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viour at parting, that he either had in fact received this money from Gunga Govin Sing, or in some way or other had abundant reason to be satisfied; that he totally forgot his anger upon this occasion, and that at parting his last act was to ratify grants of lands, (so described by Mr. Hastings,) to Gunga Govin Sing. Your lordships will recollect the tender and forgiving temper of Mr. Hastings. . Whatever little bickerings there might have been between them about their small money concerns, the purifying waters of the Ganges had washed away all sins, enmities, and discontent. By some of those arts, which Gunga Govin Sing knows how to practise (I mean conciliatory honest arts) he had fairly wiped away all resentment out of Mr. Hastings's mind ; and he, who so long remembered the affront offered him by Cheit Sing, totally forgets Gunga Govin Sing's fraud of 10,0001. ; and attempts to make others the instruments of giving him what he calls his reward.
Mr. Hastings, states among Gunga Govin's merits, that he had, from the time of its institution, and with a very short intermission, served the office of dewan to the Calcutta committee. That short intermission was, when he was turned out of office upon proof of peculation, and embezzlement of publick money; but of this cause of the intermission in the political life and political merits of Gunga Govin Sing Mr. Hastings does not tell you.
Your lordships shall now hear what opinion a member of the provincial council at Calcutta, in which he had also served, had of him. “Who is Gunga Govin Sing ?” The answer is :-" He was, when I left Bengal, dewan to the committee of revenue. What was his office and power during Mr. Hastings's administration since 1780 ?-He was formerly dewan to the provincial council stationed at Calcutta, of which I was a member. His conduct then was licentious and unwarrantable, oppressive and extortionary. He was stationed under us to be an humble and submissive servant, and to be of use to us in the discharge of our duty. His conduct was every thing the reverse.
We endeavoured to correct the mischiefs he was guilty of as much as possible. In one attempt to release fifteen persons illegally con
fined by him, we were dismissed our offices; a different pretence was held out for our dismission, but it was only a pretence. Since his appointment às dewan to the present committee of revenue, his line of conduct has only been à continuance of what I have described, but upon a larger scale. What was the general opinion of the natives of the use he made of his power?-He was looked up to by the natives as the second person in the government, if not the first. He was considered as the only channel for obtaining favour and employment from the governour.
There is hardly a native family of rank or credit within the three provinces, whom he has not some time or other distressed and afflicted ; scarce a zemindary, that he has not dismembered and plundered. Was you in a situation to know this to be true ? I certainly was. What was the general opinion and your own, concerning his wealth ?-It is almost impossible to form a competent judgment, his means of acquire ing it have been so extensive. I had an account shown to me about July 1785, stating his acquisitions at three hundred and twenty lacks of rupees, that is 3,200,000l.”
My lords, I have only to add, that, from the best inquiries I have been able to make, those, who speak highest of his wealth, are those who obtain the greatest credit. The estimate of any man's wealth is uncertain ; but the enormity of his wealth is universally believed : yet Mr. Hastings seemed to act as if he needed a reward; and it is therefore necessary to inquire, what recommended him particularly to Mr. Hastings. Your lordships have seen, that he was on the point of being dismissed for misbehaviour, and oppression, by that Calcutta committee, his services to which Mr. Hastings gives as one proof of his constant and uniform good behaviour. “ He had executed,” he says, “ the duties of his office with fidelity, diligence and ability.” These are his publick merits—but he has private merits : “ To myself," says he, “ he has given proofs of constancy and attachment.”
Now we, who have been used to look very diligently over the company's records, and to compare one part with another, ask, what those services were, which have so strongly recommended him to Mr. Hastings, and induced him to speak
so favourably of his publick services ? What those services are, does not appear; we have searched the records for them, (and those records are very busy and loquacious,) about that period of time, during which Mr. Hastings was labouring under an eclipse, and near the dragon's mouth, and all the drums of Bengal beating to free him from this dangerous eclipse. During this time there is nothing publicly done, there is nothing publicly said, by Gunga Govin Sing. There were then some services of Gunga Govin Sing, that lie undiscovered, which he takes as proofs of attachment. What could they be? they were not publick; nobody knows any thing of them; they must by reference to the time, as far as we can judge of them, be services of concealment. Otherwise, in the course of this business it will be necessary, and Mr. Hastings will find occasion, to show what those personal services of Gunga Govin Sing to him were. His services to Gunga Govin Sing were pretty conspicuous; for, after he was turned out for peculation, Mr. Hastings restored him to his office; and when he had imprisoned fifteen persons illegally and oppressively, and when the council were about to set them at liberty, they were set at liberty themselves; they were dismissed their offices. Your lordships see, then, what his publick services were. His private services are unknown ; they must be, as we conceive from their being unknown, of a suspicious nature ; and I do not go further than suspicion, because I never heard, and I have not been without attempts to make the discovery, what those services were, that recommended him to Mr. Hastings.
Having looked at his publick services, which are wellknown scenes of wickedness, barbarity, and corruption, we next come to see what his reward is. Your lordships bear what reward be thought proper to secure for himself; and, I believe, a man, who has power like Gunga Govin Sing, and a disposition like Gunga Govin Sing, can hardly want the means of rewarding himself; and if every virtue rewards itself, and virtue is said to be its own reward, the virtue of Gunga Govin Sing was in a good way of seeking its own reward. Mr. Hastings, however, thought it was not right, that such a man should reward himself; but that it was ne
cessary for the honour and justice of government to find him a reward. Then the next thing is, what that reward shall be. It is a grant of lands. Your lordships will observe, that Mr. Hastings declares some of these lands to be unoccupied, others occupied, but not by the just owners. Now these were the very lands of the rajah of Dinagepore, from whence he had taken the bribe of 40,0001. My lords, this was a monstrous thing. Mr. Hastings had the audacity, as his parting act, when he was coming to England, and ought to have expected (whatever he did expect) the responsibility of this day,--he' was, I say, shameless enough, not only to give this recommendation, but to perpetuate the mischiefs of his reign, as he has done, to his successours; for he has really done so by making it impossible almost to know any thing of the true state of that country : and he has thereby made them much less responsible and criminal than before in any ill acts, they may have done since his time. But Mr. Hastings not only recommends and backs the petition of Gunga Govin Sing with his parting authority, which authority he made the people there believe would be greater in England, than it was in India ; but he is an evidence; he declares, that “ to his own knowledge these lands are vacant, and confessedly, therefore, by the laws of this as well as of most other countries, in the absolute gift of government.” · My lords, (as I said) Mr. Hastings becomes a witness, and, I believe, in the course of the proceedings you will find, a false witness for Gunga Govin Sing. " To my own knowledge,” says he, “ they are vacant." Why, I cannot find, that Mr. Hastings had ever been in Dinagepore ; or, if he had, it must have been only as a passenger. He had not the superversion of the district, in any other sense than with that kind of eagle eye, which he must have had over all Bengal, and which he had for no other purposes than those, for which eagles' eyes are commonly used. He becomes, you see, a witness for Gunga Govin Sing, and orders to be given bim, as a recompense for all the iniquitous acts this man committed, the lands of that very rajah, who through the hands of Gunga Govin Sing had given an enormous bribe to Mr. Hastings. These lands were not without an ownership,
but were lands in the hands of the rajah, and were to be severed from the zemindary and given to Gunga Govin Sing. The manner of obtaining them is something so shocking, and contains such a number of enormities completed in one act, that one can scarce imagine how such a compound could exist.
This man, besides his office of dewan to the Calcutta committee, which gave bim the whole management and power of the
revenue, was, as I have stated, at the head of all the registers in the kingdom, whose duty it was to be a controul upon him as dewan. As Mr. Hastings destroyed every other constitutional settlement of the country, so the office, which was to be a check upon Gunga Govin Sing, namely, the register of the country, had been superseded, and revived in another shape, and given to the own son of this very man. God forbid, that a son should not be under a certain and reasonable subordination. But though in this country we know a son may possibly be free from the controul of his father, yet the meanest slave is not in a more abject condition of slavery, than a son is in that country to his father ; for it extends to the power of a Roman parent. The office of register is to take care, that a full and fair rent is secured to government; and above all it is his business to take care of the body of laws, the royjaun mulluck, or custom of the country, of which he is the guardian as the head of the law. It was his business to secure that fundamental law of the government, and fundamental law of the country, that a zemindary cannot be split; or any portion of it separated without the consent of the government. This man betrayed his trust, and did privately, contrary to the duty of his office, get this minor rajah, who was but an infant, who was but nine years old at the time, to make over to him a part of his zemindary, to a large amount, under colour of a fraudulent and fictitious sale. By the laws of that country, by the common laws of nature, the act of this child was void. The act was void as against the government, by giving a zemindary without the consent of the government to the very man, who ought to have prevented such an act : he has the same sacred guardianship of minors, that the chancellour of Eng