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a much more dangerous practice. The people of the East, it is well known, have their zenana, the apartment for their wives, as a sanctuary, which nobody can enter--a kind of holy of holies—a consecrated place, safe from the rage of war, safe from the fury of tyranny. The rapacity of man has here its bounds : here you shall come and no farther, But, if English ladies can go into these zenanas, and there receive presents, the natives of Hindostan cannot be said to have any thing left of their own. Every one knows, that in the wisest and best time of the commonwealth of Rome, towards the latter end of it; (I do not mean the best time for morals, but the best for its knowledge how to correct evil government, and to choose the proper means for it) it was an established rule, that no governour of a province should take his wife along with him into his province, wives not being subject to the laws in the same manner as their husbands : and though I do not impute to any one any criminality here; I should think myself guilty of a scandalous dereliction of my duty, if I did not mention the fact to your lordships. But I press it no further : here are the accounts, delivered in by Mr. Larkins at Mr. Hastings's own requisition. The three lines, which were read out of a Persian
paper, are followed by a long account of the several species, in which this present was received, and converted by exchange, into one common standard. Now, as these three lines of paper, which are said to have been read out of a Persian paper, contain an account of bribes to the amount of 100,0001.; and as it is not even insinuated that this was the whole of the paper, but rather the contrary indirectly implied, I shall leave it for your lordships, in your serious consideration to judge what mines of bribery that paper might contain. For why did not Mr. Larkins get the whole of that paper read and translated ? The moment any man stops in the midst of an account, he is stopping in the midst of a fraud.
My lords, I have one further remark to make upon these accounts : The cabooleats, or agreements for the payments of these bribes, amount, in the three specified provinces, to 95,0001. Do you believe, that these provinces were thus particularly favoured ? Do you think, that they were chosen as a little demesne for Mr. Hastings ? That they were the only provinces honoured with his protection, so far as to take bribes from them? Do you perceive any thing in their local situation, that should distinguish them from other provinces of Bengal ? What is the reason why Dinagepore, Patna, Nuddea, should have the post of honour assigned them? What reason can be given for not taking bribes also from Burdwan, from Bishanpore, in short, from all the sixtyeight collections, which comprize the revenues of Bengal, and for selecting only three ? How came he, I say, to be so wicked a servant, that, out of sixty-eight divisions, he chose only three to supply the exigencies of the company He did not do his duty in making this distinction, if he thought, that bribery was the best way of supplying the company's treasury; and that it formed the most useful and effectual resource for them ; which he has declared over and over again. Was it right to lay the whole weight of bribery, extortion and oppression, upon those three provinces, and neglect the rest ? No ; you know and must know, that he, who extorts from three provinces, will extort from twenty, if there are twenty.
You have a standard, a measure of extortion, and that is all; ex pede Herculem : guess from thence what was extorted from all Bengal ? Do you believe he could be so cruel to these provinces, so partial to the rest, as to charge them with that load, with 95,0001. knowing the heavy oppression they were sinking under, and leave all the rest untouched ? You will judge of what is concealed from us by what we have discovered through various means, that have oocurred in consequence, both of the guilty conscience of the person, who confesses the fact with respect to these provinces, and of the vigour, perseverance and sagacity of those, who have forced from him that discovery. It is not therefore for me to say, that the 100,0001. and 95,0001. only were taken.
Where the circumstances entitle me to go on, I must not be stopped, but at the boundary where human nature has fixed a barrier.
You have now before you the true reason why he did not choose that this affair should come before a court of justice.
Rather than this exposure should be made, he to-day would call for the mountains to cover him : he would prefer an inquiry into the business of the three seals; into any thing foreign to the subject, I am now discussing, in order to keep you from the discovery of that gross bribery, that shameful peculation, that abandoned prostitution and corruption, which he has practised with indemnity and impunity to this day, from one end of India to the other..
At the head of the only account we have of these transactions stands Dinagepore ; and it now only remains for me to make some observations upon Mr. Hastings's proceedings in that province. Its name, then, and that money was taken from it, is all that appears; but from whom, by what hands, by what means, under what pretence it was taken, he has not told you ; he has not told his employers. I believe, however, I can tell from whom it was taken : and I believe it will appear to your lordships, that it must have been taken from the unhappy rajah of Dinagepore; and I shall in a very few words state the circumstances attending and the service performed for it : from these you will be able to form a just opinion concerning this bribe.
Dinagepore, a large province, was possessed by an antient family, the last of which, about the year 1184 of their æra, the rajah Bijanaut had no legitimate issue. When he was at the point of death, he wished to exclude from the succession to the zemindary, his half brother, Cantoo Naut, with whom he had lived upon ill terms for many years, by adopting son. Such an adoption, when a person has a balf brother, as he had, in my poor judgment, is not countenanced by the Gentoo laws. But Gunga Govin Sing, who was placed by the office he held, at the head of the registry, where the records were kept, by which the rules of succession according to the custom of the country are ascertained, became master of these Gentoo laws; and through bis means Mr. Hastings decreed in favour of the adoption.
We find, that immediately after this decree, Gunga Govin Sing received a cabooleat on Dinagepore for the sum of 40,0001. of which it appears, that he has actually exacted 30,0001. though he has paid to Mr. Hastings only 20,0001. We find, before the young rajah had been in possession a year, his natural guardians and relations, on one pretence or another, all turned out of their offices. The peshcush, or fixed annual rent payable to the company for his zemindary, fell into arrear, as might naturally be expected, from the rajab's inability to pay both his rent and this exorbitant bribe, extorted from a ruined family. Instantly, under pretext of this arrearage, Gunga Govin Sing, and the fictitious committee, which Mr. Hastings had made for his wicked purposes, composed of Mr. Anderson, Mr. Shore, and Mr. Croftes, who were but the tools, as they tell us themselves, of Gunga Govin Sing, gave that monster of iniquity, Debi Sing, the government of this family. They put this noble infant, this miserable rajah, together with the management of the provinces of Dinagepore and Rungpore, into his wicked and abominable hands; where the ravages he committed excited what was called a rebellion, that forced him to fly from the country, and into which I do not wonder he should be desirous that a political and not a juridical inquiry should be made. The savage barbarities, which were there perpetrated, I have already, in the execution of my duty, brought before this House and my country; and it will be seen, when we come to the proof, whether what I have asserted was the effect either of a deluded judgment or disordered imagination ; and whether the facts, I state, cannot be substantiated by authentick reports, and were none of my invention : and, lastly, whether the means, that were taken to discredit them, do not infinitely aggravate the guilt of the offenders. Mr. Hastings wanted to fly from judicial inquiry ; he wanted to put Debi Sing anywhere but in a court of justice. A court of justice, where a direct assertion is brought forward, and a direct proof applied to it, is an element in which he cannot live for a moment. He would seek refuge anywhere, even in the very sanctuary of his accusers, rather than abide a trial with him in a court of justice : but the House of Commons was too just not to send him to this tribunal, whose justice they cannot doubt, whose penetration he cannot elude, and whose decision will justify those managers, whose characters he attempted to defame.
But this is not all. We find, that after the cruel sale of this infant, who was properly and directly under the guardianship of the company (for the company acts as steward and dewan of the province, which office has the guardianship of minors), after he had been robbed of 40,000l. by the hands of Gunga Govin Sing, and afterwards, under pretence of his being in debt to the company, delivered into the hands of that monster, Debi Sing, Mr. Hastings, by way of anticipation of these charges, and in answer to them, has thought proper to produce the certificate from this unfortunate boy, which I will now again read to you :
“I, Radanaut, zemindar of purgunnah Havely, Penjuna, &c. commonly called Dinagepore :-As it has been learnt by me, the mutseddies, and the respectable officers of my zemindary, that the ministers of England are displeased with the late governour, Warren Hastings, Esq. upon the suspicion that he oppressed us, took money froin us by deceit and force, and ruined the country ; therefore we, upon the strength of our religion, which we think it incumbent on and necessary for us to abide by, following the rules laid down in giving evidence, declare the particulars of the acts and deeds of Warren Hastings, Esq. full of circumspection and caution, civility and justice, superiour to the caution of the most learned ; and by representing what is fact, wipe away the doubts, that have possessed the minds of the ministers of England : That Mr. Hastings is possessed of fidelity and confidence, and yielding protection to us; that he is clear of the contamination of mistrust and wrong, and his mind is free of covetousness or avarice. During the time of his administration no one saw other conduct than that of protection to the husbandmen and justice ; no inhabitant ever experienced afflictions, no one ever felt oppression from him ; our reputations have always been guarded from attacks by his prudence, and our families have always been protected by his justice. He never omitted the smallest instance of kindness towards us, but healed the wounds of despair with the salve of consolation, by means of his benevolent and kind behaviour, never permitting one of us to sink in the