Imatges de pÓgina
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and with such violence, and how his conduct was appreciated by the press---and, we must add, with sorrow—by a large portion, at least, of the public of Calcutta. It is but bare justice to say that he displayed a calm courage and magnanimity above all praise ; and the animosity of those who assailed him would seem to have been excited by his steady refusal to share their terrors. For it is a humbling fact that the conduct of Englishmen in India during 1857 was-generally speaking—in an inverse ratio to the dangers to which they were respectively exposed. Those who were in real and daily peril, and who • carried,' in the words of Lord Canning, their lives in their • hands for months together, manifested, with the rarest exceptions, a courage worthy of their race. On the other hand, those who, like the people of Calcutta, were beset by no other enemies than the phantoms of their own morbid imaginations, oscillated between groundless panics and cries for vengeance upon all whom they fancied to be thirsting for their blood. And they could not forgive the Governor-General for being so composed when they were in a state of spasmodic excitement. While he was labouring night and day to draw succours from all quarters, while he showed such a contempt of personal danger as to sleep with a sepoy sentinel at his chamber-door, they accused him of indifference to the safety of the British community because he declined to believe, with them, that thousands of armed rebels were lurking in the creeks and ricefields around Calcutta, or to comply with their urgent demand that he would proclaim martial law in districts where there was not a British soldier to enforce it. They urged their mis

. representations with such bold persistency that the leaders of the Opposition in the House of Commons were misled into objecting to include the name of the Governor-General in the vote of thanks to those who had deserved well of their country, until he had rebutted the charges of his assailants. We believe that a newspaper published in England was the principal offender. Lord Canning felt the scorn of a brave man for these poltroons, and he wrote, 'I am ashamed to say that men * with swords by their sides are going about with their tails between their legs.'

When we said that Lord Canning slept with a sepoy sentry at his door, we used no vague phrase. For many weeks after the mutiny had broken out he had no other protection by day or by night, and he would, we believe, have sought no better, if Sir Frederick Halliday, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, had not remonstrated with him, on the wrong that he was doing to the cause of which he was the chief guardian by incurring a


risk of possible assassination at the hands of men, who, however faithful they might be to-day, were the slaves of impulse, and liable to be driven by any one of a variety of motives into the most ferocious outrage on the morrow. It was not till he had urged upon the Governor-General the unspeakable value of his life, at that crisis, to his country, that he prevailed on him to give orders that an English guard should be posted at Government House.

We should not have deemed it fair to bring charges so serious against a body of Englishmen, many of whom no doubt were as brave and devoted as their brethren who fought at Delhi and Lucknow, if we had not the proofs in our possession not merely of the facts of the case, but also of the trouble and vexation which the childish panics and perverse misrepresentations got up in Calcutta, inflicted upon the Governor-General at a time when his mind was taxed to the uttermost by the important cares and anxieties which demanded his undisturbed attention. We have before us a paper, extending, with its appendices, to thirty-nine pages, in which are embodied a selection of the statements impugning the character and conduct of Lord Canning, which were either published in Calcutta or forwarded from thence to be given to the public in England by those newspapers which might be found willing to disseminate such malignant trash. It is not too much to say that every word of these statements which is not grossly false is founded upon a fact so distorted and coloured as to be equally intended and fitted to mislead. We should fill too much of our space with worthless matter if we specified in detail even a tithe of the charges and their refutations. As specimens of the utter untruths, we may mention the stories that Sir Colin Campbell refused, on his arrival in Calcutta, to take his seat at the Council Board, because full powers were denied to him; that he had frequent angry altercations with the Governor-General, and had actually taken his passage back to England in consequence; that Lord Canning had received and neglected more warnings than one of the impending mutiny; that cannons were publicly sold to natives in Calcutta, and sent up to Arrah, where they were used in battering Mr. Boyle's little fortification; that an attempt was made to pull down the British standard at Fort William, and to hoist the green flag of Mahomet in its stead, for which act of treason two men had been executed; and that the good and lamented Lady Canning had been heard to speak of the rebels as the poor dear Sepoys.' All these, and many more, were pure and wilful inventions, without a shadow of foundation.

Others, as we have said, consisted of truth and falsehood mixed up in such proportions as to serve the purpose of maligning the Governor-General as well as pure lies. And the conclusion arrived at was that he was hopelessly imbecile, incapable, and in the hands of his secretaries, and ought-if India was to be saved—to be immediately recalled ; and a petition to this effect was forwarded to England.

A statesman as able and as brave as Lord Canning, but unendowed with his noble sense of duty and power of bearing up against misconstruction and wrongful imputations, would have broken down under such a complication of difficulties; and the loss to India and England at that crisis would have been irreparable. But his mind was of a finer temper. He bore the abuse unjustly heaped upon him, as he bore the unavoidable anxieties and labours of his position, with a calm patience which baffled and disappointed the malignity of his assailants. Upon one, at least, of those who attacked his policy most bitterly, he heaped coals of fire. He was eminently magnanimous, and he gave a signal proof of it, in that he was not afraid to show mercy to defeated and suppliant rebels. In him England lost a statesman whose knowledge of a subject too little understood—how India should be governed -rendered his life of extreme value to her ;-a statesman perhaps the most distinguished of five, whose death in the prime of life, within three short years, so sadly thinned the front rank of the Liberal party.

In taking leave of the authors upon whose works we have commented, we are bound to bear testimony to the spirit and fidelity with which Mr. Trevelyan, selecting for his subject a single scene in the great drama, has told the melancholy tale of the defence and fall of Cawnpore. He has done full justice to the brave men who bore up, hoping against hope, in that fierce struggle for their own lives and the lives of the helpless ones committed to their charge; and those who are bound by ties of blood or friendship to any of the victims of the unequal fight, or of the subsequent massacres, owe a debt of gratitude to the writer who has put on lasting record so true and touching a narrative of their brave deeds, and of their no less heroic endurance.

Before we conclude we have a word or two to say to Mr. Kaye. And we think it will be well if we acquit ourselves, in the first instance, of the disagreeable part of our duty. We have already remarked that the chapter which records the intrigues in the palace at Delhi was almost the only blemish in the work under review. The qualifying phrase "relates in a

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minor degree to some peculiarities of style, which we feel bound, as honest critics, to comment upon. We feel that Mr. Kaye sometimes sins against good taste by the stilted and turgid language that he employs in describing actions, but more frequently persons. He is so thorough a master of his craft, that no writer stands in less real need of such adventitious aid to give force to his natural style. Mindful, however, of Horace's maxim touching great beauties and small spots, we are satisfied with submitting the point to his own calm judgment. We had also, and far more strongly in our mind, a passage (pp. 297–9) respecting the adopted son of the last Peishwa, commonly called the Nana Sahib, the cold-blooded murderer-not of men only, but of women and children also, at Cawnpore. Mr. Kaye writes of him in this, as in the former volume, as one who had suffered such grievous wrong at the hands of the British Government that nothing short of utter fatuity could have led its servants to expect the slightest aid from him. He was a disappointed man. Of course,' says Mr. Kaye, “the whole story of the disappointment was on record. · Had it not gone from Calcutta to London, from London back to Calcutta, and from Calcutta again to Cawnpore? • And did it not cover many sheets of foolscap?' There is more of the same sort of banter about civilians who could see

no earthly reason why Doondoo Punt (the Nana) should not • accept his position quietly, submissively, resignedly, after the • fashion of his kind. Now all this, coupled with the statements in Vol. I., to which Mr. Kaye carefully refers in two foot-notes, implies, to say the least, that the Nana Sahib did not act his atrocious part without strong provocation, and that the English authorities who put any trust in him were fatuous beyond the bounds of ordinary folly. But the plain fact is that this blood-thirsty Mahratta, treacherous after the habit of his race, had suffered no injury at all. His father, by adoption, had received a pension of 80,0001. a year, which Sir John Malcolm, who had promised it, defended, when the GovernorGeneral hesitated to sanction so large an amount, on the grounds, first, that it was simply a grant for life, and, secondly, that it would have cost us far more to have hunted our fugitive enemy down, if he had not been induced to surrender himself. We wish that Mr. Kaye would speak out. Does he consider it wise and proper to continue a lapsed pension, to which he has no just claim, and which must be paid by the people of India to the adopted son of the deceased pensioner, lest he should consider himself injured by the denial, ally himself with our


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mutinous Sepoys, and murder Christian men, women, and children ?

It only remains that we should express our sincere admiration of the manner in which Mr. Kaye has performed the arduous task which devolved on him when he undertook to write a history of the Sepoy War in India. His chief difficulty lay, as stated in the preface to this volume, in the vast area over which the struggle extended, and the general synchrony of the events to be described. Mr. Kaye has dealt with this difficulty successfully. He knows the country well, and many of the surviving actors personally, and he has spared no pains in collecting, sifting, and collating his facts. His narrative is very spirited, and persons and things are graphically depicted. Above all, it is a glowing record of the valour and endurance of our countrymen, and we are bound to add of our countrywomen also, than which no page of our bright annals is brighter. The work will live, we are persuaded, together with Macaulay's narrative of the siege of Derry and of the battle of the Boyne, and with Napier's history of the Peninsular War, as a monument of the indomitable courage with which soldiers and civilians alike of our race can bear themselves when driven suddenly to bay, and as an example to our children's children of the devotion which in life and death they owe to their country.

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ART. V.-1. Copy of Correspondence between the Admiralty

and the Treasury, and of other Papers, relative to Alterations in the Organisation and Business of the Admiralty; and to Reductions in the Establishments. Parliamentary Paper,

402, series 1870. 2. Return showing Results of Trials with Welsh and North

Country Coal on board Her Majesty's Steamers Urgent' and * Lucifer' at Portsmouth. Presented to Parliament 6 July,

1870. THE AE.Quarterly Review' for October presents the Tory Bill

of Indictment against the present administration of the Admiralty. In an article entitled Mismanagement of the • British Navy,' the public are invited to constitute themselves a grand jury for the trial of Mr. Childers and his colleagues on a charge of malversation of office. The Quarterly Reviewer undertakes not only the office of public prosecutor, but points out that the sole remedy for those ills we have,' lies in the restoration to power of that political party which, according to


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