Among the many wars by which, province by province,
the Empire of India was won, few, if any, were more brilliant
and hard fought than those which terminated in the annexation
of the Punjaub. It is satisfactory to know that the
conquest of the Sikhs—a brave and independent race—was not
brought about by any of the intrigues which marred the brilliancy
of some of our early conquests, or by greed for additional
territory, but was the result of a wanton invasion of the states
under our protection by the turbulent soldiery of the Punjaub,
who believed themselves invincible, and embarked upon the
conflict with a confident belief that they would make themselves
masters of Delhi, if not drive us completely out of India.
It was fortunate for Britain that the struggle was not delayed
for a few years, and that there was time for the Punjaub to
become well contented with our rule before the outbreak of the
Mutiny; for had the Punjaub declared against us at that critical
period it would assuredly have turned the scale, and the work
of conquering India must needs have been undertaken anew. I
have endeavoured, while keeping my hero well in the foreground,
to relate the whole of the leading incidents in the two
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