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8. Discuss the hypothesis that the publisher never, or hardly ever, takes any risks: with reference (1) to novels, (2) to the contemptible remnant of works which are not novels.
9. Discuss the probable effects, good or bad, of a return to the old three-volume system, with special reference to the restriction of output at the pit's mouth.
10. Try to explain why circulating libraries prefer to send out uncalled-for rubbish to their subscribers; and discuss the reasons and results of their conduct in discouraging literature.
11. Comment on the benefits of a compulsory eight hours' law on the novels, morals, health, and incomes of any very prolific novelists who may occur to you.
12. High interest means bad security.' Apply this maxim to the choice of a publisher, illustrating from any modern historical examples with which you may be acquainted.
13. How far ought advertisement to be regulated (a) by principles of morals, (b) by principles of taste?
This paper, it may be observed, has no parallel in the old school of literæ fictitice of 1855. At that date literature and commerce had not formed the close alliance which now unites them. I ought to set a novelist's divinity paper: for reasons of reverence I forbear. The paper on political economy is but another instance of the march of progress. By rapidly eliminating all kinds of literature except novels at six shillings, progress has, in one way, simplified life. We can boldly say, what most of us think, that poetry is such footle, you know,' and we can take all our opinions, without the labour of study, from our favourite romancers. For these reasons even the conservative universities must presently establish a tripos, or school, of fiction.
Dr. Nicholson may grieve, but all the old MSS. and 'glorified school books' must be turned out of the Bodleian, an admirable home for a circulating library, to be worked by the delegates of the Clarendon Press, who ought also to set about publishing novels.
THE TALE OF THE GREAT MUTINY.
BY THE REV. W. H. FITCHETT,
AUTHOR OF DEEDS THAT WON THE EMPIRE.'
I. MUNGUL PANDY.
THE scene is Barrackpore, the date March 29, 1857. It is Sunday afternoon; but on the dusty floor of the parade-ground a drama is being enacted which is suggestive of anything but Sabbath peace. The quarter-guard of the 34th Native Infantry-tall men, erect and soldierly, and nearly all high-caste Brahmins-is drawn up in regular order. Behind it chatters and sways and eddies a confused mass of Sepoys, in all stages of dress and undress; some armed, some unarmed; but all fermenting with excitement. Some thirty yards in front of the line of the 34th swaggers to and fro a Sepoy named Mungul Pandy. He is half-drunk with bhang, and wholly drunk with religious fanaticism. Chin in air, loaded musket in hand, he struts backwards and forwards, at a sort of half-dance, shouting in shrill and nasal monotone, Come out, you blackguards! Turn out, all of you! The English are upon us. Through biting these cartridges we shall all be made infidels!'
The man, in fact, is in that condition of mingled bhang and 'nerves' which makes a Malay run amok; and every shout from his lips runs like a wave of sudden flame through the brains and along the nerves of the listening crowd of fellow-Sepoys. And as the Sepoys off duty come running up from every side, the crowd grows ever bigger, the excitement more intense, the tumult of chattering voices more passionate. A human powder magazine, in a word, is about to explode.
Suddenly there appears upon the scene the English adjutant, Lieutenant Baugh. A runner has brought the news to him as he lies in the sultry quiet of the Sunday afternoon in his quarters. The English officer is a man of decision. A saddled horse stands ready in the stable; he thrusts loaded pistols into the holsters, buckles on his sword, and gallops to the scene of trouble. The
1 Copyright 1901 by the Rev. W. H. Fitchett in the United States of America,
sound of galloping hoofs turns all Sepoy eyes up the road; and as that red-coated figure, the symbol of military authority, draws near, excitement through the Sepoy crowd goes up uncounted degrees. They are about to witness a duel between revolt and discipline, between a mutineer and an adjutant!
Mungul Pandy has at least one quality of a good soldier. He can face peril coolly. He steadies himself, and grows suddenly silent. He stands in the track of the galloping horse, musket at shoulder, the man himself moveless as a bronze image. steadily the Englishman rides down upon him! The Sepoy's musket suddenly flashes; the galloping horse swerves and stumbles; horse and man roll in the white dust of the road. But the horse only has been hit, and the adjutant struggles, dusty and bruised, from under the fallen beast, plucks a loaded pistol from the holster, and runs straight at the mutineer. Within ten paces of him he lifts his pistol and fires. There is a flash of red pistol-flame, a puff of white smoke, a gleam of whirling sword-blade. But a man who has just scrambled up, half-stunned, from a fallen horse, can scarcely be expected to shine as a marksman. Baugh has missed his and in another moment is himself cut down by Mungul Pandy's tulwar. At this sight a Mohammedan Sepoy-Mungul Pandy was a Brahmin-runs out and catches the uplifted wrist of the victorious Mungul. Here is one Sepoy, at least, who cannot look on and see his English officer slain-least of all by a cowworshipping Hindu!
Again the sound of running feet is heard on the road. It is the English serjeant-major, who has followed his officer, and he, too-red of face, scant of breath, but plucky of spirit-charges straight at the mutinous Pandy. But a serjeant-major, stout and middle-aged, who has run in uniform three-quarters of a mile on an Indian road and under an Indian sun, is scarcely in good condition for engaging in a single combat with a bhang-maddened Sepoy, and he, in turn, goes down under the mutineer's tulwar.
How the white teeth gleam, and the black eyes flash, through the crowd of excited Sepoys! The clamour of voices takes a new shrillness. Two sahibs are down before their eyes, under the victorious arm of one of their comrades! The men who form the quarter-guard of the 34th, at the orders of their native officer, run forward a few paces at the double, but they do not attempt to seize the mutineer. Their sympathies are with him. They halt; they
sway to and fro. The nearest smite with the butt-end of their muskets at the two wounded Englishmen.
A cluster of British officers by this time is on the scene; the colonel of the 34th, himself, has come up, and naturally takes command. He orders the men of the quarter-guard to seize the mutineers, and is told by the native officer in charge that the men 'will not go on.' The colonel is, unhappily, not of the stuff of which heroes are made. He looks through his spectacles at Mungul Pandy. A six-foot Sepoy in open revolt, loaded musket in hand-himself loaded more dangerously by fanaticism strongly flavoured with bhang--while a thousand excited Sepoys look on trembling with angry sympathy, does not make a cheerful spectacle. 'I felt it useless,' says the bewildered colonel, in his official report after the incident, going on any farther in the matter. . . . It would have been a useless sacrifice of life to order a European officer of the guard to seize him. . . . I left the guard and reported the matter to the brigadier.' Unhappy colonel! He may have had his red-tape virtues, but he was clearly not the man to suppress a mutiny. The mutiny, in a word, suppressed him! And let it be imagined how the spectacle of that hesitating colonel added a new element of wondering delight to the huge crowd of swaying Sepoys.
At this moment General Hearsey, the brigadier in charge, rides on to the parade-ground: a red-faced, wrathful, hard-fighting, iron-nerved veteran, with two sons, of blood as warlike as their father's, riding behind him as aides. Hearsey, with quick military glance, takes in the whole scene-the mob of excited Sepoys, the sullen quarter-guard, the two red-coats lying in the road, and the victorious Mungul Pandy, musket in hand. As he rode up somebody called out, Have a care; his musket is loaded.' To which the General replied, with military brevity, Damn his musket!' 'An oath,' says Trevelyan, concerning which every true Englishman will make the customary invocation to the recording angel.'
Mungul Pandy covered the General with his musket. Hearsey found time to say to his son, 'If I fall, John, rush in and put him to death somehow.' Then, pulling up his horse on the flank of the quarter-guard, he plucked a pistol from his holster, levelled it straight at the head of the native officer, and curtly ordered the men to advance and seize the mutineer. The level pistol, no doubt, had its own logic; but more effective than even the steady
and tiny tube was the face that looked from behind it, with command and iron courage in every line. That masterful British will instantly asserted itself. The loose line of the quarter-guard stiffened with instinctive obedience; the men stepped forward; and Mungul Pandy, with one unsteady glance at Hearsey's stern visage, turned with a quick movement the muzzle of his gun to his own breast, thrust his naked toe into the trigger, and fell, selfshot. He survived to be hanged, with due official ceremonies, seven days afterwards.
It was a true instinct which, after this, taught the British soldier to call every mutinous Sepoy a 'Pandy.' That incident at Barrackpore is really the history of the Indian mutiny in little. All its elements are there: the bhang-stimulated fanaticism of the Sepoy, with its quick contagion, running through all Sepoy ranks; the hasty rush of the solitary officer, gallant, but ill-fated, a single man trying to suppress a regiment. Here, too, is the colonel of the 34th, who, with a cluster of regiments on the point of mutiny, decides that it is useless' to face a dangerously excited Sepoy armed with a musket, and retires to 'report' the business to his brigadier. He is the type of that failure of official nerve-fortunately very rare-which gave the Mutiny its early successes. General Hearsey, again, with his grim 'D- his musket!' supplies the example of that courage, swift, fierce, and iron-nerved, that in the end crushed the Mutiny and restored the British Empire in India.
The Great Mutiny, as yet, has found neither its final historian nor its sufficient poet. What other nation can show in its record such a cycle of heroism as that which lies in the history of the British in India between May 10, 1857-the date of the Meerut outbreak, and the true beginning of the Mutiny-and November 1, 1858, when the Queen's proclamation officially marked its close? But the heroes in that great episode the men of Lucknow, and Delhi, and Arrah, the men who marched and fought under Havelock, who held the Ridge at Delhi under Wilson, who stormed the Alumbagh under Clyde-though they could make history, could not write it. There are a hundred Memoirs,' and Journals,' and Histories' of the great revolt, but the Mutiny still waits for its Thucydides and its Napier. Trevelyan's Cawnpore,' it is true, will hold its readers breathless with its fire, and movement, and graphic force; but it deals with only one picturesque and dreadful episode of the Great Mutiny. The History of the Mutiny,'