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But examples of ingratitude and inhumanity were familiar to Hyder's mind. His conduct towards Mahommed Ali may here be noticed. This officer, when Hyder was besieged in his capital. by Trimbuc Row, after the disgraceful flight abovementioned, was sent out with a corps of infantry to attempt the recovery, by surprize, of Periapatam. The corps, consisting of four battalions, was overtaken on the morning after its march, and attacked with great energy by the Mahrattas. Colonel Wilks must tell the rest.
• Mahommed Ali took post in a ruined village, and made a gallant resistance throughout the day; at night his preparations seemed to announce the intention of attempting a retreat; and his numerous wounded, on receiving this intelligence, began to utter the most dreadful lamentations at the fate to which they were destined. In order that the alarm might not, by these means, be communicated to the enemy, he went round to assure them that they should not be abandoned to perish by famine. The fearful mental reservation of this assurance referred to a plan of novel barbarity, exceeded only in later times by an atrocity which has been ascribed to a people calling themselves more civilized. When every thing was ready, he sent round a certain number of persons properly instructed, who, at, a concerted signal, murdered all the wounded. In the horrible silence which ensued, he commenced his retreat by an unsuspected path, and, taking a circuitous route, reached Mysoor by day-light.'—vol.ii. p. 150.
We cannot much applaud the delicate manner in which the allusion is made to the murder rather than to the murderer of Jaffa,* who still lives to insult offended humanity by not only avowing but justifying the act; and, what is more strange, lives to find an apologist for his crimes in the very man who first preferred the charge against him. But even-handed justice' may yet "return the ingredients of the poisoned chalice to the lips of the European, as she did to those of the Asiatic, mur
Proofs rise on proofs! While this Article was passing through the press, we received a copy of Mr. Walpole's · Memoirs of Asiatic Turkey. We accidentally opened it at p. 188, and were at once struck by the following paragraph: it is found in a letter from the late Professor of Arabic to the Bishop of Durham.
"The whole of these sects' (the various population of Syria) seem to have an equal hatred to the Turks and the French; to the former, for their constant oppression; to the latter, for the horrid cruelties committed in their return from Acre. I MYSELF SAW, under the walls of Jaffa, the mangled and half buried remains of 5,000 Turks, and near 500 Christians, whom Buonaparte massacred upon the shore. The putrid smell was scarcely dissipated after the intervention of a year. Kleber refused to have any band in so shocking a transaction; but miscreants were not wanting to put in execution, with every aggravation of cruelty, as I was told by eye-witnesses, the commands of the First Consul.
The writer of this (Mr. Archdeacon Carlyle) was a man of the strictest honour and veracity, and spoke the languages of the East with the readiness of a native. We cordially felicitate Sir R. Wilson on this irrefragable addition to the testimony which, with the feelings of a British soldier, he bore to the brutal ferocity of Buonaparte ; (see our last Nuniber, p. 517.) and beg leave, at the same time, to commend both this and our former extracts to the serious contemplation of Dr. Clarke.
derer. Mahommed Ali was, with Hyder, a sort of privileged person, who said what he pleased; he was also a great favourite of Tippoo; and when Rustum Ali Beg was ordered to execution for having surrendered Mangalore by a favourable capitulation to General Matthews, interposed, with his usual freedom, to save him; on which Tippoo determined to have him also put to death, with about seventy others, who were accidentally present at what the tyrant was pleased to call an attempt to rescue Rustunı Ali. The services of Mahommed Ali, however, pleaded for mercy, and all the officers interposed the most earnest entreaties for the preservation of his life, in which Tippoo publicly declared his acquiescence. He was sent off to Seringapatam with an escort under Sheikh Hummeed, who, on the second day, had the humanity to apprize bim of a written order which he had received from Tippoo to dispatch him on the road; and the victim, after a short period employed in devotion, quietly acquiesced in the arrangements for strangling him without noise, by means of the common groom's cord for leading a horse.'- vol. ii. p. 481.
The iniquitous invasion of Coorg took place in 1773. The Coorgs, apprized of the approach of the enemy, had assembled on a woody hill which Hyder completely invested with his troops. He immediately proclaimed a reward of five rupees for every head which should be brought before him, and sat down to see the rewards distributed. When about seven hundred had been paid for, a person approached and deposited two heads, both of them of the fairest forms. Hyder, having examined the features, asked the bearer if his heart did not smite him for cutting off such comely heads : and immediately ordered the decapitation to cease. It is the only feature in his whole life,' says Colonel Wilks, that incurs the direct suspicion of pity.'-vol. ii. p. 158.
In the year 1775, the raja of Mysore died. Hyder, who had always professed to hold it on behalf of the Hindoo house, and amused the people at the annual feast of the Dessera, by exhibiting the pageant seated on his ivory throne in the balcony of state, determined to carry on the farce by the election of a new raja. The lineal male succession being extinct, he collected all the children of the different branches of the family in the Hall of Audience, which was strewed with fruits, sweetmeats and flowers, playthings of various descriptions, arms, books, male and female ornaments, bags of money, &c. and while they were engaged in a general scramble, one child was attracted by a brilliant little dagger, which he took up in his right hand, and soon afterwards a lime in his left. "That is the raja!' exclaimed Hyder; "his first care is military protection; his second to realize the produce of his dominions; bring him hither and let me embrace him. The deluded Hindoos murD 3
mured applause; the child was carried to the palace and installed'; and became the father of the present raja, who was placed by the English at the head of the Hindoo house of Mysore, on the subversion of the Mahommedan dynasty by the Marquis of Wellesley in 1799.--vol.ii. p. 163.
Hyder having succeeded in dissolving the confederacy of the Mahrattas and Nizam Ali, by purchasing the latter, laid siege to the fortress of Chittledroog, which he had long desired to possess. Jealous of the power and the distinguished bravery of the poligar who held it, and of his formidable troops, he was determined to reject the most subinissive offers of this unfortunate chief.
The siege continued for three months, with more perseverance than military skill on the side of Hyder; and on the part of the besieged, with a mixture of enthusiastic fatalism, and heedless, headlong valour, which is strongly characteristic of the Beder tribe. A temple dedicated to the goddess (Cali) who delights in blood, was erected on the summit of the Droog, an appellative derived from an attribute of the goddess; and so long as her rites should be duly performed, they believed that in fact, as well as in name, their fortress would be inaccessible. On every Monday, after performing their devotions to the goddess, the Beders made a religious sortie ; this, after a few repetitions, was as regularly known in the camp of the besiegers, as in the fort. A particular sound of the horn always gave intimation that they had finished their preparatory devotions and were about to sally: every thing was known, except the exact point of attack, and notwithstanding all the advantages of preparation, on the side of the besiegers, the Beders never once returned without penetrating into the trenches, and carrying off a certain number of heads, to offer at the shrine of Cáli. After the fall of the place, the heads were found ranged in rows of small pyramids, in regular order, in front of the temple of the goddess, to the amount of about two thousand.'-vol. ii. p. 181,182.
Hyder was compelled to raise the siege by the approach of the Mahratta army, amounting to sixty thousand cavalry, and a proportionate number of infantry, under Hurry Punt. This immense force, by a judicious combination of military skill and bribery, Hyder.completely succeeded in dispersing and driving back to the northward of the Kistna. He now sat down a second time before Chittledroog, which the poligar defended with his accustomed gallantry; but the greater part of his brave followers being either killed or wounded in the determined sallies which he continued to make, and a corps of about 3000 Mahomedans in his service being corrupted by Hyder, through the medium of their spiritual instructor, the poligar, finding Câli no longer propitious to his vows, ascended his palanquin, proceeded to Hyder's camp, and threw himself on the mercy of the victor. But Hyder was insensible to the quality of mercy. The palace of the unfortunate poligar
was plundered, his family secured and sent to Seringapatam. The native peasantry, chiefly Beders, who during the two sieges had adhered with unconquerable attachment to their chief, after being pillaged of all their tangible property, were swept away to people the island of Seringapatam, to the amount of 20,000 souls. The boys were made converts to Mahomedanism, and formed into a inilitary corps, under the name of chêla battalions.—vol.ii. p. 190.
About this time, Hyder narrowly escaped assassination by a party of eighty ferocious Affghans, who had been taken prisoners and disarmed: though their swords were afterwards restored, they still felt the insult, and concerted a plan of revenge. In the dead of night they slew the guards, and rushed towards his tent. Hyder, however, on hearing the alarm, cut through it with his sword and escaped. Some of the assassins were seized and instantly put to death; the remainder had their hands and feet chopped off, and in that shocking state were thrown into the highway, to announce to his new subjects the terror of his name. Some of them were destined to a death, if possible, still more horrible; they were tied by a short cord to the feet of elephants, and dragged round the camp.vol.ii. p. 191.
The avarice of Hyder kept pace with his inhumanity; perhaps the former acted as a stimulus to the latter. His deroan, or minister of finance, a Bramin of the name of Vencatapa, a few days before his death, for the repose of his conscience and the security of his family, sent his dying declaration to Hyder, that the amount of his fortune, honourably made in his service, was 50,000 pagodas, which he entreated his master to receive into the treasury, and leave his family in peace. ' According to English notions,' says Colonel Wilks, every spark of honour must be extinct in the breast of a prince, who should despoil the family of a faithful servant of a sum so fairly acquired.' Hyder reasoned differently: he took the money, and considered it as an act of exemplary benevolence on his part, to excuse the innocent family from the usual process of torture. The next dewan, also a Bramin, of the name, of Chinneia, was tortured, plundered and dismissed. He was siicceeded by Assud Ali Khan, the first Mussulman employed by him in a civil office of trust and importance; Ali died under the tortures which were inflicted to extort money which he did not possess : he was considered as an able and an honourable man. The nest was also a man of integrity, but not of talent equal to his situation. On his removal, he declared that all he was worth in the world amounted to 10,000 rupees, or 1,2501. the exact sum with which he had entered Hyder's service. He was, notwithstanding, thrown into prison, where he soon after died; the teu thousand rupees,
which he bad mentioned, were found in his house, and his brutal master took them from his family without the smallest compunction.
In the year 1779, Hyder entertained strong hopes of forming a confederacy, of which the avowed object was the extermination of the British power in Ivdia; and when the imbecile measures, the wretched intrigues of the government of Madras are consider: ed, during the reign of the Rumbolds, the Whitehills, and the Paul Benfields, the only matter of surprize is, that the confederacy did not succeed. I have tried them already,' said Hyder,
and I know them well; they have no conduct; and even now, when I have assembled my whole force to enter the country, they have not shewn the least glimmering of ability. It was on this occasion that Hyder overran the Carnatic with an army of more than 80,000 men, almost realizing those tremendous scenes of des solation which Burke so forcibly, but somewhat too poetically, described, and which continued to be the topic of stupid ridicule. at Madras, until the conflagration of the surrounding country, and the actual appearance of the bleeding fugitives, roused this most extraordinary conclave from a slumber, which has no example in the history of the world.' vol. ii. p. 256.
This campaign, disastrous and disgraceful as it was to us, afforded many brilliant examples of genius and gallantry on the part of the subaltern officers in the command of posts; among whom Ensigns Allan and Macauley, Lieutenants Parr and Flint, are mentioned with particular distinction. We cannot resist inserting the eulogium bestowed by Colonel Wilks on the last-mentioned officer:
• Strange as in these days the proposition may sound, this lieutenant was an officer of very considerable experience; to a scientific knowledge of the theory, he added some practical acquaintance with the business of a siege; and to military talents of no ordinary rank, a mind fertile in resources, and a mild confidence of manner, which, as his troops were wont to say, rendered it impossible to feel alarm in his presence, He found the place (Wandewash) in a ruinous state, furnished with abundance of cannon, but no carriages, and little powder; he repaired the works, constructed carriages, and manufactured powder. He had not one artilleryman; but he prevailed on the silversmiths, who, according to the routine of Hindoo warfare, are the apology for cannoneers, not only to attend regularly, to be instructed in the exercise, but, in the subsequent siege, to perform their duties in a respectable manner. From the 12th of August, 1780, until the 12th of February, 1783, an eventful period, during which the flower of Hyder's army were before the place seventy-eight days of open trenches, and, after being foiled in open force, made repeated attempts to seize it by stratagem, or starve it into surrender, this officer, never once casting off his clothes at the uncertain periods of repose, not only provided the means of internal defence, but raised a little corps of cavalry for exterior enter