« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
A D. 1757-1858.] RETROSPECT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 813
sessions, the field was clear for the exercise of all the virtues for which the Anglo-Saxon race has ever been celebrated. The consciousness of power, and the ennobling principle of self-reliance, made young lieutenants and peaceable civilians rise into law-givers and rulers of men. The Company grew, in spite of the common prejudices against mercantile pursuits as narrowing the heart and blunting the feelings of honour. There appeared men in the service of that Company who displayed Roman powers of government, and wider range of political views than any of the statesmen of Europe. From Clive to Wellington there arose a series of great commanders, and from Hastings to Canning a series of distinguished governors, such as the world had never seen. If unsuccess attended some of their later measures, the result should not be allowed to interfere with the grandeur of the conception or the method of execution. We had reverses against which no human wisdom could provide; a mutiny at Vellore in 1806, and the defeat and capture of an army, were atoned for by the triumphs that immediately ensued.
In 1839 Lord Auckland directed an expedition to Afghanistan, for a purpose which appeared to justify the expense and risk. It succeeded in the object it aimed at, and the northern gate of India seemed barred against Russian attack In the December of 1842 the by the possession of Cabul. disaster came. There was an old and valetudinarian general, an indiscreet envoy, and a discontented people. A rising The took place, and retreat was resolved upon too late. passes from that mountainous region into Hindostan were The beset with enemies; the season was intolerably severe. French sufferings in the flight from Moscow were repeated on a smaller scale, but with more complete destruction. Twenty thousand men, women, and children, followers of the camp, perished along with nearly five thousand English soldiers, and every hearth in England was saddened by the news. Party feeling also ran high. Lord Auckland, a Whig, was
withdrawn; and Lord Ellenborough, a Tory, was installed in Calcutta. With a love of display and fondness for admiration which exposed him to ridicule, the new Governor-General had qualities of the highest kind. He burned to recover our old renown, and warmed every one in India with the same desire. Nobly served by the heroic Nott and Pollock, the honour of our flag was retrieved by a succession of victories, and our standard was planted once more in the capital of the Afghans; but with that retribution our efforts ceased. We evacuated the country, and contented ourselves with the level lands on the east of the Kyber Pass. Sir Charles Napier, after victories at Meeanè and Hyderabad, which recalled the marvels of Plassy and Assaye, attached the territory of Scinde to our dominion; and till the outbreak of the mutiny already described, in 1857, there seemed neither enemy nor rival from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin.
§ 25. Authority so great, a region so extensive, and military forces on such an imperial scale, seemed no longer fitted for the nominal rule of the Indian Company. It was resolved to unite the name of power to the reality, which had in effect resided for a long time in the government at home. The traditions of the humble days of widening trade and increasing dividends remained with the board in Leadenhall-street, after the decision of higher matters was taken out of their hands. The forms of authority still remained; and their seal was still attached to the commissions of the army, and the appointment of civil servants who were to rule over districts as large as kingdoms.
"The old order changeth, giving place to new,
and after a debate in Parliament, the great deed was consummated in the transference of all the remaining power of the Company to the imperial crown. The successors of the early "Adventurers trading to the East," disappeared from history at the same time with the successor of Akbar and
A.D. 1857-1858.] LANDMARKS OF CHRONOLOGY.
Aurungzebe; and encouraging peaceful enterprise like the first,
LANDMARKS OF CHRONOLOGY.
The different administrations of this reign are given at the head of the
1837. Accession of Queen Victoria.
1838. Entire abolition of slavery in
1839. Aden, in Arabia, taken by a
1840. Queen Victoria marries Prince
1841. Union of Upper and Lower
1842. Advantageous treaty of peace
1843. Opening of the Thames Tunnel.
The details or leading events of each sovereign's reign, being given in the analysis
ABBEY CRAIG, 282
Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, the
Aboukir, French fleet defeated at, 762.
and clergy, 539; decision of the
Addington made Prime Minister, 762.
Adrian HII., Pope, 179.
Africa, trade with, promoted, 705.
Aland Isles, 809.
at the head of the Parliamentary
Alberoni, the Spanish minister, 687.
Albinus, the Roman general, 25.
Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, 163.
Alexander III., King of Scotland,
Alphege, Archbishop, 72.
America, Philip of Spain's assumed
monopoly of, 483; colonization of,
Amherst, General, 711.
Amusements, popular, 519, 520.
Anglesey, slaughter of the Druids in,
Anglo-Saxon and Danish territories,
Anglo-Saxons, state of the Church
and clergy under the, 61; con-
Angus, Archibald Douglas, Earl of,
Anjou ceded to the French, 381.
Anne, Princess, daughter of James II.,
Anne of Bohemia, 340; married to
rity over the, 566; mutiny of the,
"Armed Neutrality" of the maritime
Arthur, the British king, 41.
Arthur, Prince, son of Henry VII.,
Artillery, first introduction of, 318.
Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury,
Asselin, son of Arthur, 119.
Atheists, punishment of, 491.
Athelstane, the Saxon king, 60; con-
Athelwald, 66, 67.
Atterbury, Bishop, his plot in favour
Austria declares war against France,
749; contemporary sovereigns of,
Avignon, the pope at, 312; rival
Avisa of Gloucester, first wife of King