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them, and preventing their recurrence, that has compelled us, in the very teeth of acts of parliament and of the fundamental policy of the East India Company, to go on enlarging onr territory, till it has arrived at the bloated and gigantic empire which it exhibits at this moment, to the awe and astonishment of mankind. Never was this political association more endangered, than by the predatory hordes which lately overran the whole central part of India, under the name of Pindarrees-a word of uncertain etymology. From the rapidity of their movements, the whole of this immense space was converted into a theatre of rapine and disorder. It became necessary, therefore, to put down the evil, which, in 1814, had arrived at a height that threatened the dissolution of the British empire in India. They engaged in the most distant expeditions, passing the most formidable barriers of nature and of military skill with impunity and success, and baffling every attempt, however well concerted, to intercept their return. It is immaterial how the predatory hordes acquired the strength which they had attained at the period we have mentioned. It is sufficient to say, that their actual condition rendered them a distinct political interest of the day, and objects of the most vigilant and apprehensive precaution. Hyder Ali, in the fulness of his power and his animosity, scarcely required equal circumspection. The actual military force at their disposal amounted to 40,000 horse, including the Patans, an immense band, who, though better disciplined, supported themselves by bloodshed and depredation. This number would be doubled by adding the remainder of Holkar's irregular troops, who were daily deserting the service of a falling house, to engage in the more lucrative career of predatory enterprise, and the loose cavalry of Scindia and the Bhoosla, which were bound by no ties beyond those of actual entertainment, and were bevis sides in great arrears of pay. It was in Malwa and the cons tiguous provinces, now officially called Central India, a region little known heretofore, and scarcely laid down in the maps, that they found a secure asylum. This country had for thirty years been exposed to unremitted anarchy and warfare, and it was a rallying point from which they poured out their un-r numbered cavalry in every direction, who carried devastation and plunder wherever they went. The situation of these provinces, nearly equi-distant from the dominions of the three Presidencies, rendered it necessary to keep up annually the most expensive system of precaution; notwithstanding which the provinces of our allies were perpetually overrun. În 1808, they entered Guzerat; in 1812, they devastated the Bengal provinces of Murzapoor and Shahabad, which for years had
been exempted from such a calamity. A principle of concert naturally grows up among those who are intent on a common object, although they may not yet be united under any single chieftain. Yet, had such a person arisen among them, they might have been modelled into the same description of force, that Timour and Zengis Khan had employed to desolate the Eastern world. They resembled the bands of Companions, that swarned all over Europe in the fourteenth century, and only wanted a leader of superior energy. At the same time, two chiefs, military adventurers of great enterprise and activity, had attained among the Patan tribe a fearful pre-eminence. For the Patans were a regular and efficient army, who extorted contributions from the weaker states by hovering around them, and not unfrequently by overrunning their territories. : Against the Pindarrees and these powers, we were forced into a coustant state of preparation; and it became the more requisite, when the death of the less active of the two leaders, placed Ameer-Khan at the head of a force amounting to 30,000 horse and foot, with artillery well manned and served.
In 1814, the strength of the Pindarrees exclusively was estimated at about 33,000 horse. Such was the anomalous and undefinable force that had grown up in the heart of India. Its leading feature was hostility to all regular governments, and we were obliged to keep up a constant vigilance along the whole south-western frontier of the Bengal presidency; while for the security of the Dekhan, the subsidiary forces of the Nizam and the Peishwah were obliged annually to move to the northern frontier of their territories. But, in spite of every precaution, they were frequently penetrated by this new enemy,-a moral pest in the bosom of our states, -an array of all the unsettled spirits of the empire against the well-being and repose of society. But it may elucidate the military part of the historical notice which we shall endeavour to lay before our readers, to give a rapid sketch of the political position of the several states and their disposition towards the British Government at the beginning of the year 1814.
We were connected by subsidiary alliance with five native powers ;-the Nizam at Hydrabad," the Peishwah at Poonab, the Gykwar in Guzerat, and the Rajahs of Mysore and Travancore.' We omit all mention of the nominal power of the Nabob of Oude,-a mere political pageant wholly subservient to the British Government. A subsidiary alliance is thus constituted. We stipulate to furnish a specific force to protect the country, and to maintain the political authority of the sovereign. subsidy equivalent to the expense of the force, is furnished by the state thus protected, generally not in money, but by territorial cessions. The states thus in alliance with us engage to discontinue all political negotiation with the other powers of India, unless in concert with ourselves; to submit all claims or controversies to our arbitration, and above all, that, in cases of exigency, the whole resources of the allies should be under vur command and direction. Of these, the Nizam was the most attached to the British Government, chiefly from a sense of weakness, and the conviction that he could not stand, if deprived of our protection. Not so the Peishwah. It was a hollow, insincere connexion, and the provident mind of Lord Wellesley had, so long ago as 1804, foreseen the rupture which, fourteen years afterwards, broke out between the British Government and Bajee Row. Over the three remaining powers, our ascendancy was firmly fixed. But there was another class of states under our protection, who paid no subsidy, and whom we were not under an obligation to protect by a specific force. These were the Rajah of Bhurtpoor, the Bundela chiefs, and the Sheikhs. The first of these viewed us with fear and distrust.
His whole conduct,' says Mr. Prinsep, has shewn him to be the most hostile in heart and disposition of all the princes of India. Feeling that his former success had made him the rallying point of disaffection from all quarters, he seemed evidently to court that dangerous pre-eminence, and to assume the attitude of one, that rather sought than avoided another occasion of trying his fortune against us.' Prinsep, p. 9.
The other protected chiefs were in general contented. But it would have been unreasonable to expect that so extended a system of alliance, composed of materials so various and discordant, should not be liable to constant interruption from the dispositions and caprices of the several members of the confederations. It required, therefore, the greatest forbearance towards all these different sentiments, and great providence and caution, to manage so vast a machine of policy with any kind of success.
With other states, we had no other connexion than that of amity. These were, the Scindiah, the Bhoosla, and the Holkar families. British residents were stationed at the courts of the former two; but the Holkar family did not require it, for, after the death of Jeswunt Row Holkar, the power which his personal ability had built up, was crumbling fast into decay. Up to 1814, the disposition of Scindiah was favourable. He found us punctual in our payment of the seven lack of rupees we had stipulated to pay both him and his chiefs; and feeling that as long as he abstained from the territories of our actual allies, we left him to pursue his own schemes of plugder or invasion within tbe limits from which he had withdrawn, he had been sensible of no restraints from our superiority. The state of Holkar's court was similar.—But still, amidst all this seeming concord, there was an unsoundness in the system; and its dissolution had been predicted by many, at the period when its foundations were first laid. For even before 1814, it had been manifest that the settlement of 1805, instead of having a tendency to wean the population of India from habits of military adventure, rather multiplied the inducements and the opportunities to engage in predatory warfare.
The minds of the authorities, at home, to whom Lord Hastings submitted the growing mischief of the Pindarrees, were not sufficiently on a level with the exigency. In Sep tember 1816, instructions arrived from England, authorizing him to expel them from the territory they had usurped in Mala wa and Saugor, and to enter into such negotiations with the neighbouring chieftains, as would prevent their re-establishment. The Marquis of Hastings saw the full extent of this portentous evil, and he saw also the remedies which it required.
• The evil,' says Lieut. White,' existed in the want of a supreme and controlling power, possessing a decided superiority in character and resources, which, interposing its authority, could organize a league of the different states, of whose confederation the primary object should be the preservation of the public tranquillity by uniting their efforts to crush the lawless banditii who were let loose upon society. 2ndly. The entire dislocation of political society in central India, the perpetual contests for dominion which it exhibited, rendered it necessary, that there should be some definite boundary which would restrain the pretensions of the rival parties; and by offering the guarantee of their respective possessions, and binding each member of the league to respect their mutual territories, there appeared a fair prospect of restoring tranquillity to these troubled regions. The commanding attitude of the British government naturally pointed it out as the only power which could organize the league, or which had sufficient authority to enforce the decrees of this Asiatic congress. Such were the views entertained by Lord Hastings, as in. dispensable to the erection of a permanent political system in central India. The breaking up of the Mussulman empire, and the decline of the power of the Scindiah and Holkar, had removed every efficient check, and rendered central India a vast theatre of anarchy and mis. rule. Possessing no government which could control the malignant and predatory character of its population, there existed an imperious call that Britain should step forward and protect the rights of out. raged humanity. White, pp. 215, 16.
We are disposed to concur in the wisdom of Lord Hastings's
policy. - Had the other plan been prosecuted, what would have resulted ? Driven ont of Malwa, they would have found an asylum with Holkah and Scindiah. The nature of the evil was such, that nothing short of its complete extirpation could be 'remedial of it. It was, therefore, announced to the Malratta states, that the period was arrived, when it was incumbent upon them either to join in the league for the extirpation of the common foe, or to incur the hostility of the British Government. It was also intimated to the independent states of Rajapootana and Bhopaul, that they would be included in the league, on the consideration of paying a moderate sum to the British Government, as the price of protection. But we confess that, according to our notions of political morality, there are some parts of the policy which are of ambiguous justice. Considering the avowed connexion between Scindiah and Holkar and the Pindarree leaders, it was not unjust that they should be called upon to unite in their suppression. The case, we think, was different with the other states. All compulsory aid is at best feebleness. It could be justified only on the principle that these powers could not withstand the Pindarrees, and that their resources would be employed against us. But this is improbable. The safety of the Pindarrees was in perpetual flight. They could not organize a systematic resistance. If they once hælted, they were lost.
The whole disposable force of the three Presidencies was ordered into the field, and presented a magnificent spectacle of British resources. Not fewer than 100,000 regular troops and 20,000 irregulars were destined to act against the Pindarrees. On the side of Hindostan, four divisions, under the personal command of Lord Hastings, were directed to act offensively, while two divisions were reserved for the protection of the frontier; four others were ready for operations on the Madras and Bombay frontier, and one was reserved for the defence of our territory. Advancing simultaneously and on an extended base, this powerful force was enabled to sweep the whole of Central India, to hem in the Pindarrees within the different divisions, and to render their destruction inevitable. On the 16th of October 1817, Lord Hastings assumed the command of the grand army, and immediately advanced against Scindiah's capital. This chieftain had not only manifested extreme reluctance to co-operate with the British, but had given support and encouragement to the Pindarrees. The appearance of a powerful British army compelled him to join the confederation; and he agreed to furnish 5000 horse, to be at the disposal of the British Government, and under the command of a British officer, in furtherance of the common