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never felt one of those grievances of which they complain ; that not one of those petitions, with which they pursued Mr. Hastings, had a word of truth in it; that they felt nothing under his government but ease, tranquillity, joy, and happiness; that every day during his government was a festival, and every night an illumination and rejoicing. The addresses which contain these expressions of satisfaction have been produced at your bar, and have been read to your lordships. You must have heard with disgust, at least, these flowers of oriental rehetoric, penned at ease by dirty hireling moonshees at Calcutta, who make these people put their seals, not to declarations of their ruin, but to expressions of their satisfaction. You have heard what he himself says of the country ; you have heard what Mr. Duncan says of it; you have heared the cries of the country itself calling for justice upon him ; and now, my lords, hear what he has made these people say.
“We have heard that the gentlemen in England are displeased with Mr. Hastings, on suspicion that he oppressed us, the inhabitants of this place ;-took our money by deceit and force, and ruined the country.” They then declare solemnly before God, according to their different religions, that Mr. Hastings “distributed protection and security to religion, and kindness and peace to all. He is free,” (say they,) " from the charge of embezzlement and fraud, and his heart is void of covetousness and avidity. During the period of his government, no one ever experienced from him other than protection and justice, never having felt hardships from him ; nor did the poor ever know the weight of an oppressive hand from him. Our characters and reputation have been always guarded in quiet from attack, by the vigilance of his prudence and foresight, and by the terror of his justice."
Upon my word, my lords, the paragraphs are delightful. Observe, in this translation from the Persian, there is all the fluency of an English paragraph well preserved. All I can say is, that these people of Benares feel their joy, comfort, and
satisfaction, in swearing to the falseness of Mr. Hastings's representation against himself. In spite of his own testimony, they say, “He secured happiness and joy to us. He reestablished the foundation of justice; and we at all times during his government lived in comfort and passed our days in peace.” The shame of England, and of the English government, is here put upon your lordships records. Here you have, just following that afflicting report of Mr. Duncan's, and that account of Mr. Hastings himself, in which he said the inhabitants fled before his face, the addresses of these miserable people. He dares to impose upon your eyesightupon your common sense-upon the plain faculties of mankind. He dares, in contradiction to all his own assertions, to make these people come forward and swear, that they have enjoyed nothing but complete satisfaction and pleasure, during the whole time of his government.
My lords, I have done with this business, for I have now reached the climax of degradation and suffering, after moving step by step through the several stages of tyranny and oppression. I have done with it, and have only to ask in what country do we live, where such a scene can by any possibility be offered to the public eye!
Let us here, my lords, make a pause.—You have seen what Benares was under its native government. You have seen the condition in which it was left by Cheit Sing, and you have seen the state in which Mr. Hastings left it. The rankling wounds which he has inflicted upon the country, and the degradation to which the inhabitants have been subjected, have been shown to your lordships. You have now to consider, whether or not you will fortify with your sanction, any of the detestable principles upon which the prisoner justifies his enormities.
My lords, we shall next come to another dependent province, when I shall illustrate to your lordships still further, the effects of Mr. Hastings's principles. I allude to the province of Oude ; a country, which, before our acquaintance
with it, was in the same happy and flourishing condition with Benares ; and which dates its period of decline and misery from the time of our intermeddling with it. The nabob of Oude was reduced, as Cheit Sing was, to be a dependant on the company; and to be a greater dependant than Cheit Sing, because it was reserved in Cheit Sing's agreement, that we should not interfere in his government. We interfered in every part of the nabob's government; we reduced his authority to nothing ; we introduced a perfect scene of anarchy and confusion into the country, where there was no authority but to rob and destroy.
I have not strength at present to proceed ; but I hope I shall soon be enabled to do so. Your lordships cannot, I am sure, calculate from your own youth and strength ; for I have done the best I can, and find myself incapable just at this moment of going any further.
THURSDAY, 514 JUNE, 1794.
FOURTH DAY OF REPLY.
My LORDS,—When I last had the honor of addressing your lordships from this place, my want of strength obliged me to conclude where the patience of a people, and the prosperity of a country, subjected by solemn treaties to British government, had concluded. We have left behind us the inhabitants of Benares; after having seen them driven into rebellion by tyranny and oppression, and their country desolated by our misrule. Your lordships, I am sure, have had the map of India before you, and know that the country so destroyed and so desolated, was about one-fifth of the size of England and Wales, in geographical extent, and equal in population to about a fourth. Upon this scale you will judge of the mischief which has been done.
My lords, we are now come to another devoted province : we march from desolation to desolation ; because we follow the steps of Warren Hastings, Esq., governor-general of Bengal. You will here find the range of his atrocities widely extended. But before I enter into a detail of them, I have one reflection to make, which I beseech your lordships to bear in mind throughout the whole of this deliberation. It is this; you ought never to conclude that a man must necessarily be obnoxious, because he is, in other respects, insignifi
cant. You will see that a man, bred in obscure, vulgar, and ignoble occupations, and trained in sordid, base, and mercenary habits, is not incapable of doing extensive mischief, because he is little, because his vices are of a mean nature. My lords, we have shown to you already, and we shall demonstrate to you more clearly in future, that such minds placed in authority can do more mischief to a country, can treat all ranks and distinctions with more pride, insolence, and arrogance, than those who have been born under canopies of state and swaddled in purple : you will see, that they can waste a country more effectually than the proudest and most mighty conquerors, who by the greatness of their military talents have first subdued and afterwards plundered nations.
The prisoner's counsel have thought proper to entertain your lordships, and to defend their client, by comparing him with the men who are said to have erected a pyramid of ninety thousand human heads. Now, look back, my lords, to Benares ; consider the extent of country laid waste and desolated and its immense population, and then see whether famine may not destroy as well as the sword ; and whether this man is not as well entitled to erect his pyramid of ninety thousand heads, as any terrific tyrant of the East. We follow him now to another theatre, the territories of the nabob of Oude.
My lords, Oude, (together with the additions made to it by Sujah Dowlah,) in point of geographical extent, is about the size of England. Sujah Dowlah, who possessed this country as nabob, was a prince of a haughty character ; ferocious in a high degree towards his enemies, and towards all those who resisted his will. He was magnificent in his expenses, yet economical with regard to his resources; maintaining his court in a pomp and splendor, which is perhaps unknown to the sovereigns of Europe. At the same time he was such an economist, that from an inconsiderable revenue, at the beginning of his reign, he was annually enabled to make great savings. He thus preserved, towards the end of it, his people