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have done and prevented more, than the absolute abandonment of the practice. But this is not the only sign of conciliation offered to the army, the only sacrifice of the government, to its own fears or desperate policy, that is discovered during the existence of the disaffection. The master-stroke of Sir G. Barlow's talent for government, so much applauded by the governor-general, and so admired by certain authorities at home, exhibits a concession, so ample and so dangerous in its present scope and future consequences, as to endanger the key-stone of military subordination and discipline. This extraordinary submission is made through the orders of the 20th July; by which two-thirds of the commissioned officers of the Madras army, having first their loyalty questioned without any apparent reason, are absolved for a time of their allegiance, and the entire duties of their offices, retaining the emoluments of them during the interval, because they do not feel disposed, as it is conceived, to render those services to the government, that are enjoined by the letter and spirit of their commissions. This is the first time, perhaps, that military duty has been treated by a legitimate government, as a matter of option in the party on whom such duty is imposed ; or, that the obedience cf
the soldier has been rendered separable
from his military engagement: the first time, it is presumed, when he has been left to chuse between grateful and displeasing services. When once such election is admitted, there is an end of all duty. - What is the mighty advantage, the proposed object, of such a policy To relax the obligations of the greater part of the army for ever, in order to reduce a few refractory members of the profession, for the private ranks are excepted from the charge of revolt, to a temporary obedience. But the concession ends not here, it affects not only the leaders of the troops, but pervades the bodies under their command. The dependence of the sepoys on their officers, the grand link of the chain that has kept our armies together, and
has rendered them victorious and irresistible, is destroyed by the same means, that strike at the root of the duties of their superiors, levelling both together. They are to be delivered over, by this bold experiment, to new masters, to new habits and tempers, to complex and distracting duties, and if not to new obligations, to relations they cannot but imperfectly understand; and are afterwards, before they lave time to digest all they have to learn, to be re-assigned to their old commanders, with as confused notions of their obedience, as of the authority infonded to be set over them. By the operation of this complicated machinery, is it certain, whatever it rmay propose, that the government will gain all that their officers must lose, in the duty and respect of the Native soldiery Such an expectation, it may be imagined, could not have entered even into the heads of those that could have conceived so mad a project. The complete reduction of a branch of the army, whatever might be the crime attached to it, and, however occasioned, could not justify the means applied, which in reclaiming, if it should reclaim a part, would let loose the great body of the army, dissolving it from an obedient and passive organ, into a self-active and deliberative Jimmunity. All these decisive evils are encountered, rather than allow the appearance of concession in matters, most devoutly to be desired, though it is really and substantially shewn in others, and in a dangerous degree, where it is not expected ; and where the effect looked for by the government is extremely problematical, or, if gained, illust be followed by the most destruc. tive consequences. The test proposed to the officers, depended, after all, for effect, on their own fidelity, which is consided in, and dis
It will not be left for Sir G. Barlow, or his advocates, to draw an argument from the subsequently experienced faith of those, whose reputation is slandered by his device. In viewing the acts of supposed provocation, that led to the late revolt, and the remedial measures of the government, the one, we are afraid, will be seen to exhibit as little knowledge of human character, and as poor a display of human feeling, as the other of political sagacity, or the more boasted quality of consistency and system. The only apology that has been offerred for Sir G. Barlow, proceeds, so far as we are competent to judge, on misconceived and erroneous premises. He is represented, by his apologists, as the object, not the instrument of assault, as the strenuous supporter of the established authority of the government—as the firm promoter of its interests—as the assertor of the rights of the civil power against the encroachments of the military—as the bold defender of his own privileges, and the successful inventor of expedients to subdue the most formidable danger, that ever lowered over our Asiatic possessions. But, it may be said, and we think it has been abundantly explained, that so far from being a passive sufferer, he has been every where the active assailant; that instead of contenting himself with administering the acknowledged authorities in his hands, he has drawn forth doubtful, and the most offensive powers; thereby exasperating the general mind, and endangering the public interests; at no time opposed, until they had been unfortunately blended with the personal conduct of the governor; that he had Pushed the civil power to an excess, that night defy military opposition; but that he had not, at the ripest Period of revolt, the pretence even of military encroachinent; that he had resorted to the most rash and Questionable measures, in a most desPotate case; produced by his own itnPolicy, and continued by a temerity and %itinacy almost without a parallel. Of the sufficiency of which measures, "their end, there is no oppostunity
of judging, since they never were carried into practical effect; though, in the very preparation for the introduction of them, the life-principle of the Native army, and through it, the great support of our Indian interests, has received a stab, from which it now languishes, and ultimately may die. If, as it has been contended by the advocates of the cause of Sir George Barlow, he had been more sinned against than sinning, if he had had to encounter a host of bad passions, drawn out in array against him, without any pretence of agitation from without ; such a contention would have assured to him the best wishes and aid of every well-ordered mind, for the subjection of such a conspiracy, and the fair triumph resulting from it. But, whatever may be the success of the contest, which is raised by the exercise of an arbitrary, and therefore, in British conception, a most oppressive power, aggravated by the frequency, and the severity of its application; whatever may be the energies, and, in another quarrel, whatever might be the supposed virtues displayed in the progress of the irritation, or in the result of it; these with all lose their respect, if not their character, in consideration of the miserable cause, in which they are exhibited. He would seem to have little of the wisdom of a sound politician, or of the better feelings of man, who can stir a community, by the adoption of, and perseverance in, an obnoxious system, first to madness, and eventually to despair,without manifesting a spark of remorse, a scintillation of mercy or forbearance, to subdue the passions put in motion, and out of their due course, by his own acts ; and when they cannot be reduced into order and place, even though the agitated bosoms that conceive them should beat with a correspondent throb, without inducing a chastisement as extreme as the severest punishinent attendant on coinbated and subdued aggression. It will not be imagined that, in questioning the policy of Sir G. Bar
low, we are pleading the cause of revolt, or affording an indirect encouragement to insubordination. This is not a season, nor place, for asserting principles, that older and wiser authorities have contended for, and have conceived that they have successfully maintained. In the proportion of our just admiration of the fidelity, the discipline, the devotion of the Madras army, shewn in how many and how brilliant instances, to the benefit and glory of the state; in that same degree do we feel mortified, that, having displayed so much courage, and so much constancy against a constitutional foe, they should have been betrayed, in an evil hour, and evil temper, into an illegitimate hostility, whatever might have been the motive and whatever the provocation to it. What a reputation might it not have maintained, what accession of glory acquired, if it could have manifested a little, and but a little, more of that endurance, in its own cause, which it had again and again demonstrated in others: if it had not suffered its weakness to be converted into the strength, the only seeming, but unreal, strength of its adversary. But more refined notions should not be entertained of humanity, than its gross and frail composition will readily admit. The failure and the sufferings have been on the part of the army solely ; and if we should, on that account, abstain from observation that might sound like a reproach, our forbearance must be ascribed, not to any blindness to its errors, but sympathy for its sufferings. The army appears to have been driven from one excess to another, without reflecting on the end to which its acts are hurrying, or the means for
the attainment of it. If it had a precise object at any time in view, the possession of it depended, not as it should seem, on its own power, but on the will and permission of another. It miscalculates, on the force of its appearance and position for the accomplishment of its design, overlooking the obstacles to be encountered in the temper and obstinacy of its opponent. It commits the same fatal error, observable in the conduct of the government, in resorting at once to extremities, leaving no intermediate measure, nor any resource beyond it, which it dares in the worst of times to contemplate.
But whether the error, on the oe side or the other, be more unnatural or more abundant, it is the duty of those, who watch over our Indian interests to controul and check its course. If materials are not sufficiently before them, for expressing a mature judgment on the causes and circumstances of the revolt, enough is in their hands, without waiting for further information indicative of the general feeling, and of the impatience of society, under the controul of men, who know not how to blend with the weighty powers of government, moderation in their use, or grace in their application; who have converted, by their ill-displayed severity, cheerful allegiance into a sullen duty, and have rendered themselves incapable of any great or good achievement, for the benefit of the affairs confided to them, by damping and depressing the ardour, by which alone it can be produced.
Can there be a monient's question of the policy to be pursued a doubt of the responsibility of those, who shall fail to embrace the first opportunity of solving it by a prompt and decisive act 2
New arrangements proposed and adopted in the military department at the India House— and in the Examiner's office—Institution of a school for the education of cadets, of the artillery and engineer corps—increase of pension voted to Mr. Lacam—and an annuity of 1,000l. to Sir J. Macpherson—inquiries into the abuse of the patronage of the court
The occurrences at home, connected with, or growing out of the administration of our Indian affairs, were not, in the present year, very numerous, but not uninteresting. Some improvements were suggested by the directors, and adopted by the proprietors, for giving facility to the dispatch of business in the military department at the India-house, and in the examiner's office: these consisted in the proposed appointment of a military secretary, and two assistant secretaries in the office last-mentioned. The gentlemen, nominated to fill the new offices, were chosen, contrary to the practice before obtaining, from society at large, and not from among the servants of the company on their establishment in Leadenhall Street. The supersession of the claims of the latter gentlemen excited at first some opposition to the appointments, but it was neither violent nor continued, but withdrawn on an explanation of the peculiar nature ofthe arrangements, of the qualities requisite for the fulfilment of them, and of the intention of the directors not to convert the present measure into a precedent, so as to bar the prospects of the house-servants to succeed, on a vacancy, to the offices. It may reasonably be expected, that the activity and zeal of the officers, so *pecially chosen, may not only justify
the deviation from the custom of the service, but sustain the credit of those with whom the measure originated. The public will then have the full benefit of the change, in a prompt and expeditious decision, in the cases of military suitors, who can ill sustain the evils and, inconveniences, from awaiting, in protracted hope, the pleasure of the court on the steps of the India house. An useful institution was also proposed, and favoured by the same authorities, for the education of cadets in the service of the company, in the corps of artillery and engineers. A hint, too, was thrown out, of making the system applicable to the general service, to which some exception might be offered not only on the score of expense, but of the doubt of the advantage of a systematic course of education to the service at large. But it will be time enough to enter on this subject, when the enlarged plan may be submitted. It will be seen from the proceedings at the India house, that the court of proprietors have voted an increase of pension to Mr. Lacam for preceding services, and an annuity of 1000l. per annum to Sir J. Macpherson, formerly governor-general of India. If these marks of attention were merited, of which there can be little doubt, the acknowledgment would seem to be tardy, and the manner of it ungracious. The annuity to Sir J. Macpherson appears too much in the nature of a bargain, to shew like liberality. The most important discussion that occupied the attention of the court of directors, and the body of the proprietors, arose out of a report of a committee of the House of Commons, relative to the abuse of patronage in the company's civil and military service; which ended in a resolution of the executive to annul the whole of the appointments obtained by corrupt means. But when that proceeding came to be publicly considered and reflected upon, it seemed a punishment equally excessive and misapplied. The persons who had received the appointments, were generally, if not universally, unconscious of the means by which they were procured. There was no reason to suppose that they were not persons of as honourable character, and as likely to prove faithful and meritorious servants, as any in the company's employment. To recal them from India, and to send them destitute and stigmatized upon the world, was a measure too cruel to accord with that noble and generous principle of doing justice in mercy, which is so interwoven with the feelings of Britons, that they have made it a part of the sworn duty of their sovereign, and one of the indispensible conditions upon which he holds his crown. To animadvert with such immoderate and implacable severity, upon transactions, which, though certainly prohibited by resolutions repeatedly published in the London Gazette and the daily newspapers, were as certainly known to be daily practised without exciting any of that outrageous virtue, which would cut off, without remorse, all that had been visited by the taint, however slightly, and however unconsciously—this extravagant punishment of what had passed, and had passed by unnoticed, at the time when it was actually done, and that in so rank a manner as almost to “smell to heaven,” appeared an unchristian want of charity,and a puritanical perse
cution striving to satisfy the public by the sacrifice of the humble for the guilt of the great ; who it was intended to abstract from the penalties of shame and degradation, that ought to attach to them in a tenfold proportion. These considerations, and the feelings that gave rise to them, were strengthened, when it was found, that of the two directors whose appointments were made matter of corrupt traffic, the one still connected with the East India house, but now out of the immediate direction by rotation, was recommended to the proprietors of East India stock for re-election on the ground that he was in the opinion of the acting directors unconscious of the corrupt traffic made of his nominations by the friend to whom he gave the nomination. “Why, it was asked, did the directors plead ignorance as an excuse for a brother director, when they refused to admit it as an excuse for a few cadets and writers ? Was a man of the experience and known talents necessary for so high a station to be supposed innocent and unsuspecting, and therefore liable to be imposed upon ; while these young men, ignorant of the world, and just then brought from their schools, to be introduced into life by their parents or guardians, could not be supposed unacquainted with the corrupt means by which their appointments had been procured 2 or, supposing both equally unconscious, was the appointment to be so penally visited upon him who unconsciously received it as to require that he should be turned forth, unprovided for aud disgraced, while be that gave it, should be held so blameless as to be recommended to fresh marks of the company's confidence, and to a renewal of the highest trust the proprietors had to bestow The unequal application of the severity,and the indulgence in these circumstances, appeared to every common understanding to be the very reverse o the justice of the case, as well as of the general practice of our law, which shews lenity to the young, who may have been misled in the offence, and whose tende, age is susceptible of re