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gard them, as a signal of my own authority. He supposes his authority gone, while he obeys the laws; but, says he, the moment I got rid of the bonds and barriers of the laws, (as if there had been some act of violence and usurpation that had deprived him of his rightful powers,) I was restored to my own authority. What is this authority to which he is restored? Not an authority vested in him by the East India Company; not an authority sanctioned by the laws of this kingdom. It is neither of these, but the authority of Warren Hastings; an inherent divine right, I suppose, which he has thought proper to claim as belonging to himself; something independent of the laws; something independent of the court of directors; something independent of his brethren of the council. It is "my own authority."

And what is the signal by which you are to know when this authority is restored? By his obedience to the court of directors; by his attention to the laws of his country; by his regard to the rights of the people? No, my lords, no; the notification of the restoration of this authority is a formal disobedience of the orders of the court of directors. When you find the laws of the land trampled upon, and their appointed authority despised, then you may be sure that the authority of the prisoner is reëstablished.

There is, my lords, always a close connection between vices of every description. The man who is a tyrant, would, under some other circumstances, be a rebel; and he that is a rebel, would become a tyrant. They are things which originally proceed from the same source. They owe their birth to the wild unbridled lewdness of arbitrary power. They arise from a contempt of public order, and of the laws and institutions which curb mankind. They arise from a harsh, cruel, and ferocious disposition, impatient of the rules of law, order, and morality and accordingly, as their relation varies, the man is a tyrant if a superior, a rebel if an inferior. this man, standing in a middle point, between the two relations, the superior and inferior, declares himself at once both


a rebel and a tyrant. We therefore naturally expect, that, when he has thrown off the laws of his country, he will throw off all other authority. Accordingly, in defiance of that authority to which he owes his situation, he nominates Mr. Markham to the residency at Benares, and therefore every act of Mr. Markham is his. He is responsible ;-doubly responsible to what he would have been, if in the ordinary course of office he had named this agent.

Every governor is responsible for the misdemeanors committed under his legal authority, for which he does not punish the delinquent; but the prisoner is doubly responsible in this case, because he assumed an illegal authority, which can be justified only, if at all, by the good resulting from the assumption.

Having now chosen his principal instrument, and his confidential and sole counsellor, having the country entirely in his hand, and every obstacle that could impede his course swept out of the arena, what does he do under these auspicious circumstances? You would imagine, that, in the first place, he would have sent down to the council at Calcutta a general view of his proceedings, and of their consequences, together with a complete statement of the revenue; that he would have recommended the fittest persons for public trusts, with such other measures as he might judge to be most essential to the interest and honor of his employers. One would have imagined he would have done this, in order that the council and the court of directors might have a clear view of the whole existing system, before he attempted to make a permanent arrangement for the administration of the country. But, on the contrary, the whole of his proceedings is clandestinely conducted; there is not the slightest communication with the council upon the business, till he had determined and settled the whole. Thus the council was placed in a complete dilemma, either to confirm all his wicked and arbitrary acts, for such we have proved them to be, or to derange the whole administration of the country again, and to make another

revolution, as complete and dreadful as that which he had made.

The task, which the governor-general had imposed upon himself, was, I admit, a difficult one; but those who pull down important ancient establishments, who wantonly destroy modes of administration, and public institutions, under which a country has prospered, are the most mischievous, and therefore the wickedest of men. It is not a reverse of fortune, it is not the fall of an individual, that we are here talking of. We are indeed sorry for Cheit Sing and Durbedgy Sing, as we should be sorry for any individual under similar circum


It is wisely provided in the constitution of our heart, that we should interest ourselves in the fate of great personages. They are, therefore, made every where the objects of tragedy, which addresses itself directly to our passions and our feelings. And why? Because men of great place, men of great rank, men of great hereditary authority, cannot fall without a horrible crash upon all about them. Such towers cannot tumble without ruining their dependent cottages.

The prosperity of a country, that has been distressed by a revolution which has swept off its principal men, cannot be reëstablished without extreme difficulty. This man, therefore, who wantonly and wickedly destroyed the existing government of Benares, was doubly bound to use all possible care and caution in supplying the loss of those institutions which he had destroyed, and of the men whom he had driven into exile. This, I say, he ought to have done. Let us now see what he really did do.

He set out by disposing of all the property of the country as if it was his own. He first confiscated the whole estates of the Baboos, the great nobility of the country, to the amount of six lacks of rupees. He then distributed the lands and revenue of the country, according to his own pleasure; and as he had seized the lands without our knowing why or wherefore, so the portion which he took away from some

persons he gave to others, in the same arbitrary manner, and without any assignable reason.

When we were inquiring what jaghires Mr. Hastings had thought proper to grant, we found, to our astonishment, (though it is natural that his mind should take this turn,) that he endowed several charities with jaghires. He gave a jaghire to some Brahmins, to pray for the perpetual prosperity of the company, and others to procure the prayers of the same class of men for himself. I do not blame his Gentoo piety, when I find no Christian piety in the man; let him take refuge in any superstition he pleases. The crime we charge is, his having distributed the lands of others at his own pleasure. Whether this proceeded from piety, from ostentation, or from any other motive, it matters not. We contend, that he ought not to have distributed such land at all; that he had no right to do so;-and consequently, the gift of a single acre of land, by his own private will, was an act of robbery, either from the public or some individual.

When he had thus disturbed the landed property of Benares, and distributed it according to his own will, he thought it would be proper to fix upon a person to govern the country; and of this person he himself made the choice. It does not appear, that the people could have lost, even by the revolt of Cheit Sing, the right which was inherent in them, to be governed by the lawful successor of his family. We find, however, that this man, by his own authority, by the arbitrary exercise of his own will and fancy, did think proper to nominate a person to succeed the rajah, who had no legal claims to the succession. He made choice of a boy about nineteen years old; and he says he made that choice upon the principle of this boy's being descended from Bulwant Sing, by the female line. But he does not pretend to say, that he was the proper and natural heir to Cheit Sing; and we will show you the direct contrary. Indeed, he confesses the contrary himself; for he argues, in his defence, that when a new system was to be formed with the successor of Cheit

Sing, who was not his heir, each successor had no claim of right.

But perhaps the want of right was supplied by the capacity and fitness of the person who was chosen. I do not say, that this does or can for one moment supersede the positive right of another person; but it would palliate the injustice in some degree. Was there in this case any palliative matter? Who was the person chosen by Mr. Hastings to succeed Cheit Sing? My lords, the person chosen was a minor ; for we find, the prisoner at your bar immediately proceeded to appoint him a guardian. This guardian he also chose by his own will and pleasure, as he himself declares, without referring to any particular claim or usage; without calling the Pundits to instruct him, upon whom, by the Gentoo laws, the guardianship devolved.

I admit, that in selecting a guardian he did not in one respect act improperly, for he chose the boy's father, and he could not have chosen a better guardian for his person. But for the administration of his government, qualities were required which this man did not possess. He should have chosen a man of vigor, capacity, and diligence; a man fit to meet the great difficulties of the situation in which he was to be placed.


Mr. Hastings, my lords, plainly tells you, that he did not think the man's talents to be extraordinary; and he soon afterwards says, that he had a great many incapacities. tells you, that he has a doubt whether he was capable of realizing those hopes of revenue which he (Mr. Hastings) had formed. Nor can this be matter of wonder, when we consider that he had ruined and destroyed the ancient system, the whole scheme and tenor of public offices; and had substituted nothing for them but his own arbitrary will. He had formed a plan of an entire new system, in which the practical details had no reference to the experience and wisdom of past ages. He did not take the government as he found it; he did not take the system of offices as it was

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