Imágenes de páginas

the Pindarries; but a brief sketch of those most distinguished, and the era when their extirpation was determined upon by the Indian government, cannot fail to be interesting.

The lubbreeas of the parties which invaded the Deccan and the Northern Circars, are Buksoo, Bhattia, Bheeka, Syed, and Bajee Narsia ka Rumzans. The chief of the Holkar branch of the Pmdarries is named Kawder Buksh; those of inferior note Tookoo and Sahib Khan. Their united strength may be computed at nearly five thousand horse, which are generally cantoned in the vicinity of Kunool and Shundra. Kurreem Khan, Cheetoo, (or Seetoo, as he is often called,) and Dost Mohummud, are also principal and powerful chiefs, and most of the subordinate heads of dhurrahs or tribes pay a sort of tacit acknowledgment to their superiority.

Of the recently more active invaders, Buksoo, otherwise Hoosain Buksh, is the most eminent character among the lubbreeas of the present day, and is accounted a man of the greatest sagacity and skill, excelling all his contemporaries in the conduct of a ' toll.' He is represented as a tall, fair, handsome person, of an athletic form, and about thirty-five years of age. Though brave and enterprizing, he is cautious in the extreme, and never risks an action when he can carry his point by other means. In difficulty and danger his chief resource is the consummate art with which he eludes his pursuers; and his prudence and cunning have been manifested in some extraordinary retreats. Constantly on horseback from lib earliest years, he is enured to every hardship and fatigue; neither elevated by success, nor depressed by defeat, his courage and presence of mind never fail him, and he sets an example of perseverance and fortitude in the most toilsome marches and imminent perils. He is also master of the great art of conciliating all around him, whom he attaches to his person by affability and kindness, as was evinced by the conduct of his followers on the march from the Nerbuddah. So strongly did they feel their dependence upon him, and so sensible were they of the magnitude of the loss they should sustain if any accident happened to him, that even in their most urgent distress, when in want of a meal themselves, they would always procure something for the lubbreea. Such is his reputation, that the best and bravest of the Pindarry sirdars followed him in this last excursion, confident of success under his auspices; and the very 'toll'which accompanied him was not his own, but belonged to Cadir Nabob, who,-notwithstanding his rank and title, was content to serve under him in the field. Bhattia and Bheeka' Syed also accompanied Buksoo in his expedition to Guntoor; but he was the nominal head of the confederacy. They remained united until they crossed the Kistnah: Bheeka' Syed separated

rated from the horde after the plunder of Guntoor, but in his retreat pursued nearly the same route as the other two, when, in crossing the Ajunta ghauts, he was overtaken by the Mysore cavalry, who captured some men and horses, and killed several of his followers. He is, nevertheless, noted as a gallant and resolute leader, whose courage is equal to any exploit.

Buksoo continued his retreat from Guntoor, accompanied by Bhattia, till he arrived in the neighbourhood of Colonel Doveton's camp;—here he accidentally lost his party during the night, and sounded his trumpet for them to join him; Bhattia's trumpet was also blown at the same instant, and the Pindarries were thereby divided into two ' tolls/ which took different routes. Bhattia was attacked by Lieutenant Reid of the 20th, in descending the ghauts, and sustained some loss in making his escape; while Buksoo, either more wary or more fortunate, passed unseen between the detachments intended to intercept him. It has been calculated that each man in his ' toll' carried off between fifteen hundred and two thousand rupees; and by his success in this undertaking, he not only acquired himself very considerable property, but added greatly to his fame as a partizan. Emboldened by prosperity, he now declared that he would render himself memorable as a lubbreea, and visit countries where the name of a Pindarry had never been heard! He accordingly prepared to ravage the British territory to the south of the Toombuddra, and to enter the Kokeen. But obtaining information of the numerous detachments on the banks of the river, and of the natural difficulties of the country, he was obliged to forego his original design; and, after making a few marches up the north bank of the Kistnah, turned towards the north by Punderpoor. On his arrival near Barenda, he learnt the dispersion of Bhattia's 'toll'; the spirits of his men were much depressed by this news, as they apprehended the same disaster might attend them if they ventured too close to the vicinity ofJeroor, or Ahmednuggur, which Buksoo had proposed. They became loud in their demands to be led homewards; but the ' labour' having gathered but little booty in proportion to the others, he wished to afford them an opportunity of procuring more, and therefore took an easterly direction, leisurely plundering the country from Tooljapoor to Nooldroog, where he was surprized by the detachment sent after him under Major Macdowali. The least important effect of. that night's surprize was the complete disarming and dispersion of a body of banditti, who had been the scourge of the whole country. On this occasion, Buksoo suffered the greatest disgrace that could befall a lubbreea, by losing his two horses: his standard, his trumpets, and his matchlock were likewise taken, and he himself, not without difficulty, escaped from the field on foot. .

The chief thokdars in Buksoo's party are Cadir Nabob, whom we have already mentioned, Kolee Kaomeeka Bhukna, (father-inlaw to the nabob,) Mahomudee, Buhadoor, Byram Khan Kala Bhukna, (called also Mawria,) and Bhuka Loda, (a Hindoo,) from Cheetoo's army. Tookoo Dhakera Boocha Kyratee and Shaik Chund came from Kureem Khan. Cadir Nabob is, or was a person of considerable rank, and related to or connected with Cheetoo. The prisoners affirmed that he received a ball through the body on the night of the attack, which killed him on the spot; Kolee Raomeeka Bhukna is also reported to have had his arms broken. Indeed, this was a fatal affair for the Pindarries, as Mahomudee, the first who raised the standard and proposed the expedition, was among the missing, and is supposed to have been slain on the field. Bhuka Loda is said to have been shot in the right shoulder, the ball passing through his body and coming out behind the left, in which deplorable condition he was borne off by two others on horseback. Buhadoor is a brave enterpriziug buzzack, (leader of a division,) and was the individual who discovered the defenceless state of Khanapoor, and brought the ' toll' to sack it. Byram Khan is a bold and courageous soldier; he covered the retreat of the ' toll' with about forty men, when pursued by the Mysore horse, and by the bravery and skill which he exhibited in this emergency, enabled the wounded and dismounted to get out of danger. Tookoo Dhakera separated from Buksoo with about two hundred men, to the north of Beder, to plunder the districts near Oodgeer and Maligam, and he is supposed to have proceeded to the sea coast near Bombay: he is acknowledged to be inferior to none in courage and conduct. Bajee Narsia ka Rumzans is the chief who undertook to plunder Jugernauth, and entered the Ganjam district for that purpose; little more is known of him than the losses he sustained in that attempt.

As we have thus presented our readers with a distinct view of these characters, whose very names seem as new as they are harsh to British ears, though they have been the cause of no small trouble and consternation in India; we shall very briefly sum up the notice of the greater chiefs whom w e have mentioned. Kureem Khan is descended from an ancient Mahommedan family; his early youth was spent in the service of Holkar, which he subsequently quitted for that of Dowlut Row Scindiah. His fame and enterprizing spirit soon increased the number of his adherents; he enlarged his territories, partly by grants from Scindiah, and partly by usurpations from the Rajah of Berar and Nabob of Bopaul, whose domiuions he alternately invaded and ravaged. He possessed himself of several fortresses, and, at the end of the Mahratta war, his power was such as to excite the fears and jealousy of Scindiah, who caused him to be treacherously seized and confined in the strong hold of Gwalior. Here he lingered some years in prison, but was at length ransomed, and resumed his former courses, in which he speedily became as imposing as he had been before. Scindiah, unable to crush him by open force, once more resorted to treachery, and, taking advantage of a quarrel between Kurreem and Cheetoo, assisted the latter, who overthrew Kurreem in a pitched battle, and compelled him to fly for refuge to Ameer Khan. Anieer Khan made him over to Toolsa Bhye, the widow regent of the Holkar family, from whom he has since escaped, and is now at the head of his dhurrah, cantoned near Barseim in Bopaul. Cheetoo, at present the greatest of all the Pindarry chiefs, enjoys the favour and confidence of Scindiah. His force has surprizingly increased of late years, and is stated to amount to twenty thousand horse, a small corps of infantry, and a train of twenty ill served guns. He possesses the forts and districts of Sutwass, which run along the northern branch of the Nerbuddah to the south of Oujeen, and nearly opposite Hindia, the capital of a district of the same name, in Candeish, on the south side of the river. Dost Mohummud, the son of Heeroo, is entitled from his birth to hold the chief place over all the Pindarry tribes; he is, however, inferior to Cheetoo, and his troops do not amount to more than ten or twelve thousand horse, a weak body of foot, and a few guns. Wansil Khan, his brother, headed a party which invaded our provinces, and it was strongly suspected that they were accompanied by some of the troops of our ally, Scindiah. Their camp is at Bagrode, half way between Saugor and Bilseih, a district in Bopaul. The last of these leaders whom we shall notice is a remarkable person named Sheik Dullah, who, though only commanding a small number of followers, has rendered himself conspicuous for valour, and daring by his bold incursions into Berar, and his desperate attack on the garrison of Nagpoor with a few hundred horse.

These are the principal Pindarrie adversaries, not of the British interests in India alone, but of the tranquillity and civilization of the entire population of the Peninsula. Social order, and that security which is necessary to human happiness, are incompatible with the existence of such bands of robbers, who are ever ready to enter into the service of any evil-disposed prince or state, or of themselves, under their own fierce captains, carry desolation to the hopes of the husbandman, and misery to every habitation of peaceful man. To sum up their character, though we must allow that they are brave, enterprizing and vigilant, patient of fatigue, and possessing a confidence in their individual powers much beyond what is found in the generality of the natives in India, these qualities but render them the more dangerous, and extend the measure of their cruel

and and barbarous ravages. It is impossible, also, to avoid perceiving that with some degree of discipline, they would prove a most formidable instrument in the hand of an able and ambitious chief. To such an enemy we can only oppose the same alertness and rapidity of movement, which has, in several recent instances, been so successfully employed. They are now too well convinced of their inferiority to our troops ever to risk a battle, and nothing appears necessary to check their customary inroads but the same perseverance of pursuit on our parts which is exhibited by them in their retreat. They must be followed to their fastnesses, and disarmed. Small as their aggregate numbers, even when taken at the highest, must be allowed to be, compared with the amount of the military power now arrayed against them, and singular as it may appear, that the depredations of a band of forty or fifty thousand freebooters should require a vast continent to rise in arms for their suppression, yet the description which has been given of the manners, habits, and composition of these merciless banditti, the character of the country through which their warfare is carried on, the looseness of the tenure by which peace is held, even among the more settled and civilized of our neighbours in India, and the tendency of any disturbance to stir up among those nations the elements of general confusion—these considerations, joined with that of our paramount duty to protect the peaceable and unarmed millions subjected to our sway from havock and outrage, may render it necessary for the Indian government not to desist from the enterprize which it has been compelled to undertake, without having, in addition to the immediate suppression of this pest, provided by extensive combinations and arrangements against the possibility, or at least the near risk of its revival.

Am-. XI. Brudstykker af en Dagbok holden i Griinland i Jarene 1770—177B af Hans Egede Saabye, fordum ordineret Missionaer i Claushavns og Christianshaabs distrikter nu Sognepraist til Udbye i Fyens stift. Odensee. 1817. LTANS Egede Saabye is the grandson of the well-known Hans Egede, to whose employment he succeeded,—and after a residence of about eight years in Greenland returned to Denmark and became a village pastor—his cure is at Udbye, in the diocese of Funen. A visitation was lately held by the bishop of that diocese, during which he became acquainted both with our author, and with his manuscript, which he considered as a 'valuable memorial' of the ' Golden Age of the Greenland missions;' and by his recommendation the fragments of Saabye's journal, now published, were given to the press. The work was not unworthy of

« AnteriorContinuar »