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respectable part of the army from arbitrary prosecution and cruel punishment, while things continued to be administered according to a system, which was not to be controlled by the laws of the land, or by any appeal to the ordinary dictates of reason, equity, or justice. Of this disposition an ample illustration is thought to be afforded, in the orders respecting Messrs. Roebuck and Maitland. The whole particulars of this extraordinary transaction would of themselves form an interesting detail. They are, however, only partly connected with the present subject; and it will be sufficient to notice that these gentlemen were acknowledged creditors of the Nabob of the Carnatic to a very large amount, and knowing that bonds had been forged to an enormous extent, and that the security of their property would be injured, in proportion as the forged bonds were admitted, they instituted, in the Supreme Court, at Madras, various suits against persons supposed to be concerned in forging sundry of these bonds. They had already obtained two verdicts from the several juries, and although the Advocate and Solicitor of the Com
pany defended the persons who were con-
victed of forging and perjury, the bond fide creditors did nevertheless persist in appealing to the laws of their country for the preservation of their property. As no public reason was assigned for the act of their removal from office, the cause was imagined to arise, but erroneously perhaps, out of the part they took in these proceedings. This circumstance, it is true, has no immediate reference to the military question, but it will not be difficult for any to conceive that the punishment of two respectable men, under the prevalent impressions, could not be contemplated with indifference by Britons. It will not require any argument to prove, that such a circumstance was calculated to exasperate feelings already highly irritated, and that, connected as it was with the punishment of Captain Marshall, both having occurred in the same Council, and both reaching the public at the same time, the officers of the army should have perceived in it a further confirmation of the suspicion, that the common laws of the land could not afford any protection to those whom the advisers of the Government wished to overwhelm.
The foregoing facts have been introduced merely for the purpose of shewing, that causes existed for universal disgust, though the advisers of Government have continually persisted to deceive the superior authorities, by representing, that the discontent was partial, and confined only to a few individuals. It may be proper to notice certain facts which afford conclusive evidence of the entire falsehood of such assertion. - On the 13th of February, Lieutenant Colonel Munro signified to the officers of the Institution, (an establishment lately formed for the instruction of young officers) that he heard they had expelled one of the members from their society, “ because he had attended at an entertainment given at the Government House,” and in such case desired that they would withdraw their proceedings against that gentleman ; in failure of which they would be ordered to quit the Institution, and to join their corps. The gentlemen replied, that the regulations of the service, Para. 9th, allow “ to officers, “ in common with other gentlemen, the “ privilege of making their own choice of “ companions, for their private society,” and as they felt averse to hold further acquaintance with the gentleman in question, they conceived they were justified in the measures they had taken, in consequence of which they (18 officers) were sent to their corps by the following general orders:
“ Fort St. George, 18th, February, 1809.
“G. O. by Government: “ The Commander in Chief “ having brought under the attention of “ the Honourable the Governor in Council, “ the recent irregular conduct of the fol“lowing officers of the junior class of the “ Military Institution, the Governorin Coun“ cil directs that they do join their corps “ without delay.” [Here follow the names of 18 officers.]
Although the name of the Commander in Chief appears in the foregoing order, it was in a few days discovered, that he had not even been made acquainted with the circumstances; at least so he declared, on the occasion of a reference that was made to him by some of the young men. Previous to the publication of the foregoing order, a communication was made to the gentlemen of the Institution, by a Field officer, purporting, that if they would promise to go to the next entertainment at the Government House, the proceedings against them would be discontinued; but, otherwise, that they might expect to be severely punished. They however declined complying with these terms. Trifling as this occurrence must appear, in the general view of the great events which this period teems with, it deserves particular notice on account of the consequences it produced, and the inferences which may be drawn from it. Itaffords incontestible proof, that the feeling of discontent and dissatisfaction towards the Government was not confined to a few. In such a case it is impossible to suppose, that out of nineteen young men, attached to a corps that is under the especial patronage of the Governor and the Quarter Master General, only one person would go to a public entertainment given at the Government House; or that the others, if the feeling was not general, should venture to mark their disapprobation in the decided manner they did. This transaction also serves to shew, that the appeal of the officers to the regulations of the service, as established by Earl Cornwallis, was totally disregarded; and that officers in the army were liable to F.