ページの画像
PDF
ePub

son, and

We know no better descrip- tion of books of the kind, there tion of the school in which they is a class which commands an had served, of the ground on immediate success, and deserves which Lumsden did such dis- to survive as contributing to tinguished service, than is to be history. Conspicuous among found in a spirited article on his these works of romantic interGuides, contributed to “Maga' est and lasting value are the in May 1897. The writer was memoirs of the fighting and an Indian soldier who knew organising Anglo-Indians. We well what he was writing about. have had lately the lives of the Speaking of thestate of the Pun- Lawrences, of Sir Bartle Frere, jab fifty years ago, he says : of Edwardes, of Nicholson, Hod

others.

many “Scattered through all the villages

Neceswere the remnants of the armies of sarily, they are chiefly based on the Khalsa, which had measured the letters and diaries of their their strength with ours so valiantly distinguished subjects. Necesat Firozshah, Aliwal, and Sobraon, sarily, also, they constantly And more difficult perhaps to deal with were the tribes of the wild hill interlace, so as to give opporcountry north of the Indus, who ac

tunities for testing facts by knowledged allegiance neither to the comparison. What strikes us rulers of Kabul nor to those of La- first is their entire credibility. hore, and whose only fixed purpose was

If they tend to misunderstandto plunder and ravage the fertile country in their vicinity whenever oppor-ing in any respect, it is in the tunity offered. Beyond them again writer's depreciation of his own were the mountains of Afghanistan, merits and services. The dashwhose ruler, the redoubtable Dost ing soldiers, greedy of glory, Muhammad, did not fail to remember the fateful struggle of but seven year3

seem never to have grudged the before. Thus it was that no

honours of a comrade. In strikmandate from Kabul could be looked ing contrast to the conduct of for, even supposing it would have the French marshals in the availed, to hinder the Pathans of Peninsula, the first idea of each the border from periodical depreda- responsible man was to do his dations into the plains.”

utmost for the common cause And though it may be antici- and lend help to a menaced pating, we may add his com friend. Between treacherous ment Lumsden's death, Pathan and turbulent Sikh, we “For years his name was a

should never have held our own household word on the Peshawar through the dark days of the border, and his death brought Mutiny had it not been for that grief to many a gallant old strong bond of brotherhood, Pathan soldier.”

and the common loyalty which Yes; those are the men who was never misplaced or betrayed. have given us India and held It was the grief of Lumsden's it. The literature of the Life life that he did not command is becoming a craze, and with his Guides before Delhi. But a self-respecting man of any no one appreciated with more notoriety the autobiography cordial sympathy the gallant offers the only assurance of leading of Daly, who replaced safety. But in the multiplica- him and won the laurels that

VOL, CLXV.NO. MIV.

on

3 T

serve

might have been his own. Hold- stand and sympathise with his ing the honourable command chivalrous son. There is a strikof the Hyderabad Contingent, ing portrait of Sir Harry in his he still looks longingly to the latter years, with the broad coveted post on the Punjab muscular chest and massive frontier which is filled by Neville limbs that must have sorely Chamberlain. Nothing can be taxed the wiry little Pathan more cordially genial than the horses, with the genial but affected grumble at Chamber- determined face, stamped with lain's iron health. These men the sign - mark of the born

their time and come leader. The figure and the home, and, paradoxical as it face alike strongly remind us

think may appear, we

it of his father. Colonel Lumsden eminently gratifying, from the of the Bengal Artillery showed public point of view, that they he was no common man by are received among us with

in- crossing Asia homewards by gratitude or indifference. One what was literally the Overland or two of the most fortunate Route, which had seldom been find places on the Indian Coun- traversed except by professional cil. The majority are mixed travellers. Of course his boys up with the undistinguished were bred to the Indian service. mob of judges and generals, Harry, the eldest, was born at bishops, admirals, and ex-cabinet sea, and in a storm, in 1821. ministers who frequent the con It was in 1838 the youth got fronting clubs looking out on his commission and had the the Duke of York’s Column good fortune to be gazetted to The satraps of provinces, the men the 59th Bengal Native Inwho liave merited the Victoria fantry. The regiment was then Cross again and again, by commanded by Colonel G. A. heroic deeds which would have Moore, who prided himself with lived in old ballad and legend, reason on the number of dissit down to their modest lun- tinguished officers the regiment cheons unregarded, or settle had given to the service; and like Lumsden in their ancestral the adjutant was Lieutenant homes to shoot their coverts and Blackwood—the “ Major” of so be outvoted in Parish Councils. many of Mrs Oliphant's kindly For the empire with the world reminiscences. Colonel Moore, is ever on the move, and new though a strict disciplinarian, men are never found wanting. was amazingly popular. And

The Lumsdens, like the Law- no wonder, for it was his rences, the Pollocks, and the honourable boast,

boast, when all Battyes, are of the fighting Anglo-Indians were hospitable, families, inseparably associated almost beyond their means, that with the North-Western wars. he kept the best table and the The chief charm of this bio- best cook in India.

In Harry graphy is in the frank letters Lumsden's time

in to the old father, who, having health had to serve ten years led a similarly adventurous life before being entitled to furin the same stirring and pic- lough. Moore was perhaps an turesque scenes, could under- exceptional type of the staunch

а

man

old military school. He served something to make your firstfor over fifty years without born hold up his head ?” Soon coming home at all. Lumsden afterwards there was an incipassed four years with the 59th, dent which shows at once the so he had opportunity to profit unsettled state of the frontier by his colonel's and adjutant's districts and the magical inteaching. But his father, who fluence exercised on Orientals in knew his passion for field-sports, their most excited moods by the had pressed on him the import- men they have learned to fear ance of studying languages. His and respect. Lumsden with a self-restraint and perseverance comrade had gone on a shooting remind us of the griffin Richard expedition. They were mobbed, Burton in identical circum- and would have been murdered stances, and he seems to have by a crowd of villagers had it had a somewhat similar gift of not been for the presence of tongues. He studied and he mind of a faithful groom. When shot, and was known in the the rioters heard that he had regiment by the sobriquet of ridden off to Ferozepore to fetch “Joe,” which says all that need Lawrence, not only was the be said in his favour.

tumult calmed at once, but they His assiduity brought speedy were lavish of apologies and and unexpected reward, when presents. The name of the he was appointed interpreter to great Marchman had acted like the 33rd Native Infantry, then a spell, and soon afterwards he under orders for Peshawar to appeared himself at the head of join Pollock on his march into a handful of his troopers, to parAfghanistan. Doubtless interest ade the tribesmen, who were all may have given him that grati- servility, and single out subjects fying start, for his father was for punishment. an old friend of Henry Lawrence, Next we see the lieutenant who always afterwards kept an figuring “in the political line' eye on the promising young at Lahore. He had been sumofficer. But from the first he moned to exchange the camp attracted the attention of his for the Court, and to meet the chiefs. He was under fire on Chief Commissioner, Sir John the advance with Pollock, but Lawrence. Attending the Durhis first report of fighting comes bars, he shows a clever knack of from the camp at Gandamuk, portrait-painting in sketching whither the army had returned Lal Sing, prime minister and from Cabul. It is written in paramour of the Maharani, who, high spirits, and is very char- in fact, had been playing for acteristic : “We gave the Aff- years at Lahore the part of ghans a great mauling, not Godoy, Prince of the Peace in giving them time to carry off the Peninsula. “I have seldom their dead and wounded.” seen a better-looking man. He Young Lumsden had taken the is, I should say, about thirty lead and the direction in storm- years of age, strongly built, tall

, ing some sangurs, and had been and very soldier-like, though as highly commended on the field cunning as a fox; talks in a by his colonel. “Was not that bland, kind tone which would

one

lead any one who did not know show. On occasion he him to suppose that he could passed his men across a river, not hurt a fly, though he would in face of a formidable force as soon slit a man's windpipe as of the enemy, with but a single look at him.” Like Godoy, Lal boat at his disposal. The cirSing went in terror of his life, cumstances were almost idenand only felt himself safe under tical with those in which protection of the foreign bayo- Wellington surprised Soult at nets. Two years later, Lums- Oporto; and in the same way den again presented himself to Lumsden made a tête de pontthe Maharani, under circum- though bridge there was nonestances at least as perilous as of a caravanserai, which gave any leading a forlorn-hope. He cover to each boatful of men and his subaltern Hodson were as they landed. On the other charged with theduty of securing occasion he drove the tribesthat lady by courtesy or force, men from an almost impregand carrying her off from a hot- nable position by an ingenious bed of intrigue and a host of device, which sounds like a armed followers. They were schoolboy's prank, but which only backed by a few of the was eminently successful. He Guides and the prestige of the sent out a solitary bugler to conquering British power. As crown the heights behind, and in so many similar cases, the bribed three shepherds to acresult was a toss - up: as it company him, carrying powderchanced, the Maharani

fuses. The bugle sented to go quietly.

sounded, the powder exploded, That, however, is again an and the hillmen, believing in ticipating; and the two inter- demons, bolted to a man. “We vening years, as was invariably in camp were too much conthe case in those parts at that vulsed with merriment to attime, had been replete with tempt to follow." action. In the first place, Thirdly, in the same letter Lumsden had accompanied the which dismisses cursorily the force which gave Gulab Singh operations in an anxious camhis new kingdom of Cashmere. paign in which the forces and Then, as Henry Lawrence said, the casualties were far greater half - a - dozen foreign soldiers than in many of those little led a lately subdued, mutinous wars which have engrossed naarmy through as difficult a tional attention, there is the country as there is in the first mention of the famous world to put the chief they corps with which his name was regarded as a rebel in posses- to be associated. Lawrence, as sion of their fairest province. usual, had laid his hand on the Secondly, Lumsden himself had right man, and Lumsden threw marched into the Hazara coun- himself heart and soul into the try with his 3000 Sikhs in that business, with the high hopes campaign to which we have and calm confidence which went alluded. How well he justified far to justify themselves. “I the confidence of his superiors, have just been nominated to two incidents may suffice to raise the corps of Guides. It

con

pots and

get into.”

will be the finest appointment force sent out on punitive exin the country, being the right peditions might have to burn hand of the army and the left and raid their native villages. of the political. I am to have But family ties sit lightly on the making of this new regi- the Afridis and their kinsfolk, ment all to myself. The arm with whom parricide and fratriing and dressing is to be ac- cide are tribal institutions. It cording to my own fancy. I can have been no light task the consider it as good as a major- getting well in hand a mixed ity and C.B.-ship to any man gang of unreclaimed ruffians, in the first campaign he may as bloodthirsty and treacherous

The Guides were to as they were undeniably brave. be not only the hand of the Reprimand might have been army, but its eyes. Guides resented with a stab, or a day they literally were – scouts, in the cells with a pistol-shot. skirmishers, and intelligencers. Their very virtues were akin to They were thrown out as en- vices, and their devotion was fants perdus, in advance alike apt to be misdirected. Lumsof irregular horse and undis- den could tell a good story of ciplined allies. When a column a favourite Afridi orderly. Sir moved into the mountains, the John Lawrence had come on a Guides headed the advance; tour of inspection, and as he when it fell back after the con made a point of looking minflagration had been got under, utely into everything, had enLumsden and his men were gaged Lumsden for some days always left behind to look after

over papers.

Not unnaturally, the smouldering embers. The Lumsden seemed anxious and system of recruiting reminds us abstracted, and his troopers of the familiar proverb of set- had taken it into their heads ting a thief to catch a thief. that he was being called over The original members of the the coals. So the orderly, after corps were some horse and foot, some expressions of soldierly “chiefly down-country men and sympathy, hinted that his chief Pathans," whom Lumsden had had only to make a sign, and picked up in the bazaars at the Commissioner should never Peshawar. With these he was go back to Lahore. It was but doing rough revenue collec a chance that the Afridi did tion work among recalcitrant not act without seeking an Afridis when it struck him explanation. that those troublesome villagers

But the methods of our fronmight be turned into capital tier officers in dealing with troopers. Recruits were readily such men remind us of Rarey found among the sons and rela- with the vicious Cruiser. Pluck, tives of the headmen. The patience, and coolness were inservice seems immediately to dispensable. Courage they must have become so popular, that have in a leader; but what they the difficulty was to pick and prize even more is the prompt choose. Elsewhere it might decision, the cool determination have been a serious objection in moments of emergency, which that the soldiers of a border commands, or at least deserves,

« 前へ次へ »