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view with an officer-Captain Ford-for whom he entertained a strong affection. He disclosed to him the certainty of attack on the morrow, and begged him to save himself by not engaging in the battle. When Ford refused such a course, the Mahratta proposed that they should enter into a mutual agreement, whatever was the issue, to protect and befriend each other's families. This done, they parted, and on the morrow, Moro Dixit fell dead from one of the first shots fired by his friend's battery.
With the dawn of November 5th, active preparations were begun on the part of the Mahrattas. To conceal them, they attempted to amuse the Resident with various ambiguous messages. At last, in the afternoon, when all was ready, came the final message. Its words were insulting, and all saw what was meant. The messenger had hardly left, before troops were seen to be on the move to throw themselves between the Residency and the cantonments of Kirkee. It was necessary that Mr. Elphinstone and his household should without a moment's delay make their way to Kirkee.
The Residency was situated in the Sungum, a piece of land lying in the angle at the junction of the two rivers on which Poonah is built. It stood on the same side of the river as the village of Kirkee. The quickest route was to be chosen for the retreat. The river takes a wide sweep in its course between Kirkee and the Sungum; so wide, indeed, that a straight line drawn from the village to the Residency would pass through the river twice. The direct course would be taken by crossing at a ford just in front of the Residency, keeping along the river bank and recrossing by a bridge opposite Kirkee. route they resolved on, and it had the additional advantage of at once placing a river between themselves and the enemy. 'We crossed,' says Mr. Elphinstone, leaving our horses, books, letters, manuscripts, and everything but the clothes on our backs, a prey to the enemy. While the sepoy detachment and servants were crossing, Captain Grant Duff rode up to some rising ground near the ford to observe the movements of the enemy. His description of the spectacle which met his eyes, as he gazed on the plain stretched out below him, can never be forgotten.
This plain, then covered with grain, terminates on the west by a range of small hills, while on the east it is bounded by the city of Poonah and the small hills already partly occupied by the infantry. A mass of cavalry covered nearly the whole extent of it, and towards the city endless streams of horsemen were pouring from every avenue. Those only who have witnessed the Bore in the Gulf of Cambay, and have seen in perfection the approach of that roaring tide, can form
the exact idea presented to the author at the sight of the Peshwa's army. It was toward the afternoon of a very sultry day; there was a dead calm, and no sound was heard except the rushing, the trampling and the neighing of horses, and the rumbling of gunwheels. The effect was heightened by seeing the peaceful peasantry flying from their work in the fields; the bullocks breaking from their yoke; the wild antelopes, startled from sleep, bounding off, and then turning for a moment to gaze on this tremendous inundation, which swept all before it, levelled the hedges and standing corn, and completely overwhelmed every ordinary barrier as it moved.'
The Resident's party effected their junction with the troops at Kirkee in safety. These troops had already been ordered to advance to attack the enemy, and they were speedily joined by Captain Ford's contingent, which was moved up from its encampment a few miles distant. Mr. Elphinstone had not served with the Duke of Wellington in vain. He had learnt the great secret of Mahratta warfare:-Never wait to be attacked. Frappez vite et frappez fort. The history of the engagement is simple enough. The English troops under arms numbered 2800 men, of whom 800 were Europeans. The nominal command belonged to Colonel Burr, once a dashing officer, but now infirm in mind and body. His courage, however, was unquestionable, and the sepoys of the regiment, which it was his boast to have formed and led,' regarded him with devotion, and all want of faculties on his part was amply compensated for by the Resident's military knowledge and high qualities of command. The Mahrattas amounted to not less than 50,000 men (horse and foot being in nearly equal proportions), though not all were engaged in the action. This vast body met the intrepid assault of the English with little animation. A gloom brooded over them, which even the high courage of Gokla, as he rode through the lines animating, encouraging, and taunting,' like an Homeric hero, could not dispel. An omen of no ordinary significance oppressed them. As the troops were leaving the city in the morning, the staff of the Juree Putka had been broken. This Golden Pennon' was the oriflamme of
the Mahratta army. Carried only by the most distinguished chiefs, and surrounded by the flower of the cavalry, its presence in battle was regarded with special reverence. The rapid advance of the English had almost brought the two armies into contact when-lest a final act of procrastination should be wanting on the part of the Peshwa-a messenger was seen approaching from the Parbuttee, a hill crowned by a temple and overlooking the field, to which he had retired. The messenger bore a command requiring Gokla on no account to fire the first
gun. Gokla divined the nature of the communication before it could reach him. He accordingly ordered one of his batteries to open fire at once, and the cavalry on both flanks to move forward to meet the attack. On the left of our line, as it advanced, was stationed a body of sepoys. The first troops with whom they came in contact were a regiment of regular infantry, under the command of a Portuguese soldier of fortune. As they pressed upon their enemies with too great eagerness, our soldiers became separated from the rest of the line. Gokla saw the opportunity thus offered to him. He at once ordered a picked body of horse, some 6000 strong, accompanied by the sacred banner and headed by the bravest leaders, to charge. These troops had been stationed in reserve on the left, and they would therefore have to cross in front of their own line. Two guns ceased firing to let them pass, and this sea of horse swept down with all the splendour and fury of the Mahratta onset. The whole English front were witnesses of the charge, 'of the thunder of the ground, the flashing of their arms, the brandishing of their spears, the agitation of their banners rushing through the air.' It seemed as if nothing could save the battalion. The mere weight of such an attack would destroy the tiny body of infantry as easily as it would level a corn-field. A morass, however, unperceived by either side, lay on their flank. This accident of the ground saved them. The foremost horses and their riders rolled over in the yielding ground, the fury of the assault was broken, and in the moment of first confusion, the fire of the infantry, reserved till now, completed the discomfiture of the Mahrattas. The failure of this charge, and the death of many distinguished men, disheartened the enemy. Gokla drew off his troops, and the English, contented with their success, withdrew with nightfall to their cantonments at Kirkee, where they were next morning joined by the light battalion which had hurried up from Seroor.
Such was the battle of Kirkee. The loss of the English was insignificant; but the killed and wounded of the enemy numbered at least 500. The division of General Smith, which had been advancing to attack the Pindarees, was several days' march from Poonah. Mr. Elphinstone had, before the outbreak of hostilities, arranged with the General to send him a daily letter, informing him of the Peshwa's attitude. Should these letters stop, General Smith was to conclude that war had broken out, and was to hasten to the relief of the Resident as quickly as possible. The first act of hostility on the part of Bajee Rao was to stop the messengers. General Smith was therefore on the march to Poonah a few days after the battle.
arrived, he expressed his determination to attack the capital at once. Mr. Elphinstone was anxious above all things to save the city from the horrors of an assault, for our soldiers were infuriated by the treachery and cruelty of the Peshwa. He contrived to effect this object, and quiet possession was taken of Poonah on November 17th, twelve days after Mr. Elphinstone had quitted the Residency.
It will not be possible to follow here the details of the rest of the campaign, which was, in fact, a pursuit of the Peshwa. It fell to Sir John Malcolm, not to General Smith and Mr. Elphinstone, to receive the surrender of Bajee Rao. Already it had been declared that the Peshwa had ceased to reign, but he fought hard for good terms. Malcolm, if not again deceived, at least found Bajee Rao as difficult to resist as ever. The enormous annuity of 80,000l. promised him, was out of all proportion to his just demands. How much too large was to be proved many years later, when Nana Sahib, the Peshwa's adopted son, used the savings from this princely income for his disaffected purposes. When the conquered territories were cleared of hostile troops, the task of organizing them was handed over to Elphinstone. This task, his sympathy with the natives, his strength of character, his moderation and his political sagacity, enabled him to perform with no less ability and success than he had already attained in other very different spheres of action. The student of the political history of India will read for himself Mr. Elphinstone's own State Papers on this subject. Here we must content ourselves with noticing how Elphinstone, though a reader and admirer of Bentham, not only did not attempt, but deliberately condemned and set aside as unsuitable, all à priori methods of legislation and administration for the newly-acquired provinces. He saw that peace and incorrupt justice, though inestimable blessings to a people, were not all that was wanted to make them happy, and that the greatest precautions must be used if the English modes of bestowing these blessings were not to take away almost as much as they gave. It was not only the great feudal chiefs, with their privileges and powers of life and death, but the whole people subject to them, who would be disturbed and made discontented by the substitution of English courts of justice, with forms and methods foreign to all the native customs and usages of many generations. And, by the reduction of local chiefs and of the local rulers of the village communities to a dead level of submission to English collectors and magistrates, the social fabric, which on the whole had been working well and in harmony with the sentiments and
wants of the people, would be swept away. The settlement was, as far as possible, to be a native growth-not a British manufacture, though a growth under British culture and training. This, we may say, was the principle of Elphinstone's settlement and organization of the provinces placed under his government and his methods were an important contribution to the solution of that great problem which still lies before all Indian statesmen,-how English power and English justice can give India its share in the blessings of national life and civilization.
The merits displayed by Mr, Elphinstone in the work of settlement following those of his previous career were not passed by, and he was recommended for the rare distinction of being appointed from the Service to the Government of Bombay, to which Presidency the newly-conquered provinces had been added. As Governor of Bombay, Mr. Elphinstone won an amount of veneration and esteem such as fall to the lot of few public men. The character drawn of him by Bishop Heber, who saw him during his term of office, reflects clearly the universal opinion. His administration was an era in Indian history, for he was the first to strike out those lines of policy which have since occupied the attention of all Indian governments-the codification of the law, education, and the opening of civil employment to the natives. To such ends have tended the enactments of successive administrations; to such a policy are alike pledged such opposing schools of Indian statesmanship as those of Lord Northbrook and Lord Lytton. Mr. Elphinstone saw clearly that education was in reality but the first step towards admitting the natives to share in the work of government. In a letter to a friend he roughly expresses these views in favor of the admission of natives to all offices.' 'It has long been a favourite notion of mine, that our object ought to be to place ourselves in the same relation to the natives as the Tartars are in to the Chinese; retaining the government and military power, but gradually relinquishing all share in the civil administration, except that degree of control which is necessary to give the whole an impulse and direction.' He goes on to point out how 'the first steps are, to commence a systematic education of the natives for civil offices, to make over to them at once a larger share of judicial business, to increase their emoluments generally, and to open a few high prizes for the most able and honest among them.'
In the year 1827 Mr. Elphinstone resigned his appointment and quitted Bombay. When he reached England, he had been absent nearly thirty-five years. His delight to be once Vol. 157.-No. 314.