squeamish in pecuniary transactions; but | favourable impression of the talents and he was neither sordid nor rapacious. He attainments of his visiter. Long after, was far too enlightened a man to look on a when Hastings was ruling the immense great empire merely as a buccanier would population of British India, the old phillook on a galleon. Had bis heart been osopher wrote to him, and referred in the much worse than it was, his understanding most courtly terms, though with great digwould have preserved him from that ex-nity, to their short but agreeable intertremity of baseness. He was an unscru- course. pulous, perhaps an unprincipled statesman; Hastings soon began to look again but still he was a statesman, and not a free- towards India. He had little to attach him booter.

to England; and his pecuniary embarrassIn 1764, Hastings returned to England. ments were great. He solicited his old He had realised only a very moderate for- masters the Directors for employment. tune; and that moderate fortune was soon They acceded to his request, with high reduced to nothing, partly by his praise- compliments both to his abilities and to his worthy liberality, and partly by his mis- integrity, and appointed bim a Member of management. Towards his relations he ap- Council at Madras. It would be unjust pears to bave acted very generously. The not to mention, that though forced to borgreater part of his savings he left in Ben- row-money for his outfit, he did not withgal, hoping probably to obtain the high draw any portion of the sum which he had usury of India. But high usury and bad appropriated to the relief of his distressed security generally go together; and Hast- relations. In the spring of 1769 he emings lost both interest and principal. barked on board of the Duke of Grafton,'

He remained four years in England. Of and commenced a voyage distinguished by his life at this time very little is known. incidents which might furnish matter for a But it has been asserted, and is highly pro- novel. bable, that liberal studies, and the society Among the passengers in the · Duke of of men of letters, occupied a great part of Grafton' was a German of the name of his time. It is to be remembered to his Imhoff. He called himself a baron, but he honour, that in days when the languages was in distressed circumstances; and was of the East were regarded by other ser- going out to Madras as a portrait painter, in vants of the Company merely as the means the hope of picking up some of the pagodas of communicating with weavers and mon- which were then lightly got and as lightly ey-changers, his enlarged and accom- spent by the English in India. The baron plished mind sought in Asiatic learning for was accompanied by his wife, a native, we new forms of intellectual enjoyment, and have somewhere read, of Archangel. This for new views of government and society; young woman, who, born under the Arctic Perhaps, like most persons who have paid circle, was destined to play the part of a much attention to departments of knowl- Queen under the tropic of Cancer, had an edge which lie out of the common track, agreeable person, a cultivated mind, and he was inclined to overrate the value of his manners in the highest degree engaging. favourite studies. He conceived that the She despised her husband heartily, and, as cultivation of Persian literature might with the story which we have to tell sufficiently advantage be made a part of the liberal proves, not without reason.

She was ineducation of an English gentleman ; and terested by the conversation and flattered he drew up a plan with that view. It is by the attentions of Hastings. The situa-said that the University of Oxford, in tion was indeed perilous. No place is so which Oriental learning bad never, since propitious to the formation either of close the revival of letters, been wholly neglect- friendship, or of deadly enmities as ed, was to be the seat of the institution Indiaman. There are very few people : which he contemplated. An endowment who do not find a voyage which lasts seve-was expected from the munificence of the ral months insupportably dull. Anything Company; and professors thoroughly com- is welcome which may break that long mopetent to interpret Hafiz and Ferdusi notony a sail, a shark, an albatross, a man were to be engaged in the East. Hastings overboard. Most passengers find some rea. called on Johnson, with the hope, as it source in eating twice as many meals as on would seem, of interesting in his project land. But the great devices for killing the a man who enjoyed the highest literary rep. time are, quarrelling and flirting. The fa-utation, and who was particularly con- cilities for both these exciting pursuits are nected with Oxford. The interview ap- great. The inmates of the ship are thrown pears to have left on Johnson's mind a most together far more than in any country-seat



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or boarding-house. None can escape from At Madras, Hastings found the trade of
the rest except by imprisoning himself in the Company in a very disorganized state.
a cell in which he can hardly turn. All His own tastes would have led him rather
food, all exercise, is taken in company. to political than to commercial pursuits ;
Ceremony is to a great extent banished. but he knew that the favour of his employ-
It is every day in the power of a mischiev-ers depended chiefly on their dividends,
ous person to inflict innumerable annoy- and their dividends depended chiefly on the
ances; it is every day in the power of an investment. He therefore, with great judg-
amiable person to confer little services. It ment, determined to apply his vigorous
not seldom happens that serious distress mind for a time to this department of busi-
and danger call forth in genuine beauty ness; which had been much neglected,
and deformity heroic virtues and abject since the servants of the Company had
vices, which, ir. the ordinary intercourse of ceased to be clerks, and had become war-
good society, might remain during many riors and negotiators.
vears unknown even to intimate associates. In a very few months he effected an im-
Under such circumstances met Warren portant reform. The Directors notified to
Hastings and the Baroness Imhoff; two bim their high approbation, and were so
persons whose accomplishments would much pleased with his conduct, that they
have attracted notice in any court of Eu- determined to place him at the head of the

The gentleman had no domestic government of Bengal. Early in 1772 he
ties. The lady was tied to a husband for quitted Fort St. George for his new post.
whom she had no regard, and who had no The Imhoffs, wbo were still man and wife,
regard for his own honour. An attach- accompanied him, and lived at Calcutta 'on
nient sprang up, which was soon strength- the same wise and judicious plan? (we quote
ened by events such as could hardly have the words of Mr. Gleig) which they had
occurred on land. Hastings fell ill. The already followed during more than two
baroness nursed him with womanly tender- years.
ness, gave him his medicines with her own When Hastings took his seat at the head
hand, and even sate up in his cabin while of the council board, Bengal was still

govhe slept. Long before the Duke of erned according to the system which Clive Grafton' reached Madras, Hastings was in had devised a system which was, perhaps, love. But his love was of a most charac- skilfully contrived for the purpose of facilteristic description. Like his batred, like itating and concealing a great revolution, his ambition, like all his passions, it was but which, when that revolution was comstrong, but not impetuous. It was calm, plete and irrevocable, could produce nothdeep, earnest, patient of delay, unconquer- ing but inconvenience. There were two able by time. Imhoff was called into governments, the real and the ostensible. council by his wife and his wife's lover. The supreme power belonged to the ComIt was arranged that the baroness should pany, and was in truth the most despotic institute a suit for a divorce in the courts power that can be conceived. The only of Franconia; that the baron should afford restraint on the English masters of the every facility to the proceeding; and that, country was that which their own justice during the years which might elapse be- and humanity imposed on them. There fore the sentence should be pronounced, was no constitutional check on their will, they should continue to live together. It and resistance to them was utterly hopewas also agreed that Hastings should be less. stow some very substantial marks of grati- But though thus absolute in reality, the tude on the complaisant husband ; and English had not yet assumed the style of should, when the marriage was dissolved, sovereignty. They held their territories as make the lady his wife, and adopt the vassals of the throne of Delhi; they raised children whom she had already borne to their revenues as collectors appointed by Imhoff.

the imperial commission ; their public seal We are not inclined to judge either Hast- was inscribed with the imperial titles; and ings or the baroness severely. There was their mint struck only the imperial coin. undoubtedly much to extenuate their fault. There was still a nabob of Bengal, who But we can by no means concur with the stood to the English rulers of his country in Rev. Mr. Cleig, who carries his partiality the same relation in which Augustulus stood to so injudicious an extreme, as, to describe to Odoacer, or the last Merovingians to the conduct of Imhoff — conduct the base- Charles Martel and Pepin. He lived at ness of which is the best excuse for the Moorshedabad, surrounded by princely maglovers as • wise and judicious.'

nificence. He was approached with the

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outward marks of reverence, and his name confided to him. His own stipend amountwas used in public instruments; but in the ed to near a hundred thousand pound stergovernment of the country he had less real ling a-year. The civil list of the nabobs, share than the youngest writer or cadet in amounting to more than three hundred the Company's service.

thousand pounds a-year, passed through the The English council which represented minister's hands, and was to a great extent, the Company at Calcutta, was constituted at his disposal. The collection of the reveon a very different plan from that wbich nue, the superintendence of the household has since been adopted. At present the of the prince, the administration of justice, Governor is, as to all executive measures, the maintenance of order, were left to this absolute. He can declare war, conclude high functionary; and for the exercise of peace, appoint public functionaries or re- bis immense power he was responsible' to move them, in opposition to the unanimous none but the British masters of the counsense of those who sit with him in council. try. They are, indeed, entitled to know all that is A situation so important, lucrative, and done, to discuss all that is done, to advise, splendid, was naturally an object of ambito remonstrate, to send home protests. But tion to the ablest and most powerful nait is with the governor that the supreme tives. Clive had found it difficult to depower resides, and on him that the whole cide between conflicting pretensions. Two responsibility rests. This system, which candidates stood out prominently from the was introduced by Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dun- crowd, each of them the representative of a das in spite of the strenuous opposition of race and of a religion. Mr. Burke, we conceive to be on the whole The one was Mahommed Reza Khan, a the best that was ever devised for the gov- Mussulman of Persian extraction, able, acernment of a country where no materials tive, religious after the fashion of his people, can be found for a representative constitu- and highly esteemed by them. In England, tion. In the time of Hastings the goverror he might perhaps have been regarded as a had only one vote in council, and, in case of corrupt and greedy politician. But tried an equal division, a casting vote. It there- þy the lower standard of Indian morality, fore happened not unfrequently that he was he might be considered as a man of integrioverruled on the gravest questions; and it ty and honour. was possible that he might be wholly ex- His competitor was a Hindoo Brahmin, cluded, for years together, from the real di- whose name has, by a terrible and melanrection of public affairs.

choly event, been inseparably associated The English functionaries at Fort Wil- with that of Warren Hastings — the Mahaliam had as yet paid little or no attention to rajah Nuncomar. This man had played an the internal government of Bengal. The important part in all the revolutions which, only branch of politics with which they since the time of Surajah Dowlab, had much busied themselves was negotiation taken place in Bengal. To the considerawith the native princes.' The police, the tion which in that country belongs to high administration of justice, the details of the and pure caste, he added the weight which collection of revenue, they almost entirely is derived from wealth, talents and experineglected. We may remark that the phras- ence. Of his moral character it is difficult eology of the Company's servants still bears to give a notion to those who are acquaintthe traces of this state of things. To this ed with human nature only as it appears in day they always use the word 'political as

our island.

What the Italian is to the synonymous with diplomatic.'* We could Englishman, what the Hindoo is to the Italname a gentleman still living, who was de- ian, what the Bengalee is to other Hindoos, scribed by the highest authority as an in- that was Nuncomar to other Bengalees. valuable public servant, eminently fit to be The physical organization of the Bengalee at the head of the departments of finance, is feeble even to effeminacy. He lives in a revenue, and justice, but unfortunately constant vapour bath, His pursuits are quite ignorant of all political business.. sedentary, his limbs delicate, his movements

The internal government of Bengal the languid. During many ages he has been English rulers delegated to a great native trampled upon by men of bolder and more minister, who was stationed at Moorsbed- hardy breeds. Courage, independence, abad. All military affairs, and, with the veracity, are qualities to which his constituexception of what pertains to mere ceremo- tion and his situation are equally unfavourdial, all foreign affairs, were withdrawn able. His mind bears a singular analogy to from bis control; but the other depart- his body. It is weak even to helplessness, ments of the administration were entirely for purposes of manly resistance; but its

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suppleness and its tact move the children of him a certain degree of consideration even sterner climates admiration not unmin- among the British rulers of his country. gled with contempt. All those arts which Clive was extremely unwilling to place a are the natural defence of the weak, are Mussulman at the head of the administramore familiar with this subtle race than to tion of Bengal. On the other hand, he the Ionian of the times of Juvenal, or to the could not bring himself to confer immense Jew of the dark ages. What the hords are power on a man to whom every sort of to the buffalo, what the paw is to the tiger, villany had repeatedly been brought home. wbat the sting is to the bee, what beauty, Therefore, though the nabob, over whom according to the old Greek song, is to wo- Nuncomar had by intrigue acquired great man, deceit is to the Bengalee. Large influence, begged that the artful Hindoo promises, smooth excuses, elaborate tissues might be intrusted with the government, of circumstantial falsehood, chicanery, per- Clive, after some hesitation, decided honestjury, forgery, are the weapons, offensive ly and iwisely in favour of Mabommed and defensive, of the people of the Lower Řeza Khan, who had held his high office Ganges. All those millions do not furnish seven years when Hastings became Goverone sepoy to the armies of the Company. nor. An infant son of Meer Jaffier was But as usurers, as money-changers, as sharp now nabob; and the guardianship of the legal practitioners, no class of human beings young prince's person had been confined to can bear a comparison with them. With all the minister. his softness, the Bengalee is by no means

Nuncomar, stimulated at once by cuplacable in his enmities, or prone to pity. pidity and malice, had been constantly atThe pertinacity with which he adheres to tempting to undermine his successful rival. his purposes, yields only to the immediate This was not difficult. The revenues of pressure of fear. Nor does he lack a cer- Bengal, under the administration establishtain kind of courage which is often want. ed by Clive, did not yield such a surplus as ing in his masters. To inevitable evils he had been anticipated by the company; for, is sometimes found to oppose a passive at that time, the most absurd notions were fortitude, such as the Stoics attributed entertained in England respecting, the to their ideal sage.

An European warrior wealth of India. Palaces of porphyry, who rushes on a battery of cannon with a hung with the richest. brocade, heaps of loud hurrah, will shriek under the surgeon's pearls and diamonds, vaults from which knife, and fall into an agony of despair pagodas and gold mohurs were measured at the sentence of death. But the Ben- out by the bushel, filled the imagination galee would see his country overrun, his even of men of business. Nobody seemed house laid in ashes, his children murdered to be aware of what nevertheless was most or dishonoured, without having the spirit undoubtedly the truth, that India was to strike one blow, he has yet been known much poorer country than countries which to endure torture with the firmness of Mu- in Europe are reckoned poor — than Irecius, and to mount the scaffold with the land, for example, than Portugal, or than steady step and even pulse of Algernon Sweden. It was confidently believed by Sydney.

Lords of the Treasury and Members for In Nuncomar, the national character was the City, that Bengal would not only destrongly and with exaggeration personified. fray its own charges, but would afford an The Company's servants had repeatedly increased dividend to the proprietors of detected him in the most criminal intrigues. Indian stock, and large relief to the EngOn one occasion he brought a false charge lish finances. These absurd expectations against another Hindoo, and tried to sub- were disappointed; and the directors, natstantiate it by producing forged documents. urally enough, chose to attribute the disOn another occasion it was discovered that, appointment rather to the mismanagement while professing the strongest attachment of Mahommed Reza Khan, than to their to the English, he was engaged in several 'own ignorance of the country intrusted to conspiracies against them; and in particu- their care. They were confirmed in their lar that he was the medium of a corres- error by the agents of Nuncomar; for pondence between the court of Delhi and Nuncomar had agents even in Leadenhall the French authorities in the Carnatic. Street. Soon after Hastings reached CalFor these and similar practices, he had been cutta, he received a letter addressed by the long detained in confinement. But his Court of Directors, not to the council genetalents and influence had not only pro- rally, but to himself in particular. He was cured his liberation, but had obtained for directed to remove Mahommed Reza Khan,


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to arrest him, together with all his family | under arrest. The members of the council and all his partizans, and to institute a received no intimation of these measures strict inquiry into the whole administra- till the prisoners were on their road to tion of the province. It was added, that Calcutta. the Governor would do well to avail him- The inquiry into the conduct of the miself of the assistance of Nuncomar in the nister was postponed on different pretences. investigation. The vices of Nuncomar He was detained in an easy confinement were acknowledged. But even from his during many months. In the mean time, vices, it was said, much advantage might the great revolution which Hastings had at such a conjecture be derived ; and, planned was carried into effect. The office though he could not safely be trusted, it of minister was abolished. The internal might still be proper to encourage him by administration was transferred to the serhopes of reward.

vants of the Company. A system The Governor bore no good-will to imperfect system it is true of civil and Nuncomar. Many years before, they had criminal justice, under English superinknown each other at Moorshedabad; and tendence, was established. The pabob was then a quarrel had risen between them, no longer to have even an ostensible share which all the authority of their superiors in the government; but he was still to recould hardly compose. Widely as they ceive a considerable annual allowance, and differed in most points, they resembled to be surrounded with the state of soveeach other in this, that both were men of reignty. As he was an infant, it was neunforgiving natures. To Mahommed Reza cessary to provide guardians for his person Khan, on the other hand, Hastings had no and property: His person was intrusted feelings of hostility. Nevertheless he pro- to a lady of his father's harem, known by ceeded to execute the instructions of the the name of the Munny Begum. The of Company with an alacrity which he never fice of treasurer of the household was beshowed, except when instructions were in stowed on son of Nuncomar, named perfect conformity with his own views. Goordas. Nuncomar's services were wantHe bad, wisely as we think, determined to ed, yet he could not safely be trusted with get gid of the system of double government power; and Hastings thought it a masterin Bengal. The orders of the directors stroke of policy to reward the able and unfurnished him with the means of effecting principled parent by promoting the inofhis purpose, and dispensed bim from the fensive child. necessity of discussing the matter with his The revolution completed, the double council. He took his measures with his govornment dissolved, the Company installdeual vigour and dexterity. At midnight, ed in the full sovereignty of Bengal, Hastthe palace of Mahommed' Reza Khan, at ings bad no motive to treat the late minisMoorshedabad, was surrounded by a bat- ters with rigour. Their trial had been put talion of sepoys. The minister was roused off on various pleas till the new organizafrom his slumbers, and informed that he tion was complete. They were then brought was a prisoner. With the Mussulman before a committee, over which the Govergravity, he bent his head and submitted nor presided. Schitab Roy was speedily himself to the will of God. He fell not. acquitted with honour. A formal apology alone. A chief named Schitab Roy had was made to him for the restraint to which been intrusted with the government of he had been subjected. All the Eastern Babar. His valour and his attachment to marks of respect were bestowed on him. the English had more than once been sig- He was clothed in a robe of honour, prenally proved. On that memorable day on sented with jewels and with a richly harwhich the people of Patna saw from their nessed elephant, and sent back in state to walls the whole army of the Mogul scat- Patna. But his health had suffered from tered by the little band of Captain Knox, confinement; bis high spirit bad been cruthe voice of the British conquerors assigned elly wounded; and soon after his liberation

; the palm of gallantry to the brave Asiatic. he died of a broken heart. I never,' said Knox, when he introduced The innocence of Mahommed Reza Khan Scbitab Roy, covered with blood and dust, was not so clearly established. But the to the English functionaries assembled in Governor was not disposed to deal harshly. the factory – I never saw a native fight so After a long hearing, in which Nuncomar before.' Schitab Roy was involved in the appeared as the accuser, and displayed both ruin of Mahommed Reza Khan, was de- the art and the inveterate rancour which prived of his government, and was placed distinguished him, Hastings pronounced

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