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remained but three hours to sunset. It was resolved, however, to attack the position of the enemy. My gallant friend (the Governor-General) offered his services as second in command (Cheers] -services which were cheerfully and promptly accepted by the Commander-in-Chief. (Cheers.] Determined not to wait till next morning, the instant they effected their junction with Sir J. Littler's division, the Commanders resolved to make an attack upon the enemy in his intrenched camp. [Hear, hear.] The result, Sir, of that attack proved the valour of our Indian forces in a preeminent degree, and has entitled them, I believe, to the warmest acknowledgments of this House and of the country. (Loud cheers.] I believe, Sir, that the night of the 21st December was one of the most memorable in the annals of the British empire. [Hear, hear.] The enemy were well defended within strongly fortified battlements, their guns were served with the greatest precision, and told on our advancing columns with great effect. The right of the British army was led by the Commander-in-chief, whilst the left wing was headed by Sir H. Hardinge. [Cheers. ] Our forces made an attack on the enemy's camp during the three hours which as yet remained of daylight, but they had not sufficient time to complete that victory, which was gloriously achieved on the following day. The British army, however, made good their attack, and occupied a part of the enemy's camp. In the middle of the night the camp took fire, and further conflict was for a time suspended in consequence; but, as soon as it ceased, the army of Lahore brought forward their heavy artillery, and poured a most destructive fire upon our troops. The details of these occurrences have been given with admirable clearness in the despatches of both commanders ; but there have been private letters received, which speak of them with less of formality, and perhaps give truer and more faithful accounts of these actions than the official documents. Perhaps the House will excuse me giving extracts of a private letter from the Governor-General to a member of his own family. [Loud cries of 'hear, hear'.] The Right Honourable Baronet then proceeded to read as follows: “The night
of the 21st was the most extraordinary in my life. I bivouacked with the men, without food or covering, and our nights are bitter cold. A burning camp in our front, our brave fellows lying down under a heavy cannonade, which continued during the whole night, mixed with the wild cries of the Sikhs, our English hurrah! the tramp of men, and the groans of the dying. In this state, with a handful of men who had carried the batteries the night before, I remained till morning, taking very short intervals of rest by lying down with various regiments in succession, to ascertain their temper and revive their spirits.' [Loud cheers.] I really, Sir (continued Sir Robert Peel, considerably affected); I really, Sir, can scarcely go on with the extract. [Loud cheering from both sides. ] My gallant friend, as you see, spent that eventful night going from division to division of his army, doing all that human means could do to ensure victory to our arms (Cheers], regardless of fatigue and loss of rest. [Loud cheers.] • I found,' my gallant friend goes on to say, 'I found myself again with my old friends of the 29th, 31st, 50th, and 9th, all in good heart—(regiments with which he had served in the Peninsula, and with it that regiment which has earned immortal fame in the annals of the British army,—Her Majesty's 80th Regiment). [Loud cheering.] 'My answer to every man was, that we must fight it out; attack the enemy vigorously at day-break, beat him, or die honourably in the field. [Cheers.] The gallant old general, kind-hearted and heroically brave, entirely coincided with me.' Let the house observe how anxious my gallant friend is to do justice to his companions in arms. [Cheers.]
During the night I occasionally called on our brave English soldiers to punish the Sikhs when they came too close and were impudent; and when morning broke we went to it in true English style. [Cheers.] Gough was on the right. I placed myself, and dear little Arthur (his son) by my side, in the centre, and about thirty yards in front of the men, to prevent their firing, and we drove the enemy without a halt from one extremity of the camp to the other, capturing thirty or forty guns as we went along, which fired at twenty paces from us, and were served obstinately. The
brave men drew up in an excellent line, and cheered Gough and myself as we rode up the line, the regimental colours lowering to me, as on parade. The mournful part is the heavy loss I have sustained among my officers. I have had ten aides-de-camp hors du combat, fire killed and five wounded. The fire of grape was very heavy from 100 pieces of cannon. The Sikh army, drilled by French officers, and the men the most warlike in India.' [Loud and long continued cheering.] From my affectionate regard for that gallant man, I am proud to be enabled to exhibit him on such a night as that of the 21st of December going through the camp,passing from regiment to regiment,-keeping up the spirits of the men,—encouraging them,—animating their ardour after having lost ten aides-de-camp out of twelve [Cheers], and then placing his youngest son, a boy of sixteen years of age [Cheers] in the front of the lines, in order that the British army might not be induced to fire on the enemy, but drive them back by the force of the British bayonet. [Loud cheers.] It was curious and characteristic of the man to read those details. He says that he had two sons present, one of whom was a civilian, and the other in the army. On the night of the 21st he sent the civilian to the rear of the army, saying that his presence disturbed him, and that if he refused to go he would send him there as a prisoner [Cries of hear, hear]; but the presence, he said, of his young son, who was the officer, only made him more desperately resolute in the discharge of his duty. [Loud cheers.] On the 22nd, after the battle was over, he took that son with him, when visiting the Sepoys and the wounded, and he shewed them, he says, a Governor-General of India who had lost his arm, and the son of a Governor-General who had lost his leg, and endeavoured to console them in their sufferings by shewing them that men in the highest rank were exposed to the same casualties as themselves. The pride and satisfaction we must all of us derive from those gallant exploits are, no doubt, greatly counterbalanced by the regret we must have felt for the loss of so many men of the highest distinction and promise. [Hear, hear.] We had, Sir, the misfortune,—the very great misfortune,—of losing that gallant officer, who on a former occasion so much distinguished himself and gained so much admiration, -I mean Sir Robert Sale. He, Sir, has closed a long career of glory by that death to which, I believe, he himself looked forward,—that death in the field which entitles me to say that he was 'felix etiam in opportunitate mortis. [General applause from all parts of the house.] Sir, I do hope that the House will concur with me by the unanimous expression of their feeling on this subject, and that they will shew their regard for the memory of Sir Robert Sale by humbly representing to Her Majesty that she may be pleased to record the regret and gratitude of the country by the erection of a monument to Sir Robert Sale. [Loud cheers from all parts of the house.] We have, Sir, also to deplore the loss of Sir J. M'Caskill, to whom a brief but touching record is borne in the despatch of the Commander-in-chief (Cheers], as well as one of the most eminent men in the civil and military services of India, -I mean, Major Broadfoot. (Cheers.] In that gentleman the highest confidence was placed by every one who ever came in contact with him. It was said he was the last of three brothers who had died in the service of their country on the field of battle (Cheers], and was present with Sir R. Sale at the siege of Jellalabad." While the rose of Cashmere blows. Cf. Moore's Lalla Rookh, in the commencement of the story of Nourmahal :
Umritsur's hallowed shrines. Umritsur is the religious capital of the Punjab, as Lahore is the civil.
The lotus leaf. It is a dogma of the Hindoo mythology that the Deity lay on the chaotic waters in the shape of a lotus flower (cf. Gen. cap. i. v. 3), and thus produced the ovum mundi.
" Who has not heard of the Vale of Cashmere,
With its roses, the brightest that earth ever gave," &c. The rose was at all times a favourite in and around Persia; hence the name in Vathek, “Gulchenrouz," rather Gulchenroz, jos cils " light of the rose garden.” It is possible, by writing “Gulchenrouz,” to confound it with Gulchanrouz, “ the light of the chimney,” in Persian.
The silvery gliding Sutlej, &c. The reader may be informed, whilst we are talking of rivers that the word jo river's bank,” is the word we are in the habit of using as lee-shore, to express the shore the winds blow
Skinner, not knowing this, derived lee from l'eau.
Hurried to the shades below.
Cf. Homer. Il. b. i. 3 :
πολλάς δ'ίφθίμους ψυχάς "Αϊδι προΐαψεν.
And all the Punjab bows to British laws. Not only have the glorious victories of Affghanistan and the Sutlej been the means of overawing the nations immediately bordering on the Sutlej, they have also carried the terror of the British name into the kingdoms of Persia and Bokhara, among the wild Tūrkomāns of the desert, and into the kingdoms of Khokhand and