VIEWS IN INDIA.
Runjeet Singh does not place implicit confidence in his European officers, keeping a watchful eye over them, and not unfrequently displaying marks of distrust. The ukhbars, or native newspapers of the Upper Provinces, are continually reporting misunderstandings said to have occurred between him and these gentlemen, and some authorities state that French influence is on the decline at Lahore, though others, again, lamenting over the prevalence of European opinions, say that Runjeet Singh, instead of being independent, is controlled by his own general, M. Allard. In fact, the fall of Bhurtpore has impressed the native mind with a belief that nothing can now withstand the British power—a conviction much strengthened by the courtesies shewn at Roopur by Runjeet Singh to the Company's Governor-General, which seemed to give an assurance that, notwithstanding the strength of his position, and the state of his army, he would do nothing to oppose the universal rule.
The Seik prince, though he has for some time languished in a precarious state of health, still holds out; but in consequence of the general expectation that the complaints which he labours under must shortly terminate his life, the disaffected chiefs, comprising all over whom he holds dominion, are believed to be secretly buckling on their armour for a struggle to regain the rights of which they have been deprived. The British government might take advantage of so favourable an opportunity to annex the Punjab to its territories, an object which could be effected without much cost of blood or treasure; but in all probability the India Company's rulers will recognize the eldest son as the rightful heir; and, in requital of a throne which he could not otherwise retain or keep, they might easily induce him to cede Cashmere, and the posts required on his portion of the Indus, in payment of a perpetual subsidy.
General Abstract of the Forts, Ordnance, and Army, of Maha-rajah Runjeet Singh.
|Guns in ditto||108|
|Guns in Horse Artillery, commanded by Natives||58|
|Guns in Foot Artillery, commanded by Natives||142|
|Toombrorahs, or swivel-guns, mounted on camels||305|
|Irregular Cavalry, commanded by Natives||43,300|
|Regular Cavalry, commanded by General Allard||5,200|
|Infantry commanded by three other French Officers||6,000|
|Infantry commanded by Native Officers||17,000|
|Grand total of the Army||73,000|