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tent judge and unbiassed opponent, that in these and CHAP. Marquis Wellesley's despatches is to be sought the whole materials both of history and information on our Eastern dominions. All the features of Lord Wellesley's admin- 1 Lord istration are to be found in them chalked out with pro- Eding the phetic wisdom, even before that illustrious man left the view, No. British shores. The true principles of colonial government are there developed with a master's hand and a statesman's wisdom ; all the subsequent measures of the governor-general obtained the cordial support of this able auxiliary in the British cabinet. It may safely be affirmed, that if England ever lose the empire of the seas, it will be from departing from his maxims in the management of the navy; if she is stripped of her Indian empire, from forgetting his principles of colonial administration.*
The general objects of Marquis Wellesley's policy are clearly pointed out in his letters from the Cape of Good Lord WelHope, in February 1798, to Lord Melville ; a series of objects of state papers drawn up before he had set foot in India, policy, and which will bear comparison with any in the world for ception of
the necessity sound and enlarged views of complicated politics. He at of war. once perceived that the advantages of the triple alliance against Tippoo Sultaun, and the consideration acquired by the glorious victory of Lord Cornwallis before Seringa
"It is of the last importance to keep up the means of a large importation from India ; not only from the encouragement it affords to the navigation and shipping of the kingdom, and the addition which it makes annually to the wealth and capital of the country, and being a fruitful source of revenue, but its necessity as immediately connected with the prosperity of our Indian provinces. It is to the increased exports from India to Europe that we are to attribute the increase of Indian prosperity, industry, population, and revenue ; and the manufacturers of that country would immediately be reduced to a deplorable state, if any check were ever given to their annual exports to this country.”— LORD MELVILLE to LORD WELLESLEY, August 1799 ; Wel. Desp. ii. 102. It is on this principle, a fair reciprocity of advantages, that all really wise colonial administration must be founded, and by it alone that such distant possessions can be permanently preserved; but how different is this view from the sacrifice of all colonial interests to cheap purchasing by the mother state, which, under the free-trade system, has almost exclusively regulated our policy for the last fifteen years ! VOL. VIII.
Feb. 28, 1798, i. 1,
CHAP. patam, had been in a great measure lost by the timid
policy of the succeeding administration ; and therefore the first object of his endeavours was to recover the ascendancy which had been so unhappily impaired, and take measures against the powers which had risen after its overthrow. The destruction of the French subsidiary force at Hyderabad, and restoration of our influence at the court of the Nizam; the arrangement by mediation of the differences among the Mahratta powers; the renewal
of the league which was to prove a counterpoise to the 1 Wel. Desp. ascendancy of Tippoo ; and the isolation of bis territories,
if hostilities became unavoidable, from the coast, so as to Melville,
detach him from French intrigue or co-operation, were 34, 81, 91. the objects which presented themselves to his mind, not
so much as steps to power as essentials to existence.1
No sooner had he landed in India than he perceived that the open alliance of Tippoo with the French, joined
to the success of their expedition to Egypt, and the and military increase to their influence among the native powers which
Napoleon's victories had produced, rendered an early hostilities. attack on the Mysore chief indispensable.* Had he
possessed the means, he would immediately have commenced hostilities, as at that time the Sultaun's preparations were not fully completed ; but unfortunately the state of the government finances and military establishment at Madras, where the principal efforts required to be made, rendered that altogether impracticable. So
17. He is unable, from financial
to commence immediato
* Sir Thomas Munro, one of the ablest men that Great Britain ever produced, or India developed, was of the same opinion at this period. "Men read books,” says he, “and because they find all warlike nations have had their downfall, they declaim against conquest as not only dangerous but unprofitable ; but there are times and situations where conquest not only brings a revenue greatly beyond its expenses, but also additional security. Let us advance to the Kistna ; we shall triple our revenue, our barrier will then be both stronger and shorter. The dissensions and revolutions of the native governments will point out the time when it is proper for us to become actors. While Tippoo's power exists, we shall be perpetually in of what we have.”-SIR Thos. Munro to Earl OF MORNINGTON, June 7, 1798; Munro's Memoirs, i. 234 ; and AUBER, ii. 174.
low had the credit of the Company fallen at that presi- CHAP.
XLIX. dency, that their eight per cent paper had sunk to a dis
1798. count of eighteen or twenty per cent; the finances, both there and at Bombay, were completely exhausted ; the present deficit was eighteen lacs of pagodas (£480,000); bills designed to supply the want of specie had multiplied so much that they had become alarmingly depreciated ; only fourteen thousand men of all arms could be drawn together for the attack on Tippoo ; a war was pronounced impracticable without at least six months' preparation ; the frontier fortresses were without provisions, the army without stores, equipment, or transport train ; and, so far from being in a condition to equip it for the field, the government had hardly the means of moving it from Madras to the Mysore territory. These evils were also felt, though in a lesser degree, at Cal-Mem. of cutta ; the general treasury was drained by the inces- government, sant demands of their sister presidencies, and that general Wellesley's despondency prevailed which is so often both the fore- 79,191
Desp. i. 72, runner and the cause of national disaster.1* But it soon appeared how powerful is the influence of
. a gifted and magnanimous mind upon national fortunes, Rapid efif called into action at a time when the heart of the
fect of Lord
Wellesley's nation is sound, and those symptoms of debility have administraarisen, not from the decline of public virtue, but from the proving timidity or misdirection of those who have been placed at the head of affairs. Many months had not elapsed before Lord Wellesley had communicated the impress of
“ Tippoo Sultaun having manifested,” said Lord Wellesley, “the most hostile dispositions towards us; he possesses an army of which a considerable portion is in a state of readiness; he has increased the number of his French officers; and he may receive further assistance from the corps commanded by French officers in the service of the Nizam, of Scindiah, and many other native powers. He may be assisted by the invasion of Zemaun Shah, and by the direct co-operation of Scindiah. On the other hand, our protecting force on the coast of Coromandel cannot be put in motion within a shorter space than six months, even for the purpose of defending the Carnatic; our allies, meanwhile, are utterly unable to fulfil their defensive engagements towards us—the Peishwa being depressed and kept in check by the invasion of Scindiah, and the Nizam by the vicinity of that chieftain's army, and the overbearing influence
CHAP. his zeal and energy to every branch of the public serXLIX.
vice. Disregarding altogether the sinister forebodings and gloomy representations of the Madras government, he laboured assiduously to augment the military force and restore the financial resources of that important part of our Eastern dominions : by never yielding to difficulties, he soon found none; by boldly assuming the lead in diplomacy, he speedily acquired the command. The intrepid no longer feared to discharge their duty ; they were sure that, if honestly performed, they would be supported. All classes, both at home and abroad, rapidly discovered the character of the man with whom they were now brought in contact. British patriotism was roused by the clear indications, which were afforded, of capacity at the head of affairs ; Asiatic hostility sank before the ascendant of European talent, Indian jealousy before the force of English courage. The army was rapidly augmented; the frontier fortresses were armed and victualled ; the bullock service and commissariat put on a respectable footing; a powerful battering train was collected at Madras ; voluntary subscriptions,
on a magnificent scale, at all the three presidencies, Sept. 1, bespoke at once the public spirit and opulence of the 1798.
inhabitants ; corps of European volunteers were formed, and soon acquired a great degree of efficiency ; while a subsidiary treaty, concluded with the Nizam in the beginning of September, restored the British influence at the court of Hyderabad, and gave public proof of the renewal of British influence among the native powers. As of an army commanded by French officers, and established in the centre of the Deccan. While we remain in this situation, without a soldier prepared to take the field in the Carnatic, or an ally to assist our operations in the event of an attack from Tippoo, we leave the fate of the Carnatic to the discretion of Tippoo; we suffer the cause of France to acquire hourly accessions of strength in every quarter of India ; we abandon our allies, the Nizam and the Peishwa, to the mercy of Scindiah and Tippoo, in conjunction with the French ; and we leave to France the ready means of obtaining a large territorial revenue, and a permanent establishment in the Deccan, founded upon the destruction of our alliances." -Minute of the Governor-general, Aug. 1798; WELLESLEY'S Despatches, i. 191, 192.
usual, however, these vigorous measures were not adopted, CHAP. without exciting the usual amount of dismay and conster
1798. nation among that class, numerous in all countries, whose only resource on the approach of danger is to deny its existence. Mr Weber, the secretary of the government, and General Harris, the commander-in-chief of the army ii. 226, and
Desp. of Coromandel, were equally loud in their condemnations i. 355. Auof Lord Wellesley's measures ; and the former contem- Pearce's
Wellesley, plated nothing less than the impeachment of the governor- i. 202. general for his temerity."
The first vigorous stroke was directed against the French subsidiary force, now fourteen thousand strong, Successful which had so long exercised a domineering influence at the French the court of the Nizam. Fortunately for the interests forces at of England, the same overbearing character which has in Hyderabad. every age made the permanent rule of the French insup- Atlas, portable to a vanquished people, had already manifested Plate 47. itself; and the Nizam, now reposing confidence in the support of the English government, had become exceedingly desirous of ridding himself of his obnoxious defenders. By the new treaty of Hyderabad, the British subsidiary troops, formerly two thousand, were to be augmented to six thousand men ; and they were placed under the direction of Colonel Kirkpatrick, an officer whose skill and prudence were equal to the difficult and important task committed to his charge. The increased force entered the Nizam's territories in the beginning of October, reached his capital on the 10th, joined a large body of the Nizam's horse, and surrounded the French camp on
“I can anticipate nothing but shocking disasters from a premature attack upon Tippoo in our present disabled condition, and the impeachment of Lord Mornington for his temerity.” Mr Weber's words.—PEARCE's Life of Wel. lesley, i. 203. " Tippoo's inveteracy at us will only end with his life, and he will always seize any opportunity that may occur to annoy us. standing this, and that the political circumstances of India are now much in our favour, it perhaps still remains a matter of serious consideration, whather, in our very great want of cash, and the effect our going to war in this country must have on the affairs of Europe, it would not be better to let him make the amende honorable if so inclined, than that we should avail ourselves of the error he has run into to punish him for his insolence. An attack