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Board of Control was somewhat awkward. Mr. Burke contended, that the resolu.. If ever he should sanction a measure re- tions of 1782, upon the Journals, amply pugnant to the principles he had formerly justified him: if they had not, he felt the laid down, the House would be able to situation in which the right hon. and judge how far his conduct was justifiable, learned gentleman's conduct would have by any new circumstances that might have placed him. He repelled the argument arisen, and if they could not be so justi- that Mr. Hastings's re-appointment in fied, would have a right to charge him 1780, was a parliamentary pardon, and with inconsistency. He was prepared, appealed to the common sense of every however, to meet a very rigid inquisitor man, whether Mr. Hastings had pleaded in the person of the right hon. gentleman, that sort of pardon in bar of any farther who no doubt would compare and put to proceeding? Had he not, on the contrary, gether every part of his conduct in such a appeared indignant, and proudly angry at manner as to render it as censurable as what had passed ? Had he not talked in possible ; but he comforted himself by re- the style of their master, more than as a flecting, that the time might come when culprit before them? Had he not vomited even that right hon. gentleman's acrimony forth the proffered pardon in their faces, would be meliorated, and those principles and boldly and loudly demanded reparation that he now so violently reprobated, be- for his injured honour? The new board come objects of his compassion, nay even of control and its members, by rubbing of his panegyric. For, however irritable against each other, just as the old Scotch the right hon. gentleman was in his poli- proverb said, “ the pigs love by ligging tical character, it was well known that he together," would generate affection, and was as easily pacified and reconciled.- become cordial friends, however adverse Mr. Dundas stated, that the Rohilla war their ancient opinions, however hostile was an unjustifiable measure, but it was their former political sentiments. The not more so now than it had been nine right hon. gentleman had pretended to years ago. Since the period that it oc- palliate the shameful barbarity of extircurred, an act of parliament had been pating the Rohillas, by arguing, that only passed re-appointing Mr. Hastings go- a part of them, and those strangers and vernor-general of Bengal. The statute, intruders, had been removed ; but the therefore, might be considered as a par- place where a man's ancestors had settled liamentary pardon; and unless some fresh and fixed their residence, became, to all circumstances of an aggravating nature intents and purposes, his home, and it was had recently come to light, he saw no as great an act of injustice to remove him. reason for calling Mr. Hastings to account from thence, as if it had been his by the for a transaction which the House had so most remote and ancient possession. His many years ago, tacitly and by implication, right hon. friend had instanced this by an consented to pass over. He dwelt on the example from Ireland, and he would il. essential services Mr. Hastings had ren. lustrate it by one more. He wished to dered his country, in the latter periods of know whether the learned gentlemen the war, and spoke of him as the saviour would be satisfied by a law for removing of India. He reminded the House, that a every Scotchman, and the descendants of great variety of treaties with the native Scotchmen, back to the other side of the princes of India, had been negociated by Tweed—or whether he would be inclined Mr. Hastings, and concluded under his to consider it in that insignificant light, in auspices. He appealed, therefore, to the which he seemed to look upon the removal good sense of the House, whether his im- of the unfortunate Rohillas beyond the peachment might not at this time be at Ganges. He could hardly have expected tended with consequences in India much to find such an opposition, and from such more alarming, than any advantage which a quarter, to his motion : but he was decould be expected to result from making termined to persevere to the utmost of his him an example of parliamentary ven- ability; and if the motion were negatived, geance, could compensate. As in 1782, in justice to himself, and to leave behind neither he nor any of the members of the him a record, that neither motives of party secret committee had an idea of subjecting nor private animosity, had governed his Mr. Hastings to a criminal proceeding, conduct, to move the several facts on there could be no reason for his adopting which it was founded, as truisms, in senew opinions, in compliment to the right parate resolutions, that they might remain hon. gentleman who moved the charge. on the Journals, for his justification.

. At half past seven in the morning the called. When Mr. Hastings came over committee divided, and the numbers were: as president of the supreme council of For the motion, 67; Against it, 119. Calcutta, he found Cheit Sing in posses

sion, and in 1773, in the month of October, Debate in the Commons on the Articles he was, by a sunnud granted to him by of Charge against Mr. Hastings-Benares Sujah Dowlah, obtained by the instance Charge.] June 13. The order of the day of Mr. Hastings, acknowledged zemindar for going into a Committee on the Charges of the province. In 1774, the governor. against Warren Hastings, esq. having been general and council appointed by act of read, the Speaker left the chair, and Mr. parliament, obtained the sovereignty paraSt. Andrew St. John took his seat at the mount of the government of the province table.

of Benares ; and to obviate any misconMr. Fox then rose, and began a most struction of the treaty, with regard to the able and eloquent speech with observing, tenure of the rajah of Benares, Mr. Hasthat as something like censure had been tings himself proposed at the board, that cast on his right lion. friend (Mr. Burke), whatever provision might in the said treaty when the committee were last assembled, be made for the interest of the Company, for having introduced a considerable deal the same should be "without any encroachof preliminary matter, generally allusive ment on the rights of the rajah, or the to the subject of the several charges, not engagements actually subsisting with then under immediate consideration, but, him.” On the transfer of the sovereignty, in his mind, extremely pertinent and ex- Mr. Hastings proposed a new grant to be tremely essential, and as he was convinced, conveyed in new instruments to the rajah that if censure could be at all deservedly | Cheit Sing, conferring upon him farther imputed to his right hon. friend, on such privileges ; and these were the addition of an account, it might with much more the sovereign right of the Mint, and of foundation and propriety be imputed to the right of criminal justice of life and him, were he to attempt to take up the death, Mr. Hastings proposing the resolutime of the committee, with again going tion for that purpose in council, in which into the discussion of any topics not im- were these words, “ That the perpetual mediately connected with the subject to and independent possession of the zeminwhich he meant that day to call their dary of Benares, and its dependencies, be attention; he therefore would make no confirmed and guaranteed to the rajah preliminary observations whatever, but Cheit Sing and his heirs for ever, subject proceed directly to the matter upon which only to the annual payment of the revenue he meant to found the motion, which he hitherto paid to the late vizier, &c. That should have the honour to offer to the no other demand be made on him, either committee, namely, to the third charge ; by the nabob of Oude, or this governto that relative to the conduct of Mr. ment.” This resolution clearly established Hastings respecting Benares. The com- the independency of Cheit Sing, and mittee, he trusted, as well from the pre- shewed it was the aim of Mr. Hastings to liminary remarks and arguments of his make him independent. Mr. Fox also right hon. friend, as from what had passed read farther, in confirmation of this, the within those walls, were so far familiar following article of the treaty proposed by with the subject of all the charges, that he Mr. Hastings, on the 5th of July 1775: should find it no very difficult task to make “ That while the rajah shall continue faith. them perfectly masters of the facts to ful to these engagements, and punctual in which he meant to draw their attention. his payments, and shall pay

due obedience He would begin with the year 1770, in to the authority of this government, no which Bulwant Sing, the prince, or zemin. more demands shall be made upon him of dar of the province of Benares, died, and any kind; nor on any pretence whatsothe presidency of Calcutta interfered, ever, shall any person be allowed to inthrough the medium of captain Harper, terfere with his authority, or to disturb to procure a confirmation of the succes- 'the peace of his country.” Which article sion to his son, Cheit Sing, and an agree- was by the other members of the council ment was entered into between that rajah assented to. and the vizier nabob of Oude, of whom The committee would, therefore, please he purchased, for valuable considerations, particularly to carry in their mind, that his right and inheritance in his zemindary, Cheit Sing had been declared independent, or by, whatever other name it might be on the express instance of Mr. Hastings, that it was actually stipulated, that no declaring that he could spare no more, but more demands should be made upon him, at the same time substituted in lieu of the besides his annual tribute ; and that the remainder five hundred matchlock men. stipulation might be the more clear and Upon this, Mr. Hastings said, in his deintelligible, the words of any kind' had fence, “ My patience was exhausted by been added. And yet, shortly after the such repeated acts of contumacy”-an deaths of sir John Clavering and Mr. expression the absurdity of which might Monson, Mr. Hastings, without any pre- be upanswerably exemplified, by recapituvious general communication with the lating the facts to which it applied. 'Mr. > board, by a minute of consultation, made Hastings, after stipulating that no more an extraordinary demand on the rajah of demand of any kind than the annual tribute five lacks of rupees. Exorbitant, indeed, should be made upon the rajah, demanded was this demand, and incompatible with first five lacks of rupees, which were paid, the stipulated terms of the rajah's being but with some murmuring; he next dedeclared independent in 1774! How were manded five lacks more, which were also the words no more demands of any paid, though with some murmuring; he kind,' to be interpreted? And by what again demanded a third five lacks, and principle of construction was the meaning these again were paid. He then called for of the stipulation to be made to bear out two thousand cavalry. Cheit Sing sent this! The demand, however, was made, him word he had but thirteen hundred, and the rajah murmured at it, and begged and those distributed through his territo

that he might be permitted to pay it by ries; that he could spare no more than | instalments, and with his quarterly pay- 500, and those he should have. Would

ments ; but Mr. Hastings peremptorily in- ever mortal have construed such conduct sisted on its being paid by a certain day, as this into contumacy but Mr. Hastings, when it was accordingly paid, though on who says, “his patience was exhausted the express condition that the exaction by such repeated acts of contumacy;" should continue but for one year, and and adds, that “ he determined to convert should not be drawn into precedent. Not them into an advantage for the Company's withstanding this, the same demand was affairs." repeated a second year, and after some Upon this monstrous determination, fruitless murmuring and complaint on the Mr. Fox reasoned with great warmth and part of the rajah, paid; a third year a energy, appealing to the committee whelike demand was made, and in like manner ther they ever before heard of such an idea satisfied. Various and extraordinary were as punishing men, not for the great end of the circumstances of vexation and despot- all punishment, example, but in order to ism, under which these several demands convert it into an advantage for bis emwere made, such as a threat at one time, ployers. Mr. Fox put this in various to march the English Company's forces strong points of view, and having here iminto the province of Benares to compel pressed the several facts he had stated payment, &c.

very forcibly on the minds of the comMr. Fox stated Mr. Hastings's defence mittee, proceeded to mention Mr. Hasof himself against these facts, and argued tings's determination to levy a fine of forty upon both the charge and the defence or fifty lacks of rupees upon Cheit Sing collectively and comparatively. He next for the imputed contumacy, and his spoke of the requisition for all the cavalry journey to Benares for that purpose. He which Cheit Sing could spare; and ob- spoke of his conduct on his arrival in terms served, that general Clavering had by a of severe reprobation, declaring, that his minute recommended it to the rajah to language and conduct to the rajah, was keep up two thousand. From whence he rude and insolent in the extreme. Soon inferred, that Cheit Sing was left at his after his arrival he caused Cheit Sing to discretion to keep up as many as he chose, be put under an arrest in his own palace, and to send that number only which be an instance of unparalleled indignity; for

Mr. Hastings, however, what would be thought of any tributary afterwards demanded, through his agent, prince in Europe being arrested in his Mr. Markham, two thousand, afterwards palace by the order of the sovereign parafifteen hundred, and, after that, he lowered mount? Would not his authority be lost the requisition to one thousand. But Cheit for ever? This whole proceeding provoked Sing sent word, that he had but thirteen Mr. Fox's execration : he condemned and hindred, and offered only five hundred, denied the right of Mr. Hastings to levy, and fine; and contended that there was | tice of the fourth and fifth articles of the no ground for such an unwarrantable charge, which he said he should speak to stretch of

could spare.

power, since the conditions of shortly, considering them rather as matthe stipulation had been all complied with, ters of aggravation, superadded to the the rajah having continued faithful in his treatment of Cheit Sing, than as charges engagements and punctual in his pay- of much importance themselves. He then ments, and having paid due obedience to stated all the circumstances that took the authority of the British government. place at the castle of Bidgigur, and of the He ridiculed the three rights to fine the inducements to plunder, held out by Mr. subordinate princes that Mr. Hastings had, Hastings to the soldiery, descanting on in his defence, laid claim to. The first of the mischievous consequences of such a these was, he said, the right derived from practice; a doctrine for which he declared Sujah ul Dowlah of fining in case the Mint he had the authority of Mr. Hastings himwas abused ; the second was that of im- self, who some years before had written a posing a fine for investing, upon every declaration, that " the very idea of prize. new possession of the zemindary. This, money suggested to his remembrance the Mr. Fox observed, was a miserable cavil, former disorders which arose in their army and a gross perversion of the word 'fine,' from that source, and had almost proved since nothing was more distinct and dif- fatal to it. Of this circumstance you must ferent than the meaning of it in the two be sufficiently apprized, and of the necessenses here mentioned. And the third right sity for discouraging every expectation of was, he declared, still more extraordinary. this kind amongst the troops, it is to be In 1764, Bulwant Sing, father of Cheit avoided like poison, &c." "Having thus Sing departed from his loyalty, and joined proved how very contradictorily Mr. Meer Jaffier and the English, against Hastings had behaved in that respect, he Sujah ul Dowlah, when the latter, as Mr. mentioned the strange sort of affidavits Hastings stated in his defence, “ would and depositions that were made for the probably have fined him," had not the purpose of imputing suspicions of disEnglish protected him and prevented it. loyalty and designs to rebel to Cheit Sing.

Mr. Fox diverted himself for some time One of these from a person deeply intewith the idea of what Sujah ul Dowlah rested in the ruin of the Rajah, he read, to would probably have done, had not the show the House that almost all the alleEnglish prevented him. He pressed also gations it contained were on hearsay eviupon the Committee the declaration of dence only. Mr. Hastings, that according to the insti. Mr. Fox came at last to the fourth and tutes of Jengheez Khawn or Tamerlane, fifth articles, and stated the appointment the rights of the subject are nothing, of Derbege Sing to act as representative while the power of the sovereign is every of the abdicated Rajah, and his being soon thing, and urged the injustice of such a afterwards deprived of his office, and despotic maxim with great energy. He thrown into prison, and the administration next took notice of the inordinate vanity of affairs given to Jagher Deo Seo, who and presumption of Mr. Hastings in say- levied and collected the revenue with exing, that if Cheit Sing was a great prince, traordinary severity, to the great oppreshe as his sovereign was a great king. In sion of the natives. He also read the order to shew the absurdity of this, he put celebrated letter to the Council at Calthe case thus : suppose that the emperor cutta, from Mr. Hastings at Lucknow, of Germany were to send an ambassador which was deemed so disgraceful to the to the Elector of Hanover or the Elector British government; and he appealed to of Brandenburgh, and he were to tell the common sense of the committee, if it either of them, “ if you are a great was to be wondered at that Jagher Deo Elector, I am a great Emperor.” Having Seo should be rigorous in his collection of pushed the ridicule to some extent, he re- the revenue, when it was considered what turned to his narrative of what had hap- an example Mr. Hastings had held out to pened at Benares, and stated all the facts him. of the ill treatment of the Rajah, subse- After having circumstantially gone quent to his having been put under an through the whole, and applied a great arrest, to the massacre of the British, and deal of reasoning as he proceeded, in order the escape of Cheit Sing.

to elucidate and enforce the criminality of Mr. Fox, after having gone through the the facts, he at length appealed to the whole of the facts, proceeded to take no honour and justice of the House, to de. cide by their vote of that evening, whether intelligible a point of view, that they had they chose to be considered as the no longer their former plea to fly to for an avengers of those oppressed by Mr. Has. excuse. They must do something; and tings, or his accomplices ? There was, he they might rejoice that the happy hour declared, no alternative. They must was arrived when they might make the diseither appear as the one or as the other. tinction manifest to all the world, between He recollected the language that had the enormities committed by individuals, been held in 1782, when that code of laws, and the sense of a British House of Comthe Resolutions, were voted, and when it mons, as to the system under which those had been well said by an hon, and learned enormities have been committed. From gentleman opposite (Mr. Dundas), that their vote that night, France and all Mr. Hastings scarcely ever left the walls Europe would learn what the system of of Calcutta, that his steps were not fol- government was that they chose to be lowed with the deposition of some prince, carried on in India, and it would be proved the desertion of some ally, or the depopu- whether they determined, upon sufficient lation of some country. How oddly, then, proof of his guilt, to reprobate oppression must have sounded in his ears, the argu. and punish the oppressor.

He never ments in justification of the Rohilla war, would be the advocate of despotism, but that had lately come from the bench on he had, he said, often heard it argued, which the learned gentleman sat-argu- that the happiness of a people was secure, ments that appeared to him to be the where the despot's mind was virtuous. voice of the directors and proprietors of He never had lieard it contended, that the old, defending those servants who had dis- most despotic had a right to use his power obeyed their orders, and disgraced the for the misery of those under him, and not British character by their rapine and in for their happiness. He thanked his right justice, but had taken care to make the hon. friend, therefore, for having brought Company sharers in the spoil, by remit- the Charges forward. In one shape or ting home the produce of their plunder in other, they must have been subjected to investments, so as to insure a good divi- discussion, and let the House in general dend to the proprietors.

decide as they thought proper, what had There had been, he acknowledged, passed would prove, that there were something like a colour for the vote the Englishmen who did not avow those princommittee had come to respecting the ciples which had originated in the corrupt Robilla war; the extreme distance of the heart of a most corrupt individual; but time at which it happened, the little in- that they set their faces against them, and formation the House had of it till of late, execrated the conduct, which had been the alleged important services of Mr. marked with the most gross oppression, Hastings since, (though he maintained inhumanity and injustice. Nor was it in that they were neither meritorious nor his mind, Mr. Fox said, enough that the services), and other causes and justifica House should content itself with the tions ; but there were none such to be punishment of an oppressor, it ought also urged against voting on the present occa. to make atonement to the oppressed. He sion. The facts were all of them undeni- heartily wished, therefore, that all that able, and they were atrocious, and they had been taken from individuals could be were important; so much so, that upon restored ; but as that, necessarily, could the vote of that night, would, in his mind, not be proceeded upon just at present, he the fate of Bengal depend. Happy was should, till an opportunity offered, content it for them that they could plead igno- himself with singling out an offender for rance of East India affairs for so long a justice. period. It was the best salvo for their Mr. Fox emphatically repeated, that honours, and could be advanced with con- they must appear either as the avengers fidence as an argument, that the indivi- of the oppressed, or the accomplices of dual servants of the Company alone had their oppressor. He hoped they would been guilty of all the enormities that had not confess themselves the accomplices of disgraced and disgusted Indostan; but that Mr. Hastings, but would assume the nobler they had neither participated in the guilt, character. He added an infinite number nor approved of the principle upon which of warm appeals to the feelings of the comit had been carried on. The facts had mittee, and before he sat down, moved, now been brought before them, and that " That this committee, having considered in so able, so clear, so comprehensive and the third Article of Charge of High Crimes (VOL. XXVI.]


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