Page images
PDF
EPUB

is now a perfect inodel of a cantonment; streets broader than those of most towns, pucka buildings are springing up in ail directions ; the race-course has been, and is being, built on; the new Government house stands on it, and it is intended to have avenues, and clumps of trees, with seats, promenades, &c. The compounds are beginning to appear like gardens, green springing up in all directions, Blenkins, who has won such well-earned fame as a commissary, is now doing wonders for Kurrachee, The public gardens, covering five or s'x acres of ground, are in a bigh state of cultivation. B. supplies the hospitals with fresh vegetables, and gives the soldiers holiday blowsout: he has overcome all the obstacles of want of water, &c.; and as he intends taking in ten or fifteen acres more, and hopes to be able to supply the whole of the camp, and to make the gardens a source of some revenue, recommends every person having friends at Kurrachee, to send them up evergreens, &c., by each boat that goes. The revenue of Scinde is looking up-already much more has been collected than the Ameers ever drew. The bunder is now carried out an immense way; and the port-dues are very considerable, and daily increasing, The post-office revenue is also considerable. The library is a good one, and daily increasing. The artillery barracks are admirable, as everything must be, conducted by Walter Scott and McDougall.”

All this is gratifying enough, if we could forget the great original wrong prepetrated by our own countrymen in gaining possession of this country; and if we could forget at the same time the neglect which, while these operations in Scinde are going on, is shewn to the immense region over wbich we have held sway for more than half a century, Did we require a luxuriant soil and the commerce of the Indus before we conquered Scinde ? No. Half the money spent in peaceful improvement, which has been wasted in the unholy wars which have been carried on between the mouths of the Indus and the Hindoo Koosh Mountains, would have rendered smiling and indescribably fertile, vast regions on the plains of India, and have led to a realization of double the present amount of our whole proceeds in that quarter of the globe. We should like to see a return of the money which has been lavished in military operations since the ill-fated proclamation of Lord Auckland, and compare it with the amount which has been drawn from Scinde, and is likely to be realized for ten years to come.

It is easy to talk of pucka houses and gardens at Kurrachee; but let us read the following, and learn at what cost we hold the country. telligence from Scinde," says the Bengal Hurkaru,“ during the past month, has been of a very painful character: Sickness has prevailed to Pe most distressing extent among the troops, European and Native. Some of the regiments are reduced to mere skeletons, and even the syces and

In

grass-cu tters have been so reduced by the all-prevailing disease, that accounts have been published of troop-horses well nigh starving for want of people to feed them. Some officers have died; and few have altogether escaped.

The worst was at Shikarpore, where on the 18th of last month out of 1,400 men, nearly 1,000 were in hospital. At Sukkur, affairs were not so badthe average of sick was about 20 per cent. of the natives ; and there were about 200 of the 13th light infantry in hospital. The tribes in our neighbourhood are still in an unsettled state. There had been an incursion of Belloochees at Mabarik pore, north of Shikarpore. The Poolajee chief had driven off the tribes friendly to the British, and had taken their only gun."

Let not our readers in England be deluded. At present we have seen but the beginning of the end. Portions of Scinde are, it is true, occupied, but the tribes which that country contains have been neither subdued nor conciliated. In the bosoms of many a wild chieftain, there dwells and glows a feeling of inextinguishable hatred and deep revenge. These chiefs have at their command thousands and tens of thousands of followers, ready to accompany them to the field. At present they know the bravery and discipline of our troops in the battle, and they will be cautious ere they give opportunity for a trial of strength in close quarters. But they will live to learn where and when, and how they may harrass and attack us with success, and we shall be greatly deceived if they do not yet make us pay most dear for our inroads into their country,and our most wicked appropriation of that which we have made ours, by a violation of compacts, a base betrayal of friendship, and an outrage on all law and justice both human and divine. The correspondence of the Delhi Gazette describes the sickness of our troops at Shikarpore as so great, and the British force so utterly disabled, that did the Belooches know how to avail themselves of an opportunity, they might annihilate every soldier we have there. This knowledge will be acquired too soon for us, and many a sacrifice of human blood will yet be offered on the shrine of Lord Ellenborough's ambition. Such at least are our fears.

The Bombay Times says, that in the Punjaub the two great rival chiefs-Heera Singh, the Prime Minister of the youthful Maharajah, and Goolab Singh, the powerful brother of the murdered Suchet Singh-have come to a good understanding with each other. Another writer says, the Punjaub still presents the same picture of distracted councils. Heera Singh, the Prime Minister of the young Lahore Rajah, Dhuleep, has not terminated his disputes with his uncle Goolab Singh. Troops were prepared on both sides, but the minister has sent some agents to try the effects of negotiations. Nothing positive was known of the results at the time of the departure of the steamer. Heera Singh is wily and crafty, and may succeed in overcoming the strength of Goolab, although the latter is now animated by a wish to avenge the death of his brother Suchet, who was slain through the machinations of the minister.

One of the most important events affecting the Punjaub that has transpired during the month, is the death of Dewan Sawun Mull, Governor of Mooltan, and one of the last of the illustrious men who grew into the power under Runjeet Singh. He was shot by a criminal while under examination, who had concealed about him a pistol which he succeeded in discharging at the Governor. His death was for some time kept a secret. The tribute contributed by him to the Crown, amounted to about half a million annually, or a sum equivalent to the entire revenue of Scinde ; and his personal income was said to have been about as much more.

“ There seems little prospect (says the Bombay Times) of collision with the Seikhs, and no chance of the conquest of the Punjaub for some time to come. We shall, in all likelihood, have few needless wars, and none of actual aggression, under the rule of Sir H. Hardinge. The expenditure of thirty-three millions sterling, in six years of aggressive hostilities, without a shilling of return in any form, offers no great temptation to a soldier who has won his laurels under Wellington, to draw the sword where he is not required to smite. We are perfectly prepared, at the same time, to cross the Sutlej, so soon as honesty justifies, (!) and state necessity, in the honourable acceptation of the term, requires it. Our present Governor seems no hunter of " quarrel" with any one. The British troops on the North-West Frontier are at present so disposed that we could have 14,000 men, including 3,000 cavalry, together with 48 guns, on the banks of the Sutlej ; and, in five weeks time, we could throw a force of 37,000 men, in the very highest condition as to discipline and appointments, with 98 guns, on the Seikh frontier—these, too, in full communication with our own dominions! To this, not all the potentates from the Caspian to the Wall of China could offer a day's resistance.”

The Delhi Gaz., of October 9, publishes a curious communication from one of the news-writers in Peshawur respecting the treatment of Dr. Wolff in Bokhara. We give it as we find it, hoping, at the same time, that the brave and generous Doctor may soon be in England to tell his own tale :

It is reported by Ibaheem, * who had been sent to Bokhara by Conolly Saheb, Magistrate of Bareilly, and who has arrived in Peshawur, that Dr. Wolff Saheb, who had brought a Vakeel from the Shah of

excuses to

[ocr errors]

* This is the man who brought the notes from Dr. Wolff, which were published some time ago, and whose entire narrative would have been interesting.-ED. D. G.

[ocr errors]

Iran and letters from the King of Room, or Sultan Abd-ool-Musheed, to the address of the King of Bokhara, had reached that Capital. The Doctor was accompanied thither by some of his own servants and some suwars and people belonging to the King of Iran. Dr. Wolff presented the letters to the King of Bokhara and asked him why he had murdered the Vakeels of the King of Inglistan without a cause. The King of Bokhara replied that he had never murdered any Vakeel belonging to the King of Inglistan. Neither of the Feringhees who had been put to death had any paper or sunnud from their King, shewing that they were Vakeels. Three years ago a Feringhee, named Stoddart Saheb, had arrived in Bokhara, who did all he could to prevent its being known that he was a Feringhee, and hid himself as long as he could.'

Subsequently, I, the King, learnt that there was a Feringhee hid in my town under these circumstances, on hearing which I immediately sent for him and inquired of him who he was and why he had come to Bokhara ? Stoddard Saheb told me in reply that he was a traveller wishing to see the country, and did not disguise that he was a Feringhee. I, the King immediately ordered him to be thrown into prison. After this the Ameers of my court represented it was dangerous to keep a man under such circumstances in the country, but that if Stoddart Saheb would agree to become a Mussulman, the case would be altered, but if he remained as a Christian either in or out of prison, evil would arise. I, the King of Bokbara, therefore sent for him and told him that if he would become a convert to the holy faith he should be released and might live where he pleased in Bokhara, where no doubt he would make many friends, and I would be one of them. Stoddart Saheb on this agreed to the proposal and expressed his readiness to be a Musulman. Some time after this event, another Feringhee, named Conolly Saheb, arrived in Bokhara, and stated that he was an Elchee, of Shah Sujah. But he had no sunnud from the Shah, nor could he prove by other means that he was an Elchee, and being summoned to attend my durbar, which he did, had took up his dwelling with Stoddart Saheb. They then began both of them to enter into correspondence with the Ameers of Furung concerning the affairs of Bokhara. Stoddart Saheb also, when Conolly Saheb went to live with him, forsook the Mahomedan religion,and returned to his own faith. On my discovering this, I sent for all the Ulemas and Moulvies of my country, and submitted to them a question to the following effect : supposing a person has been converted to the Mahomedan from the Koofur religion, and the same person after some time subsequently renounced the faith of Islam, to return to his former Koofur belief, what punishment is he liable to ? The Ulemas replied that, agreeably to the Sheru Shereof, he was deserving of death. After this sentence had been pronounced by the Ulemas, I still kept Stoddart Saheb in prison for some time, thinking he might be a Vakeel of the King of England ; and instituted strict inquiries to find this out. But all my enquiries proved fruitless, and I was at last obliged to give an order for his execution. When Stoddart Saheb was about being put to death, I asked of Conolly Saheb, if he would become a convert to the Mahomedan religion, stating to him, that if he would do this, his life should be spared ; but on his refusing to renounce his faith, 1 ordered him also to be put to death.' Dr. Wolff Saheb then asked for the bones of both the Feringhees who had been put to death, as he could distinguish them from the bones of other people. The King of Bokhara then directed the jullads (executioners), who had carried the sentence into execution, to produce the bones of the two Feringbees, and deliver them to the Doctor. The jullads thereupon brought twice or three times the bones of some other people ; but the Doctor said, he knew they were not the right bones. The fourth time, the jullads brought the bones of both the Feringhees, and the Doctor immediately said they were the right ones, on which he took them and deposited them in a box. A gentleman of the name of Hart Saheb, who was in Affghanistan in the regiment of Sher Bazan, who had come via Peshawur and Kabul in the disguise of a moollah, is also at Bokhara. He observed all the customs of the Mahomedans after he quitted Peshawar, and said his prayers regularly five times a day, and always stood as an imaum in the different mosques which he visited. He reached Bokhara many days before Dr. Wolff, and he openly joined the Doctor and the Vakeel of the King of Iran when they arrived, and attended them to the durbar, conversing freely with the King. Water used to be brought three times a month to Bokhara from the river Amoo; but since Dr. Wolff and his attendants have arrived, water is brought ten times a month. Dr. Wolff goes to the King in a very independent manner, and has given out that he means to remain a whole year, being provided with the protection of the two powerful sovereigns of Room and Iran. He says he will prove, before he goes away, that the two Feringhees were Vakeels of the King of England, and that they were registered as such in the proper offices. Naib Abd-ool-Summud Khan was privately very kind to Dr. Wolff and to the Vakeel. He is one of the great Ameers, and he was appointed to command the army of Bokhara.”

We are most happy to find that the present Governor-General of India is paying zealous attention to a subject which his predecessor did not deem worthy of his regard—the cause of Native Education. A resolution, minuted by Sir Henry Hardinge, and taken by us from the Calcutta Government Gaz., will be read with pleasure by all right

« PreviousContinue »