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is unpopular in the country, and the ed by these rivers, were defended by Frenchmer, by whom the regular the natives, in early ages against troops are officered, are viewed with Alexander, and in later times against a jealous eye by the Seik Sirdars, the incursions of the early Moslem whom they have supplanted in posts of conquerors, has given the country an military authority. The whole of the additional feature of resemblance to improvements in the administration, that battle field of Europe. The exboth military and civil, are, in fine, tension of the British frontier to the hitherto regarded by the great body Indus, would give our territory a well of the Seiks as at best but hazardous defined and defensible boundary, with innovations: and it would require the a series of positions in its rear, which, hand and head of a vigorous and ta- even if the Indus were crossed by an lented successor to carry out to the invading army, would require to be full extent the system which Runjeet forced in detail ; at present, there is Singh has introduced. But his only not a single fortress, not a river or a legitimate son, Kurruck Singh, so mountain, between Delhi and our far from possessing the qualifica frontier-station of Loodiana, which tions which would enable him to could check an invader's progress afgrasp the sceptre of his father, is ter crossing the Suttege. Besides the " almost imbecile, illiterate, and in- natural advantages to be derived from animate," "takes no share in po. the possession of the country, tho litics, and conciliates no party." Seiks, naturally martial, and unencumThere is, however, an adopted son, bered by the privileges of caste, &c., Shere Singh, now governor of Cash- which fetter the Hindoo population, mere, whose frank and martial charac- would furnish an inexhaustible supply ter, and unbounded generosity, have of hardy soldiers to fill the ranks of given him great popularity among the our native armies; the abundant and soldiery, of which he will doubtless en- regular pay, and the care with which deavour to avail himself on the death the comforts of the soldiery are proof the Raja, in order to set aside the vided for, would render our service legitimate son, and seize the kingdom more popular than that of the discip. for himself. But this will scarcely be lined troops of the present Raja, where effected without a civil war; and in the pay is often in arrear, and the disthe confusion thus produced, it may cipline does not extend beyond the naturally be expected that the numer. parade ground. Runjeet himself, inous partizans of the ancien régime will deed, once shrewdly remarked to an make an effort to oust both the aspir. English visitant at Lahore, that a reants to monarchy, and restore the old gular army did not suit the habits of constitution in Church and State. an Eastern prince, as it could not be What the result of the struggle may regularly paid ; and some of the Seik be, cannot of course be foreseen ; but officers, at the interview between the it is the opinion of Burnes, the latest Raja and Lord William Bentinck, and most accurate traveller who has expressed great astonishment at being visited these regions, that, “ If Shere told, in answer to an inquiry whether Singh does not secure a supremacy, the English troops often clamoured this kingdom will probably relapse in for their pay, that such conduct would to its former state of anarchy and be considered mutinous, and visited small republics," or " be subjected by with severe punishment. some neighbouring power." The ac. But whatever may be the future cession of the Punjab to our own ter. destinies of the Punjab, it is fortunate ritories, in which all past experience that the shock of the impending war demonstrates that such a state of must fall on its soil, in case of a temthings must inevitably terminate, porary reverse, rather than on any of would be an acquisition in every point the districts under the sway of the of view most invaluable to the securi. British. In removing the seat of the ty of British power. Its numerous conflict to a distance from our terri. rivers, and the unrivalled fecundity of tories, the authorities have, beyond all the soil fertilized by their waters, have controversy, acted wisely. It is a facaused the Punjab to be frequently vourite notion in England, that our denominated the Netherlands of In- équitable institutions and impartial dia ; and the pertinacity with which administration of justice, with the the successive lines of defence, afford. security of life and property thereby afforded, as contrasted with the alter- tion against that power whose rigid nate anarchy and despotic tyranny surveillance and omnipresent arms previously prevailing, have made our have supplanted rule so popular with the bulk of our
- “the good old rule, the simple plan, Indian subjects, as to ensure their ad.
That those should take who have the herence in the event of a foreign in
power, vasion ; but this is well known to be
And those should keep who can.” a mere delusion by those who are practically acquainted with the country. In short, the first footing gained by a It may be true that the native mer. Russian or foreign army in India chants of Calcutta, and the cultivators would be the signal for the instant of Hindostan Proper, feel some degree realization of the state of things preof gratitude and attachment to a go. dicted thirteen years ago, in the event vernment under which they are exempt of Lord Combermere's failing before from the various forms of oppression Bhurtpore, by a great and good man, and extortion still exercised in Oude whose published fragments, notwithand other semi-independent states ; standing a few inaccuracies, afford but even among these classes consi. almost the only clear and practical derable distrust and discontent has view extant of our Indian possessions, lately been excited by the vexatious the late Bishop Reginald Heber:inquiries instituted as to the tenure of “ Should he fail, it is unhappily but their lands; and at any time, or untoo true that all northern and western der any ruler, any thing like Euro. India, every man who owns a sword, pean feelings of patriotism and loyalty and can buy or steal a horse, from the are utterly out of the question. But Suttege to the Nerbudda, will be up in the northern and north-western against us, less from disliking us than provinces, on which the storm of inva in the hope of booty." At the moment vasion would first burst, the case is when this was written, the mob were widely different.
shouting in the streets of Delhi, and The warlike and turbulent tribes of before the Residency, “ the rule of Rajpootana, forming the military caste Company is over!" and plunderings of the Hindoo nation, foiled all the on a small scale had already comefforts of the Emperors of Delhi to menced, in anticipation of a second complete their subjugation. Even now victory to be gained by the defenders their principal sovereignties acknow- of the Jut capital, already triumphant ledge only a slight and reluctant de over Lord Lake. The annals of the pendence on the British power, and Pindarry war show how easily a mawould rise against it on the first ap- rauding force, held together solely by pearance of a foreign standard on the the hope of spoil, is collected in India. Indus. During the siege of Herat they The famous freebooting leader, Ameer openly expressed their satisfaction at Khan (lately dead), on being asked the prospect of a change of masters; how he contrived to keep together and it is even strongly suspected that the various tribes and religions found secret agents from several Rajpoot in the ranks of his motley followers, states communicated with the Russian said that he always found the talisenvoy in the camp of Mohammed manic gathering-word Loot (plunder), Shah. The Patans, or descendants a sufficient bond of union in any part of the Moslem conquerors, of whom of India ; and in those devastating thousands are scattered over the coun- hordes of cavalry, the Cossacks and try, having no profession but arms, Bashkirs would find a similarity not and prevented by pride and prejudices only in habits and pursuits, but even from entering our military service, in name, the term Cosak being in comloathe us both as strangers and infidels, mon use throughout the north of In. whose presence and dominion, in the dia to indicate a predatory horseman. land where they so long reigned su- An outbreak of all the independent preme, is a perpetual stigma both on tribes, and of the turbulent spirits their religion and their prowess. The within the British territories, would be Mahrattas would eagerly seize the the immediate consequence of the apopportunity to avenge their humilia pearance of an invader; and even if tion; and the numerous predatory not a single foreign soldier survived to tribes of central India would soon recross the Suttege, a second Pindarry SITI the array of a native insurrec. war, with years of bloodshed and suf
fering, would be requisite for the coer- powers which should enable him to cion of the revolters and the restora. grapple with so momentous a crisis. tion of tranquillity. But the transfer. It is currently reported that, at the ence of the seat of war to the right present juncture, when every thing bank of the Indus, and the interposi- depends upon promptitude and deci. tion of the Punjab between it and our sion, both in the cabinet and the field, own possessions, will avert the possi. he has addressed despatches to the bility, as far as the present aspect of Government at home, demanding in. affairs enables us to judge, of this structions how to act! Would Hasttrain of calamities.
ings or Cornwallis have hesitated On the success of the Cabul expe. thus ? dition will probably depend the maintenance of peace on the other frontier; Since the above was written, intel. for, whether from secret leagues and ligence has been received that Kama concerted plan of operations, or from ran has actually moved westward since an accidental concurrence, it is certain the raising of the siege of Herat, for that we are threatened on all sides. the purpose of asserting his claims to The Ghoorkhas of Nepaul, who gave the throne of Cabul ; and it is added us so much trouble in the last war, that Dost Mohammed, thus pressed are said to be already in motion along on all sides, has preferred reconciliathe north-eastern frontier; and the tion with his hereditary enemy to sub. language held by the new usurper in mission to the English and Seiks. If Birmah is said to be so equivocal as to this report prove correct, we shall find have rendered the concentration of a the whole Afghan population united strong force in Arracan, ill as the in arms to repel the intrusive King troops can at present be' spared, a Shooja ; and if Kamran has recourse matter of imperative necessity. Thus, to Russian aid, as will doubtless be in every direction, the war-clouds are the case, in order to maintain his kinggathering, and it is only by assuming dom, the gates of Herat will be thrown a firm and determined attitude that open to Russia by our blundering po. we can hope to repel or divert them: licy, after having repelled the tide of a temporizing or purely defensive line invasion without our assistance. The of policy is now too late, and would be political and belligerent interests on considered only as an indication of the west of the Indus, already suffi. weakness and irresolution. The want ciently entangled, will thus be compliof a comprehensive and commanding cated beyond the possibility of unravelgenius at the helm of Indian affairs ment; and it remains to be seen how will, however, be severely felt; and far the sword will succeed in effectually the warmest friends of Lord Auckland severing the worse than Gordian knot must admit that the present Governor- thus tied by our own vacillation and general is lamentably deficient in the mismanagement.
OLD Roger died: but how old Roger lived,
Still wander'd Roger, dapper lad and slim,
To the swarth fiddler who in motion kept.