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cule with obscéne mutilation, the pranks of a monkey with the abominations of a monster.' (iii. p. 269.)
All his regulations were to be studied night and day, and strictly observed ; and on the occurrence of any case not provided for, reference was to be made to the replendent presence.' An anecdote is told on this occasion which somewhat ensivened the court even of this gloomy tyrant. A ryot came out of breath to the aumil (or collector) to tell him that a large field of sugar-cane was on fire.
• Fetch me the book of regulations,' said the aumil; • I recollect nothing about a fire in a field of sugar-cane.' • Sound the village drum!' exclaimed the ryot;' summon every man, woman, and child with pots of water. Be quiet,' replied the aumil; the book of regulations will tell us all about it. The book said nothing; the aumil contended that the case must be referred; and ip the mean time the field was destroyed. When the report came,
the sultaun put on a vacant stare; but whether it was the precursor of a laugh or a sage reflection, the courtiers were not quite agreed. At length the royal stare dropped into the philosophical preparative. The man,' said he, is a good and an obedient servant; prepare instantly an edict to be added to the regulations, prescrib: ing what is to be done in the event of fire in sugar-fields.' (m. p. 273.)
These speculations of a stupid despot, however noxious to his subjects, were innocent in comparison of his unfeeling and brutal conduct towards all who were without the pale of Islamism. In 1788 he made a visit to Calicut, where he found the natives living peaceably in habitations scattered over the country: his first step was to compel them to reside in villages of forty houses each : he then informed them, by public proclamation, that they were a turbulent and refractory people—that their women were unrestrained in their obscene practices, and more shameless in their connections than the beasts of the field; and, finally, that if they did not forsake their sinful practices and live like the rest of mankind, he would march them off to the seat of empire, and honour the whole of them with the seal of the Prophet. Indeed his whole conduct proves, in the words of Colonel Wilks, that an intellect too weak for its giddy height occasionally tottered on the verge of insanity;' for the next year, having taken it into his head that the infidels of Malabar' had disregarded his admonitions, he marched his whole army to the coast, surprized two thousand Nairs with their families, and gave them the alternative of a voluntary profession of the Mahomedan faith, or á forcible conversion, with deportation from their native land. The unhappy captives chose the latter; the rite of circumcision was instantly performed on all the males, and the individuals of both sexes were compelled to close the ceremony by eating beef. His embassies to France and Constantinople covered him with
ridicule. Their instruction, performance, and dress, was precisely that of an Hindostanee slancing girl
ridicule. The first was to ask for a body of six thousand Frenchmen, with which he engaged to drive the English out of Hindostan On the proposition being made to Louis XVI. he observed, “This resembles the affair of America, which I never think of without regret. My youth was taken advantage of at that time, and we suffer for it now; the lesson is too severe to be forgotten. Of the latter, nearly six hundred died of the plague ; and out of eleven hundred of which the embassy consisted, sixty-eight only returned to India. Notwithstanding the failure of both, Lord Cornwallis saw, early in 1790, that Tippoo was again resolved on war. His attack on the Raja of Travancore hastened it. Colonel Floyd found himself suddenly engaged with the main body of the Mysore army. Many of the Sepoys
were cut down. Colonel Floyd, in passing along the line, expressed his regret to the native officers, and cheered them with the hope of retaliation in due time. These brave and faithful fellows all replied nearly in the same words, “ We have eaten the Company's salt; our lives are at their disposal, and God forbid that we should mind a few casualties.'
The capture of Bangalore struck a panic into the tyrant's mind, and made him tremble for his capital; arrangements, in fact, were made for the removal of his harem, his treasure, and the families of his officers.
• The walls of the houses in the main streets of Seringapatam had been ornamented by the Sultaun's command, with full length_caricatures of the English. In one it was a tiger seizing a trembling Englishman; in another it was a horseman cutiing off two English heads at a blow; in a third it was the nabob, Mahommed Ali, brought in with a rope round his waist, prostrating himself before an Englishman seated on a chair, who placed one foot upon his neck; but the more favourite caricatures are necessarily excluded from decorous narrative. The anticipation must have been acute, which suggested the obliteration of all these favoured triumphs, and a positive order for carefully whitewashing the whole of the walls.
“The removal of these foolish indications of triumphant hostility and contempt, was perhaps a more conclusive testimony than any other of his considering the capture of the place highly probable; but conscience suggested more serious terrors, in the mass of living evidence at Seringapatam and elsewhere, of his detention of prisoners, in direct violation of the treaty of 1784. Of the English boys, educated as singers and dancers* twenty still remained; a secret order was dispatched for the murder of these unhappy youths as the first victims, and an imperceptible succession of most of the other prisoners of the preceding war. It was difficult to obtain precise information regarding details in which no individual would acknowledge instrumentality, or even ascribe it to
another : the bodies were carried out at the first opening of the gates, by the common scavengers, to places of distant sepulture, and the assassination was supposed to be perpetrated by Abyssinian slaves, by the well understood practice of a sudden and violent twist to dislocate the vertebræ of the neck. The orders to the outposts were executed according to local circumstances, and the English army had afterwards direct evidence even to exhumation, of murders so committed, on persons who carried with them the anxious sympathy of the inhabitants; the order was extended to native state prisoners; and the horrible butcheries of this period exemplified, in the most impressive manner, the natural connexion between cruelty and fear.-iii. pp. 140, 141.
But it is time to close the relation of the frantic and murderous pranks of this unfeeling despot; and we cannot conclude it better than with the following instance of dreadful retribution on one of his ready agents. It was inflicted by the widowed mother of a chief destroyed by Tippoo,-an instance of a daring and desperate spirit not unexampled in the secluded females of Hindostan.
“She paid me a visit in 1808,' (it is Colonel Wilks who speaks,)' and among other adventures related the following: “ Tippoo's aumil, who polluted the mansion of my lost husband and son, wanted iron, and determined to supply himself from the rut,” (a temple of carved wood fixed on wheels, drawn in procession on public occasions, and requiring many thousand persons to effect its movement.) “ It was too much trouble to take it to pieces, and the wretch burned it in the square of the great temple, for the sake of the iron. On hearing of this abomination, I secretly collected my men, I entered the town by night, I seized him and tied him to a stake, and (bursting into tears, and an agony of exultation) I burned the monster on the spot where he had wantonly insulted and consumed the sacred emblems of my religion.”—iii. p. 285.
We all know the conditions on which Lord Cornwallis granted a peace to Tippoo; and have read of the restitution of his two sons by Major Doveton, but the details given in these volumes are, nevertheless, very interesting. The subsequent events; the embassy to the Isle of France; the reinforcement of ninety-nine Frenchmen from that quarter ; the organization of a jacobin club in Seringapatam; the planting of the tree of liberty, surrounded by the cap of equality, and the fraternization of the sans-culotte Sultaun under the distinguished appellation of Citizen Tippoo,--together with the decisive measures and the rapid movements of the Marquis of
are too recent and too well known to require any particular notice ;-suffice it to say that this monster in hunian shape died, as he had lived—a fool, and a madman—which is the best apology that can be made for him.
Tippoo fell in 1796, in the forty-seventh year of his age, and the eighteenth of his reign. He was less tall than his father; he
had a short neck, small and delicate hands and feet, large and full eyes, and a dark complexion, all characteristics of the Indian form. He spoke in a loud and in harmonious tone of voice; was extremely garrulous, and on superficial subjects delivered his sentiments with plausibility; he excelled in horsemanship; and ridiculed the conveyance in palanquins, which he, in a great degree, prohibited more, it is said, from avarice than taste. With a smattering of Persian literature he considered himself as the first philosopher of the age; bis pen was for ever in his hand, but he could neither write the language with elegance nor accuracy. The leading features of his character were vanity and arrogance-no human being was ever so handsome, so wise, so learned, or so brave as himself. No man, however, had less penetration into character; no prince was ever so ill served.
His application was intense and incessant; but it was mere occupation and not business; he affected to write with his own hand all his dispatches, and the consequence was that nothing was dispatched. Hyder was an improving monarch, and exhibited few innovations. Tippoo was an innovating monarch, and made no improvements. One had a sagacious and powerful mind; the other a feeble and unsteady intellect. Tippoo was intoxicated with success, and desponding with adversity. His mental energy failed with the decline of fortune; but,' says Colonel Wilks, it were unjust to question his physical courage. He fell in the defence of his capital; but he fell, performing the duties of a common soldier, not of a general. The parallel or contrast between the father and son sums up the character of both.
• Both sovereigns were equally unprincipled; but Hyder had a clear undisturbed view of the interests of ambition : in Tippoo that view was incessantly obscured and perverted by the meanest passions. He murdered his English prisoners, by a selection of the best, because he hated their valour: he oppressed and insulted his Hindoo subjects, because he hated a religion which, if protected, would have been the best support of his throne; and he fawned, in his last extremity, on this injured people, when he vainly hoped that their incantations might influence his fate: he persecuted contrary to his interest; and hoped, in opposition to his belief. Hyder, with all his faults, might be deemed a model of toleration, by the professor of any religion. Tippoo, in an age when persecution only survived in history, renewed its worst terrors; and was the last Mahommedan prince, after a long interval of better feeling, who propagated that religion by the edge of the sword. Hyder’s vices invariably promoted his political interests ; Tippoo's more frequently defeated them. If Hyder's punishments were barbarous, they were at least efficient to their purpose. Tippoo's court and army was one vast scene of unpunished peculation, notorious even to himself. He was barba where severity was vice, and indulgent where it was virtue. If he had qualities fitted for empire, they were strangely equivocal; the
disqualifications were obvious and unquestionable; and the decision of history will not be far removed from the observation almost proverbial in Mysoor, “ that Hyder was born to create an empire, l'ippoo to lose "-iii.
465. By the extinction of these two usurpers of the government of Mysore, the south of India has enjoyed a state of tranquillity unknown at any period of the Mahommedan dynasty; and it were to be wished for the sake of the country at large, that the British government was in possession of the whole peninsula of Hindustan, from the Indus to the Ganges, and from the Himalaya to the ocean, instead of keeping up that political simulation, which Colonel Wilks so justly reprobates.
' In the whole of the political transactions of India,' be observes,' we perceive Hindous, Mahommedans, French and English, searching for a shadow, to sanction their pretensions, instead of resting their claims on more substantial grounds. In the course of events, however, the shadow and the substance have both fallen into the hands of the English; and on their part, at least, it is time that the scene of simulation should finally close. The late events have drawn it somewhat nearer to that close which alone can confer a permanent tranquillity on Hindostan. But we are warned that it is more than time for us to close our remarks.
We hardly know how to estimate the merits of Col.Wilks's book: as a history it is by far too long; the two reigns of the house of Mysore occupying nearly as much space as Hume's history of England. He not only enters too widely into detail, but details matters wholly irrelevant to the main subject, and many of them of very trifling importance. The style is careless, obscure and involved, wanting that plain and easy dignity which distinguishes Hume, and we may add, though in an inferior degree, Orme. But Col. Wilks appears, like many more unfortunate authors, to have adopted Gibbon for his model; if this was his object, we can only say that he has failed; it is neither Gibbon in his slippers nor in his full dress, but Gibbon hobbling in a pair of wooden shoes.
These, however, we regret to say, are not the greatest faults we have to lay to the charge of Col. Wilks : valuable as his researches unquestionably are, and fair and candid as he generally is in his inferences and observations, he is by no means free from party feelings. We heartily participate in every thing he says of Lord Wellesley's measures and of his administration of the government of India. We have no objection to his repeating, what has so often been said, that Mr. Hastings was the saviour of India. Mr. Hastings, like others placed in high and responsible situations, will receive from impartial history a just proportion of praise and blame; but he never can be considered as entitled to unqualified