Obrázky na stránke

The best of the traditions and legends which her Ladyship has picked up and enthusiastically treated are too long for the space left us ; but the real and short story that follows ought to be not less acceptable :

" When we left Mrs. Carroll and the flute, we went into the next cabin, to visit a young woman who had lost her mother-in-law during our absence. We found her and her children in great poverty, and with scarcely any clothes to cover them. How comes it that you are in such rags ?' 'we inquired ;' what has become of all the good clothes that were given to the old woman shortly before she died !' • I never touched one of them,' answered the poor creature; 'I gave 'em away, flannels and all, to poor people, for the good of her soul, the very week she left me. I cannot tell you, my dear G-~, how touching was the beautiful though mistaken piety of this poor woman. There she stood, shivering under the piercing blast of a bitter winter's day; and as I looked at her, and saw the sacrifice she bad made, in giving away her mother's clothes, • for the good of her soul,' it was not without a pang of shame at my own luxurious self-indulgence. When had I foregone ease or convenience for the good of a fellow-creature's soul ?"

We must not leave the Emerald Isle on this occasion without having a glimpse of O'Connell's country residence and family mansion

“ Darrynane House," says Lady C., “is situated in a beautiful spot, facing the South, and overlooking a little bay, where the waves come rolling upon the smooth sands. The plantations near seem to thrive, well protected as they are from the Northern blast by a fine range of rocky heights. The house is an irregular pile of the building, having received various additions at different times: the interior is most comfortable, and affords the extensive accommodation which the hospitality of its landlord renders necessary. The drawing-room is a spacious apartment, on each side of which is a row of windows commanding beautiful views. It is well furnished, and adorned by a fine bust of the owner's daughter. The tables are covered with the latest pub. lications, and numerous good prints and caricatures. Near this room is the

full of well-chosen books. The walls of the dining-room are covered with family portraits; and on a slab at the end opposite the fireplace, are some old spear and hatchet heads, of a mixed metal, which were dug up not far from Darrynane. The next morning I took a delightful walk before breakfast on the sand-hills, at whose base the house is situated, and whose slope, covered with fine grass, forms the ground beyond the plantation. The view over the bay is beautiful : its fine sandy beach-the rocky mountain which forms its western boundary - the magnificent sea breaking in heavy billows against it—the indented shore of Darrynane-the islands at its entrance, and ocean beyond, create a splendid landscape."


Arr. XV. 1. Notes on the Relations of British India with some of the Countries

West of the Indus. London : Allen. 1839. 2. The Policy of the Government of British India, as Exhibited in

Official Documents. London: Allen. 1839. These two pamphlets have been most opportunely published. They, within a very narrow compass, in a plain and temperate manner, explain and defend the system of our India Government relative to the parties and the neighbours who have lately demonstrated that they cherish a desire to give us annoyance and to encroach upon our frontier, west of the Indus. From each of the publications also may be derived confidence and satisfaction with regard to our probably future relations in the quarter referred to.

The “ Notes" present a succinct and an unvarnished view of the position of the British Government in India with regard particu. larly to Affghanistan and Persia, according to facts and evidence as exhibited in Public and Parliamentary Documents, the author abridging, condensing, and commenting upon these authorities in such a way as to afford a clear and rapidly acquired conception of the question at issue ; so that he who inay have spent half an hour upon the pamphlet may rise from it competent to judge of the value of the statements, of late almost daily put forward, by one political party or another, in the newspapers and in Parliament, on the subject referred to, and which, as it deserves to be, is so eagerly and anxiously canvassed at present.

The author of the “ Notes” argues distinctly and briefly, that the only effectual mode of meeting the impending danger, which, in fact, is only to be dreaded from Russia acting through Persia, Affghanistan &c., is by re-establishing Shoojah-ool-Moolk as sovereign of the Affghans, the policy at present actually aimed at ; and thus to erect and maintain a powerful barrier against all aggression of our Eastern Empire on that side. It is clearly pointed out, we think, that the time has arrived when Affghanistan must either be subjected to the influence of Russia, or of Great Britain ; and also that our cause is good and honourable, our prospects still promising and encouraging, while the past conduct of Persia is shown to have been shuffling; she was the first to violate international treaties with us; and the present aspect of her policy towards our India Govern. ment is insincere and hostile.

The author of the second of these pamphlets does not dwell at any length upon the policy pursued by the government of India in past times, as bearing upon the present threatened and disturbed state of the country on our western frontier; nor does he consecutively trace, as does the precediug writer, the history in recent times of our

relations of amity and alliance with Persia. True, he distinctly recognises the fact of the policy of our Indian government, which has lately been more fully than ever developing itself, having for a series of years been in progress ; but it is chiefly to the facts attending the manner of this latter development that he has addressed himself in the course of his convincing and satisfactory pages.

We must refer those of our readers who are unacquainted with the geographical positions of the frontier countries already alluded to, and with the character and history of the various turbulent and hostile Asiatic powers and tribes there situated, to the sketches and notices in the concise publications before us,ếour purpose being to point out where such information is most readily to be found as ought to allay part of the anxiety and satisfy some of the interest created by the late and present policy of our Indian Government, relative to these Asiatic countries, powers, and tribes : for it turns out that Lord Auckland has neither been so unmindful of his not less than regal duties, nor so incompetent, nor so indolent, as has been, down to a very late date, boldly alleged and pertinaciously repeated by political enemies on this head. To prove what we assert, the documents and papers which appear in the second of the present publications, and which have been extracted from the mass recently laid before Parliament, must be quite sufficient wherever there is an unbiassed mind. Two or three of these state papers we shall now lay before our readers.

That the policy pursued by the Government of India has been merely to avert, by moderate and pacific measures, the danger that has been for some time threatening the north and north-west frontiers of our eastern empire, will be seen in the instructions given to Mr. Macnaghten, on undertaking a mission on which he is at present engaged. He is thus addressed by order of the Governor. general, from Simla, on the 15th of May last :

discussion upon

the present policy of the Indian Government, you may remark that the Governor-general has no appetite for wars and conquest; that the boundaries of the Eastern Indian Empire have seemed to him to be amply extensive; and that he would rather conquer the jungle with the plough, plant villages where tigers bave possession, and spread commerce and navigation upon waters which have hitherto been barren, than take one inch of territory from his neighbours, or sanction the march of armies for the acquisition of kingdoms; yet that he feels strong in military means, and that with an army of 100,000 men under European officers, in Bengal, and with 100,000 more, whom he might call to his aid from Madras and Bombay, he can with ease repel every aggression, and punish every enemy; yet he looks on this army only as a security for peace, and as an instrument of preserving in their integrity the present territories and the dignity of the East-India Company. Papers laid before the House of Commons by her Majesty's Command, No. 4, p. 6."


From the same place Lord Auckland thus writes to the Secret Committee of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, on the 13th of April, 1838.

“I need not enlarge on the additional proofs which have been furnished, since the date of my former despatches, of the Russian Officers to extend the interference and authority of their country to the borders of India. The opposition of the Russian Ambassador before Herat, by which the efforts of Mr. M.Neill to arrange a peace upon just and reasonable terms, between the Shah and the besieged, were wholly frustrated, when they seemed on the point of being effectual; the aid given by the Russian Ambassador to the siege by advance of money; and still more, the employment of an officer of the mission to direct the works of the siege, are facts which will have forcibly arrested the attention of your Committee.-- Papers, No. 4, p. 8."

There is now no reason at all for believing that Russia was not closely watched by the authorities in our Eastern empire ; nor, we are persuaded, will any other sober judgment be pronounced upon the Governor General's policy in relation to the subject before us, than that it was sound, his measures prompt, and his efforts successful. But the same gratifying assurance, it is to be feared, cannot be obtained of our Home Government's early vigilance and obstructions ; neither are we yet aware of our ambassadors at the court of St. Petersburg having been otherwise for a long time than cajoled and deceived by the grasping Emperor. However, to return to the East, the papers laid on the tables of Parliament amply establish, not only that the Russian agents have been entertaining manifest designs to extend the interference of their country to the borders of India, but that these designs were put into actual operation. Rus. sian intrigue has been successful in Persia, in Herat and Affghanistan to excite hostilities against the British. Dispatches from Sir A. Burnes describe the proceedings of Captain Vickovitch, a Russian emissary at Caubul, whither he had been sent with letters from the Shah of Persia, and from the Russian ambassador at the court of Persia, Count Simonich. Captain Burnes also discovered that the emissary took a list of “ Russian rarities' as well as letters intended for Dost Mohammed. Assurances to the following effect were offered likewise by the active Vikovitch, viz., that

“ The Russian Government had desired him to state his sincere sympathy with the difficulties under which he laboured; and that it would afford it great pleasure to assist him in repelling the attacks of Runjeet Sing on his dominions; that it was ready to furnish him with a sum of money for the purpose, and to continue the supply annually, expecting in return the Ameer's good offices. That it was in its power to forward the pecuniary assistance as far as Bukhara, with which state it had friendly and cominercial relations; but that the Ameer must arrange for its being forwarded on to Caubul. The agent stated that this was the principal object of his mission; but that there were other matters which he would state by and by; that he hoped the Ameer would give him a speedy answer to dispatch to St. Petersburg, and that with reference to himself, he would go if dismissed, along with it, though he gave the Ameer to understand (and under which impression he still continues), that it is his wish to remain, at least for a time, in Caubul.- Papers, No. 6, p. 7."

It was on having full information of these and similar intrigues that Lord Auckland resolved to strike the first blow; and accordingly he commenced the expedition against Affghanistan, and the measures to frustrate the designs of Persia, or rather of Russia at Herat, the particulars and immediate issue of which have months ago been sufficiently published. The British government at home began also to put questions to the court of St. Petersburg. Towards the close of the last year, says the pamphlet before us,

“ Viscount Palmerston transmitted to the Marquis of Clanricarde, her Britannic Majesty's Ambassador there, the draft of a note to be presented to Count Nesselrode. It adverted to the confirmation of the interference of Count Simonich to excite Persia against Herat; to the advance by that nobleman of large pecuniary assistance for the same ends ; to the proceedings before Herat; to some alleged intimations given to the Shah by Count Simonich, of the intended movement of a Russian arny upon Khiva and Bokhara; to the treaty with Candahar; to the mission of M. Vikovitch; to the contemplated interference in Lahore ; to the language regarding the English held by Count Simonich to the Agent of Dost Mohammed Khan."

Nor did the Russian government refuse to give explanations in two dispatches, the one communicated on the 11th of November, 1838, the other on the 25th of March of the present year. Our author's account of these documents, and his remarks upon them, we now quote :

The Russian Government disclaims the idea of assailing the British power in India, because such a design would be neither just nor possible. On this it may be observed, that the justice of the attempt was never in question, and that on the possibility of success authorities have differed. The British Government, however, could only judge of the intentions of Russia by its acts, and the acts of its agents. These, it is tacitly admitted, afforded ground for offence and alarm, for the Russian agents are withdrawn, and their acts discredited. Count Simonich is replaced by General Duhamel. It is said, indeed, that this appointment had been made several months, but a Government so well versed in diplomacy as that of Russia, will never be without a succession of servants, ready to replace those whose removal has from any cause become desirable. The treaty with Candahar is abandoned, the Emperor refusing to ratify it, and M. Vickovitch is recalled from Affghanistan. Why this surrender of men and

« PredošláPokračovať »