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their honour and their liberty were buried together.

The women thus treated lost their cast. My lords, we are not here to commend or blame the institutions and prejudices of a whole race of people, radicated in them by a long succession of ages, on which no reason or argument, on which no vicissitudes of things, no mixtures of men, or foreign conquest, have been able to make the smallest impression. The aboriginal Gentû inhabitants are all dispersed into tribes or casts; each cast born to an invariable rank, rights, and descriptions of employment; so that one cast cannot by any means pass into another. With the Gentûs certain impurities or disgraces, though without any guilt of the party, infer loss of cast; and when the highest cast, that of the Brahmin, which is not only noble but sacred, is lost, the person who loses it does not slide down into one lower but reputable—he is wholly driven from all honest society, All the relations of life are at once dissolved. His parents are no longer his parents; his wife is no longer his wife; his children, no longer his, are no longer to regard him as their father. It is something far worse than complete outlawry, complete attainder, and universal excommunication. It is a pollution even to touch him; and if he touches any of his old cast, they are justified in putting him to death. Contagion, leprosy, plague, are not so much shunned. No honest occupation can be followed. He becomes an Halichore, if (which is rare) he survives that miserable degradation. . .

Your lordships will not wonder that these monstrous and oppressive demands, exacted with such tortures, threw the whole province into despair.

They abandoned their crops on the ground. The people, in a body, would have fled out of its confines ; but bands of soldiers invested the avenues of the province, and, making a line of circumvallation, drove back those wretches, who sought exile as a relief, into the prison of their native soil. Not suffered to quit the district, they fled to the many wild thickets, which oppression had scattered through it, and sought amongst the jungles and dens of tigers a refuge from the tyranny of Warren Hastings. Not able long to exist here, pressed at once by wild beasts and famine, the same despair drove them back; and seeking their last resource in arms, the most quiet, the most passive, the most timid of the human race, rose up

in an universal insurrection; and, what will always happen in popular tumults, the effects of the fury of the people fell on the meaner and sometimes the reluctant instruments of the tyranny, who in several places were massacred. The insurrection began in Rungpore, and soon spread its fire to the neighbouring provinces, which had been harassed by the same person with the same oppressions. The English chief in that province had been the silent witness, most probably the abettor and accomplice of all these horrors. He called in first irregular, and then regular troops, who by dreadful and universal military execution got the better of the impotent resistance of unarmed and undisciplined despair. I am tired with the detail of the cruelties of peace. I

spare you those of a cruel and inhuman war, and of the executions, which, without law or process, or even the shadow of authority, were ordered by the English revenue chief in that province.-Speech in the Impeachment of Warren Hastings.





IN INDIA.–Our design, my lords, is not merely to disprove the prisoner's defence, but to vindicate the rights and privileges of the people of India. We wish to reinstate them in your sympathy. We wish you to respect a people as respectable as yourselves; a people who know as well as you what is rank, what is law, what is property; a people who know how to feel disgrace, who know what equity, what reason, what proportion in punishments, what security of property is, just as well as any of your lordships ; for these are things which are secured to them by laws, by religion, by declarations of all their sovereigns. And what, my lords, is opposed to all this? The practice of tyrants and usurpers, which Mr. Hastings takes for his rule and guidance. He endeavours to find deviations from legal government, and then instructs his counsel to say that I have asserted there is no such thing as arbitrary power in the East.

But, my lords, we all know that there has been arbitrary power in India ; that tyrants have usurped it; and that in some instances princes, otherwise meritorious, have violated the liberties of the people, and have been lawfully deposed for such violation. I do not deny that there are robberies on Hounslow-Heath; that there are such things as forgeries, burglaries, and murders ; but I say that these acts are against law, and that, whoever commit them commit illegal acts. When a man is to defend himself against a charge of crime, it is not instances of similar violation of law that is to be the standard of his defence. A man may as

say, “I robbed upon Hounslow-Heath, but hundreds robbed there before me :" to which I an

well say,

swer, “The law has forbidden you to rob there, and I will hang you for having violated the law, notwithstanding the long list of similar violations, which you have produced as precedents.” No doubt, princes have violated the laws of this country; they have suffered for it. Nobles have violated the law; their privileges have not protected them from punishment. Common people have violated the law; they have been hanged for it. I know no human being exempt from the law. The law is the security of the people of England, it is the security of the people of India, it is the security of every person that is governed, and of every person that governs. There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of Humanity, Justice, Equity--the law of Nature and of Nations. So far as any laws fortify this primeval law, and give it more precision, more energy, more effect by their declarations, such laws enter into the sanctuary, and participate in the sacredness of its character. But the man who quotes as precedents the abuses of tyrants and robbers, pollutes the very fountain of Justice, destroys the foundations of all law, and thereby removes the only safeguard against evil men, whether governing or governed—the guard which prevents governors from becoming tyrants, and the governed from becoming rebels.-Speech in the Impeachment of Warren Hastings. THE PERORATION OF THE SPEECH AGAINST WAR

HASTINGS.- In the name of the commons of England, I charge all this villany upon Warren Hastings, in this last moment of my application


to you.

My lords, what is it, that we want here to a great act of national justice? Do we want a cause, my lords? You have the cause of oppressed princes, of undone women of the first rank, of desolated provinces, and of wasted kingdoms.

Do you want a criminal, my lords ? When was there so much iniquity ever laid to the charge of any one?—No, my lords, you must not look to punish any other such delinquent from India. Warren Hastings has not left substance enough in India to nourish such another delinquent.

My lords, is it a prosecutor you want ?-You have before


the commons of Great Britain as prosecutors; and, I believe, my lords, that the sun, in his beneficent progress round the world, does not behold a more glorious sight than that of men, separated from a remote people by the material bounds and barriers of nature, united by the bond of a social and moral community ;-all the commons of England resenting, as their own, the indignities and cruelties, that are offered to all the people of India.

Do we want a tribunal? My lords, no example of antiquity, nothing in the modern world, nothing in the range of human imagination, can supply us with a tribunal like this. My lords, here we see virtually in the mind's eye that sacred majesty of the crown, under whose authority you sit, and whose power you exercise. We see in that invisible authority, what we all feel in reality and life, the beneficent powers and protecting justice of His Majesty. We have here the heir apparent to the crown, such as the fond wishes of the people of England wish an heir apparent to the crown to be. We have here all the branches of the royal family in a situation between majesty and subjection, between the sovereign and the subject,

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