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for its supplies--Macnaghten being of opinion that the Passes were open for the transport of provisions during the whole winter season. An officer venturing to suggest that it might be as well to delay the march of the troops for two days, within which time the chief engineer would have returned, and be able to give accurate information as to the character of the route, met with the rebuff that the Envoy did not like difficulties being made. The detachment accordingly marched ; and, as might have been anticipated, took a month in surmounting the difficulties of the route, in order, after much toil and labour to the infantry, to lodge an excellent battery of horse artillery in a position, where it could neither act, nor be of any use.
In the mean time, Dr. Lord started upon his journey to the Hin. du Kúsh ; but he did not go further than thirty-six miles from Cabul, when, to the astonishment of Macnaghten, he suddenly returned, reporting that the country within forty miles of Cabul was in open rebellion ; that Dost Mahomed, established at Kúndúz, was drawing the whole country to the west of the Hindu Kúsh together ; and that all Turkistan was pouring for: ward, to join the ex-chief in expelling Shah Shuja, and recovering Cabui.
Macnaghten hereupon immediately made a requisition that the whole of the first division of the Bengal army should remain in Affghanistan-a request with which Keane, though very sceptical as to Lord's alarming report, complied. It soon became known that Lord's sudden retreat to Cabul was the subject of merriment amongst the Affghans; who said " that it was in no way surprising for Shah Shuja to run away, that being his custom; but that it was not expected that an Englishman would run so soon, or so easily.” Snow had fallen on the mountains; and the sight of their white-capped heads disinclined the Affghans, who formed Lord’s escort, to attempt the passage
of the Hindu Kúsh at a season when inclement weather and an early winter seemed setting in. They therefore caused various reports of the occupation of Kunduz by Dost Mahomed to be brought, in order to try and deter Lord from prosecuting & disagreeable journey. Finding him hesitate upon these rumours, whether or not to proceed, they were encouraged to dupe him still further by intelligence that a rebellion was raging around him, upon which in hot haste he rode back to Cabul. Macnaghten, after a few days, finding that the rebellion was a fiction, was not altogether pleased with his own participation in needless alarm, though well satisfied that the occasion had been afforded him of making the requisition with which Keane had complied. Dost Mahomed was meanwhile a fugitive, unable to maintain the few dependents who had followed him, and viewed with suspicion and distrust wherever he went. No better opportunity could therefore have presented itself for the entire withdrawal of the British army; but unfortunately Lord Auckland had left the decision, as to the retention of troops from the army of the Indus in the Affghan territories, entirely to the local knowledge and experience of Lord Keane and Sir W. Macnaghten, with the injunction only, that he would much rather have them keep too many, than too few, troops, for some time after the close of the campaign. Macnaghten, who in the same breath was calling for troops and avowing the Shah's great popularity, was only too well inclined to follow the line of policy marked out by the Governor-General : and the alleged menacing attitude of Dost Mahomed Khan on the Kbúlum and Kúndúz frontier, and the ghost of a rebellion of Lord's incantation, opportunely enabled the Envoy to demand, and Lord Auckland to accede to, the remaining of a large body of troops under the command of Sir W. Cotton.
Occupied with the reception of Shah Zada Timúr, with the foregoing expeditions and detachments, and with the establishment of the Shah's court and of his civil administration, Macnaghten for some time neglected to consider how the troops, which he kept at Cabul, were to be lodged. The question was one demanding instant decision, as the winter of 1839 was rapidly approaching, and there was no suitable cover for troops. Though pressed upon this subject, as soon as it was decided that a portion of the British army was to remain, it was not until the end of August that any steps were taken in this important matter ; and then they consented in sending an engineer officer, Lieutenant Durand, accompanied by Mohun Lal, to examine three small forts, which Burnes had reported as affording a suitable position for the troops. These diminutive forts were west of Cabul several miles; and, having neither cover, space, water, nor in fact any other requisite for the convenience of the troops, and being, in a military point of view, ill placed as position for the force, were at once rejected by the engineer, who considered that it was essential to have military possession of the Bala Hissar ; and that it was the proper place, under every point of view, both with reference to the present and the future, for lodging the troops. The Shah upon various pretences opposed this measure of precaution, and Macnaghten yielded to objections, which he felt and acknowledged to be ridiculous. Sale was to be left in command at Cabul; and he had therefore a voice in the selection of the locality for the cantonment of his force. The engineer, however, stated that it was
impossible, before the winter set in, that is, in the course of six weeks, to build barracks, hospitals, sheds and stables for a brigade and its attached cavalry and guns, outside the Bala Hissar-building material having as yet to be made and collected; whereas, inside the Bala Hissar, by taking advantage of what already existed, it was possible to obtain good and sufficient cover. Thus circumstanced, a reluctant consent was extracted from the Shah, and the pioneers of the force were immediately set to work with the view of rendering the citadel a strong work with cover for its garrison, stores, and ammunition. The Shah no sooner learned that the work was seriously commenced, than he renewed strenuously his objections, urging that the citadel overlooked his own palace and the city ; that its occupation would make him unpopular, as the feelings of the inhabitants would be hurt; and that he had already received strong remonstrances against the measure. Macnaghten, with fatal weakness, yielded; and peremptory orders were issued for the discontinuance of the work. Foiled in his avowed purpose of rendering the citadel a post, which, with a thousand men, a few guns, and proper provisions, might be held against all that Affghanistan could bring before it, the Engineer was forced to content himself with keeping such hold of the Bala Hissar, as admitted of its citadel being occupied at any moment, by lodging the troops in hastily-prepared accommodation at its base. It seemed indeed, that, the troops being once in military possession of the Bala Hissar, the evacuation of that stronghold in future was an event as improbable as it would be impolitic, and that the occupation of the citadel and the repair of its works would in time inevitably follow. Macnaghten could not but coincide with the engineer and those who succeeded him and held similar views; and, as the cost would have been trifling in comparison with the sums thrown away in Affghanistan upon objects to which political importance was attached, the Envoy for some time contemplated following up the project. But the Shah and the Kuzzilbash party, as well as the Affghans, were very averse to a measure, which, so long as the British troops remained in Affghanistan, would keep Cabul subject to their effectual controul ; and Macnaghten, being in the false position of having to reconcile the declared intention of the Government to withdraw the army from Affghanistan with its present actual military occupation in foroe, wavered on the adoption of necessary measures of precaution, which might countenance the suspicion of a purpose on the part of the British Government permanently to hold the country; and, ultimately, in an evil hour for himself and his country's arms, not only entirely neglected such salutary precaution, but gave up the barracks constructed in the Bala Hissar to the Shah as accommodation for his Harem, evacuated the fort, and thought no more, until too late, of strengthening himself therein.
At the very time that Macnaghten, endeavouring to unite irreconcileable objects, was thus led to a wavering course in respect to precautionary measures of grayer moment than he at that juncture apprehended, he launched boldly upon a revolutionary experiment, which was absolutely incompatible with the merely temporary occupation of the country-being in direct antagonism to the feelings of the people, the influence and pride of the chiefs, and the form of Government, to which for ages both had been accustomed. Rulers in Affghanis. tan had ever maintained their sway by a politic management of the chiefs, and, through them, of their tribes. The feuds and rivalries of the chiefs offered great facility for balancing their almost independent powers; and, by tact and judgment, the preponderance of the ruler was secured, and his measures carried out, through the support and aid of the Affghan nobles. In fact therefore the Government approached more nearly to an aristocratic, than to an autocratic, form, and feelings of independence and pride were strong in the breasts of the nobles. Dost Mahomed had maintained himself at Cabul as the head of this aristocracy with some difficulty ; but, by a mixture of adroitness and well timed daring, he had succeeded in keeping his position. It was evident that the Shah, who replaced him, could only rule in one of two ways; either by courting, conciliating, and managing the chiefs, as his predecessors had done ; or, by destroying their power and influence. To attempt tbe latter, demanded the permanent oco cupation of the country in great strength by the British troops, and held out the prospect of a long struggle, from the difficulties of a strong mountain country and a bold people attached to their chiefs. Yet, Maonaghten, professing merely the temporary occupation of Affghanistan, entered upon this hazardous experiment; and as a first and an important step towards the accomplishment of his object, began to raise levies of Khyberis, Jazailchis, Kohistanis, and Janbaz corps, who, looking to the royal treasury for payment and being under the supervision of British officers, it was supposed, would prove devoted to the Shah's cause, and curb the power and pride of the chiefs. The nobles were quick to perceive the blow thus struck at their influence ; and feelings of resentment, ill suppressed through present dread of the British force, broke forth in remarks, which betokened that the step taken was fatal to the
Shah's popularity amongst his nobles. The measure alienated the chiefs without having the effect of attaching the very men who enrolled themselves and received the Shah's pay; for the Affghans are fickle, impatient of controul, naturally averse to the restraints of discipline, and, however they might admire the gallant bearing of the British officer when the hour of danger called him to their front, yet he was an infidel in their eyes, connected with them by no ties of clan, religion, or common country, ignorant of their feelings, language, and habits, and, with the strict notions of a British soldier, quite unable to soften their rigour by that community of sentiment and tongue, which goes far to alleviate the pressure and irksomeness of military rule. The experiment was in short thoroughly antinational; and the chiefs were active from the first in doing all in their power to render the service unpopular—no difficult task, as it was palpable that the Shah's standing army must be paid, and that the burden of payment must fall on the peo• ple.
If Macnaghten's course in military affairs was at starting dubious and inconsistent, that, which he pursued in the administration of the Government of the country, was of the same character. The Envoy deemed it possible to reconcile the assumption by himself of the main powers of sovereignty with the treatment of Shah Shuja as an independent monarch, and sought to effect this by leaving the administration of civil and criminal justice, the settlement and collection of the revenue, and its irresponsible appropriation, entirely in the hands of Shah Shuja, precluding him however from any controul in meusures concerning the external relations of his Government, or those having reference to independent or to revolting tribes. Although allowed to make grants to his favourites, and to authorize aggressions and usurpations, when these could be effected without troops, the Shah had no voice in deciding on the employment of force in support of his own, or the Envoy's,
The Shah had thus much power for evil, and could commit the Government to measures, the odium of supporting which must fall on Macnaghten, who alone ordered expeditions, settled the strength of detachments, gave instructions to their commanders, and pointed out the objects to be attained and the mode of accomplishment. It was å vain hope, by thus incurring the opprobrium of all harsh and violent measures, and by leaving to the misrule of the Shah's greedy favourites the credit of evoking them, to dream of blinding the nobles and the people to the really servile condition of their king. The farce was too broad and too cuttingly insulting. From the first