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cartouches a man for the troops, and not provisions for two days, remained in Chap. IV. the camp.* The next morning intelligence was received, that the English fleet,v-—*"'
after a fresh engagement with the French, had anchored before Carical, from which alone the French army could derive its supplies. Ijally summoned a council of war. Out of thirteen officers, two, the Count d'Estaign, and M. Saubinet, advised an immediate assault, considering the success as certain, and the landing of the English at Carical, while the French fleet kept the sea, as highly improbable. It was determined, in conformity with the opinion of the other eleven, to raise the siege.f Intelligence of this resolution of the enemy, and of the negligence and security in which they encamped, encouraged the Tanjorines to attempt a surprise; which brought Lally and his army into Unsuccessful, imminent danger. After a disastrous march, in which they suffered severely, from the enemy, from fatigue, and from famine, \ they arrived on the 18th at Carical, and saw the English fleet at anchor off the mouth of the river.
After the first of the naval engagements, the English fleet, before they could Proceedings of anchor, were carried a league to the north of Sadras; the French, which hadEng^hfleetsd suffered less in the rigging, and sailed better, anchored fifteen miles to the windward. The English as soon as possible weighed again, and, after a fruitless endeavour to reach Fort St . David, discovered the French fleet on the 28th of May in the road of Pondicherry. The next day, the French, at the remonstrance of Lally, who sent on board a considerable body of troops, took the sea; but instead of bearing down on the English, unable to advance against the wind, proceeded to Fort St. David, where they arrived on the evening after the surrender. The English, sailing badly, fell to leeward as far as Alamparva, where intelligence was received of the loss of the fort. The Admiral therefore, not having water on board for the consumption of five days, made sail, and anchored the
* This is the statement of Orme (ii. 27). That of Lally is—qu'il ne restoit au pare d'artillerie que trois milliers de poudre pour les canons, et vingt coups par soldat en cartouche—he adds that he had no other balls for the cannon but those which were shot by the enemy, of which few corresponded with the calibre of his guns; that twenty-four hours' battering were still requisite to make the breach practicable; that he had but a few days' provisions for the European part of his army, while the native part and the attendants were entirely without provisions, and had, the greater part of them, deserted. Mem. ut supra, p. 73. v
f Lally says, that he had at the same time received a letter from the Commanding Officer at Pondicherry, announcing that a body of 1,200 English, who had marched from Madras, were menacing Pondicherry; and one from Gopal Row the Mahratta, threatening with a visit the territory of the French, if their army did not immediately evacuate Tanjore. Mem. p. 78.
% Notwithstanding their hardships and fatigues Lally asserts that they lost but little. Ib. p. 81.
Book IV. next day in the road of Madras. The fleet had numerous wants; Madras had vei7 scanty means of supply; and nearly eight weeks elapsed before it was again ready for sea. On the 3d of July three of the Company's ships arrived from Bengal, with money, merchandize, and stores, but no troops. The monsoon had obliged them to make the outward passage towards Acheen, and they came in from the southward. The French Admiral, after touching at Fort St. David, had stood to the southward, to cruize off Ceylon; in opposition to the remonstrances of Lally, who desired the fleet to co-operate in the destined enterprise against Madras. Lally hastened from Fort St. David to Pondicherry, and summoned a Council by whose authority he recalled the fleet. The injunction reached the Admiral at Carical on the 16th of June, and he anchored the next day in the road of Pondicherry. Had he continued his destined course to the southward, he could not have missed the three English East Indiamen from Bengal, and by their capture would have obtained that treasure, the want of which alone disconcerted the scheme of English destruction. On the 25th of July the English fleet were again under sail; and on the 27th appeared before Pondicherry, where the French lay at anchor. They put to sea without delay; but the difficulties of the navigation, and the aims of the commanders, made it the 2d of August before the fleets encountered off Carical. The French line consisted of eight sail; the English, as before, of seven. The fight lasted scarcely an hour; when three of the French ships being driven out of the line, the whole bore away, under all the sail they could carry. The English Admiral gave chase; but in less than ten minutes the enemy were beyond the distance of certain shot. Toward night the English gave over the pursuit, and came to anchor off Carical. The French steered for Pondicherry, when the Admiral declared his intention of returning to Mauritius. Lally sent forward the Count D'Estaign to remonstrate with him on the disgrace of quitting the sea before an inferior enemy, and to urge him to renewed operations. D'Estaign offered to accompany him on board, with any proportion of the troops. Lally himself moved with the army from Carical on the 24th of August, and, having passed the Coleroon, hurried on with a small detachment to Pondicherry, where he arrived on the 28th. He immediately summoned a mixed Council of the administration and the army, who joined in a fresh expostulation to the Admiral on the necessity of repairing to Madras, where the success of an attack must altogether depend upon the union of the naval and military operations. That Commander, representing his ships as in a state of the greatest disablement, and his crews extremely enfeebled and diminished by disease, would yield to no persuasion, and set sail with his whole fleet for Mauritius on the 2d of Sep- Chap. IV.
If we trust to the declaration of Lally, his intention of besieging Madras, Lally takes still more his hopes of taking it, were abandoned from that hour. Before the fleet departed, an expedition against Arcot, with a view to relieve the cruel pressure of those pecuniary wants which the disastrous result of the expedition to Tanjore had only augmented, was projected and prepared. Arcot, the capital of Carnatic, had been left under the government of one of the principal officers of Mohamed Ali, the English Nabob, with a small body of Sepoys and native cavalry. With this officer, Raja Saheb, (the eldest son of the late Chunda Saheb,) now decorated by the French with the title of Nabob, had opened a correspondence; and a treaty was concluded, by which the Governor should deliver up the place, should receive as a reward 10,000 rupees, and be taken, along with his troops, into the pay and service of Lally. As auxiliary measures, the previous possession of the secondary forts of Trivatore, Trinomalee, Carangoly, and Timery, was deemed expedient. Lally divided his army into four parts, to two of which the forts of Carangoly and Timery surrendered without resistance; Trivatore and Trinomalee were taken by assault. On the terms of a pretended capitulation, on the 4th of October, Lally, amid the thunder of cannon, made his entrance into Arcot.
The fort of Chingliput, the occupation of which, from want of funds, or ignorance of its importance, Lally had postponed to the acquisition of Arcot, covered the country whence chiefly, in a case of siege, Madras would find it necessary to draw its provisions. In the consternation under which the English had withdrawn their troops from the country forts, upon the arrival of Lally, Chingliput among the rest had been left in a very defenceless condition; and when the French marched against Carangoly, they might have taken Chingliput by escalade in open day. The English, awakened to a sense of its importance, left Arcot to its fate, and made all their exertions to save Chingliput. A fleet had arrived from England in the middle of September, which brought 850 of the King's troops, and with them Colonel Drapier and Major Brereton:
* These events are minutely recorded by Orme, ii. 197—352. The sketches and criticisms of Col. Wilks, p. 379—398, are professional and sensible. Cambridge, p. 135—185, goes over the same ground. A spirited abstract is given, p. 96—102, by the author of the History and Management of the East India Company. For the operations of Lally, his own Memoir, with the original documents in the appendix, is in the highest degree instructive and entertaining.
VOL. II. T
Book IV. Captain Calliaud, with the whole of the European troops, was recalled from
^""T^CTTM"'' Trichinopoly: And before Lally entered Arcot, Chingliput was supplied with a 1758. . t tstrong garrison. The applications of Lally to the government at Pondicherry for 10,000 rupees, which were necessary, after the acquisition of Arcot, to put the troops in motion for Chingliput, were answered only by representations of the complete exhaustion of their resources; and that General, obliged for want of funds to place the troops in cantonments, returned to Pondicherry, full of mortification and chagrin.* Joined by He had been joined by Bussy about the time at which he entered Arcot.
B"sy That officer, who had conducted himself with such rare ability in the dominions of the Subahdar, and with his handful of French had raised himself to an elevated station among the princes of India, had left the Subahdar on a tottering throne, which nothing but his strong support could much longer uphold. The Subahdar, when informed of the intended departure of the French, was too much amazed to believe the dreadful intelligence; and when too well assured of its ominous reality, he took his leave of Bussy in an agony of grief and despair. Bussy, it is possible, took his departure with the more alacrity, as he hoped, through the representations which in person he would be able to make, that he could prevail upon Lally to send him back, and with augmented force to his important station. Having, on his march, been joined by Moracin, the Governor of Masulipatam, who with his troops was also recalled, he left the march to be conducted by Moracin, and under a safeguard granted him from Madras hastened to the meeting with Lally.
The head of that General was filled with the importance of his own project, the expulsion of the English from India; and with contempt for the schemes of Bussy, as of all other men who had different views from his own. In his letter to Bussy, upon the taking of Fort St. David, he had said, "It is the whole of British India which it now remains for us to attack. I do not conceal from you that, having taken Madras, it is my resolution to repair immediately, by land or by sea, to the banks of the Ganges, where your talents and experience will be of the greatest importance to me." Bussy employed every effort to convince him of the importance of retaining the advantages which he had gained in the dominions of the Subahdar; and the most pressing and passionate letters arrived from the Subahdar himself, f But Lally, who had already treated the
* Mem. pour le Compte de Lally, p. 86—99; Orme, ii. 341—370.
f Lally himself informs us, that these letters uniformly began with such expressions as these, representations of Bussy as the visions of a madman, and had told the Governor Chap. IV. of Pondicherry that he thought himself too condescending in reading his letters, v lent a deaf ear to remonstrances which inwardly he regarded as the fruit of delusion or imposture.* Apprized of the money which Dupleix had raised on his personal credit, he was not without hopes that Bussy might be possessed of similar resources; and he states as a matter of great surprise, mixed with incredibility, the averment of Bussy, that in this way he was altogether incapable of aiding the general cause. - • ■A high testimony from another quarter was yielded to the merits of Bussy. His rank as an officer was only that of Lieutenant-Colonel. Besides a MajorGeneral, six Colonels had arrived with the army of Lally. The six Colonels, yielding to the nobler impulses of the human mind, signed a requisition that Bussy might supersede them. "Their names," says Mr. Orme, " highly worthy of record on this occasion, were mostly of ancient and noble descent; D'Estaign, de Landivisiau, de la Faire, Breteuil, Verdiere, and Crillon.''
To whatever quarter Lally turned his eyes, he found himself beset with the Operations greatest difficulties. The government at Pondicherry declared, as they had fre- dres"" Ma quently declared before, that in their exhausted situation it was altogether impossible for them to find the means of subsisting the army at Pondicherry. When a council of war was called, the Count D'Estaign, and other officers, pronounced it better to die by a musket ball, under the ramparts of Madras, than by hunger, within those of Pondicherry. The idea of undertaking a siege, says Lally, the total want of funds excluded from the mind of every one. But it was deemed expedient to bombard the place, to shut up the English within the fort, to obtain the pillage of the black town, and to lay waste the surrounding country .f
The Governor of Pondicherry declared that he was destitute of every species of resource, either for the pay or the maintenance of the soldiers. Lally advanced 60,000 rupees of his own money, and prevailed upon some members of the council, and other individuals in Pondicherry, to follow, in some degree, his example. From this species of contribution or loan, he obtained 34,000 rupees, which, added to his own, made a sum of 94,000. This was the treasure with
"Renvoyez moi M. de Bussy avec un corps de troupes; vous savez que je ne peux pas m'en passer;" or, "vous savez que je ne peux pas me passer de M. de Bussy; renvoyez le moi avec un corps de troupes, &c." Mem. pour le Compte de Lally, p. 93. * Letter to De Leyrit, 28th June, 1758. Mem. ut supra, Appen. No. xxxvi.
+ Mem. ut supra, i. 98, 100.