Графични страници
PDF файл

ished her, and gratified a wish which had , “Keepsake," and in several literary periodihaunted her very dreams. One may easily cals. She has also published a collection of imagine the interest and the delight which a her poems, which we cannot help thinking are complimentary letter from the editor of a full of interest and beauty. And doubtless London journal will excite in the mind of a the reader who chances to see her name in literary aspirant in a remote village in the print again will read her productions with all country. From that time Frances Brown's the greater interest, after having read the name has been often seen in the public jour-above account of her sufferings, her difficulnals and magazines — in “ Hood's,” in the ties, and her triumphs.

[blocks in formation]


Charles THEOPHILUS, first and last Lord that power which is destined to sway all Metcalfe, was born in Calcutta on the 30th some time or other in their lives. of January, 1785. His father, Major Metcalfe, realized a fortune, as "agent for mili- It was arranged, therefore, that Theophilus tary stores," returned to England when should sail for "China in the spring, and that Charles was still young, and having bought Charles should embark for Calcutta in the a house in Portland Place, became soon after

In the meanwhile the boys were to M.P. and an East India director.

enjoy themselves as best they could. Charles, There were other sons besides Charles, and though of a retiring disposition, did not dislike

society; and there were a few families, in the after a brief schooling at Bromley, in Middle- neighborhood of his father's house, to whom he sex, the two eldest, Charles being then eleven was a frequent visitor. In one of these there was years of age, were entered at Eton. As a a young lady, a little older than himself, with schoolboy, it appears that he was quiet and whom he fell in love at first sight. He was first retiring—was neither a cricketer nor a boater, introduced to her, on the day after he left Eton, but a great reader, and with a strong literary he frequently saw her, either at his own house or

After that event turn, sending anecdotes to the Naval Chro, her mother's. The charms of the young lady, not nicle, and enlivening the Military Journal merely those of external beauty and grace, made with his Etonian lucubrations.

a deep and abiding impression on his mind; and he Major Metcalfe being an East India direct- was long afterwards of opinion, that this boyish at or, the career of bis sons was chalked out tachment, pure and disinterested as it was, had a for them before they were almost old enough beneficial influence on his character. He correto know what to anticipate. A China writer- sponded with her for some time afterwards, and ship, Mr. Kaye remarks, was, in those days, They are almost the only part of his correspond

her "sensible letters" heightened his admiration. the best bit of preferment in the world. It

ence which has not survived him. The excepwas a certain fortune in a very few years. tion tells its own story. And accordingly, Theophilus, the eldest, was despatched to China, while Charles had his The circumstance was, however-notwithwritership assigned to bim iu Calcutta. standing the kindly view the "fervent bio

Charles was not at this time so young but grapher” has taken of it-much, to be rethat, before he left this country, he owned gretted in a youth placed as Charles Metcalfe

was, and it led to subsequent discontent and * The Life and Correspondence of Charles, Lord yearning for home, when, with the best prosMetcalfe, late Governor-General of India, Gover | pects in the world, there was nothing but por of Jamaica, and Governor-General of Canada. From Unpublished Letters and Journals preserved progress to be looked to. by bimself, his family, and his friends. By John

The ideas associated with a writership in WILLIAM Kaye. London: Richard Bentley.' 1854. I India are a close adhesion to the desk, a zealous study of languages, and a gradual | that time been but little explored. The initiation into those mysteries of East Indian Mahrattas were then dominant in that fine politics by which a host of the most hetero country. The hereditary enmity of Scindiah geneous materials are held together in some and Holkar was rending and distracting it. sort of harmoay. Whatever it may be with It was what the natives call a time of trouble. others, it was not so with Charles Metcalfe, British interests were represented at the who belonged to a great privileged class; the court of the former by Colonel Collins—an son of an East India director, he had many officer of the Company's army-who, in more friends in the settlement, and he had a pass-than one political situation, had done good port to the best society in Calcutta.

service to the state, but whose private amiaAccordingly, the entries in the young bility, we are told, was not equal to his writer's journal for some weeks after his diplomatic address. arrival seem to be the only writing he cared On his way to Oujein, Charles Metcalfe to be troubled with, and these are mere travelled from Cawnpore to Lucknow in the records of the places at which he dined and suite of Lord Wellesley, and the pageantry he at which he danced. We find him, for a witnessed first made him begin to think that "diffident youth," "short, and somewhat the bright Oriental tinting of the “ Arabian homely in appearance,” launching forth into Nights” had nothing fabulous about it. The the gayeties of Calcutta with great nerve and official connection of Charles Metcalfe with spirit: getting first a cocked hat, (20 rupees,) Scindiah's court was, however, brief and unthen a palanquin, (160 rupees,) and next á satisfactory. “My situation was very diskhitmudgar, an hircarrah, a masaulchee, and agreeable," he wrote in his journal, before he a tailor!

had been more than a few weeks attached True, he did bethink himself amid all these to the Residency; and he very soon formed gayeties of studying the language, and he se- the resolution of seeking more congenial emcured the services of a moonshee ; but after ployment elsewhere. two days' trial he dismissed him, finding bim So great was the influence of the East of no use; and it was not till he was ad- India director, or so strong an impression mitted on the rolls of the College of Fort had his son made upon Lord Wellesley, that William that he set himself seriously to work the throwing up of his situation at the court to acquire Oriental knowledge.

of Scindiah, instead of hurting his prospects, Charles was then in his seventeenth year ; opened the way to his employment at the and Lord Wellesley, who had always befriended presidency itself, as an assistant in the office bim, was not unwilling to sanction his prema of the chief secretary to government—a situ. ture escape from college, by an appointment ation to which the ambitious commonly turn as assistant to the Resident at the Court of their eyes as the stepping-stone to ultimate Dowlut Rao Scindiab.


From this time Charles Metcalfe looked And so (says his biographer) ended Charles steadily forward. There were no more vain Metcalfe's first year in India. The experienced retrospects-no more idle regrets. He had Anglo-Indian reader will see in it, peradventure, formed the resolution of not leaving the counthe reflection of his own trial.year. When try until the governor-generalship of India throughout the hot months and the rainy season was in his hands. And that such would be of this year 1801, the young exile felt an irresist the end of his career, we are told by bis ible desire to return to his old home, with all its charming associations of love and liberty, his biographer, was not a mere passing thought longings were only those of a large proportion of -an impulsive hope—but an abiding and the young exiles who, in loneliness of heart and sustaining conviction. captivity of person, struggle feebly through this All through the year 1803, and the earlier first dreary season of probation. By the old, sor- part of 1804, Charles Metcalfe continued to getful of their own experiences, this despondency, graduate in Indian politics, under the direcattributable as it is in part to physical and in part torship of Lord Wellesley. It was a season to moral causes, may be regarded as boyish weak- of unusual excitement. Our relations with nėss. But it is weakness better than any strength: the Mahratta states were just beginning to Charles Metcalfe had a very warm human heart; and I do not think the reader will admire him the involve us in the greatest war in which we less for being forced to love him more.

bad ever been engaged in India. Lake and

Wellesley were in the field, waiting the opCharles Metcalfe's destination was those portunity to strike. When the campaign remote provinces which lie between the began in earnest against Holkar, young MetJumma and the Nerbudda, and which had at I calfe was despatched to the camp of the


commander-in-chief as a political assistant. On the 13th, having been joined by his gyns, he He started in good spirits, and under happy took up his position before the fortress, and comauspices ; but he did not proceed far without menced an attack upon the outworks. On the meeting with an adventure.

17th the breaching battery was ready for action;

but such was the strength of the walls, that it was Before he reached Cawnpore, at soine point of not until the 23d that the breach was reported the road which I cannot precisely indicate, he practicable, and dispositions made for the assault

on the following day. was set upon by robbers. He was asleep in his palanquin when he fell amongst these thieves, volunteered to accompany it. He was one of the

The storming party was told off, and Metcalfe and, according to custom, was abandoned by his first who entered the breach. There are soldiers bearers. One of his assailants had a club in his hand, which young Metcalfe seized ; another then mas-eve, and delight to speak of the gallantry of

now living who remember that memorable Christstruck at him with a tulwar, or sword, cut off the the young civilian. The "clerk” fairly won bis ends of two of his fingers, and wounded bim on the head and on the breast. Single-handed, it was

spurs, and shared with the most distinguished of

his comrades the honors no less than the dangers impossible to save his property, but his life he of one of the most brilliant achievements of the might saye ; so, finding resistance useless, he

In the commander-in-chief's despatch, the staggered away from his assailants, and following name of Metcalfe was honorably mentioned. “Bea path through the jungle, he soon found himself fore I conclude this despatch,” wrote Lord Lake, on the bank of a broad river or stream. There, “I cannot help mentioning the spirited conduct of faint from loss of blood, he sank down, and, as he lay on the ground, thoughts of home came services with the storming party, and, as I am in

Mr. Metcalfe, a civil servant, who volunteered his thick upon him. It flashed upon his mind that formed, was one of the first in the breach.” Afterhis parents were not improbably at that very time wards, the fine old soldier called him his “ little at Abingdon races, talking with some friends

stormer." about their absent son, and little thinking of the danger and the suffering to which he was at that moment exposed. These thoughts made a deep

Upon this exploit, which nothing but the impression on his mind; but he presently roused peculiar position in which the youth was himself to action, and tottered back as best he placed can excuse, his mother wrote sensibly could to the spot where his palanquin was lying; enough: “One would think you imagined but found that the robbers had not yet made off that your prospect in life was desperate inwith their spoil

. After a little while, however, stead of its being one of the finest.” The they went, having despoiled the traveller of all the fact is, it is one of those acts which reason baggage which he carried with him-never any great amount on a dawk-journey-and effected condemns, but which the heart cannot help their escape. Metcalfe was then carried on to admiring. Charles Metcalfe had also several Cawnpore, where, under the care of his aunt, objects in view: there was not only the deMrs. Richardson, he soon recovered from his sire to show his military companions that he wounds, and proceeded onwards to the camp of was ready and willing to share their dangers, the commander-in-chief.

but there was also nothing to be left urdone Lake was then on the banks of the Jumpa, to increase an influence already in the asHolkar was hanging on his rear, and in the cendant, in order to arrive ultimately at the full indulgence of the predatory habits of his goal of his ambition. tribe. When Charles Metcalfe arrived at From Deeg the grand army marched upon head-quarters, he was received with all cour- Bhurtpore, and when a light brigade was tesy and kindness, but, unfortunately, he was detached under General Smith, to drive back also regarded with some mistrust. He was

a threatened relief under Ameer Khan, young a civilian in the midst of a community of sol-Metcalfe conducted all the diplomátic busidiers. He was called a clerk, and sneered at ness of the campaign. This was the most as a non-combatant. But Charles Metcalfe, responsible situation he had yet filled, as he though he wore neither the King's nor the was thrown entirely on his own resources. Company's uniform, had as much of the true As his biographer remarks, he was now fast spirit of the soldier in him as any officer in becoming a personage of some political imcamp, and an opportunity of showing this portance--taking, indeed, a place in history, was not long in presenting itself.

and that, too, before he was of age.

When peace was concluded with the Rajah The fortress of Deeg, distant some forty-five of Bhurtpore on the 21st of April, 1805, miles from Agra, was garrisoned by the allied Metcalfe wished to return to Calcutta, the troops of our enemies, Holkar and the Rajah of Bhurtpore. In the month of December, General

more especially as his patron, Lord WellesLake, who had determined upon the reduction of ley, had just been superseded by Lord Cornthe place, encamped within sight of it, and await- wallis; but he was dissuaded by Sir John, ed the arrival of his battering-train from Agra. I then Colonel, Malcolm, who induced him to

remain at the scene of action. At this time, to the court of Persia, Mountstuart ElphinLord Lake's army was cantoned among the stone to Cabul, and Charles Metcalfe to the ruined mausolea and decaying palaces of court of Runjeet Singh. He thus, at twentyMuttra, Agra, and Secundra. The still un-three, became the pioneer of that great settled state of the north-west provinces gave scheme of diplomacy by which Persia, Af. the “politicals” constant work and uneasi ganistan, and the Punjab were to be erected ness, and young Metcalfe was soon called into friendly barriers against Russo - Gallio upon to render the same services to General invasion. Dowdeswell's division in the Doab which he The Maharajah received Metcalfe with had rendered in the spring of the year to outward demonstrations of good-will, but his General Smith. Sir Theophilus Metcalfe want of good faith soon led to difficulties and used to call this kind of employment "nurs- misunderstandings. Runjeet was zealous and ing king's officers;" but these nurses" have suspicious of the British government, and it since come to be called “politicals,” and required all the tact and perseverance of the Charles Metcalfe was almost ihe first of the young diplomatist to do any thing with him. race.

Great difficulty was experienced at the very Charles Metcalfe was now only in his outset to get the Rajah even to receive the twenty - second year, but he had passed propositions of the British government. When nearly six of these in the public service, and this was gotover, it led to nothing but a series was already a ripe diplomatist. By all who of consuliations, each less conclusive than the knew him—by his principal friends and offi- other. The difficulties which the young cial associates—he was held in such estima- diplomatist bad to contend with were indeed tion that not one of them hesitated to predict many and great. He soon perceived that in his speedy attainment of the highest honors Runjeet Singh he had to deal with a man of his profession. He had not, therefore, inordinately ambitious bimself, and out of long to wait before he received an appoint- measure suspicious of the designs of others. ment as first assistant to the Resident at This distrust of the British mission was not Delhi. Time was when he would have re- long in assuming the form of open discourgarded this appointment with some contempt; tesy. The native bankers were afraid to cash but, as his biographer justly remarks, the the envoy’s bills, and supplies were refused political service was not then what it once to the mission. All intercourse between the had been in the palmy days of the “glorious camp and the Sikhs was especially interdicted. little man" who had set Charles Metcalfe on But Metcalfe had certain great ends to acthe high-road which leads to fame and for-complish, and he would not be arrested or tune. Mr. Seton had lately succeeded Colo- turned aside by any obstructions but those nel Ochterlooy as Resident at Delhi, and be of the greatest national import and signifiheld young Metcalfe in the greatest possible cance. esteem.

But that which most embarrassed him at Our young diplomatist was thus for a time this time, was the unscrupulous course of fairly and comfortably settled at Delhi-the territorial aggrandizement which Runjeet was imperial city of the Great Mogul. The determined on pursuing in the face of the necessity, however, of building a house on a British mission. On the 25th of September, city of ruins, caused an increase of expendi- he, without any previous notice, broke up his ture which led to some temporary embar- camp at Kussoor, and prepared to cross the rassments, but which prudence and resolution Sutlej, his object being to capture the fortress soon enabled him to recover from. Disliking, and surrounding territory of Fureed-Koteas he did, the combination of revenue and a tract of country in the domain of the Rajah judicial employments with political, still he of Puttealah, one of the chief of the group was obliged to work actively at all three, till, of the Cis-Sutlej states, and at that time in on the accession of Lord Minto to office, he the hands of rebels. was sent on a special misson to Lahore. This But while Metcalfe was thus being dragwas at a time when all Europe was bound in ged about in the suite of the predatory Sikh, a league against Great Britain, and the sha- Lord Minto decided that this aggressiveness dow of a gigantic enemy advancing from on his part should be stemmed, and that the those vast tracts of country which lie beyond lesser chiefs between the Sutlej and Jumna the Sutlej and the Indus to the conquest of should be supported. A division was orIndia, already haunted the imaginations of dered for service on the banks of the Sutlej, British statesmen. To meet the emergency under Colonel Ochterlony, and after the usual of the case, Sir John Malcolm was despaiched amount of delay, dissimulation, and tergiversation, Runjeet was induced to sign a treaty to him that one of these princes had murdered a which, during a subsequent reign of thirty woman in the palace, either by beating her to years, was never violated.

death or compelling her to swallow opium. Again Metcalfe, on his return to Delhi, was sum- tidings came to him that one of the ladies of the moned to Calcutta, and appointed Deputy infant. Then it was reported to the Resident that

emperor's establishment had murdered a female Secretary to the Governor, at that time about the imperial quarters had been rendered a general to depart for Madras, where disturbances receptacle for stolen goods and sequestered prohad broken out among the British troops. perty; Then a knotty question arose as to whether Nothing particular occurred in this mission, the slave-lrade, having been prohibited in the city and on his return he was appointed Resident of Delhi, should be allowed to survive in the paat the court of Scindiah. “But this second lace. Then it appeared that the emperor himself, residence at the same Court was not destined with the Newab Wuzeer of Oude, through the

after sundry intrigues at Calcutta, was intriguing to be of long continuance : at the commence- agency of his favorite son, the Prince Jehanguire, ment of the following year, 1811, he was who, on the pretext of attending a marriage festitranslated to the Delhi Residency.

val, had gone to Lucknow, from Allahabad, where It was at this period of bis life, when he he was a state prisoner, to beseech the Newab to had just completed his twenty-fifth year, intercede with the British government for the augthat Metcalfe laid the foundation of a formentation of his father's stipend. tune which would have creditably sustained Noth withstanding Metcalfe's prudence in the peerage he ultimately won, by not money matters, his liberality and hospitality only making a resolution to lay by 800 ru involved him in a rather unpleasant position pees (1001.) out of 2000 he received per at Delhi. Misconduct on the part of the monih, but by having the firmness and con- Bhurtpore Rajah, and other symptoms of gestancy to carry it into practice. With all neral inquietude, also came to disturb the this prudence it is but just to observe, that routine of general political duties. The Metcalfe was throughout life a liberal, a greater part of the long administration with generous, and a charitable man ; indeed, it is which this narrative occupies itself, is indeed, only your prudent men who can afford to be like the rest of the modern annals of Indian either.

rule, marked by continual hostilities with It is needless to enter into the details of neighboring states. Such are the inevitable diplomatic and administrative labors at Delhi. penalties of the juxta-position of civilization Stripped of his externals, the burra sahib, or and barbarity. Among the first of these was great lord of the imperial city, says his bio- the war with Nepal—the events of which are grapher, was but a solitary exile, continually not connected with the biography of Charles disquieted by thoughts of home. But he Metcalfe by any other link than that of the lived with the harness on his back, and iuces- correspondence which he carried on with sant occupation preserved him from despond many of the chief actors in it. ency or oppression.

Metcalfe's views upon the settlement of Among the troubles of the Residency, not Central India were of a rather arbitrary chathe least were those which arose out of the racter; they were to the effect that, with refolly of the Mogul, Akbar Shah, who had gard to all the great military states and presucceeded to the old blind emperor, Shah datory powers, it was clearly our interest to Allum, and the wickedness of his family and annihilate them, or to reduce them to a state dependents.

of weakness, subjection, and dependence.

And with regard to the weak, and harmless, There were things done in the palace, and duly and well-disposed petty states, though it was reported to the Resident, in violation of all laws not so indispensably necessary for our vital human and divine. The crimes which were thus interests that we should support them, yet it committed, sometimes behind the sanctity of the purdah, greatly disquieted Metcalfe, for it was was a just and proper object of wise and lidifficult either to prevent their commission, or to beral policy. These plans, however, adopted deal with them when they were committed. One by Lord Hastings, were not approved of by day it was reported to him by the officer in com- the home authorities. mand of the palace-guard, whose daty it was to At length, in October, 1818, Metcalfe's retake cognisance of all that passed within the li- sidence in Central India was brought to a mits of the imperial residence, that two of the close by his appointment to the conjoined siyoung princes had been playing the parts of common robbers-oiling their naked persons, then tuation of Private and Political Secretary to rushing with drawn swords among the startled, the Governor-General. There was irksomeinmates of the zenana, and forcibly carrying off ness, however, even in this elevated position. their property. Another time it was announced | There is, indeed, it is well known, no perfect,

« ПредишнаНапред »