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tions, overlooked the fact that, in choosing the men to be placed around Prince Timour at Candahar, the fitness of the individuals for the duties to be devolved upon them was made an entirely minor consideration to the qualification of old companionship. Accordingly Timour's counsellors were the minister's old Ludiana fellow-exiles. These men and their satellites were eager to seize the golden opportunity of enriching themselves at the expence of the province; and, knowing that they could safely calculate upon the weakness and connivance of the minister, they had no hesitation in committing acts of oppressive injustice in the collection of revenue from the people, and in the interception of royal bounty from the Dúrani Chiefs. The latter haughtily resented the bearing of greedy upstarts, whose only merit was long exile from the country they now plundered : and the Chiefs soon found that they could rely on the sympathy of the common people, who were equally disgusted, and animated by a deep feeling of hostility towards the instruments of misrule, and the power which supported them.
It has been noted that the intrigues of Kamran's minister were busy in exciting and encouraging the disaffected; and there came, in aid of the projects of the discontented Chiefs, a rumour, which, whether well or ill founded, was widely circulated, that Shah Shuja, jealous of British supremacy and impatient of the subjection in which he was kept, desired to free himself and the Affghans from a galling yoke, and only awaited a favourable result to any revolt which might shake the British Power, in order to declare himself openly, and cordially to aid in the expulsion of allies, whose presence overshadowed the authority of the throne. Foremost amongst the discontented Chiefs was Uktur Khan, a bold, designing man, disappointed by not obtaining charge of Zemindawar, and otherwise angered by the Shah's Candabar authorities. He raised the standard of rebellion, and, on the 29th December, routed Mahomed Allum Khan, took his guns, and drove the royalist followers from the field. Nott had dispatched a regiment of native infantry, cavalry, and guns, to disperse the insurgents: but Mahomed Allum Khan was beaten before Farrington and his detachment could arrive. He, however, followed up the successful enemy, crossed the Helmund at Girishk, and, on the morning of the 3rd January, came up with them at Sundi Nowab; where to the amount of 1,500 horse and foot, Uktur Khan had drawn up his force, ensconced amongst sand-hills, to screen it from the dreaded fire of the British artillery. Farrington attacked them, and drove Uktar Khan from his position, capturing a standard, and pursuing the fugitives for some distance. This smart affair, in which the enemy left sixty killed upon the field, was a partial check to the spirit of revolt, and somewhat disheartened the insurgents.
The weather being severe, they dispersed; and the detachment was withdrawn from Zemindawar.
Two men were now at Candahar, who had a clear perception of the real state of affairs in Affghanistan-General Nott and Captain Rawlinson, both men of talent and both good soldiers; the one an able, high-minded commander, whose strong feeling and military pride had been most undeservedly wounded by repeated and unjustifiable supercession ; the other, a man, who added to the qualities of a good officer those of an accomplished eastern scholar, and was in the political department an active and intelligent agent. The General, compelled by accident to remain in Affghanistan, now began to anticipate, that, although others had reaped laurels at Ghuzni and Kelat, a sterner strug, gle was at hand, and that he might have to strike a blow for his country's honour and the fame of her arms. By careful attention to the morale and the discipline of his troops, and by a consi: derate conduct towards the Affghans, he sought to allay the passions and prejudices of the latter and to gain their respect and good-will, coupled with a well-founded dread of the formida. ble, but orderly, force under his controul. The civil being separate from the military authority, and in other hands, Nott could only watch the progress of misrule and embroilment, and prepare, as best he could, for the storm which he saw approach. ing, and which he knew, though not raised by him, must of necessity burst upon himself and his men. Rawlinson, entrusted with examining the revenue accounts of the province, and reporting upon the expenditure of six lacs of rupees (£60,000), at a place where there was no expense of a court to keep up, and also with enquiring into and ascertaining the origin of the late disturbances, quickly perceived the false position of the British in Affghanistan, and, early and repeatedly, endeavoured to impress Macnaghten with a sense of the danger attending that position. These warnings were accom. panied by expressions, which implicated Shah Shuja as having countenanced the revolt of Uktur Khan, and intimated the existence of intrigues of a dangerous and little-suspected charac,
Macnaghten entirely discredited such machinations, and acquainted the Shah with all he heard from Rawlinson. The monarch either was, or pretended to be, “well nigh frantic ;' and, ascribing such rumours to the creatures of his lately-deposed minister, Mulla Shukur, threatened to send for the officials the latter had placed around Timour at Candahar, and, “having ripped up their bellies, to hang them up as food for the “ crows." The Shah bad reasonable ground of anger against these functionaries, as one of them had directly charged him with having made a communication by letter, hostile in tone to his British allies. Macnaghten would not doubt the Shah's sincerity, and wrote to Rawlinson-"I think you should sift these atrocious rumours to their head as diligently as possible. You have had a troublesome task lately, and have been doubtless without leisure to weigh probabilities; but it may make the consideration of all questions more simple, if you will hereafter take for granted that as regards us The king can do no wrong. He is not so disposed, and if he were, this is not the time":-(23rd January, 1841). Rawlipson, howeyer, was neither so assured of the Shah's sincerity, nor so sanguine as was Magnaghten of the probable facility of effectually tranquillizing the province, except resort were had to-what he naively termed" the arrest and forcible removal to India of at least fifty or sixty of the most powerful and turbulent of the Durani Khans ;" à project, which Macnaghten could not entertain, observing that “Government would never tolerate for a * moment the notion of such wholesale expatriation," Having deposed the minister, Mulla Shukur, the Envoy and the Shah founded their hopes of restoring to order the province of Candahar by the removal, and despatch to Cabul, of the minister's creatures, who had abetted Timour in acts of violence, profited by exactions which had discontented the people, and had succeeded in rendering the British power, themselves, and the Shah, obnoxious to the Chiefs and their numerous followers. This measure and a contemplated visit to his Dúrani capital in the autumn by the Shah, when he hoped to conciliate the Chiefs, who were invited in the mean time to lay their grievances before him by petition, were the means through which the Envoy trusted to restore confidence and good-will.
The removal of the culpable functionaries produced a very transient effect. The evil lay deeper; and the spirit of disaffection to the Shah and hatred to the British power from day to day acquired strength, and began more and more to move the hearts of the people. The universal venality of the public officers and the authorized exactions of former Governments may have been occasionally-what Macnaghten, when contrasting them with existing circumstances, represented them-hardly credible. But they were so only, when there was the power to coerce, and that, owing to the disordered state of the country, was not often. Amidst the struggles for dominant authority, official rapacity was effectually kept in check by the independent spirit of the people, by the readiness with which they flew to arms in order to resent oppression or oppose exaction, and by the dread of thus strengthening political adversaries. Under the two-fold government of the Shah and the Envoy, the misdeeds of the native collectors had no compensating reaction to fear. The political agents were, however well intentioned, unable to cope with the interested duplicity of their subordinates; and the latter knew that the strong arm of the British force was ever at hand to strike down rebellion and enforce the payments of revenue. Amid much that was anarchical in consequence of the oscillations of superior power, the people had for years enjoyed a wild freedom and an immunity from heavy taxation, which made them impatient of a condition, such as that which was suddenly imposed upon them. The system was the more severe from the practice of paying the Shah's levies by assignments on the revenues of particular districts. These levies were larger and of a more permanent character than those heretofore entertained; and the collectors quartered themselves on the assigned districts, at the living cost of the inhabitants, until the latter liquidated the prescribed contribution. Macnaghten, aware that such a custom must alienate the people and render them as hostile to the Shah as to his British allies, instructed the new minister, Usman Khan, to abolish the system of assignments and to re-place it by one less oppressive and unpopular. But the wants of the Shah were urgent; the Indian Government, meeting the enormous outlay in Affghanistan with reluctance, was unwilling to increase it; and the minister, surrounded with difficulties, could not, in the midst of disorder and rebellion, introduce ameliorations in the fiscal system of the country. Matters, therefore, necessarily continued much upon their old footing; and the prospect was remote of radical improvement.
Macnaghten, no longer able to shut his eyes to a fact against which he had long contended--the Shah's unpopularity-was nevertheless resolved to view affairs in a favour
light; and he combatted the opinion that the position of the British power in Affghanistan was a false one, and that either it should take the Government of the country into its own bands, or relinquish all military occupation of it. "If either * McNeill or Sir J. Hobhouse should entertain a similar opi
nion, I have little doubt that it has originated in the atroci. ously false reports, that have been circulated regarding his
Majesty's personal character. In common honesty we can ' neither take the country, nor withdraw our troops, so long as ' His Majesty is sincere in his alliance. If we are to take coun'tries on account of the misgovernment of their rulers, why • should we not begin with Lucknow, Hydrabad, &c. ? Surely our
• unfortunate Shah ought not to be the only victim, and con" demned without trial. He has incurred the odium, that 'attaches to him from his alliance with us; and it would be an ' act of downright dishonesty to desert him, before he has • found the means of taking root in the soil to which we have transplanted him.”
After denouncing either alternative as impolitic and impracticable, and urging that“ we should require
ten times the number of troops, that we now have, to support our position, were we ostensibly to appear as rulers of the
country,” he expressed this opinion, in allusion to the Dúrani and Ghiljie disaffection, which he deemed transient,—"All things • considered, the present tranquillity of this country is, to my
mind, perfectly miraculous. Already our presence has been ' infinitely beneficial in allaying animosities and pointing out • abuses : but our proceedings must be guided by extreme cau• tion. Rome was not built in a day. But I look forward to ' the time, when His Majesty will have an honest and efficient • administration of his own, though the time must be far dis
tant, if ever it should arrive (certainly it cannot arrive during • the present generation, to whom anarchy is second nature), • when we can dispense with the presence of our Hindustani contingent. Here we are gradually ferreting out abuses and
placing matters on a firm and satisfactory basis."-February 7, 1841, Jellalabad.
Written at a time when the punishment of the Sungo Khil in the Nazian valley was only delayed until the necessary disposition could be effected, and Shelton, with a strong force, could be detached upon the duty, Macnaghten's view of affairs was little in accordance with reality. Truth is seldom insulted with impunity. The miraculous tranquillity existed nowhere except in Macnaghten's wishes and imagination : for, whilst he was engaged in checking, through the operations of Shelton on the 24th February, the rising spirit of revolt amongst the tribes bordering the Khyber, the Ghiljies in the vicinity of Candahar and between that place and Ghuzni were evincing an implacable hostility, which determined the British authorities to occupy Kelat-i-Ghiljie, and thus, by establishing a garrison in the heart of the disturbed districts, to curb insurrectionary movements, and to ensure greater security of communication along the line of the Turnuk. The expedition, upon which Shelton was sent into the Nazian valley, had a colourable pretext in justification of the measures enforced; but the Ghiljie rising on the line of the Turnuk was preceded by the capture of a small fort under circumstances, in which the gallantry of Sanders, Macan, and others was no excuse for the original error, which led to its