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The British army could easily have returned in time to secure the fort; and they had only to fear the plunder of the country-seats, and perhaps of the native town, though this last danger is considered as doubtful; but they agreed at once to the demands which he made, that Colonel Smith should be ordered to suspend his march, and that M. Dupr6, nominated as the future governor, should come out to treat for peace. In the present temper of the belligerents, the negotiation was neither long nor difficult; a treaty was concluded in April, 1769, on the condition of placing the possessions of both parties, with scarcely an exception, on the same footing as before the war. Hyder solicited an alliance offensive and defensive; the English granted only the last, which, however, was found to involve them in all the responsibility that, by refusing the first, they had sought to escape. Hyder, having thus terminated with advantage and glory this great contest with the British, had, as he foresaw, soon to encounter a still more formidable enemy. The Mahrattas, under Madoo Rao, entered his dominions with a force supposed to be at least double that of his army, and led by able commanders. He endeavoured a second time to check them by laying waste his territory; but the invaders, as before, surmounted every obstacle, and, forming a regular plan of conquest, reduced successively all the strong places, committing the most monstrous cruelties. At one fortress, which had made an obstinate resistance, the barbarian leader ordered the noses and ears of the garrison to be cut off; and sending for the governor, asked if he was not conscious of deserving to be thus mutilated and disgraced? The other replied, "The mutilation will be mine, the disgrace yours;" an answer, the truth of which so forcibly struck the Mahratta that he dismissed the prisoner uninjured. Madoo Rao being obliged, by severe indisposition, to yield the command to Trimbuck Mama, Hyder determined to make a stand, and intrenched his army in a very strong position covered by a range of rugged mountains. The hostile general did not attempt directly to force this camp, but pointed against it day after day such a harassing cannonade, that the Mysorean at length determined to fall back upon pia capital. He began his march early in the night, hoping
before morning to be beyond reach of the enemy. But the rash discharge of a gun by one of the officers betrayed the secret, and the numerous squadrons of Mahratta horse were soon in full pursuit. A most extraordinary scene then ensued. The critical condition of the army had not prevented Hyder from indulging in habits of evening inebriety, to which he had become addicted, and which now rendered him wholly unfit for directing the movement of the troops. Having in this state met his son Tippoo, he assailed him with the bitterest reproaches; then seizing a thick cane, applied it to his back with such vehemence that the marks remained visible for upwards of a week. The prince, burning with indignation, went to the head of his division, dashed to the ground his turban, sword, and splendid robe, exclaiming, "My father may fight his own battle, for I swear by Alia and his prophet that I draw no sword to-day." The army, thus left to itself, soon became a crowd of scattered fugitives, and Hyder with difficulty, as the Mahrattas were busied in plunder, mounted a fleet horse, and almost alone reached Scringapatam. Tippoo, having assumed an humble garb, begged his way undiscovered through the midst of the enemy, and arrived the same night in the capital. Trimbuck Mama immediately marched upon Seringapatam, and seemed on the point of putting a period at once to the career of the great usurper. The Mahrattas, however, possessed no skill adequate to the siege of so strong a fortress. They kept up for a month a daily cannonade, which produced no effect, while the resources of Hyder were constantly recruited. He now proceeded to operate with success on their rear, and, after a tedious and harassing warfare of a year and a half, prevailed on them to accept the high terms which he offered; namely, the cession of a great part of his northern dominions, and the immediate payment of fifteen lacks of rupees, and fifteen more hereafter, of which last term he fully understood the value. The English during this war did not fulfil their engagement to aid the Mysorean chief in the defence of his dominions. Their councils, indeed, were in a very divided and distracted state. The crown had sent out Sir John Lindsay in a very anomalous character, as minister-plenipotentiary, holding a power nearly co-ordinate with that of the governor and council. This person formed a close intimacy with the nabob Mohammed Ali, and joined him in urging that the presidency should embrace the cause of the invaders,—a measure which they firmly resisted; but these opposite impulses prevented action on either side. It was rather a subject of dismay to find that, in consequence of the large cessions extorted by the Mahrattas, their frontier and that of the British had actually come into contact. Hyder, as soon as he had extricated himself from this invasion, employed the most active exertions to regain his lost territory. He turned his attention first to the Malabar coast, the communication with which could only be maintained through the intervening district of Coorg. He suddenly invaded that country, which he found almost wholly unprepared, and made a singular display of barbarian cruelty. He proclaimed a reward of five rupees for every head presented to him; then sat in state receiving and paying for these bloody trophies. But after seven hundred heads had been brought in, there appeared two with such peculiarly fine and handsome features, that he was moved with unwonted pity, and ordered the carnage to cease. Coorg was subdued; and the once powerful state of Calicut, distracted by internal commotions, scarcely made any resistance. Hyder's next aim was to recover the extensive territories wrested from him by the Mahrattas; and in this he was much favoured by the distractions in which that powerful confederacy was soon involved. Madoo Rao, their warlike chief, died in 1772, and after a short interval was succeeded by Ragonaut Rao, better known under the name of Ragoba, whose authority, however, was by no means fully acknowledged. The Mysorean rajah, therefore, fearlessly entered and overran a large portion of the ceded country. Ragoba, indeed, hastened to its defence, but being recalled by a violent insurrection, which ended in the overthrow of his power, he concluded a treaty allowing Hyder to occupy all the provinces south of the Kistna. Another army sent afterward under Hurry Punt, the leader of the party whichexpelled Ragoba, penetrated into Mysore; but Hyder having gained over a detachment of the Mahratta troops, baffled all his attempts, and obliged him to retreat. Immediately after the treaty with Ragoba, the indefatigat ble Hyder began operations against a number of independent
CAPTURE OF CHITTLEDROOO. 59
chiefs who possessed fortresses on the borders, or even within the limits, of his territory. Among the most remarkable of these was Gooty, the castle of Morari Rao, a fierce Mahratta freebooter, who had long acted a conspicuous part on the theatre of India. This stronghold consisted of numerous works, occupying the summit of several rocky hills. After the lower stations had been reduced, the upper made so obstinate a defence that a treaty was agreed on, granting peace on the payment of a large amount of treasure. A young man sent as a hostage, being well entertained in Hyder's camp, was induced to betray the secret cause of submission, namely, that there was only a supply of water for three days in the fort. Hyder took no notice at the moment; but he soon after contrived to find a defect in the articles: he then renewed the siege, and Morari Rao was compelled to surrender at discretion. But the most obstinate resistance was experienced from the Polygar of Chittledroog, who ruled over a warlike and fanatic tribe, called Beder. They had reared in the most elevated part of their citadel a shrine to Cali or Doorga, the Indian goddess of destruction, and they firmly believed that so long as it was duly served the place would never fall. Every Monday morning solemn devotions were performed to the goddess; then a loud blast with the bugle was blown, upon which the garrison rushed forth in a desperate sally, with the object chiefly of procuring human heads to be ranged in pyramidal rows before the dread temple of the destroying deity. Although, contrary to every military rule, they thus gave to the enemy full warning of the period of attack, it was made with such fury, and at such various points, that the goddess was scarcely ever defrauded of her bloody trophies; and when the place fell, two thousand heads were found piled in front of her portal. Hyder was obliged by Mahratta invasion to abandon the siege, which, however, he afterward renewed; but it was only through treason that the governor was obliged to own the mighty spell of Cali broken, and to admit an enemy within the impregnable bulwarks of Chittledroog. Deep discontent against the English was now rankling in the mind of Hyder. He had, as formerly mentioned, earnestly courted their alliance; for his own purposes doubtless, but on the fair and honourable principle that the parties should mutually support each other against the overwhelming power of the Mahrattas. Their conduct, however, in the late war, when they saw his very existence so long endangered without a single effort to relieve him, seems to have thoroughly and finally disgusted him. He gave up every hope of profiting by their alliance, and centred all his prospects of aggrandizement in their destruction. The Mahrattas again, whose councils had undergone a complete change, instead of threatening further invasion, sent proposals to Hyder for an alliance against the British; and a treaty preparatory to that object was accordingly concluded. By a singular fatality, the views of the government at Madras had been altered in the opposite direction, having become sensible of the advantages which might be derived from a union with the chief of Mysore. They even made overtures for a close alliance, with promises of co-operation in case of attack from any foreign enemy. His irritation, however, seems to have been only heightened by having that aid which was denied at his utmost need thus pressed upon him at a moment when he could maintain his own ground. At this crisis the war, consequent upon the American contest, broke out between France and England, and was extended to India. The subjects of Louis, with their usual diplomatic activity, immediately opened a communication with Hyder, whom they found most favourably disposed towards them; and he engaged accordingly in that confederacy to which his house so immutably and so fatally adhered. As soon as hostilities commenced, the English government formed a comprehensive plan for the reduction of all the French possessions in India without any exception. Pondicherry soon fell; to which no opposition was made by Hyder, who even pretended to congratulate them on their success. When, however, they announced their intention of reducing Mahe, on the Malabar coast, he decidedly objected; urging that the territory around it, having been conquered by him, was now included in his dominions. The British did not consider this argument of sufficient weight to deter them from acting against a French fort. They accordingly sent an expedition, which speedily reduced the place, although Hyder gave all the aid that he could at the moment supply, in order to defend it. It has been sup.