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MUSINGS WITHOUT METHOD.
THE CASE OF GOVERNOR EYRE—THE TRAGEDY OF AMRITSAR-
IN the year 1865 " the who were but a handful, were blaok gentlemen” of Jamaica, saved only by stern and swift stirred up by the harangues measures of repression. Hapof agitators and the spiritual pily, Governor Eyre was a addresses of Baptist min- man who did not shrink from isters, armed themselves with responsibility. He went at bayonets, outlasses, and pikes once to Port Morant with a with the kindly intention of man-of-war and a gunboat, murdering all the white men the only naval forces at his they could find. “We want oommand, and made his disthe Buokra men to kill, but positions to orush the rebelwe don't want the women lion. He hanged those who now; we will have them after- deserved to be hanged, he wards” - such was the ami. flogged others, and with the able ory that was heard on help of martial law he suoall sides. The "black gentle- ceeded in saving Jamaica from men” murdered with all their a far worse massaore than had own savagery the Custos already drenched it in blood. of Morant Bay; they out to Wherever he went in the pieces a small band of volan. island he found that a coloured teers, who made a gallant member of the House of resistance; they beat police. Assembly, who oalled himself men to death for no better Gordon, had exeroised a malign reason than that they were influence over the natives. not afraid to do their duty; This miscreant had taken ref. they destroyed plantations, and uge in Kingston, which lay they burned houses. As the outside the proclaimed area, historian says, “nothing could and when he saw that sooner exceed the brutality with or later his capture was in. which the infuriated negroes evitable, he gave himself up perpetrated their atrocities. to General O'Connor. The At the court-house the eyes Governor instantly put him on and hearts of some of their board the Wolverine and sent viotims were torn out, and the him to Morant Bay. There was women showed themselves even & divided opinion conoerning more oruel than the men,” the treatment of Gordon. He
The white men and women, was arrested at Kingston, where
instigation broken that the
martial law was not proolaimed. mons, full of inflammatory On the other hand, his home falsehood. They olamoured for was at Morant Bay, where the the recall or suspension of insurreotion had broken out Governor Eyre, and saw their at his instigation, and his baleful wishes gratified. They accidental escape to Kingston urged the Government to send was not enough to shield him out a commission of inquiry, from the consequences of his and they were rewarded with erime. Moreover, Governor one of those timid reports, Eyre made quite clear in his familiar to us all, whioh despatoh the reasons of his are glad to wound and prompt action. “Considering afraid to strike. These gratiit right in the abstraot,” thus fioations did not content he wrote to the Secretary of them. They pursued Governor State, “and desirable as & Eyre, who had saved their matter of polioy, that while compatriots from murder and the poor black men who were ravishing, most aorimoniously being misled were undergoing with charges of murder. In oondign punishment, the obief 1867 Messrs John Stuart Mill instigator of all the evils and Peter Taylor applied at should not go unpunished, I Market Drayton for "& at onoo took upon myself the warrant against Mr Eyre on responsibility of his oapture." the charge of having been
Governor Eyre had saved 8000ssory before the faet to the lives of all the white sur the murder of Mr George W. vivors. Conoerning that faot Gordon." The warrant was there was no dispate, and there refused. The sleuth - hounds, was indeed no discussion. Even hot npon the track of their those who condemned him were viotim, would not desist. The forced to admit that praise following year they made a was due to Governor Eyre for similar application at Bow “the skill, promptitude, and Street, and suffered a second vigoar whioh ho manifested repulse. They were sure, during the early stages of these good people, who lived insurrection." But the poli- at home at ease, that Governor tioians, bereft of imagination, Eyre had no right to proclaim and packed with the futile martial law. No doubt he sentimentality of the moment, should have written home for took alarm. Governor Eyre instructions from the Governhad saved the lives of white ment, and witnessed while he men by punishing instantly waited for a reply, if indeed he and severely a band of black were alive to witness, the rebels. That was enough to massacre of his fellow-country. set John Stuart Mill and P. A. men, He should have perTaylor, whose literal minds mitted the worst oriminal of could not pioture the horror of them all, the man Gordon, to & blaok rising, on the war complete the infamous work path. They made the usual he had done at Morant Bay by speeches in the House of Com- stirring up all the disaffeoted
similar and suffere pero sused
rasoals in Kingston to rebel. Society, from its first begin. Suoh is the fatuity of politi- nings to its ultimate end, an cians, who pretend to believe actual Martial Law, of more that savage countries should validity than any other law be tried always by the stand- whatever.'” ards whioh prevail in their Enveloped in this oloud of own suburbs, and that the rhetorie are the only security policeman at the corner should of life and the only sanotion be sent to argae politely with of government. But Great the madman who is resolved Britain is slow to learn the to kill him.
simplest lessons of history, and Happily, Governor Eyre the wise oourage of Governor found true and wise sup- Eyre has sunk as deeply into porters in England. Lord forgetfulness as the brutal ex. Derby had the courage to cesses of the Nigger-Philanthroplead his cause in the House pists. And now once more wo of Lords. And Carlyle, to his are confronted with the same honour be it said, did not problem. Once more a brave hesitate to assail "the knot of man is thrown to the wolves rabid Nigger - Philanthropists of the ballot-box. The tragedy barking forooiously in the of Amritsar resembles in all gutter.” He at any rate had points the tragedy of Jamaioa. a firm faith in martial law. The two reports show the “In the same direotion," said painful uniformity of the he, “wo have also our remark. Official brain, and they might able Jamaioa Committee; and have been signed by the same a Lord Chief Justice speaking hands. In each is manifest & six hours ..to prove that fear to acknowledge the facts, there is no such thing, nor ever & plain determination to find was, as Martial Law;—and the verdiot which would be that any governor, commanded agreeable to & pusillanimous soldier, or official person, put- government. The gentlemen ting down the frightfullest who examined the case of Mob - ingarreotion, Black or Governor Eyro applauded his White, shall do it with the resolution and approved his rope round his neok, by way suspension. The gentlemen of encouragement to him. who investigated the conduot Nobody answers this remark- of General Dyer paid him the able Lord Chief Justice, 'Lord- same barren compliment that ship, if you were to speak for was thrown at Governor Eyre, six hundred years instead of and by their censure made it six hours, you would only easy for the Secretary of State prove the more to as that, to disgrace him. At Amritsar, unwritten if you will, but real as in Jamaioa, the man who and fundamental, anterior to saved his fellow-countrymen all writton laws, and first from murder and his fellowmaking written laws possible, country women from outrage, there must have been, and is, is branded as a felon by and will be, ooeval with Human pedants who were never asked to face anything more danger- oharaoteristio oare, the buildous than a legal quibble, and ing itself was not destroyed, the wonder is that the British booause it belonged to Indians Government ever finds faithful who, having butohered the servants to do its bidding. manager, were not willing to
On 10th April 1919 there sacrifioe their rent. Presently, was & violent rebellion at having battered in Sergeant Amritsar. A "hartal,” or Rowlands' skull with a straingeneral shutting of shops, bad ing screw, they enoountered been ordered by the rebel Miss Sherwood, a lady misleaders. A poster, ţinviting sionary, peacefully bioyoling the people to “die and kill,” in a narrow street on ber way had been displayed in the to one of her schools. Here Clook-tower, and the invita was too good a chance to be tion had been generally 80- missed. The intrepid mob oopted. If the people was knooked her down by blows unwilling to die, it was at on the head, and when she least eager to kill; and when was safely on the ground they two dootors, efficient stirrers beat her unmeroifully. The up of strife, called Kitoblew poor woman got up to run, and Satyapal, were very justly and again and again she was deported, the mob marvel- knooked down. When she lously inoreased in bitterness attempted to take refuge in and violence. “Where is a house, the door was slammed the Deputy-Commissioner ?” it in her face, and the monsters asked; "We will butoher him desisted from torturing her to pieces.” Speedily the orowd only because they thought that gathered volume antil it she was dead. numbered some 30,000, and That the rebellion expressed passed with little delay from from the very first a murderwords to deeds. The rebels ous hatred of Europeans is not began their work of destruotion in dispute. The mob oried with the banks. They beat aloud for the deaths, not of to death the manager and officials merely, but of all assistant - manager of the Europeans. What could be National Bank, barned their done to restore order was bodies, and set on fire and done immediately, and that saoked the building. With the the ever-increasing mob might greed that commonly accom- have a fair warning, a proolapanies the lust of blood, they mation was issued forbidding throw open the godowns to all gatherings of persons and all those who were willing to processions, and urging all loot them. Then they turned respeotable persons to keep their amiable attention to the indoors. On the evening of Alliance Bank, murdered its April 11th General Dyer armanager, and flung his body rived at Amritsar and took from the baloony into the street, command. That there might where it was drenched in be no mistake concerning his kerosene oil and burned. With polioy, he supplemented the first proolamation by another. because General Dyer was “The inhabitants of Amritsar," presently condemned for not said he, "are hereby warned having sufficiently warned the that if they will cause damage people. No warning would to any property or will commit have been sufficient. The reany aots of violence in the bellion suffered no cheok, The environs of Amritsar, it will day after he had made his be taken for granted that such proclamation by beat of drum, sots are due to incitement in General Dyer was informed Amritsar oity, and offenders that a meeting was being held will be punished according to at Jallianwala Bagh, contrary military law. All meetings to his plain order. He fired and gatherings are hereby pro- upon the mob, which, as we hibited, and will be dispersed are told, believed that his at once under military law.” order was a “bluff,” and he It might be thought that this achieved his objeot by the only warning was olear enough to possible means—the display of oheok the murderous ardour adequate and determined force. of the mob. It had little or no Had he thought more of his effeot. The outrages continued career than of the safety of unabated. The telegraph India, he would have forgotten wires were out, railway lines his duty and stayed his hand. were torn up, and a train was But he is a brave far-seeing derailed. Accordingly, General man, and he know that in the Dyer, with infinite patience and midst of a revolution the mob restraint, made anotherattempt must be taught a lesson. The to recall the rebels to reason same fate overtook him that with words. On April 13th overtook Governor Eyre, that he issued the proolamation that has overtaken unnum bered follows by beat of drum: “No servants of the Empire. The person residing in the Amrit- pedants who sat to try him, gar oity is permitted to leave and who did not disdain to call his house after eight. Any him as a witness, to be used, persons found in the streets if necessary, against himself, after eight are liable to be had no diffioulty in finding shot. . . . Any procession or such & verdiot as should any gathering of four men be agreeable to the governwill be looked upon and treated ment. In brief, they found as an unlawful assembly, and that General Dyer was "open dispersed by force of arms if to oritioism (1) beoause he necessary." The people, hear- gave the people no warning this proclamation read, ing; (2) because he continrefused to treat it seriously. aed to fire after the crowd On all hands it was dismissed began to disperse." The first as mere bluff. "The General plea is obviously ridiculous. will not fire," said the rebels. The rebellious mob received “ You need not be afraid.” not one warning, but three.