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yet been found bilingual; on all the only characters are Greek, at last so corrupt as to be quite unintelligible. After this, the Greek characters yielded to Sanscrit; the coinage deteriorated, and was at last entirely lost under the princes of Hindoo race.

Mr. Prinsep subjoins to these details respecting the coins of the kings some observations upon the Arian language.

Although the Greek characters outlived the Arian upon the coins, there is proof in the Arian inscriptions on stones and relics of topes that Arian only was the written language in general use, when Greek was extinct. It may be concluded to have been the vernacular language of the Paropamisan range, of Cabool, and perhaps of Herat and Candahar; it is found also in the topes of Manikyala in the Punjab. Unlike both Greek and Sanscrit, it is written Semitically from right to left. This does not, however, prove that the language has a Semitic origin, or any close affinity with the languages of that class. On the contrary, we find that all the Arian words yet read, which represent titles, are pure Sanscrit. This evidence of close affinity to the Sanscrit justifies a hope that, by a further use of the coins, as a key for settling the alphabet, the dialects of Sanscrit, and the Pushtoo especially, may be applied to the complete decyphering and translating the Arian inscriptions in topes and on rocks. This work, Mr. Prinsep tells us, occupied the latest attention of his brother, “who was confident that, through the coins (the language being ascertained to be of Sanscrit origin), a sufficient clue existed for the complete development of the antiquarian treasures locked up in the inscriptions: indeed, he considered himself to have already mastered the first difficulties of decyphering them, and to be in progress towards the full ascertainment of the meaning of one, at least, if not of two, of those inscriptions."

Further, in respect to this Arian language : it seems to have superseded the ancient Sanscrit of the days of Asoka, which was adopted by Agathocles and Pantaleon. "If these kings had not found the Sanscrit language in use," Mr. Prinsep observes, “ they would scarcely have placed it on their coins. After them, however, the Sanscrit characters were entirely disused. Menander never seems to have coined with the language of Asoka, from whence it may

be inferred that the characters on the coins of Agathocles and Pantaleon were not vernacular, but had been introduced by the Indian sovereigns who, following the first Chandra Goopta, retained dominion over the provinces ceded by the first Seleucus, until they were restored by Asoka to the Great Antiochus.” Again ; Arian characters only are found on the vases, relics, and stones discovered on excavating the tumuli or topes of the Punjab and Affghanistan, which seems to prove that, at the time of their erection, the Arian was not only the vernacular language of the districts where they stand, but the language also of the priests and those concerned in preparing the vases and articles used in the obsequies of the great.

We have drawn very largely upon Mr. Prinsep's very able disquisition, which, although not designed to be more than a summary of results, is the fruit of much learning, industry, and research. Several plates of coins, relics, and inscriptions are appended to the volume, some of which were engraved by the late Mr. James Prinsep.

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RECOLLECTIONS OF A SENTINEL.

CHAPTER IV.

One of the greatest errors in the system of military government in force in India, as far at least as regards the creation of a superior body of European troops, is the limitation of the promotion of the private soldier to the rank of conductor of ordnance or of commissariat. I do not mean to say that the elevation of men in the ranks to the commissioned grades should be a frequent measure of policy or a common description of reward; but I think there would be much virtue in the mere recognition of such a principle of advancement. Every good soldier, cherishing the expectation of wearing the epaulettes, would exert himself to deserve the distinction ; and every officer, having before his eyes the possibility of one day finding the man he commands his equal in society, would be careful not to outrage his feelings by needless severity of manner or unnecessarily harsh rebuke. The check would thus be mutual—hope on the one side acting as a restraint upon improper conduct-apprehension, upon the other, moderating the exercise of arbitrary power. Under present circumstances, the agency of fear is almost the only one employed in preserving discipline in the European ranks ; for the trilling offices open to the European soldier are so few in number, in proportion to the strength of the several corps, and so wretehedly paid, that they are merely sought as relief from the monotony of a barrack and the control and confinement inseparable from stricti military duty; and the officer, knowing that the instalment of promotion any man beneath him may obtain, does not break through the social line of demarcation which separates them, has no motive beyond what a kindly feeling may suggest for treating his inferior as a member of the same caste with himself. The Brahmin and the Sudra are not, therefore, more remote from each other, in proper sympathy, than the commissioned officer and the private soldier in the East-India Company's service. This is not a wholesome or a beneficial state of things-neither is it just or necessary. We need not very diligently search the

page of modern military history for proofs that the prospect of professional advancement has been the parent of great enterprises, or that general officers who have earned distinguished mention in the rolls of fame once carried a firelock or wielded a spunge-staff.

I know that the application of the principle for which I contend would interfere with the patronage of the Direction, and shock the prejudices of people who deem a temporary association with men in the ranks a serious disqualification for preferment to more polished circles ; but against these I would urge, first, the rarity of the promotions, which might not, perhaps, deduct more than one cadetship per annum, if so many, from the entire amount; and secondly, the probability that those men who would be the first to deserve the distinction might have originally moved in a sphere of life where good manners and sound morals were as rife as in the commissioned ranks. Let the experiment be tried—not to the niggardly limit of making an old ordnance conductor an invalid lieutenant, as in the case of Mr. Bellew, of the Bombay artillery, or a gallant apothecary a fixed assistant-surgeon, as in the case of Mr. Fallon, who saved the lives of a number of sick men in the Persian Gulf, when Capt. Thompson, Lieuts. Morley and Gidley, fled before a horde of Arabs; but to the full, free, and fair extent of giving to the subalterns, taken from the ranks, all the ultimate advantage of a seniority service. My life on it, the result would be, the enlistment of a very superior class of men, and a steadiness of conduct on their part that would convert the penal portions of the Articles of War into almost a dead letter.

I have spoken of the flight of certain officers from the enemy. This melancholy incident occurred after I had been a year in the service. The particulars have been so often given in all their amplitude, that I need not further describe the disaster than by saying, that the detachment of troops, consisting of part of a regiment of infantry and a handful of artillery, who had been left to keep the Arabs in awe, and prevent the revival of piracy, were overpowered during a march, and cut to pieces, none but the three officers named above and the sick soldiers escaping with their lives. For the military errors involved in the careless disposition of the troops, and the subsequent flight, the officers were severally tried by court-martial, and acquitted ; and, therefore, commentary upon the business, even at this distance of time, would be unjust and out of place : suffice it, that when the fugitives brought to Bombay the intelligence of the reverse, and the evidence of their own hasty retreat, one universal feeling of consternation pervaded the West of India. Unhappily, for the honour of the British army and character, we have of late become somewhat more familiar with such calamities; but, at the time of which I speak, the page of British Indian history was unblotted by a single record of disgraceful behaviour in the field. Surprise first seized upon the Government–indignation followed; and the resolution to avenge the blow, and vindicate our reputation, was the prompt and appropriate sequel. But who can wonder at this? MOUNTSTUART ELPHINSTONE, the wise, the virtuous, the brave, was then our governor.

The fiery arrow went through the land—the larum was heard in the Concan, the Deccan, and Guzerat, and troops hastened from the furthest points to muster on the esplanade of Bombay. Five thousand good men and true were formed into a new “expedition,” and to the gallant Lionel Smith (who died “ Sir Lionel” and a governor some five years ago) was intrusted the command of the avenging force. It was a gay and an exciting period. Stronger feelings than the mere love of glory animated every man, from the veteran general to the young reeruit. The national honour was in their hands—the blood of their slaughtered fellow-soldiers flowed in their mind's-eye; they were at once to efface the “ damned spot” with which the flag was tarnished, and read a fearful lesson to the wild race whose hands were yet red with the gore of massacred hundreds. Many festivities distinguished the

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military preparations. Balls and public dinners, where all the various branches of the service met on terms of good-fellowship, were given in turn by the different regiments. The artillery, always the most remarkable for the excellence of their cellar, the superiority of their band, and the dimensions of their mess-room, were foremost in the exercise of hospitality, and it was a matter of pride with the gunners when they could enhance the splendour of the entertainments by a play or a pyrotechnic display.

There was a jolly old colonel, named Bellasis, at this time in command—Bully Bellasis was the sobriquet by which he was known and lovedfor he ever preferred allowing his anger to evaporate in big words to inflicting punishment upon an erring soldier. This colonel was pleased to take a fancy to the “comic songs” with which, on the occasion of our theatrical performance it was my business to enliven the entractes. They were of the clatter and patter order, then rendered popular by the volubility and ventriloquism of the elder Mathews, and although my imitation of that distinguished artiste was very many degrees removed from the original, it served, at so great a distance from home, to amuse the good-natured officers and their friends. To oblige the colonel, I remember singing one of these songs at a grand mess dinner, given in honour of the approaching campaign; and the circumstance left an impression upon my mind, from the amusement which sprung from my own apprehension of the ludicrous. It was the first time that I was witness to a very common Indian dinner scene the battle for the bottle.The soup and fish had been removed, “ The pleasure of wine with you,said, or seemed to say, Lieutenant Y. to an officer of the 65th Foot. Delighted.Boy, sherry shraub,continued the challenger. Ahmed-lall shraub,said the pledged friend. In a moment, the crowd of domestics were in commotion. Half a dozen other hosts had challenged half a dozen other guests at one and the same moment, and as the number of bottles of wine then on the table were only in the proportion of one to four of the people about to drink, three attendants made a grab at each bottle. Buxoo got hold of the neck of one, Sheikh Dulloo grasped its body. “Let go, haramzadeh,exclaimed the former. “No,” said the other, “my sahib's a great man,” “ My sahib gave the order first,” rejoined Buxoo. master is drinking with the Colonel Sahib!” replies Dulloo. Ahmed now rushes in with both hands, and gets one on the cork and the other on Buxoo's wrist, and there they go, pulling and hauling, abusing each other sotto voce, heating the bottle and perilling the wine and their own fingers. Victory at length decided for Buxoo, who, filling his master's glass, gave up the bottle to the first that was at hand to snatch it, and, after smoothing his ruffled mustachios, calmly folded his arms and looked around him with the proud and complacent air of a victorious dunghill bantam. He had “fluttered the Volsces,” and only awaited a fresh signal to renew the interesting contest. I have witnessed the same scene a hundred times since.

My comic ditties were applauded till the glasses “jingled on the

66 But my

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