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himself issued (Aug. 31, 1798) a general order to the army, calling on the officers to assist him in putting a stop to the licentious conduct of the troops, and in saving the wretched inhabitants from being robbed, and in the most shocking manner ill-treated, by those to whom they had a right to look for safety and protection.'


So much for the whitewashing operations of Mr. Ingram. I close this most irksome examination with a few lines from Mr. Lecky' respecting the Union. There are, indeed, few things more discreditable to English political literature than the tone of palliation, or even of eulogy, that is usually adopted towards the authors of this transaction.'

I shall, however, before concluding, endeavour to state in outline the main charges against the course of action by which the Union was forwarded and carried; inasmuch as the pages of Dr. Ingram totally fail to convey a conception of what they were, and those who peruse his volume may imagine they have read a history of the Union, when in truth they have read nothing of the kind.

1. That by the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam the prevailing and still growing religious harmony of Ireland was broken up, the party or clique of Protestant ascendancy replaced in power, the good dispositions of the Irish Parliament arrested, and the balance of strength reversed by the transfer of the commanding British and Castle influence to the opposite scale.

2. That, in order to sustain this altered policy, religious passions were let loose by the party of ascendancy. Orangeism, with an oath of allegiance conditional on the maintenance of such ascendancy, was founded to inflame those passions. The magistracy passed into a course of lawless oppression, and the party of the United Irishmen was driven into disaffection, and gradually taught to depend on foreign aid.

3. That this lawlessness was sustained and aggravated by the action of the Parliament in indemnifying the guilty magistrates for past and prospective action, and by the Government in disarming the Roman Catholic population.

4. That, through the continuance of this system, a true reign of terror was established, and a portion of a population, previously declared by Parliament to have been distinguished for its loyalty, was driven into rebellion, under circumstances going far to warrant the belief that the prevailing wickedness was favoured by the Government or its agents in order to promote a ferocious repression, to make the existing condition of the country intolerable, and to force the people, through despair, into the adoption of the Union.

5. That, after the rebellion was put down, the system of intimidating the Irish nation was actively upheld by robbery, devastation, rape, torture, and murder, practised continually by the armed forces of 70 Lecky, Leaders of Public Opinion, p. 182.

the Government, together with the civil authorities; and by the general impunity of perpetrators of crime clothed with authority.

6. That, while these measures were pursued out of doors, efforts of the Irish Parliament towards removing political difficulty, alleged in England as a reason for the Union, were stopped by the direct action of the British Power through its Executive in Ireland.

7. That, apparently in preparation for the measure, the efforts of the British Government had been for years directed to the increase of its influence in Parliament by creating new paid offices, and by the further multiplication of salaried and dependent members.

8. That the announcement by the British Government, after the Union had been rejected by the Irish Parliament, of its intention to reiterate the proposal again and again till it should be adopted was, especially when taken in connection with the state of the representation and with all the other means employed, a threat totally inconsistent with the exclusive right of that Parliament to make laws for the Irish nation.

9. That no sufficient answer was made to the argument of high legal authorities, sustained by the general action of the Irish Bar, that the Irish Parliament, chosen to make laws by its own agency for Ireland, had no right and was not constitutionally competent to divest itself of that office and make it over to another body.

10. That the opponents of the Union challenged an appeal to the constituencies upon the question by a dissolution, and that this challenge was persistently refused by the Government.

11. That the profession of the British Ministry to appeal to a free and independent Ireland was totally belied by the prolonged suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, by the continuing existence of martial law, by its cruel enforcement, and by the maintenance of an armed force in the island exceeding at the lowest estimate 120,000 men.

12. That, concurrently with the system of physical violence and tyranny, another system was pursued of inveigling the Roman Catholic nobility and gentry into neutrality or support, by holding out to them that the principal persons in power, while they declined to promote their emancipation without a Union, would not, after a Union, serve the Crown on any other condition, and that the objection of danger to Protestant institutions would be removed by the measure.

13. That in like manner the Roman Catholic bishops were encouraged to believe that they and their clergy would after a Union receive the countenance and direct support of the State.

14. That while these expectations were held out, Mr. Pitt was perfectly aware of the King's objection to all such measures, not from policy alone but as involving him in perjury.

15. That also, the Union, as was obvious, enormously diminished the influences of Irish opinion upon the Legislative Body, and corre

spondingly augmented the power of the party of ascendancy in the two countries to withhold concessions to the Roman Catholics.

16. That Parliamentary intimidation and inducement by bribery and otherwise were practised upon a scale without example either before or after-by dismissal from office, by the purchase of boroughs at enormous cost, by the vast use of Secret Service money even from England, by the grant of pensions, offices, titles, commissions, and favours as well as disfavours from the Government in every form.

17. That the practice of deterring opposition by dismissals, and attracting support by inducement and anticipated reward, even in their mildest forms, if not universally to be proscribed in cases where the action of the Government presumably represents the people or a national majority, is wholly inadmissible in cases where the Executive is essentially a foreign agency engaged in promoting a foreign, not an indigenous design, and therefore without any title to substitute in whole or in part its own views for those of the nation.

18. That the voting on the Irish Union while the issue was still in doubt conclusively shows the independent and general sentiment of the country to have been against it.

19. That the opposition of the country at the time, reasonably believed to have been testified not only by the voting of the House of Commons, but by the petitions of 700,000 Irishmen, was never invalidated or deprived of weight by subsequent change in the national opinion.

20. That the accusations of foul play, in its worst as well as in its less revolting forms, against the methods and agencies which brought about the Union, are painfully sustained by the evidence before us of extensive destruction of documents and papers by the personages principally concerned, and of the means adopted by the British Government to prevent, at the cost of the State, compromising publications.

I shall be only too happy to have it shown that I go too far in summing up as follows on the work of Dr. Ingram.

In his loud and boisterous pretensions, in his want of all Irish feeling, in his blank unacquaintance with Irish history at large, in his bold inventions, and in the overmastering prejudices to which it is evident that they can alone be ascribed, in his ostentatious parade of knowledge on a few of the charges against the Union, and his absolute silence, or purely perfunctory notices, on the matters that most profoundly impeach it-in all these things the work of Dr. Ingram is like a buoy upon the sea, which is tumbled and tossed about by every wave, but remains available only to indicate ground which should be avoided by every conscientious and intelligent historian.



THE negotiations regarding the Afghan frontier having at length been brought to a satisfactory conclusion, it is permissible, and indeed necessary, to give the public some better information than it already possesses regarding the nature, object, and results of the labours of the Commission. In the following pages I do not pretend to give that information, but shall be well satisfied if I whet the appetite of my readers for the full and scientific history of the mission which will, I hope, be indited, now that silence may be broken, by some pen more able and graphic than mine can pretend to be.

It is now a little more than three years since the British division of the Afghan Boundary Commission, comprising about 1,300 men— of whom only 400 were soldiers, and the rest a motley, polyglot, undisciplined mob-left Quetta for the Afghan frontier, carrying with it on 2,000 camels and mules the tents, supplies, and ammunition, necessary for a long sojourn in the barren frontier districts of Afghanistan. At its outset the mission was obliged to cross the trackless and unexplored desert of 230 miles which separates Beluchistan from the Helmund, across which water had to be carried in leathern skins, and doled out when the holes dug in the desert ran dry. The banks of the Helmund were reached in safety, and then another 550 miles of unexplored country inhabited by wild tribes of doubtful friendliness lay between us and the Herat valley-a weird and desolate country covered with the débris of ancient ruins, and the remains of great cities buried in the sand. Arrived in the Herat valley -of which more later on-we had again to cross some 200 miles of mountainous country, the home of the Aimak tribes, before reaching our destination, the Afghan frontier post of Bala Murghab in the vicinity of Panjdeh. This distance of 1,100 miles was covered at the average rate (including halts) of fourteen miles a day without loss of life or property. The march began in intense heat and ended in bitter cold, just in time to enable us to settle down in our canvas tents and await the approach of winter, with its biting winds and 40° of frost. Then came spring, and with it the Panjdeh disaster, followed by our retreat to the Herat valley and the frightful snow-storm which, literally like a bolt from the blue sky, overtook us in the passes of the Paropamisus, where

men were frozen to death by scores and animals by hundreds.


came the weary, tedious, burning summer in the Herat valley, when war with Russia seemed imminent, and we were fitfully employed in repairing the defences of the city. Then the London protocol of September 1885, and the consequent arrival of the Russian Commission, after which, for a time, demarcation went on merrily, and difficulties were met and overcome by friendly give and take. Again another idle winter of still greater severity-indeed, of Arctic intensity. Thin canvas tents were again our only protection against a frost which turned the diluted spirits on the dinner table into solid ice, and caused your moustache to freeze to the pillow at night. Then spring again, and the resumption of demarcation. But Bulgarian complications had cast their shadows over us, and our work progressed but slowly. Inch by inch we fought our way-luckily we had courteous opponents-to the banks of the Oxus, and there we came to hopeless issue. Another tedious summer, this time in the malarious marshes of the Oxus, when the thermometer would sometimes mark 110° in our tents; and then with something like despair we watched the gradual advance of a third winter, which would close the road to India and prolong our exile by at least another year. Great, then, was the joy and relief when in September a telegram from Lord Salisbury, carried from Meshed over 500 miles of desert in little more than five days by our Turcoman couriers, told us that the Commission was to break up, and that negotiations were to be continued in Europe. Then followed our peaceful and honoured march through the Afghan districts which had been the scene of the most bitter fighting in our late war, in the midst of a population which used to hate us as only the fanatical Afghan can hate, to Cabul, where only five years before Abdul Rahman Khan had been enthroned by us over chaos and anarchy, and whence some of us under Roberts' command, leaving an excited expectant enemy in our rear, had marched through sullen but impotent hostility to meet and crush triumphant foes under Ayub Khan at Candahar. In this same Cabul we received a cordial welcome, and were treated as honoured guests. After being fêted and toasted and decorated we pursued our way to Lahore, and were there more than rewarded for our toil and labour by the Viceroy's gracious praise and the generous appreciation of the AngloIndian and Native public. Then the negotiations in St. Petersburg with the happy issue above referred to.

This is a rapid sketch of the labours of the Afghan Frontier Commission, and I now proceed briefly to describe the nature of the settlement which it effected. In order to make this intelligible, I must accompany it with some description of the country through which the frontier passes, but, sympathising with an English reader's pious horror for unpronounceable Asiatic names, I will try to avoid them as much as possible.

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