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that the evidence should be explained. You have heard as much of the drama as I could go through: bear with my weakness a little: Mr. Larkins's letter will be the epilogue to it. I have already incurred the censure of the prisoner; I mean to increase it, by bringing home to him the proof of his crimes, and to display them in all their force and turpitude. It is my duty to do it; I feel it an obligation nearest to my heart.
THE SIXTH ARTICLE OF CHARGE.
FOURTH DAY: THURSDAY, MAY 7, 1789.
Y LORDS,- When I had the honor last to address you from this place, I endeavored to press this position upon your minds, and to fortify it by the example of the proceedings of Mr. Hastings, --that obscurity and inaccuracies in a matter of account constituted a just presumption of fraud. showed, from his own letters, that his accounts were confused and inaccurate. I am ready, my Lords, to admit that there are situations in which a minister in high office may use concealment: it may be his duty to use concealment from the enemies of his masters; it may be prudent to use concealment from his inferiors in the service. It will always be suspicious to use concealment from his colleagues and coördinates in office; but when, in a money transaction, any man uses concealment with regard to them to whom the money belongs, he is guilty of a fraud. My Lords, I have shown you that Mr. Hastings kept no account, by his own confession, of the moneys that he had privately taken, as he pretends, for the Company's service, and we have but too much reason to presume for his own. We have shown you, my Lords, that he has not only no accounts, but no memory; we have shown that he does not even un
derstand his own motives; that, when called upon to recollect them, he begs to guess at them; and that as his memory is to be supplied by his guess, so he has no confidence in his guesses. He at first finds, after a lapse of about a year and a half, or somewhat less, that he cannot recollect what his motives were to certain actions which upon the very face of them ap peared fraudulent. He is called to an account some years after, to explain what they were, and he makes a just reflection upon it,- namely, that, as his memory did not enable him to find out his own motive at the former time, it is not to be expected that it would be clearer a year after. Your Lordships will, however, recollect, that in the Cheltenham letter, which is made of no perishable stuff, he begins again to guess; but after he has guessed and guessed again, and after he has gone through all the motives he can possibly assign for the action, he tells you he does not know whether those were his real motives, or whether he has not invented them since.
In that situation the accounts of the Company were left with regard to very great sums which passed through Mr. Hastings's hands, and for which he, instead of giving his masters credit, took credit to himself, and, being their debtor, as he confesses himself to be at that time, took a security for that debt as if he had been their creditor. This required explanation. Explanation he was called upon for, over and over again; explanation he did not give, and declared he could not give. He was called upon for it when in India: he had not leisure to attend to it there. He was called upon for it when in Europe: he then says he must send for it to India. With much prevarication, and much insolence too, he confesses
himself guilty of falsifying the Company's accounts by making himself their creditor when he was their debtor, and giving false accounts of this false transaction. The Court of Directors was slow to believe him guilty; Parliament expressed a strong suspicion of his guilt, and wished for further information. Mr. Hastings about this time began to imagine his conscience to be a faithful and true monitor, which it were well he had attended to upon many occasions, as it would have saved him his appearance here, and it told him that he was in great danger from the Parliamentary inquiries that were going on. It was now to be expected that he would have been in haste to fulfil the promise which he had made in the Patna letter of the 20th of January, 1782; and accordingly we find that about this time his first agent, Major Fairfax, was sent over to Europe, which agent entered himself at the India House, and appeared before the Committee of the House of Commons, as an agent expressly sent over to explain whatever might appear doubtful in his conduct. Major Fairfax, notwithstanding the character in which Mr. Hastings employed him, appeared to be but a letter-carrier: he had nothing to say: he gave them no information in the India House at all: to the Committee (1 can speak with the clearness of a witness) he gave no satisfaction whatever. However, this agent vanished in a moment, in order to make way for another, more substantial, more efficient agent, an agent perfectly known in this country, an agent known by the name given to him by Mr. Hastings, who, like the princes of the East, gives titles: he calls him an incomparable agent; and by that name he is very well known to your Lordships and the world. This agent, Major
Scott, who I believe was here prior to the time of Major Fairfax's arrival in the character of an agent, and for the very same purposes, was called before the Committee, and examined, point by point, article by article, upon all that obscure enumeration of bribes which the Court of Directors declare they did not understand; but he declared that he could speak nothing with regard to any of these transactions, and that he had got no instructions to explain any part of them. There was but one circumstance which in the course of his examination we drew from him, namely, that one of these articles, entered in the account of the 22d of May as a deposit, had been received from Mr. Hastings as a bribe from Cheyt Sing. He produced an extract of a letter relative to it, which your Lordships in the course of this trial may see, and which will lead us into a further and more minute inquiry on that head; but when that committee made their report in 1783, not one single article had been. explained to Parliament, not one explained to the Company, except this bribe of Cheyt Sing, which Mr. Hastings had never thought proper to communicate to the East India Company, either by himself, nor, as far as we could find out, by his agent; nor was it at last otherwise discovered than as it was drawn out from him by a long examination in the Committee of the House of Commons. And thus, notwithstanding the letters he had written and the agents he employed, he seemed absolutely and firmly resolved to give his employers no satisfaction at all. What is curious in this proceeding is, that Mr. Hastings, all the time he conceals, endeavors to get himself the credit of a discovery. Your Lordships have seen what his discovery is; but Mr. Hastings, among his