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scandal to his family, his race, and his country ; but he must be cruelly aspersed, and have faults and crimes attributed to him that do not belong to him? I know nothing of his private character and conduct; Mr. Hastings, who deals in scandalous anecdotes, knows them. But I take it upon the face of Mr. Purling's assertion, and I say
that the Nabob would have consented to an arbitrary taxation of the jaghires, and would have given up to absolute confiscation every man except those honourable persons I have mentioned.
The Prisoner himself has called Mr. Wombwell to prove the names of those infamous persons, with a partiality for whom Mr. Hastings has aspersed the Nabob, in order to lay the ground for the destruction of his family. They amount to only six in number; and when we come to examine these six, we find that their jaghires were perfectly contemptible. The list of the other jaghirdars your Lordships see fills up pages; and the amount of their incomes I have already stated. Your Lordships now see how inconsiderable, both in number and amount, were the culpable jaghires, in the destruction of which he has involved the greater number and the meritorious. You see that the Nabob nevér did propose any exemption of the former at any time, that this was a slander and a calumny on that unhappy inan, in order to defend the violent
acts of the Prisoner; who has recourse to slander and calumny as a proper way to defend violence, outrage, and wrongs.
We have now gone through the first stage of Mr. Hastings's confiscation of the estates of these unhappy people. When it came to be put in execution, Mr. Middleton finds the Nabob reluctant, in the greatest degree, to make this sacrifice of his family, and of all his nobility. It touched him in every way in which shame and sympathy can affect a man. He falls at the feet of Mr. Middleton ; he says, I signed the treaty of Chunar upon an assurance that it was never meant to be put in force. Mr. Middleton nevertheless proceeds; he sends the family of the Nabob out of the country; but he entertains fears of a general revolt as the consequence of this tyrannical act, and refers the case back to Mr. Hastings, who insists upon its being exe. cuted in its utmost extent. The Nabob again remonstrates in the strongest manner; he begs, he prays, he dissembles, he delays. One day he pretends to be willing to submit, the next he hangs back, just as the violence of Mr. Hastings or his own natural feelings and principles of justice dragged him one way or dragged him another. Mr. Middleton, trembling and under the awe of that dreadful responsibility, under which your Lordships may remember Mr. Hast
ings ings had expressly laid him upon that occasion, ventures at once to usurp the Nabob's government.
He usurped it openly and avowedly. He declared that he himself would issue his perwannahs as governour of the country, for the purpose of executing this abominabe confiscation. He assumed, I say, to himself the government of the country, and Mr. Hastings had armed him with a strong military force for that purpose; he declared he would order those troops to march for his support; he at last got this reluctant, struggling Nabob to consent in the manner we have described.
I shall now read to your Lordships Mr. Middleton's letters, that you may hear these men with their own mouths describing their own acts; and that your Lordships may then judge whether the highest tone and language of crimination comes up to their own description of their own proceedings.
Lucknow, the 6th of Dec. 1781. Finding the Nabob wavering in his deter“ mination about the resumption of the jaghires, “ I this day, in presence of, and with the mi“ nister's concurrence, ordered the necessary “ perwannahs to be written to the several “ Aumils for that purpose, and it was my firm “ resolution to have dispatched them this even
ing, with proper people to see them punctually “ and implicitly carried into execution ; but " before they were all transcribed, I received
a message from the Nabob, who had been “ informed by the minister of the resolution I “ had taken, intreating that I would withhold " the perwannahs till to-morrow morning, when “ he would attend me, and afford me satisfac• tion on this point. As the loss of a few hours “ in the dispatch of the perwannahs appeared of “ little moment, and as it is possible, the Nabob,
seeing that the business will at all events be “ done, may make it an act of his own, I have “ consented to indulge him in his request; but “ be the result of our interview whatever it
may, “ nothing shall prevent the orders being issued " to-morrow, either by him or myself, with the
concurrence of the ministers. Your pleasure “ respecting the Begums, I have learnt from “ Sir Elijah; and the measure heretofore pro
posed will soon follow the resumption of the jaghires; from both, or indeed from the former
alone, I have no doubt of the complete liqui" dation of the Company's balance.”
Lucknow, the 7th Dec. 1781.
My dear Sir, -I had the honour to ad« dress you yesterday, informing you of the steps “ I had taken in regard to the resumption of
" the jaghires. This morning the Vizier came " to me, according to his agreement, but seem« ingly without any intention or desire to yield " me satisfaction on the subject under discus“sion ; for after a great deal of conversation, “ consisting on his part of trifling evasion and
puerile 'excuses, for withholding his assent to " the measure, though at the same time pro“ fessing the most implicit submission to your " wishes, I found myself without any other “ resource, than the one of employing that ex“ clusive authority with which I consider your “ instructions to vest me; I therefore declared “ to the Nabob, in presence of the minister " and Mr. Johnson, who I desired might bear o witness of the conversation, that I con“ strued his rejection of the measure proposed,
as a breach of his solemn promise to you, " and an unwillingness to yield that assistance “ which was evidently in his power, towards
liquidating his heavy accumulated debt to “ the Company, and that I must in conse
quence determine, in my own justification, “ to issue immediately the perwannahs, which “ had only been withheld in the sanguine hope, " that he would be prevailed upon to make " that his own act, which nothing but the 6* most urgent necessity could force me to make " mine. He left me without any reply, but