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smnesty to the army, and announces the cases, 21 in number, excepted out of it—examination of the order of the 25th of September—court-martial appointed to assemble at Bangalore—a fence of the parties involving the character of the government-lieutenant-colonel J. Bell and major J. Story, cashiered by the sentence of the court-martial—lieutenant-colonel Doveton acquitted—sentences sent back for revision—accompanied by a letter from the Judge-Advocate—the court adheres to its first opinion—observations on the pre
The great display of zeal and energy by the army, in the conduct of the war in Travancore, shews that all private resentment, if any part of it could be supposed to attach to the military body employed there, was sacrificed to the public cause. It will hardly be believed, that this precise spot was regarded by Sir George Barlow as the hot-bed of disaffection, and that its growth was imputed to the very season which produced the fairer fruit of a generous emulation in enterprise, and devotion to the public service. The interval embraced by the TraVancore war was brilliant, yet short ; but it was long enough, in its duration, to have afforded the means, if they had been embraced by a congenial spirit, for the renunciation of an obnoxious policy on the one hand, and the abandonment of acrimony on the other. But Sir George Barlow does not appear to have relaxed for an instant the rigid principle of his government: and as long as the influence and operation of it should continue, it was not to be reckoned, that the passions of the army, which it excited, would cease or abate. If the governor had reviewed his measures in the interim, the re-consideration had no other visible effect, than of confirming him in his primary judgment, instead of inducing him to tread back the steps that had raised so general a jealousy. From this moment, as if he had gained new strength, or confirmation from the pause, he is seen advancog in acts, that had already stirred the fiercest passions, and could not ove any other tendency, judging by the past, but to drive them to excess. What, it may be asked, is the fresh *cessity, that requires the new exer"on —The dispatches of the Madras **onment, at this time, may be sup
of the offence imputed to the army. The latter is not described, in the public correspondence in question, to amount to more than an alleged and indistinct clamour about the abolition of the tent-contract, and the interruption, by the act of the government, of the prosecution of the quartermaster-general. To these, indeed, is added a complaint against the late commander-in-chief of the army, who had now left the peninsula, and against the adjutant and deputy-adjutant-general of the army, who are represented to have shared, but more by implication, than any direct deduction, in the fault of their superior. But these questions immediately concerned but a comparatively small number of persons, though they might relatively interest, if pushed beyond the present instances, the whole circle of the army. No insinuation, derogatory to the general body of the army, is stated in this official correspondence. It is, therefore, to be concluded, that with the exception of the partial discontent, which is noticed in it, that the other part of the military community was yet as free from taint, as from accusation ; a circumstance that should have awakened the caution of the governor, to prevent the disease of the few from communicating to the many. This natural caution is no where to be observed in the proceedings of the government; but a spirit, it is feared, may be traced in them, equally indignant of opposition, and careless about the provocation of it. All delicacy in respect to the use of its authority, is henceforward thrown aside. If no new power be bro ght into action, it is, that its ultimate resources have already been exhausted. It may be communicated to fresh objects, and may be varied in to oppliThe dispatches of the Madras government, of the 28th of February,” shew what that government thought of the
supposed crime of the adjutant and
deputy-adjutant-general, so severely punished by it; the grand and efficient cause, it will be seen, of the discontents that began, about that date, to agitate the army at large. It is styled, in this document, “an act of great enormity,” but such was the professed moderation of the government at the time, that it was prepared to receive “ any acknowledgment,” (such are the words of the dispatch), as an atonement for their conduct; yes, if they would have said only, “that it had proceeded from an imperfect conception of their duty.” Whatever colour the government thought it right subsequently to give to the alleged offence of these officers, it is evident, from the slight atonement which they were ready to admit, and which they seemed to expect, that it was not very heinous, even in their own eyes. Passing over the unreasonableness of the expectation, that these gentlemen should enter on a defence of their conduct after it had been published and condemned, and punished, it may be safely asked, on the explanation of the government itself, what necessity existed for drawing forth at once, for the punishment of the principal staff of the army, the extraordinary powers of the state? If a flimsy apology could have averted the anger of the government, would not the season allow of a moment to demand it When if an instant had been given for reflection, the horrors of a civil strife had been probably avoided. It
was ordered otherwise.
The government, in their dispatch, express a reluctance, it is true, to proceed to severity, and a readiness to depart from the harsh measures, which they represent to have been forced upon them—yet their outward acts wear any thing rather than a conciliatory appearance.
It was now no longer concealed from the government, how unpopular its acts had become, and how necessary it was to devise some means of removing the further discontent, occasioned by them. As the greatest apprehension first arose from the side of the army, an explanation was unexpectedly made to it; but then it was rendered in so awkward and ungracious a manner, that it had been better avoided altogether. This explanation was made by a general order to the army, excusing, at some length, the proceedings of the government in releasing the quartermaster-general, from arrest,t but hinting not a word on the more interesting cases of the suspension of the staff. officers.
Notwithstanding the austerity of the principle acted on by Sir George Bar. low, assuming an unquestionable power over the army, and his resentment of the conduct of general Macdowall in appealing to its opinion, he condescends himself, in this order, to reason with the same body on the grounds of the release in question. At the time, too, that he states himself studious to soothe the military feeling, he offers, unwittingly perhaps, a glaring insult to its judgment.
The governor gives, in this general
order, his own view of the conduct both of lieutenant-colonel Munro, and general Macdowall, and of the report which had entailed the serious consequence stated. In speaking of the expressions conceived to be injurious, by the commanding officers of corps, “ he has no hesitation, (he says,) in declaring, that it appears, in his judgment, impossible, under any correct construction, to attach an offensive meaning to words, where injury was not meant, and where the intention of offence did not exist;" and, having given his own gloss to the matter, he concludes, “the honourable the governor in council deems it his further duty to observe that the question which has been under deliberation
* Inserted in the State Papers, page 265. + See General Orders, 6th February, in the Madras Occurrences.
must be now considered as concluded.” It would appear that he is prescribing in this order, not only the mode of conduct for the army, but even the train of their thinking. What is this but laying down a doctrine, not to be disputed, that the whole military body can act and think only by the measure, of his (the governor's) understanding 2 To this clumsy attempt at public conciliation, a private essay is made to bring the deputy-adjutant-general to submission ; possibly at the suggestion, though not at the avowal, of the government. Major general Gowdie, who had succeeded, on the suspension of general Macdowall, to the chief command of the army, had arrived at this time at Fort St. George, and shortly afterwards waited on major Boles, professing for him a great friendship, and proposing, on an admission of his fault, in the most easy and palatable terms, that he would intercede with the government for his restoration to the service and his office. But this specious offer was not listened to by major Boles, under the declared conviction of his own integrity. Whether the act of general Gowdie was authorized or not, it unequivocally shews, that the offence of the deputy-adjutant-general, in the general's opinion, was, of all others, the most venial, when it could be expiated by a solicited apology. But there is reason to believe, in despite of all the apparent backwardness of Sir George Barlow, to acknowledge the excess of his authority, in the severity shewn to this officer, that this unfortunate application was made with his privity. This may be inferred from some of the succeeding acts of the governor, and more especially from a public letter of general Gowdie, who ascribes a contumacy to major Boles's refusal of his mediation, which could hardly have been fancied by him, unless his application had been understood to have been sauctioned by superior commands. At the end of the month of December preceding, lieutenant-colonel Martin, one of the commanding officers of
against the quarter-master-general, arrived at the presidency, with the purpose of prosecuting, according to the previous permission of government, a voyage to England. He had engaged, at a considerable price, a passage on one of the company's ships, expected to be dispatched at the close of the month of January. On the 29th of that month it was intimated to him by the government, that he would not be allowed to depart, his presence being deemed necessary to the prosecution of the charges against lieutenantcolonel Munro. It is not easy to fancy that this could have been the sincere motive for the detention of this officer, since lieutenant-colonel Munro had been released from his arrest several weeks before, and the proceedings against him in the military court thereby superseded. Could the government intend, notwithstanding the release of the quarter-master-general, to deliver up that officer, subsequently, to trial 2 Whatever might be the reason, the public, until this hour, know not how to account for the seemingly wanton detention of this gentleman until the middle of the month of February, at an expence to the company of 400l. the price of his forfeited passage-money. It pleased the government, at length, to permit lieutenant-colonel Martin to leave India, on the Sir Stehen Lushington; a ship on which major Boles, the deputy-adjutant-general, had also contracted for a passage, desirous of making as early a personal appeal as practicable, to the honourable the court of directors. But the government thought fit, in a like manner, to detain the latter, like the former officer, by absolutely refusing him permission to embark on the Indiaman, or on another vessel about to leave the roads at the same time. About four days afterwards, when there was no opportunity of a sea conveyance for eight months to come, it was graciously communicated to the deputy-adjutantgeneral that he was at full liberty to prosecute his voyage, when and how he could. Captain Marshall, who filled the retary board and fund, and was an active member of several public committees, then sitting, and had discharged the duties of his various offices, as it was supposed, with equal satisfaction to the government and toe public, was suddenly removed, about this period, from his multifarious trusts, and sent, without an explain -tion, to the comparatively tifling employment of pay-master to a provincial garrison. These are not the only acts of gratuitous authority exhibited by the government, but the whole conduct of the executive appears to have been now swayed by those perty p, ssions that sometimes disfigure and degrade the acts of individuals. These acts might 3 ove been occasioned, perhaps, by the odium in which the person, as well as the government of Sir George Ballow, were holden at this juncture; a fact of which he must have been, at this time acquainted, however slow he migi, have been to discover it No. reverence or outward respect were voluntarily . aid, or could even be exacted, beyond the members of his family, or the partners in his acts. Though the source and fount in of all promotion, not a civilia, or soldier could be induced to pay more than a customary conspiro ent or courtesy to his office, whole io house and his board were deserted of all, but his very retainers. His particular invitations are rejected, and he finds himself at once the head and cost-east of society. Finning no refuge in integrity or pride, he aitempts to i: troduce the
overning poinciples of his public pog g ! p I
licy into the walks of private lite; to enforce civilities by law, and courtesy by proclamation. Is it necessary to stao the failure of this wretched expedient 2 which is not, however, resigned without a full and abundant tial. And what the fruit of the experiment A host of individuals are removed from their stations, and banished to distant and unhealthy situations, rather than submit to the mor' fication of receiving constrained and compulsory kindnesses. The loss of direct interest, and the resignation of the fairest prospects, are willingly endured rather than the
degrading sacrifice of the independence which providence gave to the heart along with the blood that warms it. Not only the veteran with his brave battalion, is to be viewed measuring his weary way, over a wider expanse in a tempestuous season, in preference to the easy enjoyment of a stationary and advantageous position, but a yet more interesting spectacle presents itself,-3 chosen body of youth,the hopes of armies yet to come, a whole institution is dispersed in every direction of the Indian Peninsula, to scatter far and wide the projects and discomfiture of domestic despotism. A general statement of these notorious facts, without any specification of particulars, will be suiñcient to demonstrate the imprudence of the altempt of the governor, and the navoidable consequence—the disgust of the army. The discontent of the army seems to have been thoroughly understood, but not so its origin, or the remedy applicable to it. The governor, in a partiality not uncommon to his own acts, attributed every thing to the disaffection of the army, rather than to the mistaken policy on wi.ich he proceeded. He saw, or sancied that he saw, a predetermined hostility to the system o' his government, founded on the generally ungrateful principle of reform, and to this he was anxious to ascribe every shew of resistance or opposition. But an impartial eye may trace the temper that now shewed itself to a more obvious and natural cause. The only effects produced by the economy and retrenchments of Sir C Barlow, as described by himself, were a temporary clamour, in the first instance,and an ultimate representation, from certain members of the army, to the court of directors of the East India conspany. These had occurred many months previously to the first exercise of the power of suspension, and had ceased to be mentioned ; nor would the memory of them, in all probability, have been ever revived, but from the infliction of new sufferings by the same hand. No one, capable of forming a sound judgment, would have looked to these distant and remote
circumstances, as the causes of the evil, now obvious and visible to all ; when there were grievances, present to the eye, immediately operative and influi.ely more galling in their pressure, that naturally explained the reason of the public discontent. Sir G. Barlow looked to the first seeings and acts of the army, without once adverting to the aggression on the part of the government, that had changed the objects and the very natue of the feelings themselves. What is the loss of a little paltry pelf, in a military or civil coinsideration, compared to the destruction of the primary right of redress for injuries, of personal immunity, and private property, all of them into rided to be secured against arbitrary violation by the express letter of the law Every one of these natural rights had been invaded, and the consequential injuries had flowed, when Sir G. Barlow began to look around blin for an adequate cause that might account for the reigning disaffection, and found it, as he supposed, in a stale and forgotten suffering. He did not once call to recollection the interference of the government, with the process of military judicature, and the obstruction of the course of martial law. He did not glance at the disturbance and removal of men, from their respective avocations and employments, without the figure
of investigation; nor of their suspen-.
sion from offices, in which they had acquired a property from precedent
supposition that his system is odious, and his general agency, therefore, unpopular, he seems to have imputed every dissatisfaction, not to any fault or defect, in a particular measure, but to personal dislike Fancying the public opinion against him, he apparently becomes regardless of the public sentiment, and proceeding on the imagination, and a policy adapted to it, that every man is his enemy, it cannot be long before he makes him so in point of fict. In his representations, relative to the existing state of affairs, he may be supposed to communicate to others the impressions felt by himself; and, hence, giving credit to his statements, results a confirmation of his proceedings by the controuling power in India. What were the precise relations made by Sir G. Barlow to the supreme government, there are no immediate means of judging; as no dispatches of his to that authority are yet before the public. It is, however, to be collected from the governor-general's letter of the 12th of October,” that the correspondence of Sir G. Barlow had a view to produce an impression that the discontent was not general, nor likely to be permanent. Up to the 10th of July, lord Minto writes, he continued to receive very favourable reports from Sir G. Ballow, of the hopes which night be entertained of the army's speedy return to subordination and obedience; and he only lost these views, from intelligence received from Masulipatam. This may account for the early countenance shewn by his lordship to the acts of the government of Fort St. George, which, as they portended to effect no evil to the state, he was inclined, in ordinary compliment to the inferior government, to support. The first approbation conveyed to the supreme government, was on the 20th February, and related solely to the release of the quarter-master-general, and the suspension of general Macdowall. On the first impression of the supreme government, then only intent on praise, it was thought prudent, perhaps, to be silent, where it