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justified by the circumstances of the case. We live too near these events, and are perhaps too much under the influence of the feelings with which we have been accustomed to judge of the expedition itself, to form a dispassionate judgment of this particular and important event in it. It is too early to expect any thing that can be likened to the decision of the historical judge; and we must all be content to be considered as advocates, either on one side or the other of the question. For our parts, after the most earnest and conscientious examination of all the evidence we can find, we are strongly disposed to exonerate the Envoy from all censure; and on the following considerations :-Every engage: ment with mutual obligations must be binding on both parties, or on neither. If one party intentionally neglects to fulfil his share of the engagement, it becomes null and void, and ceases to be obligatory on the opposite party. The stipulations of the treaty which the Envoy entered into with the chiefs were, on our part, that the army of Cabool should return to India immediately, and that we should evacuate Affghanistan ; on the part of the chiefs, that “imme. diate supplies, and carriage cattle, should be furnished to the troops to any extent required.” Our part of these stipulations was fulfilled with the most scrupulous good faith; we evacuated the Bala Hissar, and made every arrangement for our departure. But the Affghan chiefs never observed a single article of the treaty. Instead of sending in supplies equal to the wants of the starving garrison, they sent only enough for a single day: and on the fifth day after the agreement, openly set it aside, by declaring their resolution to send in no farther supplies until four forts, which commanded the cantonments, were surrendered to them. The treaty was, therefore, clearly at an end. But as if to shew that no promise would be kept with their humble foes, and that all their engagements were made only to be broken, they took possession of the forts, but continued to neglect the wants of the garrison. There was, therefore, no obligation on the Envoy to risk the safety of the army simply in compliance with an engagement intended to be mutual, but which had been so flagrantly violated.
It was not the mere honour of the Envoy or the character of his government which was at stake in this instance, but the lives of twelve thousand men; and this ought to have been, and was, the one paramount consideration with him -the cynosure by which he steered his course. It was to save the lives of this large body of men that he had agreed to the humiliating terms of the treaty, and he was fully justified in regarding the treaty as waste paper when it had been violated by the chiefs in such a manner as to render it, if observed, the means of destroying instead of saving the troops. There was, in fact, no treaty; but a constant negotiation was carried on with the chiefs individually and collectively by the Envoy, who was endeavouring to make the best terms in his power for an army which looked to him for safety. Though he had agreed with one part of the chiefs to depart on Friday, having scarcely any provisions left, yet he was at the time engaged in a separate bargain with Khan Shereen Khan and Humzeh, the Ghilzie, two of the chiefs who were present at the first meeting; and this bargain was carried on to the very last day. He told them plainly that if the Kuzzilbashes and the Ghilzies were anxious fer our army to remain, and would declare themselves openly in our favour, he would send to the Barukzies and declare bis agreement with them at an end. From the time when the treaty was violated by the new demands of the chiefs and the refusal of supplies, le considered himself at liberty to make any Asiat.Journ.N.S. VOL.IV.No.24.
arrangement with any party, which might most effectually relieve the army. It was not three days before the catastrophe, that he offered Khan Shereen fire lakhs of rupees, and the Ghilzie chief the same sum, if they would side with us and send in provisions. In these circumstances, while he was looking round with the deepest anxiety for some happy turn in affairs, late in the evening of the 22nd, Ukbar Khan sent a flattering offer to separate himself from the rest of the chiefs, and to allow the English to remain eight months longer in Aff. ghanistan, so as to save their credit, on condition that Shah Soojah should be king of the country and Mahomed Ukbar Khan his vizier ; and that the British government should pay him thirty lakhs of rupees and four lakhs of rupees a.year. Sir William eagerly grasped at a proposal which offered the smallest ehance of salvation to the army. We must confess that we can see nothing in the nature or obligation of the negotiations which were then pending with the other chiefs, who were urging his departure, while they denied him provisions and cattle, which could give the least colour of moral turpitude to his acceptance of an offer which promised him the preservation of the army. There can be little doubt that if this negotiation had been instrumental in extricating that army from its perils, we should never have heard a whisper of treachery.
The only portion of this engagement which appears to us in any measure questionable, on the score of morality, is that which refers to Ameenoollah. Mr. Lushington animadverts on it in the severest language. “To acquiesce in the continuance of a treaty,"—there was no treaty at all obligatory; the chiefs had even refused to sign it, and their whole conduct was a palpable violation of it—and to plot the seizure of men, who were relying on its faith, under pretext of peaceful conference, was an act of detestable treachery, which, up to that time, the Affghans had done nothing to parallel.” In this short sentence there are three discrepancies of fact which materially affect the character of the transaction. Sir W. Macnaghten did not plot the seizure ; it was one among the various proposals of Ukbar Khan, to which he gave his assent. Neither was there more than one individual, the infamous Ameenoollah, to whom the proposal applied. Nor was even this man to be inveigled to a peaceful con. ference, on the faith of a treaty, and there treacherously arrested. The conference included only Ukbar Khan and the Eastern Ghilzie chiefs, with one of whom the Envoy long had been engaged in a separate negotiation, and most of whom were supposed to be favourable to our interests. Ameenoollah was not expected to be present at the conference, which had apparently for its object the recognition of these terms by the Envoy in the presence of Ukbar Khan and the Ghilzies; after which their troops were to be united with ours, to assault and take Mahomed Shah's fort, and there to secure Ameenoollah, This man, the most active and inveterate of all our opponents, owed every thing to the kindness of Sir William Macnaghten; who, after the specimen of ingrati. tude and treason which he had exhibited, determined to make an example of him. This fact was apparently well known to Ukbar Khan, when he baited the hook with a proposal which he knew would be agreeable to the Envoy. We can find no evidence that Ameenvollah ever attended any of the meetings of the chiefs, or was a party to any treaty or agreement, or that Sir William ever held any intercourse with him during the insurrection. Indeed, in the whole course of the negotiations we find his name mentioned but once, which was, when the chiefs violated the treaty by demanding the surrender of the forts. On that occasion, he is said to have joined Osman Kban in making this request. We leave it, therefore, to the future historian to pronounce on the
degree of culpability involved in the Enyoy's acceding to the proposal made by Ukbar Khan, that he and the Ghilzie chiefs should unite their troops with our own to assault and take the fort, and there capture this arch enemy of the British cause,
It only remains to deal with the atrocious charge brought against Sir William Macnaghten, of having encouraged the assassination of his opponents; and it is easily disposed of. Capt. Mackenzie bears witness that when, at the fatal conference on the evening of the 22nd December, Mahomed Sudeeq signified that, for a certain sum of money, the head of Ameenoollah should be presented to the Envoy, Sir William Macnaghten shrunk back with abhorrence, declaring that it was neither his custom nor that of his country to give a price for blood. But we bave other evidence, equally decisive, under the Envoy's own signature. Although he had, on previous occasions, written to Mohun Lall to encourage the rival of Ameenoollah by all possible means, and assured him that he would execute “the scoundrel if he could catch him ;" and that he would give a reward of Rs. 10,000 for bois apprehension and that of some others, yet, when the moonshee wrote to the Envoy under the impression that he wished the man to be taken off privately, Sir William Macnaghten immediately replied, on the 1st of December : “ I am sorry to find, from your letter of last night, that you should have supposed it was ever my object to encourage assassination. The rebels are very wicked men, but we must not take unlawful means to destroy them."
It was no little relief to the feelings of Sir William Macnaghten's relatives and friends, that his remains were not abandoned in the country in which he had been so treacherously massacred. They were rescued from the pit to which the barbarous Affghans had consigned them, by the affectionate solicitude of his widow, and brought down to the presidency. Those public honours by which the interment of men of high official rank is distinguished were denied to one who, at the period of his death, had been raised to the third station in this empire, because he perished in an unfortunate and unsuccessful enterprise. But the absence of all official distinction at his funeral was more than compensated by the universal respect paid to his memory. His was a public funeral in a higher and more gratifying sense than if it had been marked by the presence of troops and the boom of artillery. His remains were accompanied to their final resting-place by the whole body of the community, and interred amidst the sympathies of the metropolis. A large public subscription was immediately made for the erection of a monument over his grave ; and we have the melancholy consolation of remembering that, though assassinated in a distant land, he still sleeps in the city where his early honours were acquired, and where he laid the foundation of so many lasting friendships.
NUGGUR, AND ABOUT IT.
BY MRS. POSTANS.
Every one acquainted with Western India has heard of Nuggur, or Ahmed-Nuggur, it being the favourite station of the “ Ducks." In olden times, when guns, spears, and horses formed the joys of our young aspirants to military fame, Nuggur was famous for its sport, its “grim grey boars,” stony hills, and open plains; and I fancy that more hogs were killed, more hunting-songs sung, and more sporting adventures met with here than in the whole of the Deckan besides. Matters, however, have now somewhat changed, for sport is on the de cline in the Deckan, as elsewhere; the “Nuggur hunt,” once the pride of sportsmen, is on the wane; balls and mess-parties supersede forays on the “jungle-side,” and whether it be, that Phonde Sawunt, and Ragojee Bangriah, our bandit leaders of the Northern and Southern Concans, divert men's minds from mimic to real war, the spirit of sport has fled. Nevertheless, it is still a pleasant spot, and surrounded by interest for the painter, poet, and historian. One wise old moofti, some forty years ago, undertook to write an account of the curiosities of Nuggur, within a circuit of four miles, and the work was looked on as a miracle of learning ; it was called the Shahabee, in honour of Shahab-oo-deen, its author; and, as if to end all doubt of its merits, the cazis of Nuggur and Poonah went to law about the possession of the MS., while the British authorities sequestered it, on the judge and the oyster principle of settlement. To me, who was favoured with its inspection, it appeared so like “Ferishta,” with its interesting points left out, that I felt much more gratification in wandering about Nuggur, guided by the information of some modern Herodotus, full of true and pleasant chat, than in poring over the wise man's collection of dates, hard names, and Persian couplets.
Nuggur is situated on a wide plain, surrounded by hills, and intersected by rivers, so that the level ground should be ever waving with bright green crops; the fine mangoe-trees that cluster round the pretty villages, ever productive; but in Nuggur, as elsewhere, that which should be, is not always so, and for two years we have had a drought that has reduced the flowing waters to mere occasional pools, withered the corn, slain the cattle, and reduced the strong man to a.condition of hollow-eyed and trembling feebleness. Then again, as it ever is in India, came cholera, as if to ease the land of those it no longer could support, and the young and the old went forth from their homes to the sides of the stony hills, to dwell in caves, hoping to escape. Nuggur, the once mirthful scene of sport and glee, has not yet recovered the double visitation; but want and fear yet hang upon its homes, whether of the city or the village.
The fort is one of the strongest in the Deckan; and with various handsome buildings, musjids, and palaces, within and about it, renew a reflection long since made, on the employment of Mohamedan wealth
in India, in comparison with our own; for did we to-morrow quit this glowing clime, we should leave but graves to mark our long possession of the land. A huge tree on the glacis of the fort is honoured by the much-believing, as that under which the Great Captain of his age conducted operations against the enemy; but if the Duke ever did honour its peepul shade, it must have been after, and not during, the siege ; or, like Rustum, he must have borne a charmed life. The fort of Nuggur, however, hath a stirring history attached to it. A true tale of life romance, that affords an interest quite equal to that which Rhineascending tourists feel for Nonensworth and Rolandseck. The reader must allow me to tell the tale, even as it was told to me, and must assist me by imagining the fine fort of Nuggur on its plain, as Josephine's convent is upon the stream, looked down on by a richly-sculptured tomb of many stories, perched on a neighbouring hill; the Rowland's Tower of the Deckan.
“ Chand Beebee ke Nuggur,” then, as Moslems still call the theme of our discourse, was, some 250 years since, governed by a very beautiful ranee, the moon-faced, or silver-bodied Beebee. Her palace within the fort was of the richest architecture and decoration, shaded by fine trees, cooled by fountains, and resplendent with silver ornaments; but the loveliness of the woman is said to have far outshone the pomp and glitter of the princess. The nobles of Upper India and the princes of the Deckan alike sued for her hand; but the fair queen of Nuggur, proud of her independence, determined to support her dignities alone. Salabat Khan, a young noble, full of military zeal and ardour, in travelling through the country, chanced to see the Beebee, and from that moment became violently enamoured of her. Knowing, however, the utter hopelessness of his passion, he wandered far away to join some of the many chiefs, whose varied claims equally distracted both the upper and the lower countries. Time passed; the fair queen of Nuggur governed, in womanly pride, her fine Deckan lands, careless of her suitors, while Salabat Khan in vain sought, among the excitements of war and the stimulant of ambition, to expel from his heart and memory the image of her he loved so hopelessly. The kings of Delhi, who had ever desired the possession of the rich districts of Aurungabad and Nuggur, at length determined on besieging the fort of the fair queen. Day by day, Chand Beebee, from her battlements, noted the surrounding armies, in hostile array, gathering round the fort; yet still, with an heroic spirit, determined to die, as she had lived, Queen of Nuggur, rather than fall captive into the conqueror's hands. The siege was long; the little party within the walls gradually became less efficient ; no help at hand, no hope without; despair seized on the bravest hearts; and in a few hours more, beneath the waters of the deepest bowrie (well) of the fort, lay the body of the lovely Beebee. That day, with a strong army of rescue, gathered from many lands, pride, and joy, and love, all animating his warlike spirit, Salabat Khan encamped upon a rocky hill, looking full upon the fort; a messenger was despatched to the queen, bearing tidings of hope and succour; but, alas !