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of, the British, but it was distinctly agreed that the system was to be carried into effect by his own officers, and there was no machinery to compel him or them to their duty. You have a sovereign, ministers, tribunals, laws, customs, revenue system, landholders, and population, all against you. They like oppression and plunder, while you want justice, beneficence, and humanity. For this reform your whole agency is a Resident stationed at the native court, to advise and remonstrate. As a matter of course the advice is disregarded. The remonstrances share the same fate, unless endorsed by physical force. The Resident grows more troublesome and more peremptory. Every interference with the native government renders further interference less avoidable. Reproaches, recriminations, and threats, form the staple of the correspondence, till the prince, if a powerful one, grows sulky and dangerous - if impotent, becomes contemptible alike in British and native eyes. Nothing is done except under dread of the ultima ratio, which always resides in the stronger power. The application of this resource is more and more looked to and talked about, and in the end policy and justice- the interest of the natives no less than our own-call for the removal of a government which cannot govern, and the administration of its functions by those upon whom Divine Providence, in bestowing power, has also imposed the responsibility of its exercise.
Thus things ran their course in Oude. Saadut Ali being gathered to his fathers, Ghazee, his son, sat on the musnud, rejoicing in the cognomen of Ud-Deen, Defender of the Faith Ghazee, however, lent the British Feringhee two millions of money for the Nepaul war, and at its close got the Terai,* in liquidation of half the debt; an arrangement which has turned out not so bad for Oude as it appeared. This champion of Islam was further gratified by Lord Hasting with the title of King, imply ing the formal renunciation of a dependence on the Mogul Emperor,
which had long expired in fact. His new-made majesty was a very respectable monarch, as kings go in India; but the queerest piece of royalty ever manufactured in India itself, and by the great firm of kingmakers, whom rival politicians are now trying to "sell up," in Leadenhall Street, was his son and successor Nussur, also a defender of the faith; but who prided himself on nothing so much as his attachment to the English. This sentiment was indulged, not by cultivating our notions of justice and liberty, or even by courting the advice of our Resident, but by adopting the English garb chimneypot topee included-surrounding himself with English adventurers of the lowest class for his private companions, and dining in the English fashion of the day, when boon companions deemed it de rigueur to terminate the entertainment beneath the table.
A curious picture of these revels, where the master was an English barber, is given in a little book entitled, Private Life of an Eastern King, by a member of his household. The details find ample corroboration in the recent valuable publication of Sir W. Sleeman.t The story of The General, for example (of which the member of the household declares himself an eyewitness), incredible as it might be deemed without authority, is plainly to be recognised in Sir William Sleeman's History of Rajah Ghalib Jung. This individual had been raised by Ghazee-ud-Deen from a very humble grade to high station, from which he was again degraded, plundered, and reduced to death's door by harsh treatment and want of food. After the accession of Nussur he contrived to crawl back again to court, and insinuating himself into the king's private debaucheries, became useful in ways to which his English jolly friends could not stoop. He stood accordingly high in his majesty's favour, received the command of the police and a brigade of infantry, and was commonly known in the household as "The General." Of course he enriched himself; of course, also, he
A marshy forest ceded by Nepaul, which extends along the foot of the Himalayas. + Journey through the Kingdom of Oude in 1849-50.
was hated by the prime-minister, who was the constant butt of his ridicule with the merry monarch. The hour of the general's disgrace came, however, with this king as with his father. He was secretly accused to his majesty of rivalling him in his amours; but as this was a point on which an Oriental dreads publicity, the incensed monarch "bided his time" for some plausible ground of punishment.
There is a little difference in the causa belli, as related by our eyewitness, and by Sir W. Sleeman, who had the story from native authority some years after. The former also paints the treatment of the unfortunate victims in darker colours than the latter. Still, as in duty bound, let the official account have the preference.
"On the 7th of October 1835, the king was conversing with Ghalib Jung, in one of his private apartments, on affairs of state. Several crowns stood on the table for the king's inspection. They had been prepared under Mucka the tailor's inspection, from materials purchased by him. He always charged the king ten times the price of the articles which he was ordered to provide, and Ghalib Jung thought the occasion favourable to expose his misconduct to his master. He took up one of the crowns, put his left hand into it, and turning it round on his finger, pointed out the flimsy nature of the materials with which it had been made. His left finger slip ped through the silk on the crown, whether accidentally or designedly, to prove the flimsy nature of the silk and to exasperate the king, is not known; but on seeing the finger pass through the crown, his majesty left the room without saying a word.* Soon after several attendants came in, surrounded Ghalib Jung, and commanded him to remain until further orders. In this state
they remained for about two hours, when other attendants came in, struck off his turban on the floor, and had it kicked out of the room by the sweepers.
They then dragged out Ghalib Jung, and thrust him into prison. The next day heavy iron fetters were put upon his legs, and upon those of three of his principal followers, who were imprisoned along with him; and his mother, father, wife, and daughters were made prisoners in their own houses; and all the property of the family that could be found was confiscated. On the third day, while still in irons, Ghalib Jung and his three followers were tied up and flogged severely, to make them point out any hidden treasure that they might have. That night the king got drunk, and before many persons ordered the minister to have Ghalib Jung's right hand and nose cut off forthwith."
This, it seems, was remitted from dread of the Resident.
"The king retired to rest, and the next morning had Ghalib Jung and his three followers again tied up and flogged. Six or seven days after, all Ghalib Jung's attendants were taken from him, and no person was permitted to enter the room where he lay in irons, and he could, in consequence, get neither food nor drink of any kind. On the 19th of October, the king ordered all the females of Ghalib Jung's family to be brought on foot from their houses to the palace by force, and publicly declared that they should all on the next day have their hair shaved off, be stripped naked, and in that state turned out into the street. After giving these orders the king went to bed, and the females were all brought, as ordered, to the palace, but the sympathies of the king's own servants were excited by the sufferings of these unoffending females, and they disobeyed the order for their being made to walk on foot through the streets, and brought them in covered litters.t
"The Resident, apprehending that
* The member of the household says his majesty was twirling his own European hat on his own royal thumb when the latter went through the top; and the "general," thinking to be witty, exclaimed, "there is a hole in your majesty's crown." The royal countenance darkened, he declared the pun to be treason, and adjudged the offender to death.
+ Nevertheless, the member of the household describes them as suffering the greatest hardships and indignities, and was particularly affected by the sight of the culprit's aged father lying almost naked in the shed where the poor "general" was confined. He adds, that the Resident's interference was obtained by himself and the other European attendants in the palace after some difficulty, as it was only a native that was in danger, and the king had a right to do as he pleased with the natives.
these poor females might be further disgraced, and Ghalib Jung starved to death, determined to interpose, and demanded an interview while the king was still in bed. He found the king sullen and doggedly The minister was present, and spoke for his master. He denied what was known to be true, that the prisoner had been kept for two days and two nights without food or drink; but admitted that he had been tied up and flogged severely, and that the females of his family were still there, but he promised to send them back. He said that it was necessary to confiscate the property of the prisoner, since he owed large sums to the state. The females were all sent back to their homes, and Ghalib Jung was permitted to have four of his own servants in attendance upon
The poor "general," however, was not to be let off.
"Rajah Dursun Sing, the great revenue contractor, and at that time the most powerful of the king's subjects beyond the precincts of the court, had, like the minister himself, been often thwarted by Ghalib Jung when in power; and, after the interposition of the Resident, he applied to have him put into his power. The king and minister were pleased at the thought of making their victim suffer beyond the immediate supervision of a vigilant Resident, and the minister made him over to the rajah for a consideration, it is said, of three lacs of rupees; and at the same time assured the Resident that this was the only safe way to rescue him from the further vengeance of an exasperated king; that Ra
jah Dursun Sing was a friend of the culprit's, and would provide him and his family and attendants with ample accommodation and comfort. This rajah, however, had him put into an iron cage, and sent to his fort at Shatgunge, where, report says, he had snakes and scorpions put into the cage to torment and destroy him, but that Ghalib Jung had a 'charmed life,' and escaped their poison. The object is said to have been to torment and destroy him without leaving upon his body any marks of violence."
This was a dose that would have
sickened any man, not an Asiatic, of public life. Ghalib, however, with the true Hindu pertinacity, having got out of confinement on Nussur's death by the payment of a large bribe, again tempted his fate in the court where he had suffered so much, was again restored to office, and died in honour at the venerable age of eighty. He was a consummate villain, by the way, and richly deserved hanging.
Nussur-ud-Deen, notwithstanding such little bursts of royal caprice, was decidedly a popular monarch. Sir W. Sleeman expressly declares that "the people of Lucknow liked their king and as there is no disputing of tastes, the British Government left them liberally to the enjoyment. The interference of the Resident on behalf of the ladies of Ghalib Jung's harem was exception; the rule was to limit British protection to British subjects. The noses, eyes, and heads of the native population were entirely at his majesty's disposal, and even his habitual violation of the treaty with the British, dissipating the revenue, and denying justice to the people, were left unnoticed by our Government, content with the charitable supposition that the king was mad, and waiting for a more manageable successor. The musnud was at last vacated, and again, it was stated, without a legitimate son to succeed, -a default which recurs with curious pertinacity in the East, in spite of the precautionary practice of polygamy. A disturbance, as usual, took place in the palace, where the Padsha Begum had managed to force her way with her grandson into the hall of audience, and fancied the great coup to be accomplished_by placing him in the royal seat. The British Resident, however, sent for a larger force, turned out the intruder, and enthroned another son of Saadut Ali as the legitimate heir.*
The story is told at length in Sir W. Sleeman's book, vol. ii. p. 150-177. The denouement was not effected without a regular battle, in which the Resident's life was in imminent danger, and forty or fifty of the Begum's followers were killed. After all, the "pretender" appears to have been the legitimate son of the deceased king, by whom, however, he had been repudiated while alive. Sir William's account of this king, with his many wives and concubines, is more curious than edifying.
The new prince received the Governor-General's permission to enlarge his style and title to the truly royal and comprehensive designation of " Abool Futteh Moen-u-Deen, Sultani Zaman Nowsherawan-i-audil, Mohammed Ali Shah, Padshahi Oudh!"
His majesty, however, proved a very tame Padishah indeed, and cared as little for the deen as any of his most degenerate predecessors. He bound himself to accept any terms that Lord Auckland might impose, and a new treaty was actually concluded, correcting the deficiencies which time had manifested in Lord Wellesley's. The king was again allowed to retain a large military force for the purpose of government, a part of which was organised and disciplined by British officers. On the other hand, in renewing the stipulation for reform in the civil administration, care was taken to introduce the penalty of assumption by the British in the event of continued maladministration. This treaty, however, was abrogated by the Home authorities, partly on account of a degree of compulsion applied to obtain the king's assent; but chiefly on account of a payment of sixteen lacs annually, which it imposed upon Oude for the support of the new military force. The Court of Directors very justly and honourably observed, that they were bound, as the consideration of the cession of territory in 1801, to undertake the whole military defence of the kingdom, and no further sum could be exacted without a breach of faith.
Poor Abool Futteh, &c., commonly called Mahommed Ali, was a well-disposed man, and not without habits of business; but old and timid, and withal sorely troubled with rheumatism. Unequal to much bodily exertion, the Resident was warned by his surgeon that any unusual excitement or vexation would be likely to induce apoplexy. So this very respectable old man was left without much bother till he went the way of all flesh in 1842; and his son, Amjad Ali, ruled the holy land of the "twice born." Then Governors-General and Residents got more impatient. A period was limited for the reformed system,
the establishment of which was stipulated for in 1801, with the threat of British management in case of failure.
Kings and governments of all sorts, however, take a good deal of threatening before they mend their ways; and so Amjad Ali Shah passed to the royal mausoleum in Lucknow after thoroughly solving the problem of the circumlocution-office- "how not to do it." It was then that Wajid Ali Shah, who now occupies convenient, though perhaps circumscribed, apartments, on the banks of the Hooghly, became Lord of Luck
Of this "crowned head," Sir W. Sleeman gives the following description:
"The present sovereign never hears a complaint, or reads a petition or report the pursuit of his personal gratifications. of any kind. He is entirely taken up in He has no desire to be thought to take any interest whatever in public affairs, and is altogether regardless of the duties and responsibilities of his high office. He lives exclusively in the society of fiddlers, eunuchs, and women; he has done so since his childhood, and is likely to do so till the last. His disrelish for any other society has become inveterate; spite of average natural capacity, and more he cannot keep awake in any other. In than average facility in the cultivation of light literature, or at least "de faire des petites vers de sa façon," his understanding has become so emasculated, that he is altogether unfit for the conduct of his domestic, much less his public affairs. He sees occasionally his prime minister, who takes care to persuade him that he does all that a king ought to do; ister. He holds no communication whatand nothing whatever of any other minever with brothers, uncles, cousins, or any of the native gentlemen at Lucknow, or the landed or official aristocracy of the country. He sometimes admits a few poets or poetasters to hear and praise his verses, and commands the unwilling attendance of some of his relations to witness and applaud the acting of some of his own silly comedies, on the penalty of forfeiting their stipends; but any one who presumes to approach him even in his rides or drives with a petition for justice, is instantly clapped into prison, or otherwise severely punished!”
Lord Hardinge found it necessary, at a personal interview with this
respectable monarch, to exact, not only a promise but a written agreement, that he would not appoint any songster or eunuch to civil or revenue offices. The manner in which this word of promise was kept to the ear, was, that the king's favourites, instead of taking the appointments themselves, recommended others for a consideration. At last Lord Dalhousie ordered the Resident, Colonel Sleeman, to make a tour through the kingdom, and see for himself the state of things which had been so long crying for redress. The result of this tour has been just given to the public, in two instructive, though unfortunately not well arranged, volumes. Sir W. Sleeman was a man of shrewd powers of observation, with a dry humour which, added to his vast Indian experience, rendered him an excellent story-teller in conversation; but his style of writing is not always clear or concise, and his pub. lication being in the shape of a diary,
the events are recorded not in their
true historical order, but as they be came known to the writer. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, however, the work contains deeply interesting revelations of the state of the government and population of Oude, besides curious, and sometimes marvellous, anecdotes of natural and social phenomena.
Of the former kind, take the following compendious specimen :
"The most numerous and distressing class of beggars that importune me, are those who beg redress for their wrongs, and a remedy for their grievances-' their name indeed is Legion,' and their wrongs and grievances are altogether without remedy, under the present Government, and inveterately vicious system of administration. It is painful to listen to all these compiaints, and to have to refer the sufferers for redress to authorities who want both the power and the will to afford it; especially when one knows that a remedy for almost every evil is hoped for from a visit such as the poor people are now receiving from the Resident. He is expected 'to wipe the tears from off all faces,' and feels that he can wipe them from hardly any, The reckless disregard shown by the depredators of all classes and degrees to the sufferings of their victims, whatever be the cause of discontent, or object, or pursuit, is lamentable. I have every day scores
of petitions delivered to me, 'with quivering lip and tearful eye,' by persons who have been plundered of all they possessed, had their dearest relatives murdered or tortured to death, and their habitations burnt to the ground, by gangs of ruffians, under landlords of high birth and pretensions, whom they had never wronged or offended; some merely because they happened to have property, which the ruffians wished to take ; others, because they presumed to live and labour upon lands which they coveted, or deserted and wished to have left waste. In these attacks, neither age, nor sex, nor condition are spared. The greater part of the leaders of these gangs of ing descent from the sun and moon, or ruffians are Rajpoot landholders, boastfrom the demigods who figure in the Hindoo religious fictions of the Poorans. There are, however, a great many Mohammedans at the head of similar gangs. A landholder, of whatever degree, who is opposed to his Government, from whatever cause, considers himself
in a state of war; and he considers a those things which he is forbidden to do state of war to authorise his doing all happens to be a native officer or sipahee in a state of peace. Unless the sufferer of our army, who enjoys the privilege of urging his claims through the Resident, it is a cruel mockery to refer him for redress to any existing local authority. One not only feels that it is so, but sees
that the sufferer thinks that he must know it to be so. No such authority considers it to be any part of his duty to arrest evil-doers, and inquire into and redress wrongs suffered by individuals, or families, or village communities. Should he arrest such people, he would have to subsist and accommodate them at his own cost, or to send them to Lucknow, with the assurance that they would in a few days, or a few weeks, purchase their way out again, in spite of the clearest proofs of the murders, robberies, torturings, dishonourings, houseburnings, &c., which they have committed. No sentence which any one local authority could pass on such offenders, would be recognised by any other authority in the State as valid, or sufficient to justify him in receiving and holding them in confinement for a single day. The local authorities, therefore, either leave the wrong-doers unmolested, with the understanding that they are to abstain from doing any such wrong within their jurisdictions, as may endanger or impede the collection of revenues during their period of office, or release them with that understanding, after they have squeezed all they can out of them. The wrong