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On the fourth of April, thought proper to vote a different April 4th. Mr. Burke, in his place, mode of proceeding, and to direct charged Warren Hastings, efq; the that the charges thould be first late governor general of Bengal, made ; and that he should then with fundry high crimes and mis- proceed to fubftantiate them by demeanors, and delivered at the evidence. Hence he had been una table the nine first articles of his der the necessity of new arranging charge, and the rest in the course his plan, and of making his charges of the following week, amounting as comprehensive as possible, takin all to 22 in number. On the ing in and stating every thing with 26th Mr. Hastings requested by which private information could petition to the house to be per: furnish him. In their present form mitted to be heard in his defence they were to be considered merely to the several articles, and that he as a general collection of accusamight be allowed a copy of the tory facts, intermixed with a va. same * Mr. Burke declared his riety of collateral matter, both of wish that every reasonable degree fact and reasoning necessary for of indulgence should be thewn to their elucidation ; and the comMr. Hastings : he should therefore mittee to which they were to be readily conient to his being heard referred would neceffarily find ocin his defence, though he did not cafion to alter them materially. think it quite agreeable to the re For this reason also he thought it gularity of their proceeding, that would be highly improper to give he should be heard in the present a copy of them, in the present stage stage of it. With respect to a copy of the business, to Mr. Hastings. of the charges, he believed there These reasons, however, being was no precedent of such an indul. overruled by the majority, and a gence being granted. It was well copy ordered to be granted to Mr. known that it was his original in- Haltings, Mr. Burke moved, that tention to have gone through the the house should resolve itself into whole of his evidence before he de. a committee to examine the witlivered in his articles, and to let nesses that had been ordered to atthe charge grow out of the evidence; tend. This was also objected to by but the house, in its wisdom, had the other side of the house, on this
* To the Honourable the Commons of Great Britain,
in Parliament allembled. The humble Petition of WARREN HASTINGS, late Governor General of Bengal.
Sheweth, THAT your petitioner observes by the votes of the 4th and 12th days of April inftani, that Mr. Burke in his place charged Warren Hastings, late governor genual of Bengal, with fundry high crimes and misdemeanors; and pretented to che honde several articles of charge of high crimes and mildemeanors against the faid Warren Haitings.
Your p titioner therefore humbly prays that he may be heard in his defence to the several articles; and that he may be allowed a copy of the same. And your petitioner, as in duty bound, thall ever pray.
ground, that as they bad agreed to in going through the several parts hear the defence of Mr. Hastings, of his defence ; and it was afterthey ought to wait till that had wards, at the request of Mr. Harbeen gone through, since he might. tings, ordered to be laid upon the possibly be able to offer such matter table of the house, and printed for in exculpation of himself as would the use of the members. induce the house entirely to stop all As two articles only of the charge further proceeding.
were decided upon in this session of ment was strongly Tupported by the parliament, we shall, for the fake master of the rolls and the attor- of giving our readers a connected ney general, and ably opposed by view of the whole subject together, Mr. Hardinge, solicitor general to defer entering at present into the the queen, and Mr. Anftruther. subject matcer of the charges exhi
The decision of the house, by a bited, the proofs by which they majority of 140 to 80 against the were supported, or the allegations proposition of Mr. Burke, was con- urged by Mr. Hastings in his desidered as a moft favourable prog- fence, and content ourselves with a noftic by the friends of Mr. Hal- narrative of the proceedings of the tings; and they spoke with the ut house of commons. molt confidence of a speedy con In our next volume we shall enclusion of the whole business in his deavour to give as concise and comfavour.
prehensive an abstract of the whole On the 1st of May, May 1st.
business, as its immense extent and Mr. Hastings being
complicated variety will admit. called to the bar, addressed the house We shall therefore only observe, in a short speech ; in which he with respect to the defence of Mr. Aated, that he considered his being Hastings, that it does not appear allowed to be heard in that stage of have produced an effect answerathe business as a very great indul- ble to the sanguine expectation of gence, for which he begged leave his friends, or to the views of those to make his most grateful acknow- who might wish to have taken a ledgments to the house ; and as his plausible opportunity of qualing wish was to deliver what he had to the whole proceeding, by a short fay in answer to the charges that question upon the general merits of had been presented against him by an the person accused. honourable member, with a greater In the mean time, the house, in share of accuracy and correctness a committee, proceeded in the exathan he could pretend to in a speech mination of witnéffes in proof of from memory, he had committed
the charges ; and on the his sentiments to writing, and hoped June ift, first of June' Mr. Burke to be permitted to read them. This brought forward the Rohilla charge, request being granted, Mr. Haf- and moved the following resolution tings proceeded to read his de- thereupon:-“ That the committee, fence, in which he was assisted by heaving considered the said article, Mr. Markham, a son of the arch- and examined evidence on the same, bishop of York, and the clerks of are of opinion that there are grounds the house. Three days were spent fufficient to charge Warren Haf.
tings with high crimes and mif- the most minute and cautious attendemeanors upon the matter of the tion : and, least of all, could it be faid article."
said, with any colour of truth, that Mr. Burke introduced his motion he had been actuated by paflion. with a folemn invocation of the juf- Anger indeed he had felt, but suretice of the house, which he said was ly not a blameable anger; for who particularly due, as well to the peo- ever heard of an enquiring anger, a ple of Great Britain, because the digesting anger, a collating anger, national credit and character were an examining anger, or a selecting deeply involved, and implicated in anger ? The anger he had felt was, the issue of the business about to be an uniform, steady, public anger, brought before them, as for the sake but never a private anger ; that of their own honour and dignity. anger which five years ago warmed He described with great force the na- his breast, he felt precisely the same ture of the question to be decided; de. and unimpaired at that moment. claring emphatically, that it was an Not all the various occurrences of appeal from British power to British the latt five years, neither five justice. The charge, he said, muit changes of administration, nor the either condemn the accuser or the retirement of the summer, nor the accused : there was no medium. The occupation of winter, neither his result must be, that Warren Hait- public nor his private avocations, ings, esq; had been guilty of grofs, nor the snow, which in that period enormous, and Aagitious crimes; or, had fo plentifully showered on his that he was a base, calumniatory, head, had been able to cool that wicked, and malicious accuser. He anger, which he acknowledged to enlarged upon the degree of guilt feel as a public man, but which, as ascribable to that man who should a private individual, he had never dare presume to take up the time of felt for one moment. the house by rafhly coming forward, He observed, that the vote they and urging groundless and ill-found were to give that day was not mereed charges against a person who had ly on the case of Mr. Hastings ; been intrusted with high and exalt- they were to vote a set of maxims ed offices in the government of a and principles, to be the guide of part of our territories, much larger all future governors in India. The and more extensive than the whole code of political principles which island of Great Britain. There they should that day establish as the were, he observed, but three sources principles of British government in of false accusation, viz, ignorance, its distant provinces, would stand reinadvertency, or passion; by none of corded as a proof of their wisdom these three had he been actuated: and justice, or of their disposition to ignorance he could not plead, be- tyranny and oppreffion. He entercause he knew the subject as fully as ed at large into those peculiar cirthe labour and study of fix years cumstances in the connection becould make him know it : inad- tween this country and India, which vertency as little could he be charg- rendered the retribution of justice, ed with, because he had delibe- in cases of cruelty and oppression, rately proceeded, and examined eye- extremely difficult, and contrasted ry step he took in the business with them with the situation of the pro
vinces conquered by the Romans. fince it was not in human nature, The Roman empire was an empire situated as Mr. Hastings had been, of continuity, each province being to preserve so pure, even-handed, either immediately or nearly accel- and unimpeachable a conduct, as to fible by land; they had likewise one afford no room for a single accusageneral tongue to speak with, so tion to be stated against him. that each man was able to tell his After this exordium, Mr. Burke tale in his own way. They had stated at large the subject matter of another advantage, which arose from the charge, and concluded a long the very circumstance of their being and eloquent speech, with desiring conquered, and it was that the prin- the clerk to read the resolution of cipal persons who accomplished the May 1782, to clear himlelf from conqueit always acquired a pro- the imputation of having rafhly and perty and influence in each new pro- fingly meddled with the lubject; and vince by thein subdued, and of to thew that the house had, in very course the vanquished found patrons strong terms, already reprobated and protectors in the persons of their Mr. Hastings's conduct in the Roconquerors. Each province was also hilla war. The motion was supconsidered as a body corporate, and ported by Mr. Wilbraham, Mr. confequently each province was en Powis, Mr. Montague, Lord North, abled to send their grievance to Mr. M. A. Taylor, Mr. Wyndham, Rome collectively, and to state them and Mr. Hardinge; and opposed by as speaking with one mouth. He Mr. Nicholls, Lord Mornington,Mr. next adverted to the situation of an H. Browne, and Lord Mulgrave. accuser in Rome, and to the advan- At half past three o'clock the detages that attended him in profe- bate was adjourned, and renewed cuting his charges against a state the day following by Mr. Francis, delinquent, who was stripped of his Mr. Anttruther, and Mr. Fox, on power, and even of his rights as a the one side; and Mr. W. Grenville, citizen, pending the prosecution, Mr. J. Scott, Mr. Burton, Mr. Wilthe better to enable his accuser to berforce, and Mr. Dundas, on the make out and establish his accusa. other. At half past seven the comtion. He drew a distinction between mittee divided, when there appearthis facility of coming at a Romaned for the motion 67, against it governor, charged with high crimes 119. and misdemeanors, and the extreme
On the 13th of June,
13th June. Mr. Fox brought fordifficulty of fubftantiating an accusation against a British governar. ward the charge respecting the Raa When it was considered that Mr. jah of Benares. Nearly the same Hastings had been for fourteen years persons took a part in this debate at the head of the government in as in the former, and it was carried India, and that no one coinplaint by a majority of 119 to 79, “ that during that time had been tranf- there was matter of impeachment mitted to England again ft him, the against Warren Hastings contained house must be convinced of the enor- in the said charge.” The chanmous degree of power he had to cellor of the exchequer concurred contend with, to which alone could in this vote, but upon very narrow be ascribed the filence in question, ground. He thought that the de.
[!] 4 mands
mands made upon the Raja went be- in chief of the forces : and thirdly, yond the exigence of the cale, and by authoriziag him to decide upon that Mr. Haltings had pushed the every measure, whether his council exercise of the arbitrary discretion agreed with him or not. Leave entreted to him beyond the necef- being given to bring in the bill, fity of the service. The conduct of Mr. Francis moved, “ that ic be the minister on this occasion drew an instruction to the gentlemen apupon him much indecent calumny pointed to prepare and bring in a from the friends of Mr. Hastings; bill to explain and amend an act, they did not hesitate to accuse him paffed in the 24th year of his maout of doors, both publicly and pri- jeity's reign, intituled, An act, &c.' vately, of treachery. They declared that in preparing the same they do it was in the full confidence of his never loie sight of the effect, which protection and support, that they any measure to be adopted for the had urged on Mr. Burke to bring good government of our poffeßions forward his charges ; and that the in India may have on our own gentleman accused had been per- constitution, and our dearest in. suaded to come to their bar, with an terests at home; and particularly, haliy and premature defence : and that in amending the laid act they they did not scruple to attribute do take care that no part thereof this conduct in the minister to mo shall be confirmed or re-enacied, tives of the baseft jealouiy.
by which the unalienable birthright During the course of the proceed- of every British subject to a trial by ings of the house of commons on jury, as declared in magna charta, the impeachment of Mr. Hastings, thall be taken away or impaired.” another subject, relative to the ad- This inotion was rejected without ministration of the company's affairs debate, by a majority of 85 to 16. in India, underwent a warm dif On the 22d of arch the bill cussion in both houses of parliament; was committed, when the clauses this was a bill brought in by Mr. conferring so extraordinary a deDundas, for amending Mr. Pitt's gree of power on the governor geact, passed in the year 1784, for neral were oppołed with a torrent regulating the government of the of eloquencs by Mr. Burke. He East ndia company, Previous to proteited in the strongest terms the first mention of the tubject by against the principle of a bill which Mr. Dundas, Mr. Francis had moved was, he said, to introduce an arfor leave to bring in a bill with the bitrary and despotic government in fame title, but much more extensive India, on the false pretence of its in its objects. Grun this motion tending greatly to the strength and the previous question was put, and security of the British possessions carried without a division. The there, and giving energy, vigour, principal object of Mr. Dundas's and dispatch to the measures and bill was to enla ge the powers of proceedings of the executive gothe
Severner general; first, by vett. vernment. He reprobated the whole ing in him the nomination to the of this idea, contending that an ar. vacant feats in the council : se- bitrary and despotic government was condly, by waiting he offices of always fure to produce the reverse governos general and commander of energy, vigour, and dispatch ;