Imágenes de página

nutnorizing the payment of this demand without to have twenty-five per cent at once struck off such inquiry as the act has prescribed : but they from the capital of a great part of this lebt, and have added the arrear of twelve per cent. inter prayed to have a provision made for this reduced est, from the year 1777 to the year 1784, to principal, without any interest at all! This was make a new capital, raising thereby £160,000 to an arrangement of their own—an arrangement

£294,900. Then they charge a new twelve made by those who best knew the true constitu per cent. on the whole from that period, for a tion of their own debt; who knew how little fa transaction in which it will be a miracle if a vor it merited, and how little hopes they had 10' single penny will be ever found really advanced find any persons in authority abandoned enough from the private stock of the pretended creditors. to support it as it stood.

(3.) In this manner, and at such an interest, But what corrupt men, in the fond imaginathe ministers have thought proper to dispose of tions of a sanguine avarice, had not the Yet alle €294,000 of the public revenues, for what is confidence to propose, they have found a ed in fuli. called the Cavalry Loan. After dispatching this, Chancellor of the Exchequer in England hards Consolidation the right honorable gentleman leads to enough to undertake for them. He has cheered of 1777.

battle his last grand division, the con- their drooping spirits. He has thanked the pec. solidated debt of 1777. But having exhausted ulators for not despairing of their commona!l his panegyric on the two first, he has nothing wealth.22 He has told them they were too mod at all to say in favor of the last. On the con- est. He nas replaced the twenty-five per cent. Authorized trary, he admits that it was contracted which, in order to lighten themselves, they had buy no oue in defiance of the Company's orders, abandoned in their conscious terror. Instead of without even the pretended sanction of any pre- cutting off the interest, as they had themselves tended representatives. Nobody, indeed, has yet consented to do, with one fourth of the capital. been found hardy enough to stand forth avowed. he has added the whole growth of four years ly in its defense. But it is little to the credit of usury of twelve per cent. to the first overgrown the ago, that what has not plausibility enough to principal, and has again grafted on this meliora. find an advocate, has influence enough to obtain ted stock a perpetual annuity of six per cent., to a protector. Could any man expect to find that take place from the year 1781. Let no map protector any where? But what must every hereafter talk of the decaying energies of na man think, when he finds that protector in the ture. All the acts and monuments in the rec. chairman of the Committee of Secrecy (Mr. Dun ords of peculation; the consolidated corruptio das), who had published to the House, and to the of ages, the patterns of exemplary plunder in the world, the facts that condemn these debts—the heroic times of Roman iniquity, never equaled the orders that forbid the incurring of them—he gigantic corruption of this single act. Never did dreadful consequences which attended them. Nero, in all the insolent prodigality of despotism, Even in his official letter, when he tramples on deal out to his Pretorian guards a donation fit to his parliamentary report, yet his general lan- be named with the largess showered down by the guage is the same. Read the preface to this bounty of our Chancellor of the Exchequer on part of the ministerial arrangement, and you the faithful band of his Indian Sepoys. would imagine that this debt was to be crushed, The right honorable gentleman (Mr. Dundas with all the weight of indignation which could lets you freely and voluntarily into the whole fall from a vigilant guardian of the public treas- transaction. So perfectly has his conduct conury, upon those who attempted to rob it. What founded his understanding, that he fairly tells you must be felt by every man who has feeling, when, that through the course of the whole business be after such a thundering preamble of condemna- bas never conferred with any but the agents of tion, this debt is ordered to be paid without any the pretended creditors! After this, do you want sort of inquiry into its authenticity? without a more to establish a secret understanding with single step taken to settle even the amount of the parties ? to fix, beyond a doubt, their colluthe demand? without an attempt so much as to sion and participation in a common fraud ? ascertain the real persons claiming a sum, which | If this were not enough, he has furnished you rises in the accounts from one million three hund- with other presumptions that are not contienery red thousand pounds sterling to two millions to be shaken. It is one of the known reasons frigt four hundred thousand pounds principal money? | indications of guilt to stagger and pre- them without an attempt made to ascertain the pro- varicate in a story, and to vary in the motives prietors, of whom no list has ever yet been laid that are assigned to conduct. Try these minisbefore the court of Directors; of proprietors ters by this rule. In their official dispatch, they who are known to be in a collusive shuffle, by tell the presidency of Madras that they have es which they never appear to be the same in any tablished the debt for two reasons; first, betwo lists, handed about for their own particular cause the Nabob (the party indebted) does not purposes?

dispute it; secondly, because it is mischievous My honorable friend (Mr. Fox] who made to keep it longer afloat, and that the paymen

Jones you the motion has sufficiently ex. of the European creditors will promote circulato a great ex. posed the nature of this debt. He tion in the country. These two motives (for the claimants has stated to you that its own agents, plainest reasons in the world) the right hoacra demselves.

in the year 1781, in the arrangement they proposed to make at Calcutta, were satisfied 2 ne de republica desperandom sit.

[ocr errors]

lent, by the


ble gentleman has this day thought fit totally to burden of the proof on those who make the de. abandon. In the first place, he rejects the au. mand? Ought not ministry to have said to the thority of the Nabob of Arcot. It would indeed creditors, “The person who admits your dept be pleasant to see him adhere to this exploded stands excepted as to evidence; he stands charg. lestimony. He next, upon grounds equally solid, i ed as a collusive party, to hand over the public abandons the benefits of that circulation, which revenues to you for sinister purposes? You say was to be produced by drawing out all the juices you have a demand of some millions on thg In. of the body. Laying aside, or forgetting these dian treasury. Prove that you have acted by pretenses of his dispatch, he has just now as- lawful authority; prove, at least, that your mon. sumed a principle totally different, but to the ey has been bona fide advanced ; entitle yourself full as extraordinary. He proceeds upon a sup- to my protection by the fairness and fullness of the position that many of the claims may be fictitious. communications you make.” Did an honest cred. He then finds that, in a case where many valid itor ever refuse that reasonable and honest test ? and many fraudulent claims are blended togeth. There is little doubt that several individuals er, the best course for their discrimination is in- have been seduced by the purveyors disa riminately to establish them all! He trusts to the Nabob of Arcot to put their some honest

creditors. (I suppose), as there may not be a fund sufficient money (perhaps the whole of honest cres for every description of creditors, that the best and laborious earnings) into their hands, and that warranted claimants will exert themselves in such high interest, as, being condemned at law, bringing to light those debts which will not leaves them at the mercy of the great managers hear an inquiry. What he will not do himself, whom they trusted. These seduced creditors he is persuaded will be done by others; and for are probably persons of no power or interest, ei. this purpose he leaves to any person a general ther in England or India, and may be just obpower of excepting to the debt. This total jects of compassion. By taking, in this ar. change of language and prevarication in princi- rangement, no measures for discrimination and ple is enough, if it stood alone, to fix the pre- discovery, the fraudulent and the fair are, in the sumption of unfair dealing. His dispatch as first instance, confounded in one mass. The signs motives of policy, concord, trade, and cir- subsequent selection and distribution is left to culation. His speech proclaims discord and lit- the Nabob! With him the agents and instrıigations, and proposes, as the ultimate end, detec-ments of his corruption, whom he sees to be om. tion.

nipotent in England, and who may serve him in But he may shift his reasons, and wind and future, as they have done in times past, will turn as he will, confusion waits him at all his have precedence, if not an exclusive preference. doubles. Who will undertake this detection ? These leading interests domineer, and have alWill the Nabob? But the right honorable gen. ways domineered, over the whole. By this ar. llenan las himself this moment told us that no rangement the persons seduced are made de prince of the country can by any motive be pendent on their seducers: honesty (comparaprevailed upon to discover any fraud that is tive honesty, at least) must become of the party practiced upon him by the Company's servants. of fraud, and must quit its proper character and He says what (with the exception of the com- its just claims, to entitle itself to the alms of brib. plaint against the cavalry loan) all the world ery and peculation. knows to be true; and without that prince's But be these English creditors what they concurrence, what evidence can be had of the may, the creditors most certainly not nu

But Cliet fraud of any, the smallest of these demands ? fraudulent are the natives, who are nu- ly natives The ministers never authorized any person to merous and wretched indeed: by ex. on enter into his exchequer and to search his rec- hausting the whole revenues of the Carnatic, ords. Why, then, this shameful and insulting nothing is left for them. They lent bona fide : mockery of a pretended contest? Already con- in all probability, they were even forced to lend, lests for a preference have arisen among these or to give goods and service for the Nabob's obrival bond creditors. Has not the Company it-ligations. They had no trust to carry to his self struggled for a preference for years, without market. They had no faith of alliances to sell. any attempt at detection of the nature of those They had no nations to betray to robbery and debts with which they contended? Well is the ruin. They had no lawful government sediNabob of Arcot attended to in the only specific tiously to overturn; nor had they a governor, to complaint he has ever made. He complained whom it is owing that you exist in India, to de. of unfair dealing in the cavalry loan. It is fixed liver over to captivity and to death in a shamefui upou him with interest on interest, and this loan prison.23 is excepted from all power of litigation.

These were the merits of the principal part of This day, and not before, the right honorable the debt of 1777, and the universally conceived gen:leman thinks that the general establishment cause of its growth; and thus the unbappy na of all clain.s is the surest way of laying open the tives are deprived of every hope of payment for frard of some of them. In India this is a reach their real debts, to make provision for the arrears of deep policy; but what would be thought of of unsatisfied bribery and treason. You see in this mode of acting on a demand upon the treas- 23 For the circamstances attending the imprison ary in England ? Instead of all this cunning, is ment and death of Lord Pigot, Governor of Madras there not one plain way oper cha: is, to put the see note 14, page 338.

[ocr errors]

this insta ace that the presumption of guilt is not In short, when you pressed this sensitive plant only no exception to the demands on the public it always contracted its dimensions. When the treasury, but, with these ministers, it is a neces. rude hand of inquiry was withdrawn, it expand sary condition to their support. But that you ed in all the luxuriant vigor of its original vege may not think this preference solely owing to tation. In the treaty of 1781, the whole of the their known contempt of the natives, who ought, Nabob's debt to private Europeans is, by Mr. with every generous mind, to claim their first Sullivan, agent to the Nabob and the creditors, charities, you will find the same rule religiously stated at £2,800,000, which (if the cavalry loan observed with Europeans too. Attend, sir, to and the remains of the debt of 1767 be subtractThis decisive case. Since the beginning of the ed) leaves it nearly at the amount originally de. war, besides arrears of every kind, a bond debt clared at the Durbar in 1777; but then there is has been contracted at Madras, uncertain in its a private instruction to Mr. Sullivan, which, it amount, but represented from four hundred thou. seems, will reduce it again to the lower stand. sand pounds to a million sterling. It stands only ard of £1,400,000. Failing in ali my attempts, at the low interest of eight per cent. Of the le. by a direct account, to ascertain the extent of gal authority on which this debt was contracted, the capital claimed (where, in all probability, of its purposes for the very being of the state, of no capital was ever advanced), I endeavored, if its publicity and fairness, no doubt has been en- possible, to discover it by the interest which was tertained for a moment. For this debt, no sort to be paid. For that purpose, I looked to the of provision whatever has been made! It is re- several agreements for assigning the territories jected as an outcast, while the whole undissipa- of the Carnatic to secure the principal and inted attention of the minister has been employed | terest of this debt. In one of them I found a for the discharge of claims entitled to his favor sort of postscript, by way of an additional re. by the merits we have seen!

mark (not in the body of the obligation), the I have endeavored to find out, if possible, the debt represented at £1,400,000; but when I Impossible to amount of the whole of those demands, computed the sums to be paid for interest by indetermine the in order to see how much, supposing stallments in another paper, I found they produced these debts. the country in a condition to furnish the interest of two millions, at twelve per cent., the fund, may remain to satisfy the public debt and the assignment supposed that if these in and the necessary establishments; but I have stallments might exceed, they might also fal' been foiled in my attempt. About one fourth, short of the real provision for that interest. that is, about £220,000 of the loan of 1767, re. Another installment bond was afterward grant mains unpaid. How much interest is in arrear | ed. In that bond the interest exactly tallies with I could never discover; seven or eight years, at a capital of £1,400,000. But, pursuing this least, which would make the whole of that debt capital through the correspondence, I lost sight about £396,000. This stock, which the min- of it again, and it was asserted that this install. isters, in their instructions to the Governor of ment bond was considerably short of the interest Madias, state as the least exceptionable, they that ought to be computed to the time mentioned. have thought proper to distinguish by a marked Here are, therefore, two statements of eg ial au severity, leaving it the only one on which the in-thority, differing at least a million from each oth terest is not added to the principal, to beget a er; and as neither persons claiming, nor any new interest.

special sum as belonging to each particular The cavalry loan, by the operation of the same claimant is ascertained in the instruments of authority, is made up to £294,000, and this consolidation or in the installment bonds, a large £294,000, made up of principal and interest, is scope was left to throw in any sums for any percrowned with a new interest of twelve per cent. sons, as their merits in advancing the interest of

What the grand loan, the bribery loan of 1777, that loan might require; a power was also left for may be, is among the deepest mysteries of state. reduction, in case a harder hand or more scanty It is probably the first debt ever assuming the funds might be found to require it. Stronger title of consolidation that did not express what grounds for a presumption of fraud never ap the amount of the sum consolidated was. It is peared in any transaction. But the ministers, little less than a contradiction in terms. In the faithful to the plan of the interested persons, debt of the year 1767 the sum was stated in the whom alone they thought fit to confer with on act of consolidation, and made to amount to this occasion, have ordered the payment of the

£880,000 capital. When this consolidation of whole mass of these unknown, unliquidated 1777 was first announced at the Durbar (Court), sums, without an attempt to ascertain them. it was represented authentically at £2,400,000. On this conduct, sir, I leave you to make your In that, or rather in a higher state, Sir Thomas own reflections Rurnbold found and condemned it. It afterward! It is impossible (at least I have found it infell into such a terror as to sweat away a million possible) to fix on the real amount of the preof its weight at once; and it sunk to £1,400,000. tended debts with which your ministers have However, it never was without a resource for re- thought proper to load the Carnatic. They art cruiting it to its old plumpness. There was a obscure; they shun inquiry; they are enormous sort of floating dpht of about four or five hund. That is all you know of the:n. red thousand pornds more, ready to be added as ! That you may judge what chance any honor. ncrasiou should require

| able and nseful end of government has for a per

State and re

de country.

rision that comes in for the leavings of these glut- and the hire of mercena es for tass use and un

lonous demands, I must take it on my- der his direction. This disposition was to be se. warces of the self to bring before you the real con cured by the Nabob's putting himself under the ( natic.

dition of that abused, insulted, racked, guarantee of France, and, by the means of that and ruined country; though in truth my mind re- rival nation, preventing the English forever from Folts from it; though you will hear it with hor- assuming an equality, much less a superiority, in ror; and I confess I tremble when I think on the Carnatic. In pursuance of this treasonable tbese awful and confounding dispensations of project (treasonable on the part of the English), Providence. I shall first trouble you with a few | they extinguished the Company as a sovereign words as to the cause.

power in that part of India; they withdrew the The great fortunes made in India in the be- Company's garrisons out of all the forts and Iritadaeti vy ginnings of conquest naturally excited strong-holds of the Carnatic; they declined to reparts on an emulation in all the parts, and ceive the embassadors from foreign courts, and puedering through the whole succession of the remitted them to the Nabob of Arcot; they fell

way Company's service; but in the Com upon and totally destroyed the oldest ally of the pany it gave rise to other sentiments. They did Company, the King of Tanjore, and plundered the not find the new channels of acquisition flow country to the amount of near five millions ster. with equal riches to them. On the contrary, ling; one after another, in the Nabob's name, but the high flood-lide of private emolument was with English force, they brought into a miserable generally in the lowest ebb of their affairs. servitude all the princes and great independent They began also to fear that the fortune of war nobility of a vast country. In proportion to these might take away what the fortune of war had treasons and violences, which ruined the people, given. Wars were accordingly discouraged by the fund of the Nabob's debt grew and flourished repeated injunctions and menaces; and, that the Among the victims to this magnificent plan servants might not be bribed into them by the of universal plunder, worthy of the heroic Hyde dative princes, they were strictly forbidden to avarice of the projectors, you have all heard Ali take any money whatsoever from their hands. (and he has made himself to be well remembe Bat vehement passion is ingenious in resources. ed) of an Indian chief called Hyder Ali Kha. The Company's servants were not only stimu- This man possessed the westeru (Mysore), as lates, but better instructed by the prohibition. the Company, under the name (the Nabob of Thoy soon sell upon a contrivance which an. Arcot, does the eastern division of the Carnatic. 'vered their purposes far better than the meth. It was among the leading measures in the design ods which were forbidden, though in this alsn of this cabal (according to their own emphatio they violated an ancient, but, they thought, ar language) to extirpate this Hyder Ali. They abrogated order. They reversed their proceed- declared the Nabob of Arcot to be his sover. ings. Instead of receiving presents, they made eign, and himself to be a rebel, and publicly in. loans. Instead of carrying on wars in their own vested their instrument with the sovereignty of name, they contrived an authority, at once irre- the kingdom of Mysore. But their victim was sistible and irresponsible, in whose nprog they not of the passive kind. They were soon obliged might ravage at pleasure, and being thus freed to conclude a treaty of peace and close alliance from all restraint, they indulged themselves in with this rebel at the gates of Madras.94 Both the most extravagant speculations of plunder. before and since that treaty, every principle of The cabal of creditrrs who have been the ob policy pented out this power as a natural alli ject of the late bo’intiful Frant from his Majes- ance, and on his part it was courted by every ty's ministers, in order to possess themselves, un- sort of amicable office. But the cabinet council der the name of creditors and assignees, of every of English creditors would not suffer their Nabob country in Irdir, as fast as it should be con. of Arcot to sign the treaty, nor even to give to quered, inspired into the mind of the Nabob of a prince, at least his equal, the ordinary titles of Arcot (then a dependent on the Company of the respect and courtesy. From that time forward humblest order) a scheme of the most wild and des- a continued plot was carried on within the dirai perate ambition that, I believe, ever was admit black and white, of the Nabob of Arcot, for tho ted into the thoughts of a man so situated. First destruction of Hyder Ali. As to the outward they persuaded him lo consider himself as a prin | members of the double, or rather treble governcipal member in the political system of Europe. ment of Madras, which had signed the treaty, In the next place they held out to him, and be readily imbibed the idea, of the general empire 24 This took place in 1769, when Hyder Ali an of Hindostan. As a preliminary to this under- fully drew off the British army to a great distance taking, they prevailed on him to propose a tri. from Madras, and then suddenly, by a forced mar: partite division of that vast country—one part to

of one hundred and twenty miles in three days, sor the Company, another to the Mahrattas, and the

prised the city in a defenseless state. No resist third to himself. To himself he reserved all the

ance could be offered, and the Council of Madras southern part of the great peninsula, compre

was compelled to conclude a treaty, which provided

for a restitution of its conquests, and a cu operation bended under the general name of the Deccan.

with Hyder Ali for their mutual benefit On this scheme of their servants, the Company 25 This triple government seems to have been the was to appear in the Carnatic in no other light Nabob of Arcot, the nominal sovereign, and the two than as contractor for the provisior of armies, factions into wbich the Canncil was divided

thoy were always prevented by some overruling The alms of the settlement (Madras), this influence (which they do not describe, but which dreadful exigency, were certainly liberas, and ali can not be inisunderstood) from performing what

justice and interest combined so evidently to en- bis usual manner) turns the whole into argument, srce.

mingled with the severest irony and sarcasm. When at length Hyder Ali found that he had

Demosthenes gives as a picture of the scene by a to do with men who either would sign

few distinct characteristic touches--the Presidents IS INVASION

starting from their seats in the midst of supporof the Carno convention, or whom no treaty and

rushing into the market-place-tearing down the stic in 1780 no signature could bind, and who were booths around it-burning up the hurdles even, the determined enemies of human intercourse it- though the space would not be wanted till the next self, he decreed to make the country possessed day-sending for the generals-crying out for the by these incorrigible and predestinated criminals trumpeter: The Council meeting on the morrow at a memorable example to mankind. He resolved, break of day-the people (usually so relactant to in the gloomy recesses of a mind capacions of | attend) pouring along to the assembly before the such things, to leave the whole Carnatic an ever

Council had found a moment's opportunity to inquire

or agree on measures-the entering of the Council lasting monument of vengeance, and to put per

into the assembly--their announcing the newspetual desolation as a barrier between him and

their bringing forward the messenger to tell his those against whom the faith which holds the

story: And then the proclamation of the berald, moral elements of the world together was no Who will speak ?"-the silence of all-the voice protection. He became at length so confident of their common country crying out again throug! of his force, so collected in his might, that he the herald, "Who will speak for our deliverance?" made no secret whatsoever of his dreadful reso -all remaining silent-when Demosthenes arose, Jution. Having terminated his disputes with and suggested measures which caused all these danevery enemy and every rival, who buried their

gers to pass away GO 1 EP Vépos, like a cloud!

Mr. Burke had po individual scene of this kind to mutual animosities in their common detestation

depict; his description was of necessity a general against the creditors of the Nabob of Arcot, he

one, embracing those elements of terror and destrucdrew from every quarter whatever a savage le-tion which attend the progress of an invading army. rocity could add to his new rudiments in the arts There are three central points around which the of destruction; and compounding all the mate. | description gathers as it advances. First, the forces rials of fury, havoc, and desolation into one black of Hyder Ali (like those of Fabius at the approach cloud, he hung for a while on the declivities of of Hannibal), banging in "one black cloud on the the mountains. While the authors of all these

declivities of the mountains." Secondly, "the stor evils were idly and stupidly gazing on this men

of universal fire," which did in fact lay waste the

Carnatic from one extremity to the otber. Thirlls: acing meteor, which blackened all their horizon,

the "chirlwind of cavalry"-how apt an image of it suddenly burst, and poured down the whole

Hyder Ali's terrible band of Abyssinian horsemen of its contents upon the plains of the Carnatic. wbich swept the whole country around, and hurried Then ensued a scene of woe, the like of which tens of thousands "into captivity in an unknown no eye had seen, no heart conceived, and which and hostile laod !" Lord Brougham, in a criticism no tongue can adequately tell. All the horrors on this passage, pointedly remarks, that some of of war before known or heard of were mercy to the secondary touches which fill up the picture. that cew hayoc. A storm of universal fire blasts such as "blackening of all the horizor," "the mened every field, consumed every house, destroyed

acing meteor," the "goading spears at drivers,' and every temple. The miserable inhabitants, flying tban increase the effect. He mentions, also. "the

"the trampling of pursuing horses," rather diminish from their flaming villages, in part were slaugh storm of unusual fire"- an expression flat enough tered; others, without regard to sex, to age, to certainly, if Mr. Burke bad used it, to merit all his the respect of rank, or sacredness of function; censures. But if his Lordship had recalled the cirfathers torn from children, husbands from wives, cumstances of Hyder Ali's march, he would have enveloped in a whirlwind of cavalry, and, amid seen that fire was one of his chief instruments of the goading spears of drivers and the trampling

destruction; and therefore that the “storm of uniof pursuing horses, were swept into captivity, in

versal fire," no less than the black cloud and the

whirlwind of cavalry, should occupy a prominent an unknown and hostile land. Those who were

place in the picture. able to evade this tempest fled to the walled

Witbout wishing, however, to criticise so admira cities, but, escaping from fire, sword, and exile,

ble a passage too closely, or agreeing with Lord they fell into the jaws of famine.%

Brougham in all his remarks, the Editor would sug.

gest that the first two sentences of this paragraph 26 The reader will find it interesting to compare are too much clogged with qualifying thoughts. In this passage with the most eloquent one in Mr. a passage leading to so animated a description, the Fox's speeches, beginning “And all this without an ideas should be few and simple; there should be intelligible motive," page 549; and also with De- nothing to occupy or detain the mind; every thing mosthenes' description (about the middle of his Ora should bear it forward to one point. But instead of tion for the Crown) of the terror and confusion at this, Mr. Burke, when he bad spoken of men who Athens, when the news arrived that Elateia had would sign no convention, goes on in describe the been seized by Philip.

as those "whom no treaty and no signature could Mr. Fox does not atterapt to describe ; he simply bind, and who were the determined enemies of he. shows us a man on a field of batve, asking why it man intercourse itself;" he then represents them is fought; and, as the inquiry goes on, we catch as "incorrigible and predestinated criminals," and in glimpses of the scene arood, while Mr. Fox (after the next sertence speaks of them as those "against

« AnteriorContinuar »