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aumils to the jaghire of the lady mother, I have engaged to pay her cash. She has complied with my views. Her pleasure is, that, after receiving an engagement, he should deliver up the jaghires. What is your pleasure in this matter 2 If you command, it will comfort the lady mother giving her back the jaghire after I have obtained my views; or I will have it under my aumil. I am obedient to your pleasure.”
Your Lordships here see the Begum a suppliant to have her jaghire restored, (after entering into some engagement that might have been required of her,) and the Nabob, in a tone equally suppliant, expressing his consent, at least, that her request should be complied with, if the command of Mr. Hastings could be procured.
My Lords, in order to save your Lordships’ time, and that I might not overload this business, I did not intend to have troubled you with any observations upon this part of it; but the charge of falsehood which the prisoner at your bar has had the audacity to bring against us has induced me to lay it more particularly before you. We have now done with it; but before we retire, your Lordships will permit me to recapitulate briefly the substance of what has now been urged respecting his conduct towards these miserable women. We accuse him of reiterated breaches of the orders of the Court of Directors, both in the letter and spirit of them, and of his contempt of the opinions which his colleagues in office had formed of them. We charge him with the aggravation of these delinquencies, by the oppression and ruin which they brought upon the family of the Nabob, by the infraction of treaties, and by the disrepute which in his person was sustained by the government he represented, and by the stain left upon the justice, honor, and good faith of the English nation. We charge him with their farther aggrava tion by sundry false pretences alleged by him in justification of this conduct, the pretended reluctance of the Nabob, the fear of offending him, the sugges. tion of the Begums having forgotten and forgiven the wrongs they had suffered, and of the danger of reviving their discontent by any attempt to redress them, and by his insolent language, that the majesty of justice with which he impudently invests himself was only to be approached with solicitation. We have farther stated, that the pretence that he was only concerned in this business as an accessary is equally false; it being, on the contrary, notorious, that the Nabob was the accessary, forced into the service, and a mere instrument in his hands, and that he and Sir Elijah Impey (whose employment in this business we stated as a farther aggravation) were the authors and principal agents. And we farther contend, that each of these aggravations and pretences is itself, in fact and in its principle, a substantive crime. Your Lordships witnessed the insolence with which this man, stung to the quick by the recital of his crime, interrupted me ; and you heard his recrimination of falsehood against us. We again avouch the truth of all and every word we have uttered, and the validity of every proof with which we have supported them. Let his impatience, I say, now again burst forth, –he who feels so sensibly everything that touches him, and yet seeks for an act of indemnity for his own atrocities, by endeavoring to make you believe that the wrongs of a desolated family are within one year forgotten by them, and buried in oblivion. I trust, my Lords, that both his prosecutors and his judges will evince that patience which the criminal wants. Justice is not to wait to have its majesty approached with solicitation. We see that throne in which resides invisibly, but virtually, the majesty of England; we see your Lordships representing, in succession, the juridical authority in the highest court in this kingdom ; but we do not approach you with solicitation ; we make it a petition of right; we claim it; we demand it. The right of seeking redress is not suppliant, even before the majesty of England; it comes boldly forward, and never thinks it offends its sovereign by claiming what is the right of all his people. We have now done with this business: a business as atrocious as any that is known in the history of mankind; a business that has stained, throughout all Asia, the British character, and by which our fame for honor, integrity, and public faith has been forfeited ; a business which has introduced us throughout that country as breakers of faith, destroyers of treaties, plunderers of the weak and unprotected, and has dishonored and will forever dishonor the British name. Your Lordships have had all this in evidence. You have seen in what manner the Nabob, his country, his revenues, his subjects, his mother, his family, his nobility, and all their fortunes, real and personal, have been disposed of by the prisoner at your bar; and having seen this, you will by the impatience of this criminal estimate the patience of the unfortunate women into whose injuries he refused to inquire. What he would not do the Commons have done. They know that you have a feeling different from that which he manifested on this occasion; they do not approach you suppliantly, but demand justice; they insist, that, as the Commons have done their part, your Lordships will perform yours.
We shall next proceed to show your Lordships how he acted towards another set of women, the women of the late Sujah Dowlah, and for whom the Directors had ordered a maintenance to be secured by an express treaty. You will see that he is cruel towards the weak sex, and to all others in proportion as they are weak and powerless to resist him. You will see, I say, when he had usurped the whole government of Oude, and brought it into a servile dependence on himself, how these women fared; and then your Lordships will judge whether or not, and in what degree, he is criminal.
Y LORDS,-- When I had last the honor of addressing your Lordships from this place, my observations were principally directed to the unjust confiscation and seizure of the jaghires and treasures of the Begums, without previous accusation or trial, or subsequent inquiry into their conduct, in violation of a treaty made with them and guarantied by the East India Company, -— to the long imprisonment and cruel treatment of their ministers, and to the false pretences and abominable principles by which the prisoner at your bar has attempted to justify his conduct. The several acts of violence and of oppression were, as we have shown your Lordships, committed with circumstances of aggravated atrocity highly disgraceful to the British name and character, — and particularly by his forcing the Nabob to become the means and instrument of reducing his mother and grandmother and their families to absolute want and distress. I have now to call your attention to his treatment of another branch of this miserable family, - the women and children of the late Nabob Sujah ul Dowlah. These persons were dependent upon the Begums, and by the confiscation of their property,