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XX.

One dead uniform silence reigned over the whole BOOK
region. This hurricane of war passed through
every part of the central provinces of the Car.

1781.

natic *.»

On the 10th of September (1780) Hyder Ally attacked and surrounded a considerable detached corps

under colonel Baillie, which, after very great but unavailing efforts of valor, were entirely cut to pieces or made prisoners. He then assailed with his victorious army, and rendered himself master of Arcot; and scarcely did the government at Madras believe itself to be in safety, when sir Eyre Coote arrived to take the command of the Company's forces on the coast of Coromandel, and Hyder was in repeated engagements foiled and defeated by this fortunate and gallant veteran.

Various naval encounters also took place between Naval en. the French and English fleets, commanded by M. the EastSuffrein and admiral sir Edward Hughes, with equal skill, courage, and success. The naval force of both nations was gradually increased, in the progress

of the war, to a degree far beyond what had been known at any former period in India, amounting at the last, on the part of the British, to eighteen ships of the line of battle. But the proportion continuing nearly the same, the mutual accessions of strength served only to increase the number of humån victims: and the successive battles being ob

counters in

Indies.

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* Mr. Burke's speech on the affairs of Arcot.

1781.

BOOK stinately and even heroically contested, the blood shed in this unavailing contest was uncommonly great.

To enter into the detail of such transactions can answer no valuable purpose, except it bé to exhibit the miseries of war in their genuine colors, di. vested of that fascination which accompanies the idea of victory, though attended perhaps to the victors themselves with no solid advantage, to the vanquished with all the horrors of distress and ruin, Doubtless, in every region of the world wisdom and humanity exist more than sufficient, could they be brought into action, to remedy these fatal and inexpressible follies ; but it is melancholy to reflect how small a portion of either falls to the lot of the generality of those by whom the affairs of the world are conducted ; and how remote, and on a transient survey almost hopeless, is the prospect of any essential amelioration in the system of human por licy *.

* " Voici,” says the celebrated monarch of Prussia, “ l'erreur de la plupart des PRINCES," i. e. of the men styled, in the vocabulary of human folly, Most Serene, Most Gracious, and Most Sacred Sovereigns ! " Ils croient que Dieu a creé exprès et par une attention toute partieulière pour leur grandeur, Jeur félicité, et leur orgueil, cette multitude d'hommes dont le salut leur est commis; et que leurs sujets ne sont destinés qu'à être les instrumens et les ministres de leurs passions déréglées. Dès que le principe dont on part est faux, les conséquences ne peuvent être que viciouses à l'infini : et de là ce

XX.

1782

A secret committee having been appointed in the BOOK year 1781, to inquire into the causes of the Mahratta war and that in the Carnatic, a very able report was brought up early in the session of 1782, by the lord-advocate of Scotland, Mr. Dundas, chairman of the committee, in which the general system of policy pursued by the governor-general Hastings was reprobated in terms of extreme severity.

Sir Thomas Rumbold also, who had recently re- Parliamenlinquished the government of Madras, was crimi- tary pronated as guilty of gross peculation, embezzlement, Shomas and oppression, General Smith, in moving that Rumbold.

against sir

.

désir ardent de tout envahir, de là la dureté des impôts dont le peuple est chargé, de la la paresse des princes, leur orgueil, leur injustice, leur inhumanité, leur tyrannie, et tous ces vices qui dégradent la nature humaine. Si les princes se défaisoient de ces idées erronées, et qu'ils voulussent remonter jusqu'au but de leur institution, ils verroient que ce rang dont ils sont și jaloux, que leur élévation n'est que l'OUVRAGB DES PBUPLES. -Ce principe ainsi établi, il faudroit qu'ils sentissent que la vraie gloire des princes ne consiste point à opprimer leurs voisins, point à augmenter le nombre de leurs esclaves, mais à remplir les devoirs de leurs charges, et à répondre en tout à l'intention de ceux qui les ont revêtus de leur pouvoir, et de qui ils tiennent la GRANDBUR SUPREME*." Such is the ingenuous and noble confession of the royal historian and philosopher, and such the language which it is impossible not to applaud as the effusion of a magnanimous and enlightened patriotism.

• Quvres de FREDERIC III. tome iv.

XX.

1782.

India.

BOOK the report of the select committee be referred to a

committee of the house, took notice that sir Elijah Impey, his majesty's chief-justice in India, had so far degraded his character and office as to accept of a place under the Company, contrary to the solemn

engagements under which he held his appointSir Elijah ment *. An address was in consequence presented called from to the king, to beseech his majesty to recall sir

Elijah Impey from India to answer for his conduct. A bill was likewise brought in by the lord-advocate, Mr. Dundas, for inflicting certain pains and penalties on sir Thomas Rumbold, for high crimes and misdemeanors. This bill, which* at first excited very great expectation and attention, and which was continued from session to session in a manner wholly unprecedented, was at last suffered to sink in neglect and oblivion.

On the 28th of May, 1782, the house of comof the house mons passed a series of resolutions, in the most defortherecalicisive terms condemnatory of the whole system of of Mr. Hastings.

Indian politics. The last resolution imported, “ That
Warren Hastings, esq. governor-general in Bengal,

Ineflectual resolution

* The place thus accepted by sir Elijah Impey was that of judge of a Court of Appeal, established at Calcutta under the appellation of the Court of Sudder Dewannee Adawlet, whose jurisdiction extended over the inferior provincial courts of Mofassell Dewannee Adatlet. To this office, held at the pleasure of the governor and council, with a salary of 's0001. per annum, sir Elijah Impey was advanced a few months previous to his memorable expedition to Benares and Oude.

and William Hornby, esq. president of the council BOOK at Bombay, having in sundry instances acted in a manner repugnant to the honor and policy of this nation, and thereby brought great calamities on India, and enormous expences on the East-India Company, it is the duty of the directors of the said Company to pursue all legal and effectual means for the removal of the said governor-general and president from their said offices, and to recall them to Great-Britain.” But this resolution, though confirmed by the court of directors, the proprietary refused to ratify; and the house of commons, with the characteristic indecision and inconstancy of a popular assembly, took no subsequent measures to enforce it *.

XX.

1782.

* “ About the prosperity of that great empire in the goverifment of which every proprietor of India stock to a certain amount is intrusted with a share," says the celebrated author of The Wealth of Nations (vol. iii. book 5.), “ he seldom cares at all. No other sovereigns ever were, or from the nature of things ever could be, so perfectly indifferent about the happiness or misery of their subjects, the improvement or waste of their dominions, the glory or disgrace of their administration, as from irresistible moral causes the greater part of such a mercantile company are and necessarily must be.By a strange absurdity (vol. ii. book 4.) they regard the character of the sovereign but as an appendix to that of the merchant; as something which ought to be made subservient to it; or by means of which they may be enabled to buy cheaper in India, and thereby to sell with a better profit in Europe, But if the genius of such a government, even as to what cons

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