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the gratification of the public, is as lively a sketch as Wilkie need desire to work on.
· The evening was as favourable as it could possibly be ; a close sky, a smooth sea, and a light breeze directly from the sea. The immense crowd of people reminded me of what you see at a race in England, but only that there was no drinking or quarrelling. I never saw half so great a number on any occasion. The beach was crowded from the saluting battery to the Custom-House, with thousands of natives, in all their various fanciful costumes. The multitude of carriages was far beyond what I thought the whole Carnatic could have furnished. Every thing that could be mounted on wheels, from a hencoop or a dog-house to a barouche, was in requisition. In some of the hencoops, which would not have held two European ladies, seven or eight native women and children were crammed, all grinding with delight. Among the multitude there were, I believe, people from almost every province in India. I saw a great number of respectable-looking Indian women in carriages, who, I imagine, never appeared among Europeans before, and many of whom, I am sure, you would have thought beautiful, and certainly graceful, beyond any thing in Europe. I scarcely looked at the steam vessel : all that it can do may be seen in five minutes; but I wish I could have made a panorama of the living scene to send to you.'-(Vol. ii. p. 197.)
Taking leave of his private letters, we feel as if we were parting with a friend. It is impossible to have been thus permitted to come within the circle of his affections, and not love his person, though we never saw him. It has been already mentioned that Lady Munro had returned to England with her child. We were introduced in the first volume to his garden in the Baramahl, and in the Ceded Districts. But the garden scenes contained in the following passages, written to Lady Munro after her departure with his son, are worth all the gardens between Delhi and Tanjore. The name of the child had been diminutived by the child himself to Kamen from Campbell.
• I then turned towards the garden, where I always found you, and Kamen trotting before you, except when he stayed behind to examine some ant-hole. How delightful it was to see him walking, or running, or stopping to endeavour to explain something with his hand to help his language. How easy, and artless, and beautiful are all the motions of a child ! Every thing that he does is graceful. All his little ways are endearing, and they are the arms which nature has given him for his protection, because they make every body feel an attachment for him. Í have lost his society just at the time when it was most interesting. It was his tottering walk, his helplessness, and unconsciousness, that I liked. By the time I see him again he will have lost all those qualities,
- he will know how to behave himself, he will have acquire some knowledge of the world, and will not be half so engaging as he now is. I almost wish that he would never change.'-(Vol. ii. p. 180. — I was in the garden this morning,-every thing is growing in great luxuriauce, but particularly the hinah and baboal hedges. The new well is half full. I looke:l, on my way home, at what you call geraniums, but which seem to me to be more like wild potatoes. I stood for a minute admiring them, merely from the habit of doing so with you; for, had I followed my own taste, I should as soon have thought of admiring a brick-kiln as of gazing at a hundred red pots filled with weeds. There is something very melancholy in this house without you and your son. It has the air of some enchanted deserted mansion in romance. I often think of Kamen marching about the ball equipped for a walk, but resisting the ceremony of putting on his bat:'-(Vol. ii. p. 185.)
After the opportunity which we have given the reader of judging for himself, he will not want any opinion from us on the character of Munro. Mr Gleig speaks of having many more such letters. We will not call their publication a duty. But for ourselves, we had rather that Cowley's Odes had been all burnt, and that his biographer-the Courtier Bishop—had published the language of his heart. Were a sibyl to propose to us the alternative of recovering an additional volume of Cowper's Correspondence, or a lost book of Livy, we should let the poetical historian bide bis time. The pleasure of the heart, realities and romance, is of a more affecting, and of an infinitely more improving kind. The affections of private life are, after all, the great foundation and resource on which human happiness has to depend. Every representation of them that interests the feelings and commands the understanding, and which institutes a kind of personal companionship with an individual full of tenderness and virtue, is, even in creations of fiction, a present of incalculable value; but in the history of real life, is a benefit and a blessing almost approaching to the possession of such a friend.
We need say as little of Munro's intellectual endowments. As an author, he would be entitled to take the very highest place, for the rare excellences of manly sense delivered in a plain and manly style-great talent for the description of scenery, and the narration of events-a droll and pleasant humour, sporting with the feather, not piercing with the sting—a most natural expression of deep feeling, because deeply and naturally felt. There was a real moral enthusiasm about him on all occasions. Forty years in India had not deadened his sympathy for the Greeks. I trust that the independence of Greece will be secured. I am more anxious about that little country than about all the great powers.' Europe is more indebted to that coun• try than has ever yet been acknowledged. I have seen no book • which gives to Greece all that is due to her. His indignation against the most flagrant act of modern im policy and injustice
was as strong as it deserved. If the French do enter into a • war with Spain, I hope it will end in the expulsion of the Bour• bons both from France and Spain.' We quite agree that Bonaparte's invasion was not one jot more wicked. For Bonaparte himself, he felt, on visiting St Helena, the sentiments which fallen greatness must inspire in all except the vulgarest hearts. Besides, the setters-up and pullers-down of Oriental kings cannot be expected to have, in this respect, modified their language to the legitimate tone of European etiquette; at least not until they have passed the latitude of St Helena. His taste in literature was pure and simple. Accordingly, his criticisms on Persian compositions are such as would have astonished Sir W. Jones. We believe a page of Homer to be worth the whole Shah Nameh. Munro says, a chapter of Don Quixote is worth all their poetry together. The bombast of some of our public military letters from the East seems at one time to have disgusted his taste, and ruined bis faith in them as documents for history, as much as civilian verbosity wore out afterwards his patience and his eyes.
It is difficult to marshal the comparative excellences of a mind, where you have to choose among so many. If nature can be said, in such a case, to lead the way, she meant to make him one of the most eminent soldiers of our age-perhaps the rival of his friend. His boyish reading had taken a military turn. Our Indian campaigns gave him abundant occasion for improving his talents by watching their egregious follies. We imagine that the Duke of Wellington, even as a beginner, was not much in the habit of canvassing for opinions. It is, therefore, no inconsiderable compliment to the professional reputation of Munro, among those who knew his merits, that the former should express so much eagerness for his approbation after the battle of Assye. A long letter begins with these words : “ As you are a judge of military operations, and as I am desirous of having your opinion on my side, I am about to give you an account of the battle at • Assye.'—(Vol. i. p. 347.) Munro evidently thought the battle might have been spared.. If there was any thing wrong at Assye, it was in giving battle; but in the conduct of the action every thing was right.'--(Vol. i. p. 354.) For money, Munro seems to have had more than a philosophical indifference-a highminded disdain. He took very differently the want of military rank, and the loss of all occasion for the exercise of those talents which he could not but feel that he possessed. At last, on the breaking out of the Pindarrie war, fortune threw in his way a brilliant opportunity of justifying his own ambition, and the expectation of his friends. It has been seen that it was not with bim, capax imperii nisi imperasset. The letter* written by Sir
* Sir J. Malcolm does not always do himself justice, or has not always justice done him. Therefore we rejoice in the publication of the above letter. It must remove any suspicion, wherever the suspicion had been entertained, that he is a man to view with jealousy the advancement or the fame of others in his own career. One such letter is more honourable to him than all the chapters of his History of Malwa—though Munro writes to him of one of the said chapters: 'I have weighed the ninth
chapter in my hand; and I could not help thinking, when poising it, as 'Sancho did when poising Mambrino's helmet in his hand, “what a prodigious head the Pagan must have, whose capacious skull could con
tain thirteen such ponderous chapters as this!" I look at it with re'verence when I open the drawer in which it lies deposited.'—(Vol. ii. p. 75.) Munro held as high an opinion of his Political History of India.
Have you seen the Last Man? He ought to die reading your last chap'ter. Your new edition will be by far the most valuable book in our lan
guage on our Indian empire, to every person who takes any interest in its stability:'-(Vol. ii. p. 163.) These volumes contain equal evidence of Munro's anxiety to see Malcolm a governor in India. In the late unfortunate discussion between him, as governor of Bombay, and the Supreme Court, we conceive that the blame rests much more on the law, and on those who have left the law in this condition, than on either of the immediate parties, who with equal good faith supported or opposed the jurisdiction of the court. Surely it is time to settle the limits of this jurisdiction beyond the possibility of mistake. This dispute has now run the round of every presidency. It had convulsed Bengal as early as Warren Hastings. It disturbed Madras during the govern. ment of Munro. His opinion, that this jurisdiction should be strictly defined, and that the court should be completely debarred from all cognizance, in any shape, of the acts of government, is expressed in a letter to Mr Canning, and in a very able minute, arising out of the grant of an Altamgha Jagheer, in the strongest terms. 'The natives don't une
derstand our refinements. Where we intend protection, they experience only complication. Where we mean checks, they see only divisions. The 'threads cross, break, and the empire, which threads only have supported, 'falls.' The tone of Lord Ellenborough's incredible despatch from the menagerie of the India Board, is indeed a different matter. Every drop of judicial blood flowing in his veins should have taught him better. It reminded us of Sir John's account of the squabbles of former times. During such contentions at home, the state of the Company's affairs
abroad may be imagined. The spirit of the principles upon which these * were regulated will be collected from an extract of a letter from their governor at home to an officer who had been appointed judge for civil affairs in India. “I expect,” said this commercial despot,“ my will and orders shall be your rule, and not the laws of England, which are a heap of nonsense, compiled by a number of country gentlemen who hardly know how to govern their own families, much less the regulating
John Malcolm to Secretary Adams on this occasion is in the true spirit of generous and admiring friendship :
• I send you a copy of a public letter from Tom Munro Saheb, written for the information of Sir Thomas Hislop. If this letter makes the same impression upon you as it did upon me, we shall all recede as this extraordinary man comes forward. We use common vulgar means, and go on zealously, and actively, and courageously enough ; but how different is his part in the drama! Insulated in an enemy's country, with no military means whatever, (five disposable companies of sepoys were nothing," he forms the plan of subduing the country, expelling the army by which it is occupied, and collecting the revenues that are due to the enemy, through the means of the inhabitants themselves, aided and supported by a few irregular infantry whom he invites from the neighbouring provinces for that purpose. His plan, which is at once simple and great, is successful in a degree that a mind like his could alone have anticipated. The country comes into his hands by the most legitimate of all modes, the zealous and spirited efforts of the natives to place themselves under his rule, and to enjoy the benefits of a government which, when administered by a man like him, is one of the best in the world. Munro, they say, has been aided in this great work by his local reputation, but that adds to his title to praise. His popularity, in the quarter where he is placed, is the result of long experience of his talents and virtues, and rests exactly upon that basis of which an able and good man may be proud. Confess, after reading the enclosed, that I have a right to exult in the eagerness with which i pressed upon you the necessity of bringing forward this master-workman. You had only heard of him at a distance ; I had seen him near. Lord Hastings, however, showed on this, as on every other occasion, that he had only one desire-bow best to provide for every possible exigency of the public service :-(Vol.i. p. 530.)
We have been detained so long over Munro's personal biography, that we have not room at present to go into the supposed peculiarities of his Indian system. The reader, who has received a quarter of the delight which the contemplation of such a character ought to convey, can testify his gratitude in no manner that would be half so acceptable to the subject of it, as in taking up this question in a sober, enquiring, but determined spirit. The cycle, too, has nearly brought us to the hour when the English public is periodically awakened into a momentary interest respecting India. We mean to avail ourselves of the moment, to
companies and foreign commerce. Having now the power of con. demning the Company's enemies, or such as shall be deemed so, particularly those that shall question the Company's power over all the * British subjects in India, I expect my orders from time to time shall * be obeyed, and received as statute laws."'-Political History of India, yol. i. p. 26.