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186

THE INDIAN MUTINY

lighted, and the soldiers of one of the Queen's regiments standing behind with loaded muskets. A command was given to the Sepoys to pile arms. They had Tmmediate death before them if they disobeyed. They stood literally at the cannon's mouth. They piled their arms, which .were borne away at once^ in carts by European soldiers, and all chances of a rebellious movement were over in that province, and the Punjaub was saved. Something of the same kind was done at Mooltan, in the Lower Punjaub, later on; and the province, thus assured to English civil and military authority, became a basis for some of the most important operations by which the Mutiny was crushed, and the sceptre of India restored to the Queen.

Within little more than a fortnight from the occupation of Delhi by the rebels, the British forces under General Anson, the Commander-in-Chief, were advancing on that city. The commander did not live to conduct any of the operations. He died of cholera almost at the beginning of the march. He had lived long enough to come in for much sharp censure. The temper of the time both in England and in India expected men to work by witchcraft rather than wit, and Anson was furiously denounced by some of the prindpal English journals because he did not recapture Delhi without having even to march an army to the neighbourhood of the city. He was described as "a holiday soldier who had never seen service either in peace or in war." His appointment was denounced as "a shameless joband a tribute altogether to "the claims of family and personal acquaintance." We cannot venture now to criticise

1. a ƒ<*: a familiar expression fora piece of work, and espedally an action in which duty or the well-being of the state is sacrificed to private advantage (e.g. in appointments).

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