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sion upon the people. And here we come to the re-vivificating medicine. I forgot to tell your lordships that this nabob, whose letters were declared by a court of law, with his own approbation, to be in effect letters of the governor-general and council, concludes a formal application transmitted to them, and dated 17th November, 1777, with a demand of the restoration of his rights. Mr. Hastings upon this enters the following minute:-"The nabob's demands are grounded upon positive rights, which will not admit of a discussion; he has an incontestable right to the management of his own household; he has an incontestable right to the nizamut."
My lords, you have heard his affidavit, you have heard his avowed and recorded opinion. In direct defiance of both, because he wishes to make doubtful the orders of the company and to evade his duty, he here makes without any delicacy a declaration, which, if it be true, the affidavit is a gross perjury, let it be managed with what delicacy he pleases. The word nizamut, which he uses, may be unfamiliar to your lordships. In India it signifies the whole executive government, though the word strictly means viceroyalty; all the princes of that country holding their dominions as representatives of the mogul, the great nominal sovereign of the empire. To convince you that it does so, take his own explanation of it.—"It is his by inheritance; the adowlet and the fouzdarry having been repeatedly declared by the company and by this government, to appertain to the nizamut. The adowlet, namely, the distribution of civil justice; and the fouzdarry, namely, the executive criminal justice of that country, that is to say, the whole sovereign government of the courts of justice, have been declared by the company to appertain to the nizamut."
I beg of your lordships to recollect, when you take into your consideration the charges of the House of Commons, that the person they accuse, and persons suborned by him, have never scrupled to be guilty, without sense of shame, of
the most notorious falsehoods, the most glaring inconsistencies, and even of perjury itself; and that it is thus they make the power of the company dead or alive, as best suits their own wicked, clandestine, and fraudulent purposes; and the great end of all their actions and all their politics, plunder and peculation.
I must here refer your lordships to a minute of Mr. Francis's, which I recommend to your reading at large, and to your very serious recollection, in page 1086; because it contains a complete history of Mr. Hastings's conduct, and of its this occasion.
And now to proceed. The nabob, in a subsequent application to the company's government at Calcutta, desires that Munny Begum may be allowed to take on herself the whole administration of the affairs of the nizamut, (not the superiority in the administration of the affairs of the seraglio only, though this would have been a tyrannical usurpation of the power belonging to the legitimate mother of the nabob,) without the interference of any person whatever; and he adds, that by this the governor will give him complete satisfaction. In all fraudulent correspondences, you are sure to find the true secret of it at last. It has been said by somebody, that the true sense of a letter is to be learnt from its postscript. But this matter is so clumsily managed, that in contempt of all decency, the first thing the nabob does, is to desire he may be put into the hands of Munny Begum, and that without the interference of any body whatever.
The next letter immediately following on the heels of the former, was received by the council on the 12th of February, 1778. In this letter he desires that Mahomed Reza Khân may be removed from his office in the government; and he expresses his hopes, that as he himself is now come to years of maturity, and by the blessing of God is not so devoid of understanding as to be incapable of conducting his affairs; he says, "I am therefore hopeful, from your favor and regard to justice, that you will deliver me from the authority of the
aforesaid Mahomed Reza Khân, and give your permission that I take on myself the management of the adowlet and fouzdarry." There is no doubt of this latter application, in contradiction to the former, having arisen from a suspicion that the appointment of Munny Begum would be too gross, and would shock the council; and Mr. Hastings therefore orders the second letter to be written from the nabob, in which he claims the powers of government for himself. Then follows a letter from the governor-general, informing the nabob, that it had been agreed that his excellency being now arrived at years of maturity, the control of his own household, and the courts dependent on the nizamut and fouzdarry, should be placed in his hands; and Mahomed Reza Khân was directed, at the same time, to resign his authority to the nabob.
Here your lordships see Munny Begum, in effect, completely invested with, and you will see how she has used her power; for I suppose your lordships are sick of the name of nabob, as a real actor in the government. You now see the true parties in the transaction, namely, the lover, Warren Hastings, Esq.; and Munny Begum, the object of his passion and flame; to which he sacrifices as much as Antony ever did to Cleopatra. You see the object of his love and affection placed in the administration of the viceroyalty; you see placed at her disposal the administration of the civil judicature, and of the executory justice; together with the salary, which was intended for Mahomed Reza Khân.
Your lordships will be pleased to remember, that this distribution of the nabob's government was made in direct defiance of the orders of the company. And as a further proof of this defiance, it will not escape your lordships, that, before this measure was carried into execution, Mr. Barwell being one day absent from the council, Mr. Hastings fell into a minority; and it was agreed, upon that occasion, that the whole affair should be referred home to the court of directors, and that no arrangement should be made till the directors had given their opinion. Mr. Hastings, the very moment after 29
Mr. Barwell's return to his seat in the council, rescinds this resolution, which subjected the orders of the court of directors to their own reconsideration; and he hurries headlong and precipitately into the execution of his first determination. Your lordships will also see, in this act, what sort of use Mr. Hastings made of the council; and I have therefore insisted upon all these practices of the prisoner at your bar, because there is not one of them in which some principle of government is not wounded, if not mortally wounded.
My lords, we have laid before you the consequences of this proceeding. We have shown what passed within the walls of the seraglio, and what tyranny was exercised by this woman over the multitude of women there. I shall now show your lordships, in what manner she made use of her power over the supreme judicature, to peculate, and to destroy the country; and I shall adduce, as proofs of this abuse of her authority, the facts I am about to relate, and of which there is evidence before your lordships. There was an ostensible man, named Sudder ul Hoe Khân, placed there at the head of the administration of justice, with a salary of £7,000 a year of the company's money. This man, in a letter to the governor-general and council, received the 1st of September, 1778,-says, "His highness, himself, [the nabob,] is not deficient in regard for me, but certain bad men have gained an ascendancy over his temper, by whose instigation he acts." You will see, my lords, how this poor man was crippled in the execution of his duty, and dishonored by the corruption of this woman and her eunuchs, to whom Mr. Hastings had given the supreme government, and with it an uncontrolled influence over all the dependant parts. After thus complaining of the slights he receives from the nabob, he adds, "Thus they cause the nabob to treat me, sometimes with indignity, and others with kindness, just as they think proper to advise him; their view is that by compelling me to displeasure at such unworthy treatment, they may force me either to relinquish my station, or to join with them and act
with their advice, and appoint creatures of their recommendation to the different offices, from which they might draw profit to themselves."-In a subsequent letter to the governor, Sudder ul Hoe Khân says, "The begum's ministers, before my arrival, with the advice of their counsellors, caused the nabob to sign a receipt, in consequence of which they received, at two different times, near 50,000 rupees, in the name of the officers of the adowlet, fouzdarry, &c. from the company's sircar; and having drawn up an account current in the manner they wished, they got the nabob to sign it, and then sent it to me." In the same letter, he asserts, that these people have the nabob entirely in their power.
Now, I have only to remark to your lordships, that the first and immediate operation of Mr. Hastings's regulation, which put every thing into the hands of this wicked woman for her corrupt purposes, was, that the office of chief justice was trampled upon and depraved, and made use of to plunder the company of money, which was appropriated to their own uses; and that the person, ostensibly holding this office was forced to become the instrument in the hands of this wicked woman and her two wicked eunuchs. This then was the representation which the chief justice made to Mr. Hastings, as one of the very first fruits of his new arrangement. I am now to tell you what his next step was. This same Mr. Hastings, who had made the nabob master of every thing, and placed every thing at his disposal, who had maintained that the nabob was not to act a secondary part, and to be a mere instrument in the hands of the company, who had, as you have seen, revived the nabob, now puts him to death again. He pretends to be shocked at these proceedings of the nabob, and not being able to prevent their coming before the council of the directors at home, he immediately took Sudder ul Hoe Khân under his protection.
Now your lordships see Mr. Hastings appearing in his own character again; exercising the power he had pretended to abdicate, whilst the nabob sinks and subsides under him.