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quitted their cantonments, when they were assailed by their implacable foes. On the third day, Akbar Khan appeared to deprecate the imputation of treachery, and to offer protection to the families of the officers if they were given up to him, declaring his inability to restrain the mountain clans through the midst of whom the retreating corps had to pass. Ten days later General Elphinstone, a few of his staff, and the ladies thus surrendered, alone survived. Four thousand troops, and eleven thousand camp followers, perished in the futile effort to reach Jellalabad; one officer only gained that fortress to tell the miserable tale. A disaster like this had never befallen the countrymen of Clive and Wellesley, and wherever the tidings were made known they spread mortification and dismay. Lord Auckland's term of office had already expired, and he was but too glad to leave to other hands the task of retrieving the results of his ill-fated policy.

Lord Ellenborough was sent out as Viceroy, with instructions from Sir Robert Peel to bring the Afghan business to an end as quickly as was compatible with honour; and, for the rest, to keep the peace towards all our neighbours. The first news that greeted him on his arrival was the repulse, with heavy loss, of General Wild's division in an attempt to relieve Jellalabad. This defeat was followed by the surrender of Ghuzni, and the repulse of General England while endeavouring to succour Nott at Candahar. Amid great difficulties Lord Ellenborough acted with energy and judgment. Fresh troops were concentrated under

Pollock and Nott. Akbar Khan was defeated and driven from Cabul, which, having been re-occupied and dismantled, was finally abandoned. Shah Sujah had perished early in the struggle, and the claims of his dynasty were thought of no more. Dost Mahommed was set at liberty, and continued

elicited considerable difference of opinion among both Natives and Europeans who were consulted as to the possible consequences of such an interference with superstitious usage, Lord William Bentinck, with the assent of the Council, issued a Regulation forbidding the immolation, whether voluntary or otherwise, of Hindu widows; and requiring the police to bring to justice all accessaries in such acts of suicide. In Bengal, where the cruel rite had chiefly prevailed, there were murmurs for a time, and attempts at evasion; but little or nothing that could be called resistance. In the other Presidencies one serious case occurred of the rite being performed in defiance of the police. In the Central and Northern Provinces, it had less extensively prevailed, and its abolition there excited, therefore, no observable emotion. In several of the Native States the example was followed, and decrees were issued putting an end to the inhuman custom. The interference of alien authority was ascribed by the people at large to its true motive, and recognised as being for once wholly disinterested. Even his enemies, and they were not few, gave the Viceroy credit for the cautious circumspection and courage shown by him in effecting this salutary change. Kindred in spirit, although wholly different in the subject of its operation, was a Regulation equivalent to law, made in 1832, exempting from forfeiture the property of Hindus abjuring their faith, as time out of mind had been the case under the system of jurisprudence founded on the enactments of Menu.

With regard to the condition of long misgoverned communities, it is sometimes forgotten that it is not so easy to do real or substantial good as those imagine who have never had the opportunity to try. Lord William's upright and benevolent intentions were not, indeed, wholly without

fruit. They formed, if it were nothing else, a great and lasting protest against the policy of centralising absorption and excessive expenditure. They showed that the dignity and influence of the Paramount Power might be maintained without new aggressions upon neighbouring States, or further measures of absorption within the confines of our sovereignty. They proved that extravagance might be curbed, and the expenditure and income of the Government nominally balanced, without any worse effect than that of temporary anger among the classes who thrive upon corrupt and lavish outlay. They proved that justice might be done, in many essential particulars, to the Natives, without wrong to Europeans, or hazard to the stability of our empire. They showed that, without preaching a crusade, or troubling the waters of intolerance, some of the worst evils of heathenism might be lessened, and the protection of a humane and Christian-spirited law asserted in the dark places of cruelty. They showed that a man who despised the trappings and gauds of state, and disdained to defend his acts by stifling public criticism, could win respect and love as well as his more showy predecessors.

An insurrection at Mysore, in 1831, provoked by fiscal oppression, led the Government of Madras to interpose at first in the hope of reconciling prince and people, and when that failed, with a view to obtain for the latter securities for enjoyment of their industry, and the tranquillity of the province. The Rajah, illadvised and infirm of purpose, and who had at the time no son, was reported to be unpopular and undeserving of trust. He was persuaded to relinquish the performance of executive duties into the hands of a species of Commission, over which the Resident presided, a fifth of the net revenues of the State being allotted for his civil list. But the sove

reignty of Mysore was in no way questioned under these arrangements; and all administrative functions, whether judicial, military, or financial, were continued in Native hands. Once, and once only, the Governor-General was induced to deviate from his maxim of non-interference with Native rule. Vira Rejendra was the last of a long line of Princes who governed Coorg. They had been subdued by Hyder Ali, and the country annexed to Mysore; but on its partition the local government was restored by English help, upon the usual terms of protection. Vira Rejendra enjoyed an unenviable notoriety, on account of his vices and his crimes, which were ascribed to confirmed lunacy. Yet even in his case the Governor-General showed great forbearance, after multiplied cause of offence; making repeated offers which any rational man in the position would have readily accepted, and refusing to believe to the last that the Rajah contemplated actual hostilities. Ten days sufficed to overpower his efforts at resistance, and when the capital was occupied without serious opposition, no male survivor of the Rajah's family was to be found. How Lord William Bentinck was persuaded to pass by the claims of the female line, does not appear; but it has been said that in after years he regarded his decision with regret, as tending to fortify the precedents in support of the doctrine of lapse. Coorg was annexed by proclamation, and the Rajah kept a state prisoner at Benares. The country has long since been reduced to the approved condition of dull and stagnant quietude. The Collector and Judge of the district is an artillery officer, of good attainments and intentions, but who, like his predecessors, lives apart, only known by the people when discharging his public duty. One Native gentleman only holds the commission of the peace; and in matters of any moment he does not interfere. A few en

terprising Englishmen make money off coffee plantations in the hills, and when they are not content with decisions in law or equity by the gallant Judge and Collector, they appeal to the Supreme Court of Madras; but the Coorgis, when they are dissatisfied, have neither time, confidence, nor money enough to undertake a journey of 600 miles in search of justice; and nobody cares or knows how they like their lot.

Lord W. Bentinck found the Government heavily in debt, and frequently borrowing largely to make up the sum of its expenditure. He set resolutely about the reduction of salaries, perquisites, and sinecures; but his retrenchments made little impression upon the inveterate habits of waste and indebtedness. He was incessantly abused for his efforts at economy by all the jobbers of the civil and military establishments. They would have had him go on borrowing money, or adding to the taxation. He would do neither. He thought that, upon the whole, the pay of the functionaries of Bengal was too high. They shared amongst them no less than ninety-seven lacs of rupees, or nearly a million sterling. He reduced the total to ninetyone lacs, or somewhere about £900,000 a year, to be divided amongst 416 individuals; and this he did by curtailing the luxuries of the indolent, and cutting down the allowances of the overpaid. After all those distressing reductions, he still left each civilian, from the writer to the Member of Council, on an average, the sum of £2,200 a year. These changes earned for him the execration of the lazy and worthless in the service. The tone in which he was spoken of by these much aggrieved characters is illustrated by an anecdote that is told of a pomp-loving old official, who was in the habit of having carpets spread upon

1 Calcutta Review.

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