Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/224

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2 20 THE CONSOLIDATION OF BRITISH INDIA. sight of God and man if it were any longer to aid in sustaining by its countenance an administration fraught with suffering to millions.' The proclamation was issued on the 13th February 1856. The King of Oudh, Wajid Alf, bowed to irresistible force, although he refused to recognize the justice of his deposi- tion. After a mission to England by way of protest and appeal, he settled down in the pleasant suburb of Garden Reach, near Calcutta, in the enjoyment of a pension of £120,000 a year. Oudh was thus annexed without a blow. But this measure, on which Lord Dalhousie looked back with the proudest sense of rectitude, was perhaps the act of his rule that most alarmed Native public opinion. Lord Dalhousie's Work in India. — The Marquess of Dalhousie resigned office in March 1856, being then only forty- four years of age ; but he carried home with him the seeds of a lingering illness, which resulted in his death in i860. Excepting Cornwallis, he was the first, though by no means the last, of English statesmen who have fallen victims to their devotion to India's needs. Lord Dalhousie completed the fabric of British rule in India. The Indian Empire, as mapped out by Lord Wellesley and Lord Hastings during the first quarter of the century, had received the addition of Sind in 1843. The Mar- quess of Dalhousie finally filled in the wide spaces covered by Oudh, the Central Provinces, and smaller States within India, together with the great outlying territories of the Punjab on the north-western frontier, and the richest part of British Burma beyond the sea. Lord Canning, 1856-1862. — The great Governor-General was succeeded by his friend Lord Canning, who, at the farewell banquet in England given to him by the Court of Directors, uttered these prophetic words : ' I wish for a peaceful term of office. But I cannot forget that in the sky of India, serene as it is, a small cloud may arise, no larger than a man's hand, but which, growing larger and larger, may at last threaten to burst and overwhelm us with ruin.' In the following year, the sepoys of the Bengal army mutinied, and all the valley of the Ganges from Patna. to Delhi was enveloped in the flame.