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Indeed they never met with general acceptance even among those who, being least well-informed, were most inclined to indulge in personal blaine. So far as we can judge, public opinion is fast gravitating back to the 'greased cartridges ;' and it would be well if the blame could be shisted to their inanimate shoulders, and all irritation against individuals be removed. This would enable the country to take a far calmer view of what is to be done in the future. There is no doubt, in fact, that these cartridges were the cause of the revolt, in the same sense that Gessler's hat was the cause of the freedom of the Swiss cantons, and the duty on tea the cause of the revolt of the American colonies. They were the spark that fired the train, but the combustible materials had been heaped together long before, and sooner or later an explosion was as inevitable in Hindostan as in Switzerland or America.

It is perhaps true that if the Government had displayed more vigour when the first symptoms of the mutiny appeared at Barrackpore, or had a younger and more energetic officer commanded at Meerut, its outbreak might have been postponed ; but the world is now aware that the disaffection was too widely spread to enable us to suppose that the mere removal of local symptoms could have cured so frightful and so deep-seated a disease.

Had the rebels been Europeans, their vocabulary would have furnished some name or cry which we could easily have recognised; but their feelings and their habits are so strange to us, that we have not been able to follow the gradual developinent of their disaffection and comprehend why the mutiny should have burst forth at all, and still less why it should have occurred at the present moment. In our indignation at the treachery with which we have been deceived, and our horror at the atrocities that have been committed, none but the worst of motives are ascribed to the mutineers, though no bad motive has yet been alleged of sufficient urgency to explain so frightful a convulsion. When victory over the rebels bas soothed our feelings of wounded vanity, and a calmer investigation has fixed the guilt on the true criminals, we shall be in a better position to form a judgment on these events; and it can scarcely be doubted but that we shall then be forced to acknowledge that it is in reality a struggle between races, a revolt of the best classes of Hindostanees against a foreign invader of their sacred land—an attempt on the part of the natives to free their country from the presence of what to them is an impure and hated body of conquerors.

What has hitherto misled the public in appreciating the true character of the struggle is the purely military nature of the revolt; but it must be borne in mind that the Sepoy army is the only body




in India that possesses either the organization or the weapons sufficient to enable it to strike a blow with the remotest cliance of success, and that this

army is selected from the bravest of the inhabitants of India. The Sepoy, in addition, far excels the rest of his countrymen in education, taking the word in its most practical

During the routine of his duty he resides successively in every military station in the presidency, and is familiar with the forms of European civilization at Calcutta. He spends at least three years in the Holy City of Benares, as many in Moslem Delhi, and in Lahore and Peshawur sers the Sikhs and Afghans in their native homes. He is besides in constant communication with his European officers, imbibes to a certain extent their feelings, and partakes in some degree of their knowledge. These are advantages which no other native of India possesses. But this would not have sufficed except for the further fact that every regiment is in effect a great family or clan. Not only are the Sepoys always anxious to introduce their own children and relatives into the regiment in which they and their fathers have served for generations, but every regiment in the service is brigaded in turn with every other, and thus the separate atoms have become fused into a mighty whole, such as never existed in India before, and such as the skill and energy of a civilized European nation persevering in the task through a long series of years could alone have created. It is this monster of our own raising that has turned against us, because we have been lulled into security by the experience of a hundred years, and have forgotten that men have feelings which are so deep seated in every human breast that love of money or promises of allegiance are alike feathers in the balance when put into competition with them. Of all these instincts none are so universal as that love of country, which is dignified with the name of patriotism whenever success attends the effort.

The Hindoo is not by nature a man of strong feelings, and is cautious of expressing what he thinks whenever he fears it may give offence; but if there is one thing more than another which is characteristic of him, it is this love of his country. No Hindoo in any age ever willingly left the land of his birth, He has always been content to dwell on his own fertile plains ; happy to bathe in the sacred streams, and to worship in the consecrated groves of his own land. He has always been proud of belonging to a country, every important spot in which has been sanctified by the presence of a deity. His bards and priests can all recount how each of the twice-born races are descended from the gods, through demigods and lieroes whose actions are sung in epics and recorded in their sacred volumes, during the


thousands of years through which they suppose their history to extend. All this airy fabric, which may be torn to pieces by the sceptic criticism of the European, is the whole intellectual existence of the Hindoo; and it is impossible, if he was worthy of his name, that he could see his sacred land defiled by the

presence of an antagonistic race without cherishing as deeply as he dared a burning desire that it should again become an Arya Varta, or land of the pure or twice-born people who once held it as their own.

With the Mahometans the case is even stronger. No Moslem people, before our conquest of India, were ever long subject to the Christian yoke, while their whole history is full of their triumphs over the sons of Nazareth. In Hindostan their power is too recent, and the remnants of it are still too numerous for them to forget for one moment what they have been, or what they conceive they might be again, were it not for our own domination.

It is useless to attempt to explain to half-civilized men that their power was overthrown by the Mahrattas before we interfered, and that but for us not even a fainéant king would have been left at Delhi, or a Nizam at Hyderabad. They know that if we were swept away they have a fair chance of gaining their own again, and they feel strongly that it would be ten times better to be under the rule of a Hindoo prince than under the unbending despotism of the Christian foreigner. The Hindoo was born in the same land, speaks the same language, and loves the same country as himself, and, however much they may be at variance on religious grounds, when it comes to a struggle for freedom they will merge their differences in the more vehement desire to shake off the yoke of the last intruder. All who are acquainted with the middle classes, and especially with those races from whom the ranks of the Bengal army are recruited, are aware how electric must have been the shock when they heard that the blow had been struck, and believed that India was once more to be governed by Indians.

When, therefore, the standard of revolt had been raised, and the Sepoys heard that the ancient capital of the country was in possession of the mutineers, and was successfully resisting the attacks of the invaders, no regiment could refuse for very shame to take part in the struggle. One by one they fell off from their allegiance, though the dispute about the cartridges was long before abandoned, and they well knew that no one was interfering, or, after what had happened, was likely to interfere with their caste or religion. Everything was merged in the Vol. 103.—No. 205.


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hope that they should drive out the invader, and behold the white face of their conquerors no more.

Had a different system been pursued in the management of the Sepoys, it is probable the revolt might not have come from them; but their arrogance has of late years been immensely increased by the absurd deference we have shown to the privileges with which we have chosen to invest them. A commanding officer has bardly dared to speak to a Sepoy without a reference to head-quarters, and we voluntarily bound ourselves to observe certain rules called articles of war, which he never asked for and never comprehended. But he knew, or at least believed, that he had by his prowess conquered Hindostan; and by an induction natural enough to an uneducated Oriental mind he inferred from our deference that we feared him. The Persian and Chinese wars, which were far more important in his eyes than our struggle with Russia, seemed to afford him a most favourable opportunity for revolt. The annexation of Oude helped to precipitate his decision, as it took away from the Bengal Sepoy his last chance of retiring to his own village, and living with his own people, and being governed according to his own laws in a land that hitherto had remained unpolluted by the foreigner. These circumstances may have influenced the choice of the moment for striking the blow; but without a deep-seated feeling to back it the mutiny must have been local, and institutions that have stood the test of a hundred years would not have fallen to pieces like a house of cards, nor have disappeared at once like the phantasma of a dream.

That the Sepoys of the Madras army have not revolted is simply because the Tamul races to which they principally belong have no literature, no traditions, or none worthy of the name, no pride of ancestry, no country in fact, and no caste. They are consequently content with pay and provisions, little caring who bestows them, and want nothing beyond kindness and creaturecomforts to keep them to their allegiance. This also is pretty much the case in Bombay, where, except the somewhat questionable glories of the Mahratta kingdom, they have little to be proud of, or to look back upon with regret. The Mahometans of both Presidencies might, and if an opportunity occurred would, give us trouble, for they are actuated by the same sentiments as their northern brethren, but they are fewer in number, far worse educated, and less capable of sacrifices either for their country or their faith, than their co-religionists who are nearer the seat of their ancient empire. It is easy, again, to see why the princes of India have not


joined in the rebellion. Patriotism is not by any means a popular virtue among pensioned and protected potentates. If the tide had turned against us, some of the number might have joined the mutineers. Yet the majority of them even then must have had a shrewd suspicion that if the strong hand of the English power were removed they might be called upon to vacate their thrones to more warlike and energetic men than Indian princes born in the purple can pretend to be. They have moreover experienced too much of our might to be eager for another trial of strength; and unless when urged on by their own turbulent followers, we have long ceased to have anything to fear from them.

Neither will those who are thoroughly acquainted with India be the least surprised that the peasantry of the country have shown no disposition to join the mutineers. They have not education sufficient to enable them to appreciate what is passing, nor patriotism sufficient to make them care who their masters are. That strange caricature of municipal institutions, known as the village system of India, is singularly destructive of anything like unity, and has always been the principal cause why India has fallen so easy a prey to anybody who had the courage to grasp at its dominion. We are proud of our local self-government, and with reason, because we have known how to superadd to it a central controlling power, and create an imperial element which is capable of combining the various wheels into a single machine. But nothing of the kind exists in India. Every village and every town is an independent state, managing its own affairs, and almost wholly regardless of all that passes beyond its boundary. So long as they are protected, and are not asked ' for more than their fair quota of rent, it matters little to them whether they are attached to the states of Scindiah, or Holkar, or the Nizam, or whether their suzerain is Mahometan, Hindoo, or Christian. It would be less strange to see the tenants of an English estate take up arms for a ruined family, and resist a legitimate purchaser, than to see Indian villagers interfere in a quarrel that did not immediately concern themselves. A fight between men whose business is to fight decides their fate, and when the transfer is made they pay their dues and their devoirs to the new lord as willingly as they did to the old. As with the English tenant in his lease, so they in their tenures have certain legal rights, and resist any interference with them; but there their interest ends, and they trouble themselves with little beyond. During the present struggle the villagers have cultivated their fields and continued to attend to their own personal affairs within sound of the guns of Delhi itself. The crops will be

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