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own conduct miylıt suggest, were questions which at this time were warmly discussed by Lord Wellesley and his advisers, and debated by the authorities at home."
It was easy
The first of these lines of policy Malcolm had proposed and advocated in letters from Scindia's camp, and the idea had then been scouted by Lord Wellesley. But at that time Scindia was on friendly terms with us, and had evidently a disposition favorable to the maintenance of peace. In the course of little more than a year that had elapsed since then, he had fallen entirely under the influence of his father-in-law and prime minister, Surjee Rao Ghautka, who had contrived to convert him from a somewhat thoughtless, but withal not a disingenuous youth, into a depraved and hopeless scoundrel. The advice that Malcolm gave in 1803, was therefore altogether inapplicable in 1805. But unfortunately Lord Wellesley, who had scouted it then, was too willing to act upon it now. Even Mr. Kaye, who has for Lord Wellesley a veneration and an affection of no ordinary strength, is obliged to differ from him. He can only apologize for him; and the apology must, to a certain extent at least, be sustained :
“ Lord Wellesley was now on the eve of retirement from office. He was every day expecting to hear of the appointment of his suc
He was weary and heart-sick of the long-continued strife which he had maintained with the authorities at home. to say that the "
glorious little man was losing all his old courage, was shaken in his high resolves. But it was not easy to bear up against the irritating assaults of his enemies, and the galling desertion of his friends. Whatever may have been the sympathy and support which a steady adhesion to his old policy would have secured to him from the statesmen of India, he knew that he could look for neither sympathy nor support from England; and to England he was now carrying his reputation. The great game” may have suited those who were not responsible for its success or failure. And Lord Wellesley would still, perhaps, not have shrunk from it, if he could have seen it played out. But he knew that he would have been held responsible for measures initiated, but not prosecuted to their completion, by himself; and there were many considerations which enveloped the issue of another war with a mist of doubt and uncertainty.”
We have said that this apology must be sustained, to a certain extent, but to a certain extent only. In fact it would have been more applicable to the close of 1803, than to the beginning of 1805. At the former of these dates, no less than at the latter, Lord Wellesley supposed himself to be on the eve of retirement. And his unpopularity at home had greatly decreased in the interval. While the thanks of parliament had been cordially given to all engaged in the war, on purely military grounds, so far as
regarded its conduct, there had been but a slight grumble uttered by a few members against its origination on political grounds. The Crown had raised General Lake to the peerage, and General Wellesley to the knighthood of the Bath. * I am not certain," we find him writing to Malcolm on the 2nd of November, 180+, “ of the views of the present administration with regard to the
system of government and policy in India, although I have
received a very kind and flattering letter from Mr. Pitt." This surely indicates that the tide had turned in his favor, and shews a different state of things from that which prevailed in 1803, respecting which General Wellesley wrote to Malcolm on the 21st of January, 1804, as follows ---- The Governor-General has ' received a letter from Henry, in which Henry informs him that he had had a long conversation with Mr. Addington
on the subject of the support which the Governor-General was to expect from ministers hereafter, in which Mr. Addington said plainly that they could not support the Governor-General against the Court of Directors."
Be all these things as they might, Lord Wellesley was glad to remain at peace with Scindia, if it could be maintained without dishonor; and Mr. Jenkins, (afterwards Sir Richard Jenkins, who died lately) then acting Resident at his court, was instructed to inform him, if he thought fit, that either Col. Malcolm or Mr. Græme Mercer, or both, would probably soon be deputed on a special mission to his court. And so, after a fortnight's residence in Calcutta, Malcolm proceeded to Lord Lake's camp, with discretionary powers to act as the course of events might render expedient. In this mission, Malcolm rejoiced on various accounts; but mainly because it showed him that he still retained, or had completely regained, that place in Lord Wellesley's confidence, which had been his joy and his pride, and the loss, or supposed loss, of which had grieved him so bitterly.
And so Malcolm set out from Calcutta, to attempt to unravel the tangled skein of Mahratta politics. After visiting Lucknow, he joined Lord Lake on the banks of the Chumbul, and shortly after proceeded with him to Muttra, “He now found himself among * new friends, and, for the first time, on service with the Bengal · Army. His arrival had created no little sensation in the camp
. . There were many there familiar with his name and his reputation, who had long desired to see the man of whom they had heard so much, and who were not disappointed. He was doubly welcome at Lord Lake's head-quarters. He was welcome on his own account. His fine personal qualities ever rendered him popular both with young and old; and his presence contributed much to the cheerfulness of the camp.
But he was welcome also as one who was believed to be at the head of the war-party
or rather one who would not willingly consent to any peace .but an honorable and a lasting one.” In laying plans for vigorous action in peace or in war, the hot months of 1805 were passed away; when Malcolm was put to a severe test by a request from Lord Wellesley that he should accompany him to England. What his Lordship's purpose might be in making this request, we cannot quite understand, nor does the work before us give us apy aid. Being left to conjecture, therefore, we suppose that his Lordship, expecting to be assailed with a storm of censure on his return to England, was anxious to have one with him, on whose talents and whose hearty sympathy he could count with certainty, as at once an able and a zealous vindicator of the policy that he had pursued. It was a difficult matter for Malcolm to decide whether he should or should not comply with this request; he decided in the negative; and we think few will doubt that he decided wisely.
On the 30th of July, 1905, Lord Cornwallis arrived in Calcutta, and Lord Wellesley shortly afterwards took his departure, carrying with him the respect of all, even of those who did not approve of the principles of his administration. At this distance of time we can judge impartially of those principles. They have given its character to the history of India during the last half-century; and we do not hesitate to say that an opposite line of policy would have produced a worse result. By saying this we do not intend to commit ourselves to the advocacy policy” in all circumstances. But at the end of last century, and the beginning of the present, it was a question of our existence or non-existence in India. It is to Lord Wellesley that we owe our existence as a great Asiatic power; and he would be a bolder man than we who would venture to say that our exisence in that character has not been advantageous both to England and to India.
One of Lord Cornwallis's first acts was to forward to Malcolm an explicit outline of the course of policy which he intended to pursue. He was avowedly sent out to alter that of his predecessor, and to introduce a peace-policy,—-mainly on financial grounds. He therefore frankly asked Malcolm whether he were willing to co-operate heartily with him in effecting his purposes. Perhaps some may think that Malcolm's office was so far a political one, where so much was necessarily left to the judgment of the actual officer, that it would have been wiser for him to have resigned it, and either to have returned to his Residency at Mysore, or to have volunteered for military service under Lord Lake. And Malcolm soon felt that this was the only course left to him to pursue.
He therefore determined to beg to be relieved of his office. But at present he did not feel this; and
he replied to Lord Cornwallis, that he would, as a public servant, render a cheerful obedience to His Lordship's commands, and do all that he could do to merit his approbation. But he soon found that the views of Lord Cornwallis, and indeed the conditions of his appointment, were still more directly opposed to the policy of his predecessor than he had at first supposed ; that they were not only opposed to annexation, but that they comprehended the cession of whole kingdoms already annexed. His views as to the nature of his office, and the necessity of its being held by one whose sentiments were in accordance with those of the Governor-General, are very clearly stated in a letter to his friend, Mr. Edmonstone, part of which we extract :
"Your station and mine are, my dear friend, widely different. As an officer of Government, acting immediately under the GovernorGeneral, you have in fact, only to obey orders, and are never left to the exercise of your own discretion and judgment, as you have a ready reference in all cases that can occur to the superior authority, with whom, of course, every responsibility rests. Under such circumstances, a secretary that chooses to be of a different opinionthat is to say, to maintain different opinions—from a GovernorGeneral, has, in my opinion, no option but to resign; and his resignation would, on such occasion, appear extraordinary to every person acquainted with the nature of his office, which is obviously one of an executive, not of a deliberative nature. Now look at my situation. Placed at a great distance from the Governor-General, and acting upon instructions of a general nature-obliged constantly to determine points upon my own judgment, as there is no time for reference- liable to be called upon by extraordinary exigencies to act in a most decided manner to save the public interests from injury, it is indispensable that the sentiments of my mind should be in some unison with the dictates of my duty; and if they unfortunately are contrary to it, I am not fit to be employed, for I bave seen enough of these scenes to be satisfied that a mere principle of obedience will never carry a man through a charge, where such large discretionary powers must be given, with either honor to himself or advantage to the public."
On the day before this letter was written, Lord Cornwallis died at Ghazipore, -"one of the best and noblest of men who ever gave
his life to his country.” Colonel Malcolm, on personal grounds, deeply lamented this event. Lord Cornwallis was his earliest patron. Even in the days when he was in reality, as for so long he was in name and in feeling, the Boy Malcolm, his Lordship had befriended him. And now, in the few weeks of his second tenure of the Governor-General's office, he had treated Malcolm with that frankness and manly confidence which is alike creditable to the man who displays it, and to the
man towards whom it is displayed. Lord Cornwallis was a gentleman, and knew that, in dealing with Malcolm, he had a gentleman to deal with. But while Malcolm shared the grief which all India felt at the loss of the venerable veteran, and shared in addition the grief which his personal friends felt with double keenness; lie did not conceal his belief that, for the interests of the public service, especially as regarded the conduct of those difficult negotiations in which he was himself engaged, it was better that the vice-regal sceptre had passed into another hand. The hand destined to receive it was that of Sir George Barlow, a man who had been deep in the confidence of Lord Wellesley, and who had supported him in those measures which Malcolm believed to be essential to the good of India. Malcolm therefore hastened to recall his resignation, and to assure Sir George of his willingness to be employed in his present situation.
But Sir George was in a difficult positionone of the most difficult in which a public or å private man can be placed. Nothing can be done without money, and the Indian Government had no money, nor the means of procuring any. "Why don't you rob the butler ?” said Sheridan to his son Tom. “I have robbed him already," was the lugubrious answer. " Then rob the cook." “ It is done, sir." The story is truc with respect to the Government of India at that time. With reference to this subject, we have already written at some length in our Review of the life of Lord Metcalfe, and can add nothing to the following sentence which we then wrote. “We believe that peace was in 1806 a necessity. Without money the war could not be carried on, and money there was
It was not a question of giving or withholding what was. ' It was the necessity of not giving what could in no way be pro
cured.” Still we were not reduced to the ignominy of suing for terms. Malcolm concluded with Scindia a treaty which, if it would not have pleased Lord Wellesley in the days when he was in the heart of the "great game,
great game,” was yet upon the whole advantageous to us. Lord Lake pursued Holkar so closely that his army was discomfited without a battle. He sued for peace, and it was granted to him on terms, which, while more favorable to him than would probably have been granted, bad there been a few crores of rupees in the treasury at Calcutta, were yet advantageous to the British interests. There is no doubt that it is mainly to Malcolm that we owe that these treaties were so favorable to our interests as they were. His services on this occasion were of the most laborious and the most disinterested kind. He had done all that could be done to raise money, and had succeeded to a certain extent; and had not been convinced that both the butler and the cook were cleared out."
ro cleared out.” In a word he was a