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66 and involved in difficulties ; no man of rank “ is. deficient in the care of his dependents, in

proportion to his ability.”.

Another letter from the Vizier, received the 31st July 1784 :" My brother, dear as life, “Saadit Ali Khan, has requested that I would

permit his mother to go and reside with him ; "! my friend, all the mothers of my brothers, and " the women of the late Nawab; whom I respect " as my own mothers, are here, and it is incum. “ bent upon me to support them; accordingly " I do it, and it is improper that they should be “ separated, nor do I approve it.

By God's “ blessing and your kindness, I hope that all " the women of the late Nawab may remain “ here; it is the wish also of my grandmother " and my mother that they should.”.

Your Lordships now see in whát degree of estimation the Nabob held these women. He regarded the wives of his father as his honourary mothers; he considers their children as his brethren ; he thinks it would be highly disho nourable to his government, if one of them was taken out of the sanctuary in which they are placed, and in which, he says, the great of the country are obliged to maintain their dependents. This is the account given by the person best.ac.

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quainted with the usages of the country ; best acquainted with his own duties; best acquainted with his own wishes.

Now, my Lords, you will see in what light another person,

the agent of a trading company, who designates himself under the name of Majesty, and assumes other great distinctions, pre sumes also to consider these persons; and in what contempt he is pleased to hold, what is respected, and what is held sacred in that coun: try. What I am now going to quote, is from the Prisoner's second defence. For I must re: mind your Lordships, that Mr. Hastings has made three defences; one in the House of. Commons; another in the lobby of the House of Commons; and a third at your Lordships' bar. The second defence, though delivered without name, to the Members in the lobby, of the House of Commons, has been proved at your Lordships' bar, to be written by himself. This lobby, this out-of-door defence, militates in some respects, as your Lordships will find, with the in-door defence; but it probably con: tains the real sentiments of Mr. Hastings him self, delivered with a little more freeness when he gets into the open air, like the man who was so vain of some silly plot he had hatched, that he told it to the hackney coachman, and every man he met in the streets.

He

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says, “Begums are the ladies of an eastern “ Prince, but these women are also" styled the

Ladies of the late Vizier, and their sufferings " are painted in such strong colours, that the un« suspecting reader is led to mix the subjectš “ together, and to suppose that these latter too '" were princesses of Oude; that all their suf“'ferings proceeded from some act of mine, or so had the sanction of my authority or permission. 6. The fact is, that the persons of the Khourd “ Mahl (or little Seraglio) were young creatures “ picked up wherever youth and beauty could “ be found, and mostly purchased from amongst “ the most necessitous and mean'est ranks of “ the people, for the Nabob's pleasures.” In the in-door defence, he says, “ The said women, “ who were mostly persons of low condition, “ and the said children, if any such there were, so lived in the Khourd 'Mahl, on an 'esta'“ blishment entirely distinct from the said “ Begums.”

My Lords, you have seen what was the opinion of the Nabob, who'ought to know the nature and circumstances of his father's palace, respecting these: women ; you hear what Mr. Hastings's opinion is :: and now the question is, whether your Lordships will consider these women in the same light in which the person does who VOL. XVI.

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is

is most nearly connected with them, and most likely to know them, or in the way in which Mr. Hastings has thought proper, within doors and without doors, to describe" them. Your Lordships will be pleased to observe, that he has brought no proof whatever of facts, which are so boldly asserted by him in defiance of proof to the contrary, totally at variance with the letter of the son of the man to whom these women belonged. Your Lordships, I say, will remark, that he has produced not one word of evidence, either within the House of Commons or the House of Peers, or in the lobby, or any where else, to verify any one word he has said. He slanders these women in order to lessen that compassion which your Lordships might have for the sufferings he inflicted

upon them. But admitting that some of these women were of a meaner condition, and that they derived nothing from their connexion with the dignity of the person by whom they had children, (and we know that in the whole they amounted to about fourscore children, the Nabob having a race like the Patriarchs of old, as many great persons in that part of the world still have :). Supposing I say all this to be true; yet when persons are reduced from ease and affluence to misery and distress, they naturally excite in the mind a greater degree of compassion by comparing the circumstances in which

they

they once stood, with those into which they are fallen ; for famine, degradation and oppression, were famine, degradation and oppression to those persons, even though they were as mean as Mr. Hastings chooses to represent them. But I hope, as you will sympathize with the great on account of their condition, that you will sympathize with all mankind on the ground of the common condition of humanity, which belongs to us all; therefore I hope your Lordships will not consider the calumny of Mr. Hastings against those women, as any other than as an aggravation of his offence against them. That is the light in which the House of Commons considered it; for they had heard, both his indoor and out-door defence, and they still persevered in making the Charge, and do persevere in making it still.

We have first stated what these women were ; in what light they stood with the Nabob ; in what light they stood with the country at large. I have now to state in what light they stood: with the British government, previous to this inyasion of their rights; and we will prove they were the actual subjects of a guarantee by the Company.

Extract from an Agreement made by Mr. Middleton, to all the particulars of which he

engages

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