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Auckland, “I am glad to find that the resolution I have formed of keeping on this side the Hindoo Koosh meets your Lordship's approbation;" and from that time onwards we hear nothing more on the subject. Although he was anxious to despatch Captains Conolly and Rawlinson to Kokan, to procure in. telligence, he says, "as to military movements, I am decidedly opposed to them, especially while we have subtle and inveterate enemies in our rear. I would rather expend the money which such expeditions would cost, in fortify. ing the strongholds of Affghanistan. Cabool, for less than two lakhs of rupees, might be made very formidable.” He then alludes to strengthening the fortifications of Ghuznie and Candahar. But the Envoy did not remit his exertions to extricate Col. Stoddart, when he gave up the idea of sending an army against Bokhara. In June, 1840, he prevailed on the Shah to make a last effort for the release of that officer, and to secure a better understanding with the Ameer, by sending to the latter a boly man, “whom he would not dare to treat with indignity, and to whom he must listen."-" The disgraceful treatment," says he, “which poor Col. Stoddart still suffers, is an opprobrium to our nation." The number of boly men was soon after doubled; the Shah was prevailed on to send two, and Mr. Macnaghten promised Rs. 10,000 to each in the event of their succeeding in the liberation of Col. Stoddart. The result of this mission is not stated in the correspondence; but we know too well, that, although it may probably have led to some relaxation of the rigours of confinement, it did not procure the liberation of Col. Stoddart, who was barbarously executed soon after intelligence of the murder of the Envoy and the annihilation of the army reached the “ Commander of the Faithful.”
The anxieties of Sir W. Macnaghten's position in Affghanistan were such as British officers in the East have seldom been called upon to encounter. He was required to maintain the authority of a prince seated on the throne by our interference, and maintained by our bayonets; at the same time, it was necessary to allay the national jealousy, and to shape every measure so as to refute the idea that the Shalı was not an independent, but a foreign king. Writing, in March, 1840, the Envoy says, “We must, even where there seems to be oppression, avoid as much as possible interference in these petty concerns, and endeavour by all the means in our power to shew that his Majesty is really the king of the country, and that the rule does not rest with the Feringees: that it does so, is the eternal burden of the song of our enemies.” It bas been affirmed, that he was totally unfit for the high duties of such a charge in such a country; that the tendencies of his own mind, and his previous pursuits, fitted him only for the bench of the Sudder Court; and that his attention was absorbed in judicial and fiscal details at Cabool when he ought to have devoted bis time to the political management of the kingdom. There can be no doubt that he would have proved a bright ornament to the Sudder Court, and revived the remembrance of the days when Colebrooke and Harington and Courtney Smith presided in it; but it is altogether an error to suppose that, while in Affghanistan, bis mind was engaged in those pursuits which he had prosecuted in his earlier days with so much ardour and success. In writing to a friend, about this time, he said, “ We are solemnly bound to refrain from interfering with the internal administration; and in my advice I have been cautious to urge no innovations which could at this early stage of our connection with them shock the prejudices of the people." His energies were exclusively devoted to the complicated politi. cal relations of the country, to the conciliation of the chiefs, to the repression of domestic hostility, and to the anticipation of eternal danger.
The political responsibilities of his post were of so novel and anomalous à character, that he could derive no benefit from our political experience in India. In India we have the advantage of dealing with a population professing different and hostile creeds, and might always calculate on support against Mahomedan bigotry in the feelings of the Hindoos. In Affghanistan, for the first time in our. Indian career, we were thrown in the midst of an unmixed Mahomedan population, bound together by the strongest bonds of religious union, and animated by feelings of inveterate hostility to us and without the smallest support from the votaries of a rival creed. On which ever side the Envoy looked, he beheld none but open foes, or fawning and treacherous sycophants. There was no body of men, and no chief, in whom he could place confidence. He was disposed to think that Shah Soojah might have been stronger even without our aid: “Though our presence here doubtless strengthens the Shah, it must be remembered that in some sense it weakens him. There is no denying that he has been supported by infidels, and were we not here, he would adopt Affghan means of suppressing disturbances, such as we could not be a party to." It was, however, Dost Mahomed's opinion, that the Shah's presence weakened us; and perhaps both opinions may be right. Had we withdrawn from Cabool after he was seated on the throne, leaving with him only a British resident and a subsidy, it is quite possible that he might have been able long to maintain his authority, although this was doubted at the time. On the other hand, had we taken the country for ourselves, and made the administration British in princi. ple, and at once announced to the chiefs and people that we had come to reannex Cabool to the empire of India, and should endeavour to make our rule as advantageous as possible to them, it is equally possible that we might have encountered less hatred and opposition. It was the double government established in Affghanistan which proved so great a source of embarrassment.
We carefully abstained from all interference in the internal administration, except in that mode wbich made us the object of particular hatred. Of the extent to which the misconduct of the king's officers brought odium on us, a fair estimate may be formed from the fact, that the inhabitants of Kohistan, who detested Dost Mahomed for his oppressions, and among whom we were most likely to have met with cordial support, were turned into our most bitter foes by their misconduct.
The military and political reforms, which the envoy found it necessary to introduce, served also to alienate the minds of the chiefs and to increase the irritution of our presence in the country. It was part of his policy to render the government of the Shah independent of the support of the chiefs, whose armed retainers and followers had heretofore formed the bulk of the army of the Cabool ruler. The chiefs had thus been enabled to exercise a powerful and pernicious influence on the administration, which indeed may be said to have existed chiefly through their concurrence. To consolidate the govern. ment of the Shah, and give it a sound constitution, it was indispensable to break up this influence; and the Envoy endeavoured to accomplish the object by organizing a national force. We had been enabled to conquer and retain India by employing the troops of the country and bringing them under the exclusive influence of our government, and moulding them according to our own wishes and interest. The same policy was expected to produce corresponding results in Affghanistan; and the Envoy was not without that the throne of the Shah might be so strengthened by this national army as to render the presence and the expense of so large a body of our own troops unnecessary. To this task, therefore, Sir W. Macnaghten directed his earliest attention. “ Khyberies,” says he, “the Juzailchees and the Putheera corps are all national troops, which have been raised in lieu of Colonel Wade's useless levies. In addition to these we must have a small corps of Kohistanies, and another of Hazarehs." The Janbaz came also within this denomination. "If we can get his majesty to set apart a portion of the revenue for the payment of the Affghan Horse, and fix the number within moderate limits, we shall soon have a good national force.” The chiefs felt that the success of this plan would be death to their own consequence, that it would weaken their influence over the tribes, and attach them to the throne by the strongest ties. Thus the very means used to establish a compact and independent government turned the most influential nobles into our inveterate, though concealed, opponents, and prepared them to join in any movement which held out the prospect of our expulsion from the country. Such an opportunity was apparently presented to them a little more than a twelve-month after we had occupied Cabool.
Dost Mahomed, after his flight from the capital, took refuge with the Wullee of Koolloom. From hence he was induced to proceed to Bokhara, where he was incarcerated. With the romantic incidents of his escape, which are fully detailed by Dr. Atkinson, we need not detain the reader. On the 27th of July, the Envoy received accounts of his escape from Bokhara, but as his family was now in our hands, and the Wullee of Koolloom, with whom his intrigues might be expected to commence, professed the most devoted attachment to the Shah, and had sent his prime minister and son to Cabool, little or no apprehension was at first entertained. But our embarrassments soon began to thicken, and even the Envoy admitted that the difficulties of bis position were overwhelming. On the 7th of August, information was received that Khelat had been captured by the Beloochees, and the resources of that principality turned against us. The rebels in Bajore, a district in the immediate vicinity of the capital, had obtained some advantage over the Shah's troops, and captured a gun. The Seikh government was covertly but actively encouraging its feudatories at Peshawur to annoy us. So strongly was our danger from this quarter impressed on the mind of Sir W. Macnaghten, as to lead him to propose the most stringent measures in reference to the Punjab : “ Dost Mahomed is at our threshold ;we are surrounded by traitors on every side, and the Seikh government is doing all in its power to effect our ruin. Nothing short of extracting the venom from the tooth of the Punjab snake can do us any good. There can be no doubt that the Seikhs intend to supply money to be used against us. If they can only pour a sufficiency of cash into the Kohistan, and raise the country between Peshawur and Cabool just at the time that Dost Mahomed makes his appearance, our situation will be sufficiently perilous.” On the 21st of August he writes, “ that the Dost's appearance had caused considerable excitement,... and that the state of affairs required all their vigilance.” Indeed, the Dost was proved to be in active correspondence with the Seikh feudatories at Peshawur, who were our inveterate enemies.
(The remainder next month.)
AN EXCURSION IN SOUTH AFRICA.
It was on a bright morning in June that I mounted my little shooting horse and quitted my comfortable quarters at Wynberg, with the view of taking a peep at the interior of the colony, and of slaying a few of the many partridges that were said to abound at several of the points I was to take en route, for flaming accounts had long reached me, through sporting friends, of the abundance of game some eighty or a hundred miles inland, and the extreme facility of getting at it. I wished, moreover, to satisfy myself, from ocular demonstration, as to the nature and habits of that strange animal, the Cape Boer, of whom I had heard so much. In short, I was heartily tired of being cooped up at Wynberg, tethered to my cottage, as it were, for so many months, and was now determined
“ To see the wonders of the world abroad." All journeys in the colony are performed either in a wagon or on horseback. The first mode of conveyance, though slow, renders one independent of farm-houses, as in it can be stored all that is requisite for an outspan or huitspan—that is, an encampment. These wagons are drawn either by horses or oxen, the latter at the Cape being a very fine animal; and it is a common sight to see twenty of them yoked to a waggon at one time. This may appear to some a waste of labour, but the application of great force is quite necessary to drag one of these Cape machines, containing, probably, the chattels and family of a Boer, through the heavy sandy tracks that in most parts answer the purposes of a road. For women of all classes, from the governor's lady to the quondam Hottentot slave, these wagons are the only conveyance; but men, who have the free use of their limbs, and more especially sportsmen, almost invariably travel on horseback, traversing in this way, at the rate of thirty or forty miles daily, the tract of 700 miles that separates Cape Town from Graham's Town, and halting for the night at farm-houses. To travel thus comfortably one should be followed by another horse, carrying a groom, and a pair of saddle-bags ; but, to do the thing well, there should be a third horse, in case of accidents, led by the groom. A sportsman usually carries his own gun, either in his hand or slung over his shoulder, whilst his dogs, which should be pointers, follow with ease, and try the ground, right and left, as they go along. For an excursion of this kind, the saddle-bags should be packed with judgment, excluding all superfluities, but a corner should always be reserved for a small supply of tea and sugar, luxuries, or rather necessaries, not always to be found at Dutch farm-houses, and deprived of which an Englishman is scarcely happy. Thus equipped, and the hat garnished with a green veil to keep off the sand-flies, which are very troublesome, a traveller may canter over the colony most comfortably and independently, with the assurance of a good lodging and wholesome fare at the farm-houses whenever he is disposed to halt. This accommodation is in general readily granted, and the charge for it moderate, being merely compensative;
indeed, some of the wealthier class will take no remuneration for their hospitality, excepting, perhaps, for the article of forage, which at all times is expensive at the Cape, and when three or more horses are to be fed, it becomes of course a serious matter.
On the morning in question, I started on my trip, mounted, as before stated, on my shooting horse, with gun in hand, and cloak strapped behind me, whilst in my wake followed a mounted groom, with the saddle-bags, and a favourite pointer that never tired. We were soon cantering over the Flats, leaving the well-wooded heights of Wynberg far behind us, and I never remember to have enjoyed a ride more thoroughly ; for though the sun was bright, the air was delightfully cool and elastic, the month of June being mid-winter at the Cape--if by far the most delicious period of the year in that fine climate is to be called by such a harsh name : it should rather be called the rainy season, for snow, and even frost, if my memory does not deceive me, are never seen, except on the mountains ; indeed, the cold is so bearable, that hardly any of the old Dutch-built habitations possess the luxury of a fire-place, excepting of course the kitchen. Our horses' heads were put in the direction of Stellenbosch, to which place from Wynberg there is no regular road, the traveller's only guide being certain ill-defined tracks, which, in the deep sand-drifts which abound on the Flats, are frequently lost altogether.
Though the weather was so inviting, and the prospect before me was extensive, it must be confessed that nothing could be much less attractive than the character of the country I was traversing, which, for at least two-thirds of the distance, was composed of successive ridges of sand, scantily clothed with heath. These sand-drifts extend across the Cape isthmus, and are formed by the fury of the south-easters, such being the prevailing wind, which carry up with them clouds of sand from the shores of False Bay. For many years the construction of a durable road has been contemplated to connect Stellenbosch with Cape Town, and late accounts tell us that it is really in. progress. The utility of such a work would be doubtless very great, though the expense must be enormous; and how it is, through its whole length, to be kept clear of the constantly drifting sand is to me a riddle.
The small town of Stellenbosch, the capital, it must be called, of the district bearing the same name, is due east of Cape Town, from which it is distant twenty-eight miles, and twenty-six from Wynberg; and its locality, at the foot of the lofty mountains bearing the names of the Simonsberg and the Helderbergh, is pleasant and picturesque, the country round it being undulating, and enjoying the blessings of trees and pasturage, the latter being very scarce in the vicinity of Cape Town. About midway I fell in with a covey of partridges amongst the sandhills, and was fortunate enough to kill a brace of them, which I thought a propitious commencement. On descending the hill into Stellenbosch, the first view of which, almost shrouded in foliage, is peculiarly striking and refreshing after the sandy waste, I diverged from the road in pursuit of several korhans, but could not succeed in killing one. This is a