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“ corps. The former will be subjected at * all events to trial; the latter will be “ allowed the option of a trial, or dismissal “ from the service. “ In order that no anxious uncertainty “ may remain concerning the application of “ these rules of selection to individual cases, “ the names of all the officers intended for “ punishment, are expressed in the following ** list:” Then follows the list of the officers included in the separate classes. In the first are described those, who are to be absolutely tried by a Court Martial, and those appear to be
J. Bell, Lt.-col. Artillery, commanding at Seringapatam.
In the second are contained the names of those, who have the option of abiding the event of a Court Martial or of dismissal from the service, which are as follow:
Robert Munro, Lt.-col. 2d bat. 15th reg. Seringapatam.
A. Andrews, Captain European reg. Masulipatam.
The order then proceeds:
“It is with corresponding satisfaction and joy, I have now to perform the more grateful office of announcing to every “ other officer, who has been involved in “any of the criminal proceedings of the “ army, since the 1st of May, a general and “ unqualified amnesty; to the benefit of “ which those officers, who have hitherto “ declined the test, will be admitted on their “ signing that declaration. “This amnesty is not granted in the nar“ row spirit of mere pardon. It is tendered “ as an act of total and sincere oblivion; it “ offers on the part of Government a full “ restoration of confidence and esteem; and “ it invites from those, who are the object R
of it, not a sullen discharge of constrained “ duty; but obedience which comes from “ the heart, and the cheerful, animated Ser“ vice of cordiality, affection, and zeal.”
The time will not permit us to take any particular notice of this order, or to publish any other part of it, than the foregoing short extract. This, like the former memorable order of Lord Minto, is tediously long and garrulous, though it contains some good and salutary doctrines, strongly interwoven, as in the prior instance, with many remarks, much out of time and place. Several topics are comprehended in it, which true policy would have left untouched. While the amnesty to the great body of the offenders is announced to be attended with a general oblivion, observations are unfortunately introduced in the same breath, tending to awaken and stimulate feelings freshly allayed, and before they had time to cool. Harsh and unnecessary contrasts are made, as if there had been a perverse bias in the pen, to a course foreign to the pious purpose of the writer. There are some distinctions taken in the cases, cxcepted out of the general amnesty, which it would seem difficult to reconcile with the prin
ciples on which the act is stated to proceed. On this and other points, if an opportunity be allowed, we may offer some future remark. We cannot at present forbear the observation, that the measure would appear more consonant to our humble notions of what is right, if it had stood on more simple ground, or if, indeed, it had been applied without exception and distinction of any kind, and certainly without any long reasoning on an act, which if it carried not a plain and perspicuous meaning on the surface of it, could not be improved by argument or oratory, though urged by the ingenuity, or enforced by the eloquence, of the Governor General of India. If, in our present uncertainty, we may be indulged in the expression of a hope, it is, that the numbers embraced in the pre
ceding list may be yet lessened, by a fur
ther exertion of mercy, and on the application of a party, who had no secondary share in the acts, that brought about the extreme events recorded in the foregoing pages. Such a hope springs not only out of our interests and wishes, but is founded on a report generally mentioned in the letters just received from Madras.
It is with regret that we notice any thing which may disturb the satisfactory conclusions drawn in the order of Lord Minto, and adopted by the public, of the entire suppression of the discontents of the Madras army; but we think it our duty to add, though we hope that the information may prove erroneous, that private intelligence suggests, that the subsidiary force at Jaulnah, had manifested a disposition to resist the orders of Government, for the arrest of the officers attached to that division of the army. With pain we have also to remark, that a part of the ill effects, anticipated by us in an earlier place, has been already realized, and that two trials by Court Martial had taken place, arising out of the temper, generated among different members of the same service, by the different parts which they took in the late disputes. We fervently wish that these may be the last!
March 14th, 1810.