Page images

have penetrated into the very quarter from whence alone any real reformation can be expected.*

If, therefore, in the arduous affairs recommended to us, our proceedings should be ill adapted, feeble and ineffectual; if no delinquency should be prevented, and no delinquent should be called to account ; if every person should be caressed, promoted, and raised in power, in proportion to the enormity of his offences; if no relief should be given to any of the natives unjustly dispossessed of their rights, jurisdictions, and properties; if no cruel and unjust exactions shall be forborne ; if the source of no peculation, or oppressive gain should be cut off; if, by the omission of the opportunities that were in our hands, our Indian empire should fall into ruin irretrievable, and in its fall crush the credit, and overwhelm the revenues of this country, we stand acquitted to our honour, and to our conscience, who have reluctantly seen the weightiest interests of our country, at times the most critical to its dignity and safety, rendered the sport of the inconsiderate and unmeasured ambition of individuals, and by that means the wisdom of his majesty's government degraded in the publick estimation, and the policy and character of this renowned nation rendered contemptible in the eyes of all Europe.

It passed in the negative.

[ocr errors]

• This will be evident to those who consider the number and description of directors and servants of the East India company, chosen into the present parliament. The light in which the present ministers hold the labours of the house of commons, in searching into the disorders in the Indian administration, and all its endeavours for the reformation of the government there, without any distinction of times, or of the persons concerned, will appear from the following extract from a speech of the present lord chancellor. AFter making a high-flown panegyrick on those whom the house of commons had condemned by their resolutions, he said—“ Let us not be misled by reports from committees of anotber house, to which, I again repeat, I pay as much attention, as I would do to the bistory of Robinson Crusoe. Let the conduct of the East India company be fairly and fully inquired into ; let it be acquitted or condemned by evidence brought to the bar of the house. Without entering very deep into the subject, let me reply in a few words to an observation which fell from a noble and learned lord, that the company's finances are distressed, and that they owe at this moment, a million sterling, to the nation. When such a charge is brought, will parliament in its justice forget, that the company is restricted from employing that credit, which its great and fourishing situation gives to it?"








February 28th, 1785.




'Ελαύθα τι ωράττειν έχρήν άνδρα των Πλάτων και Αρίς οτίλους ζηλολήν δογμάτων και άρα σερμοράν ανθρώπες αθλίες τους κλέπταις εκδιδομένες, ή καλα δύναμιν αυτοίς αμύνει», όιμαι, ώς ήδη το κύκνειον εξάδoυσι δια το θεομισές εργαστήριον των τοιέτων ; 'Εμοί μεν εν αισχρον είναι δοκεί τες μέν χιλιάρχες, όταν λείπωσι την τάξιν, καταδικάζει την δε υπέρ άθλίων ανθρώπων υπολείπεις τάξιν, όταν δεη προς κλεπlας αγωνίζησθαι τοιέτες και ταύτά τη Θή συμμαχύπος ημιν, ώσπερ εν έταξεν.

JULIANI Epist. 17.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


THAT the least informed reader of this speech may be enabled to enter fully into the spirit of the transaction on occasion of which it was delivered, it may be proper to acquaint him, that among the princes dependent on this nation in the southern part of India, the most considerable at present is commonly known by the title of the Nabob of Arcot.

This prince owed the establishment of his government, against the claims of his elder brother, as well as those of other competitors, to the arms and influence of the British East India company. Being thus established in a considerable part of the dominions he now possesses, he began, about the year 1765, to form, at the instigation (as he asserts) of the servants of the East India company, a variety of designs for the further extension of his territories. Some years af. ter, he carried his views to certain objects of interiour arrangement, of a very pernicious nature. None of these designs could be compassed without the aid of the company's arms ; nor could those arms be employed consistently with an obedience to the company's orders. He was therefore advised to form a more secret, but an equally powerful interest among the servants of that company, and among others both at home and abroad. By engaging them in his interests, the use of the company's power might be obtained without their ostensible authority; the power might even be employed in defiance of the authority; if the case should require, as in truth it often did require, a proceeding of that degree of boldness. · The company had put him into possession of several great cities and magnificent castles. The good order of his affairs, his sense of personal dignity, his ideas of oriental splendour, and the habits of an Asiatick life (to which, being a native of India, and a Mahometan, he had from his infancy been in

« PreviousContinue »