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that the lovers of implicit obedience could desire, can we make the plunderer renounce his love of plunder—the vanquished forgive his conqueror-or the faithless maintain his engagements? To us the progress of our power in India appears, in a great degree, to be the triumph of civilization and knowledge, over rudeness and iguorance. States whose territories adjoin, whose subjects are the same in language and manners, and who are governed on such opposite principles, cannot avoid collision; and the English have always been in a situation in India that forbade any compromise of a power, the peculiar character of which has required a constant accession to that impression of superiority upon which its existence depends. This principle, or rather necessity of action, for such it would appear, has propelled us forward, till our empire bas attained its present magnitude, and we contemplate with equal astonishment and awe, the political phenomenon of a few strangers, whose ships have conveyed them from a distant island in Europe, exercising sovereign sway over 400,000 square miles of the finest part of the continent of Asia, and claiming as their indefeasible right, the allegiance of fifty millions of the inhabitants of that quarter of the globe.

One of the principal means by which this extensive conquest has been made, and the one to which we must chiefly trust for its defence, is the Native army of the East India Company, which at present exceeds 150,000 effective men. The work before us gives the best account we have met with, of the origin and formation of that part of this great army, which more particularly belongs to Bengal ;-but we have made it our duty to seek other sources of information, that we may be able to take the most comprehensive view of a subject so vital to our eastern empire : we shall endeavour to trace the progress of the Native troops at Madras and Bombay, before we examine the facts brought before us by Captain Williams; a combined view of the whole may suggest somo reflections on the means which appear best calculated to maintain the efficiency, and preserve the attachment of the Indian army.

Though Bombay was the first possession which the English obtained in the east, the establishment on that island was for a very long period on too limited a scale to maintain more than its European garrison, and a few companies of disciplined sepoys. On the coast of Coromandel, which became towards the middle of the last century a scene of warfare between the English and French, who mutually aided and received support from the princes of that quarter, the natives of India were first instructed in European discipline. During the siege of Madras, which took place in A.D. 1746, a number of peons, a species of irregular infantry armed with swords and spears, or matchlocks, were enlisted for the occasion; to those some English officers were attached, among whom a young gentleman of the civil service, of the name of Haliburton, was the most distinguished. This gentleman, who had been rewarded with the commission of a lieutenant, was employed in the ensuing year in training a small corps of natives in the European manner; he did not, however, live to perfect that system which he appears to have tirst introduced into the Madras service.

• It was by one of our own sepoys,' (the Council of Fort St. David observe, in a dispatch dated the 2d September, 1748, in which they pass an eulogium on the character of Nir. Haliburton.) that he had the misfortune to be killed, who shot him upon his reprimanding him for some offence; the poor gentleman (they add) died next day, and the villain did not live so long, for his comrades that stood by, cut him to pieces immediately.'

It appears from other authorities, that the first sepoys who were raised by the English, were either Mahomedans, or Hindoos of very high cast, being chiefly rajpoots; and the event we have related marked the two strongest feelings of the minds of these classes, resentment for real or supposed injury, and attachment to their leader. The name of Mr. Haliburton was long cherished by the Madras native troops,--and about twenty years ago, on an examination of old grants, some veterans, wearing medals, appeared, as claimants, who called themselves Saheb Ra Sepoy, or Haliburton's soldiers. One of the first services on which the regular sepoys of Madras were employed, was the defence of Arcot, A.D. 1751. The particulars of that siege, which forms a remarkable feature in the life of the celebrated Clive, have been given by an eloquent and faithful historian ;* but he has not informed us of one occurrence that took place, and which, as it illustrates the character of the Indian soldiers, well merited to be preserved. When provisions were very low, the Hindoo sepoys entreated their commander to allow them to boil the rice (the only food left) for the whole garri

• Your English soldiers,' they said, ' can eat from our hands, though we cannot from theirs—we will allot as their share every grain of the rice, and subsist ourselves by drinking the water in which it has been boiled.'-We have received this remarkable anecdote from an authority we cannot doubt, as it refers to the most unexceptionable contemporary witnesses.

During all the wars of Clive, of Lawrence, of Smith, and of Coote, the sepoys of Madras continued to display the same valour and attachment. In the years 1780, 81 and 3:2, they suffered hardships of a nature almost unparalleled; there was hardly a corps that was not twenty months in arrears; they were supported, it is true, by a daily allowance of rice, but this was not enough to save many

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of their families from being the victims of that dreadful famine, which, during these years, wasted the Company's dominions in India. Their fidelity never gave way in this hour of extreme trial, and they repaid with gratitude and attachment the kindness and consideration with which they were treated by their European officers, who, being few in number, but, generally speaking, very efficient, tried every means that could conciliate the regard, excite the pride, or stimulate the valour of those they commanded.

In the campaigns of 1790 and 91, against Tippoo Sultaiin, the seposs of this establishment shewed their usual zeal and courage; but the number of European troops which were now intermixed with them, lessened their opportunities of distinguishing themselves --and though improved in discipline, they perhaps fell in their own estimation. The native army, in some degree, became a secondary one, and the pride of those of whom it was composed was lowered. We are neither questioning the necessity of the increased number of his majesty's troops, which were employed in India at this period, or the propriety of allotting to their superior strength and active courage, services of the greatest danger, and consequently of pre-eminent honour;-we only speak to the effect which the change made in the minds of the native army. The campaigns of Lord Cornwallis and General Meadows were certainly not inferior, either in their operations or results, to those of Sir Erre Coote; and every officer can tell how differently they are regarded by the sepoys, who served in both; the latter may bring to their memory the distresses and hardships which they suffered, and perhaps the recollection of children who perished from famine-but it is associated with a sense of their own importance, at that period, to the government they served, with the pride of fidelity and patient valour. The pictures of these three distinguished leaders are in the great room of the exchange at Madras—to that, (we speak of ten years ago,) when a battalion comes into garrison, the old sepoys lead their families. Wallis and Meadows (these are the names by which the two first commanders are known to them) are pointed out as great and brave chiefs; but it is to the image of their favourite, Coote, the pilgrimage is made, and the youngest of their children are taught to pay a respect bordering on devotion to this revered leader.

In the year 1796, new regulations were introduced into the Indian army, the whole form of which was in fact changed. Instead of single battalions of a thousand men, commanded by a captain who was selected from the European corps in the Hon. Com. pany's service, and a subalteru to each company; they were formed into regiments of two battalions, to which officers were appointed of the same rank and nearly of the same number as to a battalion in the service of his majesty. The good effects of this change, as


far as related to the temper and attachment of the native army of Fort St. George, have been questioned by an officer of that establishment, who was from local experience well qualitied to judge.* That the appearance and disciplme of these troops have been improved, there is no doubt; and they have in the campaign against Seringapatam in 1799, and in the recent war with the Mahrattas, shewn their usual patience and courage ; but events have occurred to prove that their affectious were not only capable of being alienated from their European officers, but that they could become their murderers. It is not here meant to enter into the particulars of the mutiny at Vellore, which came like a shock to dispel the charm of half a century, and to shew by what a tenure our empire is held; but we are certainly disposed to think, with the officer to whom we have alluded, that this event could not have taken place, had the ties which formerly existed in the native army not been much weakened, if not entirely broken ;-of what has since occurred, we forbear to speak, but we are assured that time, and the efforts of great wisdom, can alone afford a hope of a radical cure to the deep wounds that have been inflicted.

The general history of the native army of Fort St. George is short. Sepoys were first disciplined, as has been stated, on that establishment, in 1748; they were at that period, and for some time afterwards, in independent companies, under subadars or native captains. Mahomed Esof, one of the most distinguished of those officers, rose by his talents and courage to the general command of the whole; and the name of this hero, for such he was, occurs almost as often in the page of the English bistorian t of India, as that of Lawrence and Clive. As the numbers of the native army increased, the form changed. In A.D. 1766, we find ten battalions of 1000 men each, and thrée European officers to each corps. Ju 1770, there were eighteen battalions of similar strength; and in 1784, the number of tbis army had increased to 2000 native cavalry, and 28,000 infantry: a considerable reduction was made at this period—but subsequent wars and conquests have catised a great increase, and the present effective strength of the native army of Fort St. George consists of eight regiments of cavalry, and twenty-four regiments or forty-eight battalions of native infantry. There are besides several troops of horse artillery, some battalions of gun lascars, and a very large invalid establishinent.

A few remarks on the appearance and conduct of this army, with some anecdotes of remarkable individuals, will fully illustrate its character, and convey to the uninformed reader a just idea of the elements of which it is composed. The native cavalry of Fort St. George was originally raised by Vide Malcolm's Political History of India, p. 495. + Orme. в в 3


the nabob of the Carnatic. The first corps embodied into a regiment under the cominand of European officers, on the suggestion of General Joseph Smith, served in the campaign of 1768, in the Mysore. From 1771 to 1776, the cavalry force was greatly augmented, but then again declined both in numbers and efficiency. The proportion that was retained, nominally in the service of the Nabob, but actually in that of the Company, served in the campaigns of 1780, 81, 82 and 83, and was formally transferred, with the European officers attached to it, to the Company's service in 1784. The prospect of fortune which the liberality of an Indian prince offered, attracted to this corps many active and enterprizing European officers, and the favour which a native court extended to its choicest troops, filled the ranks of its regiments of regular cavalry with the prime of the Mahomedan youth * of the Carnatic. When this corps was in the service of the nabob of the Carnatic, though it was often very highly distinguished, the intrigues of a venal court, and irregular payments, caused frequent mutivies. Since it has been transferred to the Company's establishment, a period of more than thirty years, its career has been one of faithful service, and of brilliant achievement, unstained by any example that we can recollect of disaffection or of defeat. The two severest trials of the courage and discipline of this corps were at Assaye and Vellore;—in both these services they were associated with the 19th dragoons.

The distinguished commander + of that gallant regiment had, from the day of its arrival in India, laboured to establish the ties of mutual and cordial regard between the European and native soldiers. His success was complete his own fame, while he remained in India, was promoted by their combined efforts—and the friendship which he established and which had continued for many years, was, after his departure, consummated upon the plains of Assaye. At the most critical moment of a battle which ranks amongst the hardest fought of_those that have been gained by the illustrious Wellington, the British dragoons, when making their extremest efforts, saw their Asiatic fellow-soldiers' keep pace for pace, and blow for every blow. A more arduous task awaited the latter, when the battalions of native infantry which formed the garrison of Vellore were led by the infatuatiou of the moment to rise upon and murder the Europeans of that garrison. The fidelity of the native

There cannot be men more suited from their frame and disposition for the duty of light cavalry, than those of which this corps is composed. They are, generally speaking, from five feet five to five feet ten inches in height, of light but active make. Their strength is preserved and improved by moderation in their diet, and by exercises common to the military tribe, and which are calculated to increase the muscular force. The present General Sir John Floyd, Bart.


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