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It will be proper to bear in mind the terms used by Major Boles in his reply, and the circumstances under which they were applied; for it will be seen, in the sequel, that the import of those terms has since been most shamefully misrepresented, in order to attach to Major Boles an imputation which is totally irreconcilable either with his general character, or with the conduct he has observed since the commencement of this discussion.
It is not likely that, under any circumstances, Major General Gowdie could have possessed much influence in the army; he had, indeed, acquired a high character for bravery, on actual servicein the field, but certain well-known transactions had not rendered him popular. Independently of this, the relation in which the Major General stood with respect to the Government, and to those nominally his staff, rendered quite nugatory any attempt of his to controul or direct the opinion of individuals. However, the unexpected exaltation to the chief command, seems to have drawn a veil over all circumstances anterior to that period; and to have conferred on General Gowdie, in his own opinion, and that of the Governor, a power to guide the judgments of officers, not only in matters appertaining to their profession, but also in subjects of general import. The right of a Commander in Chief to direct the actions and words of all under him in military affairs, cannot for a moment be questioned, particularly in the Madras army, famed for its submissiveness. The suggestion of a doubt regarding the military powers of a Commander in Chief would at any former period have been universally reprehended; but the fate of Colonel Capper and Major Boles, and the comments which had appeared in the Government orders, subsequent to the 31st of January, respecting the conduct of those officers, had introduced a certain laxity of principle on this subject, which gave rise to various discussions regarding the legality, the propriety, or even the necessity, which might occasionally exist for particular orders. A few days after the arrival of General Gowdie at Madras, an occurrence took place which afforded to Sir G. Barlow, and General ‘Bowdie, an opportunity of ascertaining, in the nost unequivocal manner, the sentiments of officers towards the person of the GoverFior; and at the same time the feeling which
they bore towards the authority delegated by the Governor to the Commander in Chief. *
Sir G. Barlow, unadvisedly relying on that appearance of respect which was manifested towards the situations of Governor and Commander in Chief, disregarded, and attempted to treat with indifference, the actual sentiments of a set of men whom habitual subordination renders for the most part passive, and who, therefore, seldom form an unanimous opinion adverse to their superiors, except upon the grounds of selfpreservation, either from injury or insult. Fortunate would it have been for his country, for his employers, and for the Madras army, if Sir G. Barlow had taken measures to remove the grounds of discontent which existed in the present instance, or even if he had not acted in such a manner as served gradually to render more than irritable the sense of wrong. Although perfectly aware that no officer except those holding situations at the will of the Government, or Colonel Munro, would voluntarily go to the private dwelling-house of the Governor and his family, where Colonel Munro was frequently to be met, Sir G. Barlow sent cards, inviting the officers of a regiment, in Fort St. George, (about 50 in number) to dinner, on the 1st of March; he, at the same time, invited the officers of a battalion of the 18th regiment to dinner on the 4th of March ; the greatest part of the officers of both corps sent apologies, couched in the usual terms for not accepting the invitation. This circumstance, (particularly as the greatest part of the officers were not in the company's service) affords conclusive evidence, if any were wanting, that the disgust at the measures of Sir G. Barlow, was not confined to a few individuals of the Company's service; however, as the consequences of it refer to the present subject, it may be proper to notice them. Between men in equal circumstances, an occurrence of this description would either be considered in the light of a direct insult, and resented as such, or it would be altogether overlooked; but, considering the relative situations of the parties in the present case, the same reasons appear to point out still more strongly, the propriety of avoiding all discussion, which could tend to depreciate the already-fallen dignity of the person representing the chief authority. But, unfortunately, the same fatality which had produced several previous blunders, now added a principal one. In order to prevail upon the officers who had sent apologies, to consent to dine at the Governor's, various threats and promises were conveyed from the Governor to them, through the medium of Lieutenant Colonel Barclay, who had, through his diligence in offices of this description, acquired a degree of confidence, which the appearances for some time after Sir G.'s arrival rendered very improbable. His efforts, however, on this occasion, proving ineffectual, he was directed to apply for the assistance of Major General Gowdie; and the extraordinary phenomenon was exhibited, of the chief Commander of an army of 80,000 men using the influence which his situation gave him, to induce the officers of two corps to dine at Sir G. Barlow's, after their having signified their disinclination to accept of his invitation; and after their refusal had thus been so public, that it served as a topic throughout the Settlement. The general arguments used by the Commander in Chief were answered by an unanimous voice, that if the acceptance of the invitation were considered