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tivated, must be supplied from the resources of others, where the soil has been better suited to the season, or the industry of the cultivators more successfully exerted: a principle which, however specious and plausible it may at first appear, certainly tends to the most pernicious and destructive consequences. If this declaration of the Naib had been made only to myself, I might have doubted my construction of it; but it was repeated by him to Mr. Anderson, who understood it exactly in the same sense. ment of the customs, the conduct of the Naib, or of the officers under him, was forced also upon my attention. The exorbitant rates exacted by an arbitrary valuation of the goods, the practice of exacting duties twice on the same goods, first from the seller and afterwards from the buyer, and the vexatious disputes and delays drawn on the merchants by these oppressions, were loudly complained of; and some instances of this kind were said to exist at the very time when I was in Benares. Under such circumstances, we are not to wonder, if the merchants of foreign countries are discouraged from resorting to Benares, and if the commerce of that province should annually decay.
“ Other evils, or imputed evils, have accidentally come to my knowledge, which I will not now particularize, as I hope that with the assistance of the Resi. dent they may be in part corrected: one, however, I must mention, because it has been verified by my own observation, and is of that kind which reflects an unmerited reproach on our general and national character. When I was at Buxar, the Resident at my desire enjoined the Naib to appoint creditable people to every town through which our route lay, to persuade and encourage the inhabitants to remain in their houses,
promising to give them guards as I approached, and they required it for their protection ; and that he might perceive how earnest I was for his observance of this precaution, (which I am certain was faithfully delivered,) I repeated it to him in person, and dismissed him, that he might precede me for that purpose: but, to my great disappointment, I found every place through which I passed abandoned ; nor had there been a man left in any of them for their protection. I am sorry to add, that, from Buxar to the opposite boundary, I have seen nothing but the traces of complete devastation in every village, whether caused by the followers of the troops which have lately passed, for their natural relief, (and I know not whether my own may not have had their share,) or from the apprehension of the inhabitants left to themselves, and of themselves deserting their houses. I wish to acquit my own countrymen of the blame of these unfavorable appearances, and in my own heart I do acquit them: for at one encampment, near a large village called Derrara, in the purgunnah of Zemaneea, a crowd of people came to me, complaining that their former aumil, who was a native of the place, and had long been established in authority over them, and whose custom it had been, whenever any troops passed, to remain in person on the spot for their protection, having been removed, the new aumil, on the approach of any military detachment, himself first fied from the place, and the inhabitants, having no one to whom they could apply for redress, or for the representation of their grievances, and being thus remediless, fled also; so that their houses and effects became a prey to any person who chose to plunder them. The general conclusion appeared to me an inevitable consequence from such a state of facts, — and my own senses bore testimony to it in this specific instance; nor do I know how it is possible for any officer commanding a military party, how attentive soever he may be to the discipline and forbearance of his people, to prevent disorders, when there is neither opposition to hinder nor evidence to detect them. These and many other irregularities I impute solely to the Naib; and I think it my duty to recommend his instant removal. I would myself have dismissed him, had the control of this province come within the line of my powers, and have established such regulations and checks as would have been most likely to prevent the like irregularities. I have said checks, because, unless there is some visible influence, and a powerful and able one, impended over the head of the manager, no system can avail. The next appointed may prove, from some defect, as unfit for the office as the present; for the choice is limited to few, without experience to guide it. The first was of my own nomination; his merits and qualifications stood in equal balance with my knowledge of those who might have been the candidates for the office; but he was the father of the Rajah, and the affinity sunk the scale wholly in his favor: for who could be so fit to be intrusted with the charge of his son's interest, and the new credit of the rising family? He deceived my expectations. Another was recommend•ed by the Resident, and at my instance the board appointed him. This was Jagher Deo Seo, the present Naib. I knew him not, and the other members of the board as little. While Mr. Markham remained in office, of whom, as his immediate patron, he may have stood in awe, I am told that he restrained his natural disposition, which has been described to me as rapacious, unfeeling, haughty, and to an extreme vindictive.
“I cannot avoid remarking, that, excepting the city of Benares itself, the province depending upon it is in effect without a government, the Naib exercising only a dependent jurisdiction without a principal. The Rajah is without authority, and even his name disused in the official instruments issued or taken ly the manager. The representation of his situation shall be the subject of another letter; I have made this already too long, and shall confine it to the single subject for the communication of which it was begun. This permit me to recapitulate. The administration of the province is misconducted, and the people oppressed ; trade discouraged, and the revenue, though said to be exceeded in the actual collections by many lacs, (for I have a minute account of it, which states the net amount, including jaghires, as something more than fifty-one lacs,) in danger of a rapid decline, from the violent appropriation of its means; the Naib or manager is unfit for his office; a new manager is required, and a system of official control, - in a word, a constitution : for neither can the board extend its superintending powers to a district so remote from its observation, nor has it delegated that authority to the Resident, who is merely the representative of government, and the receiver of its revenue in the last process of it; nor, indeed, would it be possible to render him wholly so, for reasons which I may hereafter detail.”
My Lords, you have now heard — not from the Managers, not from records of office, not from wit
nesses at your bar, but from the prisoner himself — the state of the country of Benares, from the time that Mr. Hastings and his delegated Residents had taken the management of it. My Lords, it is a proof, beyond all other proof, of the melancholy state of the country, in which, by attempting to exercise usurped and arbitrary power, all power and all authority become extinguished, complete anarchy takes place, and nothing of government appears but the means of robbing and ravaging, with an utter indisposition to take one step for the protection of the people.
Think, my Lords, what a triumphal progress it was for a British governor, from one extremity of the province to the other, (for so he has stated it,) to be pursued by the cries of an oppressed and ruined people, where they dared to appear before him, — and when they did not dare to appear, flying from every place, even the very magistrates being the first to fly! Think, my Lords, that, when these unhappy people saw the appearance of a British soldier, they fled as from a pestilence; and then think, that these were the people who labored in the manner which you have just heard, who dug their own wells, whose country would not produce anything but from the indefatigable industry of its inhabitants; and that such a meritorious, such an industrious people, should be subjected to such a cursed anarchy under pretence of revenue, to such a cursed tyranny under the pretence of government!
“But Jagher Deo Seo was unfit for his office.” “How dared you to appoint a man unfit for his office ?” — “Oh, it signified little, without their having a constitution.” — “Why did you destroy the offi
cial constitution that existed before? How dared you