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kill the Christians as he had proposed to kill the cow; that the slight movement of the fore-legs indicated faint attempts at resistance, while the absence of the hinder legs proved that they would have no alliances to support them. These lucubrations form a strange contrast to his display of talent on other occasions; nor can it be wondered that public measures resting upon such conclusions should not always have proved very prosperous. This prince, owing to his long wars with the English, his cruel treatment of the captives, and the imbittered enmity which he manifested, was regarded by them almost as a monster in human shape. Yet when their armies penetrated into the interior of his kingdom, they found it flourishing, highly cultivated, and seemingly well governed. His people always showed a strong attachment to him, and the inhabitants of the ceded districts were ever ready to embrace his cause. But to the conquered nations he was at all times a cruelmaster, and rendered himself the object of their inextinguishable hatred; to which cause his downfall may, in a great measure, be attributed. It has been said, with the general approbation of British authors, that "Hyder was born to create an empire, Tippoo to lose one;" yet it may be observed, that he maintained a complete ascendency over all the native states, some of whom had matched, and even over-matched his father. He fell beneath the English power, employed on a scale, and wielded with an ability, of which, in the course of Indian history, there had been no example. Mysore, having been thus completely conquered, remained, as to its future arrangements, entirely at the disposal of the British government. The Mahrattas had taken no share in the expedition, and the nizam would be obliged to content himself with whatever the victors might choose to give. The governor-general took for the company, in full sovereignty, the coast of Canara, the district of Coimbetoor, the passes of the Ghauts, and Seringapatam itself, the capital and main channel of intercourse. He thus secured the whole seacoast, and an easy communication across the peninsula. To the nizam was assigned a large tract of territory adjoining to his dominions. Another portion was reserved for the purpose of being offered to the Mahrattas, on conditions which, however, as will be hereafter seen, DIVISION OF MYSORE. 12?
they did not choose to accept. There remained yet an extensive district in the interior of Mysore, which Marquis Wellesley judged most expedient not to partition, but to form it into a native kingdom under the protection and control of Britain. The question then arose as to the prince in whom the supreme dignity was to be vested. The governor-general would not have been disinclined to bestow it on one of the family of Tippoo; but he justly considered, that the recollection of the recent greatness of their house must have rendered them always hostile to the power by whom its downfall had been achieved. It appeared, therefore, more advisable, after making a liberal provision for these princes, to draw forth from their deep humiliation the ancient race of the Rajahs of Mysore, to whom the people were still fondly attached. The representative of this house, a minor of five years old, and his mother, were found in great poverty and neglect; from which, amid the applauses of their countrymen, they were raised to the splendour and to some share of the power of Asiatic royalty. CHAPTER IV.
Mahratta War, and Conquest of Central Hindustan.
Great Power of the Mahratias—Shao succeeds as Rajah—Able Administration of Ballajee Wishwanath—Bajee Rao succeeds—Rise of Holkar and Sindia—Great Power of the Peishwa—Reduction of the Pirate Angria—Madoo Rao becomes Peishwa—His able Government— Ragoba—He is expelled by the Ministers—Forms an Alliance with the Government of Bombay—Keating's Expedition—Proceedings at Bombay disallowed—Treaty—War renewed—March against Poonah. —Shameful Capitulation—Campaign of General Goddard—Exploits of Popham and Camac—Mahratias allied with Britain—Increased Power of Mahadajee Sindia—His Death—Death of Madoo Rao— Various Intrigues—Jealousies of Britain—Dissensions of Sindia and Holkar—Defeat of Sindia and the Peishwa—Subsidiary Alliance with Britain—Opening of the Campaign—General Wellesley enters Poonah—Negotiations with Sindia and the Rajah of Berar—Hostilities commenced—Battle of Assaye—Of Argaom—Siege of Gawilghur— Treaty with the Rajah of Berar—Forceof theEnemy in Central Hindostan—Battle of Coel—Capture of Alighur—Reduction of Delhi— The Mogul Emperor—Final Defeat of the Enemy—Treaty with Sindia—Rupture with Holkar—Retreat of Colonel Monson—Siege of Delhi—Defeats sustained by Holkar—Siege ofBhurtpore—Repulse of the English—Treaty—Hostile Conduct of Sindia—New System of Policy in Britain—Marquis Cornwallis comes out as Governor-general—Dies, and is succeeded by Sir George Barlow—Treaties with Sindia and Holkar—Lord Minto's Administration.
In prosecuting, without interruption, the train of British conquest in Southern India, we have lost sight of the Mahrattas, unless in respect to their relations with the government of Mysore. The reader, however, will recollect the steps by which that people raised themselves on the decline of the Mogul empire, and became the most powerful instrument in its overthrow. They would even have occupied its place had they not encountered the more regular and formidable armies of the Afghans, from whom they sustained two such mighty defeats as would have annihilated any force which did not possess in itself a strong principle of vitality. But they soon recruited their strength out of the warlike and roving population of their mountain districts; and as the Afghans did not attempt a permanent establishCAPTIVITY OF SHAO.
ment in Hindostan, the Mahrattas acquired again a decided preponderance among the native states of India. Only Mysore, in the height of its greatness, for a short time disputed their supremacy; but when that throne was first shaken, and then subverted, the foreign power by which this triumph had been achieved became the only rival to the Mahrattas; and the question soon arose, which of the two was to rule the southern peninsula. Before coming to the grand struggle, however, some internal movements of this government, and some previous transactions with the English presidencies, will demand our notice. Sevajee had ruled with nearly absolute power over his rude followers, and the reverence cherished for his name enabled him to transmit the Mahratta sceptre to his posterity. But princes born to a throne were little likely to possess the active and daring hardihood necessary for treading in the steps of such a progenitor. Indulging in ease and voluptuousness, they gradually intrusted the arduous concerns of government and war to their ministers and generals. Then followed a consequence almost inevitable in oriental systems: the minister, or still more the general, in whose hands the actual administration was lodged, and who had the disposal of all favours and offices, soon became the depositary of the real power, whom the sovereign would have sought in vain to displace, being in fact his master and that of the kingdom. Yet a certain reverence attached to the original race, and the recollections connected with the history of its founder would have made it unsafe actually to depose the legitimate rajah. It was much easier and safer to maintain him in ease and luxury, as a splendid pageant, deprived of all real authority; which was in truth exercised in his name by the individual who presided in the council or army. This consummation, which always took place in two or three generations, was, in the case now before us, precipitated by a remarkable accident. At the capture of Raree, in 1690, by the troops of Aurengzebe, the grandson of Sevajee and his mother fell into the hands of the conquerors. They were carried to the Mogul country, where Begum Sahib, the emperor's daughter, took an interest in the young and illustrious captive, and obtained permission to educate him under her own eye. Aurengzebe, in visiting his daughter, saw and contracted a fondness for the youth, whom, instead of his proper name of Sevajee, he used to address by that of Shao, which alluded, in an ironical manner, to the thievish vocation of his ancestors. He married him successively to the daughters of two considerable chiefs of his own nation, and celebrated his nuptials by rich presents, among which was the sword of his father, taken in his capital, and distinguished in the East under the name of Bhowanee. After the death of Aurengzebe, Shao remained with that emperor's son Azim, who, wishing to excite divisions in the Mahratta nation, then carrying on a furious predatory warfare against the Moguls, sent home the young prince. During his absence the regency had been held by his cousin Rajah Ramah, and afterward by the widow of that officer, Tara Bye, who felt exceedingly inclined to continue in the exercise of her high functions; but the people retained such an attachment to the direct line of Sevajee that she was obliged to give way, and Shao, in March, 1708, was seated on the throne of his ancestors. During along reign he displayed some ability, and did not absolutely sink from his place as a sovereign; yet the debilitating influence of hereditary succession was heightened by his education in the heart of the Mogul seraglio. He soon discovered a lively taste for pleasure, and a disposition to devolve on others the burdensome cares of government. Fortunately for himself, or at least for the greatness of the state, he placed his chief confidence in Ballajee Wishwanath. This future head of the Mahratta confederacy occupied originally an inferior situation in the revenue; and at his first rise had so little of the adventurous character of his tribe, that he could not sit upon horseback without a man on each side to support him. His consummate talents and address, however, soon raised him to high consideration with Shao, whose object was rather to re-establish order, and cement his power by a conciliatory system, than to lead his countrymen in their predatory campaigns. By a most able negotiation, this minister extricated his master from a quarrel with Angria, and induced that powerful chief to own his supremacy. Shao was so highly pleased with him on this occasion, that he raised him to the dignity of peishwa, usually translated general; but which, embracing as it did all the branches of administration, seams