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press, and has any breath but his own breathed upon it? No, my lords, the whole composition is his by writing or adoption, and never till he found it pressed him in this House; never till your lordships began to entertain the same abhorrence of it that we did, did he disclaim it.

But mark another stage of the propagation of these horrible principles. After having grounded upon them the defence of his conduct against our charge, and after he had got a person to forswear them for him, and to prove him to have told falsehoods of the grossest kind to the House of Commons, he again adheres to this defence. The dog returned to his vomit. After having vomited out his vile, bilious stuff of arbitrary power, and afterwards denied it to be his, he gets his counsel in this place to resort to the loathsome mess again. They have thought proper, my lords, to enter into an extended series of quotations from books of travellers, for the purpose of showing that despotism was the only principle of government acknowledged in India; that the people have no laws, no rights, no property movable or immovable, no distinction of ranks, nor any sense of disgrace. After citing a long line of travellers to this effect, they quote Montesquieu as asserting the same facts, declaring that the people of India had no sense of honor, and were only sensible of the whip as far as it produced corporal pain. They then proceed to state, that it was a government of misrule, productive of no happiness to the people, and that it so continued until subverted by the free government of Britain, namely, the government that Mr. Hastings describes as having himself exercised there.

My lords, if the prisoner can succeed in persuading us that these people have no laws, no rights, not even the common sentiments and feeling of men, he hopes your interest in them will be considerably lessened. He would persuade you, that their sufferings are much assuaged, by their being nothing new; and that having no right to property, to liberty, to honor, or to life, they must be more pleased with the

little that is left to them, than grieved for the much that has been ravished from them, by his cruelty and his avarice. This inference makes it very necessary for me, before I proceed further, to make a few remarks upon this part of the prisoner's conduct, which your lordships must have already felt with astonishment, perhaps with indignation. This man, who passed twenty-five years in India, who was fourteen years at the head of his government, master of all the offices, master of all the registers and records, master of all the lawyers and priests of all this empire, from the highest to the lowest, instead of producing to you the fruits of so many years local and official knowledge upon that subject, has called out a long line of the rabble of travellers, to inform you concerning the objects of his own government. That his learned counsel should be ignorant of those things, is a matter of course. That, if left to himself, the person, who has produced all this stuff, should, in pursuit of his darling arbitrary power, wander without a guide, or with false guides, is quite natural. But your lordships must have heard with astonishment, that, upon points of law, relative to the tenure of lands, instead of producing any law document or authority on the usages and local customs of the country, he has referred to officers in the army, colonels of artillery and engineers, to young gentlemen just come from school, not above three or four years in the country. Good God! would not one rather have expected to hear him put all these travellers to shame by the authority of a man, who had resided so long in the supreme situation of government; to set aside all these wild, loose, casual, and silly observations of travellers and theorists? On the contrary, as if he was ignorant of every thing, as if he knew nothing of India, as if he had dropt from the clouds, he cites the observations of every stranger who had been hurried in a palanquin through the country, capable or incapable of observation, to prove to you the nature of the government and of the power he had to exercise.

My lords, the Commons of Great Britain are not disposed to resort to the ridiculous relations of travellers, or to the wild systems which ingenious men have thought proper to build on their authority; we will take another mode. We will undertake to prove the direct contrary of his assertions in every point and particular. We undertake to do this, because your lordships know, and because the world knows, that if you go into a country, where you suppose man to be in a servile state; where, the despot excepted, there is no one person who can lift up his head above another; where all are a set of vile, miserable slaves, prostrate and confounded in a common servitude, having no descendable lands, no inheritance, nothing that makes man feel proud of himself, or that gives him honor and distinction with others :-this abject degradation will take from you that kind of sympathy, which naturally attaches you to men feeling like yourselves, to men who have hereditary dignities to support, and lands of inheritance to maintain, as you peers have; you will, I say, no longer have that feeling which you ought to have for the sufferings of a people, whom you suppose to be habituated to their sufferings, and familiar with degradation.

This makes it absolutely necessary for me to refute every one of these misrepresentations; and whilst I am endeavoring to establish the rights of these people, in order to show in what manner and degree they have been violated, I trust that your lordships will not think that the time is lost; certainly I do not think that my labor will be misspent, in endeavoring to bring these matters fully before you.

In determining to treat this subject at length, I am also influenced by a strong sense of the evils that have attended the propagation of these wild, groundless, and pernicious opinions. A young man goes to India before he knows much of his own country; but he cherishes in his breast, as I hope every man will, a just and laudable partiality for the laws, liberties, rights, and institutions of his own nation; we all do this, and God forbid we should not prefer our own to

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every other country in the world; but if we go to India with an idea of the mean, degraded state of the people that we are to govern, and especially if we go with these impressions at an immature age, we know that, according to the ordinary course of human nature, we shall not treat persons well whom we have learnt to despise. We know that people, whom we suppose to have neither laws nor rights, will not be treated by us as a people who have laws and rights. This error, therefore, for our sake, for your sake, for the sake of the Indian public, and for the sake of all those who shall hereafter go in any station to India, I think it necessary to disprove in every point.

I mean to prove the direct contrary of every thing that has been said on this subject by the prisoner's counsel, or by himself. I mean to prove, that the people of India have laws, rights, and immunities, that they have property, movable and immovable, descendable as well as occasional: that they have property held for life, and that they have it as well secured to them by the laws of their country, as any property is secured in this country: that they feel for honor, not only as much as your lordships can feel, but with a more exquisite and poignant sense than any people upon earth; and that when punishments are inflicted, it is not the lash they feel, but the disgrace: in short, I mean to prove, that every word which Montesquieu has taken from idle and inconsiderate travellers is absolutely false.

The people of India are divided into three kinds; the original natives of the country, commonly called Gentoos, the decendants of the Persians and Arabians, who are Mahomedans, and the descendants of the Moguls, who originally had a religion of their own, but are now blended with the other inhabitants.

The primeval law of that country is the Gentoo law; and I refer your lordships to Mr. Halhed's translation of that singular code; a work which I have read with all the care that such an extraordinary view of human affairs and human

constitutions deserves. I do not know whether Mr. Halhed's compilation is in evidence before your lordships, but I do know that it is good authority on the Gentoo law. Mr. Hastings, who instructed his counsel to assert that the people have "no rights, no law," ought to be well acquainted with this work, because he claimed for a while the glory of the compilation, although Nobkissin, as your lordships remember, was obliged to pay the expense. This book, a compilation of probably the most ancient laws in the world, if we except the Mosaic, has in it the duty of the magistrate, and the duty of all ranks of subjects most clearly and distinctly ascertained; and I will give up the whole cause, if there is, from one end to the other of this code, any sort of arbitrary power claimed or asserted on the part of the magistrate; or any declaration, that the people have no rights of property. No; it asserts the direct contrary.

First, the people are divided into classes and ranks, with more accuracy of distinction than is used in this country, or in any other country under heaven. Every class is divided into families, some of whom are more distinguished and more honorable than others; and they all have rights, privileges, and immunities belonging to them. Even in cases of conquest, no confiscation is to take place. A bramin's estate comes by descent to him; it is for ever descendable to his heirs, if he has heirs; and if he has none, it belongs to his disciples, and those connected with him in the braminical cast. There are other immunities declared to belong to this cast, in direct contradiction to what has been asserted by the prisoner. In no case shall a bramin suffer death; in no case shall the property of a bramin, male or female, be confiscated for crime, or escheat for want of heirs. The law then goes on to other casts, and gives to each its property, and distinguishes them with great accuracy of discrimination.

Mr. Hastings says, that there is no inheritable property among them. Now, you have only to look at page 27, chapter the second, the title of which is, "Of the division of in

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