Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

marks, which throw great light on the transactions of that country. He has restored to life several men, women and children, who were represented by Mefl. H. and V. as having been murdered by Meer Jaffier and his son; and censures the manner of deposing that prince. His Observations conclude as follows:

« The restoring Jaffir Ally Cawn to the fubahship was the neceffary consequence of the war against Coffin Ally Cawn, and the conditions on which he was to be restored were, besides the confirmation of former treaties,

6. That he should maintain twelve thousand horse and twelve thousand foot, which number should not be exceeded without the consent of the company, that he fhould permit a constant resident at his court, on behalf of the company.

« That the orders issued by Cossim Ally Cawn, declaring all trade exempt from customs for two years, Thould be reverted, and the English permitted to trade free of duty on all commodities except salt, which should pay two and a half per cent.

- Thirty laacks of rupees to be paid to the company, to defray their lofses and expences in the war.

All private persons, inhabitants of Calcutta, to be reimbursed fuch losses as they should prove before the governor and council; besides this public treaty, there were the following separate articles, 'which are not entered on the records.

• That twenty-five laacks should be paid to the army for their services, and half that sum to the navy.

• The war was carried on with such success against Coffim Ally, that he was foon driven out of his dominions, and ima plored the protection of Sujah Dowla, the fubah of the next province ; who, on hearing Coffim Ally had entered his dominions with a considerable force, which still remained attached to him, thought it proper to move towards the Bengal frontier ; when having made Coffim Ally dismiss his troops, and probably having taken a considerable share of his treasures, he then folemnly took him under his protection.

• It does not appear Sujah Dowla had at this time any intention of invading the Bengal provinces, but our success against Coflim Ally was followed by a mutiny among our troops, at the instigation of some French men in our service ; a batala lion of fepoys, and about two hundred Europeans (mostly foreigners) marched off to the enemy, with their arms, colours, and two field-pieces, and the rest were with difficulty restrained from following them.

· Flattered by thefe circumstances of our distress, Sujah Dowla feemed to affare himself of an easy conquest of the three provinces, which he immediately invaded, General Carnac,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

who at this time commanded our army, wisely declined hazarding an action : 'as the mutinous spirit in the army was not yet reduced, he stood on the defensive, and always repulsed the enemy, and covered Patna, till the rains put an end to all operations. General Carnac being soon after dismissed from the service by orders from England, the command devolved on major Munro, who, by a well-timed severity, reduced the army to obedience; took the field, and gain'd the important battle of Buxar.

• Affairs in Calcutta were pushed with as much vigour as in the field'; Mir Jaffir was extremely pressed for payment of the several demands on him. The expence of the army was enormous, for we did not now fight our battles with a handful of men as at Plaffy in 1757. The military establishinent had been annually encreasing ever since lord Clive left the country, and now confifted of eighteen thousand horse and foot, the expence of which foon swallowed up the thirty laacks paid by Meer Jafir; as also the further sum of five laacks per month, which Mir Jaffir had agreed to pay while the war lasted ; and the company were finking from forty to fifty thousand pounds every inonth of their capital : besides the maintaining the war at this immense expence, Meer Jaffir was closely pressed for the vast fums to be paid on private accounts.

• The article of the treaty ftipulating an indemnification for private losses, proved a source of the most dishonourable oppression. Meer Jaffir was firft assured the losses would not amount to more than ten laacks, on the faith of which he consented to make them good; he was soon after told it would be twenty, then thirty, then forty, and was finally fixed at fifty-three laacks, or feven hundred thousand pounds, of which seveneighths was for losses fustained (or said to be sustained) in an illicit monopoly of the necessaries of life, carried on against the orders of the company, and to the utter ruin of many thousands of the India merchants : That we may not lose the sight of the English conduct in this, I shall here bring this fubject to a conclusion, by informing the reader, that the court of directors being juftly alarmed at the fatal consequences they apprehended from this trade, had under date, the eighth of February 1764, most positively ordered their servants to put a total and effectual stop to the inland trade in falt. Mr. Vanfittart and his council met to debate on this order, and came to a resolution to carry it on, paying two and a half per cent. Mr. Vanfittart is pleased to urge, contradictory orders were then arrived, or foon expected. Mr. Vansittart mistakes both in dates and facts. Four months after the above order, the court of directors, conformable to an order of a general court,

informed

informed their agents at Bengal, that lord Clive and the select committee would have powers to regulate the inland trade, meaning to regulate it so, that it should neither be oppreffive to the natives nor hurtful to the nabob's revenue ; but this letter was not received nor known of at that period of time when the above resolution was agreed to.

• To return to the demands made upon Meer Jaffir. The twenty-five laacks, stipulated for the army, were nearly discharged, but all delicacy of conduct was laid aside, in the manner in which payment was obtained for the seven hundred thousand pounds for private losses, half of which was soon extorted from him, though the company were at that time finking under the burthen of the war, and obliged to borrow great sums of money of their servants at eight per cent. intereft ; and even with that assistance could not carry on both their war and their investment, but fent their ships half loaded to Europe.

“When advice was received of lord Clive's departure from England, the persecution of Meer Jaffir for payment of the several demands on him held pace with their fears of lord Clive's disapprobation of their conduct, and I make no doubt that the indignities he suffered haftened his death, by bringing on a bad state of health, which ended in a dropsy, of which he died two months after Mr. Vansittart left the country.'

As we are no judges of the facts contained in this pamphlet, we can only say, that it is written with decency and good sense.

1

24. An Address from John Zephaniah Holwell, Esq; 10 Luke

Scrafton, Elq; in Reply to his Pamphlet, intitled, Observations on Mr. Vanfittart's Narrative. 8vo. Pr.

Becket. We cannot be so cruel as to flatter Mr. Holwell that Mr. Scrafton, or any other gentleman, needs to stand in awe of what he is pleased to call the just chastisement of his pen. When you sent me (says Mr. Scrafton to him in a letter pube lished with this address) one of your Historical Events, I then wrote you, that I represented your Memorial as false, or misrepresented, in every instance; as also your Account of the revenues, which has been productive of much mifchief to the company, and is fo totally false, that besides the gross sum of eleven crore, being eight and a half crore more than the real fact; the items it is composed of are ridicu. lously false. — You rate the city of Dacca at two crore. - The whole province, city included, is but twenty-five laaks - the customs of the city, I dare say, do not pass 40,000 rupeeso As you have thought fit to publish those things to the world, you muft take the consequence of having gone on such

wrong

wrong informations," From this quotation it appears that Mr. Scrafton, who is a director, is offended at Mr. Holwell's estimates, and thinks it his duty to vindicate the conduct of lord Clive.

We have already disclaimed our passing any judgment on the facts contained in these publications, but we cannot omit transcribing the following very extraordinary passage. Let it in the first place be remembered, that howsoever happy in its consequences the defeat at Pialley proved to individual sufferers, the meanş by which it was obtained should rather be forgot, nor should you blazon that defeat with the semblance of a military act of prowess, which was solely owing to the treason and treachery of Roydullob and Mhir Jaffier, two of Surajah Dowla's generals, the highest in office, as well as in the confidence of their master ; thus betrayed, no glory would have been reflected on our arms, had the deseat been atchieved with one fourth of the men then under lord Clive's coinmand,"

Mr. Holwell's manner of - judging the battle of Plafley reminds us of the observations of the French on the English conquests at Agincourt, Blenheim, Ramillies, Minden, and other places; all which were acquired by some unforeseen accident, some secret treachery, or some flight inadverteney in the French generals, without a single grain of merit or courage on the side of the English. According to one of those refined politicians, it was not Alexapder who gained the battle of Arbela, but an old woman, who happened to throw into the street a hob-nail, which stuck into the hoof of the Persian general's warhorse, and disabled him from charging the enemy. We shall conclude our review of this addrefs in Mr. Scraftor's own words: that we ' fhould be sorry to disturb the author's tranquility, at his time of life, or to do any thing that may tend to deprive the world of his future reveries on the Banian religion.'

25. An Attempt to pay off the National Debt, by abolising the East

India Company of Merchants; and all other Monopolies. With other Interesting Measures. 8vo. Pr. is. Bladen.

We can discover no other fenfe or meaning in this pamphlet, except that, if the government of England would be so kind to itself and the nation, aś to commit a moft infamous breach of public faith, by destroying the charter of the East India company, the national debt might be paid. As to the execution of this proposal, it is below contempt.

[ocr errors]

* See vol, XX. p. 145, and vol. XXII. p. 340.

26. An Address to the Public, concerning the Bufiness between the Gom

vernment and the East-India Company. Proving that the Governa: ment has no just Demand on the Company, either for Protection granted, or for territorial Acquifition. 8vo. Pr. 6d. Williams.

This pamphlet is occasioned by two letters in the Gazetteer, said to be written by an Hibernian, who proposes that the company shall pay a million yearly, till the debt of the nation is paid. It contains very warm expostulations against the au. thor of the preceding pamphlet, with much personal abuse a. gainst two admirals, and an honourable general. The whole is the work of some of those scribblers who every day write in the public papers on temporary subjects.

Is. 6d.

27. A Review of the present State of the Nation, its Maladies and

Means of Relief: humbly submitted to the Confideration of the Inhabitants of Great Britain. By a Well-wisher to bis Country. 8vo. Pr.

Peat. The author of this pamphlet is one of those temporary Lycurgi, who very kindly facrifice their literary ease to the drudgery of mending the state, instructing his majesty, and appointing or displacing his minifters. A certain lately created peer who is thought at present to preside at the British helm, is the object of our author's indignation. He disapproves of all his American measures, and abuses him for raising the price of beer to three half-pence farthing a pint. He censures the government for not ordering double crops to grow for the service of the good people of England ; and advises - the ministry to avail themselves of the Eait India company's revenues. He very generously provides for the two eldest princes of the blood royal out of the rents of the crown-lands, when farmed out for pasture fields ; and concludes with many patriotic effusions of public fpirit, in which we wish him fuccefs.

28. A free Appeal to the People of Great-Britain, on the Conduct of the present Administration, since the Thirieth of July, 1766. 8vo. Pri is. Almon,

This pamphlet contains bitter invectives against the present adminiftration, and is written in favour of that which preceded, the last. The right honourable personage supposed to be now at the helin of affairs is treated as the very mirror of despotisin ;; or, in other words, as a great Turk, who will not suffer even a brother to be near his throne. His peerage is pronounced first to be an act of felo de fe, and afterwards a new specific for the gout. In Thort, the whole arrangements of the administration

« AnteriorContinua »