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tective, except, perhaps, in the case of the coarser goods which yielded only a fraction of the whole amount. In 1879, when he had already taxed his people heavily on false pretences and needed every anna that he could get for the war outlay, he stultified himself and amazed all India by throwing overboard, as a manifest sop to Manchester, import-duties valued at £200,000 a year. And this measure he carried out in the teeth of his own Council, in which Sir John Strachey, the evil genius of his Government, alone supported him. Lord Lytton could be bold enough to override his colleagues whenever his Finance Minister encouraged him so to do.

Meanwhile the Viceroy had taken good care to fasten down those safety valves of popular feeling which Sir Charles Metcalfe had wisely and courageously left unfastened fortythree years before. Early in 1878 the boon of a Free Press, so long enjoyed by the natives of India, and suspended only for a time by Lord Canning, was suddenly taken away, in a few hours, by an Act for which it seemed impossible to frame an excuse that was not ridiculous, whether for its childishness or its mere extravagance. No one but a thin-skinned official, or a Government bent on hiding its designs, would have cared or dared to pass a law which placed every native journalist, who wrote in his own tongue, under the thumb of a district officer or a Government censor of the Press, each armed with vast powers to punish or restrain all inconvenient freedom of speech. Under the new law the Government may have succeeded in keeping what they called seditious language out of the vernacular prints, but they shut themselves off from one simple means of gauging the flow of native thought and feeling on matters of the highest moment to the future of our rule. If the native papers sometimes indulged in unseemly writing, they served at any rate to show what kind of thoughts were passing through the native mind, and thus to warn our countrymen against the risk of walking over hidden firessuppositos cineri doloso―of fair words and smiling faces.

We have thus far seen how signally Lord Lytton failed in his dealings with some test-questions of home policy. It remains to follow him through that maze of falsehood and intrigue which led to a wanton war with Sher Ali, to a delusive peace with his son which exploded in the murder of a British Resident, and to a bloody and never-ending campaign against a whole nation of armed patriots skilled in all the arts of mountain warfare, and fanatic in their hatred of all invaders. Former Viceroys, by whatever political party chosen, had carefully withstood all efforts to entangle India in the

politics of Central Asia. In the interests of our Indian Empire they studiously forbore from wounding the pride or arousing the suspicions of their Afghan ally by interfering on any pretext with his domestic affairs. From the moment, however, of Lord Lytton's arrival all this was altered. He had gone out as the willing tool of a Government eager only to checkmate Russia through Afghanistan, and utterly reckless of all moral hindrances to the end desired.

The pupil soon bettered his master's teaching. As early as May, 1876, we find Sher Ali declining to receive a special Envoy from Lord Lytton, because the Amir could not guarantee the safety of any Englishman on Afghan soil, and because such an envoy might make demands contrary to existing treaties and likely to cause misunderstandings. the English come,' he added, the Russians will claim to come too."

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The Viceroy, of course, did not show his hand at the outset of this new game of intrigue and bullying. He had only asked the Amir to let Sir Lewis Pelly wait upon him for the purpose of announcing the Viceroy's accession to office and the addition which the great Queen of England had made to her sovereign titles.' But the Amir, who knew quite well what snake was lurking in that grass, could not, as an Afghan and a king, but answer courteously in the negative. If he hoped by so doing to stave off the danger lying in the background, Lord Lytton's reply must have sadly undeceived him. To any unbiassed reader of recorded facts it must seem as though the Viceroy were seeking any pretext to fasten a quarrel on the Amir. Amidst the usual flummery of friendly assurances, Sher Ali was warned against placing his kingdom in wilful isolation from the alliance and support of the British Government,' as if the refusal to receive an English Envoy could be a new cause of offence to an English Viceroy in the year 1876.

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Still, Sher Ali fought against a demand so rudely urged. But the Viceroy would take no denial. Through his Vakil, or native agent, he reminded the Amir of the fate of the earthen pipkin crushed between two iron pots. If the Amir proved refractory, the British Government could break him as a reed.' It was not for his own sake, but for the security of our own frontier,' that we cared to maintain the independence of Afghanistan. If he incurred our enmity by refusing the free admission of English Residents into Afghan cities, there was nothing to prevent us from combining with Russia to wipe Afghanistan out of the map altogether.' Before the year's end the

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badgered Amir had so far given way as to allow his old Minister, Núr Mohammad, to discuss the whole question with Sir Lewis Pelly at a conference to be holden at Peshawar.

By that time the strategic folly of occupying Quetta in Khilat, an advanced post 250 miles beyond its nearest supports, with a howling desert and a long, difficult, ill-watered pass lying between them, was consummated by the Viceroy's orders; and the jealous Afghans saw in this movement a first step towards the conquest of Khándahár and Herát. Another stage in the game of bullying and bad faith was marked by the sudden closing of the Peshawar Conference at the very moment when Sher Ali seemed about to yield the main point at issue. It was no part of Lord Lytton's policy to clear up the misunderstandings he professed to deplore, or to allay the fears of a sovereign who had been simple enough to deem the word of a Viceroy as good as his bond. A few weeks later our Vakil was quietly withdrawn from Kábul, and the puzzled Amir was left to brood at his leisure over the strange freaks of an English nobleman, who combined the brutal insolence of a Napoleon with the virtuous airs of a Pecksniff and the double-dealing of an average Afghan.

During the Conference Lord Lytton had flung off the last disguise of decency by informing Sher Ali that the promises verbally made to him by Lords Mayo and Northbrook were not regarded as binding by the British Government. Thus far, at any rate, the Amir had given us no reasonable cause of offence. It was not he, but Lord Lytton, who had wantonly broken off the alliance of former years. The latter, supported by Lord Salisbury, now held himself free to take what steps he pleased for 'protecting' his north-western frontier, 'without regard to the wishes of Sher Ali or the interests of his dynasty.' Protection, as we know, meant robbery for the purpose of improving one of the strongest frontiers in the world. For about a year after the recall of our native agent Sher Ali drops, as it were, out of public notice. The Viceroy had other matters to think about, such as the famine and the despatch of an Indian force to Malta. But the opportunity which generally comes to him who waits for it came to Lord Lytton after the middle of 1878, when he heard that a Russian Mission had made its way to Kábul.

Loath to offend Russia, now that England had cast him off, Sher Ali received the mission with a decent grace. The Treaty of Berlin had been signed already, and no harm could come to us from any exchange of compliments between the Amir and Kaufmann's envoy. But Lord Lytton's indecent

haste brought on the collision which policy and justice alike forbade. The courteous stoppage of Chamberlain's mission at Ali Masjid became the pretext for a buccaneering raid into Afghanistan. What happened thereafter we all know but too well. When the fighting is over '—we wrote last year—' our real troubles will have begun.* The very terms of the Treaty of Gandamak foreshadowed the tragical fate of Cavagnari and his helpless band. This, in its turn, involved the renewal of a war which, by Lord Hartington's own showing, has cost India nearly twenty millions for no conceivable good. We have given up the idea of sending British residents into a country which will not have them, come what may. We have recognized the folly of breaking up a stable kingdom ruled by a strong and fairly faithful ally, and of turning against us for years to come the hearts of a manly, fierce, and stubbornly independent people. We have learned once more, in short, the lesson taught us in 1842, that it would be easier to exterminate the Afghans than to subdue them. And at what a cost in money, blood, suffering, and national honour has that lesson had to be learned anew!

If we have also learned the utter foolishness of that forward policy which, having lured us beyond our own impregnable frontier to Quetta and Khándahár, would still drag us onward to Herát, and even to Teherán, we shall not have burned our fingers wholly in vain in the fire of a noisy and godless Imperialism. Let us hope, too, that future Viceroys, remembering Lord Lawrence's manly protests against the very schemes which have since proved so futile, will take care to govern India, as most of Lord Lytton's predecessors did, in accordance, not with the partizan clamour of firebrand politicians at home, but with the rules of sound, upright statesmanship, and the demands of simple justice, of manifest duty, of good faith, and common tenderness for the rights of the two hundred millions subject to our control.

L. J. T.

* British Quarterly Review' for January, 1879. The Viceroy and the Amir.'

462

CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE.

HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, AND TRAVELS.

The Congregationalism of the last Three Hundred Years. As seen in its Literature. With Special Reference to certain Recondite, Neglected, or Disputed Passages. In Twelve Lectures. Delivered on the Southworth Foundation in the Theological Seminary, Andover, Mass. 1876-1879. With a Bibliographical Appendix. By HENRY MARTYN DEXTER. Hodder and Stoughton. It is generally known by those who take an interest in such matters that for many years, and with a view to a great and conclusive historical work, Dr. Dexter has been making researches among the early records of New England Puritanism. Himself of honourable Pilgrim blood, and born within ten miles of Plymouth Rock, he has been nurtured in Pilgrim traditions and inspired with Pilgrim enthusiasm. Almost from childhood, therefore, he has been consciously or unconsciously a student of the Plymouth settlement, until, now many years ago, he formed the purpose of writing anew the history of the old colony-a purpose as yet unaccomplished and of which these twelve lectures are chiefly incidental studies. They are devoted to The Beginnings of Congregationalism in England; Robert Browne and his Co-workers; The Martin Marprelate Controversy; The Martyrs of Congregationalism; The Exodus to Amsterdam; Fortunes and Misfortunes in Amsterdam; John Robinson and Leyden Congregationalism; Early New England Congregationalism; Later New England Congregationalism; Ecclesiastical Councils; Congregationalism in England ; and a concluding lecture of general deductions and lessons. In its wide range of reading, its minute and patient research, its exposition of moral aspects and principles, and in the sobriety, breadth, intelligence, and indisputableness of its conclusions, the work is monumental. It is one of those structures of patient scholarship that appear only once or twice in a generation, and that take a permanent place as authoritative and exhaustive. When we say that, in addition to the 716 pages of the lectures (every page and every point teeming with notes and references), a bibliography of Congregational literature is appended, filling 286 pages, and including 7250 books and pamphlets relating to the history of Congregationalism, it scarcely need be added that the labour bestowed has been immense. We doubt whether any other living man is qualified by lifelong culture to have achieved such a work. It is due to Dr. Dexter, too, to say that his spirit is as fair and his judgments as solicitously impartial as his research is exhaustive. A Congregationalist from both

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