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use, money tendered by men of a certain class, from whom I had interdicted the receipt of presents to my inferiours, and bound them, by oath, not to receive them." He beld it particularly dishonourable to receive them : he had bound others by an oath not to receive them: but he received them himself, and why does he conceal it? why ; because, says he, if the suspicion came upon me, the dishonour would fall upon my pate. Why did he, by an oath, bind his inferiours not to take these bribes? Why, because it was base and dishonourable so to do; and because it would be mischievous and ruinous to the company's affairs to suffer them to take bribes. Why then did he take them himself? It was ten times more ruinous, that he, who was at the head of the company's government, and had bound up others so strictly, should practise the same bimself; and, therefore, says he, “I was more than ordinarily cautious.”-What? To avoid it? No; to carry it on in so clandestine and private a manner, as might secure me from the suspicion of that, which I know to be detestable, and bound others up from practising
We shall prove, that the kind of men, from whom he interdicted his committee to receive bribes, were the identical men from whom he received them himself. If it was good for him, it was good for them to be permitted these means of extorting; and, if it ought at all to be practised, they ought to be admitted to extort for the good of the company. Rajah Nobkissen was one of the men, from whom he interdicted them to receive bribes, and from whom he received a bribe for his own use. But he says, he concealed it from them, because he thought great mischief might bappen even from their suspicion of it, and lest they should thereby be inclined themselves to practice it, and to break their oaths.
You take it then for granted, that he really concealed it from them : No such thing ; his principal confidant in receiving these bribes was Mr. Croftes, who was a principal person in this board of revenue, and whom he had made to swear not to take bribes : he is the confidant, and the very receiver, as we shall prove to your lordships. What will
your lordships think of his affirming, and averring a direct falsehood, that he did it to conceal it from these men, when one of them was his principal confidant and agent in the transaction ? What will you think of his being more than ordinarily cautious to avoid the suspicion of it ?
He ought to have avoided the crime, and the suspicion would take care of itself. “ For these reasons, he says, I caused it to be transported immediately to the treasury. There I well knew, sir, it could not be received, without being passed to some credit, and this could only be done by entering it as a loan, or as a deposit. The first was the least liable to reflection; and therefore I had obviously recourse to it. Why the second sum was intended as a deposit, I am utterly ignorant. · Possibly it was done without any special direction from me ; possibly because it was the simplest mode of entry, and therefore preferred, as the transaction itself did not require concealment, having been already avowed.” My lords, in fact, every word of this is either false or groundless : it is completely fallacious in every part. The first sum, he says, was entered as a loan ; the second as a deposit. Why was this done? Because, when you enter monies of this kind, you must enter them under some name, some head of account ; and I entered them, he says, under these, because, otherwise there was no entering them at all. Is this true? Will he stick to this? I shall desire to know from his learned counsel, sometime or other, whether that is a point he will take issue upon. Your lordships will see there were other bribes of his, which he brought under a regular official head, namely, durbar charges ; and there is no reason why he should not have brought these under the same head. Therefore what he says, that there is no other way of entering them but as loans and deposits, is not true. He next says, that in the second sum there was no reason for concealment, because it was avowed : but that false deposit was as much concealment as the false loan, for he entered that money as his own; whereas when he had a mind to carry any money to the company's account, he knew how to do it, for he had been accustomed to enter it under a general name, called durbar charges; a name, which, in its ex
tent at least, was very much his own invention, and which, as he gives no account of those charges, is as large and sufficient to cover any fraudulent expenditure in the account, as, one would think, any person could wish. You see him, then, first guessing one thing, then another; first giving this reason, then another : at last, however, he seems to be satisfied, that he has hit upon the true reason of his conduct.
Now let us open the next paragraph, and see what it is. " Although I am firmly persuaded, that these were my sentiments on the occasion, yet I will not affirm that they were. Though I feel their impression as the remains of a series of thoughts retained on my memory, I am not certain that they may not have been produced by subsequent reflection on the principal fact, combining with it the probable motives of it. Of this I am certain, that it was my design originally to have concealed the receipt of all the sums, except the second, even from the knowledge of the court of directors. They had answered my purpose of publick utility, and I had almost dismissed them from my remembrance.” My lords, you will observe in this most astonishing account, which he gives here, that several of these sums he meant to conceal for ever, even from the knowledge of the directors. Look back to his letter of 22d May 1782, and his letter of the 16th of December, and in them he tells you, that he might have concealed them, but that he was resolved not to conceal them : that he thought it highly dishonourable so to do; that his conscience would have been wounded, if he had done it; and that he was afraid it would be thought, that this discovery was brought from him in consequence of the parliamentary inquiries. Here, he says of a discovery, which he values himself upon making voluntarily, that he is afraid it should be attributed to arise from motives of fear. Now, at last, he tells you, from Cheltenham, at a time when he had just cause to dread the strict account, to which he is called this day : first, that he cannot tell whether any one motive, which he assigns, either in this letter, or in the former, were his real motive or not; that he does not know, whether he has not invented them since, in consequence of a train of meditation, upon what he might have done, or
might have said; and, lastly, he says, contrary to all his former declarations, “ that he had never meant nor could give the directors the least notice of them at all, as they had answered his purpose, and he had dismissed them from his remembrance.” I intended, he says, always to keep them secret, though I have declared to you solemnly, over and over again, that I did not. I do not care how you discovered them ; I have forgotten them ; I have dismissed them from my remembrance. Is this the way, in which money is to be received and accounted for ?
He then proceeds thus : “ But when fortune threw a sum of money in my way of a magnitude, which could not be concealed, and the peculiar delicacy of my situation at the time I received it, made me more circumspect of appearances; I chose to apprize my employers of it, which I did hastily and generally : hastily, perhaps, to prevent the vigilance and activity of secret calumny; and generally, because I knew not the exact amount, of which I was in the receipt, but not in the full possession. I promised to acquaint them with the result as soon as I should be in possession of it; and, in the performance of my promise, I thought it consistent with it to add to the amount all the former appropriations of the same kind ; my good genius then suggesting to me, with a spirit of caution, which might have spared me the trouble of this apology, had I universally attended to it, that if I had suppressed them, and they were afterwards known, I might be asked, what were my motives for withholding a part of these receipts from the knowledge of the court of directors, and informing them of the rest, it being my wish to clear up every doubt."
I am almost ashamed to remark upon the tergiversations, and prevarications, perpetually ringing the changes in this declaration. He would not have discovered this hundred thousand pounds, if he could have concealed it: he would have discovered it, lest malicious persons should be telling tales of it. He has a system of concealment; he never discovers any thing, but when he thinks it can be forced from him.
He says, indeed, I could conceal these things for ever, but my conscience would not give me leave: but it is guilt, and not honesty of conscience, that always
At one time it is the malice of people and the fear of misrepresentation, which induced him to make the disclosure; and be values himself on the precaution, which this fear bad suggested to him. At another time it is the magnitude of the sum, which produced this effect : nothing but the impossibility of concealing it could possibly have made him discover it. This hundred thousand pounds be declares he would have concealed, if he could, and yet he values himself upon the discovery of it. Oh my lords, I am afraid that sums of much greater magnitude have not been discovered at all. Your lordships now see some of the artifices of this letter. You see the variety of styles he adopts, and how he turns bimself into every shape, and every form. But after all, do you find any clear discovery? do you find any satisfactory answer to the directors' letter? does he once tell you from whom he received the money? does he tell you for what he received it? what the circumstances of the persons giving it were, or any explanation whatever of his mode of accounting for it? No; and here, at last, after so many years litigation, he is called to account for his prevaricating false accounts in Calcutta, and cannot give them to you.
His explanation of his conduct relative to the bonds, now only remains for your lordships' consideration. Before he left Calcutta in July 1784, he says, when he was going upon a service, which he thought a service of danger, he endorsed the false bonds, which he bad taken from the company, declaring them to be none of his. You will observe, that these bonds had been in his hands from the ninth or fifteenth of January (I am not quite sure of the exact date) to the day when he went upon this service, some time in the month of July 1784. This service he had formerly declared he did not apprehend to be a service of danger : but he found it to be so after : it was in anticipation of that danger, that he made this attestation and certificate upon the bonds. But who ever saw them ? Mr. Larkins saw them, says he: I gave them to Mr. Larkins. We will show you hereafter, that Mr. Larkins deserves no credit in this business; that honour hinds him not to discover the secrets of Mr. Hastings. But