Page images
PDF
EPUB

when about one lack of rupees rity, and to lessen his faith in the had with great difficulty been ob- Englith, so likewise, that they did tained from him, he wrote a letter not serve equally to weaken his himself to the governor general, attachment, and to loosen his fidefoliciting forbearance with re- lity to the company. It was naspect to the remainder until the tural, that he should look for new following year, when he promised friends and connections; and that to pay it along with the ftipulated he thould endeavour to provide revenue,

some resource against the days of While a subsidy of about fixty trouble and danger. Nothing thousand pounds a year was ex- could be more favourable to the torted with so much difficulty, it encouragement and confirmation was not well to be supposed, that of such a disposition, than the gea demand made upon the Rajah to neral state of India. The disaffurnish 2,000 cavalry for the ser- fection to the English was unfor: vice of the war, would have been tunately general throughout all attended with much effect; at that vast continent; they were in Jeaft, without its being enforced every settlement, and on every side, by some extraordinary degree of engaged in the most dangerous exertion. By Mr. Hastings's state wars; and while the succefles of of the transaction, which differs Hyder Ally seemed to render their considerably from that given by very esilience in the Carnatic the Rajah, he baffled the demand more than precarious, they no less by delay and evasion ; he said that diminished the reputation and the body of horlewhich he had dread of their arms. already on foot was fully employed The countries immediately bore in, and absolutely neceffary to dering on, or surrounding the Rathe collection of his revenues, jah's territories, were in a state of without which he could not fulfil the most marked disaffection to the his tiipulations with the company, company, and such of them as were and that he was utterly unequal under its government, scarcely to the expence of raising a new restrained their violence, until a corps. It is farther said, that the proper opportunity should offer for demand was lefsened to a thousand; thaking off its yoke. The comthat he at length promised to pany's administration of the affairs Supply 250 ; but that neither man of Oude, in concert with his weak or horse was ever sent. It is to successor, ever since the death of be observed, that the Rajah's horse Sujah U1 Dowlah, had spread had done good and acknowledged desolation, tumult and disorder service in a former war. So dif- through those extensive dominions. ferent are the fruits procured by All these things, together with violence, from those which are the the general alliance and confedespon aneous produce of good-will racy which was known to be in and affe&ion.

contemplation for chacing theni It will scarcely be imaginéd, entirely out of India, served to that as these unexpected demands render their affairs apparently def. served successively to weaken the perate. Rajah's opinion of his own secu- In these circumstances it is not

much

much to be doubted, that some in all its parts went so far beyond of the charges laid against the the revenues of the state, that the Rajah Cheit Sing, might be well looking out for new sources of founded. That be perbaps en. supply was become a master of tered into negociations with the great urgency. In such circum. Dative princes in the adjoining itances, the lupposed wealth and countries, tur mutual support, and real weakners of the Rajah, pointed for acting on fome plan of general him out as the immediate and concert, in the defence of their proper object for supplying the respective rights: and that he might public neceflities. have corresponded with the dif. Such was the situation of the contented Beguins of Oude, or. Rajah, and the state of affairs in caballed with the disaffected Ra. the country of Benares, before and jahs, in the neighbouring Englith about the time that the governor governments.

general set out on his progress The governor general states, from Calcutta, upon the 7th of ibat various accounts had been July 1781. He bad, in that prorepeatedly transmitted to Calcutta, gress, other objects besides Beas well by the Englith residents nares in view,

Order was, if at Benares, as by several of the poslible, to be restored in the docompany's officers, from different minions of the Nabob vizier, and parts of that country, of the fre. money, at all events, to be there qnent and strong marks of dif. procured. A separate peace with affection that were thewn by the Madajee Scindia was then likeRajab bimself; but which were wile in agitation, through the in. displayed in a ftill higher degree tervention of Colonel Muir; and by his officers, and by the people the governor general hoped that in general. These charges, in. his approach to the scene of ne. deed, so far as they are thewn, gociation, might afford means for are laid in very loose and general bringing it the more speedily to a terms; without any specification conclufion. This was indeed au of faits, dates, names, or circum. object of the first importance. stances. It is not less remarkable, With respect to Benares, the that they are not included in the governor general states in his nar. written complaints of his conduct, rative of these transactions, that the which the governor general sent disappointment of aid from the to the Rajah himself upon the Rajah, though in a season of such spot.

extreme public distress and danger, But however just the charges of was Itill less a matter of confider. contumacy and disaffe&ion laid ation with him, than that those against the Rajab might have been, repeated acts of contumacy and and bowever necesary, perhaps, dilobedience of which he had in some degree their correction, been guilty, appeared evidences it is fully evident, that the enor. of a deliberate and systematic cou. mous expences of the war had so dua, aiming at the total subverdrained the treasury of Bengal, fion of the company's authority, and the means of ftill feeding it and the erection of his own inde

pendency

A

pendency on its ruins; a design, dominions of Oude, and all the he says, which had been long and western side of India; that it was generally imputed to him. He equally the passage and the resitarther observes, that it was re- dence of their merchants and tradported he bad inherited a vast ers; and that it was at all times mass of wealth from his father open to the free observation and Bulwant Sing, which he had fe- inspection of their officers whether cured in the two strong fortreiles civil or military. of Lutterfpoor and Bidjeygur ; Another offence was indeed and that he made yearly additions charged on the kajah, which perto it; that he kept up a large laps bad its weight. That he had, military establishment, ' both of by his agents and emiffaries at Cal. cavalry, of disciplined and irre- cutia, taken an active and decided gular infantry, and of artillery; part against the governor general, that besides the two already nam- in those coutefis which had for ed, he had many other fortrelies, some years back prevailed between of strong construction and in good him and other members of the repair, constantly well itored and council. To that continued opgarrisoned ; that he maintained a position which he met with in correspondence with the Marrattas, Calcutta, to the disapprobation of and other powers, who either were his conduc industrioully publish. or might eventually become ene. ed by the parties formed againft mies to the company; and, that lim in England, and to the con, he was collecting, or had pre- ftant expectation from thence en. pared, every provision for open' tertained in India of his speedy revolt, waiting only for a proper degradation, the governor general season to declare it, which was aitributes all the inisconduct, mil. supposed to depend, either on the deeds, and crimes of the Rajah of arrival of a French armament, or Benares. on a Maratta invasion.

In the progress of his narrative, It will appear not a little 'ex- the governor general by degrees traordinary, that several of these opens and avows the motives and 'maiters, particularly whatever re- objects of his expedition, with rė. lates to the Rajah's military efta- spect to that prince. He says, blishment and preparations, the that he considered Cheit Sing as state of his garrisons, and the in- culpable, in a very high degree, ternal condition or appearance of towards the fate, and his punith. things, thould be founded on ment, (of which, hé lays, he had better authority than mere report, given bim frequent warnings if when it is considered,' that the he did not amend his conduct) as strong fortress of Chunar, in the an example which justice and pocentre of his dominions, and within licy required. That, he was rean easy march of his capital, had folved to draw frons his guilt the for many years been garrisoned by means of relief to the company's the English ; that his country was diftreffes, and to exact a penalty, the highway and thoroughfare to which he was convinced he was the company's troops, in their very well able to bear, from frequent paflage to and from the fund, which he was also convinc.

ed, dered

no

ed, he had destined for purposes cated and agreed upon, that the of the most dangerous tendency to Rajah's offences requiring early puthe company's dominion. In a nishment, his wealth being great, word, that he had determined to and the company's exigencies preil. make bim pay largely for his par- ing, it was a measure of policy and don, or to exact a levere venge- justice to exact from him a large ance for his parti delinquency:- pecuniary mulet for their relief, the He seems, however, app ebenfive frit having declared his resolution in leveral instances, that the trant to extend ihe fine to the amount of actions of which he gives the detail, 40 or 50 lacks. would be subject to much difcuf

The governor

general's profion, if not centure, at home; and gress up the Ganges laited near is one, he seems to think it necef- fix weeks before his arrival at sary to appealtw his motives, at least Benares. Whether it proceeded in a certain degree, as a jutlitica- from a fente of patt, a conscioustion of his conduct.-He says, “ I ness of intended criminality, or a " will suppose for a moment that I full knowledge of the dangers with "bave erred,—that I have aded which such progreises were ge" with an unwarrantable rigour nerally pregnant, and a conviction

towards Cheit Sing, and even that these were now much aug" with injuttice ; let my notivemented, under the peculiar pref“ be consulted : I lett Calcutta sure of the times; from whatever "impreiled with a belief that ex cause it proceeded, it appears evi“traordinary means were necef- dently that the Rajab was exceed“sary, and those exerted with a ingly alarmed at this journey, and

strong hand, to preserve the that his, mind fee:red already to "company's interetès trom finking forebode Tome part of the ensuing “ under the accumulated weight calamities. Indeed, exclusive of “ which oppreted them. I law all other caules of apprehension, “ a political neceility for curbing the favourable reception and en"the overgrown power of a great tertainment which Ouffaun Sing, “member of their dominion, and a profligate relation of bis, had for “ for making it contribute to the fome ume received at Calcutta, “relief of their preiling, exigen- and the fingular circumftance of his « cies.-If I erred, my error was now atiending the governor gene“prompted by an excels of zeal ral in bis train, and coming under “ for their intereits operating with that protection, would ir them. “too Itrong a bias upon my judg- felves have afforded no small room “ment."

for alarm. It appears from a conference It appears from the Rajah's mabetween the governor general and nifesto, and other teitimonies, Mr. Wheler, (which is fiated in which do not seem to be any the narrative, they being, as we where contradicted, that this man, apprehend, the only members of who had once been dewan, or mithe council then in Bengal) on nitter, having lost his office through the eve of the expedition, that it the effects of misconduct, or court was then confidentially communi- intrigue, and afterwards íquan

66

dered his substance in a course of armed men, were yet collected in a vice and profligacy, he was at body. length banished the country for The governor general informs his crimes, That being in that us, that he received the Rajah ftate joined by several whose con- with civility, and without any dition, characters, and desperate expresion of displeasure, at Puxfortunes corresponded with his ar. That he received a second viown, they drew together a num- fit from him in his boat, upon ber of those rovers of all nations, their passage up the river, on the with whom India, more than any following morning; when a priother part of the world, abounds, vate conterence was requested and so that he was at length enabled granted. He does not at all to invade, and to excite some fort atsume being correct in his reof rebellion in the country of Be- collection of the particulars which nares; and tecame so formidable, palled in this private conversathat it was only by the aid of the tion; for considering it, he says, Englith, whose forces were called as accidental, and as making no in for the purpose, that, after part of the plan which be bad doing infinite mischief, he was concerted in his own mind for defeated and driven out. Such his conduct with the Rajah, he did was the man, who now came in not think it of sufficient consethe suite of the governor general, quence to make any written mito revisit the city and country of nutes. Benares.

From his recollection, however, Upon the governor general's of the substance of this confearrival at Buxar, on the borders rence, it appears that the Rajah of Benares, he was met by the expressed much concern for his Rajah, who brought with him a citpleasure, and contrition for great train of the principal people having himself given any occafion of his country

Mr. Hastings re- for it; declaring at the same marks, with disapprobation, that time, and in the most humilihe had brought with him a great ating terms, that the zemindary fleet of boats; that he had af- and every thing he poffeffed were terwards been informed they were at bis devotion; that he expressed crowded with chosen armed men, great fears about Oussaun Sing; to the amount of two thousand; and that, upon that occasion, and that this circumstance was a whether it proceeded from an matter of much observation and extraordinary agitation of mind, notice with some of the gentlemen or from a de fire to impress a strong of his train. It is not improba- opinion of his fincerity, he acble that this matter was much companied bis words with the misrepresented to him. It is now singular aâion of laying his turevident that no design had been ban in Mr. Hastings's lap.-The formed against his person; nor governor general, in answer, discan it be drawn or supposed from claimed the idea of his descending the subsequent circumitances, that to become a party in the Rajah's any such number of chofen, or of family disagreements; but avowed

his

« PreviousContinue »