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We beg to differ, and should consider it a calamity, if the true character and the true causes of the mutiny remained hid under the specious mask of political intrigue. The mighty foe of British power in India, would remain formidable indeed, if, even after this dreadful explosion, he succeeded in baffling detection. We shall first endeavour to show,—not indeed, that political intrigues have not been largely mixed up with the mutiny, but—that the mutiny is not the effect of political intrigue, not the product of a widely ramified and long matured conspiracy. Having established this fact, we shall then proceed to lay before our readers what we believe to be the true interpretation of the mysterious and horrible tragedy of 1857.

To begin with the last mentioned chapatti migration. The mystery is still as dark as ever. No reasonable explanation has been offered. It has been said that the object was first to distribute the cakes largely—then after a month or two, to make it known, that they had been sent by Government, that they had contained foul substances, intended to pollute and spoil the caste of all who had tasted them, and by this means to rouse the whole population into violent excitement and fiercest hatred of Government; -in short that the cakes were intended to serve among the

population at large as a counterpart to the sepoy's cartridges. But this interpretation is as doubtful as the phenomenon which it undertakes to explain is mysterious. It may have been, for all we know, the effect of some sudden whim of an individual, or a company of idle fellows, who will never be discovered, or may have had the general object of adding to the ferment, which in those days was at work among the masses, before the great storm burst upon Hindustan proper. A similar phenomenon, the cause and effects of which have remained an unsolved rid. dle, happened in Central India forty years ago. It is related in Sir John Malcolm's “memoir of Central India,” and has been quoted in the Delhi Gazette : The war with the Pin• darries was then over (1818), and the country was in a state ' of tolerable tranquillity, when a sudden agitation was produced

among the peaceable inhabitants : a number of cocoanuts were passed from village to village, with the direction to speed them to

specific destinations (usually to the chief local authority.) From • beyond Joypore (north) to the Deccan (south), and from the ' frontier of Guzerat to the territories of Bhopal, this signalflew with

unheard of celerity. The Potail of every village, where the cocoa

nuts came, carried them himself with breathless haste to another, " to avert the curse which was denounced on all who impeded or

stopped them for a moment. No event followed to throw any light on this extraordinary occurrence. Every inquiry was instituted, and persons were set to trace the route of the signal for

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several hundred miles, but no information was obtained ; and a circumstance which for upwards of a month produced a very serious sensation over all Central I dia, remains to this moment a complete mystery."

The guilt of the ex-king of Oude, and of the pensioner of Delhi, may, probably will, be fully established. Their connection with the mutineers cannot be denied. Documentary evidence will very likely be produced in abundance to prove that both these men and their immediate counsellers have been drawn into the vortex of the mutiny. It is more than probable from the nature of things, that such has been the case. The state of the army must have been well known to these Mohammedan chiefs. The knowledge which was conveyed to them, no doubt, months before the actual outbreak, of a whole army being disposed or determined to mutiny against the Feringhi Government, must have been to them a temptation of extraordinary power. It is certain, that neither of them has given any, the least intimation to the British Government, in order to secure, by timely warnings of a great danger, its lasting gratitude. Why should they have done so ? Their ignorance was profound enough, to

, permit them to cherish the hope, that the great sepoy army would prove a match, more than a match for the small unprepared European forces, scattered over an immense country, to imagine that ere succour could arrive from across the seas, a general rising of all the Mohammedans, joined by large numbers of fresh proselytes, foreshown to them in the phantasmagoria of their heated brains, and by hordes of wild, lawless men ready to start from the ground as soon as the pressure of established Government were taken away, would give speedy and complete victory to the rebellion, and with one fell swoop cut off the whole Feringhi race from India. It ought ever to be kept in mind, that no Mussulman who does not sincerely renounce his religion, can be trusted by infidel rulers. Mohammedanism is more absolutely antagonistic to Christianity, than any other form of Heathenism. (Heathenism it is, essentially; for the God whose prophet is Mohammed, is as false a God as Shiva, or Krishna, Rama or any other idol.) Other forms of Heathenism have long ceased to make conquests. Mohammedanism, like Christianity, lays claim to the mastery of the world, to be conquered by the sword according to the Koran, by the Word according to the gospel. The Christian may, (at least the Protestant Christian,) nay is bound to, live peaceably under any Government, because his master's kingdom is not of this world; the Mussulman may remain quiet as long as he is conscious of his weakness, and his impotency to throw off the yoke of infidels. But when the standard of the prophet of Mecca is raised, the soul of every


Mohammedan is stirred by the sight to its inmost depths, and at the cry of Din, Din, the Mussulman shakes off the torpor of every day life, and of acquired habits, and rushes forth as the war-horse at the sound of the trumpet and the clank of arms. Exceptions there may be; no doubt, there are; but they are avowedly rare. To place absolute political confidence in Mohammedaus is a fatal mistake, which the British Government has had to rue bitterly, and will have to rue bitterly again, if calamities, like these of 1857, have not the effect of rendering them wiser. How could it be otherwise, therefore, than that Mohammedan princes, like the ex-king of Oude and the phantom King of Delhi, should have fallen into the snare of lending themselves to leaders of a fast ripening revolt of so glorious prospects. They have yielded to the temptation to their own ruin. Thus far the mutiny has, of course, a political character. But the idea, that these chiefs of “defunct dynasties," or their nearest relatives, have been the prime movers in the mutiny, the original instigators of the revolt, is refuted by their conduct since the commencement of the supposed success of their machinations. What has the wretched old king, or the men who acted under his name at Delhi, done since May, to entitle them to the honor of first actors in the terrible performance? The whole conduct of operations on their part has been a miserable failure, down to the capture of the city. As for the Oude ex-king, would he have lived at Garden Reach, doing nothing but carrying on intrigues, had he been the real head of the Oude insurrection? Had he schemed the overthrow of the British Government since his deposition, would he have sent his family to England to petition the Queen, to petition and bribe (!) Parliament for his restoration ?

The analogy of the Vellore mutiny, on closer examination, appears inapplicable to the Bengal mutiny. Dr. Duff takes it for certain, that the intrigues of the Mysore princes were the primary cause of the former. We doubt this much. The subject was a matter of very earnest controversy among persons who were on the spot, who conducted the after inquiries, and Lord W. Bentinck himself seems to have been at a loss to come to a decision. But a second consideration seems to us decisive. When the same military regulations were announced at Hyderabad, they produced similar effects upon the Contingent. A fearful convulsion was evidently threatening there. It might have equalled the horrors of Vellore. There were no Mysore princes at Hyderabad to stir and nurse mutiny. Dr. Duff may tell us : “well then, by your showing as well as by mine, the

parallelism is complete. I contend, in 1806, the Mysore princes were the prime movers in the mutiny business, and I believe Dec., 1857.


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that Mohammedan princes have played the same part in 1857. " You say, that both parties only took advantage of an existing

spirit of mutiny. You change, then, the terms, but preserve ' the parallelism of the two phenomena.” We answer : "no; we ' indeed, believe, that in the Vellore and in the Bengal mutiny,

Mohammedan princes have intrigued with mutinous sepoys, • but in 1806, the mutiny rose and fell with the “new orders;" ' it was an acute mutiny; in 1857, the cartridge blunder became

irremediable, because the mutiny of the Bengal army has been

a chronic disease. The two cases are widely different. When ' in 1806 the obnoxious regulations were withdrawn, their with

drawal was immediately followed by a perfect calm, and by a • cheerful return of the sepoys to subordination.” In 1857, when the Government had taken away any possible ground of suspicion, by allowing, for instance, the 19th regiment to grease their own cartridges with ghee purchased by themselves, the mutinous excitement went on as before. No withdrawal of cartridges, no furnishing of ghee, no proclamations, no harangues had any effect upon the Bengal mutineers. In 1806, after the revocation of the new orders, the mutinous spirit disappeared, and the intrigues of the sons of Tippoo ceased to trouble the British Government. In 1857, all the honest efforts of a temperate and temporizing Government proved useless. The mutiny took its own course. The ex-king of Oude was imprisoned in Calcutta, his brother in Lucknow—without any effect upon the revolted army. At Delhi neither the old king, nor the younger princes, were considered or treated as the real heads of the rebellion. Had they been the instigators, the planners, the prime movers, they would have held a very different position, when their machinations had been crowned with full success, as it must have appeared to all Delhi on the 11th and 12th of May. For these reasons we demur to the proposition that the original and principal cause of the Bengal mutiny was political intrigues on the part of fallen Moslem princes. Much less reason do we see to charge the revolt on the secret hatred of Russia, and the clandestine activity of Russian agents. It would be very unjust to charge a policy as profound and wily as the Czar's with the concoction and direction of a revolt which has distinguished itself as much by its utter want of management, of combination of plans, of harmonious action, of statesmanship, as by its unutterable atrocities, villanies and beastly excesses. Moreover had Russia meant harm to British India, how easily could Russian diplomacy and gold have prevented the timely ratification of the treaty of peace by the Shah of Persia,-a move of exquisite insidiousness, which would have well nigh checkmated the British Government. At the risk of appearing paradoxical, we confess that we are strongly inclined to doubt, whether the mutiny has been the result of a common conspiracy, ramified through the whole Bengal army, and slowly matured by some secret council of plotting Brahmans, Rajputs and Mussulmans. Our reasons are these : 1. A conspiracy of this sort could not, we conceive, have escaped the knowledge of military officers and of civilians, for they were not all asleep, in some parts of the wide field, over which the meshes of the net must have been tied by a slow process of years. 2. Such a revolt committee would have taken the lead from the time of out. break. 3. A regular conspiracy would have taken good care to form affiliated clubs in the Bombay and the Madras armies before, instead of dispersing emissaries after the commencement of active operations. In the west and south, such emissaries have been caught, but only long after the beginning of the mutiny, and most of them have been men of disbanded or revolted regiments. To sum up the argument of the preceding pages, then,

The mutiny of 1857, a revolt of the Bengal army, has its primary cause, neither in religious jealousy and fears, excited in the Bengal sepoys by donations of Lord Canning to missionary institutions, nor by the over-zeal of laymen in the East India Company's service, nor by the rapid progress of Bengal missionsnor in the faults of an excessively oentralizing system of military administration, and the gradual estrangement of the sepoy from his staff-office-or-civil-appointment-loving, more and more Europeanized officer-nor in the paucity of European regiments in India, nor in political intrigues carried on by "defunct dynasties” of India, nor by a powerful and inimical European court, nor in a conspiracy, taking the word in its usual sense. Neither any one of these causes, nor all of them taken together, appear to us to furnish an adequate explanation of the character of the Bengal mutiny:

We hope to have succeeded in convincing unbiassed readers of the correctness of the negative side of our view, and now proceed to—what appears to us—the correct interpretation of the lamentable events of the season of woe which, we trust, has now come to a close.

1. The primary cause of the Bengal mutiny has been the utter want of discipline, and the spirit of insubordination inseparable from the Brahmanic caste system upheld in the Bengal army.

Military subordination is utterly incompatible with a system of caste, recognized or connived at in an army of mercenaries, officered by foreigners. Honorary distinctions of any kind between the privates of regiments, who must be treated alike by military superiors, are repugnant to the military system. When

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