Obrazy na stronie

lation of the religious toleration uary 1877. Lord Roberts took a proclaimed in 1858. To be robbed prominent part in both of them. by officious sanitary inspectors of The political interest of the former the privilege of bathing in sacred lies in the meeting a few days later waters, after they have toiled over between Lord Canning and the hundreds of miles and surmounted 160 taluqdars of Oudh, whose every degree of fatigue and priv- estate and property he had conation, is to lose that which they fiscated by his summary proclavalue more than life, in obedience mation of March 15, 1858. They to Western sanitary ideas which had, many of them, angrily resisted they do not understand.

the process of converting them There will always be risk of into law-abiding subjects from causing political dissatisfaction. having been feudal chiefs with A free Press amongst the natives unlimited power of oppression and would be the best corrective, pro- usurpation. Confiscation was made vided it is properly regulated. general and sweeping. It extended Lord Roberts draws attention to to the whole soil of Oudh, and rethe licence allowed to that Press minds one to some slight extent of in vilifying the Government and the Duke of Alva's sentencing the its officials, and in persistently whole population of the Nethermisrepresenting the motives and lands to death. The object, howpolicy of the ruling Power. This ever, was, besides punishing the always strikes us as a most inde- guilty, to establish the revenue fensible proceeding, transplanting system on a new and satisfactory the free Press of the West into footing. Lord Canning now anthe East without any precaution nounced the virtual though partial against a seditious, hostile, and repeal of confiscation. Taluqdars defiant spirit being openly in- who submitted received back their dulged. However cautious and possessions as a free gift from the tolerant our proceedings, the good- Government. Those who had done will and confidence of the natives good service were rewarded with cannot be gained in the face of grants of confiscated lands. A persistent misrepresentation and month later, at Cawnpore, great calumny. Details of this kind satisfaction was given to the are numerous, but from a military assembled chiefs by the announcepoint of view the lesson of the ment that the estates of native Mutiny is that we must preserve princes would be scrupulously rea due proportion of British and spected, and that the right of native troops, retain in our own adoption was conceded to them. hands the possession of arsenals That meant that instead of their and the more effective branches of possessions lapsing to the British the service, and open up speedy Government on failure of heirs, communications both internally their right, which in many preand with England.

vious cases had been refused, Two great ceremonials are de- would hereafter be recognised of scribed in this book, which will adopting a son, who, according to have an enduring historical in- Hindu notions, would as effectiveterest as long as our Indian army ly continue his adoptive father's lasts-namely, the grand entry of line as a natural-born son would Lord Canning into Lucknow on do. This, says Lord Roberts, did the 22d October 1859; and the more than any other measure to proclamation of her Majesty as make the feudatory princes believe Empress of India on the 1st Jan- in the amnesty proclamation.

ours, while

The other ceremonial was at administration and trans-frontier Delhi, when Lord Lytton received relations. This post, with the in durbar 63 ruling chiefs and command of the Punjab Frontier nearly 300 titular chiefs and per- Force, was conferred on Roberts, sons of distinction, the assemblage who now had our relations with being intended to emphasise and Afghanistan and Russia primarily repeat the proclamation of the in his hands. Queen in 1858 in her public as Lord Roberts' account of the sumption of the title of “Empress great historical occurrences which of India.” Lord Roberts played date from 1877 is as valuable as a leading part in its arrangement that of the still more stirring and conduct. He conversed, he events of twenty years earlier. says, with every one of the princes of both series of events he is and nobles, and each in turn re entitled to say, “Quorum pars peated the same sentiments of magna fui.” In the latter his loyalty as had been publicly ex- responsibility was of course far pressed by the leading Maharajahs. the greater. The political object, which must The dominant feature of the have been to some extent furthered situation which now engrossed his by this tremendous ceremonial, attention was that both England was to assure each potentate and and Russia were solicitous for prince, “not only of the close the friendship of the Ameer of union between the throne of Eng. Afghanistan. His territories were land and your loyal and princely conterminous with house, but also of the earnest Russia in two centuries had exdesire of the paramount Power panded along nearly 4000 miles of to see your dynasty strong, pros- territory which lay between her perous, and permanent." In other boundary of that date and the words, they were no longer to fear present border-line of our Indian annexation by what they regarded Empire. Both Afghan wars have . as the rapacity of a Company, but been brought about by the preswere to consider themselves as ence of Russian officers in Kabul, part and parcel of the British In 1877 Russia's southern boundempire, enrolled amongst its feu- ary was almost conterminous with datories, secure in their posses- the northern boundary of Afghanisions whilst they continued in stan. The Ameer felt that Russia their loyalty.

was in a position to crush him, The same year, 1877, which while he was doubtful if we would witnessed this final consummation protect him. In 1878 there was of empire after more than a cen considerable risk of England having tury of heroic achievement, also to go to war with Russia, and witnessed the outbreak of war Indian troops had been brought to between Russia and Turkey, and Malta with that view. At that the consequent unrest on the fron- moment the Ameer, at a council tiers which looked in the direction of his leading chiefs, decided to of Russian power. The Trans- throw in his lot with Russia, and Indus tract of country was now

to receive at Kabul a Russian removed from the Punjab Gov- mission, headed by General Stolieernment, formed into a separate toff. An offensive and defensive district, under the control of a alliance between Russia and the Chief Commissioner who would Ameer was contemplated (Lord be responsible direct to the Gov- Roberts gives the proofs), had the ernment of India for frontier Berlin Congress of that year failed

to establish peace. Lord Lytton, warlike Afghans with a sufficient with the sanction of the Cabinet sense of defeat to convince them at home, insisted on the Ameer re of our strength and ability to ceiving a friendly British mission punish any breach of treaty, on at Kabul, intimating that a refusal which conviction he rightly relied to grant it a free passage and safe as the sole guarantee of its due conduct would be deemed an act of observance. Accordingly chapter open hostility.

one of this war was concluded by Every one knows that this led the treaty of Gandamak, signed to the second Afghan war, in which on the 26th May 1879, and effectLord Roberts assumed the com ed by “the tact and diplomatic mand of the Kuram field force skill of Louis Cavagnari.” We and conducted the invasion. The received under it cession of terrimanner in which the Peiwar Kotal tory, promising, on the other hand, was carried is told in a clear, support against external aggresfinished, and precise manner, ob- sion, and arranging for the recepserving the via media between tion of a mission at Kabul. Lord vagueness and excessive detail, in Roberts's forebodings as to what an appreciative and generous spirit would befall this mission turned to his comrades in arms. An ad- out to be correct. Accordingly vance was then made to Khost, the second invasion proceeded which the force was not strong under his command. That wonenough to hold, and a further for derful march then took place, ward movement was postponed till with the result that after severe the following year.

fighting Kabul at last was at his Shere Ali, the Ameer, on hear- mercy. It was part of the policy of ing of the defeat of his army, this invasion to tell the tribes who had fled with the members of the were disposed to be friendly that Russian mission, and was succeed we should never again altogether ed by his son Yakub Khan, who, withdraw from Afghanistan, and on the death of his father in so leave our friends in the hands February 1879, expressed anxiety of their enemies. A very singular for friendship with the Viceroy. feature of this invasion was that Cavagnari was with his consent the Ameer Yakub Khan, who deputed to Kabul on a mission disavowed all responsibility for to him, and was there with his the death of Cavagnari, came to staff brutally murdered. The the British camp as our ally, British people at that time were seeking refuge from his mutinous reluctant to go to war. South soldiers. He had evidently done Africa was giving trouble, and nothing to save Cavagnari, even we had only just escaped from a if he had not originated the threatened war with Russia. The assault. His desire was to delay Liberal Opposition was eagerly the British advance. He earnestpreparing for a general election, ly pressed that policy on Lord and Mr Gladstone was extremely Roberts, but without success. He vocal on the subject of Sbere Ali's remained in our camp, in constant wrongs. Further hostilities were communication with Kabul, imtherefore out of the question until portant tidings evidently passing the murder of Cavagnari. Lord to and fro, his position enabling Roberts expresses the misgivings him to give accurate information he felt at the time at our resorting to the enemy as to our numbers under the circumstances to nego- and movements. When Kabul tiation before we had inspired the was taken Lord Roberts made the

Ameer's Ministers prisoners, and the moment they see any signs of on their guilt with respect to their opponents being unable to Cavagnari's murder being proved, resist them, and if there is the they, as well as Yakub Khan, were smallest symptom of unsteadiness, deported to India, and an amnesty wavering, or confusion, a disaster was proclaimed to all persons not is certain to occur. It may be concerned in the attack on the imagined, therefore, with what Residency, Lord Roberts finding intense anxiety I watched for it impossible to treat as rebels to hours the withdrawal.” On the the Ameer's authority men who, 23d a determined attack was made it was clearly proved, had only by the besieging force, the mullas carried out bis secret, if not his having in all the mosques made expressed, wishes in opposing our frantic appeals to the people to advance on Kabul.

unite in one final effort to exThe closing months of 1879 were terminate the infidel. The attack signalised by a tremendous coali on Sherpur was decisively repulsed. tion against us of all the Afghan The Afghans broke and fled. The tribes, exasperated by the humilia- cavalry pursued, and before nighttions their country had undergone. fall all the open ground in the In face of these ever-increas- neighbourhood of Sherpur was ing hordes Lord Roberts and his cleared of the enemy. The victory comparatively small force were was complete. Not only was the compelled on the 14th December assault abandoned, but the great to retire for a time within the tribal combination had been disdefences of Sherpur, a measure solved, and on the following mornwhich involved the abandonment ing not a man, says Lord Roberts, of Kabul and the Bala Hissar, and “of the many thousands who had which of course gave heart to the been opposed to us the previous tribesmen. The Afghans speedily day remained in any of the villages discovered the retrograde move or on the surrounding hills.” ment, and pressed our troops the In the beginning of 1880 Afwhole way back to the canton- ghanistan lay at our feet. The ment. There was hand-to-hand tidings of the defeat and disperfighting, but the movement was sion of the tribesmen spread far successfully effected. Troops and and wide, and resistance was at an baggage were safe inside Sherpur, end. The pacification or resettleand the Afghans got possession ment of the country became the of the city and the Bala Hissar. matter in hand, and at this point

Probably in all his battles, the personal interest of the book, campaigns, and adventures, Lord so far as Lord Roberts is conRoberts and the troops under his cerned, undergoes a change. Down command were never in greater to that point we have, first, the peril than on that day. As he personal adventures of the young says, it is comparatively easy soldier in camp, in trench, in to act on the offensive against march, in the storm of Delhi, and Asiatics, however much their num- the relief of Lucknow; second, bers may preponderate. “ There the wider views of the general reis something in the determined sponsible for the campaign or the advance of a compact disciplined plans of battle. After the conbody of troops which they can quest of the Afghans he begins seldom resist. But a retirement his career as a statesman, taking is a different matter. They be part in transactions which affect come full of confidence and valour the national welfare and the his

tory of the world, and busied with riding away from Kabul, suddenly high questions of military admin- experienced a presentiment of istration and military statesman- coming trouble so vividly as to ship. The first practical question induce him to return, only to was, how to deal with Afghanistan receive the news that Ayub Khan, now that we had got it. With- a brother of the deported Yakub, drawal was felt to be out of the had totally defeated Burrows's question until the objects of the brigade at Maiwand, and was bewar were secured—viz., the future sieging Kandahar, where Primrose safety of the Indian frontier, and had succeeded to Sir Donald guarantees for the future good be- Stewart's command. . The lamhaviour of the Afghans. Lord entable



"almost Roberts decided in favour of dis- took my breath away"; for it integration of the country. A meant at the least that all was strong united Afghanistan was confusion again on the very eve of only desirable in the event of its a projected pacification. Stewart ruler being friendly. Even then and Roberts agreed that whatever past experience had shown that might happen, the only way to the succession to an Ameer friendly render speedy relief to Kandahar to us was sure to be disputed, and was to send a force from Kabul, the work of unification would where they were still urgently have to begin all over again. We required. From no other quarter did not desire annexation, but could a force be rapidly got tothere was considerable difficulty gether, and, moreover, the most in finding a native ruler. The seasoned troops were required to policy finally declared in durbar deal with the terrible emergency was that Yakub Khan could not which had arisen the sudden be allowed to return, that the appearance of a strong Afghan people might elect an Ameer friend- force flushed with victory. Our ly to us and subject to the Vice- disaster, of course, had created roy's approval, that the British considerable excitement all along army would withdraw as soon as the border. The state of feeling that was done, retaining only the throughout India was such, says occupation of such places as were Lord Roberts, as to make those who necessary for the safety of our In- remembered the Mutiny anxious dian frontier, but that Kandahar for better news from the north. would not again be united to Kabul. Roberts pressed his view that the

Sir Donald Stewart's division Kabul force should be sent. On was now sent from Kandahar to the 3d August Lord Ripon teleKabul to take part in the pacifica- graphed orders to that effect, and tion of Northern Afghanistan. He that Roberts should be placed in reached it on the 5th May, and command, who accordingly got Roberts had to deliver up to him together his force, carefully weedthe supreme command. By the ing out of it every man not likely end of July Stewart had Abdur to stand the strain of prolonged Rahman, with whom considerable forced marches, and reducing imdifficulties had at first arisen, pro- pedimenta to a minimum. He claimed Ameer of Kabul. He was marched, with less than 10,000 to rely on his own resources, no men and only mountain batteries, treaty to be made till his power 313 miles, and entered Kandahar was consolidated.

in twenty days, having on the Orders were given for the Brit- way been nearly prostrated with ish force to retire ; but Roberts, fever.

This book deals so very

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