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lonel Gorom was, just before not merely released from dan. ger, but preserved from imminent death by the very person whose accuser he thought fit to become ; and yet, incredible as it may appear, even at the expiration of two little days from his deliverance, he deposes against the distressed and unfortunate woman, who had become his faviour, and only upon hearsay evidence accuses her of crimes and rebellion. GREAT GOD OF JUSTICE !" (exclaimed Mr. SHERIDAN), canst Thoy from thy eternal throne look down upon such premeditated turpitude of heart, and not fix some mark of dreadful vengeance upon the
perpetrators? Of Mr. MAC DONALD, he said, that he liked not the memory which remembered things better at the end of five years than at the time, unless there might be something so relaxing in the climate of India, and so af. fecting the memory as well as the nerves, “ the soft figures melting away,” and the images of immediate action instantaneously dissolving, men must return to their native air of England, to braçe up the mind as well as the body, and have their memories, like their sinews, Te-strung."
Having painted the loose quality of the affidavits, he said, “ that he must pause a moment, and particularly address himself to one description of gentlemen, those of the learned profession, within those walls. They saw that that House was the path to fortune in their profession ; that they might soon expect that some of them were to be called to a dignified situation, where the great and important trust would be reposed in them of protecting the lives and fortunes of their fellow subjects. One right honorable and learned gentleman, in particular, (Sir Lloyd Kenyon) if rumour spoke right, might sud, denly be called to succeed that great and venerable chaFacter, who long had shone the brightest luminary of his
profession, profession, whose pure and steady light was clear even to its latest moment, but whose last beam must now be too soon extinguished. That he would ask the supposed successor of lord MANSFIELD, to calmly reflect on these extraordi. nary depositions, and solemnly to declare, whether the mass of affidavits taken at Lucknow would be received by him as evidence to convict the lowest object in this country? If he said it would, 'he declared to God he would sit down, and not add a syllable more to the too long trespass which he had made on the patîence of the committee.”
Mr. SHERIDAN went farther into the exposure of the evidence, into the comparison of dates, and the subsequent circumstances, in order to prove that all the enor. mous consequences which followed from the resumption, in the capacity of the women, and the imprisonment and cruelțies practised on their people, were solely to be ascribed and to be imputed to Mr. HASTINGS. After stating the miseries which the women suffered, he said, " that Mr. HASTINGS had once remarked, that a mind touched with superstition might have contemplated the fate of the Rohillas with peculiar impressions. ' But if indeed the mind of Mr. HASTINGS could yield to superfitious imagination; if his fancy could suffer any
disturbo ance, and, even in vision, image forth the proud spirit of Sujan DowLAH, looking down upon the ruin and devastation of his family, and beholding that palace, which Mr. HASTINGS had first wrested from his hand, and afterwards restored, plundered by that very army with which he himself had vanquished the Mahrattas ; seizing on the very plunder which he had ravaged from the Rohillas ; that MIDDLETON, who had been engaged in managing the previous violations, most busy to perpetrate the last ; that very HASTINGS whom, on his death
bed, he had left the guardian of his wife, and mother, and family, turning all those dear relations, the objects of his solemn trust, forth to the merciless seasons, and to a more merciless soldiery. A mind touched with superstition must, indeed, have .cherished such a contemplation with peculiar impressions:--That Mr. HasTINGS was regularly acquainted with all these enormities committed on the Begums, there was the clearest proof; it was true that Middleton was rebuked for not being more exact. He did not, perhaps, descend to the detail ; he did not give him an account of the number of groans which were heaved; of the quantity of tears which were shed; of the weight of the fetters; or of the depth of the dungeons ; but he communicated every step which he took to accomplish the base and unwarrantable end. He told him, that to save appearances they must use the name of the Nabob, and that they need go no farther than was absolutely necessary. This he might venture to say, without being suspected by Mr. HASTINGS of too severe a morality,
The Governor General, also, endeavoured to throw a share of the guilt on the council, although Mr. WHEELER had never taken any share, and Mr. MACPHERSON had not arrived in India when the scene began.”
After contending, that he had shrunk from the inquiry ordered by the court of Directors, under a new and pompous doctrine, that the majesty of justice was to be approached with supplication, and was not to degrade itself by hunting for crimes, forgetting the infamous employment to which he had appointed an English Chief Justice, to hunt for criminal charges against innocent, de. fenceless women, Mr. SHERIDAN said, “he trusted that that House would vindicate the insulted character of justice; that they would demonstrate its true quality, es
sence, and purposes : they would demonstrate it to be, in the case of Mr. HASTINGS, active, inquisitive, and avenging."
Mr. SHERIDAN remarked, “.that he heard of faca tions, and parties in that House, and knew they existed. There was scarcely a subject upon which they were not broken and divided into sects. The prerogative of the crown found its advocates among the representatives of the people. The privileges of the people found opponents even in the House of Commons itself. Habits, con. nections, parties, all led to diversity of opinion. But when inhumanity presented itself to their observations, it found no division among them; they attacked it as their common enemy; and, as if the character of this land was involved in their zeal for its ruin, they lest it not till it was completely overthrown. It was not given to that House, to behold the objects of their compassion and benevolence in the present extensive consideration, as it was to the officers it relieved, and who so feelingly describe the extatic emotions of gratitude in the instant of deliverance. They could not behold the workings of the heart, the quivering lips, the trickling tears, the loud and yet tremulous joys of the millions whom their vote of this night would for ever save from the cruelty of corrupted power.
But though they could not directly see the effect, was not the true enjoyment of their benevolence increased by the blessing being conferred unseen? Would not the omnipotence of Britain be demonstrated to the wonder of nations, by stretching its mighty arm across the deep, and saving by its fiat distant millions from destruction ? And would the blessings of the people thus saved dissipate in empty air? No! If I may dare to use the figure, we shall constitute heaven itself our proxy, to receive for us Ble blessings of their pious gratitude, and the prayers of
their thanksgiving. It is with confidence, therefore, Sir, that I move you on this charge,
“ That WARREN HASTINGS be impeached.” But however justly admired this speech was, Mr. SHERIDAN is allowed to have surpassed himself in summing up the same charge before the lords in June 1788. He resumed, or rather continued the subject for four days with a vigor of genius which seemed to derive increasing energy from unabated exertion. After his pause on the second day (June 5th) when the high Court of Parliament had adjourned from Westminster Hall, and the commons were assembled in their own chamber, the debate which ensued afforded Mr. BURKE an opportunity of paying him the following highly-finished, but well-deserved compliment.
“ He has this day surprized the thousands, who hung with rapture on his accents, by such an array of talents, such an exhibition of capacity, such a display of powers, as are unparalleled in the annals of oratory ; a display that reflected the highest honor upon himself, lustre upon letters, renown upon parliament, glory upon the country. Of all species of rhetoric, of every kind of eloquence, that has been witnessed, or recorded, either in ancient, or modern times; whatever the acuteness of the bar, the dignity of the seni -, the solidity of the judgment seat, and the sacred morality of the pulpit have hitherto furnished ; nothing has surpassed, nothing has equalled what we have this day heard in Westminster Hall. No holy seer of religion, no sage, no statesman, no orator, no man of any literary description whatever, has come up, in the one instance, to the pure sentiments of morality, or in the other, to that of variety of knowledge, force of imagination, propriety and vivacity of allusion, beauty and elegance of diction, strength and coa