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manner, by the most extraordinary event, that, I believe, is recorded in history. Just in the nick of time, in the moment of projection, on the 3d of July, this prince Meeran, in the flower of his age, bold, active, enterprising, lying asleep in his tent, is suddenly, without any one's knowing it, without any alarm or menace in the heavens, that ever was heard of or mentioned, without any one whatever being hurt or even alarmed in the camp, killed with a flash of lightning. My lords, thus was the Gordian knot cut. This prince dies of a flash of lightning, and Mr. Lushington (of whom you have heard) comes in the morning with his hair standing erect, comes frightened into the presence of Major Calliaud, and, with the utmost alarm, tells him of a circumstance, that was afterwards to give them so much pleasure. The alarm was immediately communicated to the Major, who was seized with a fright; and fearing lest the army should mutiny upon the death of their chief, it was contrived in a manner, that I believe was most difficult to contrive, that what might have excited a general mutiny was concealed by the ability, the good conduct, and dexterity of Major Calliaud for seven days together, till he led the army out of the place of danger. Thus a judgment fell upon one of the innocent) murderers in the scene of the three seals. This man, who was probably guilty in his conscience as well as in act, thus fell by that most lucky, providential, and most useful flash of lightning.
There were at that time, it seems, in Calcutta a wicked sceptical set of people, who somehow or other believed, that human agency was concerned in this elective flash, which came so very opportunely, and which was a favour so thankfully, acknowledged. These wicked, ill-natured scepticks disseminated reports (which I am sure I do not mean to charge or prove, leaving the effect of them to you) very dishonourable, I believe, to Cossim Ally Cawn in the business, and to some Englishmen, who were concerned.
The difficulty of getting rid of Meeran being thus removed, Mr. Vansittart comes upon the scene. I verily believe he was a man of good intentions, and rather debauched by that amazing flood of iniquity, which prevailed at that time,
or hurried and carried away with it. In a few days be sent for Major Calliaud. All his objections vanish in an instant ; like that flash of lightning, every thing is instant. The Major agrees to perform his part. They send for Cossim Ally Cawn and Mr. Hastings, they open a treaty and conclude it with him, leaving the management of it to two persons, Mr. Holwell and another person, whom we have heard of, an Armenian, called Coja Petruse, who afterwards played his part in another illustrious scene. By this Petruse and Mr. Holwell the matter is settled. The moment Mr. Holwell is raised to be a secretary of state, the revolution is accomplished. By it Cossim Ally Cawn is to have the lieutenancy at present, and the succession. Every thing is put into his hands, and he is to make for it large concessions, which you will hear of afterwards, to the company.
Cossim Ally Cawn proposed to Mr. Holwell, what would have been no bad supplement to the flash of lightning, the murder of the nabob; but Mr. Holwell was a man of too much honour and conscience to suffer that. He instantly flew out at it, and declared the whole business should stop, unless the affair of the murder was given up. Accordingly, things were so settled. But, if he gave the nabob over to an intending murderer, and delivered his person, treasure, and every thing into his hands, Cossim Ally Cawn might have bad no great reason to complain of being left to the execution of his own projects in his own way. The treaty was made, and amounted to this, that the company was to receive three great provinces ; for here, as we proceed, you will have an opportunity of observing, with the progress of these plots, one thing, which has constantly and uniformly pervaded the whole of these projects, and which the persons concerned in them have avowed as a principle of their actions—that they were first to take care of the company's interest, then of their own; that is, first to secure to the company an enormous bribe, and under the shadow of that bribe to take all the little emoluments they could to themselves. Three great rich southern provinces, maritime, or nearly maritime, Burdwan, Midnapore, and Chittagong, were to be dissevered from the soubah and to be ceded to the company. There were other
minor stipulations, which it is not necessary at present to trouble you with, signed, sealed, and executed at Calcutta between these parties with the greatest possible secrecy. The lieutenancy and the succession were secured to Cossim Ally, and he was likewise to give somewhere about the sum of 200,0001. to the gentlemen, who were concerned, as a reward for serving him so effectually, and for serving their country so well. Accordingly, these stipulations, actual or understood (for they were eventually carried into effect) being settled, a commission of delegation, consisting chiefly of Mr. Vansittart and Major Calliaud, was 'sent up to Moorshedabad ; the new governour taking this opportunity of paying the usual visit of respect to the nabob, and in a manner, which a new governour coming into place would do, with the detail of which it is not necessary to trouble you. Mr. Hastings was at this time at the durbar ; and having every thing prepared, and the ground smoothed, they first endeavoured to persuade the nabob to deliver over the power negotiated for into the hands of their friend Cossim Ally Cawn. But when the old man, frightened out of his wits, asked, " What is it he has bid for me ?” and added, “I will give half as much again to save myself; pray let me know what my price is;" he entreated in vain. They were true, firm, and faithful to their word and their engagement. When he saw they were resolved, that he should be delivered into the hands of Cossim Ally Cawn, he at once surrenders the whole to him. They instantly grasp it. He throws himself into a boat, and will not remain at home an hour, but burries down to Calcutta to leave his blood at our door, if we should have a mind to take it. But the life of the nabob was too great a stake, partly as a security for the good behaviour of Cossim Ally Cawn, and still more for the future use, that might be made of him, to be thrown away, or left in the hands of a man, who would certainly murder him, and who was very angry at being refused the murder of his father-in-law. The price of this second revolution was, according to their shares in it, (I believe I have it here) somewhere about 200,0001. This little effusion to private interest settled the matter, and here ended the second revolu
tion in the country; effected indeed without bloodshed, but with infinite treachery, with infinite mischief, consequent to the dismemberment of the country, and which had nearly become fatal to our concerns there, like every thing else in which Mr. Hastings had any share.
This prince, Cossim Ally Cawn, the friend of Mr. Hastings, knew, that those, who could give, could take away, dominion. He had scarcely got upon the throne, procured for him by our publick spirit and his own iniquities, than he began directly and instantly to fortify himself and to bend all his politicks against those, who were or could be the 'donors of such fatal gifts. He began with the natives, who were in their interest, and cruelly put to death, under the eye of Mr. Hastings and his clan, all those, who by their monied wealth, or landed consideration, could give any effect to their dispositions in favour of those ambitious strangers. He removed from Moorshedabad higher up into the country, to Monghir, in order to be more out of our view.
He kept his word pretty well, but not altogether faithfully, with the gentlemen; and though he had no money, for his treasury was empty, he gave obligations, which are known by the name of Jeeps—(the Indian vocabulary will by degrees become familiar to your lordships, as we develope the modes and customs of the country.) As soon as he had done this, he began to rack and tear the provinces, that were left to him, to get as much from them as should compensate him for the revenues of those great provinces he had lost ; and accordingly he began a scene of extortion, horrible, nefarious, without precedent or example, upon almost all the landed interest of that country. I mention this, because he is one of those persons, whose governments Mr. Hastings, in a paper, called his defence, delivered in to the House of Commons, has produced as precedents and examples, which he has thought fit to follow, and which he thought would justify him in the conduct he has pursued. This Cossim Ally Cawn, after he had acted the tyrant on the landed interest, fell upon the monied interest. In that country there was a person called Juggut Seit. There were several of the family, who were bankers to such a magnitude as was never heard of in the world. Receivers of the publick revenue,
their correspondence extended all over Asia ; and there are those, who are of opinion, that the house of Juggut Seit, including all its branches, was not worth less than six or seven millions sterling This house became the prey of Cossim Ally Cawn; but Mr. Holwell had predicted, that it should be delivered over to Satan to be buffeted (his own pious expression.) He predicted the misfortunes, that should befal them; and we chose a Satan to buffet them, and who did so buffet them by the murder of the principal persons of the house, and by robbing them of great sums of their wealth, that I believe such a scene of nefarious tyranny, destroying and cutting up the root of publick credit in that country, was scarce ever known. In the mean time Cossim was extending his tyranny over all, who were obnoxious to him; and the persons he first sought were those traitors, who had been friends to the English. Several of the principal of these be murdered. There was in the province of Bahar a man named Ramarain ; be had got the most positive assurances of English faith ; but Mr. Macguire, a member of the council, on the receipt of 5,000 gold mohors, or something more than 8,000l. sterling, delivered him up to be first imprisoned; then tortured, then robbed in consequence of the torture, and finally murdered by Cossim Ally Cawn. In this way Cossim Ally Cawn acted, while our government looked
I hardly choose to mention to you the fate of a certain native in consequence of a dispute with Mr. Mott, a friend of Mr. Hastings, which is in the company's records—reeords, which are almost buried by their own magnitude from the knowledge of this country. In a contest with this native for his house and property, some scuffle having happened between the parties, the one attempting to seize and the other to defend, the latter made a complaint to the nabob, who was in an entire subjection at that time to the English; and who ordered this unfortunate man, on account of this very scuffle arising from defending his property, to be blown off from the mouth of a cannon. In short, I am not able to tell your lordships of all the nefarious transactions of this man, whom the intrigues of Mr. Holwell and Mr. Hastings