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1801, has in any degree been effected; and whether the duty imposed upon the British government by that treaty-a duty recognised by Lord William Bentinck in 1831, and reiterated by Lord Hardinge in 1847— will in truth any longer admit of our honestly indulging the reluctance we have felt to have recourse to those extreme measures which alone can be of any real efficacy in remedying the evils from which the state of Oude has suffered so long."
It cannot be said that any undue haste was shown in applying those remedies which were deemed to be efficacious. To the partisans of Oude, who would have preferred to see the perpetuation of misrule, anarchy, and oppression in that devoted country, to the sway, however tempered by mildness and justice, of the British, there may have seemed to have been such; but to all unbiassed minds the very reverse will appear to be the case, and the Company to have incurred no small moral and political responsibility in having in the first place raised a dynasty of monstrous Nawaubs to the dignity of kings, and then supporting them in their vicious misrule when all their vices had become notorious-Thuggism and Dacoitism being the more familiar manifestations of the existing happy state of things.
The report of General Outram dates March 15, 1855, and it places on record, as the result of the inquiry instituted, among other things, that the representative of the Kings of Oude continued "to confide the conduct of his affairs to the same worthless and incompetent characters, to devote all his time to personal gratifications and frivolous amusements, and to manifest the same utter disregard of his duties and responsibilities. The same insecurity to life and property in all parts of his dominions is felt; the same maladministrations and malversations prevail in all departments.' General Outram further reported that, in respect to revenue and finance, the king was grossly defrauded by his minister and the subordinate Nazims; that the troops were in arrears of pay, as also those members of the royal family who were stipendiaries upon the king. He also stated that the administration of the laws was base and corrupt in the districts, and those who administer justice there are equally venal with the judges of the capital, and that the so-called police establishments are equally inefficient and corrupt; that the condition of the army of Oude is such as to make it impossible to conceive a greater curse to a country than such a rapacious, licentious, and disorganised army as that of Oude is, and such as it has ever been, from the very earliest records extant of its cowardice, inefficiency, and extortion. Finally, oppression and cruelties, and crime and outrage, were continually on the increase. General Outram concluded his report by saying:
"It has been my painful duty to demonstrate that the lamentable condition of this kingdom has been caused by the very culpable apathy and gross misrule of the sovereign and his Durbar. I have shown that the affairs of Oude still continue in the same state, if not worse, in which Colonel Sleeman from time to time described them to be; and that the improvement which Lord Hardinge peremptorily demanded, seven years ago, at the hands of the king, in pursuance of the treaty of 1801, has not in any degree been effected. And I have no hesitation in declaring my opinion, therefore, that the duty imposed on the British government by
that treaty cannot any longer admit of our honestly indulging the reluctance which the government of India has felt, hitherto, to have recourse to those extreme measures which alone can be of any real efficacy in remedying the evils from which the state of Oude has suffered so long."
Imagine, in the face of such evidence, partisanship, instead of rebutting that evidence, placing the question on such grounds as-"Has Oude been worse governed by its native princes than our Indian territories by Leadenhall-street?" Laying aside that, with all its faults, the East Indian government has never connived at Thuggism or Dacoitism, that it has endeavoured to introduce the principles of common justice, and that it has certainly given security to life and property, still one fault can never be made an excuse for another, and the errors of the Company cannot be adduced as an apology for the sins and crimes of the rulers of Oude.
The fact is that, had Lord Dalhousie declined to act in such an emergency, he would have only added one more to the many proofs that the Company were unequal to the task imposed upon it by Providence; that it did not feel the responsibility of being called upon to rule over so great an empire and to protect so many millions of human beings; and that it preferred the interests, as has been too often and too long the case, of petty tyrants over an oppressed and persecuted people-of a vicious rule over a prostrate humanity.
The governor-general, however, after due consideration of all the bearings of the case, felt that active interference had become imperative, and he proposed one of four methods of dealing with the subject to the Court of Directors. Finally, a proclamation was issued, dated 11th February, 1856, in which, after alluding to the treaty of 1801, and to the many deliberate and systematic violations of treaties which had from first to last occurred on the part of the rulers of Oude, the government of that country was declared to be henceforth vested, exclusively and for ever, in the Honourable East India Company.
It is certainly a startling fact for consideration, that barely a year has elapsed since the tumbling down of the throne raised thirty-eight years ago by the Company from out of the ruins of an old and worn-out viziership of the Emperors of Delhi, than the country has risen in revolt in favour of its ancient Muhammadan rulers, with all their vices and malpractices, and the rebellion has no doubt, at the instigation of the viceroyalty, extended to the centre of the system, and embraced Delhi in the same vortex with Lucknow. That under such circumstances the few British Residents, including the ever-to-be-lamented Sir Henry Lawrence and Major Banks, who could scarcely yet have obtained a firm footing in the capital of the Nawaubs of Oude, should have been enabled to hold out so long against a whole nation in arms, is almost miraculous, and seems to attest an immeasurable superiority of race. The conquest of Oude and the subjugation of the Muhammadans of Central India remains, however, to be effected, or England must yield its vast Oriental Empire. The system hitherto acted upon of subsidising native princes, and giving to them an armed protection ever ready to turn against ourselves, and of seeking indemnification in the holding of fortresses and the muleting of portions of the native revenues, must be exploded. It has all along been totally
opposed to the amelioration of the condition of the people or the country; it has been utterly inconsistent with the progress of civilisation, with the increased security, happiness, and welfare of 150,000,000 of people, and with improved means of transport, intercommunication, and commerce; and it has now proved also to be utterly inconsistent with the stability and duration of our rule. We have Central India to reconquer. Let us hope that, if success attends our arms, the conquered states will be placed upon a different footing, and such a government will be established as shall be at once effective for rule over a vast empire, and for permanently securing the welfare and the happiness of so many millions of fellow-creatures.
BY E. P. ROWSELL.
So the Sahib-log were seated on the ground, and two companies of the Nadire Pultun placed themselves over against them, with their muskets ready to fire. Then said one of the mem-Sahibs-the doctor's wife she was; I don't know his name, but he was either superintending surgeon or medical storekeeper-"I will not leave my husband; if he must die, I will die with him." So she ran and sat down behind her husband, clasping him round the waist. Directly she said this the other mem-Sahibs said, "We will also die with our husbands." Then their husbands said, "Go back;" but they would not. Whereupon the Nana ordered his soldiers, and they going in pulled them forcibly away, seizing them by the arm; but they could not pull away the doctor's wife, who there remained. Then, just as the Sepoys were going to fire, the padre (chaplain) called out to the Nana and requested leave to read prayers before they died. The Nana granted it. The padre's bonds were unloosed so far as to enable him to take a small book out of his pocket, from which he read; but all this time one of the Sahib-logs, who was shot in the arm and the leg, kept crying out to the Sepoys, "If you mean to kill us, why don't you set about it quickly and get the work done? Why delay ?" After the padre had read a few prayers he shut the book, and the Sahib-log shook hands all round. Then the Sepoys fired. One Sahib rolled one way, one another, as they sat; but they were not dead, only wounded; so they went in and finished them off with swords.-NUJOOR JEWARREE's Narrative of the Massacre at Cawnpore.
ALBERT SMITH, prior to repeating to his audience the celebrated story told him by the engineer, states frankly that it is the longest, dullest, and driest it has been his misfortune to listen to; "nevertheless," adds Mr. Smith, with appalling firmness of manner, "I am now, ladies and gentlemen, about to tell it to you.'
Our two last papers have been occupied in considering the inquiry, "How shall we preach ?" It may startle the reader to learn that we are now proceeding to write a commentary bearing some resemblance to We have chosen for our text the most touching portion of a narrative which, throughout, is beyond description affecting. We have no morbid pleasure in dwelling on things horrible, and would, at all times, select for our theme matter which should elicit a smile rather than
a sigh. But we have been irresistibly diverted this month from a much more cheerful subject to ponder one which has brought a moisture even into our own eye, a circumstance scarcely known to us since the days when the loss of a half-holiday brought grief inexpressible, and the taking a black draught unutterable woe.
Our text does not simply furnish us with heart-breaking information. The incidents preceding the consummation of the tragedy are singularly striking and impressive. They portray in the strongest colours certain marked features, so beautiful, so moving, so calculated to rouse the best feelings within us, that there is both consolation and benefit in regarding them closely and extracting the lessons they powerfully teach.
There succeeds to the intense horror, which is the first emotion on surveying Nana Sahib, something of curiosity. He becomes such an awful monster, a villain of such frightful dimensions, that he grows unintelligible. Is he mad? No-no one has suggested for a moment that he is. Is he merely a wretched creature with no other peculiarity than this-a heart saturated with love of cruelty, a spirit to which cruelty is as meat and drink? Doubtless, a cruel disposition has a terrible tendency to increase. A cut finger may to-day be an unpleasant_sight— a crushed limb to-morrow may be viewed with indifference-the third day a headless trunk may be coolly kicked aside-and the fourth day a multitude of mutilated corpses may form the subject of a joke. Passing from one enormity to another, the heart does become strangely chilled to human misery; and sights and scenes, which would have scared it but recently, are now even agreeable and amusing to contemplate. But, although Nana Sahib may indeed have a keen appetite for blood, an eye which glistens at tortured bodies, and an ear which drinks in groans as sweet music, still we think that a stronger explanation is needed than that of simply a cruel disposition, to account for the overwhelming horrors of the Cawnpore massacre. There is a holy thing, of which good men speak with awe. There is a consciousness of something after death which leads the thinking among us to observe a certain walk in life. There are principles and tenets which we all more or less reverence and obey. There are hopes and fears which find a place in the heart of almost every human being. We speak of RELIGION. But we are alluding to deeds more associative of hell than of heaven. In connexion with them, what can we have to say of religion? Alas! religion, like so many a vast benefit, though, when rightly received, an inappreciable blessing, when wrongly interpreted, when viewed through a false medium, may lead (nay, has led, how many, many times!) to the most fearful, most appalling evils which can afflict humanity. We are inclined to think that, upon the miserably benighted intellect of Nana Sahib there rested a weight of fanaticism which engendered some preposterous notion of a justification for what he was doing. It may seem absurd; but remember the number of dark deeds which have been committed through this wretched species of insanity. There is a class of mind, narrow, stern, and gloomy, into which we really believe it dangerous for a little religion to enter. Such a mind we imagine that to be which dwells in Nana Sahib; such a mind may be found in many other men besides Nana Sahib-men in our own land-men who sit at your table, reader, mayhap, and mine-men who have no heart, to love, God,
but who have a heart to hate and persecute their fellow men under the cloak and pretence of love for God-men who would kill and destroy if they could, singing the while the beauty of mercy and the glory of salvation.
Let us now present our picture. The time appears to have been night, or perhaps early morning. The victims have been foiled in their last effort to escape. Their boat has been captured, and they have been brought to land. Sixty men, twenty-five women, and four children form the unfortunate company. Their fate is soon decided. The males are separated from the females, and the order is at once given for the former to be shot. But there was a refusal to obey on the part of the appointed executioners. A remembrance of past benefits seized them; they shrank back; they would not perform the bloody task. Alas! there was no difficulty in supplying their places with others unvisited by any such compunction. The victims having been seated on the ground, two companies, at the command of the Nana, "placed themselves over against them, with their muskets ready to fire."
And now occurred a most beautiful and most affecting incident. "Then said one of the mem-Sahibs-the doctor's wife she was; I don't know his name, but he was either the superintending surgeon or medical storekeeper I will not leave my husband; if he must die, I will die with him.'" There seems to us something of a strangeness in its having been from the doctor's wife that this exclamation first issued. The doctor's duty had been a noble duty, but with no glory attached to it. It had been to cure wounds, not to inflict them; to help to restore life instead of to take it away. And seeing that the character of the wife may be expected to derive some colour from the career of her husband, we might have looked for the cry of self-sacrifice to have been originated by the soldier's wife rather than by the wife of the surgeon. There was only, however, a momentary interval. Scarcely were the words uttered than they were taken up by the whole sorrowing body. "Directly she said this, the other mem-Sahibs said, 'We will also die with our husbands.'
Wonderful unanimity. We have not the list of the poor victims by us, but doubtless there were some material points of difference between them, and there were, consequently, corresponding differences among the women. There was the wife at whose feet had been laid every gaiety and gratification of that luxurious city, her existence to this dreary period, it may be, having been an unbroken round of pleasure. There was the wife whose lot had embraced the comforts, perhaps, but very few indeed of the refinements of life. There were, doubtless, differences in age; some being women who had arrived at, or had passed, maturity, and who, having experienced the joys of spring and summer, had faded into the autumn of their career. Others there were too, probably, who yet revelled in spring, their eyes undimmed, their steps yet buoyant, their tones yet silvery, and the bloom of youth still resting on their cheek. Again, there must have been differences in character. The proud woman was there, the imperious and exacting'; and the young girl was there, whose heart melted at every tale of woe, and who would have loved the mission to spread peace, happiness, and endless joy broadcast through the world. And there was still another point, probably, in which there was a difference. Wedded life could not have proved the same to all. To some it had brought but too likely