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WE are told by some persons that history is no better than an old almanack, and when we see the misstatements in regard to events which have occurred within human memory, we feel tempted to subscribe to the opinion, and still more when we see the quotations used by those who themselves distort facts. Thus, in the references made to the mutiny at Vellore, we observed in the leading article of a morning paper a statement of the circumstances which had well-nigh made us think what it gave as a fact was drawn from imagination. One General Gage, it appears, cut a conspicuous figure in the Vellore affair. Was it not the American war, where, we believe, there was a general of that name? The Examiner, a week or two ago, in an article which in some respects, particularly as far as the East India Company is concerned, merited attention for its good sense, greatly misrepresented the Vellore revolt. That revolt did not resemble the present outbreak, except that the Mohammedans were the movers in both cases, and caste and creed were alike concerned in the Vellore case on valid ground, but in the present case formed a plea mischievously employed. Englishmen who have not made themselves acquainted with the Indian character will scarcely credit the extent to which superstition is carried there. The punishment at Meerut about the cartridges seized upon by the Mohammedans, was quite enough to kindle that flame, which ran, like a conflagration, from corps to corps. A religious sentiment only, not a political one, could have made such unanimity of action with discordant elements. It is not many weeks ago that we heard, in a private letter from the railroad people near Bombay, that after they began tunnelling, a report was spread among the labourers that they were making an excavation in which it was intended by the English to entomb them alive. They stopped work, and the managers were obliged to order the police up to the spot to overawe the discontent and keep them to their labour. Religion, in the most formal observances, is rigidly carried out in the East. Let the European head of a family in Calcutta, keeping twenty or thirty servants, order them to wear a feather in their turban, and from the Banian and Darogah to the Manly, or a lower servant still, a pretty mutiny would arise the master of the house would be left to take care of himself. Here the European is no judge, however much he may sneer at Asiatic forms with his own disregard of religious observances of all kinds when it suits his interest. A political conspiracy to substitute Mohammedan for British rule, no one who is acquainted with the mutual hatred of the races will credit; an agreement in apprehension as to religion made a common cause and artfully disseminated fully accounts for the revolt.

We are told, truly, that the Vellore mutiny was confined to the fort of that name. But we are further told that it was a conspiracy got up by the sons of Tippoo Sahib, who were confined there. This is untrue. Tippoo's sons were confined there under the care of Colonel Merrick, or Marriot, we forget which. They were cleared by the colonel of any share in the revolt, though the Sepoys called out their names when the Dec.-VOL. CXI. NO, CCCCXLIV.

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revolt began. The order to the troops, and by whom given, was never stated, but most probably some raw officer from England, who knew nothing of Indian customs. Lord William Bentinck ordered it to be rescinded immediately. The distinction of caste was to be removed, a foolish European cap substituted for the Eastern turban, and one or two other changes of less moment were combined. These were not excuses or "pretexts" for a conspiracy, but the sole cause of the revolt. They were not "fopperies," but ancestral and sacred usages. No plea was urged by them, or any fear of a forced conversion of the revolters to Christianity as stated; the real "fopperies" were the innovations so unjustifiably ordered. Neither missionaries nor a forced conversion to Christianity had anything to do with it. In the East, the putting their superiors to death by mutineers is a natural consequence, the offenders knowing their own lives are forfeited; plunder in the same manner is a common consequence of insubordination, as it is of Eastern warfare at all times, and life is spilled like water. Colonel Gillespie did not arrive at Vellore because he heard firing, he was sent for; and did not scale the walls, but blew open the gate of the fort of Vellore with a galloper gun. He did not destroy the mutineers with the bayonet, but with the sabres of his dragoons, the 19th, and some assistance from the survivors of four companies of the 69th European Regiment* in the fort. The Sepoys did not massacre the women and children, but only the males in and out of the hospital, and of these twenty officers and a number of the men of the 69th were preserved. The Vellore affair had no more to do with missionaries than that at Barrackpore eighteen years afterwards. As far as the mark of caste may be so, it was to a certain extent a part of a religious distinction. But with us it was wholly a military order to Germanise the Sepoys as much as possible. The writer of the article knows little of the Easterns as to feelings and customs. We agree with him, that missionaries had nothing to do in provoking the present outbreak, but we fully believe an alarm about their religion existed on the part of the Hindoos, and was fanned into a flame by our own carelessness about the cartridges, and the adroitness of the Mohammedans in turning it to their own mischievous ends.

The Vellore massacre has been often misstated and misrepresented. The mutineers did not murder every European of every age, as the Examiner states, and the Times, which copied it from the former paper. The following letter will explain all that need more be said upon the subject. It came into our possession in 1807, at the time the news reached England from India.

"Colonel and myself retired to rest at ten o'clock; about the hour of two, on Thursday morning (July 10), we were both awakened at the same instant with a loud firing; we both got out of bed, and Colonel went to the window of his writing-room, which he opened, and called aloud and repeatedly to know the cause of the disturbance, to which he received no reply but by a rapid continuation of the firing by numberless Sepoys assembled at the main guard. Colonel then went down stairs, and about five minutes after returned to his writing-room,

* See vol. cxi. p. 250.

and requested me to bring him a light instantly. I did so, and placed it on the table; he then sat down to write, and I shut the open window from which he had spoken to the Sepoys, fearing some shot might be directed at him as he sat, for they were then firing in all directions from the main guard. I looked at my husband, and saw him pale as ashes: I said, 'Good God! what is the matter, my dear ? To which he replied, Go into your room, Amelia.' I did so, for I saw his mind so agitated, I did not think it proper to repeat my question at that moment. I heard him two minutes afterwards leave the writing-room and go out of the house. Between three and four o'clock, I believe, the firing at the main guard ceased, and the drum beat to arms, which I afterwards found was owing to my husband's exertions to quiet the Sepoys. I heard no more firing for some time: it then began again at the European barracks. After my husband left the house (I hear he returned again, though I imagine but for a moment) I certainly heard the door of his writing-room tried very soon after the firing had ceased at the main guard; but having, after he quitted me, bolted the door, if it was he, he could not enter then. I heard the door attempted. I called out, Is it you, ?' to which I received no answer; but if it was my husband he quitted the house immediately. I bolted all the doors in my room, and brought the children into it. I fell on my knees and fervently prayed that Colonel -'s endeavours to restore peace to the garrison might be crowned with success, and his life spared through the mercy of God. I dressed twice, and cautiously opened the hall door, and felt my way to the lower end of it, to look where they were firing most; I perceived it was chiefly directed towards the European barracks. The last time I ventured from my room, between the hours of four and five, as I stood at the lower door of the hall, which was quite open to the verandah, a figure approached me; it was quite dark, I could only see the red coat by the light of the firing at the barracks; I was dreadfully frightened, expecting to be murdered, and having left my children in the bedroom, dreaded their last hour was come. I had, however, courage to ask who was there. The answer I received was, 'Madam, I am an officer.' I then said, 'Who are you?' to which the gentleman replied, 'I am an officer of the main guard.' I inquired what was the matter; he said it was a mutiny, and that every European was murdered on guard but himself, and that we should all be murdered. I made no reply, but walked away to my room, babes and female servants were ; where my the officer went out of the opposite door of the hall, where we had spoken together, and never got down stairs alive, for he was murdered most cruelly in Colonel's dressing-room. I have since heard his name, Lieutenant O'Reilly, of the 1st Battalion 1st Native Regiment. When I had the conversation with the above-mentioned officer, I began to think it unsafe to quit my room again. As soon as daylight appeared I went into Colonel's room; I looked through the curtain on the parade; I saw some soldiers of the 69th lying dead; four Sepoys were on the watch at that moment at Colonel 's door, and several issuing from the gates of the palace; the latter were not firing; indeed, I think they were unarmed, but making a great noise. They were at this time firing on the ramparts, and, apparently, in all parts of the fort; at least, I heard firing in many different directions, though at the main guard and bar

racks all seemed quiet. They were then interspersed, ransacking the houses, intent upon murder and plunder. I at this moment gave up all for lost; I opened my dressing-table drawer, and took out my husband's miniature, which I tied on, and hid in my bosom, determined to lose that but in death. I had secured his watch some time before so as to ascertain the hour. I had hardly secured this most valued resemblance of my husband, before I heard a loud noise in the hall adjoining my bedroom; I moved softly to the door, and, looking through the keyhole, discovered the Sepoys knocking a chest of drawers to pieces. I was struck with horror, knowing their next visit would be to my apartments: my children and three servants were lying on a mat before the door, which opens in the back verandah, and which, at the commencement of the mutiny, seemed the safest place. As shots were fired at the windows, we were obliged to move as far as possible from them. I whispered my servant, and told her the Sepoys were in the hall. She took my children under the bed, and desired me to go there also; I had no time for reply, as the door we had just left had been burst open. I got under the bed, and instantly several shots were fired into the room: but although the door was opened, no one entered the room. I took up a ball which fell close to me under the bed. The children were screaming with terror at the fire, and I concluded our last moment was come; but, willing to make every effort to save my babes, I got from my hiding-place and flew from the room to a small room adjoining, by the back staircase. I opened the window, from which I saw only the two horsekeepers. I returned instantly to my room, and desired my servant to take my little babe in her arms. I took Charles into my room, and, opening the door of the back stair, ran down as fast as possible. When we got to the bottom, we found several Sepoys keeping watch at the back of the house. I showed them my babes, and desired my servant to inform them they might take all we had, if they would but spare our lives. One of them desired me to sit down in the stable beside the horses, another looked very surly, but did not prevent my going there. Whilst we were in the stable I told my servant I had my husband's watch, and desired she would hide it for me; she dug up some earth with her fingers, and threw it over the watch, aud put some broken pots above it. We had not been seated five minutes before a third Sepoy ordered us away. He told us to go to a fowl-house that had a bamboo front to it; in consequence, we were quite exposed to view, till the same Sepoy brought us a mat, which we made use of by placing it before the door to hide ourselves; and afterwards the same Sepoy brought my little boy half a loaf of bread to satisfy his hunger. There I suppose I sat about three hours in the greatest agony of mind, endeavouring to quiet my dear Charles, whom I found very difficult to pacify, he was so alarmed by the constant firing, and cried sadly to go out several times. I saw the Sepoys from my concealment taking out immense loads of goods on their backs, tied up in tablecloths and sheets.. They all went by the way of the ramparts, which made me fear they still had possession of the works. I know not how I was supported: through the mercy of Providence I fainted not; I kept my senses through all the horrors of the night and morning. What I most dreaded to hear was my husband's murder, and I really believe I should have braved death and searched for him on the parade, had not the situation of my babes with

held me from the rash attempt-the dread of having them murdered in my absence, or leaving them wretched orphans, made me remain in this place of concealment. I hoped for the arrival of the 19th Dragoons from Arcot the few lines Colonel wrote in his room I thought were in tended to be sent express to Colonel Gillespie, who was that morning coming to spend a few days with us; but whether Colonel had the means of sending off his despatch or not I was quite ignorant; still, however, I thought all the news must reach Colonel Gillespie on the road by some means or other; and, hearing a firing at the gates, strengthened my hopes that the regiment was arrived. Our house appeared by this time quite deserted by the Sepoys; but suddenly some of them rushed into the compound and called out (as my Ayah said) to find me; she requested me to go into the farthest corner of the fowl-house, which I did, taking Charles with me, and covering him with my gown. I had much difficulty to keep him quiet; he screamed so every instant, I expected we should all be murdered; but the firing at the gates became now so strong they were obliged to fly to it, and once more vacated the house. I was so thirsty as several times to drink dirty water out of a dirty chatty, and gave the same to my dear Charles. At last I heard distinctly the horses of the 19th on the drawbridge, and then I hoped everything for the best, and presently after heard them enter the fort. An officer rode in, and called for me by name, but I would not answer or move. Again I heard my name repeated, and saw an officer in a red jacket, who, I thought, looked very much like my husband. I sprang forward to meet him it was Mr. M'Clean. I called for my husband; he told me he was alive. Colonel Gillespie and Mr. M'Clean then joined me, and both gave me the same assurance. They took me up-stairs and placed me on a chair, giving me wine-and-water to drink. When the agitation of my mind was a little calmed, they told me that Colonel not dangerously, and that he must be kept quiet. I was told by the surgeon of the 19th that my but that worse wounds had been cured; they were flesh wounds, and the balls had not lodged. Hope still made me think he would recover. I would not even ask to see him, thinking the sight of me might agitate him too much. Alas! I found too late there were no hopes of him from the first, for he breathed his last about four o'clock the same evening. I thank God he died easily; his death was happy. I am fully satisfied, for he lived religiously, and met his death in the faithful discharge of his duty."


was wounded, but About an hour after, husband was in danger,

Not only is the foregoing letter damnatory to the statements made of the Vellore affair in many of the publications of the day, besides asserting that the conversion of the natives was the cause, but in an address to Colonel Gillespie of the officers of the garrison who survived, in number twenty, no mention was made of any massacre but that of the military. We should not have dwelt so long on this subject, but the massacre of Vellore is denominated "anti-Christian" in the Examiner, and a conspiracy against our faith! Little did the writer of the article know the intense attachment of the native of the East to his religious rites, and that to them he will sacrifice even life itself. He has inherited for twenty-five hundred years those doctrines and rites which he professes, and which missionary labours have nowhere shaken to any extent worthy

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