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among the Hindoos and Musselmans. When a change was made in the arrangements of the prisons, and the native prisoners were no longer allowed to cook for themselves, a murmur went abroad that this was the first overt act in the conspiracy to destroy the caste, and with it the bodies and souls of the Hindoos. Another change must be noticed too, At one time it was intended that the native troops should be commanded for the most part by native officers. The men would, therefore, have had something like sufficient security that their religious scruples were regarded and respected. But by degrees the clever, pushing, and capable Briton began to monopolize the officers' posts everywhere. The natives were shouldered out of the high positions, until at length it became practically an army of native rank and file commanded by Englishmen. If we remember that a Hindoo sergeant of lower caste would, when off parade, often abase himself with his forehead in the dust before a Sepoy private who belonged to the Brahmin order, we shall have some idea of the perpetual collision between military discipline and religious principle which affected the Hindoo members of an army almost exclusively commanded by Europeans and Christians.
There was, however, yet another influence, and one of tremendous importance in determining the set of that otherwise vague current of feeling which threatened to disturb the tranquil permanence of English rule in India. We have spoken of the army and of its religious scruples; we must now speak of the territorial and political influences which affected the princes and the population of India. There had been just before the outbreak of the mutiny a wholesale removal of the landmarks, a striking application of a bold and through policy of annexation; a gigantic system of reorganization applied to the territorial arrangements of the north and north-west of the great Indian peninsula. A master spirit had been at work at the recon
struction of India ; and it you cannot make revolutions with rose-water, neither can you make them without reaction.
Lord Dalhousie had not long left India on the appointment of Lord Canning to the Governor-Generalship when the mutiny broke out. Lord Dalhousie was a man of commanding energy, of indomitable courage, with the intellect of a ruler of men, and the spirit of a conqueror. The statesmen of India perform their parts upon a vast stage, and yet they are to the world in general somewhat like the actors in a provincial theatre. They do not get the fame of their work and their merits. Men have arisen in India whose deeds, if done in Europe, would have ranked them at least with the Richelieus and Bismarcks ot history, if not actually with the Cæsars and Charlemagnes; and who are yet condemned to what may almost be called a merely local renown; a record on the roll of great officials. Lord Dalhousie was undoubtedly a great man. He had had some parliamentary experience in England in both Houses; and he had been vice-president and subsequently president of the Board of Trade under Sir Robert Peel. He had taken great interest in the framing of regulations for the railway legislation of the mania season of 1844 and 1845. Toward the close of 1847 Lord Harding was recalled from India, and Lord Dalhousie vas sent out in his place. Never was there in any country an administration of more successful activity than that of Lord Dalhousie. He introduced cheap postage into India; he made railways; he set up lines of electric telegraph. Within fifteen months, according to one of his biographers' the telegraph was in operation trom Calcutta to Agra, thence to Attock on the Indus, and again from Agra + Bombay and Madras. He devoted much of his attenticn io irrigation, to the making of great roads, to the work of tir. Ganges Canal. He was the founder of a coniprehensive sys. *em of native education; especially temale education, a matte
so difficult and delicate a country like India. He put down infanticide, the odious and extraordinary Thug system, and the Suttee or burning of widows on the funeral pile of their husbands. These are some of the evidences of his unresting, all-conquering energy. They are but illustrative; they are far indeed from being exhaustive even as a catalogue. But Lord Dalhousie was not wholly engaged in such works as these. Indeed his noble and glorious triumphs over material, intellectual, and moral obstacles run some risk of being forgotten or overlooked by the casual reader of history in the storm of that fierce controversy which his other enterprises called forth. During his few years of office he annexed the Punjaub, ne incorporated part of the Burmese territory in our dominions; he annexed Nagpore, Sattara, Jhansi, Berar, and Oudh. We are not called upon here to consider in detail the circumstances of each of these annesations, or to ask the reader to pass judgment on the motives and the policy of Lord Dalhousie. It is fair to say that he was not by any means the mere imperial proconsul he is often represented to be, thirsting with the ardor of a Roman conqueror to enlarge the territory of his own state at any risk or any sacrifice of principle. There was reason enough to make out a plausible case for even the most questionable of his annexations; and in one or two instances he seems only to have resolved on annexation reluctantly and because things had come to that pass that he saw no other safe alternative left to him. But his own general policy is properly expressed in his own words: “ We are lords paramount of India, and our policy is to acquire as direct a dominion over the territories in possession of the native princes as we already hold over the other half of India." Such a principle as this could only conduct in the vast majority of cases to a course of direct annexation, let the ruler begin by disavowing it as he will. In the Punjaub the annexation was provoked in the beginning, as so many
such retributions have been in India, by the murder of some of our officers, sanctioned, if not actually ordered, by a native prince. Lord Dalhousie marched a force into the Punjaub. This land, the “land of the five waters,” lies at the gateway of Hindostan, and was peopled by Mussulmans, Hindoos, and Sikhs, the latter a new sect of reformed Hindoos. We found arrayed against us not only the Sikhs but our old enemies the Afghans. Lord Gough was in command of our forces. He fought rashly and disastrously the famous battle of Chillianwallah. The plain truth may as well be spoken out without pariphrasis; he was defeated. But before the outcry raised in India and in England over this calamity had begun to subside, he had wholly recovered our position and prestige by the complete defeat which he inflicted upon the enemy at Goojrat. Never was a victory more complete in itself or more promptly and effectively followed up. The Sikhs were crushed ; the Afghans were driven in wild rout back across their savage passes ; and Lord Dalhousie annexed the Punjaub. He presented as one token of his conquest the famous diamond, the Koh-i. Noor, surrendered in evidence of submission by the Maharajah of Lahorc, to the Crown of England.
Lord Dalhousie annexed Oudh on the ground that the East India Company had bound themselves to defend the sovereigns of Oudh against foreign and domestic enemies on condition that the state should be governed in such a manner as to render the lives and property of its population Safe; and that while the company performed their part of the contract, the King of Oudh so governed his dominions as to make his rule a curse to his own people, and to all neighboring territories. Other excuses or justifications there were of course in the case of each other annexation; and we shall yet hear some more of what came of the annexation of Sattara and Jhansi. If, however, each of these acts of policy were nnt only justifiable but actually inevitable,
none the less must a successiou of such acts produce a profound emotion among the races in whose midst they were accomplished. Lord Dalhousie wanted one quality of a truly great man; he lacked imagination. He had not that dramatic instinct, that fine sympathetic insight, by which a statesman is enabled to understand the feelings of races and men differing wholly in education, habits, and principles from himself. He appeared to be under the impression that when once a ruler had established among whatever foreign people a system of government or of society better than that which he found existing there, he might count on obtaining their instant appreciation of his work, and their gratefulness for it. The sovereign of Oudh was undoubtedly a very bad ruler. His governing system, if it ought to be dignified by such a name, was a combination of anarchy and robbery. The chiefs of Oudh were reivers and bandits; the king was the head reiver and bandit. But human nature, even in the west, is not so constituted as to render a population always and at once grateful to any powerful stranger who uproots their old and bad systems and imposes a better on them by force of arms. “A tyrant, but our masters then were still at least our countrymen," is the faithful expression of a sentiment which had embarassed energetic reformers before the days of Lord Dalhousie. The populations of India became stricken with alarm as they saw their native princes thus successively dethroned. The subversion of thrones, the annexation of states, seemed to them naturally enough to form part of that vast scheme for rooting out all the religions and systems of India, concerning which so many vague forebodings had darkly warned the land. Many of our Sepoys came from Oudh and other annexed territories, and little eason as they might have had for any personal attachment to the subverted dynasties, they yet felt that national resentment which any manner of foreign intervention is almost certain to provoke.