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1805.]

THE IRISH RAJAH,

193

the banks of the Attock. Although he met with no assistance from his countrymen, he maintained his position until the close of the year 1801, when he was driven from his dominions in consequence of the treachery of his officers, who, instigated by the French, formed a conspiracy against him, and threatened his life. He died in the course of his journey to Calcutta, on the 22d of August, 1802, being much regretted by those who knew him, and were acquainted with the energy of his character. In offering his dominions and conquests to his country, he said—“I wish to give them to my king, and to serve him the remainder of my days, which I can only do as a soldier in this part of the world."

Lord Lake was informed by the chief of Pattyalaya, that Holkar, in his passage through the country, had endeavoured in vain to prevail upon the Sikhs to grant him supplies of men or money. This disappointment induced the Mahratta leader to press onwards to the Sutledge, whither the British prepared to follow him.

The army was now crossing the great sandy desert which extends from the Indus to within one hundred miles of Delhi. “On our left," says the historian of the expedition, “appeared sand-hills in endless succession, like the waves of the ocean, desolate and dreary to an immense extent, and scantily interspersed with the Baubool, or Mimosa arabica; while, to the front and right of these immense wastes, the eye was deceived by those illusions so frequent on the wild plains of Africa and Asia, known by the French term of Mirage,' and in Persian 'Sirrab.' These optical delusions exhibited the representations of spacious lakes and rivers, with trees and other objects, in such a lively manner, as almost to cheat the senses of persons familiarly acquainted with the phenomenon; while they who were oppressed by excessive heat, and parched with thirst, cheered themselves in the hope of being soon refreshed with water from the friendly tank or cooling stream of which they thought they had so clear a prospect. Often were we thus agitated between expectancy and disappointment, flattering our imaginations with a speedy indulgence; when just as the delightful vision appeared on the point of being realized, like the cup of Tantalus, the whole vanished, and left us nothing to rest upon but arid plains and glittering and burning sands."*

Plunging into the Punjaub, Lake pursued his way to the banks of the Hyphasis, and the British troops now traversed the very sites which, many centuries before, had resounded with the clash of the Macedonian arms. Here Alexander raised twelve votive altars as a memorial of European prowess once again displayed in these regions, for the first time since the invasion of the Greeks. In the distance rose the snowy summits of the ancient Imaus, beneath them graduated towards the plains successive ranges of mountains and hills, the latter clad with luxurious vegetation, and the whole presenting a magnificent panorama of woods, villages, pagodas, tombs, and ruins, which afforded a striking contrast to the barrenness and desolation exhibited by the higher peaks.

Holkar was now reduced to the utmost extremity, scarcely any alternative being left him between engaging the British army, and seeking a precarious asylum among the Afghans. At this moment, however, messengers arrived from Sir George Barlow, to announce that a peace having been concluded with Scindiah, it was the wish of the Supreme Council that Holkar should be admitted to treat. He was to obtain peace on the most favourable terms, the object of government being the termination of the war at all hazards. The pacification proved most opportune for the Mahratta. His followers had gradually become reduced * Memoir of the Campaign on the Hyphasis, by Major William Thorn.

1805.)

PEACE WITH HOLKAR,

195

in number, the Sikhs were decidedly unfriendly, and, to use his own phrase," he possessed nothing but what he carried on his saddle."

By the treaty, the conditions of which Sir John Malcolm had been commissioned to negotiate, Holkar agreed to renounce all right or title to the districts of Tonk, Rampoorah, Boondie, Lukherie, Sameydee, Baumgaum, and other places north of the Boondee hills, now occupied by the British government. The Company, on their part, pledged themselves to resign to Holkar the ancient possessions of his family in the north and south, except the Fort of Chandore, and some other places near the Godavery, all of which, however, it was stipulated, should be restored to him at the expiration of eighteen months, if his behaviour during that period proved the sincerity of his present amicable and peaceful professions. Holkar also bound himself to renounce all claims upon the Company or their allies, and engaged that he would not, for the future, entertain Europeans of any nation in his service.

Peace being concluded, Lord Lake reviewed his troops upon the banks of the Hyphasis, before a curious multitude of Sikhs, who flocked from all parts to witness a scene at once novel and interesting. They gazed with the wild wonder of half-civilized tribes at the manæuvres of the troops, and the evolutions of the horseartillery. As they watched these movements, their mingled feelings of curiosity and alarm found vent in expressions of thankfulness that they had not, by joining Holkar, drawn upon themselves the vengeance of so formidable an army.

Had Lord Wellesley, or his brother, remained in India, the Mahratta leaders would never have obtained peace on advantageous terms. General Wellesley expressed, in writing, his opinion that “Holkar was the most dangerous enemy the Company could have;" a well as his belief, that “to defeat Holkar in the field

to establish a firm authority in Malwa, and to destroy the Rajah of Bhurtpoor, were the principal objects to be kept in view." But Sir Arthur Wellesley * quitted the country where he had gained his earliest triumphs before the termination of the Mahratta war. Like his brother the governor-general, he complained, that in England his motives were not appreciated, and his services overlooked. In India he experienced directly the reverse.

The native inhabitants of Seringapatam, the officers of that garrison, with those of Vellore, as well as the military and civilians at Madras, expressed in various numerously-signed addresses their admiration of his character, and their gratitude for benefits experienced under his firm and judicious rule. While summing-up the results of Sir Arthur's conduct during his residence in Mysore, Lord William Bentinck, then Governor of Madras, pronounced the following eulogium upon the great captain of the age:

"In viewing these happy consequences, I feel it to be an act of justice due to Sir Arthur Wellesley, to state, that there is no cause to which they can be so immediately traced as to the judgment and talents of that officer, which have been invariably directed to every measure connected with the public interest. He has left his command amidst the regret of all individuals, civil and military, European and native."

The Indian administration of the Marquis Wellesley was exposed to much obloquy, after his return to England. His opponents blamed the subsidiary measures which had been adopted in Oude, and elsewhere, while they accused him of having occasioned the Mahratta war. Common decency, if not a sense of gratitude, should have restrained the tongue of one, at least, among these carping assailants. A Mr. James Paull had been engaged for many years in commerce at Lucknow, from which place he was banished for some

* He was now a Knight of the Bath.

1807.]

OPPOSITION TO LORD WELLESLEY.

197

unknown cause, by the Nabob Vizier. This arbitrary piece of tyranny would have involved his affairs in utter ruin, had not Lord Wellesley interfered, and procured the abrogation of the sentence. In a letter addressed soon afterwards to Major Malcolm, Mr. Paull thus expresses his feelings towards the marquis:-"Sensibly do I feel the obligation I am under to his excellency, for whom I have only sentiments of gratitude and profound respect." Yet this grateful merchant, having subsequently returned to England, and obtained, by some means, a seat in parliament, announced his intention, the second day after he took his seat, of “prosecuting to conviction, if possible, the Marquis Wellesley, to whom he imputed all the dangers that threatened our existence in India." Before, however, these malicious designs could be carried into effect, the unhappy mover committed suicide, having been previously abandoned by the party who encouraged him to adopt this unworthy course.

Still the opposition did not cease. Sir Philip Francis, the persecutor of Hastings, came forward with characteristic virulence to assail another occupant of that post, which he himself had vainly aspired to fill. He was joined by Lord Folkstone, and some of the East India Directors, who belonged at that time to the House of Commons, but the various criminatory motions were always rejected by large majorities.

Now that the clamour of faction has long been hushed, and the party spirit which then engendered these unworthy censures no longer detracts from, or obscures the merits of the departed statesman, no man of sound or extended views can withhold from Lord Wellesley's government the praise it so justly merits. The prompt and energetic measures of the great governor-general, rescued from destruction or contempt the empire which Clive founded and Hastings maintained. During that administration, Tippoo Sahib and the Mahrattas,

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