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that in his opinion, the claim of the English government upon those forts, was at that time totally unfounded, and so absurd, that he did not even dare to mention it. This fort of Bidjigur, the most considerable in the country, and of which we shall have much to say hereafter, is the place in which Cheit Sing had deposited his women and family. That fortress did Mr. Hastings himself give to this very man, deciding in his favor as a judge upon an examination, and after an inquiry: and yet he now declares, that he had no right to it, and that he could not hold it but for wicked and rebellious purposes. But, my lords, when he changed this language, he had resolved to take away these forts, to destroy them, to root the rajah out of every place of refuge-out of every secure place in which he could hide his head, or screen himself from the rancor, revenge, avarice, and malice of his ruthless foe. He was resolved to have

them, although he had, upon the fullest conviction of the rajah's right, given them to this very man, and put him into the absolute possession of them.

Again, my lords, did he, when Cheit Sing, in 1775, was put in possession by the potta of the governor-general and council, which contains an enumeration of the names of all the places which were given up to him, and consequently of this among the rest,-did he, either before he put the question in council upon that potta, or afterwards, tell the council they were going to put forts into the man's hands, to which he had no right, and which could be held only for rebellious and suspected purposes? We refer your lordships to the places in which all these transactions are mentioned, and you will there find Mr. Hastings took no one exception whatever against them; nor, till he was resolved upon the destruction of this unhappy man, did he ever so much as mention them. It was not till then, that he discovers the possession of these forts by the rajah to be a solecism in government.

After quoting the noble examples of Sujah Dowlah, and

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the other persons whom I have mentioned to you, he proceeds to say, that some of his predecessors, without any pretensions to sovereign authority, endeavored to get these forts into their possession; and "I was justified," says he, "by the intention of my predecessors." Merciful God! if any thing can surpass what he has said before, it is this: My predecessors, without any title of sovereignty, without any right whatever, wished to get these forts into their power; I therefore have a right to do what they wished to do; and I am justified, not by the acts, but by the intentions of my predecessors. At the same time he knows that these predecessors had been reprobated by the company for this part of their proceedings; he knew that he was sent there to introduce a better system, and to put an end to this state of rapacity. Still, whatever his predecessors wished, however unjust and violent it might be, when the sovereignty came into his hands, he maintains that he had a right to do all which they were desirous of accomplishing. Thus the enormities formerly practised, which the company sent him to correct, became a sacred standard for his imitation.

Your lordships will observe, that he slips in the word sovereignty, and forgets compact; because it is plain, and your lordships must perceive it, that wherever he uses the word sovereignty, he uses it to destroy the authority of all compacts; and accordingly in the passage now before us he declares, that there is an invalidity in all compacts entered into in India, from the nature, state, and constitution of that empire. "From the disorderly form of its government," says he, "there is an invalidity in all compacts and treaties whatever.' Persons who had no treaty with the rajah wished, says he, to rob him therefore I, who have a treaty with him, and call myself, his sovereign, have a right to realize all their wishes.

But the fact is, my lords, that his predecessors never did propose to deprive Bulwant Sing, the father of Cheit Sing, of his zemindary. They, indeed, wished to have had the

dewanny transferred to them in the manner it has since been transferred to the company. They wished to receive his rents, and to be made an intermediate party between him. and the Mogul emperor, his sovereign. These predecessors had entered into no compact with the man they were negotiating with his sovereign for the transfer of the dewanny or stewardship of the country, which transfer was afterwards actually executed; but they were obliged to give the country itself back again to Bulwant Sing, with a guarantee against all the pretensions of Sujah Dowlah, who had tyrannically assumed an arbitrary power over it. This power the predecessors of Mr. Hastings might also have wished to assume and he may therefore say, according to the mode of reasoning which he has adopted, whatever they wished to do, but never succeeded in doing, I may and ought to do of my own will. Whatever fine Sujah Dowlah would have exacted I will exact. I will penetrate into that tiger's bosom, and discover the latent seeds of rapacity and injustice which lurk there, and I will make him the subject of my imitation.

These are the principles upon which, without accuser, without judge, without inquiry, he resolved to lay a fine of £500,000 on Cheit Sing!

In order to bind himself to a strict fulfilment of this resolution he has laid down another very extraordinary doctrine. He has laid it down as a sort of canon, (in injustice and corruption,) that whatever demand, whether just or unjust, a man declares his intention of making upon another, he should exact the precise sum which he has determined upon, and that if he takes any thing less, it is a proof of corruption. "I have," says he, "shown by this testimony, that I never intended to make any communication to Cheit Sing of taking less than the fifty lacks, which in my own mind I had resolved to exact." And he adds, “I shall make my last and solemn appeal to the breast of every man who shall read this, whether it is likely, or morally possible, that I should have tied down my own future conduct to so decided a process and

series of acts, if I had secretly intended to threaten, or to use a degree of violence, for no other purpose than to draw from the object of it a mercenary atonement for my own private emolument, and suffer all this tumult to terminate in an ostensible and unsubstantial submission to the authority which I represented."

He had just before said, "If I ever talked of selling the company's sovereignty to the nabob of Oude, it was only in terrorem." In the face of this assertion, he here gives you to understand, he never held out any thing in terrorem, but what he intended to execute. But we will show you, that in fact he had reserved to himself a power of acting pro re nata: and that he intended to compound or not, just as answered his purposes upon this occasion. "I admit," he says, "that I did not enter it " (the intention of fining Cheit Sing) "on the consultations, because it was not necessary; even this plan itself of the fine was not a fixed plan, but to be regulated by circumstances, both as to the substantial execution of it and the mode." Now here is a man who has given it in a sworn narrative, that he did not intend to have a farthing less. Why? "Because I should have menaced and done as in former times has been done; made great and violent demands which I reduced afterwards for my own corrupt purposes." Yet he tells you in the course of the same defence, but in another paper, that he had no fixed plan, that he did not know whether he should exact a fine at all, or what should be his mode of executing it.

My lords, what shall we say to this man, who declares, that it would be a proof of corruption, not to exact the full sum, which he had threatened to exact, but who finding that this doctrine would press hard upon him, and be considered as a proof of cruelty and injustice, turns round and declares he had no intention of exacting any thing? What shall we say to a man, who thus reserves his determination, who threatens to sell a tributary prince to a tyrant, and cannot decide whether he should take from him his forts, and pil

lage him of all he had; whether he should raise £500,000 upon him, whether he should accept the £220,000 offered, (which by the way we never knew of till long after the whole transaction,) whether he should do any or all of those things, and then by his own account going up to Benares, without having resolved any thing upon this important subject?

My lords, I will now assume the hypothesis, that he at last discovered sufficient proof of rebellious practices; still even this gave him no right to adduce such rebellion in justification of resolutions which he had taken, of acts which he had done, before he knew any thing of its existence. To such a plea we answer, and your lordships will every one of you answer, you shall not by a subsequent discovery of rebellious practices, which you did not know at the time, and which you did not even believe, as you have expressly told us here, justify your conduct prior to that discovery.

If the conspiracy which he falsely imputes to Cheit Sing; if that wild scheme of driving the English out of India had existed; think in what miserable circumstances we stand as prosecutors and your lordships as judges, if we admit a discovery to be pleaded in justification of antecedent acts, founded upon the assumed existence of that which he had no sort of proof, knowledge, or belief of!

My lords, we shall now proceed to another circumstance, not less culpable in itself, though less shocking to your feelings than those to which I have already called your attention; a circumstance which throws a strong presumption of guilt upon every part of the prisoner's conduct. Having formed all these infernal plots in his mind, but uncertain which of them he should execute, uncertain what sums of money he should extort, whether he should deliver up the rajah to his enemy, or pillage his forts; he goes up to Benares; but he first delegates to himself all the powers of government, both civil and military, in the countries, which he was going to visit.

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