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the rank of their father, without considering the rank which their mother held. All these wives with their children, and all their female servants and attendants, amounting in the whole to about eight hundred persons, were shut up in what they call the Khourd Mhal, or lesser palace. This place is described by one of the witnesses to be about as large as St. James's Square. Your lordships have been told that in other circumstances, as well as this, these women were considered as objects of a great degree of respect, and of the greatest degree of protection. I refer your lordships to the treaty by which their maintenance was guarantied by the English government.

In order to let your lordships see that I state nothing to you but what is supported not only by general history, which is enough to support an account of general manners, but by the particular and peculiar opinions of a person best informed of the nature of the case; I will refer you to the nabob himself; for undoubtedly the nabob of Oude, the vizier of the empire, the subadar of the country, was most likely to be the best judge of what respect was due to the women of his father's family. I will therefore read to your lordships, from his own letters, what the nabob's opinion was upon this subject.

Extract of a letter from the vizier, received 23d of August, 1782-"I never found resource equal to the necessary expenses. Every year by taking from the ministers and selling the articles of my Harkhanna, I with great distress transacted the business; but I could not take care of my dependents, so that some of my brothers, from their difficulties, arose and departed; and the people of the Khourd Mhal of the late nawab, who are all my mothers, from their distresses are reduced to poverty and involved in difficulties; no man of rank is deficient in the care of his dependents, in proportion to his ability."

Another letter from the vizier, received the 31st July, 1784:-"My brother, dear as life, Saadit Ali Khân, has requested that I would permit his mother to go and reside with him; my friend, all the mothers of my brothers, and the women of the late nawab, whom I respect as my own mothers, are here, and it is incumbent upon me to support them; accordingly I do it, and it is improper that they should be separated, nor do I approve it. By God's blessing and your kindness, I hope that all the women of the late nawab may remain here; it is the wish also of my grandmother and my mother that they should."

Your lordships now see in what degree of estimation the nabob held these women. He regarded the wives of his father as his honorary mothers; he considers their children as his brethren; he thinks it would be highly dishonorable to his government, if one of them was taken out of the sanctuary in which they are placed, and in which, he says, the great of the country are obliged to maintain their dependents. This is the account given by the person best acquainted with the usages of the country; best acquainted with his own duties; best acquainted with his own wishes.

Now, my lords, you will see in what light another person, the agent of a trading company, who designates himself under the name of majesty, and assumes other great distinctions, presumes also to consider these persons; and in what contempt he is pleased to hold, what is respected, and what is held sacred in that country. What I am now going to quote, is from the prisoner's second defence. For I must remind your lordships, that Mr. Hastings has made three defences; one in the House of Commons; another in the lobby of the House of Commons; and a third at you lordships' bar. The second defence, though delivered without name, to the members in the lobby of the House of Commons, has been proved at your lordships' bar, to be written by himself. This lobby, this out-of-door defence, militates in some re

spects, as your lordships will find, with the in-door defence ; but it probably contains the real sentiments of Mr. Hastings himself, delivered with a little more freeness when he gets into the open air, like the man who was so vain of some silly plot he had hatched, that he told it to the hackney coachman, and every man he met in the streets.

He says, "Begums are the ladies of an Eastern prince, but these women are also styled the ladies of the late vizier, and their sufferings are painted in such strong colors, that the unsuspecting reader is led to mix the subjects together, and to suppose that these latter too were princesses of Oude; that all their sufferings proceeded from some act of mine, or had the sanction of my authority or permission. The fact is, that the persons of the Khourd Mahl (or little seraglio) were young creatures, picked up wherever youth and beauty could be found, and mostly purchased from amongst the most necessitous and meanest ranks of the people, for the nabob's pleasures." In the in-door defence, he says, "The said women, who were mostly persons of low condition, and the said children, if any such there were, lived in the Khourd Mahl, on an establishment entirely distinct from the said begums."

My lords, you have seen what was the opinion of the nabob, who ought to know the nature and circumstances of his father's palace, respecting these women; you hear what Mr. Hastings's opinion is: and now the question is, whether your lordships will consider these women in the same light in which the person does who is most nearly connected with them, and most likely to know them; or in the way in which Mr. Hastings has thought proper within doors to describe them. Your lordships will be pleased to observe, that he has brought no proof whatever of facts, which are so boldly asserted by him in defiance of proof to the contrary, totally at variance with the letter of the son of the man to whom these women belonged. Your lordships, I say, will remark,

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that he has produced not one word of evidence, either within the House of Commons, or the House of Peers, or in the lobby, or any where else, to verify any one word he has said. He slanders these women, in order to lessen that compassion which your lordships might have for the sufferings he inflicted upon them. But admitting that some of these women were of a meaner condition, and that they derived nothing from their connection with the dignity of the person by whom they had children, (and we know that in the whole they amounted to about fourscore children, the nabob having a race like the patriarchs of old, as many great persons in that part of the world still have,) supposing I say all this to be true; yet, when persons are reduced from ease and affluence to misery and distress, they naturally excite in the mind a greater degree of compassion by comparing the circumstances, in which they once stood, with those into which they are fallen; for famine, degradation, and oppression were famine, degradation, and oppression to those persons, even though they were as mean as Mr. Hastings chooses to represent them. But I hope, as you will sympathize with the great on account of their condition, that you will sympathize with all mankind on the ground of the common condition of humanity, which belongs to us all; therefore I hope your lordships will not consider the calumny of Mr. Hastings against those women, as any other than as an aggravation of his offence against them. That is the light in which the House of Commons considered it; for they had heard both his indoor and out-door defence, and they still persevered in making the charge, and do persevere in making it still.

We have first stated what these women were; in what light they stood with the nabob; in what light they stood with the country at large. I have now to state in what light they stood with the British government, previous to this invasion of their rights; and we will prove they were the actual subjects of a guaranty by the company.

Extract from an agreement made by Mr. Middleton, to all the particulars of which he engages to procure a treaty from the nabob Azoph ul Dowlah after his arrival, and that he will also sign it, as follows:

"First, that whenever the begum shall choose to go to Mecca, she shall be permitted to go."

"Second, that when the nabob shall arrive, I (Mr. Middleton) will procure suitable allowances to be made to the ladies of the zenana, and the children of the late nabob Sujah ul Dowlah, and take care that they are paid."

Third, that the festivals (shaddee) and marriages of the children of the late nabob Sujah ul Dowlah, shall be at the disposal of the begum; whenever she thinks proper she shall marry them; and whatever money shall be necessary for these expenses shall be paid by the nabob."

"Fourth, that the Syer of Coda Gunge and Ally Gunge shall be retained by the begum as heretofore."

“Fifth, that I (Mr. Middleton) will, upon the arrival of the nabob, procure vizier Gunge and the garden of Sepoy dand Khân, or their equivalent, for the begum."

"Sixth, that I (Mr. Middleton) will endeavor to obtain from the nabob the sum of 1,150,000 rupees on account of the purchase of Metchee Bohaun, and the house of Sahebjee, and the fort of the Gossim, with the land and garden and the barraderry on the banks of Goomply, and bazar and garden of the house of Mahnarain and the house of Beng Peofand at Lucknow; all of which the nabob Azoph ul Dowlah has assumed possession of."

"Seventh, that I will settle with the nabob the allowances to be made in ready money to the ladies of the zenana and others specified, in the following amount :-Total, 17 lacks, 250 rupees per month."

"Eighth, upon the arrival of the nabob Azoph ul Dowlah Bahadre, I will endeavor with all my influence to settle the monthly allowances of Mohrum Ally Khân and Mahmud Eltifant Khân, &c., the attendants of the begums."

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