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Page:The Lucknow album 1874 by Darogha Ubbas Alli.djvu/21

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dug up this vault, in the hope of finding treasure; they were disappointed, and, it seems, in the height of their rage, scattered the bones of the General about in derisive contempt. When the position was recaptured, part of the remains were found, and reverently restored to their resting-place. A towering pillar of solid masonry, standing in the middle of an artificial lake adjoining the massive pile, also perpetuates the memory of the great man.

General Claude Martin was a native of Lyons: he came to India, as a soldier, under Lally, in 1760, and after the surrender of Pondicherry, was appointed to the charge of a Company of French pioneers, who had been formed into a Company of Chasseurs. About 1780, he came to Lucknow, and Newab Seraj-ood-dowlah offered him the command of the Artillery; he accepted the offer, with the consent of the Hon. East India Company, and acquired the rank of Major General. He died in 1800, after accumulating several millions sterling, the bulk of which he bequeathed to the most noble and charitable purposes.

The canal, which has now to be crossed, is only so far worthy of mention; that it was commenced during the reign of King Nuseer-ood-deen Hyder. It was intended to run from the Ganges for the purpose of irrigating the country between Lucknow and Cawnpore; but barely a few miles had been excavated when funds failed, the greater portion of the sums expended having been misappropriated by the contractors, who fled, with their dishonestly acquired fortunes, away from the kingdom.

This stupendous ditch, however, afforded the rebels in 1857, a strong line of defence on the southern and eastern sides of the city, and Sir Colin Campbell's force, when advancing to the relief of the Residency, had hot work in crossing the awkward gap.