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another Head of the Revenue, a third was Prime Minister, and so on. Their salaries and their offices were partly hereditary, partly dependent on the pleasure of the Rajah. There appeared the same intermixture with regard to their troops. Part of the army belonged to the State, part was composed of the personal followers of the chiefs.
In the publie durbars the demeanour of the chiefs to each other was most amiable. They uttered only the politest of speeches, and each agreed to whatever the others asserted. Their ordinary relations were less harmonious; they were split up into factions, each spoke of the other little but evil, and all were full of envy and contention. The difference in their positions and salaries appeared to be the cause of much of this ill-feeling. Two or three were rich and influential, the rest possessed only very moderate means and little individual authority; they were, in consequence, discontented and envious of their more fortunate relations.
Captain Nixon could do nothing without the approval of the head chiefs; and these, either from politeness or necessity before giving their approval, made a point of obtaining that of their inferior brethren. Consequently, no order could be issued till hours had been wasted in talk and discussion. I had not been long in the camp before I discovered that, on whatever other points the chiefs were at variance, there was one on which they were all entirely united, and that was a dislike to the expedition, and a determination to give it all the opposition in their power.
In this they were unintentionally encouraged by the English agent of the State, Major Morrison. Major Morrison had from the first disapproved of the expedition, in which, as the event proved, he showed his
judgment. But having been undertaken, he should have done his best to make it successful. This he did not do,
but, on the contrary, gave it all opposition. Captain Nixon remonstrated, and in the end Major Morrison was temporarily removed from the agency, Captain Nixon being appointed in his place. This occurred during our halt at Chowmah. My brother thought Major Morrison's removal very unjust, to me it seemed unavoidable. As regarded the expedition it did not prove beneficial it merely intensified the opposition of the chiefs.
In the course of the day the rest of the Ulwar army arrived. It consisted of about 4,000 men, chiefly cavalry, and a legion of camp followers. The Ulwar army, like that of the Bhurtpore, was commanded by the chiefs. They all attended the afternoon durbar, which was really very brilliant. It was held under the great Shameanah, which was erected before the State tents. The chiefs did not indeed don their jewels, but there were plenty of silver sticks, silver-handled fans, gay dresses, and curious arms; the whole formed a very pretty spectacle.
Our march the next morning was through a country so identical in its appearance with that we had already traversed, that we might have imagined we were retracing our footsteps. There was the same straight road, the same groves and mud villages, and the same circle of trees for ever apparently bounding the horizon. A mile or two before reaching our encamping ground we came on a small cluster of domes. They formed an ancient cemetery, one of those cities of the silent,' as the natives poetically term them, occasionally met with in Upper India, and which, standing solitary on the open plain, have an aspect at once picturesque and melancholy.
Our halting place was just beyond the little town of Kosee. We put up in the Customs bungalow, the army encamped near us on the plain.
Kosee was the limit of my district; when the army moved on the next morning I did not accompany it. My orders had been to march with the army to procure it supplies, and to make use of it if necessary for the repression of disturbances. When it passed beyond the limits of my jurisdiction my connection with it ceased.
THE army marched the next morning. Customs' officers remained behind with me, and also a party of three hundred and fifty Bhurtpore infantry, under the command of a young chief named Ruggonath Sing, and who bore the title of captain.' At the earnest request of their owners, the two cannon of the Seths were allowed to remain with this detachment.
In the course of the afternoon Captain Ruggonath Sing paid me a visit. He was a short, puffy youth about twenty years of age, uncouth in manner, like most of his tribe; and also, as I soon discovered, at once cowardly and boastful. The usual compliments over, he commenced to pour forth his griefs. He was, he informed me, miserably uncomfortable, and the heat was almost more than he could endure. He was also, he added, dying for want of amusement. At home, he continued, he passed his time, when not asleep, in seeing Nautches. He had two Nautch girls of his own, and longed to get back to their society. Then, very abruptly, he asked my permission to do so.
I replied that I had no authority to allow him leave, and suggested that if he wanted employment he might find it in attacking some insurgent village, of which just about there were plenty. He fired up at the pro
posal, and with infinite bombast said he would start at once to any I might name, burn the houses, and kill the inhabitants. But when I explained that as the villagers were armed and would fight the killing might not be all on one side, his ardour cooled, and he remarked that perhaps he had better remain where he was.
We then discussed military matters of which, notwithstanding his rank in the army, I found he was perfectly ignorant. Nevertheless he regarded himself as much better informed than his fellow chiefs, most of whom he spoke of with contempt as mere civilians.' He told me quite plainly that both he and they hated the expedition, and I inferred that they felt no love for Captain Nixon for having suggested it.
As I had nothing else to do, nor he either, we chatted a long time, and I obtained from him much information about the Bhurtpore State and its army. What he said of the army confirmed the impression which, from my own observation, I had formed of it, that it was a mere mob, badly armed, worse disciplined, and commanded by a set of chiefs at once ignorant, cowardly, and full of dissension among themselves. The Ulwar force was more efficient. The artillery was really good, and the cavalry, if they chose to fight, were capable of doing so. As these armies have been so often mentioned in my narrative, it may perhaps be not uninteresting to the reader to learn something of the country from whence they came.
The soil of Upper India diminishes in fertility as it tends to the West. Beyond the Jumna the vegetation becomes less luxuriant. Before many marches are completed the traveller finds himself in a region whose appearance is very much that of a desert. This region is Rajpootana, or 'the land of the Rajpoots,' the caste who chiefly inhabit it. It is about the size of Germany,