Page images

intercourse which he hoped to enjoy with Charlotte and little Margaret at Bombay. "At last, on the 30th of November, the ' vessel entered Bombay harbour-and Malcolm was happy.The sculptor cast a veil over the face of a father about to be deprived by a ruthless superstition of his daughter, and this is imputed to his despair of being able to express such grief. This, we take upon us to say, is a mistake. It was not that he could not, but that he would not, that he felt that he ought not; he instinctively respected the sacredness of parental grief; and in like manner do we respect the sacredness of conjugal and parental joy.

In all the delights of genial intercourse with his Bombay friends, of that sacred intimacy to which we have alluded with his amiable and accomplished wife, of incessant wonderment at the discovery of the various beauties of his wonderful baby, and of exciting occupation in the organization of his little army, six weeks did not seem long; and on the 3rd of January, 1809, he wrote to Mr. Henry Wellesley that he expected to proceed to the Gulf in ten days, with an admirably well-appointed little force of about 2,000 men, to be followed, if necessary, with 3 or 4,000 more.

Lord Minto had written to Sir Harford Jones directing him to return from Bushire ; but as lie had left Bombay before he was ordered to remain there, so he had left Bushire before he was ordered to return thence. Now if Malcolm had been merely bent on his own gratification, or if he had studied merely his own interests, he might have got great kudos by hastening his departure, and taking possession of Karrack before Jones could present himself in “ the presence” at Teheran. But while this would have been congenial to the feelings of the “ Boy-Malcolm," and would have been as good as what Sir Arthur Wellesley could only describe by a proverbial phrase as a

proper Malcolm riot,” he neither on this, nor on any other occasion, allowed his dashing spirit to gain the ascendancy over his duty as a man entrusted with weighty responsibilities; and he therefore halted till he could refer to Calcutta. Before this reference reached Calcutta, the Government there had received intelligence respecting the relations of the European powers, which had caused Lord Minto to write to Malcolm to await further orders, and to suspend the expedition, if it should not have sailed. Lord Minto also expressed his desire, if the Military expedition should not be found necessary, to place a resident minister at the Persian Court, and hinted that the minister should be General Malcolm. But this was not to Malcolm's taste. Six years before this he had written from General Wellesley's camp to General Stuart,

a political agent is never so likely to succeed as when he negotiates at the head of an army ;' and he was of the same mind still. From his letters it would appear as if he had understood Lord Minto to contemplate the sending of him as “political,” and a military force under another General ; but it appears that what was really contemplated was not to send the military force at all. And this contemplation in due time ripened into a resolution. The whole scheme of the mission, political and military alike, was for the present abandoned. We cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of extracting the concluding paragraph of the private letter from Lord Minto, which accompanied the official intimation of this resolution. If a man do not himself particularly care for such graceful compliments, he is always sure that his wife will be gratified by them, and he is pleased if it were only that they give pleasure to her.

For these reasons, and for others which it is not necessary to enumerate in this letter, I think we are at liberty, and it is therefore our duty to renounce the proposed expedition, and, so far as Persia is concerned, to resume our peace establishment. Knowing how your mind and all its powers have, for such a length of time, been devoted to the great interests involved in the affair of Persia, and generally in the Persian Gulf-knowing how instrumental I have myself been in disturbing the tranquillity, public and domestic, of your permanent station at Mysore, and in kindling the very ardour which this letter is to extinguish–I cannot but feel extreme regret and discomfort at a termination which, on one hand, withdraws such talents as yours, with all the energy which belongs to your character, from the great field on which they were to be displayed, and, on the other, may seem to blight the rich fruits of honor and distinction which you were on the point of gathering. These are sentiments, in which I hope and am convinced you firmly believe, while I rely on the rectitude as well as strength of mind which distinguish you for feeling that they are sentiments which may be permitted to follow, but which could not be allowed any share in forming, our resolution on this great public question.”

On receipt of this letter, Malcolm would of course have turned his face at once towards Mysore; but there was no steam in those days, and the monsoon was against him; and so he remained a few weeks longer in Bombay, collecting materials for his contemplated Political History of India and his History of Persia. In the month of May, “he embarked with bis family

for Madras; but he arrived there only to find the Government rin alarm, the Presidency in commotion, and the army in ' rebellion."

We need not inform our readers that the rebellion of the army was the cause of the alarm of the Government, and of the commotion of the Presidency. Upon the history of this rebellion, we cannot enter now; but shall probably, ere long, make it

the subject of a separate article. We shall only state in general that almost all the regimental officers of the Madras army assumed an attitude of determined defiance to the Government, and many of them declared themselves ready to fight in defence of their rights to the last drop of their blood. This was a state of things which has no parallel in the history of a British army. That English gentlemen and soldiers, with or without cause of complaint, should have comported themselves as these men did, we believe that few in these days would deem possible. We all know, alas! too well, what is the misery of a sepoy mutiny; but the mutiny, or rather rebellion, of the English portion of our army, is a misery of a still darker character. The chief foci of the rebellion were Hyderabad and Masulipatam. To the former station, Colonel Close was despatched, and to the latter, General Malcolm. It is with the latter that we have to do. He started from Madras after long conferences with Sir George Barlow, with the distinct understanding that the plan of proceeding, which he had sketched out, of firmness tempered with conciliation, had the full sanction of the Governor. If he were right in this understanding, we think it impossible to doubt that he acted his difficult part in an admirable manner.

He made no promises to officers with arms in their hands, which they professed themselves ready to use against the Government whom they had sworn to serve. But he reasoned with them in public and in private, represented to them the atrocity and the madness of their conduct, and was in a fair way to bringing them to submission. He then recommended to Government the issue of a proclamation, offering a pardon to those who should, within one hour after its receipt, return to their duty, and threatening the utmost severity of military law to those who should hesitate to return. This course was rejected by Sir George, who trusted to the loyalty of the Royal troops, and considered that the time had come to turn British bayonets against British breasts. This awful alternative was adopted by Sir George, and a bloody conflict ensued at Seringapatam. Malcolm's advice having been rejected, he asked permission to proceed to Madras, in the hope of being able to convince the Governor of the propriety of adopting it; and when in this he failed, it was of course out of the question that he should return to Masulipatam. The mutiny was quelled by other means than those that Malcolm had recommended; but whether it would not have been better quelled by gentler means, and whether it were favorable to British prestige to exhibit the spectacle of a civil war before the newly conquered natives of Seringapatam, may well be questioned.

While Malcolm was yet at Madras, in the month of Septem. 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. FROUDE. London, 1856.

once ;

THE human race has been compared to an ever-green tree, THE

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

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 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


« PreviousContinue »