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REVIEW OF EASTERN NEWS.
THIS month's mail has reached England in an extraordinarily short space of time our Bombay papers of May 1st were received by us at mid-day of June 3rd. The accounts brought by it are to the following dates :— Calcutta, 21st April; Madras, 23rd April; Bombay, 1st May; China, 1st April.
The Chinese intelligence is important, but unhappily affords little hope of a speedy adjustment of affairs, and furnishes fresh proof, if it were necessary, of the gross mismanagement which has attended our proceedings on the spot, in this unfortunate quarrel, from the beginning, and to which the eyes of all the world seem at length to be reluctantly opened.
A few months after the date of the last month's advices, it clearly appeared that the hope of peace, which had deluded none but Captain Elliot, was illusory; the imperial minister and high Commissioner failed to fulfil their engagements; hostilities recommenced, and it appears from the tone of the imperial edicts from Peking, that no terms of pacification had been thought of there but the expulsion or extermination of the "rebellious foreigners," who, when taken, are to be sent in chains, with the heads of the slain, to the capital! Meanwhile, the easy credulity of the British Plenipotentiary had induced him not only to despatch to India and England intelligence that all was over, but with "haste-post-haste" precipitation, before the preliminaries had been ratified, to order the evacuation of Chusan by the miserable remnant of its once fine garrison and send them back to India; the consequence of which has been, that Hong-kong, which was taken possession of in the name of Her Majesty, has been abandoned for want of troops, and those Chinese, who may have become British partisans, are surrendered to the mercy of their countrymen, as an encouraging example to others. The conduct of her Majesty's representative in China may well dispose her royal mind to participate in the sentiments of the Emperor of China, whom the transactions have filled with "shame, indignation, and grief."
Where the bravery of our gallant forces had full scope, nothing can equal its ardour and success. As soon as hostilities were renewed, a portion of the squadron sailed up the celebrated reach, known as the Bocca Tigris. The great Bogue forts, as they are called, are placed at the upper extremity of a part of this reach, called Anson's Bay; Chuenpee and Tykok-tow, formerly destroyed, guard the lower one, the span of the bay being about seven miles. The field-work first taken, seems to have been a temporary structure on an island near the middle of the stream. The principle of keeping protected in the rear as well as in the front, is not recognized in Chinese engineering; and accordingly the forts, which even in front are far
more alarming in appearance than reality, were in the rear nearly defenceless, and might be turned or commanded without much inconvenience. The details of the capture are given in Sir Gordon Bremer's despatches with great minuteness, and the result is, that the British flag was hoisted at Canton, the city itself being at the mercy of the British forces. The passage of the steamer Nemesis into the inner waters, through branches in which a foreign ship had never before floated, and the wholesale destruction of forts, batteries, stations and junks, must have struck terror as well as surprise into the Chinese. What effect this success will have upon the Imperial Council of Peking, remains to be seen. If Ke-shen,-who, according to the Eastern maxim, that ill-success is the fault of the agent alone, has been sent to the capital for punishment,-succeeds in making the Emperor sensible of the inutility of further resistance, we may hope for peace, upon better terms than the folly of Captain Elliot submitted to offer; if not, we see nothing but a protracted warfare, carried on at a vast cost to the public treasury, and with a terrible waste of life. Much may, however, be expected from the sagacity of Sir H. Pottinger.
In India, the state of the Punjab is a subject of anxious consideration. That country is a scene of dreadful internal disorganization; the army is in a state of open mutiny, murdering its officers; of the chiefs, none seem capable of controlling the elements of disorder; and the European commanders are hastening from the scene of turmoil and bloodshed. Our army is on the frontier, but had not received orders, that is, a provocation, to pass the Sutlej.
The news from Herat is strangely conflicting. The cause of the sudden retreat of Major Todd seems to have been a dispute with the Vizir, and a distrust of his views towards British interests, rather than any direct breach with us; and it is surmised that a good understanding may be restored, and our ties, perhaps, strengthened by this temporary rupture. A military demonstration will hasten this event.
The Nepaul Government is said to have issued a proclamation to the effect, that, as some evil-disposed person had been propagating reports of a misunderstanding between the British and Nepaulese government, which were utterly false and unfounded, the property of any person who was discovered propagating them would be confiscated, and his ears filled with molten lead.
There is no intelligence of moment from Affghanistan. The despatches respecting the affairs in the Nazian valley shew that our army had a somewhat arduous duty to perform, in subduing a country studded with forts. The affairs of Scinde remain in statu quo; our troops were in motion for their different destinations, but as it would appear that Nusseer Khan has really come to terms, we apprehend that there is hope of a real establishment of tranquillity in that unsettled country.
The domestic affairs of the Presidencies have little to attract observation. The cholera has made sad ravages at Calcutta and its vicinity, and even at Agra. In the former, up to the 9th April, the deaths were 50 per day
in that city, without including the suburbs. The sudden announcement of a five per cent. loan had excited surprise and reprehension. Dost Mahomed Khan had reached Calcutta.
A great sensation had been produced at Bombay by the rather unexpected retirement of the Governor, Sir James Carnac, who returns to England on account of health. His departure was marked by affectionate tributes from all classes, which his character and conduct had so well earned for him, The press at Bombay has come into collision with the Bench, owing to some severe remarks made upon the conduct of Sir Henry Roper, the Chief Justice, in the Forbes case.
HOUGH'S NARRATIVE OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE ARMY OF THE INDUS.*
THIS narrative embodies a vast variety of valuable details respecting the operations of the Army of the Indus, from the commencement of the march of the Bengal column from Kurnaul, in October 1838, to the close of the campaign in August 1839. The narrative is so far in the form of a diary, that it records the proceedings of the army in the order of their dates; but the notes, or rather annotations, contain much illustrative information from official documents and from other authorities. Altogether, it forms the fullest, the completest, and the most professional work upon the subject, which has yet appeared, and we only regret that the time requisite to digest the materials of such a publication, has allowed other works of less pretension to rob it of those attractions which belong to novelty.
Major Hough has added some remarks upon "the Invasion of India and the Means of Defence," and a chapter on the History of the Dooranee Dynasty, from its foundation in 1747, which considerably enhance the value and interest of the book.
Our Journal has already been the vehicle of so much information respecting the campaign, in the shape of periodical intelligence, and in the journal of Captain Ogle, that we should not be justified in minutely examining Major Hough's elaborate work. When our pages are less encumbered, we propose to make some extracts, with reference to particular occurrences in the campaign, regarding which, the testimony of such an eye-witness as Major Hough is important and in the meanwhile, we strongly recommend his Narrative to public attention.
• A Narrative of the March and Operations of the Army of the Indus, in the Expedition to Affghanistan in the years 1838-39; illustrated by a Map; Views of Candahar, Ghuznee, and Cabool, and various Tables: comprising also the History of the Dooranee Empire, from its Foundation to the present Time, BY MAJOR W. HOUGH, 48th Regt. N.I., late Dep. Judge Advocate General of the Bengal Column Army of the Indus, &c. London, 1841. Wm. H. Allen & Co.
THE MOSLEM'S DAUGHTER.
BY MRS. POSTANS.
It was the evening hour at Sultanpoor. The rays of the departing sun bathed in brilliancy the delicately-sculptured minarets of the city; beams of sapphire-coloured radiance played upon the grotesquely-carved windows of the elevated harems, and the luxuriant foliage of the date grove still remained tipped with their golden hues. The scene which this sunset thus glowingly revealed was tranquil, yet joyous in its very elements of rest. The bustle of the busy town was stilled; the cool breeze of evening had succeeded the burning heat of noon; the song-birds were piping their last vespers in their leafy homes; the thirsty kine sported with clumsy mirth in the cool waters of the shaded tank, while from the galleried summits of the neighbouring minaret arose the sonorous chaunt of the reverend muezzin, inviting the faithful to their evening worship.
The city itself was pleasantly situated. The fort, with ponderous gates and frowning bastions, crowned an elevated plateau, overlooking a wide plain bounded on one side by ocean's waves, and on another by a distant range of lofty hills. Below the fort smiled the green promise of an abundant harvestthe waving rice and the lofty sugar-cane. From within the walls of the fort arose tall spires and domed roofs, some of the latter being inlaid with bright mosaics of azure china, and others supporting gay and parti-coloured flags, or gilded banners, inscribed with the holy name of Islam. On the bastions bristled numerous guns, while, at the eastern angle of the wall, a dilapidated turret assumed a more graceful and picturesque appearance from the garlanding of small shrubs and many-coloured creepers, whose roots were buried among the loosened stones. Scattered on the plain were small clumps of foliage shading the columned tombs, which, interspersed with numerous musjids, seemed as spots uniting in holiest hopes the interests of the living and the dead, and, as a background to the whole, appeared a dense forest of noble trees, whose dark masses were relieved by the tall stems of the feathery palms and the tenderer-leafed bamboo. It was a fair picture; and yet, as the parting sunbeams and lengthening shadows cast into bold relief its many features, a stranger could not look upon the frowning portals and massive bastions of that old fort without the sad conviction, that Moslem bigotry, with its adjunct of power, would find in its gloomy strength the means of oppression and wrong.
The broad and keen-edged shadows were now rapidly losing their distinctive forms, and blending with the approaching twilight, as a cavalcade of mounted and armed men emerged from the date grove, and, caracoling their steeds along the borders of the tank, sprang up the steep ascent, and entered with tumultuous haste the eastern portal of the city. Once within the fort, the horsemen's pace was slackened, and greater order attended their onward march. The foremost rider was one on whom time had laid a gentle hand. His firmly knit and stately figure showed a man not past the prime and vigour of his age, albeit the few grey hairs, which mingled in his raven and glossy
Some facts connected with the cruel fate of a young Mohammedan lady, of a family of rank (which are in conformity with the merciless customs of the followers of the Prophet) having lately fallen under my observation, I have been induced to weave them into the following tale; endeavouring also to retain, as nearly as possible, the characteristic manners of the Moslem people.-M. P., Upper Sindh, Aug. 1840.
beard, would seem to claim for him the privileges of longer experience. The full and lustrous eye, which beamed from below the richly-embroidered turban, bespoke a character in which towering ambition was blended with a severe and haughty nature; and on the brow was seen the expressive evidence of that noble birth which, to the Moslem, is at once his pride, his misery, and his darkest curse. The massive silver trappings adorning his fine-limbed steed, the rich jewels suspended from his neck, and the lowly salutations of the people as he passed along, proclaimed the Governor of Sultanpoor, no less than the number of his armed retainers, who, with glittering spears and richly ornamented matchlocks, restrained the impatient curvettings of their steeds to within a few paces of their leader.
As the cavalcade passed along the great bazaar, many were the earnest greetings, and low the humble salutations, made to the Mirza Aga. He seemed to heed them not, however, but fixed his eye, with an anxious gaze, upon the richly-sculptured windows of the terraced palace, which, embowered in the thick foliage of its charming gardens, now appeared in bold relief against the clear, dark, azure sky. Never had those lofty walls, those fruitful shades, the calm abode of all that forms the domestic happiness of a Moslem noble, appeared so pleasant to the eye of Mirza Aga-his object was now attained. Another precious jewel gemmed the bright chain of power, to which, day by day, his ambition added another link. It was from no foray that his little troop returned—their spears still bright, their accoutrements fresh, unstained, and brilliant in their hues-but from a visit to a neighbouring prince, at which the governor, with a father's and a noble's pride, had concluded the betrothment of his lovely daughter. Often had the haughty Kureem Khan led his retainers against the towers of Sultanpoor, but ere long, he would enter its gates as a bridegroom and a friend. The cessation of hostilities had been purchased at this price, and the father's heart beat high as he pondered on his success. The love of Mirza Aga for his daughter was of a character so intense, that even his ambition faltered before it; yet still he judged of the means of her happiness as a Moslem father, and imagined that wealth and pomp, with the full sway over a princely husband's harem, would afford his beloved child every joy his fondest care could bestow. The affection for his daughter, therefore, interfered not with the projects of his ambition; it may be that he loved her more on this account, and because her beauty was the bright prize so sought. But, as he drew nearer to his palace gates, and gazed upwards to the screened windows of his elevated harem, the best feelings predominated, and the image of his fair child excluded every baser thought.
"Raena, my sweet Raena," fell in half-expressed accents from his lips; "I shall soon see thee once again, soon listen to thy gentle voice, and watch thy lovely face dimple into smiles of joy at the tale I have to tell." And as if with that pleasant thought all harsher feelings vanished, every feature of that haughty countenance radiated with tenderness.
In a spacious and richly decorated apartment of the palace, supported upon embroidered cushions, and attired in robes glittering with pearls and gems, sat a fair girl, just springing into womanhood. But strange that, while surrounded with every luxury which should charm the eye of Moslem maiden-spotless draperies studded with golden stars; Persian carpets glowing with the richest dyes; blooming flowers in their opal vases, rivalling in perfume the fragrant attar scattered round-still, the soft eyes of the harem's pride were fixed with