As we were driving back to the Residency, it struck me that the history of a man who, at so early an age, had raised himself from being an ensign in the army to the powerful position which the grand display at his reception had just proved him to hold in his own country, would be interesting, if it were possible to gain any information on the subject that could be relied upon. I therefore determined to collect the best that it was in my power to obtain; and the following particulars, gathered partly from himself, and partly from one who has had many opportunities of becoming acquainted with his history, form, I believe, a trustworthy account of a career which, from its tragic nature, is invested with a thrilling interest, while it faithfully portrays the eventful changes usually attending the life of an Oriental statesman.
Sketch of the career of His Excellency General Jung Bahadoor, Prime Minister of Nepaul.
It will be necessary before commencing an account of the career of Jung Bahadoor to describe the state in which the political affairs of Nepaul were when his ambition and daring prompted him to play so important a part in its government. Cool, courageous, and an adept in all arts of intrigue, he possessed every qualification necessary to render a man successful in the East, where native courts are incessantly torn asunder by rival factions, and scenes of violence and bloodshed are the result of plots and counterplots, as each party becomes for the time predominant, and its leading man assumes the office of premier, to be soon after deprived of his short-lived greatness by a successful conspiracy of the opposing party. These in their turn share the same fate, the King and country remaining passive spectators of the struggles between the opposing factions. They are indeed uninteresting to the King, for he is only too delighted to get any one to take the cares of government off his shoulders, and considers his prerogative to consist in enjoying himself as much as possible. They are equally uninteresting to the country, for these violent dissensions do not arise upon questions of policy, in any way affecting its government. Ministerial explanations are never asked for nor given in the East. The power of the prime minister is absolute till he is shot, when it becomes unnecessary to question the expediency of his measures, and the people are only interested to this extent, that, generally speaking, the longer a premier can maintain his position, by so much is their prosperity increased.