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Exploring the WestThree Travel Narratives$

Mushirul Hasan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198063117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198063117.001.0001

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(p.295) Appendix C

(p.295) Appendix C

Source:
Exploring the West
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

(See page 76)

Colonel Symes returned to India in the year 1801, and early in the following year was again sent, by Marquis Wellesley, as Ambassador to the Court of Ava, between which and the British (Indian) Government a very serious misunderstanding had taken place: which circumstance, added to the intrigues of the French at that Court, rendered this negotiation still more difficult than his former mission.

Such was the nature of this dispute, that his Birman Majesty was pleased to say, in public Court, that no other man but Colonel Michael Symes could have reconciled him to the English.

The abilities and zeal manifested on this occasion induced Marquis Wellesley, some time after the return of the Embassy from Ava, to appoint Colonel Symes to a very high and important situation at the Court of Dehly; but severe illness obliged him to relinquish these flattering prospects, and to embark, in the end of 1803, for Europe.

When the unfortunate expedition under Sir John Moore was planned, Colonel Symes, who was then one of the assistants in the Quarter-master General's department, and in a bad state of health, relinquished his situation to take the command of the 76th regiment. He soon after embarked for Spain, under the command of General Baird, by whom Colonel Symes was employed to inspect the state of the Spanish armies. His reports on this subject have appeared in the account of that expedition.

In the performance of this duty, Colonel Symes rode eighty miles post, over bad roads, in one day; which event, being followed by the harassing retreat to Corunna, so completely exhausted his constitution, that he died two days after the troops had re-embarked.

It was during the interval between Colonel Symes's return from Ava, and

(p.296) his being appointed to Dehly, that Mirza Abu Taleb arrived in Calcutta. The latter lost no time in visiting his friend, and was for several months a frequent guest at his table; where the translator of this work had often the pleasure of meeting him, and of hearing him relate a number of anecdotes respecting his travels.

When the Colonel was appointed to Dehly, Abu Taleb requested to accompany him, and to be appointed his assistant: but this scheme having been frustrated by the Colonel's illness, he proceeded up the country, to his friend Mr Augustus Brooke, at Benaras, through whose interest and recommendation he was appointed Aamil of one of the districts of Bundlecund; and died in that situation, in the year 1806.

As he left but little property, the East India Company have generously settled a pension upon his wife and family.

(P. S.) His son, Mirza Hussein Aly, is now employed in the College of Fort William, and, in the year 1812, edited the printed copy in the Persian language, of these Travels.