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1826.]

SIEGE OF BAURTPOOR.

313

other strongholds in his usurped dominions surrendered to the English without delay, and the young Rajah, Bulwunt Singh, remounted, unopposed, the throne of his ancestors. What proved of still greater importance, the warlike spirit of the Jauts had now been completely broken, for the impregnable fortress was taken, and the invincible race were constrained to acknowledge themselves vanquished by British courage and British skill.

CHAPTER XXIV.

AFFAIRS OF COLAPOOR-DEATH OF SIR THOMAS MONRO-THE DACOITS

THE THUGS-PROHIBITION OF SUTTEES-NORTHERN PROGRESS OF LORD WILLIAM BENTINCK-WAR WITH COORG-RETIREMENT OF LORD WILLIAM BENTINCK.

1826–1834.

Ar the commencement of 1826 some differences arose between the Rajah of Colapoor, a small Mahratta state in the province of Bejapoor, and the Bombay Government. That petty potentate, misinterpreting the pacific tone assumed by the British authorities, raised troops and committed depredations in the territories of the Company's allies. He also oppressed his own subjects with intolerable rigour, and drove many of them to solicit the protection of the nearest English commander. The appearance, however, of a small detachment of sepoys sufficed to render the Rajah more reasonable, and to obtain from him guarantees with regard to his future conduct.

In July 1827 the Indian service suffered a severe loss in the death of Sir Thomas Monro, one whose name is still remembered, and will long be revered in the southern parts of India. By his exertions several marked improvements were made in the revenue and judicial systems, through which an immense saving of expenditure has been effected. Nominated in 1819 to the government of Madras, Colonel Monro acquired, by a constant though unostentatious display of ability and probity, the confidence and esteem of both natives and Europeans. Some of his remarks on the promotion

1827.]
DEATH OF SIR THOMAS MONRO.

315 of Christianity in India seem so just and appropriate, that they deserve special mention, and will prove worthy of the attention of those who aspire to the arduous and honourable office of a Missionary. Writing from Madras, on the 12th of October, 1820, he observes :

"I should expect more benefit from the circulation of short tracts by the natives, or of translations of short European tracts by natives, than from translations precipitately made of the Bible, or any great work by the Missionaries. I have no faith in the power of any Missionary to acquire in four or five years such a knowledge of any Indian language as to enable him to make a respectable translation of the Bible. I fear that such translations are not calculated to inspire becoming reverence for the book. In place of translating the Bible into ten or twelve languages in a few years, I would rather see twenty years devoted to its translation into

If we hope for success, we must proceed gradually, and adopt the means by which we may be likely to attain it. The dissemination of knowledge is, I think, the surest way; and if we can prevail upon the native princes to give it the support you propose, it will be a good beginning."

In September, 1823, Sir Thomas Monro, having addressed the Court of Directors, requested and obtained permission to resign his post in December, 1824, but the breaking out of the Burmese war during the interim, rendered him averse to prefer his own individual convenience to the exigencies of the public service. He remained in Madras, sending on Lady Monro, and her children, to England ; one of the latter was suffering from bad health, so that the fears of the father were added to the anxieties of the statesman. At length the welcome moment of release arrived, the Burmese campaign being terminated in May, 1826. The appointment of his successor occasioned some delays, which detained him in India until his death took place from

one.

an attack of cholera, at Pattercondah, during the month of July, 1826.

Lord Amherst repaired to Delhi in 1827, for the purpose of settling finally the relations between the English Government and the representative of the Mogul race. For some time it had been generally known that the Company assumed to themselves the exercise of those privileges formerly possessed exclusively by the descendants of Baber. They had annexed territories, altered the boundaries of provinces, and deposed rulers; yet hitherto the Mogul sovereign was allowed to enjoy the shadow of former superiority. He, or rather his dependents, heard, therefore, with feelings of pain and humiliation, that this phantom must now vanish for ever, and that the crown of Hindoostan had passed away to the adventurous race who already possessed the power typified by it. The natives at large were less affected at the deposition of a family which for many years they neither feared nor respected. The dynasty of Timour, like the dynasty of Seevagee, disappeared from the public view without attracting to itself the slightest manifestation of the public sympathy, the one event creating, in fact, as little emotion as the other had elicited.

Lord Amherst was succeeded in his high and responsible office by Lord William Bentinck, who reached Calcutta on the 4th of July, 1828. He found the Government burdened with an enormous debt, owing to the expenses incurred during the two recent campaigns in Birmah and Bhurtpoor. Measures of retrenchment therefore had become absolutely necessary, and were not only suggested by the experience of the new governorgeneral, but positively enjoined by the ruling body in England. Still, although the path to be pursued was well defined, and clearly marked out, the difficulties surrounding a conscientious discharge of duty presented a formidable aspect.

While the Court of Directors

1828.)
THE DACOITS.

312 urged unceasingly the necessity of economy, their servants abroad deprecated the slightest change in the disposal of the finances. Party spirit ran high, and the commander-in-chief not only addressed a letter of remonstrance to Government, but finally tendered his resignation. He was succeeded by Sir Edward Barnes, after whose departure in 1833, the direction of the army devolved upon Lord William Bentinck, who thus united in his person the two greatest offices connected, with the Indian administration.

Next to the proper regulation of financial matters, various questions of internal policy occupied the attention of the governor-general. The nefarious practice of gang-robbery had for some time been prevalent throughout India, under the lax rule of the Moguls and their feeble vassals. These plunderers, generally known by the appellation of Dacoits, lived unsuspected among the villages, and occupied themselves ostensibly with agricultural pursuits. Their spies were found in every direction, and forwarded to the leaders of the gang the earliest possible intelligence respecting the movements, of ill-guarded caravans, or the journeys of wealthy merchants. When the route of the intended victims became known, the robber chiefs arranged an ambush in some convenient spot from whence their followers might sally forth on the unsuspecting travellers and strip them of their property. Occasionally the assailed party would offer resistance and overpower the ruffians, but this rarely happened, owing to the caution and skill with which their plans were usually concocted. They generally refrained from attacking Europeans, knowing from experience that they defended themselves stoutly, and never suffered even an attempt at violence to pass without inquiry or retribution. In most cases also, their victims seldom escaped with life, and they usually selected, as the objects of attack, persons from distant parts of the continent, two circumstances tending to

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