Page images


BOOK regal influence, ever jealous and abhorrent of

reform in every shape,-the natural partiality of the minister to his own original plans,—and the


the restoration of the muftees to the offices they had before occupied with fair and unsullied characters.

As a specimen of the evidence on which the chief-justice's sentence of reversal was founded, a small part of the examination of one Cojah Zekereah may be cited ; sir Elijah Impey. declaring from the bench the testimony of this man to be consistent and unimpeached. It was adduced to prove and establish the authenticity of various signatures professing to witness a certain devise or deed of conveyance, styled, in the technical language of the Mahomedan courts, the helenamah, on the validity of which the merits of the whole cause absolutely depended.

Q. Who wrote the writing which is round the seals ?

A. What is wrote about my own seal and that of Ghyrut Beg in the hebenamah, I remember writing myself ; but the other three I do not remember writing. I am sure that above the seal of Mazum Beg is not mine—that around Ullah is not my writing Q. You must know your hand-writing—answer,

Is it

your hand-writing, yes or no ?

A. It is not. It is not in my memory that it is. I do not remember it, if it is my hand-writing.- IT MAY BE so.

Q. You must know your hand-writing--you need not look at it so frequently.

A. If it is, it may be I do not recollect it. If it may be, it may be I do not recollect it. IT IS CERTAINLY MY HANDWRITING.

Q. Now you have sworn it is your hand-writing, and that it is not-which is true? One or the other of them must be true,




pressure of affairs still more urgent, prevented BOOK the adoption of any great or decisive measures of relief. From the contracted genius and policy


Q. You did not see Mahomed Iwaz write Ullah ; therefore, why did you write under it?

A. I remember that when Ghyrut Beg affixed his seal, as he could not write, the deceased, Shawbaz Beg Khan, desired me to write over it ; and having procured I waz to write in my absence Ullah, he desired me to write Ullah.

Q. You have said, I think, that you never saw the hebenamah after your own seal was put to it, and till after the death of Shawbaz Beg Khan; and that when you did put your seal to it, the other seals were not put to it, nor the signature Ullah: How came you now then to say, that after the seal of Ghyrut Beg was put to it, and the signature Ullah, that Shawbaz Beg Khan desired you to write upon the hebenamah?

A. It is true, that when he desired me to put my seal to it, there was no other seal than his. But about the same time, or a day after, when the other witnesses witnessed it, I was by, and he desired me to witness it. I was always present with Shawbaz Beg Khan.

'Q. Were you by when Malomed Iwaz wrote the word Ullah ?

A. I was not present then. When Imayet Ullah Beg and Ghyrut Beg put their seals to it, I was present,

Q. Why—if you did write under the word Ullah, as you now say you did—why did you not immediately say that you did write under it?

A. I was in doubt about my own hand-writing; and, having sworn, I was cautious in acknowledging it.

Q. What did you mean by saying that you never saw the paper after you had put your seal to it till after the death of



BOOK of the existing administration, nothing great, de-
cisive, or comprehensively beneficial, could indeed

be expected. A bill was, however, introduced
and passed, explanatory of the powers of the Su-
preme Court of Judicature, and in some points li-
miting and restraining its jurisdiction, which had
been extended, by the arbitrary encroachments of
the chief-justice, far beyond the real and obvious
intent of the Regulating Act *.


Shawbaz Beg Khan, if Shawbaz Beg Khan did in fact produce
it to you to write upon it at any time after you had put your
seal to it?

A. It is not a contradiction. After all the seals were put
to it, after that time, I meant to say, I never saw it till after
the death of Shawbaz Beg Khan.

Q. Is all the writing over the seals of your hand-writing?
A. The last is not my hand-writing.
Q. Look to it, and be sure.
A. This is also my hand-writing.

Q. Why did you say it was not your hand-writing when it is ?

A. I did not remember writing it: but on seeing it is the same flow of the pen, I acknowledge it to be my handwriting.

* It may perhaps be permitted here transiently to note, as a pleasing instance of national generosity, however historically unimportant, a bill brought into the house of peers in the course of the session, after having passed the commons," for allowing a certain sum to the two universities, as an indemnification for the exclusive right of printing almanacks, granted to them by patent of king James I., but of which they had been recently divested by a decision of the courts at Westminster."


At this period the war in India had become very BOOK general; a most formidable combination of the country powers in opposition to the English had taken place, which, assisted by the fleets and armies of France, seemed to menace the very existence of the empire of Britain in India. Hyder Ally, the Ravages of ancient and inveterate enemy of the Company, in in the Carthe month of July 1780, broke into the Carnatic with a vast army, and committed the most dreadful ravages. This sanguinary despot and conqueror, to adopt the high-wrought description of a cele




This was violently opposed by the lord-chancellor Thurlow,
as a fruitless ‘ad scandalous waste of the public money. It
being alleged, and evidence adduced to prove, that the profits
of the patent had been applied by these learned bodies to the
printing of scarce and valuable MSS, particularly many in the
Arabic and other Oriental languages, which would otherwise
never have been communicated to the world, the chancellor
avowed, in terms which would have astonished a Talbot or a
Hardwicke, his utter contempt of Persian and Coptic literature.
He said, that, when he was at the university, he never spent his
time in the study of such curious trifles : and they must be
much more profound than he affected to be, who could either
be pleased with or comprehend them." Happily the house of
peers held the claims of literature in somewhat higher respect
than the great law lord who presided in that illustrious as-
sembly, and the bill passed with general and decided approba-

« O let not those of whom the muse is scorn'd,
" Alive or dead, be ever of the muse adorn'd !"




BOOK brated orator, “finding that he had to do with men

whom no treaty could bind, resolved, in the gloomy recesses of a mind capacious of such things, to leave the whole Carnatic an everlasting monument of vengeance, and to put perpetual desolation as a barrier between him and those against whom the faith which holds the moral elements of the world together was no protection. Having terminated his disputes with every enemy and every rival, burying their mutual animosities in their common detestation, and compounding all the materials of fury, havoc, and desolation into one black cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities of the mountains. Whilst the authors of all these evils were idly and stupidly gazing on this menacing meteor which blackened all their horizon, it suddenly burst, and poured down the whole of its contents upon the plains of the Carnatic. Then ensued a scene of woe which no eye had seen, no heart conceived, and which no tongue can adequately tell. All the horrors of war before known or heard of were mercy to that new havoc. A storm of universal fire blasted every field, consumed every house, destroyed every temple. The miserable inhabitants, flying from their flaming villages, in part were slaughtered. Others, without regard to sex, to age, to the respect of rank, or sacredness of function, enveloped in a whirlwind of cavalry, were swępt into captivity in an unknown and hostile land.

« PreviousContinue »