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really wielded by turns the supreme authority, the Dictator of the Mahratta Republic agreed to allow an English force to be stationed upon the frontiers of his dominions. He flattered himself that thus he might overawe the contending chieftains, while, at the same time, he kept back from his European allies the influence which they would have possessed, if stationed in the midst of the Mahratta country. The governor-general, on the other hand, hoping that this concession would be productive hereafter of others more important, protracted the negotiations, while, at the same time, he used every means to strengthen and support the position occupied by the British in India.
Great apprehensions had been entertained with respect to the intentions of Zemaun Shah, King of Cabool, who was threatening the northern parts of Hindoostan with an invasion. Lord Mornington determined to counteract this design, by obliging the enemy to guard his own frontiers. He, therefore, despatched Sir John Malcolm as envoy to the court of Persia. The Shah Baber Khan had already interfered in the affairs of Afghanistan, and regarded Zemaun with feelings of personal dislike. Sir John Malcolm effected the object of his embassy so well, that the Persian monarch concluded a special treaty with the English; sent away from his court the representatives of the French government; and engaged to divert the attention of Zemaun Shah by an attack upon his dominions. Through the medium of Sir John Malcolm, a friendly intercourse was opened, at the same time, with the Imaum of Muscat and the Pasha of Baghdad. These timely negotiations prevented the threatened incursion; Zemaun Shah having soon afterwards become a prisoner to his brother Mohammed, who, instigated by the Persians, had stirred up against him a civil war. Among other measures also contemplated at this period by Lord Mornington, was the establishment of an overland route to England, for the purpose of superseding the long and tedious passage round the Cape.
SETTLEMENT OF THE CARNATIO.
A collection of papers discovered in the palace of Seringapatam brought to light some hitherto unsuspected relations between Tippoo and the Nabob of the Carnatic. The governor-general seized at once upon this fair pretext for abolishing, what had been always felt to be an inconvenient anomaly, the double government of this flourishing region. The reigning sovereign, Omdut-oolOmrah, inherited from his predecessors an amount of debt which increased annually with but little hope of its being finally liquidated. The people groaned under the iron yoke of extortioners and usurers, who flocked around the sick-bed of the expiring prince, disturbing his last moments by their intrigues and clamours. A corps of British troops was despatched to take possession of the palace; the Nabob was suffered to expire in peace ; but his son received an intimation, after the father's decease, that the Nabobs of the Carnatic must no longer regard themselves as independent sovereigns.
The majority of Hindoo rulers valued their rank chiefly on account of the pleasures and wealth with which it supplied them; their power being generally delegated to an intriguing minister, or an ambitious general. Azeemood-Dowlah, therefore, the reputed heir, was not, perhaps, unwilling to exchange the labours of royalty for its shadow, when such a transmutation furnished him with the means of enjoying the usual amusements of an oriental prince, undisturbed by the brawls of ambitious courtiers, or the contests of factious dependents. The transfer, indeed, could not be effected without difficulty, for Azeem-ood-Dowlah, although the heir, was not the son of the Nabob; and the nobles of the court seemed at first inclined to support Hussein Ali, the reputed offspring of the latter. Eventually, however, the governor-general effected a settlement which the oppressed population hailed with joy and gratitude. A handsome annual allowance, and a release from his numerous liabilities, satisfied the Nabob; who retained his former title and enjoyed the respect usually paid to its possessors, while the Company took upon themselves the actual sovereignty and administration of his fertile territories.
By the request of Lord Clive, the Governor of Madras, Colonel Wellesley, still superintended the affairs of Mysore. His sterling abilities, no less than his justice, humanity, and moderation, had so much endeared him to the people, that it was found difficult to supply his place. About this time he gave an instance of that disregard of personal interest and feelings, when duty called for the renunciation of either, which shed so bright a lustre on his after career. The Government contemplated an expedition to Batavia, for the purpose of taking possession of the Dutch settlements on that island. A military officer was wanted to accompany the naval force, and the appointment had been offered to Colonel Wellesley. He wished very much to accept it, but finally announced his determination in the following terms:—“I have left it to Lord Clive to accept for me Lord Mornington's offer or not, as he may find it most convenient for the public service. The probable advantages and credit are great, but I am determined that nothing shall induce me to quit this country until its tranquillity is restored." Afterwards he writes to the governor-general, “I do not deny that I should like much to go, but you will have learned before you receive this, that my troops are in the field.”
The latter piece of information alluded to his movement against Dhoondiah Waugh, the freebooter, mentioned a few pages back; who had once more returned, with a formidable band, to pillage and lay waste the frontiers of Mysore. This robber assumed the lofty title of "King of the Two Worlds,” and aimed, doubtless, at carving out for himself some independent principality-after the example of Hyder Ali, in whose service he originally commenced his adventurous career. Subsequently he incurred the displeasure of Tippoo, who chained him, like a wild beast, to the walls of one of his dungeons in
DEFEAT OF DHOONDIAH WAUGH.
161 Seringapatam, from which “durance vile” he had been liberated by the English soldiers. Being himself a Mahratta or Patan, he crossed their frontier when hard pressed, and found among those warlike and predatory tribes abundance of recruits to join his standard. He now threatened Mysore with 5,000 cavalry, and the Government of Madras instructed Colonel Wellesley“ to pursue him wherever he could be found, and to hang him on the first tree.” This general order also gave the pursuers permission to enter the Mahratta territory, if Dhoondiah, according to his usual custom, should attempt to take refuge there.
On the 30th of July the English commander surprised Dhoondiah's camp, and destroyed a large number of his followers, but the chief robber still continued to elude his grasp. The closing scene is thus graphically described by Colonel Wellesley himself, in the first volume of the Wellington Despatches :-“After a most anxious night I marched in the morning and met the King of the World with his army, about five thousand horse, at a village called Conahgall
, about six miles from hence. He had not known of my being so pear him in the night, and had thought that I was at Chinnoor. He was marching to the westward, with the intention of passing between the Mahratta and Mogul cavalry and me. He drew up, however, in a very strong position as soon as he perceived me; and the 'victorious army' stood for some time with apparent firmness. I charged them with the 19th and 25th Dragoons, and the 1st and 2d regiments of cavalry, and drove them before me till they dispersed, and were scattered over the face of the country. I then returned and attacked the royal camp, and got possession of elephants, camels, baggage, &c. &c., which were still upon the ground. The Mogul and Mahratta cavalry came up about eleven o'clock, and they have been employed ever since, in the pursuit and destruction of the scattered fragments of the rebellious army."
“ Thus has ended this warfare, and I shall commence my march in a day or two towards my own country. An honest Killadar of Chinnoor had written to the King of the World by a regular tappal, established for the purpose of giving him intelligence, that I was to be at Nowly on the 8th, and at Chinnoor on the 9th. His Majesty was misled by this information, and was nearer to me than he expected. The honest Killadar did all he could to detain me at Chinnoor, but I was not to be prevailed upon to stop; and even went so far as to threaten to hang a great man sent to show me the road, who manifested an inclination to show me a good road to a different place.”
The subjugation and subsequent death of Dhoondiah, with the extirpation of his formidable band of freebooters, having relieved the English Government from an enemy who, although by no means equal to Hyder or Tippoo, might eventually have afforded considerable annoyance, the governor-general was enabled to direct his attention and undivided energies elsewhere. On the 24th of December a public order, issued at Madras, announced that Colonel Wellesley had been appointed to proceed to Trincomalee, in Ceylon, for the purpose of commanding a force destined to attack the Mauritius. The expedition was postponed, in consequence of the non-arrival of part of the naval armament under Admiral Rainier; and Colonel Wellesley, who had repaired at once to Ceylon, now gave it as his opinion that nothing could be done at so advanced a period. Batavia was then proposed, but, before the necessary arrangements could be effected, Colonel Wellesley received a despatch from Madras, enclosing the copy of a letter from the secretary of state to the governor-general, “desiring that a force from India might be in readiness to act in Egypt.” He at once took upon himself the responsibility of transferring the troops under his command from Ceylon to Bombay, notwithstanding the opposition he encountered from Mr.