« ZurückWeiter »
Barrackpore, the metropolitan cantonment, in order that the punishment might be inflicted in the presence of the disaffected. Meanwhile every precaution was adopted to prevent the possibility of resistance."
On the 6th of June the Times publishes a The mutiny at telegraphic despatch received at Bombay from MeerutMeerut, giving an account of the mutiny of the 3rd Bengal Cavalry. This caused no alarm, as is shown by the leading article on the 8th: "So far there is no great grievance to be remedied, and no immediate danger to be apprehended."
On June 23rd the hundredth anniversary of the Anniversary battle of Plassy was celebrated in London, when 0f piassy. a meeting was held at Willis's Rooms with the double object of commemorating the event and erecting a memorial to the great Lord Clive. Lord Hill took the chair, and among those present were the Duke of Cleveland, Earl Stanhope, Viscount Dungannon, Viscount Newport, and Sir James Hogg. The only reference to the Mutiny, according to the report which appeared in the Times on the following day, was that made by Mr. Campbell Robertson, who, in addressing the meeting, said "he believed that the late defection in the Indian army was caused by a departure from the principle laid down by Lord Clive, which was to treat the Sepoys not with severity, but with kindness. He cultivated sympathy between the officers and the men. Bravery alone would
not do. Lord Clive endeavoured to promote social and kindly intercourse between the Sepoys and their officers. He was quite convinced that if any disaster occurred to their Eastern empire it would follow from a defection of attachment between the European officers and the native soldiers of the army of India."
It was not until the beginning of July that the full extent of the danger was realized, when the Government acted with the greatest promptitude. Sir Colin Campbell was sent out immediately, and arrangements were made for 14,000 troops to follow without delay.
The Athenceum, in reviewing a group of books on the Mutiny on August 15th, says in reference Siege of to the siege of Delhi: "Like all the rest of Delhi. England, we dream that Delhi may have fallen. But our knowledge of the place inspires little hope that such a consummation is nigh. All that strong hands and strong hearts can do will be done to crush the rebellious city; but since the days when a blast of trumpets threw down the walls of Jericho no military miracle has occurred more astounding than would be a successful assault on Delhi with the troops
lis noble now under its walls Delhi has many noble
buildings, buildings worth preserving. The palace itself ranks next to Windsor as a kingly residence. Its gateway is far handsomer than that of the Great Bazar at Kabul. The throne-room is matchless. The roof rests on massive columns of white marble, and beautiful mosaics adorn the halL In the centre is the white marble dais on which once stood the famous peacock throne. The King's private chapel is of the whitest marble and a perfect gem of Art. A quarter of a mile to the west of the palace stands the cathedral mosque, vast, massive, grand. The atrocities of the modern rebels of Delhi call for signal retribution; but we are not of the number who wish to see vengeance wreaked indiscriminately, or who would have beautiful edifices destroyed for the guilt of the inhabitants. Let the people of Delhi suffer,—let the armed mutineers be exterminated,—but let the palaces of Delhi remain a monument of our triumph and of our self-control."
The "military miracle" was accomplished. Shortly after daybreak on the morning of the 14th of September the city was stormed, and the troops were soon in possession of the end of the fort, with the Cashmere, Cabul, and Moree gates; but General Wilson telegraphed at 10 A.M., "Our column making slow progress," and it was not until the 20th that Delhi was completely Fail of in our possession. Delhi.
In reviewing on October 3rd ' Tracts on the Native Army of India,' by Brigadier - General John Jacob, and 'The Rebellion in India: How to prevent Another,' by John Bruce Norton, the Athenceum says: "When we read the recorded
Warnings of opinions of Wellington, Munro, Metcalfe, Elphinstatesmen. stone, Malcolm, and those other illustrious men who gained or consolidated our empire in the East, we cannot but be astonished at the fullness and vividness of the prophecies of all that
has now been realized Whatever were the
internal condition of the Bengal army, the revolt would never have been so universal, so sanguinary and so disastrous, but for a combination of other circumstances, altogether foreign to the military organization of regiments. The very hesitation of the Sipahis to rise at a time when the fatuous imprudence of our Government had left nothing undone to render revolt easy—had both lured and provoked them to rebel—proves that the mutinous spirit was hard to fan. To make this more evident, let us glance briefly at
Extraordinary the extraordinary combination of circumstances
combination i_ . ... . .
ofcircum- we have been carefully preparing, as it would stances. really seem, to encourage an outbreak. In the first place, we had prepared and fortified for the mutineers a stronghold, stored with almost inexhaustible magazines, not only garrisoning it entirely with native troops, but actually placing there the regiments of all others which were most likely to mutiny—the 38th, which had indeed already mutinied and refused to go on service to Burmah, and the 74th, which had been stationed with the 38th at the time of this mutinous refusal, and was, of course, cognizant of the whole affair. This stronghold was one, too, which contained the representative of the dynasty we had subverted—a stolid, arrogant, rancorously hostile prince—with a vast retinue of bigoted, dissolute, impoverished retainers and kinsmen. It contained, further, a population of 200,000 persons, declared by successive Governors General to be virulently inimical to our rule. We had even erected peculiar fortifications to coerce these disaffected people. Add to all this, that Delhi is regarded by every native of India as the capital of Hindustan, and it will be admitted that our worst enemies would not have wished us to do more against ourselves. This, however, was not enough. Having placed the capital of India in the hands of the followers of Islam, we made war upon the King of Persia, The war with who, to the Shiahs of India, is the Shah of Persia' Islam, or Head of the Faith, as much as the Sultan of Constantinople is to the Sunnis. To maintain this war, India was denuded of European troops, and discontented spirits beheld with wonder and satisfaction seven thin English regiments occupying the vast region from Calcutta to the foot of the hills north of Delhi.