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am infinitely happier to hear that Mrs. Dalrymple is doing so well. May God preserve her long to you ! for she is a fine creature.
Just when I was going to you last spring, I received a letter from Bess that she was dying. I put off my journey to Watcombe, and almost killed myself with posting to Scotland, where I found Madam in perfect good health. Yours always, my dear Jack,
John DAIRYMPLE. Nichols' ILLUSTRATIONS, Vol. i.
The Desolation brought upon some Provinces of Oude by the Misgovernment of Colonel Hannay, and the Insurrection at Goruckpore against that Officer in consequence.
(From Mr. Sheridan's celebrated oration before the House of Lords, in
the Impeachment of Warren Hastings.]
If we could suppose a person to have come suddenly into the country, unacquainted with any circuin: stances that had passed since the days of Sujah ul Dowlah, he would naturally ask-what cruel hand has wrought this wide desolation, what barbarian foe has invaded the country, has desolated its fields, depopulated its villages ? He would ask, what disputed succession, civil rage, or frenzy of the inhabitants, had induced them to act in hostility to the words of God, and the beauteous works of man ? ; He would ask, what religious zeal or frenzy had added to the mad despair and horrors of war? The ruin is unlike any thing that appears recorded in any age; it looks like neither the barbarities of men, nor the judgments of vindictive heaven. There is a waste of desolation, as if caused by fell destroyers never meaning to return, and making but a short period of their rapacity. It looks as if some fabled monster had made its passage through the country, whose pestiferous breath had blasted more than its voracious appetite could devour.
If there had been any men in the country who had not their hearts and souls so subdued by fear, as to refuse to speak the truth at all upon such a subject, they would have told him, there had been no war since the time of Sujah ul Dowlah-tyrant, indeed, as he was, but then deeply regretted by his subjects—that no hostile blow of an enemy had been struck in that land—that there had been no disputed succession-no civil war- no religious frenzy. But that these were the tokens of British friendship, the marks left by the embraces of British allies-more dreadful than the blows of the bitterest enemy. They would tell him, that these allies had converted a prince into a slave, to make him the principal in the extortion upon his subjects ;--that their rapacity increased in proportion as the means of supplying their avarice diminished ;--that they made the Sovereign pay as if they had a right to an increased price, because the labour of extortion and plunder
increased. To such causes, they would tell him, these calamities were owing.
Need I refer your Lordships to the strong testimony of Major Naylor when he rescued Colonel Hannay from their hands—where you see that this people, born to submission, and bent to most abject subjection--that even they, in whose meek hearts injury had never yet begat resentment, nor even despair bred courage--that their hatred, their abhorrence of Colonel Hannay was such, that they clung round him by thousands and thousands that when Major Naylor rescued him, they refused life from the hand that could rescue Hannay ;--that they nourished this desperate consolation, that by their death they should at least thin the number of wretches who suffered by his devastation and extortion. He says that, when he crossed the river, he found the poor wretches quivering upon the parched banks of the polluted river, encouraging their blood to flow, and consoling themselves with the thought, that it would not sink into the earth, but rise to the common God of hunianity, and cry aloud for vengeance on their destroyers !
This warm description-which is no declamation of mine, but founded on actual fact, and in fair clear proof before your Lordships-speaks powerfully what the cause of these oppressions were, and the perfect justness of those feelings that were occasioned by them. And yet, my Lords, I am asked to prove why these people arose in such concert :
“ there must have been machinations, forsooth, and the Begums' machinations, to produce all this !” Why did they rise ?-Because they were people in human shape; because patience under the detested tyranny of man is rebellion to the sovereignty of God; because allegiance to that Power that gives us the forms of men, commands us to maintain the rights of men. And never yet was this truth dismissed from the human heart-never in any time, in any age--never in any clime, where rude man ever had any social feeling, or where corrupt refinement had subdued all feelings-never was this one unextinguishable truth destroyed from the heart of man, placed, as it is, in the care and centre of it by his Maker, that man was riot made the property of man; that human power is a trust for human benefit;' and that when it is abused, revenge becomes justice, if not the bounden duty of the injured. These, my Lords, were the causes why these people rose.
Exercise of Mental Abilities towards Evil Purposes.
Another passage in the second day's speech is remarkable, as exhibiting a sort of tourney of intellect between Sheridan and Burke, and in that field of abstract speculation which was the favourite arena of the latter. Mr. Burke had, in opening the prosecution, remarked, that prudence is a quality incompatible with vice, and can never be effectively enlisted in its cause : “ I never (he said) knew a man who was bad, fit for service that was good. There is always some disqualifying ingredient, mixing and spoiling the compound. The man seems paralytic on that side, his muscles there have lost their very tone and character--they cannot move. In short, the accomplishment of any thing good is a physical impossibility for such a man. There is decrepitude as well as distortion: he could not if he would, is not more certain than that he would not if he could.” To this sentiment the allusions in the following passage refer :i I am perfectly convinced that there is one idea which must arise in your Lordships' minds as a subject of wonder,--how a person of Mr. Hastings' reputed abilities can furnish such matter of accusation against himself. For it must be admitted, that never was there a person who seems to go so rashly to work, with such an arrogant appearance of contempt for all conclusions that may be deduced from what he advances upon the subject. When he seems most earnest and laborious to defend himself, it appears as if he had but one idea uppermost in his mind-a determination not to care what he says, provided he keeps clear of fact. He knows that truth must convict him, and concludes, à converso, that falsehood will acquit him ; forgetting that there must be some connexion, some system, some co-operation, or otherwise his host of falsities fall without an enemy, selfdiscomfited and destroyed. But of this he never seems to have had the slightest apprehension. He falls to work, an artificer of fraud, against all the rules of architecture ;-he lays his ornamental work first, and his massy foundation at the top of it; and