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call for the vengeance of a nation.” 1 The crimes, indeed, did call, and Parliament for a season seemed attentively to listen, but the vengeance of the nation did not come. Government, while professing only to perform the duties of umpirage, contrived to let it be understood that they thought exposure was sufficient, and that they would rather not have the matter press "d to a conviction. So it fell through ; and the name of Impey has come to pass as synonymous with judicial impunity. While the proceedings against his illustrious accomplice were still pending, the ex-Chief-Justice found a borough sufficiently ripe in decay to recognise in him a fitting representative. In mercy to the little town, now disfranchised, and long since, let us hope, repentant, let us omit its name.
1 Parliamentary History, vol. xxvi. p. 1338.
TIPPOO SAI B.
• The unity of our Government and our great military force give us such a
superiority over the native princes, that we might, by watching opportunities, extend our dominion without much danger or expense, and at no very distant period, over a great part of the Peninsula. Our first care ought to be directed to the total subversion of Tippoo. After becoming masters of Seringapatam, we should find no great difficulty in advancing to the Kistna, when favoured by wars or revolutions in the neighbouring States. But we ought to have some preconcerted general scheme to follow upon such occasions."
-Sir T. Munro. 1
petitors; yet the fitting man was not so easily found. If long experience, great ability, dauntless courage, marvellous success, powerful friends, and court favour, could not insure a Governor-General on his return home from being arraigned as a culprit, what safety could there be for his
The example of Hastings was calculated to deter cautious and punctilious men, and to disenchant reckless and avaricious men. There remained, however, a crowd of restless, needy, and adventurous waiters upon fortune, any of whom would have grasped with delight at £25,000 a year, and the jobbing of India for five or six
1 Letter to his father, 21st September 1798—Memoirs by the Rev. G. R. Gleig, vol. i. p. 203.
years. Mr Pitt had no mind indeed to throw away so great an appointment upon any of the class in question. In common with Lord Shelbourne, he thought of Lord Cornwallis at first for the command in chief, and afterwards for the chief direction of civil affairs likewise. Without any of the political talents of his grandfather, who had been First Minister of George I., or the energy of character that gave promise of his retrieving the disaster which had virtually brought the American war to an end, Lord Cornwallis occupied a position in public life which no Minister was likely to overlook. With good manners, good connections, and good fortune, his friendship was sought by men of all parties; and enemies he had none. Left to himself, he would probably have sauntered happily and unnoticeably along the down-hill steep of life, grumbling occasionally in the House of Lords at what he did not approve, but never engaging deeply in party plots, or aspiring to lead a parliamentary campaign. What he wanted was to be made Constable of the Tower, and he betrayed some vexation at being passed over for that sinecure post; but it was certainly not with any view to get rid of him as a troublesome critic or a dangerous opponent that the Ministry in 1786 pressed upon him the government of India. He was thought eligible, as an amiable and respectable man, who might be relied on to keep peculation in check, and to curb the violent courses which had brought the administration of his predecessor into question. Not without hesitation he agreed at length to go; little foreseeing probably how lastingly his name would be written on the financial and territorial records of Hindustan.
He sailed for the East in the latter end of April 1786, and arrived in Madras the following August. His first letters home express his strong dissatisfaction at the part
already taken by the Madras Government in aiding the Mahrattas to violate the treaty with Tippoo Sultan. He denounced also the incapacity and peculation of the Company's servants in no measured terms. In one letter he writes : “ You will see in the letters from the Board previous to my arrival, a plan for obtaining Allahabad from the Vizier, to which he had spirit enough to make a successful resistance. Unless I see some new lights, I shall not revive it. I at present think the advantages of our possessing that post very doubtful, and I am sure it was intended as a scene of gross peculation, at the expense the Vizier and his Government."? Complaints of interference and maladministration poured in from all sides. Among the most prominent were those of Mobaruck-ulDowla, the Nawab of Bengal, who, having succoeded to the musnud during his minority in 1770, was now come of age : and who repudiated alike the control of his former guardians, and the retention by the Company of the greater part of the income guaranteed to him by treaty on his accession. It was then fixed at thirty-two lacs a year; but in 1772, Warren Hastings, acting on instructions from Leadenhall
, Street, reduced the amount one-half, on the plea that sixteen lacs was sufficient during the Prince's minority. The rightful sum, however, was not restored, as was expected, while he had still to pay the whole staff of Company's officers, as part of the establishment originally imposed
him. In a letter to the Court of Directors soon after his arrival, the new Viceroy wrote, that “from all he had already heard, he thought it highly probable that it would appear to be decent in the Government to abstain from much of the interference that had hitherto been used in the detail of the business of that household, and which had been
Confidential letter to Right Hon. Henry Dundas, Nov. 15, 1786.
attended with great expense to the Nawab."
Through his agent in London, the Soubahdar had formally complained to the Directors of the injustice with which he was treated, and they instructed the Governor-General in a secret despatch to “take care to provide for his support and dignity, by securing to him the clear and undiminished receipt of the real stipend allotted to him, or even by its immediate augmentation ;” adding, “ You will always keep in view the claims he has upon us by treaty, and necessity will dictate to you a due consideration for the present state of our affairs."? On the plea, however, that dependants on the native Court would be chiefly benefited, were the whole of his income restored to him, Lord Cornwallis advised that the Company should still retain half of it for themselves. In his judgment, it was only a question between whether so many lacs a year should be spent in luxury in London or in luxury at Moorshedabad. His sympathies were with the former. 3
The peace concluded at Mangalore lasted six years. Tippoo in that interval reduced to subjection several of the minor states in his neighbourhood, and built or purchased several armed vessels, which helped to spread the terror of his name along the coast of Malabar. Fanaticism was with him an impulse even stronger than ambition, and his assumption of the title of Sultan was supposed to be preparatory to that of Prophet. He persuaded himself that he had a mission to clear the land of idolatry; he compelled multitudes to conform to his faith, and to behold their temples levelled with the dust. He boasted that he had destroyed 8000 shrines, and distributed' 100,000 unwilling converts among his
1 The Cornwallis Correspondence, edited by Charles Ross, vol. i. p. 235.
Despatch from Court of Directors, 21st July 1786.
3 See despatch, 4th March 1787.