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government so strongly, as that this design was obliged to be laid aside after most of the commissions were passed, because they could not find, in the whole island, above three hundred men that would inlist in their service.
This antipathy operating upon the ferocity of the people, has shewn itself inactions of the most inhuman and barbarous nature. A continued and regular course of assassination has been carriedon against the French all over the island, to which a nurnber of officers, and some of considerable rank, have been victims. This savage rage was so prevalent, that the severest punishments have scarcely been able to restrain it.
The unhealthiness of the climate caused a prodigious mortality among the French soldiers, and as soon as the reduction of the island was thoroughly completed, twentytwo battalions, in a very weak and broken condition, were reimbarked for Toulon. It appears by a return of the French troops that were employed in Corsica, which is said to be authentic, and to have been delivered to the minister on the 23d of August, that the loss sustained in killed and wounded to that time, amounted to 10,721; ©f which number 4324, including J39 officers, were killed. And it appears by the fame return, that there died in the hospitals 5949 men; so that the total loss of the French troops amounted to 10,273 men, besides the recovered wounded, a great Bumber of whom must have been rendered unfit for service, and 795 sick, who at that time lay in the hospitals. This loss was the greater, as the best re
giments in France were selected for this service. It was besides computed that this expedition cost France eighteen millions oflivrei in money.
At this, price did France purchase the reduction of Corsica, a price that sufficiently shews thehigh estimation in which it regarded the pessession of that island. An acquisition, which, simply in itself, may not be considered, a* immediately of very great value to the possessor, but which in its future consequences, in regard to several other powers, may become an object of the highest importance. It is evident from the difficulties which the French encountered, and the losses they sustained, without any other opposition than the single virtue of the natives, that this attempt might have been easily rendered abortive; and that nothing but the most unaccountable supineness, in states that were not only interested in the preservation of this island, but much more in preventing any new accession of power or dominion to France, could'have given it even a probability of success. The late defection of many of the.Corfican chiefs from the interests of their country, being the natural effect of despair on finding themselves totally abandoned, when all'public hope being at an end, individuals endeavoured only to provide for personal emolument or security.
While France was effecting a foreign conquest, the state of its domestic affairs gave sufficient evidence, that nothing less than a very valuable compensation could authorize a present waste of treasure. Its East; India company, which
had long made a great figure, and seemed, within a very sew years, to have bid fair for a rnonopoly of trade and power in that part of the world, became now totally ruined and bankrupt. The king immediately suspended their exclusive privileges, and laid the trade to the east open to all his subjects. In the mean time the company's affairs have been put into the hands of the ministry, who have hitherto ineffectually endeavoured to adjustand settle them. Many schemes have been formed, both for restoring the old company, and for the establishment of a new one, all of which have been attended with such difficulties, as to prove equally ineffectual. Nor has the laying of the trade open been attended with the success that was expected, the merchants being very flow and backward in that undertaking; though the king, to encourage them to embark in it, lent some of his own (hips to convey their commodities to that part of the world. The garrisons and civil establishments in the East Indies, are however supported on their usual footing by the king.
There have been also a continued course of bankruptcies, some for immense sums of money, all over the kingdom. One of these failures-, at Marseilles, was for the amazing sum of twenty millions of livres. The late desperate ma-? nœuvre of the minister, which strikes at the root of all national faith and credit, by reducing the interest on the public funds to onehalf, without allowing an alternative of withdrawing their money to the creditors, and at the fame time taking away the benefit of
survivorship in the tontines, is an act not more alarming in its nature, than it is cruel in its consequences, which will be attended, by the ruin of several thousand individuals. This measure, which did not take place till the close of the year, and which will probably be in some degree still restricted in its effects with regard to foreigners, will become more fully the subject of our future discussion. It is however evident from these circumstances, that the commerce, as well as the finances of this nation, are in a very embarrassed condition, and that the effects of the late war still lie very heavy upon them.
We have formerly taken notice of the disputes that subsisted between the king and the parliament of Britany, as well as of the con« sequemt dissolution of that body, and the banishment of its members. This measure had caused the most universal dissatisfaction throughout the kingdom, and had produced a great number of the most spirited remonstrances from the other parliaments to the king. Though these remonstrances had proved ineffectual, the king thought proper this year, apparently of . , his own motion, to fend * 7 9' the duke de Duras to Britany , to re-establish that parliament, and to recall the exiled members, A measure, ,no doubt, which has given great and general satisfaction.
Great disturbances have happened this year in the French colony of St. Domingo, between the government and the inhabitant;. We have not been able to collect many particulars of these disputes,
but bat in general that they have occasioned a great deal of mischief, and some blood to be spilt. It is said that the inhabitants have upon different occasions taken up arms, and that some engagements have
happened between them and the regular forces; and it is certain that some of the principal persons of th« island "have been sent in irons to France.
War in India. Hyder Aly ravages the Carnatic. Battle near Mulv.'aggle. Hyder Aly advances voithin a few miles of Madrafs. Peace concluded tuith Hyder Aly. New tfeaty ivitb Sujab Doulah. Supervisors appointed to go lo India. Great debates upon the povjers to be granted to the super ~ visors. A naval force applied for to go to India. Extraordinary powers demanded for the commanding naval officer; the demands are rejected by a general court. Sir John Lindfsy fails ivitb a small squadron to the gulph of Persia.
HAVING given the best account we were able to collect, of the general affairs of Europe, it is necessary that we should do the fame, by those which are either domestic, or in which our national interests are immediately concerned. We saw, at the close of the last year, the troublesome and expensive war in which our East-India company was involved on the coast of Coromandel, with the celebrated adventurer Hyder Aly. This war, which ■we before observed, was not capable of producing any advantage to the company, was notwithstanding attended with the most pernicious effects to its interests, both at home and in the East-Indies: a circumstance the more grievous, as by many, transactions which have sinee come to light, it appears to have been wantonly entered into by the company's iervants in that part of the world, to answer their own private purposes and emolument. /
The causes of entering into this war were not more irregular, than S
the manner in which it was conducted was Ihameful, and dishonourable to the military character of the nation. Field deputies were appointed to attend the army, and to controul and superintend the conduct of the commander in chief. This offiee, unknown in the English service, and pernicious wherever it has been practised, was upon this occasion created only to constitute a lucrative job for the persons who were appointed to it. Tliese deputies accordingly, being deeply concerned in the contracts for supplying the army, 'took care to regulate its motions in such a manner, as best suited their private interest or convenience.
The effects of this injudicious measure of appointing field deputies, were felt in every department. Brave and experienced officers were disgusted, and frequently either quitted the service, or, if their circumstances in such a situation, and at so great a distance from home, did not admit of this method of shewing atheir resentment, they too
often often became careless and indifferent as to their future conduct; while those of no character, or worse, were employed and entrusted. From this original error, this war has been peculiarly marked with a stigma, which never before disgraced our history; British officers, a thing unknown and unleard of, deserting the cause of their country, and entering into the service of a barbarous prince, and forts given up so shamefully, as to afford the censorious too much colour in suggesting, that they were betrayed to the enemy.
Hyder Aly was not an enemy before whom capital errors were to .be committed with impunity. General Smith had penetrated far into his country, had taken several of his fortresses, and was in a fair way of advancing to his capital, had not the dissentions with the field deputies, who counteracted and thwarted all his measures, prevented it. This gave a breathing time to the Indian chief, and leisure to consider the great distance that the English forces were from their own settlements, which were left naked, and the advantages which the celerity of his own troops, composed chiefly of horse, gave him in such circumstances. He accordingly, with great dexterity, and in consequence of several masterly motions, got between the company's forces and the Carnatic, which he entered and ravaged at pleasure.
This manœuvre had all the effect that Hyder Aly could wish. The company's troops were obliged to relinquilh his territories, and to retire in haste to the defence of their own and their allies. Thus he recovered, without fighting, the forts
. voi; xn.
and strong posts which- they had taken; and, instead of a fugitive flying before his enemies, and unable to defend his own dominions, he now came as a vindictive and haughty victor, to pour destruction into theirs. His army, before funk by the disheartening consequences of a defensive war, which besides is a service for which such troop* are not at all calculated, was now let lose into its proper sphere of action. His reputation was by this means raised in a very high degree, and, in such circumstances, neither soldiers nor allies could be; long wanting in that part of the world.
The Nahob of Arcot, the most able prince, the most generous friend, and the most faithful ally, that the English ever met with in. the East-Indies, and who upon these considerations was deservedly included by name in the late treaty of peace which we concluded with France, was the first and principal sufferer upon this occasion. Hyder Aly had a long and peculiar enmity to this prince, which was probably, in a great degree, sounded upon his inviolable attachment to the English. His dominions were accordingly ravished without mercy; and whilst Hyder Aly by this means gratified his personal resentment, he at the same time cut off one of our principal resources for carrying ort the war, by the mischief which he did to our ally.
The company's forces that had been recalled to the defence of the Carnatic, found themselves, upon their return, very unequal to that task. Besides that the fame causes continued which had before impeded their success, they had been very much weakened in that expe
££] - dition. dition. Their sagacious enemy, sensible of their great superiority in the field, cautiously avoided Coming to a general engagement; an object which they as eagerly sought, till they were worn out and wasted, by a continued and fruitless succession of pursuits and marches. In the mean time, he frequently and successfully attacked their detached parties, and cut off their convoys; upon whicli occasions they lost a great number of men, Europeans as well as natives; and he ravaged the country in such a manner as to complete its ruin. These successes raised his character so high, that adventurers from all parts joined him, and his cavalry was augmented to above 90,000, to which however his infantry bore no proportion. The Maratta princes were also entering into alliances with him, and he became so daring, as to advance with a body of horse almost to the
fates of Madrass. In every respect e seems, at this time, to have been the most formidable enemy that we had ever met among the Indian powers.
A detachment of the company's forces, under the command of col. Wood, had made an unsuccessful attempt to take a fort called Mul. waggle by storm. This repulse was attended with the loss of some officers as well as private men, which, together with the small number of our detachment, encouraged Hyder, at the head of a great part of his army, to march to 'the protection of the fort. Col. Wood, notwithstanding the great ■disparity of their forces, did not __ hesitate, with only 460
kx* Europeans, and 2300 - 1708. seap0ySj to attack him.
The enemy's army consisted of 14,000 horse, 12,000 matchlock guns, and six battalions of sea* poys. This battle was more obsti* nately contested, than almost any that the English had ever fought in this part of the world. The field was alternately lost and won several times; and the engagements which began at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, was not over till five in the afternoon. Hyder Aly was at length obliged to retreat, leaving the field covered with dead bodies; among which are reckoned, three elephants, nine camels, and 700 horses. The loss on our side was considerable, above three hundred being killed and waunded, among whom were several brave officers.' Some of our officers were also taken prisoners, and we loft two pieces of cannon; so that, upon the whole, it seems to have been a very disputed affair.
If any consequence attended this action, it was only that it gave Hyder Aly a new proof of the vast superiority of our troops, which ho numbers, discipline, or conduct, on his side, could counterbalance. In other respects the war went on as before, and the devastations of the enemy were carried on with their usual success. The divisions and discontents among the officers and council increased every day, and were productive of the worst consequences. Government grew daily more and more weak, divided, and perplexed. The contracts were ill performed, the seapoys deserted in companies, and the army was ruined.
The revenues of the establishment of Madrass, being unequal to the great expences of the war, large remittances were made from Bengal