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was not a quack, that he was not a liar, that he was not a renegade!

But, independently either of intellectual or moral considerations, Robespierre, that is to say the mere existence of the individual so called, was not only a great, but a singular fact. It stands alone, with nothing like to it. In the course of the world's history three men have stood out pre-eminent among mankind for the vast power which they acquired by their abilities,-Cæsar, Cromwell and Bonaparte. But those abilities were exerted from a certain vantage-ground: their minds and wills did not come into direct and immediate collision with the minds and wills of other men. There was an intermediate link, a connecting medium, which took from the operation the simple character of the action of mind upon mind, mixing up instead thereof somewhat of the action of matter upon mind, and rendering thereby their logic irresistible. But in the ancient and modern world there has appeared but one man, who, without their vantage-ground, attained for a season a power comparable to theirs. Robespierre's power in the Convention, though not quite equal to Cromwell's in his parliament, and to Napoleon's in his, was as great as Cæsar's in the senate. He was obliged to go by a somewhat more circuitous way to his end than a despot of the military kind, but he did not the less surely reach that end; for it was death to obstruct his path. To contradict him in anything became at last as dangerous as it was to contradict Henry VIII. in an argument on the respective merits of Catholicism and Protestantism. There is no other instance, we believe, of such power having been attained by mere political and rhetorical ability. Demosthenes was but the minister of the Athenian people,-Cicero that of the Roman oligarchy: but Robespierre was not the man, but the master. He was not so much the servant of the French people as (strange though the phrase may sound) the French people itself. Robespierre once said (in his speech in the Jacobins, on the 28th of April 1792), "Je ne suis ni le courtisan, ni le modérateur, ni le "tribun, ni le défenseur du peuple !-je suis peuple moi"même." But in April 1794 he might have inserted the definite article and said, with the substitution of "peuple" for

"état" in the exclamation of Louis XIV.,-" le peuple! c'est moi!" A whole people is a sovereign, whose will cannot easily be manifested on all occasions: it must have some accessible exponent or index. The French people were content to acknowledge for a time such an index in Robespierre. In him was embodied the spirit of the French democracy; consequently his word was a law from which there was no appeal:-his power was a despotism from which there was no escape; dark, swift, inevitable, unrelenting, it knew neither forgiveness, nor pity, nor remorse. Even in his last speeches there is not a trace of anything that can be construed into the slightest expression of sorrow, of regret for the sad fate of so many men who had once been his friends, who had once even loved him, whom he had murdered in cold blood and in the prime of manhood. He continues to speak of them to the last as a fanatic of the darkest ages would speak of his victims, describing them as God's enemies, justly punished for their black and horrible sins. When a human selfishness, fierce and ravenous as that of the most ferocious wild beast, regards its own gratification as a duty and a virtue*, we have the degree of fanaticism, whether religious or political, which has raised so many scaffolds and lighted so many fires. And this must be viewed as the master key to Robespierre's character. Napoleon was a fanatic of another kind; the selfishness in him was as vehement and fierce, but the sense of duty and virtue in its gratification either not so strong or the field of its operation much wider. The world has had several specimens of military, and but this one of oratorical dictatorship; and certainly if this be a fair specimen, we desire to have no more. It would be a thousand times better to live under the despotism of Cæsar, Cromwell, or Napoleon, than under that of Maximilien Robespierre.

* In his last speech this man of blood exclaims, "Otez moi ma conscience, je suis le plus malheureux de tous les hommes."

VOL. XVII.-No. XXXIV.

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ARTICLE X.

Lord Ellenborough's Government of India.

IF Indian affairs attract more attention now than was formerly the case, and increased means of information regarding them are generally accessible, we fear that the change has not come without bringing with it some disadvantages. From the time when the late administration used the successes of the Afghan war to give strength to a declining party, the increasing interest which our varying fortunes in that country excited in England has been accompanied by a corresponding increase of party feeling, which has since extended to Indian affairs in general. The effect of this has been, as it always is, to taint the usual sources of knowledge; so that we have consulted the English daily press with but little success for any enlarged or liberal view of the acts of Lord Ellenborough as Governor-general. The situation of a person seeking for authentic information on this subject resembles (to reverse a well-known comparison,) that of a tame elephant between two wild ones. Whether he is hurried away headlong by one of these furious animals, or allows himself to remain stationary between their opposite assaults-whether he adopts a one-sided opinion, or none at all—his position is ' equally unsatisfactory. In point of fact, the government of India has been hitherto so little affected by party objects, that the criticisms of the mere party-writer must necessarily be based on a false foundation; and it is only by examining it by the light of Indian politics, that its working can be understood. In such a sketch as we propose to attempt of Lord Ellenborough's Indian administration, we recognize no English party as our guide; Tros Tyriusve-they are nothing to us. We recognize no test in judging of the acts of a Governor-general except their intrinsic merits, the bearing they have on the interests of a vast empire, on the security of our rule, and the consequent amelioration and happiness of the great Hindoo race.

Lord Ellenborough landed at Calcutta and took his seat as Governor-general on the 28th of February 1842: his successor will have replaced him before the end of July 1844.

Less therefore than two years and five months will be the period of an administration which has attracted more attention, and given rise to more various and active feelings, than that of perhaps any of his predecessors. If we seek for other causes of this increased attention beyond what have already been noticed, we shall find that it was not only because he aimed at and attained great ends,-not only because he withdrew our armies triumphant from Afghanistan, added Sinde to our empire and humbled the last independent state of the great Mahratta confederacy. These things would not have been sufficient to fix so permanently on his Indian career the attention of the press and public of England. To effect this required the additional circumstances of a new style in government notifications and of more than one new principle in carrying on public business. These principles, if we may so call them, we shall notice in detail hereafter; it is sufficient for us now to point out a marked preference of X military over non-military men for the conduct of civil affairs,

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and a strong desire to have every office efficiently filled, which led to a disregard of what had hitherto been considered the rights of occupancy.

If we add to these the unfavourable impression which Lord Ellenborough, we believe, carried with him to India, and probably derived from the disasters of Caubool, regarding the government of his predecessor, we shall find sufficient cause for the reflections which have been cast on his administration. In elevating the military over the civil service, he ensured the ill-will of the latter; in diminishing the rights of occupants, he created an uneasy feeling in the greater number of persons in office in India; while by publicly condemning the acts of his predecessor, he excited the dormant hostility of a strong party in England, which had but lately claimed credit for that predecessor's measures.

Lord Ellenborough assumed the government at the most remarkable moment of our Indian history. The facts were shortly these: a detachment of about 4000 men at Caubool, called an army because it did the duties of one, had been annihilated after a protracted death-pang of two months; a remnant only survived in the hands of the Afghans. In a country where success seems never to desert our arms, this blow came with

all the force of a surprize. The public mind seemed stunned by the reverse of fortune, and forgot that, years ago, before our empire had taken firm root in the minds of its subjects, the detachments of Mathews, of Baillie, and more recently of Davies, had in like manner been annihilated. Men even talked of the Indian empire being in danger; but, in fact, there had been times of far greater danger, though they were not recent and the memory of them had passed away. But there has never been a time of such doubt, so protracted, so anxious, and, in consequence of the increase of newspapers and improved communications, so universal.

Jelalabad and Ghuzni were still held by the English, but of these so-called military positions, Ghuzni was rendered inaccessible by snow, even to the unbroken British force which still occupied Candahar, while Jelalabad was only less isolated through the means which existed of communicating with it in writing. Both places were besieged by the Afghans; Candahar was threatened, and more than a hundred British prisoners, the remains of the Caubool detachment, continued in captivity. In such a state of affairs, it was not enough to decide that Afghanistan must be evacuated: something must be done, and that without delay. If the two besieged garrisons were able to repel the enemy and to make good their retreat, the prisoners still remained to be delivered; for whatever was the moral effect of the destruction of the Caubool force, it would not, we are convinced, have nearly equalled that of leaving so many British prisoners in the enemy's hands without an attempt to rescue them. Every man asked, and no one (if we except the singularly crude speculators in the Indian newspapers) answered the question, what is to be done ? The garrisons were to be relieved, the country evacuated, the prisoners recovered, with honour, and if possible with triumph; but the way to accomplish this no one could point out.

At such a crisis Lord Ellenborough assumed the direction of affairs. A task more weighty and more difficult, no Governor-general had had to execute even in the years of his maturer experience. He, on his landing in India, was at once called on to extricate the government from an unequalled complication of difficulties: he was placed in a situation

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