquest.
Every early glimpse of India reveals to us a teeming and busy population, separated into numerous small kingdoms, which are of course in constantly changing attitudes of friendship or hostility to each other. Civilization was highly advanced, and knowledge and literature were extensively cultivated, as is amply witnessed by the mass of ancient writings which we still possess. The chain of writings, in fact, runs up in an almost unbroken series, age beyond age, to the earliest times; but throughout that long series there is no such thing as history. The stream of thought flows on, but it never receives any image from the scenes through which it passes ; the interests of the present are absorbed in gigantic dreams of the far distant past and future. Hence pre-Mohammedan India has no history ; its annals are a lost chapter in the story of mankind. For the facts of history, unlike the facts of science, never repeat themselves; if the contemporary observer do not record them, no after age can recover them. Over that busy world of human life, between the era of the Vedas and Mahmud's invasions, with all its triumphs and failures, its vices and heroisms, there hangs an impenetrable veil. We can see that there was plenty to tell, but there was no one who cared to tell it. The establishment of the Brah
manical tribes; the rise of the laws of Manu; the disputes between the hierarchy and the warrior caste, whose records we can dimly trace in the legends of Jámadagnya and Viswamitra ; the rise of Buddhism and its subsequent overthrow,—these are subjects as deeply interesting as any in ancient history, but they are now enigmas which we can never solve. European erudition may pore over the epic legends, until it fancies it can decypher some older writing under the palimpsest; by the aid of coins and inscriptions we can settle a few dates and names of dynasties; but these at their best are but a barren substitute for the living story of human interest, which, but for contemporary apathy, we might have possessed.
Happily, however, all countries are not like India ; other civi. lised nations have been proud to commemorate the deeds of their ancestors and contemporaries; and with them the muse of history has taken her place, a daughter of memory, with the sister eight. The earliest note of European history opens on this string.
“ This is the publication of the researches of ' Herodotus of Halicarnassus, that past actions may not vanish
from among men by time, nor the great and marvellous achievements, displayed by Greeks and Barbarians, lose their meed of
praise.” Every other civilised people, except India, have had some form of chronicle amidst their other literature, which preserved, however imperfectly, some features of the vanished generations,-some remembrance of their deeds and sufferings, to interest posterity. Even in the thickest darkness of the middle ages, there were hands found, which could write, however dully, some record of the events transpiring around them, little as the writers may have detected the nature of the general movement, or realised the goal to which it was tending. The voluminous collections, which comprise the successive annals and chronicles of mediaval England and France, attest the existence, however faint, of some historical impulse even in the dark ages. Men were not even then content to perish forgotten ; they too wished in their way that their present, however
rude and barbarous, might still "not vanish from among men by time.”
These early chronicles are of course always uncritical; the writer puts down as he hears, and thinks only of preserving his details without further sifting or examination. The whole race of chroniclers are but the heapers of facts,--they are valuable, simply because they rescue from oblivion those countless traits and details, which, unless preserved by a contemporary, are for ever lost, and which in the historian's hands are invaluable as materials. It remains for the historian, properly so called, to use these materials for his work, to change the rude and undigested mass into order and regularity, and to shew the true