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Good God! my lords, if you are not appalled with the violent injustice of arbitrary proceedings, you must feel something humiliating at the gross ignorance of men who are in this manner playing with the rights of mankind. This man confounds a fine upon succession with a fine of penalty. He takes advantage of a defect in the technical language of our law, which, I am sorry to say, is not in many parts as correct in its distinctions and as wise in its provisions as the Mahomedan law. We use the word fine in three senses; first, as a punishment and penalty; secondly, as a formal means of cutting off by one form the ties of another form, which we call levying a fine; and thirdly, we use the word to signify a sum of money payable upon a renewal of a lease or copyhold. The word has, in each case, a totally defferent sense; but such is the stupidity and barbarism of the prisoner, that he confounds these senses, and tells you Sujah Dowlah took twenty-five lacks as a fine from Cheit Sing, for the renewal of his zemindary, and therefore as a punishment for his offences, he shall take fifty. Suppose any one of your lordships, or of us were to be fined for assault and battery, or for any thing else, and it should be said, you paid such a fine for a bishop's lease; you paid such a fine on the purchase of an estate, and therefore now that you are going to be fined for a punishment, we will take the measure of the fine not from the nature and quality of your offence, not from the law upon the subject or from your ability to pay; but the amount of a fine you paid some years ago for an estate, shall be the measure of your punishment. My lords, what should we say of such brutish ignorance, and such shocking confusion of ideas?

When this man had elevated his mind according to the rules of art, and stimulated himself to great things by great examples, he goes on to tell you that he rejected the offer of twenty lacks with which the rajah would have compounded for his guilt when it was too late.

Permit me, my lords, to say a few words here, by way of referring back all this monstrous heap of violence and absur

dity to some degree of principle. Mr. Hastings having completely acquitted the rajah of any other fault than contumacy, and having supposed even that to be only personal to himself, he thought a fine of £500,000 would be a proper punishment. Now when any man goes to exact a fine, it presupposes inquiry, charge, defence, and judgment. It does so in the Mahomedan law; it does so in the Gentoo law; it does so in the law of England, in the Roman law, and in the law, I believe, of every nation under heaven, except in that law, which resides in the arbitrary breast of Mr. Hastings, poisoned by the principles and stimulated by the examples of those wicked traitors and rebels whom I have before described. He mentions his intention of levying a fine; but does he make any mention of having charged the rajah with his offences? It appears that he held an incredible quantity of private correspondence through the various residents, through Mr. Graham, Mr. Fowke, Mr. Markham, Mr. Benn, concerning the affairs of that country. Did he ever, upon this alleged contumacy, (for at present I put the rebellion out of the question,) inquire the progress of this personal affront offered to the governor-general of Bengal? Did he ever state it to the rajah, or did he call his vakeel before the council to answer the charge? Did he examine any one person or particularize a single fact in any manner whatever? No. What then did he do? Why, my lords, he declared himself the person injured, stood forward as the accuser, assumed the office of judge, and proceeded to judgment without a party before him, without trial, without examination, without proof. He thus directly reversed the order of justice. He determined to fine the rajah when his own patience, as he says, was exhausted, not when justice demanded the punishment. He resolved to fine him in the enormous sum of £500,000. Does he inform the council of this determination? No. The court of directors? No. Any one of his confidants? No, not one of them; not Mr. Palmer, not Mr. Middleton, nor any of that legion of secretaries that he had; nor did he

even inform Mr. Malcolm of his intentions until he met him at Bauglepore.

In regard ro the object of his malice, we only know that many letters came from Cheit Sing to Mr. Hastings, in which the unfortunate man endeavored to appease his wrath, and to none of which he ever gave an answer. He is an accuser preferring a charge and receiving apologies, without giving the party an answer; although he had a crowd of secretaries about him, maintained at the expense of the miserable people of Benares, and paid by sums of money drawn fraudulently from their pockets. Still not one word of answer was given, till he had formed the resolution of exacting a fine, and had actually by torture made his victim's servant discover where his master's treasures lay, in order that he might rob him of all his family possessed. Are these the proceedings of a British judge; or are they not rather such as are described by Lord Coke-(and these learned gentlemen, I dare say, will remember the passage; it is too striking not to be remembered) as "the damned and damnable proceedings of a judge in hell." Such a judge has the prisoner at your bar proved himself to be. First, he determines upon the punishment, then he prepares the accusation, and then by torture and violence endeavors to extort the fine.

My lords, I must again beg leave to call your attention to his mode of proceeding in this business. He never entered any charge. He never answered any letter. Not that he was idle. He was carrying on a wicked and clandestine plot for the destruction of the rajah, under the pretence of this fine; although the plot was not known, I verily believe, to any European at the time. He does not pretend that he told any one of the company's servants of his intentions of fining the rajah; but that some hostile project against him had been formed by Mr. Hastings was perfectly well known to the natives. Mr. Hastings tells you that Cheit Sing had a vakeel at Calcutta, whose business it was to learn the general transactions of our government, and the most minute

particulars which could, in any manner, affect the interest of his employer.

The spies employed

I must here tell your lordships, that there is no court in Asia, from the highest to the lowest, no petty sovereign that does not both employ and receive what they call hircarrahs, or in other words, persons to collect and to communicate political intelligence. These men are received with the state and in the rank of ambassadors; they have their place in the Durbar, and their business as authorized spies, is as well known there as that of ambassadors extraordinary and ordinary in the courts of Europe. Mr. Hastings had a public spy in the person of the resident, at Benares, and he had a private spy there in another person. by the native powers had, by some means, come to the knowledge of Mr. Hastings's clandestine and wicked intentions towards this unhappy man, Cheit Sing, and his unhappy country, and of his designs for the destruction and the utter ruin of both. He has himself told you, and he has got Mr. Anderson to vouch it, that he had received proposals for the sale of this miserable man and his country. And from whom did he receive these proposals, my lords? Why, from the nabob, Azoph ul Dowlah, to whom he threatened to transfer both the person of the rajah and his zemindary if he did not redeem himself by some pecuniary sacrifice. Now Azoph ul Dowlah, as appears by the minutes on your lordships' table, was at that time a bankrupt. He was in debt to the company tenfold more than he could pay, and all his revenues were sequestered for that debt. He was a person of the last degree of indolence, with the last degree of rapacity. A man, of whom Mr. Hastings declared, that he had wasted and destroyed by his misgovernment the fairest provinces upon carth; that not a person in his dominions was secure from his violence, and that even his own father could not enjoy his life and honor in safety under him. This avaricious bankrupt tyrant, who had beggared and destroyed his own subjects, and could not pay his debts to the English

government, was the man with whom Mr. Hastings was in treaty to deliver up Cheit Sing and his country, under pretence of his not having paid regularly to the company those customary payments, which the tyrant would probably have never paid at all, if he had been put in possession of the country. This I mention to illustrate Mr. Hastings's plans of economy and finance, without considering the injustice and cruelty of delivering up a man to the hereditary enemy of his family.

It is known, my lords, that Mr. Hastings, besides having received proposals for delivering up the beautiful country of Benares, that garden of God, as it is styled in India, to that monster, that rapacious tyrant, Azoph ul Dowlah, who, with his gang of mercenary troops, had desolated his own country like a swarm of locusts; had purposed, likewise, to seize Cheit Sing's own patrimonial forts, which was nothing less than to take from him the residence of his women and his children, the seat of his honor, the place in which the remaining treasures and last hopes of his family were centered. By the Gentoo law, every lord or supreme magistrate is bound to construct, and to live in such a fort. It is the usage of India, and is a matter of state and dignity, as well as of propriety, reason, and defence. It was probably an apprehension of being injured in this tender point, as well as a knowledge of the proposal made by the nabob, which induced Cheit Sing to offer to buy himself off; although it does not appear from any part of the evidence, that he assigned any other reason than that of Mr. Hastings intending to exact from him six lacks of rupees over and above his other exactions.

Mr. Hastings indeed almost acknowledges the existence of this plot against the rajah, and his being the author of it. He says, without any denial of the fact, that the rajah suspected some strong acts to be intended against him, and therefore asked Mr. Markham, whether he could not buy them off, and obtain Mr. Hastings's favor by the payment

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