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think the Commander-in-Chief has serve the East India Company for power to decide it.” Another Scotch- twelve or fourteen years, provided man, on the opposite page, says, “I the East India Company should so am not agreeable to soldier under long require my services. Now, the her Majesty, as I was not sworn in East India Company, so far as refor it; that's my reason.” An Irish- gards me, has ceased to exist; and man, next on the list, says, “I've as there is now no Company, they nothing more to say, sir, than that I cannot require my services any enlisted for the Honourable East longer ; therefore, legally, my conIndia Company, for ten or twelve tract is void, and I am a free man. years, so long as they required my 2. Some have brought forward my services, and now they are done oath of allegiance as argument against away with, I think I'm entitled to me. Now, it is well known that my discharge. I only want my dis- that oath is supposed to be taken by charge, and don't want to re-enlist. every one of her Majesty's subjects, I enlisted for the Company only, and that no man can obtain a situaand not for any corps in her Ma- tion under Government without dojesty's service. An Englishman, ing so. 3. If the oath of allegiance whose answer appears on the same has power to keep me in my present page, says, “I enlisted for the Hon- situation, why does it not form part ourable Company for ten years, pro- of my attestation ? but it is only vided they so long required my ser- mentioned in the deposition made by vices. I understand the Company the magistrate; consequently, as it
no more, and I consider does not form part of my attestation, myself a free man. I wish for my it does not bind me in any way discharge, and to give up soldiering. further than serving her Majesty I swore to serve the East India Com- loyally, being one of her subjects. pany, and to be true to her Majesty, We hardly think, however, that this her heirs, and successors, as a civil more formal and methodical stato subject ”- the distinction, doubtless, ment of the case is any improvement of an intelligent man, who under- upon the simple unpremeditated logic stood the oath he had taken, and quoted above. who could not readily be persuaded But whether premeditated or unthat because he had sworn to be true premeditated, there is nothing disro to the Queen, he had sworn to serve spectful in all this. The majority of her as a soldier.*
the men did not mean to be disreThese are fair specimens of the spectful, and were not at all dis plain, unsophisticated logic of gun- affected. They simply stood out, ners and privates of the old Com- not merely for what they conceived pany's army. But their protests, as to be their rights, but what actually we have said, were sometimes put were their rights. There appears, forth in a more lawyer-like shape. however, in some cases, to have been Many artillerymen, for example, re- a vague idea of playing at mutineers presented the case according to the on a larger scale. There are always following formula :-“I distinctly some foolish, ill-conditioned men in understood, when I agreed to serve a regiment, ready to avail themselves the East India Company, that when of any opportunity that may arise that Company should cease to hold for a row, and not overburdened power in India (as it has done with any scruples of loyalty or conby an Act of Parliament passed in science. It would have been mar1858), its claim upon me also ceased, vellous indeed, if, at such a time, and therefore I beg to submit the there had not been some treasonable following arguments in my behalf: correspondence, for the period which 1. In my attestation I agreed to succeeds one of active and exciting
See also a demi-official letter, at page 749 of the printed papers, from Lieut.General Beresford to Sir Patrick Grant, in which the former officer narrates a conversation which he held with a man of the Madras Fusiliers—"a Scotchman, of better family than soldiers generally are, and well educated”-who appears, at some length, to have enunciated the same view, and supported it with a good deal of argumentative dexterity.
service is always a dangerous crisis are too apt to make. They forget in the discipline of an army. A few that large bodies of men are only so foolish letters were written about many individuals, with like passions combination, and some senseless, and appetences and reasoning powers perhaps drunken fellows, scribbled as themselves, and treat them in the here and there upon the walls some concrete as though they were vast nonsense about marching “to Delhi.” machines. A well-judged, assuring But we do not believe that there speech on parade-a good dinnerwere half-a-dozen men among the a few fireworks—and the promise of 80-called “mutineers” who had any a year or two's service to count tosober, serious intention of doing any- wards their time of pension-would thing of the kind. They all, however, have made everything run smoothly, declared, very soberly and seriously, and every troop and company in the that they had no desire to serve the service would have given three lusty Queen.
cheers for the Queen. Now, it would be almost as absurd We have dwelt upon this story of to declare that these men had any the great strike of the Company's especial feelings of loyalty and venera- European army at greater length tion towards the Company, as it was to than we had intended, or than its predict at the time of the transfer that intrinsic importance would warrant, every man, woman, and child, under because it has been put forward as that great corporation, would shout the proximate cause of the contemthemselves hoarse with delight at the plated abolition of the local service. thought of a more immediate con- The argument, we believe, is, that a nection with the Crown. The majo- local army is not likely to be as loyal rity, we believe, simply resented the and as well - disciplined as a line abstract notion of an enforced trans- army, and that this fact has been fer from one authority to another. clearly demonstrated by the recent Some had an obscure idea that they revolt. There are some who have were condemned by this transfer to thought it necessary, in support of the forfeiture of certain acquired this argument, to descant upon the rights ; and others, doubtless, re- general deficiencies of the old Comgarded what might be the practical pany's European force. It has been inconveniences of the change. They said that the local army of India has had enlisted for service in India, and shown itself to be so wanting in disthey apprehended that, once trans- cipline, that it may be fairly proferred to her Majesty's service, they nounced to have signed its own deathmight be compelled" to soldier” in warrant. “Give a dog a bad name England, -an important considera- -and hang him." The dog is to be tion, especially to those who had hanged; so a bad name must be enlisted for the express purpose of found for him. But it was not found leaving the country, and hiding that he was so very bad a dog when themselves in a foreign land. Ali he was flying at the throat of the these things would have been per- Bengal tiger-when Neill was crying fectly clear and intelligible without havoc, and letting him slip at the the aid of three great Blue-books to enemy, gorged with European blood. demonstrate it on the authority of The magnificent achievements of the the soldiers themselves. But the Indian artillery, for a century past, authorities in India do not appear,
are sufficient to make the reputation until too late, to have understood the of any service in the world. When situation. A little timely explana- the Bengal artillery and the Royal tion-a trifling concession at the artillery worked together, in generous outset, and the old soldiers of the emulation, under Lord Clyde, did the Company would have become the great Indian hero, who has just reloyal servants of the Queen. But turned to sun his laurels amongst us, too much heed was given to the draw any distinctions uufavourable councils of high functionaries, who to the former ? Did Napier and Harknew more about laws than about dinge, who had served with both, men, and who consulted Advocates- draw any such distinctions ? No: . General instead of their own hearts. they were delighted to declare, on
This is a mistake which statesmen every possible occasion, that the Ben
gal artillery was unsurpassed by any Captain Eastwick, and other great in the world. This complaint of want Indian authorities, would have alof discipline has never been alleged ready decided it. But, as it is, we before. It has been trumped up now cannot hope that they will affect the for the occasion. Some, we believe, eventual result any more than the have endeavoured to fix its paternity last new song or the last bon-mot in on Lord Clyde. But that eminent Punch. soldier, in his farewell address to the But we believe that, if they were Indian army, dwelt emphatically only read, they would extensively upon the good discipline of both ser- influence public opinion. Mr Wilvices--the line and the local army- loughby's elaborate dissent may, in. and we have too high an opinion of deed, almost be said to exhaust the him to believe that he keeps a voca- subject. We cannot hope, and therebulary of praise only for such public fore we shall not attempt to give, in occasions.
the limited space at our disposal, a But however ill-founded the charge satisfactory account of the long array against it may be, it is certain that of arguments which it contains. We the doom of the local army is sealed. may state, however, that it satisAs we write, a bill is before Parlia- factorily demonstrates that the proment for the suspension of enlist- posed system will be more costly and ments for such service. As with less effective than the old; that India, well-nigh all Indian measures, public whilst it pays for the maintenance of discussion is not invited until the large bodies of Imperial troops, will session is nearly at an end, and then only have a partial control over their legislation is hurried through in a services, and that when at any time most unseemly manner. Every mem- those services are required in Euber of Parliament cares for his holi- rope, Imperial interests are sure to days, but every member of Parlia- be regarded, to the entire exclusion ment does not care for the Indian of all considerations connected with army. We would have wished, the welfare of India ; that an efficient therefore, that the subject had been European army in India is less likely discussed at an earlier period. It to be maintained by a system of remay be fairly doubted, indeed, whe- liefs than by the permanent residence ther, in its present poverty of infor- in the country of local forces, because mation, Parliament is in a fit state the sanitary condition of seasoned for the discussion of so important a troops is always superior to that of question. Some think that before new-comers; that the destruction the question is decided, we ought to of the local European establishment know the terms and conditions under will lower the character and affect which the amalgamation is to take the morale of the native army; that place. Others are of opinion that, the transfer of the controlling authountil the relative powers of the Secre- rity to the Horse-Guards will lower tary of State for India and his Coun- the influence and the prestige of the cil are determined, the discussion governments of India, will remove ought not to proceed. These are, nearly all the existing checks on the doubtless, important considerations, abuse of patronage, and fatally affect against which are to be arrayed the the general military administration extreme disadvantages of that con- of India, which demands more untinued incertitude, which already is divided attention and more local exsapping the morale of the Indian perience than the Commander-inarmy. This evil is so certain and so Chief or the Secretary-at-War can great, that it is hardly to be balanced bestow upon it ; and, above all, that by any problematical benefit that neither the officers nor the men of a may arise from a more leisurely con- line army are likely to have the same sideration of the question. It is per- knowledge of, or the same kindly fectly plain that the decision of that feelings towards, the natives of the question is not to be determined by country, as those who look to India mere force of argument. If it were, as their home, instead of regarding the published minutes of Sir John themselves as mere birds of passage. Lawrence, Sir James Outram,
Colonel These and other considerations Durand, Mr Willoughby, Mr Prinsep, are emphatically urged by Mr Willoughby, and supported with a wealth the absence of a certain number of of argument and illustration which officers at a time, and if that number leaves little new to be said upon the is not exceeded, no great harm is done subject. We have always thought after all. The regimental training that the objection which we have is decidedly advantageous; and it placed last in the above list, is the appears now to be the opinion of most vital of all, because it affects some highly competent authorities not only the military service of India, that many European officers are not but the entire administration of the wanted with native regiments, and country, and our general relations that the Irregular system is the best. with the people. Every one knows When a regiment is on service, more that hitherto many of the most im- officers may be required; but then portant administrative and diplo- the rules of the service, no less than matic offices have been held by practice and inclination, provide that soldiers nurtured and trained in the officers on Staff employ should rebosom of the Company's army; who join their respective corps.
We have looked upon India as the home have seen, to our astonishment, some of their adoption, and had no thought statements to the contrary; and it of distinction on any other theatre of has even been said that when in action. This system of employing a England we hear so much, on the large number of military officers on sudden breaking out of war, of offiextra - regimental duties may have cers rushing back to join their regihad some concomitant evils; but we ment, the movement only indicates incline to think that they have been that a certain number of officers are greatly overrated. MrT. G. Baring, rushing back to join lucrative apUnder-Secretary of State for India, pointments on the Statl. But this put the case in a clever and telling is not, and, we may add, never has manner, when he said, in the course been the case. During the Indian of the debate on the second reading mutiny, we believe that every officer of Sir Charles Wood's Bill—“Let was at the post where his services honourable members for a moment were most required. It was so sudimagine a regiment_of British in- den, and so disastrous in its suddenfantry quartered at Portsmouth, its ness, that officers could not rejoin major being governor of the Isle of their regiments before they heard Man, its senior captain master of that their comrades had been shot Westminster School, another of its down, and their sepoys marched off officers at the head of the Irish Con- for Delhi. And assuredly they were stabulary, a fourth negotiating the of more service to their country at commercial treaty in Paris, a fifth a the court of a native prince, keeping major of militia, à sixth employed in him true to his allegiance, or prethe construction of the Caledonian serving by their influence and authoCanal, and a seventh engaged in rity a whole district in peace and superintending the construction of a tranquillity, than by going to their harbour in Galway, and they would regiments to be shot like dogs. But have some idea of the way in which this crisis of the Indian mutiny was European officers were employed in altogether of an exceptional chaIndia previous to the mutiny." Per- racter. Who, with any knowledge haps, considering the multifarious and experience, doubts that when the duties in which officers of the Indian war in Affghanistan commencedarmy are employed, the analogy is we cannot say " broke out,” for it not much overstrained. But it might was deliberately undertaken- offihave been replied, that if the estab- cers threw up their Staff appointlishment of officers nominally attached ments and rushed back eagerly to to a regiment is calculated upon a their corps ?* Who doubts that numerical scale intended to admit of they did the same when war with
“There was not an officer in the army who did not long to join the invading force ; and many from the distant presidency, or from remote provincial stations, leaving the quiet Staff appointments, which had lapped them so long in ease and luxury, rushed upwards to join their regiments.”—-Kaye's History of the War in Afghanistan.
China was declared, and when the scrambled for by line officers, the Sikhs invaded our borders ? We same number of Malcolms, Mudros, can conceive, indeed, nothing more and Lawrences will come to the unjust than an imputation of this front. kind levelled against the officers
Are we to believe that anything of the Company's army, who have but the feeling that India is their since the days of Clive, like that legitimate sphere of action, can keep great hero, been “immoderately ad- men up to this high mark? Are dicted to fighting,” and have never mere strangers and pilgrims, who shrunk from it when they have had vote India a bore, and are eager to a chance.
abridge their period of exile as much But if this system has some in. as possible, likely to run the risks herent defects, surely they are not and to incur the sacrifices by which to be remedied in the manner pro- alone we are enabled to do great posed. The real question to be de- things? Mr Baring, whose speech termined is, how we are to improve we have already quoted, pointed out the existing military system without the fine field of action which lies injury to the general administration open to the enterprise of Great of the country. What we want to Britain, and spoke of the independo is to keep India without fighting dent achievements of young men for it; but if any large number of like Eldred Pottinger, Herbert Edcivil and political appointments are wardes, and Willoughby Osborne. placed in the hands of men of slight But all that he said on this subject Oriental training, and with no Ori- sounded to us like an eloquent proental sympathies, we may be sure test against the abolition of that local that ere long we shall be fighting for service, which has given us these India instead of governing in peace. young heroes. It was the old system Nothing struck Mr Wilson more, on that made these men-that made a his first arrival in India, than the succession of such men—and why difference between the line and the should we seek to change it? They local officers in respect of their treat- went out to India with no interestment of the natives of the country. with no recommendations beyond Newcomers are almost always their own personal character. They haughty, insolent, and even cruel, made their way to the front rank by towards the natives, and the officers their own heroic exertions, fostered of line regiments have, hitherto, by a system which throws no cold rarely become more considerate to- shade over the maply efforts of the wards them throughout the whole middle classes. Will men appointed period of their residence in India. to line regiments in England, taking Looking upon themselves as mere their tour of duty in India, ever birds of passage, they take little in- have the same generous ambition to terest in the people, and are seldom distinguish themselves in wild scenes at the pains to study and to un- of Indian adventure ? An Indian derstand their character and feel- career may be regarded by them as ings. Any enlarged sympathy with a chapter in varied life; but it will
Blackey is held to be a disre- not fill the book of their lives; it putable weakness. But men who will not be a whole, but a part; and feel that their lot is cast in India, as such, will never develop the same that Indian administration is in some energies or incite to the same pershape or other the profession of their sistent action. This may be said to lives, who have no hankering after be mere conjecture, but it is conjecthe 'clubs of St James's and the ture based upon experience. salons of Belgravia, deem it no This is the Indian view of the weakness to sympathise with the question ; but it is probable that feelings of the natives, and to study there are many of our readers who their languages, their customs, and will be more inclined to take an their institutions. The Indian army English view of it, and to consider has never yet been wanting in first- the immense power which all this rate administrators and diplomatists. increase of patronage will confer But we do not feel quite so sure that, upon the Government of the day. when appointments of this kind are If it be intended, as we conclude,