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certain state of Nott's communications with Upper Scinde ; the Murri successes; the insurrection in Bajore, accompanied by the loss of a gun and the discomfiture of a party of the Shah's troops; the near approach of Dost Mahomed, which not only operated to disturb the Bamian frontier, but likewise kindled the hopes and the activity of the disaffected in the Kohistan and in Cabul-foreboded little peace to the Shah's rule in Affghanistan. Fortunately the Khyberis, as also the Ghiljies, who had shortly before been granted an annual subsidy of 30,000 rupees, seemed to prefer British tribute to British grapeshot and musquetry. Provided the Punjab remained friendly, Macnaghten’s communication with Ferozepore might be considered for the time secure. But rapid changes were taking place : the Government of Labore and the Seikh feudatories at Peshawur were in active correspondence with Dost Mahomed, and were sedulously fomenting disaffection to the Shah, and fear and batred towards the British power. Dost Mahomed's two sons, who had escaped from Ghuzni, were at large in Zurmut and the neighbouring districts, seeking the means and the opportunity of furthering their father's cause. The general aspect of affairs was therefore extremely sombre.
Then followed Dennie's victory : but Macnaghten's difficulties were but partially relieved by Dennie's action, which, in fact, only restored matters to the same footing on which Dr. Lord had found them, and therefore contented the Walli of Khúlúm, whose only anxiety was on account of British encroachment, and who, in reality, cared little for Dost Mahomed's cause, provided the British troops were withdrawn from the advanced posts into which Dr. Lord had so unwisely thrust them. The events at Bamian had rather added to Macnaghten's perplexities; for it was no longer doubtful whether reliance should be placed on the Affghan levies, and the Envoy, now convinced of the futility of the measure by which he had alienated the good-will of the Chiefs, pointed out to the Governor-General that the hope of raising a loyal Affghan army must be relinquished, and, that unless the Bengal troops were instantly strengthened, the country could not be held. Alarmed by Seikh intrigues, the Envoy also at this time became alive to the capital error of Lord Auckland's operations beyond the Indus, with the unsubdued power of the Punjab between the army engaged in Affghanistan and its reserves in Northern India; and, irritated by the machi. nations of the Seikh agents to excite revolt and to feed it with supplies of money, he pressed the Governor-General to break with the ruler of the Punjab. Lord Auckland however felt that the crisis, which Macnaghten depicted in Affghanistan, was not the moment to select for opening serious hostilities with a formidable State ; and that, to maintain a hold of Affghanistan and furnish the reinforcements so urgently demanded, a temporizing policy with the court of Lahore and a prolongation of peaceable relations were essential.
Meanwhile, Macnaghten, in order to strengthen himself at Cabul, recalled Dennie, with the battery of horse artillery and the 35th native infantry, from Bamían. Dost Mahomed's intrigues were actively carried on, not only in the Kohistan, but in the city of Cabul itself; his two sons were busy in Zurmut; the Seikh feudatories were doing all in their power to raise the country between Peshawur and Cabul, and to make it pro. nounce in favour of Dost Mahomed against the Shah. Look where he would, Macnaghten found no stay for the support of the Shah's authority, but the British guns and bayonets at his disposal.
The Kohistan chiefs, when summoned to the capital, had obeyed the call, made obeisance to the Shah, and sworn allegiance. Their simulated submission was intended the better to cover deep treachery and a fixed resolve to overthrow Shah Shuja's rule: and they returned to their forts, banded together by solemn engagements, and encouraged by the knowledge they had acquired of the smallness of the force at Cabul. Neither the Envoy nor the Shah were blinded by the readiness, with which allegiance had been tendered: for, the letters of the Chiefs being intercepted, their schemes and temper were disclosed, and Macnaghten, uncertain of Dost Mahomed's movements, sent Sir A. Burnes, with a force under Sale’s orders, to punish the hostile Chiefs of Kohistan, and to oppose the entrance of the Amir into districts ripe for insurrection. Dennie's action at Bamían, followed by the escape of Dost Mabomed, by no means diminished the necessity of this measure.
Sale's short operations, finishing with the affair of Purwan Dur. rah and Dost Mabomed's surrender, are too well known to require notice. This voluntary surrender at once altered the whole state of affairs. Macnaghten and the Shah, in possession of Dost Mahomed and the greater part of his family, were now at liberty to indulge in the hope that their difficulties were at an end, and that the Shah's authority could be established. The step thus taken by the Amir must be regarded as evincing a strange pusillanimity, and was dissonant from the expectations formed of his character. The hasty resolution was probably the result of a movement of weariness at the life which, for months, he had been leading, and of the fear that the Kohistanis, who only hated him a degree less than the British, might find it more
convenient to betray him, and thus obtain peace and the large reward set upon his head, than to maintain hostilities, which cost them forts, villages, and vineyards, and threatened to render their country hopelessly desolate.
Macnaghten had written to the Governor-General—“No mercy should be shown to the man, who is the author of all the evils that are now distracting the country : but, should we be so fortunate as to secure the person of Dost Mabomed, I shall request His Majesty not to execute him, till I can ascertain His Lordship's sentiments." Shortly after the voluntary surrender of the Amir, the Envoy wrote—“I trust that the Dost will be treated with liberality. His case has been compared to that of Shah Shuja ; and I have seen it argued that he should not be treated more handsomely than His Majesty was; but sure. ly the cases are not parallel. The Shah had no claim on
We had no hand in depriving him of his kingdom ; whereas we ejected the Dost, who never offended us, in support of our policy, of which he was the victim.” As the latter view, ingenuously truthful and correct, ill corresponded with the sanguinary cast of the former, the Governor-General, probably acquainted with Vattel's chapter “of the sovereign who wages an unjust war,” abstained from expressing his sentiments on a question, admitting such contrariety of personal application, as that of the execution of "the author of all the evils" then distracting the country; and Macnaghten, overjoyed at the unexpected issue of events, not only frankly urged the truth in favour of his prisoner, but treated him from the first with the attention and consideration, which the English gentleman has ever shown to those, whom the chances of war may throw into his power.
The expedient leniency of Lord Auckland to Kamran and his minister, Yar Mahomed, did not, as may have been surmised, produce a permanently favourable effect upon the counsels and acts of the Herat authorities. At first indeed Yar Mahomed seemed earnestly desirous of giving proof, that his gratitude was sincere, and his attachment to the British Government not confined to mere profession. Accordingly he proposed the expulsion of the Persians from the fortress of Ghorian, possession of which they still retained. The bait took. Todd, aware that Macnaghten and the Indian Government were anxious that the Persians should retire to a greater distance from Herat, credulously put faith in Yar Mahomed's avowed intention of captur• ing Ghorian; and advanced, on the strength of his promises, upwards of two lacs of rupees to aid in equipping the force, with which this stroke of policy was to be accomplished.
Pretended penitence for perfidy having secured so liberal a largess, Yar Mahomed, surprised with his own success, wrote to the governor of Ghorian to allay the fears, which the vaunt of contemplated operations against that fortress might have excited, and to assure the Persians, that the machinations of the British agent might be despised, and reliance be placed on the friendly disposition of the Herat authorities. Todd, at length convinced that he had been grossly duped, discontinued all further advances for the alleged preparations against Ghorian, and, about August 1840, reduced the monthly subsidy paid to Kamran and his minister to 25,000 rupees. The measure was a source of disappointment to the ruler of Herat: but his minister, nothing abashed, determined to change his game, and to play after another fashion upon the credulity and facility of the British agent. Communications with the Persian minister for foreign affairs were actively renewed, and finally arrangements made for a conference at Ghorian between accredited Envoys from the Persian court and from Herat. The Persian minister quitted Meshed, and, with the view of attending the conference, marched towards Ghorian; but Yar Mahomed, having brought affairs to this pass, thought he had at disposal a political secret sure to command a good price. Accordingly, making great merit of revealing his own device, he claimed from Todd a reward corresponding in magnitude to the importance of the secret. Upwards of £200,000 had however been, by this time, thrown away at Herat, and the patient credulity of the British authorities had been taxed beyond further endurance. Yar Mahomed's scheme for adding to the hoards won by his duplicity therefore failed.
Bafiled in what he had considered very skilful finesse, the minister's ingenuity was nevertheless but a short time at fault. Avarice has no shame. When therefore, in October 1840, the state of affairs in Affgbanistan became known at Herat, Yar Mahomed, thinking the moment favourable for intimidating Todd into compliance, again urgently demanded money. The successes of the Murris in Upper Scinde, the attacks on Quetta, the capture of Kelat by the son of Mehrab Khan, and the advance of Dost Mabomed upon Cabul, formed a combination of circumstances sufficiently unfavourable to Shah Shuja's authority. By receiving communications from disaffected persons in Affghanistan, and by threatening to march on Candahar, Yar Mahomed thought that the dread of such additional countenance and support for the insurgents would compel Todd to purchase the forbearance of Herat by a further heavy subsidy. These hopes were not without real foundation; but they were
suddenly blasted by the surrender of Dost Mahomed, and the complete re-establishment of security on the line of communications between Shikarpore and Quetta. Todd, re-assured in his position at Herat by the favourable turn of affairs towards the close of the year 1840, refused these demands, and continued to limit the expenditure to the monthly stipend before mentioned. 'In the course of one year an outlay of upwards of £150,000 had been incurred by Todd at Herat; and the expenditure, initiated by Pottinger, instead of being diminished, had been carried to an extravagant excess without any resulting advantage. Indeed, so far from British influence being thereby strengthened, Macnaghten, alarmed by the reports received from Todd, had repeatedly urged the necessity of moving British troops to Herat ; and the Governor-General, though averse to such an operation, had so far yielded as to have been led to contemplate the movement as a possible event; and a battering train, sent from Bombay, was in preparation at Sukkur, and under orders to be held in readiness for a march to Candahar, in case of being wanted for the fore-mentioned distant expedition. The events of November allayed the apprehensions of the British authorities in Affghanistan ; and, producing temporarily an effect at Herat, the advance of a force to that fortress was, for the time, not pressed.
The lull in Yar Mahomed's intrigues was not of long continuance; for the events, which have now to be alluded to, no sooner began, than Kamran's minister engaged with great activity in correspondence and intrigue with the Dúrani insurgents of Zemindawar.
The Dúrani Chiefs, whatever their hopes when Shah Shuja was first placed upon the throne, were rapidly undeceived in their expectations of attaining power and influence under the sway of their Dúrani master. All real power was in the hands of the British functionaries, who, ignorant of the country, the people, and the Chiefs, and naturally jealous of the in. fluence of the latter, were peculiarly liable to err in the selection of subordinates, where the nomination of these was entrusted to them. Political agents were also frequently compromised by the necessity of acting in official connection with persons deriving their dignities and charges from the appointment of the Shah. Mulla Shúkúr, his first minister, had been a faithful follower of his exile, but possessed no other qualification for so important a post; and was alike ignorant of the spirit which pervaded the people and the Chiefs, with whom he was therefore unpopular. His influence was great: and the Shah, placing confidence in his minister's judgment and inten