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To this haven, after a little more tossing on the tempestuous ocean of life, and a few more vicissitudes of fortune, we are anxious to conduct our friend and hero; and, after sharing with him the perils and dangers of the voyage, finally to place him in that Asylum, where every trouble is forgotten, and where every sorrow ceases to exist.
However flattering might appear the termination of the campaign, Mr. Thomas's good fortune may, at this period, be said to have attained its meridian splendour ; since a dark cloud, which had long been gathering over his head, was now preparing to discharge its malignant contents: its baneful influence threatened even the utter extirpation of those hopes of fortune and independance by which he had so long been buoyed up, and which had therefore taken deep root in his aspiring mind.
But as the combination which was about to be formed against him was in the end productive of his downfall, and the death blow to his hopes, it will be necessary in this place to take a retrospective furvey of the strength and
resources of that part of the Mahratta empire, with which he was entering on an interesting and eventful warfare.
This will equally enable us to comprehend the situation of his numerous and powerful enemies, as to appreciate the exertion of those faculties and talents which were now called forth, and which place his last struggles for the support of his authority in a point of view highly creditable to his general character. On the death of Madhajee Scindiah in 1794, he was succeeded in his possessions and authority by his nephew Dowlut Row Scindiah. This youth, though of promising parts, was by no means equal in capacity to his renowned
That politic prince, aware of the advantages to be derived from the practice of the European system of tactics, and the introduction of military discipline into his armies, had, by the assistance of General Duboign, raised several brigades of infantry, which he left entire to his nephew. Shortly after his elevation, Dowlut Row constituted Mr. Perron his commander
in-chief, whose influence has continued to sway the mind of his master from that period until the present time,
The force thus raised amounted to forty thousand infantry, thirty thousand cavalry, with five hundred pieces of heavy artillery.
This accession of force, though dispersed over an extensive tract of country, the fruits of the late Scindiah's conquests, could, when circumstances required, be brought to act in concert.
On the other side, Holkar, the ruler of Indore, (a province situated in the centre of the Dekan) could at this time command an army of fifty thousand men, with three hundred pieces of cannon; and lastly, the Seiks, who, as we have already seen, were able to bring into the field nearly an equal number.
Holkar, however, not being at variance with Mr. Thomas, must not therefore be numbered among his enemies, though the prodigious accession of force against him, in an union of the Seiks and Scindiah, was of itself fufficient to astound and overwhelm him.
To counteract the designs of his enemies, Mr. Thomas, at the period we are speaking of, had an army whose utmost force consisted of eight battalions of infantry, amounting in all to fix thousand men, fifty pieces of cannon, well appointed and well ferved, one thoufand cavalry, and fifteen hundred Rohillahs, with about two thousand men, who garrisoned his different forts; but with this force, comparatively so small, he had a spirit and elevation of mind not to be subdued by accident, or depressed by ill fortune ; and not only waited the event with firmness, but declared previous to the commencement of hostilities, that if his resources in money did not fail, he doubted not with his present army to hold out against the efforts of all the native princes of India.
To preserve, however, the thread of our narration, it will now be necessary to remark, that repeated letters had lately been sent by Scindiah to Mr. Thomas, to induce him to act in
conjunction with Mr. Perron against their common enemies.
In answer, he represented that Mr. Perron and himself being subjects of different nations, then in a state of actual hostility against each other, it was impossible they could ever act in concert, or with cordiality. He was moreover convinced, that as a Frenchman, and possessed of a national enmity against him, Mr. Perron would always be induced to represent his actions in a light moft unfavourable to his inte. rests : that principles of honour, on the present occasion, forbad his acting under the command of a Frenchman : but if Scindiah was really desirous of employing him to the advantage of the state, or to his own benefit, he might bestow on him a separate command, under the control of a Mahratta general ; or, concludes Mr. Thomas with much spirit, “ should you “ think proper to appoint me to the ma“ nagement of operations, either offensive or “ defensive, in any part of the Dekan, Hin“ dooftan, or Punjaub, I am ready and willing “ to undertake the charge, so soon as the ne