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Example in this ebook CHAPTER I. [1841-1842.] At this time the Governor-General and his family were resident at Calcutta. The period of Lord Auckland’s tenure of the vice-regal office was drawing to a close. He was awaiting the arrival of his successor. It had seemed to him, as the heavy periodical rains began slowly to give place to the cool weather of the early winter, that there was nothing to overshadow the closing scenes of his administration, and to vex his spirit with misgivings and regrets during the monotonous months of the homeward voyage. The three first weeks of October brought him only cheering intelligence from the countries beyond the Indus. The Envoy continued to report, with confidence, the increasing tranquillity of Afghanistan. The Douranee insurrection seemed to have been suppressed, and there was nothing stirring in the neighbourhood of Caubul to create anxiety and alarm. But November set in gloomy and threatening. The clouds were gathering in the distance. It now seemed to Lord Auckland that his administration was doomed to close in storm and convulsion. Intelligence of the Ghilzye outbreak arrived. It was plain that the passes were sealed, for there were no tidings from Caubul. There might be rebellion and disaster at the capital; our communications were in the hands of the enemy; and all that was known at Calcutta was that Sale’s brigade had been fighting its way downwards, and had lost many men and some officers in skirmishes with the Ghilzye tribes, which had seemingly been productive of no important results. There was something in all this very perplexing and embarrassing. Painful doubts and apprehensions began to disturb the mind of the Governor-General. It seemed to be the beginning of the end. Never was authentic intelligence from Caubul looked for with so much eager anxiety as throughout the month of November. When tidings came at last—only too faithful in their details of disaster—they came in a dubious, unauthoritative shape, and, for a time, were received with incredulity. At the end of the third week of November, letters from Meerut, Kurnaul, and other stations in the upper provinces of Hindostan, announced that reports had crossed the frontier to the effect that there had been a general rising at Caubul, that the city had been fired, and that Sir Alexander Burnes had been killed. Letters to this effect reached the offices of the public journals, but no intelligence had been received at Government House, and a hope was expressed in official quarters that the stories in circulation were exaggerated native rumours. But, a day or two afterwards, the same stories were repeated in letters from Mr. George Clerk, the Governor-General’s agent on the north-western frontier, and from Captain Mackeson at Peshawur; and the intelligence came coupled with urgent requisitions for the despatch of reinforcements to Afghanistan. To be continue in this ebook...
"The scholarship exhibited here is not only superior; it is in many ways staggering. The author's control of an astonishing range of primary and secondary texts from many languages, eras, and disciplines is awe-inspiring. This is a learned, original, and important work."—Robert Goldman, Sanskrit and India Studies, University of California, Berkeley
The collapse of Mughal authority in North India in the first half of the eighteenth century led to three serious contenders for control of the region and it resources: the Ruhelas, immigrants from Afghanistan, the Marathas, and the British. Through his scrutiny of the primary sources, Persian, Marathi, and English, the author provides a detailed account of the political and military fluctuations in this region.