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from its weight, even though such a step might ne. cessarily involve a reconciliation with his old rival Holkar. But though the arm of the Mahratta was strong and energetic in war, he always proved himself in council as dilatory and vacillating as the most timid Bengalee. Had Holkar joined Scindiah and the Berar rajah at the commencement of the campaign, the three might have waged, not, perhaps, a successful, but a pro. tracted campaign, from which they would have retired upon conditions much more favourable than those that they actually obtained. If, on the other hand, Scindiah had allied himself with Holkar, at a time when the English were dispirited and disheartened by the disasters of the siege of Bhurtpoor, a seasonable diversion could have been effected. Instead of doing this, however, Scindiah allowed many favourable opportunities to escape him, and only displayed his hostile intentions when the Rajah of Bhurtpoor was contemplating a surrender of his stronghold, and when Holkar was flying as a fugitive before the English cavalry. Nor, perhaps, would a Christian historian greatly err, who should deduce from these circumstances the conclusion that He who for wise purposes ordained that a Christian nation should bear rule over the swarthy sons of Hindoostan, had, as of old, turned the counsel of the wise into foolishness, in order to work out the plans of His own inscrutable will.

The hostile intentions of Scindiah were soon placed beyond a doubt. He received Holkar into his camp; he advanced, in spite of all remonstrances, against the Company's frontier, plundered the house of the British resident in his dominions, and treated him as a prisoner of war. The approach of the rainy season alone prevented Lord Lake from seeking immediate satisfaction for these aggravated outrages, as the British army was soon obliged to go into quarters during the con. tinuance of the monsoon. The palace of the great

1805.]

THE ENGLISH IN MONSOON QUARTERS.

189

Akbar at Futtypoor, and the imperial cities of Agra and Muttra received within their precincts the successors of that imperial race whose monuments and mausoleums adorned the almost ruined capitals of the Mogul. The power of their founders had departed for ever, and the only heir to their mighty name was an infirm and decrepit man, who, after having been the slave of his father's slaves, found himself compelled to depend for his daily bread upon the bounty of strangers, the representatives of foreign merchants, whose sovereignty extended over territories and races which the greatest of the Moguls, in his most ambitious dreams, rarely aspired to rule, and would never have been able to subdue.

CHAPTER XV.

RETIREMENT OF THE MARQUIS WELLESLEY-DEATH OF LORD CORN

WALLIS — PEACE WITH SCINDIAH — GEORGE THOMAS, THE IRISH RAJAH-TREATY WITH HOLKAR-SENTIMENTS OF SIR ARTHUR WELLESLEY ON THE MAHRATTA WAR-GENERAL REVIEW OF THE WELLESLEY ADMINISTRATION.

1805–1806.

The Indian career of the Marquis Wellesley was now drawing to a close. His lordship had some time before contemplated retiring from his arduous office; which, indeed, he only retained for the purpose of concluding the Mahratta war. That contest was now almost at an end, since it appeared certain that neither Scindiah nor Holkar could much longer maintain their ground. The former, indeed, showed some signs of irresolution; he volunteered ample reparation for the insult offered to the resident, and finally separated himself from Holkar.

But the governor-general's policy, though successful abroad, was viewed with different eyes at home. Some persons in England blamed the marquis for engaging in so many hostile expeditions, while the mother country continued involved in a long and costly European war. The Company themselves echoed this censure. Their capital and profits, they asserted, had been wasted in the acquisition of provinces which they did not desire to possess, and the revenues of which were by no means equivalent to the outlay made in conquering and ruling them. The enormous expenditure, rendered inevitable by an arduous campaign, also alarmed the proprietors, who began to think that the governor-general aspired, like another Alexander, to the conquest of the entire 1805.] APPOINTMENT AND DEATH OF LORD CORNWALLIS. 191 oriental world. Popular feeling operated by degrees upon the Ministry, and influenced the Board of Control. Lord Wellesley was recalled, and Lord Cornwallis, whose predilection for a pacific policy had rendered him popular in Leadenhall-street, received a second time the appointment of governor-general. To this high and important charge he added another equally influential, that of commander-in-chief; an office that was generally distinct from the former, although occasionally, both before and after this period, exercised in combination with it. The absolute authority thus vested in Lord Cornwallis would have enabled him to terminate the campaign at once, but the marquis wisely forbore all interference with the arrangements of Lord Lake, until he should have an opportunity of consulting that distinguished commander in the upper provinces. For this purpose he quitted Calcutta, and proceeded towards Benares; but the excitement and fatigue of so long a journey proved fatal to his frame, already much exhausted by age and sickness : he sank at last under a weight of infirmities, and was buried at Gazipoor, near Benares.

Sir George Barlow, the senior member of Council, exercised during the interim the functions of governorgeneral. He had always been an advocate for peace, and deemed a separate negotiation with either Holkar or Scindiah the best method of securing it. Lord Lake, on the contrary, urged that both these chieftains should be crushed; since experience had shown how little faith could be reposed in the promises or treaties of a Mahratta leader. But the supreme council listened coldly to any propositions involving the continuance of the war; and finally it was considered desirable to ascertain the feelings of Scindiah with regard to an accommodation. That chieftain received the British envoy, Sir John Malcolm, favourably, and professed himself willing to treat, while Holkar quitted the camp and

hastened towards the banks of the Indus, collecting, as he passed along, a large number of adventurers and robbers, whom the love of plunder, and his previous reputation as a marauding leader, rendered eager to enlist under his standard. Lord Lake determined to pursue Holkar in person, with a select body of infantry and dragoons, as the Mahratta chief had recently succeeded in effecting his escape from Major-General Jones and Colonel Bull, both of whom were directed to intercept his flight. After saluting the emperor at his capital, the English commander advanced to Souniput, a small town thirty miles north-west of Delhi.

The territory around Souniput had been governed in times past by George Thomas, an Irish rajah, who came out to India in 1782, as boatswain on board of a man-of-war. He lived some years among the Polygars, and then, passing through the peninsula, took service with the celebrated Begum Sumroo, who conferred upon him eventually the command of her troops. Being driven away from this post by the intrigues of his enemies, he gained the favour of Appakunda Row, a Mahratta chieftain who adopted him as his son, and granted him some lands in the Mewattie district. Distinguishing himself by his exploits against the Sikhs, he obtained new honours from the Mahratta states, who presented him with the districts of Souniput, Panniput, and Carnawl, the revenue of which amounted to upwards of ten lacs of rupees.

Mr. Thomas then formed an independent sovereignty in the country of Hurrianah, which for many years had been without any regular government. He made the town of Hansy his capital, strengthened it with new and extensive fortifications, and gave great encouragement to strangers to settle there. He founded a mint, and erected several manufactories for the purpose of making muskets and gunpowder, it being his intention to conquer the Punjaub, and plant the British standard upon

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