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still voice of truth, which seeks not to pour into it any laboured or varnished story, but whose first and last declaration is, that it aims not at the perversion of justice, through nice subtleties and metaphysical reasonings, but claims an extenuation of the offence, which it candidly admits, from the provocations which promoted it.
He who shall cast his eye, however negligent and hasty may be the glance, over the first acts that gave rise to the discontents of the army, cannot withdraw it without an impression, that there was abundant food for complaint.
Not to dwell on minute and extreme matters, we would ask, Is it no circumstance of bitterness, that established emoluments should be taken from certain members of the army, not only without remuneration, but without the form of a previous and customary enquiry? that they should be taken from them on grounds which they were not permitted to controvert, and on the assertion of a junior officer, unconfirmed by any external authority whatsoever, whilst they were denied by a respectable part of the staff? Is it no injury to have the door of justice shut in the face of their solicitation, though couched in the most respectful terms, and urged under the most direct and ayowed responsibility? Is it no injury, whilst their own claims to justice are refused, to see the object of their pursuit walking at his ease, and at full liberty, and in the plenitude of power to molest them still further, in despite of their means to pursue him, and in contempt of the authority which they had been taught to reverence? Is it no mortification to look . for ultimate redress where they have been wont to find it, and to be disappointed in the appeal? Is it no grievance to have the the source of promotion changed, from one who has an intimate knowledge of military merit and deserving, to another who is unacquainted even with the names that stand on the army list, and who is not to be approached but through the introduction and condescension of one in the meridian of grace, though in the dawn of service? Is it of no concern to them, to see officers of distinguished rank flying from their eminent stations, in disgust and loathing, giving the truest test of the sincerity of their sentiment, in the relinquishment of lucrative place, in the dearer consultation of their dignity and honor? Is it no grievance that the chief of the army staff are deprived of their offices, and suspended from their station in the army, on the sole and avowed ground of their having paid an unqualified obedience to the orders of their Commander in Chief? Is it a matter foreign to the feelings of an officer, to perceive his brethren arbitrarily put beyond the pale of the army without enquiry, and without a hearing? Is it of no annoyance^ to them, in holding a commission, rendered insecure, not only by its being subject to be seized on some military impeachment or insinuation, but that it shall be exposed to suspension, at the whim or caprice of power, for alleged reasons, unconnected with military measures? Is it of no importance, that officers, having leave to quit the company's possessions, from infirmity or the urgency of their private affairs, should be detained in India against their will, from vain and capricious motives of men in power; and be dismissed at length, without explanation, to pursue their original destination; whilst others of high rank and character, should be hurried with ignominy, and alnlost under the degrading circumstances of felons, though without a verdict or judgment, beyond the company's confines, and finally to England, contrary to their declared wishes, and in direct and express violation of their interests? If these things have happened, and none can seriously dispute the facts, have we occasion to look around us for reasons for the irritated feelings of the coast armv? Some of the circumstances, embraced by these questions, may be partially controverted or qualified, but the greater part of them are admitted by the official documents of the local Government, though an endeavour is made to disguise them by a false glare of colouring, or to contravene them by sophisticated argument. A sufficient answer has been given, we apprehend, to these ingenious artifices, in the correspondence that has foregone.
The inflamed sensations of parties were further aggravated by matters, which, unden other circumstances, would have passed unheeded. We. shall not here pause to add any new article to the long catalogue of offence, which we have hastily ran over.
It hardly will be denied that there was not much irritable matter, lurking under the obnoxious acts enumerated, which, if it should at any time find vent, would produce the most mischievous consequences. It was the duty, however, of individuals, it will be said, to smother their inward feelings, in dutiful respect to the constituted authorities above them. But there would appear a sort of correspondent duty on the side of those authorities, not to harass individual feelings unnecessarily, or to put them to trials, which they might not, from human infirmity, be able or sufficient to sustain. Though a soldier has to exercise and practice himself to submission and obedience, in controul of temper and passion, it is not to be assumed, because he has put on the uniform and the devotedness of his order, that he has therefore cast off the ordinary feelings of his nature. These may be outraged by uncommon incidents or aggravations, so as to overcome habits that long patience and professional principles have united to confirm. When the condition of the soldier is beheld in a liberal point of view, and in which it ought ever to be beheld, it would infer a species of cowardice in him, who should wantonly assail it. What a soul must that man have, who would irritate him to resentment, when the consequence of resentment, which jn an .indifferent person would be innocent, in him would be a crime?