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proceeding down that river with his army, and settling the countries he might subdue on his route : a daring enterprise, and conceived in the true spirit of an ancient Roman. On the conclusion of this design it was his intention to turn his arms against the Punjaub, which he expected to reduce in the course of a couple of years; and which, considering the wealth he would then have acquired, and the amazing resources he would have possessed, these fucceffes combined would doubtless have contributed to establish his authority on a firm and folid basis.
Apprehensive, however, of the ultimate suce cess of his arms, when he considered the number and strength of his enemies, Mr. Thomas, about the time he was occupied in the contemplation of the aforementioned plan, made an offer* of his service to the British government; which, though circumstances of political consideration might not have inclined govern
* Correspondence with Captain H. y. White, to whom the compiler begs leave to offer his kindest acknowledge ments for several interesting anecdotes in the latter part of Mr. Thomas's career. .
ment to adopt, is nevertheless sufficient to present a correct idea of the enterprising fpirit of the man. Having offered to advance and take poffefsion of the Punjaub, and give up his army to the direction and control of the English; to take the country, and, in short, to become an active partisan in their cause: he thus, in a patriotic and truly loyal strain, concludes his remarks on the interesting fubject : "* By this “ plan,” says he, “ I have nothing in view but “ the welfare of my king and country. It could “ not be concerted foon enough to be of any “ use in the approaching conflict ; (his dispute “ with the Mahrattas); therefore it is not to “ better myself that I have thought of it; I “ fhall be sorry to see my conquefts fall to the “ Mahrattas, I wish to give them to my king, “ and to serve him the remainder of my days; " and this I can only do as a foldier in this part "! of the world.”
His knowledge of the spirit and character of the different tribes and nations that compose the interior of the vast peninsula of India, was various, extensive, and correct; and no man perhaps ever more thoroughly studied, or more properly appreciated, the Indian character at large. In his manners he was gentle and inoffensive, and possessed a natural politeness, and evinced a disposition to please superior to most men. He was, as we have already feen, equally a loyal subject to his king, as a real and sincere well wisher to the profperity and permanence of the British empire in the east. He was open, generous, charitable, and humane; and his behaviour towards the families of those persons who fell in his service, evinces a benevolence of heart, and a philanthropy of spirit, highly honourable to his character.
* Captain White's correspondence.
But with these good qualities, the impartiality of history demands that we should state his errors, and endeavour to discover fome Thades in a character otherwise splendid. A quickness of temper, liable to frequent agitations, and the ebullitions of hasty wrath, not unfrequently rendered his appearance ferocipus; yet this only occurred in instances where the conviviality of his temper obscured his reason; and for this, on conviction, no man was ever readier to make every acknowledgment and reparation in his power,
Perfect correctness of conduct cannot be expected from a character like the one now under consideration, as a seclusion from civilized life, and long absence from the exercise of those duties which constitute the chief enjoyment of social happiness, must necessarily have tinctured the manners of the man with some portion of the spirit of the barbarians with whom he was so long an inmate.
Upon the whole, however, we may be juftified in remarking, that on a review of the life and actions of this very extraordinary man, it is difficult which most to admire, whether the intrepidity of spirit by which he was incited to the performance of actions which, by their effect, raised him from the condition of a private subject to rank and distinction among princes; or the wonderful and uncommon attachment generally exhibited towards his person and interests, by natives of every description, who fought and conquered with him in his long and arduous career, and whose assistance exalted him for a time to a height of respectability and consequence that seldom falls to the lot of an individual.