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rity (Mr. Francis being absent, though summoned) resolved, that General Clavering, by his acts, had vacated his seat, as senior councillor, and his post as commander-in-chief. The judges were now appealed to by the other party, and were of opinion that the Board had no legal power to declare a vacancy, and advised a compromise; in accordance with which suggestion, the Board receded from the execution of its resolution, and referred the matter home.
Upon the subject of the resignation, Mr. Hastings, although he expresses his conviction that Col. MacLeane acted from the most generous motives and from a conviction that the measure was a right one, considers that he exceeded his instructions; he declares that it was contrary to all the letters he had written to him and to his other friends, as well as to the Court, which all "vowed that he would not resign," and he says he cannot conceive "how the Court of Directors, possessed of a solemn declaration from me, that if I lived, I would persevere to the end,' should think themselves authorized to receive my voluntary resignation from the doubtful hands of an agent." Still, he declares that he would have carried the measure into execution if he had been permitted, the time of his resignation being left to his own choice. This resolution he avows in an admirable letter to Lord North, describing the occurrences" during a convulsion of four days, which might have shaken the very foundation of the national power and interests in India."
The hostility of Clavering and Francis continued as violent as ever, till the month of November, when the former died: mortification at finding himself foiled, inflaming his irritable temper, having probably accelerated The arrival of Mr. Wheler, however, who took part with Francis, kept alive the embers of discord in the Council, in spite of attempts on the part of Mr. Hastings at conciliation. It would appear from a letter of the latter, that Francis had the meanness to send secret letters to native princes, besides "inventing and circulating false rumours," and openly "exciting opposition to Government." These proceedings did not withdraw the attention of the Governor-General from matters of national concern, particularly in respect to the Mahratta states, then the scene of French intrigue, of which he had ample knowledge. Into the details of these transactions, however, we cannot enter; but it is worth noticing, that a detachment of troops, on the march towards the Mahratta territories, was attacked by a disease which, according to Mr. Hastings' description, in a letter to Major Scott, dated 28th April, 1781, was evidently the spasmodic cholera morbus, sometimes supposed to be a new disease :—
What follows is too horrid to detail; a contagious distemper seized the detachment at Gunjam, and threatened to annihilate it. It exactly resembled the disorder called mordeche, or mordecheen; in Europe, cholera morbus; but seems to be a species of the plague, and to have been caused by exhalations from the rains, which have fallen almost incessantly, and with great violence, during two months. It has travelled since to Calcutta, where it made an alarining havoc for about ten days. By a report, which I ordered to be made
to me, of the number and names of inhabitants who perished by the distempe between the 11th and 21st of this month, there appeared to have died in al 879, multiplied by reports into many thousands. The weather has cleared and the mortality abated.
At length, on the retirement of Mr. Barwell from the Council, a reconciliation was brought about between Mr. Hastings and Mr. Francis, who, on certain conditions, graciously condescended "not to oppose any measures which the Governor-General should recommend for the prosecution of the war with the Mahrattas, or for the general support of the present political system of his government." This "breathing space" was the more needful to Hastings, since a collision was approaching between the Government and the Supreme Court, which, in its irregular appetite for jurisdietion, was plunging every thing into anarchy, citing even the GovernorGeneral and his Council to answer as individuals for acts done in their public capacity. From this dilemma Mr. Hastings (as is well known) extricated himself with more dexterity than prudence, by nominating Sir Elijah Impey to the head of the Sudder Dewanny Adawlut.
This arrangement had not long been effected, when Mr. Francis seceded from his engagement, and interfered directly in the measures pursued toIwards the Mahrattas. A personal quarrel was the consequence, and this led to the unseemly spectacle of the Governor-General and one of his Council fighting a duel, in which Mr. Francis was wounded. Shortly after, this gentleman quitted India.
The relief which his absence gave to his antagonist was dearly purchased by the opportunity it afforded him of working mischief at home. He entered immediately into close communication with Mr. Burke, whose mind he thoroughly embued with his own sentiments, to such a degree, that "he threatened to resign office unless the strength of the cabinet were put forth against his enemy." Lord Rockingham and Lord Shelburne, who succeeded Lord North, gave way to Mr. Burke's impetuosity and perseverance; Mr. Fox and Mr. Dundas abetted his attacks, and thus was formed a nucleus of opposition to Mr. Hastings, which his personal friends were unable to break up, partaking, as that opposition did, of personal motives and individual hatred.
It would too much extend our review of this work-and it has already transgressed the limits originally assigned to it-to trace the public measures of Mr. Hastings, which are the topics of his very curious correspondence. The manner in which they were viewed by his superiors at home gave him pain; but he was told by all his friends to persevere in spite of the sentiments of the majority of the Directors, since the Proprietors, who were not influenced by secret and party motives, supported him. On the other hand, he became embroiled with the Madras Government, and he felt generally that the conduct pursued by the home authorities deprived him of the necessary degree of influence abroad. In a powerful and wellreasoned letter to the Court, dated 29th March, 1783, he shows the injustice of their censures, and concludes with signifying his wish to be
relieved from the duties of an office in which he had ceased to enjoy their confidence. This offer was a great boon to the coalition ministry, which was intent upon seizing the Indian patronage; the celebrated India Bill followed, and the effect of its introduction was the ruin of the administraation. Lord Mansfield said that "it was Mr. Hastings who had turned out the Ministry." It was, perhaps, a consciousness of this that sharpened their resentment against him; on the other hand, the same circumstance enlarged the circle of his friends and supporters. The Court of Directors relinquished their hostility, and the new Ministry gave him the warmest encouragement. These strange vicissitudes in the fortunes of Mr. Hastings remind us of those experienced in another field by the Great Frederick of Prussia, who, like Hastings, never suffered ill success to depress his energies or subdue his courage. The new India Bill, and the appointment of a Board of Control, placed the affairs of India upon a different footing, but Mr. Pitt seems to have been, from some cause, imbued with the suspicion that Mr. Hastings had committed great errors in his government. He resigned his post on the 1st February, 1785.
From this period Mr. Hastings, by his own choice, retired into the shade of private life, doubly grateful to one who had, for upwards of thirty years, been exposed to the trials of a public career which severely taxed both mind and body; until, in the Parliament which met in 1786, commenced that virulent persecution, which did its utmost to embitter the remaining period of his existence. Over this scene in the history of Warren Hastings his present biographer has passed rapidly and superficially, filling up the chasm with details of domestic life, and incidents of general political interest, related in Hastings' own words, or upon his authority. He had the satisfaction of outliving the calumnies which had vainly expended their venom upon his character; age was rendered honourable by the general testimony in favour of his talents and his virtues, and the descent to the grave was cheered by all the solaces that affection and friendship can afford the good man. He expired on the 22nd August, 1818, at the age of 86; the immediate cause of his death being internal inflammation, the effect of cold and fever. He was created a privy councillor by the Prince Regent; the refusal of hereditary honours need not be lamented; he left no child to whom they might be transmitted, and it is better that he should be known to posterity and to history by the simple name of "WARREN Hastings."
We have already expressed our opinion of Mr. Gleig's merits in the preparation of this work, which does but little credit to his talents. We pronounce a sentence from which few judicious readers will dissent, in saying that it is negligently and perfunctorily executed. Nevertheless, it is a work which will never want readers; it casts a broad and steady light upon some of the most important transactions of Anglo-Indian history, and upon the biography of a man of extraordinary talents, placed in a position of vast difficulties, maintaining a long struggle with them at the utmost disadvantage, and finally emerging with triumph by his own unaided energies.
Beauteous spirit, teach us where
Thy face lights up the flow'ry ground;
Thy smiles of heavenly bloom are found,
We seek thy bright'ning steps in vain.
That wonder of the forest shade,
By eager childish feet out-run;
Now, gilding hoary brows of age;
Now, stooping over Wisdom's page.
Our thoughts, like birds with broken wing,
When cloud and tempest round us close;
Just when our spirit faints and dies;—
And though Time's ploughshare, rudely driven,
Seeds, sown by Fancy's finger, fall;
O heavenly Wisdom,† thou alone,
Within thy beauteous robe dost bear.‡
"It is reported that, in the night, there is a sort of creature seen here, which casts a mighty light from its head, and many are of opinion that the light is caused by a carbuncle; but as yet, this creature could never be taken or killed, because it suddenly baffles all the designs of men, leaving them in the dark by clouding that light."-Southey, in the Omniana, quoting History of Paraguay, by T. N. del Techo,
† Wisdom, though richer than Peruvian mines,
It is unnecessary to explain this allusion to classical fable.
THE SATTARA QUESTION.
If we were to measure the interest which the question respecting the deposition of the late Rajah of Sattara excites in this country by the extent of the discussion which it has provoked in the Court of Proprietors of East India Stock, it might be supposed to divide the attention of the British public with the subjects of the corn laws and the sugar duties. It is to be feared, however, that East Indian topics have not yet attained so general a notoriety, and that the Sattara Papers, in particular, are not likely to captivate many voluntary students. If to the general tediousness of state payers, printed in folio blue books, are superadded the dryness of details of astern politics, which it is difficult to understand, and the harshness of the 1. dian terminology, there is enough to furnish a very fair excuse for the unwillingness of persons who take an interest in public questions to exchange those which seem to be immediately associated with their home intere ts, and the merits of which can be seen at a glance, for matters of rem te connection with those interests, and which require previous study Lefore they are intelligible.
When the East India Company was a trading body, and when their political authority was less confined than at present, the opinions of Courts of Proprietors of East India Stock,-albeit never so constituted as to form a good deliberate body in matters of government, were entitled to some weight, and did exercise some influence. At present, when all political power is taken away even from the Court of Directors, and virtually placed in the President of the Board of Control; when the Proprietors of East India Stock have no means of originating or of impeding measures of government in India, the discussion of such measures can be of little use, unless the courts were composed of men of great local knowledge or political wisdom and experience. The consideration just adverted to, namely, the impotence of the proprietors of stock, we fear, keeps many such individuals aloof from general courts. Nor is it a slight disadvantage attending these gratuitous discussions, that any individuals may, if they please, by the mere purchase of a certain quantity of stock, qualify themselves, on the moment, to speak at any length upon any question of which, in all its nice and essential points, they are ignorant. The constitution of these courts, moreover, imposes but little restraint upon the agitation of questions, the very mooting of which, unless with great prudence and abstinence, may occasion incalculable mischief.
These remarks are not meant to have a specific application to the long and wearisome discussion upon the Sattara question; at the same time, we are of opinion that the agitation of this question will do more harm than good.
After a careful consideration of the documents and of the reasoning upon them, we have been reluctantly constrained to the conclusion that the decision of the Indian authorities is right, and that the rajah has deserved the fate which has befallen him. We were formerly of a different opinion, Asiat. Journ.N.S. VOL. 35. No. 140. 2 E