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the victorious party, and was preserved: not, however, with the most solicitous care, for Col. K. suspects, that some documents, that were saved in the first instance, may have perished, or at least disappeared, through the misfortune of being in the possession of private persons, ignorant of the value, and indifferent to the preservation of their prize,' while those that have been finally secured, for the benefit of all future time, owe their preservation chiefly to the active and intelligent research of a military officer. Among these is a Register of the Sultan's Letters, from which the correspondence contained in the present volume has been exo tracted,and of which the translator has still in his possession a sufficient number to furnish, even after a due selection, another volume. He has, moreover, other materials of a similar quality, which we think the public may venture to be. lieve are not put under an inviolable seal of eternal secresy. Nay.. it may still perhaps, be permitced us to hope,' con. tinues the translator, that a mass of other documents of the same nature, in the possession of the authorities who are in posa session of India, “may at no distant period be submitted to the public eye:'-And all this immense contribution, here made, and hereafter to be made, to the public benefit, is only of the nature of a supplement to large communications of the inestimable Mysore state papers, previously conveyed through official and other channels.'
The statement holding forth this review and prospect, is made with all imaginable seriousness,—and abounds with epithets and phrases expressive of the great reason the English public has for self-gratulation, for eagerness, and for hope. It is said that the possession of the archives of Serigapatam is among other inestimable advantages of the most important and durablo nature,' for which we are indebted to Marquis Wellesley. “Precious documents'-'valuable. documents'--' interesting materials are the expressions by. which it is signified to us, how much of the means of our happiness and illumination were once locked up in the boxes of a vile Mahometan chieftain of a division of the Indian peninsula. We must not trust ourselves to think what would have become of us, if instead of only part of these rich man terials, a malignant conjunction of the stars had consigned them all to the flames.
It is quite confounding to observe, how completely very sensible men, iu' their attention to some one district of the world, and to the creatures of note that have there fretted their hour,' can forget that any other districts of it have, during the same time, been kept in a tumult, by the frettings of
other personages of note, who have also written orders to their subordinates, have had their archives and their historians, and have not wanted for persons to assume gravely in print, that it would be a mighty advantage to the public to be shewn—what had, perhaps, been preserved from destruction and oblivion by some almost miraculous good fortunethe trifling arcana of a transient and now almost forgotten despotism. By what unaccountable partiality of sight, can it happen, that, while the puniber of mortals making, at one time, a noise and a commotion, during any part of the last quarter of a century, has been so great, it should not occur to a person, who undertakes to edit out any one of them in history, correspondence, and fragment, that a similar claim on the public attention, will infallibly be made for each of all the rest of these worthies; and that readers are mortal men, of circumscribed faculties and not even endowed with the cameleon's power of traversing one thing with one eye, and another thing at the same time with the other? We suppose the present editor sincerely believes, that a great number of persons are to be found in England with leisure and curiosity enough to peruse, relative to Tippoo and his government, a mass of writing which ninetynine readers out of a hundred would think too large, even ! for a history of Europe for the last twenty years. To, such individuals as may be qualifying themselves to write, and to the almost equally small number who are intent on. accurately studying, the modern history of India, the present volume will no doubt be indispensable; and it will be a very proper addition to the libraries of those, who are gratified to have every thing in the furniture of their sumptuous apartments to remind them of the couutry where they acquired their wealth, and of the vanquished tyrant whose bands they may have met in battle. To some of these persons it may well be a very great luxury to read, in their parlours and to their friends, in the Sultan's own words, those very schemes and orders which they themselves frustrated, those confidentially hinted villanies which they detected before he could complete them, those notices of revenues by which they were destined to be enriched more than the exactor, and those expressions of contempt for the English, of which they so effectually evinced the folly. But to the reading public in general, we suppose there is not one of the names that attained notoriety during the - last century, less interesting now than that of Tippoo Sultan, It is not improbable, that an authenticated volume of confidential, letters of Paul Jones, the pirate, would attract
ficial site of things of ks, vexed ands classes, and
five times as many readers as these performances of the royal hero, who, but a few years since, maintained so formidable a competition with us for the dominion of India.
His fame, and whatever fame is connected with his, is sinking fast under that wonderful fatality which consigns to the profoundest indifference, and almost to oblivion, äll the signal personages, transactions, and British triumphs, in that country. Never, probably, since the beginning of time, did objects of such ostensible magnitude, excite so little general interest in cultivated society. There has been no deficiency of European zeal to contest or counter work this fatality. Historians of various classes, and orators aird poets of many ranks, vexed and astonished at this subsidence of things of such prodigious bulk, and superficial splendour, almost out of sight, have joined in a strenuous self-devotement to raise and keep them up to at least the same level of interest and fame, as that held by the mighty matters of the western world, the monarchs, týrants, plots; fights, conquests, and so forth. And they have paid the forfeit of their resistance to fate, by sinking into a participation of the doom, their performances having been regarded with much of the same indifference as their subjects. The far greater portion of the writings, indeed, may have been such, in point of literary merit, as would have failed of popularity, whatever had been their subject: but some of thein must owe it to their inauspicious subject, that we may meet in succession a hundred persons of tolerable information and taste that have never seen them. For instance, how few. mere general readers know any thing, more than barely the name of Mr. Orme? Whereas, had an equal share of literary merit to that displayed in his “ History of the Military: Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan," been employed to attract the public attention to almost any other series of military transactions, on a tolerably large scale, a work would have been produced which it would have been discreditable to a man, but moderately conversant with books, not to have read. Even a history, so written, of the American War; would-in spite of the honeliness, and the ungraciousness to English people, of the subject--have been read by at least ten times as many persons, as ever did or will read Mr. Orme's elegant and classical work. It remiains to be seen, whether the very pompoụs but very forlorn subject of modern India, is dešttired ever to find, or to fee a historian of such stum pendous talents, as to be able to make the reading pos pulace, or even the more regularly caltivated classes, of
rodigious dish rivers and handred the in
this country, seriously betake themselves to inquire and. talk about Moguls, and Rajahs, and Durbars, and Musnuds. . The bulk of the nation has never really attached any great importance to India as the field of British exploits and acquisition. Our high-sounding victories there the train of which began about the middle of last centuryafter their temporary eclat was past, were estimated, rather according to the mental and bodily imbecility of the undisciplined crowds, that three or four handred English could so soon drive into rivers and bogs, thanaccording to the prodigious disproportion of numbers. The impression soon came to be, that if five hundred could beat five thousand, they might just as well beat ten, or twenty thousand. We acquired such a contemptuous idea, of the native armies, that we were but barely just to the very distinguished talent and valour by which they were dispersed; -and what we mainly applauded our troops for, was their patience of heat, and musquitos, and rains, and bog-vapours.
Nor was the contempt entertained for the Asiatics as enemies, averted from them by their becoming subjects. When, toward the latter part of the century, we heard of so many millions, and only the next year so many millions more having come under the British dominion, there was. but a very slight and very brief elation felt by any one who was clear of all connexion with the government and the company. It was hardly thought an excessive strain of carping to ask, Why do you not also reckon into the account the idols and the cows which these millions of your subjects acknowledge as their betters? The incessant rapid augmentation of the number has not raised the estimate, any more than in the case of bank'notes : and, in effect, they are very tolerably parallel, as subjects, to the paper. currency as money, the more of them and the worse. So that now, none but the most ignorant or interested can hear of our vast and growing empire in Asia,'-or fifty, sisty, or as some must have it, seventy millions of oriental subjects, without à sensation of disgust that asks, What is the use to us of all this empire and these subjects. We know in the abstract; that things of real value are not gained at such a prodigious rate; and we are made to Know, as a matter of fact, that our great Indian empire has been a heavy and increasing load on our comparatively httle English nation. The state establishment that presides over this little, and that vast empire, is something like an Indian Rajah, who should be found making a grand military or civil progress, with a due complement, indeed,
under meer deeper mortificative hot and Europa
of ordinary cattle, such as horses and bullocks, in his. train, but also with a monstrous pair of elephants the elephants, however being dead, but, to please the Rajah, being ordered to be drawn along by the other tired beasts, which have all the while their own burdens on their backs. We need not suggest that, in addition, the elephants may be in a state to convey infection and putridity all around them.
But even if this immense population, instead of the debility for which we so soon learnt to hold them light, had been disa tinguished by a character as lofty as that of the old Greeks or Romans-the pride of having brought such a people under our dominion must, in a nation hopelessly sinking every year deeper in debt and taxes, have given place by degrees to a bitter mortification, on finding, in process of time, that this vast oriental einpire not only yielded no revenue in aid and relief of our domestic and European expences and distresses, but was obstinately drawing away a very material portion of our resources, and at every new acquisition of territory leaving still les, hope of revenue, or of even bare repayment. For a middling island of handicraftsmen, tradesinen, and farmers, at the north-western extremity of Europe, to take possession of an immense country of emperors and nabobs in Asia, just for the purpose of contributing with painful difficuity a portion of their wages and gains to the expence of governing it, did seem the finest instance of the inverted pyramid, in politics and sense, that had ever been heard of in the world. And the mortification was aggravated by recollection of those mag. nificent ideas which, for centuries, the people of this part of the world have been taught to associate with India. Old travellers had given us the most delectable romances about palaces and temples as large as towns, pearl-bedlecked monarchs and golden gods, elephants carrying marquees of princes and princesses, armies counted by the myriad, rivers with yellow sands, and galęs fragrant with spices. And the poets and orators, when any thing surpassingly grand and sumptuous was to be figured to the imagination, have always had recourse to this magnificent region ;- richer than the Indies' being the most approved common-placę of proud comparison, and the last towering superlative being an allusion to the mines of Golconda.' Now, when it has been found, that very considerable territorial ac. quisitions in this most gorgeous portion of the mundane system, brought us not a pennyworth of ascertainable ad vantage ; that each announcement of still ampler acquista