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never make mankind happy or unhappy, any further than as they give occasions for wicked men to exercise their own abominable talents, subservient to their own more abominable dispositions. The system, says Mr. Hastings, was bad; but I was not the maker of it. Your lordships have seen him apply this mode of reasoning to Benares, and you will now see that he applies it to Oude. I came, says he, into a bad system; that system was not of my making, but I was obliged to act according to the spirit of it.

Now every honest man would say, I came to a bad system; I had every facility of abusing my power; I had every temptation to peculate; I had every incitement to oppress; I had every means of concealment, by the defects of the system : but I corrected that evil system by the goodness of my administration; by the prudence, the energy, the virtue of my conduct. This is what all the rest of the world would say: but what says Mr. Hastings? A bad system was made to my hands; I had nothing to do in making it. I was altogether an involuntary instrument and obliged to execute every evil which that system contained. This is the line of conduct your lordships are called to decide upon. And I must here again remind you, that we are at an issue of law. Mr. Hastings has avowed a certain set of principles, upon which he acts; and your lordships are therefore to judge whether his acts are justifiable, because he found an evil system to act upon; or whether he and all governors upon earth have not a general good system upon which they ought to act.

The prisoner tells you, my lords, that it was in consequence of this evil system, that the nabob, from being a powerful prince, became reduced to a wretched dependant on the company, and subject to all the evils of that degraded state-subject to extortion, to indignity, to oppression. All these, your lordships are called upon to sanction; and because they may be connected with an existing system, you are to declare them to be an allowable part of a code for the government of British India.

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In the year 1775, that powerful, magnificent, and illustrious prince, Sujah Dowlah, died in possession of the country of Oude. He had long governed a happy and contented people ; and if we except the portion of tyranny which we admit he really did exercise towards some few individuals, who resisted his power, he was a wise and beneficent governor. This prince died in the midst of his power and fortune, leaving somewhere about fourscore children. Your lordships know, that the princes of the East have a great number of wives; and we know that these women, though reputed of a secondary rank, are yet of a very high degree, and honorably maintained according to the customs of the East. Sujah Dowlah had but one lawful wife: he had by her but one lawful child, Azoph ul Dowlah. He had about twenty-one male children; the eldest of whom was a person whom you have heard of very often in these proceedings, called Saadit Ali. Azoph ul Dowlah, being the sole legitimate son, had all the pretensions to succeed his father as sabadar of Oude, which could belong to any person under the Mogul government.

Your lordships will distinguish between a zemindar, who is a perpetual landholder, the hereditary proprietor of an estate; and a subadar, who derives from his master's will and pleasure all his employments, and who, instead of having the jaghirdars subject to his supposed arbitrary will, is himself a subject, and must have his sovereign's patent for his place. Therefore, strictly and properly speaking, there is no succession in the office of subadar. At this time the company, who alone could obtain the sunnuds or patent from the Great Mogul, upon account of the power they possessed in India, thought, and thought rightly, that, with an officer who had no hereditary power, there could be no hereditary engagements; and that in their treaty with Azoph ul Dowlah, for whom they had procured the sunnud from the Great Mogul, they were at liberty to propose their own terms, which, if honorable and mutually advantageous to the new subadar and to the company, they had a right to insist upon. A treaty

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was therefore concluded between the company and Azoph ul Dowlah, in which the latter stipulated to pay a fixed subsidy for the maintenance of a certain number of troops; by which the company's finances were greatly relieved and their military strength greatly increased.

This treaty did not contain one word which could justify any interference in the nabob's government. That evil system, as Mr. Hastings calls it, is not even mentioned or alluded to; nor is there, I again say, one word which authorized Warren Hastings, or any other person whatever, to interfere in the interior affairs of his country. He was legally constituted viceroy of Oude. His dignity of vizier of the empire, with all the power which that office gave him, derived from and held under the Mogul government, he legally possessed; and this evil system, which, Mr. Hastings says, led him to commit the enormities of which you shall hear by and by, was neither more nor less than what I have now stated.

But, my lords, the prisoner thinks, that when, under any pretence, any sort of means could be furnished of interfering in the government of the country, he has a right to avail himself of them; to use them at his pleasure; and to govern by his own arbitrary will. The vizier, he says, by this treaty was reduced to a state of vassalage; and he makes this curious distinction in proof of it. It was, he says, an optional vassalage, for if he chose to get rid of our troops, he might do so and be free; if he had not a mind to do that and found a benefit in it, then he was a vassal. But there is nothing less true. Here is a person who keeps a subsidiary body of your troops, which he is to pay for you, and in consequence of this Mr. Hastings maintains, that he becomes a vassal. I shall not dispute whether vassalage is optional, or by force, or in what way Mr. Hastings considered this prince as a vassal of the company. Let it be as he pleased. I only think it necessary that your lordships should truly know the actual state of that country, and the ground upon which

Mr. Hastings stood. Your lordships will find it a fairy land, in which there is a perpetual masquerade, where no one thing appears as it really is, where the person who seems to have the authority is a slave, while the person who seems to be the slave has the authority. In that ambiguous government every thing favors fraud; every thing favors peculation; every thing favors violence; every thing favors concealment. You will, therefore, permit me to show to you what were the principles upon which Mr. Hastings appears, according to the evidence before you, to have acted; what the state of the country was, according to his conceptions of it; and then you will see how he applied those principles to that state.

"The means by which our government acquired this influence," says Mr. Hastings, "and its right to exercise it, will require a previous explanation." He then proceeds, "With his death (Sujah Dowlah's) a new political system commenced, and Mr. Bristow was constituted the instrument of its formation, and the trustee for the management of it. The nabob Azoph ul Dowlah was deprived of a large part of his inheritance; I mean the province of Benares, attached by a very feeble and precarious tenure to our dominions; the army fixed to a permanent station in a remote line of his frontier, with an augmented and perpetual subsidy. A new army, amphibiously composed of troops in his service and pay, commanded by English officers of our own nomination, for the defence of his new conquests, and his own natural troops annihilated, or alienated by the insufficiency of his revenue for all his disbursements; and the prior claims of those which our authority or influence commanded in a word, he became a vassal of the government, but he still possessed an ostensible sovereignty. His titular rank of vizier of the empire rendered him a conspicuous object of view to all the states and chiefs of India; and on the moderation and justice with which the British government in Bengal exercised its influence over him, many points most essential to its political strength and to the honor of the British name depended."

Your lordships see, that the system, which is supposed to have reduced him to vassalage, did not make, as he contends, a violent exercise of our power necessary or proper; but possessing, as the nabob did, that high nominal dignity, and being in that state of vassalage, as Mr. Hastings thought proper to term it, though there is no vassalage mentioned in the treaty; being, I say, in that situation of honor, credit, and character, sovereign of a country as large as England, yielding an immense revenue and flourishing in trade; certainly our honor depended upon the use we made of that influence which our power gave us over him; and we therefore press it upon your lordships, that the conduct of Mr. Hastings was such as dishonored this nation.

He proceeds: "This is not a place, nor have I room in it to prove, what I shall here content myself with affirming, that by a sacred and undeviating observance of every principle of public faith, the British dominion might have by this time acquired the means of its extension, through a virtual submission to its authority, to every region of Hindostan and Decan. I am not sure that I should advise such a design, were it practicable, which at this time it certainly is not, and I very much fear that the limited formation of such equal alliances as might be useful to our present condition, and conduce to its improvement, is become liable to almost insurmountable difficulties; every power in India must wish for the support of ours, but they all dread the connection."

"The subjection of Bengal, and the deprivation of the family of Jaffier Ali Khân, though an effect of inevitable necessity, the present usurpations of the rights of the nabob Wallar Jau in the Carnatic, and the licentious violations of the treaty existing between the company and the nabob Nizam ul Dowlah, though checked by the remedial interposition of this government, stand as terrible precedents against us; the effects of our connection with the nabob Azoph ul Dowlah had a rapid tendency to the same consequences, and it has been my invariable study to prevent it."

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