Imágenes de páginas

This extraordinary paffage conveys more than perhaps its authors were aware of. For it not only afferts the existing validity of the old treaty of 1762, a mere fpeculative point, which may have mifled the opinions of fome; but it decides without reserve and without mercy against the characters of men who have filled, and who do fill, the highest ftations both in the direction at home, and in the fervice of the Company abroad, with a reputation eminent as their rank, and till this period unimpeached, unfufpected.

Surely a subject so peculiarly delicate, required all caution and circumfpection. It would not have been unworthy the Directors of 1775, to have regarded with more tendernefs the character of their predeceffors. Nothing less than actual proof could justify such severe infinuations against the Directors of 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, and 1774, as that they fuffered the public faith of the Company to be forfeited, and the honour of the British nation to be deeply affected by their connivance; and that they had rewarded fuch fignal delinquencies with diftinguished approbations, publicly acknowledging the eminent fervices of Mr. Dupree, and conferring on Mr. Haftings the government of Bengal.

If any motive could excufe repetition, it would be the defence of meritorious characters thus indifcriminately arraigned. We fhall, therefore, from the many which might be adduced, juft recapitulate the following recorded facts, viz.

"The Directors of 1769 declare the Rajah a delinquent both to the Nabob and the Company, for his notorious mifdemeanours, and enjoin the Governor and Council to redrefs the Nabob, and chastise the Rajah.

The Governor and Council concurred in the propriety of the orders; though they were under a temporary neceffity of deferring their execution by the treaty of 1769 with Hyder Ali; occafioned by the low ftate of their finances, and the Rajah's intrigues with that avowed enemy.

"The Directors of 1772 approve the conduct of the Governor and Council of 1771 againft the Rajah, for his fresh breach of treaty, and invading the territories of Marawar and Nalcooty, dependent on the Nabob, which juftified with aggravated force the decifive orders against him.

"The fame Directors write to the Nabob, that they foould have been at all events urged to unfbeath the sword, to chaftife that Rajah.

"The Directors of 1773, with the whole of this business before them up to that period, the first invafion of Tanjore, poffeffion of Fort Vellum, &c. exprefs not the flightest disapprobation of that measure. But promife to go into mature deliberation upon it, in order to frame further inftructions for their future conduct.


"New violations of treaty by the Rajah, even of the last granted to bim by the Nabab at the gates of Tanjore, with the cogent circumftances of the season of the year, and the state of the other powers Indoftan, rendered it neceffary to recommence hostilities against him; before the above-mentioned letter from the Company could reach Madras.


"The Directors of 1774, with every particular of the complete conquest of Tanjore before them, exprefs not the flighteft difapprobation."

Where then is the actual proof, which alone could justify the Directors of 1775, in fuch heavy charges against fuch men and meafures?"That the faith of the Company was forfeited, and the honour of the British nation deeply affected (by our fervants), contrary to our repeated orders and inftructions;" and all with impunity, nay with reward! Mark how a plain ftate of facts has reversed the fcene. Mark how the pages of the Company's records prove the actual contrary of thofe unguarded afperfions. The faith of the Company remained inviolate. The honour of the British nation was maintained, and her interefts in the Eaft critically secured against impending danger. The fervants of the Company acted under the exprefs fanction of reiterated orders and inftructions from their conftituents; who fully authorised coercive meafures against the Rajah as just and neceffary; who repeatedly enjoined their profecution; and finally faw the completion of them in 1773, by the reduction of Tanjore, without the flightest disapprobation.

Not till the 12th of April 1775 did this new light dawn on the Court of Directors. The tranfgreffions of the fervants in India, the infringement of the Company's faith, the violation of the British honour; these enormities, fo big with mifchief and difgrace, had all slept from the year 1769 to the year 1775. What must add to our admiration of this enlightened period is, that no public examination had been inftituted, no difcovery promulgated; fact, record, reason and juftice had remained the fame as in the fix preceding years. But more illuftrious lights now illuminated eaftern politics. Lord Pigot was to go to India. The fplendour of his miffion feemed to beam new intelligence on the Directors. But though it might be deemed the rifing of his glory, it was the setting of theirs; for their nota. ble inftructions to his Lordship was the last act of the last day of their adminiftration.'

The Writer next maintains, that the Company's orders to Lord Pigot proceeded on a false idea of the existence of the treaty of 1762 in favour of the Rajah, which he fhews was broken through by the repeated perfidious conduct of the Rajah, and afterwards annulled by the treaties of 1769 and 1771. But, even fuppofing this treaty to exift, and the Company to have been, as they style themselves, guarantees of it, he afferts their conduct to be equally inconfiftent with their own folemn profeffions, and with the duties of their affumed character.

They declare their determination (as guarantees) to do justice. to a much injured Prince, and by re-inflating him in his dominions reftore to the Company their public faith, which had been forfeited, and the honour of the British nation which had been deeply affected. Thefe are fine founding words; but had this, or any thing fimilar to it, been really their object; had these plaufible fentiments been truly founded; the business was plain and open before them: the task would have been fhort and easy, to reftore the Rajah to his domi

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nions, to fecure to the Nabob his tribute, and to guard again ft the commiffion of injury in future by either party. Instead of fuch a line of conduct, which only could accord with their profeffions, what measures did they purfue? They will beft appear from the following fhort extracts from their Orders refpecting the Rajah's restoration:

Paragraph 5th.

"And having refolved to contribute as far as in us lies towards the restoration of the King of Tanjore, which by every tie of honour we conceive ourselves bound to do, we hereby direct that you take the most effectual meafures, without lofs of time, for fecuring the perfon of the King of Tanjore, and that you forthwith appoint him a proper guard for his protection, and alfo for the protection of his family, and inform him that we have determined to replace him on the throne of his ancestors."

Paragraph 6th.

"We shall infift upon his admitting a garrifon of our troops into the fort of Tanjore. You are likewife to infift upon having an affignment of revenues made to the Company, fufficient for the maintenance of the faid troops, and for providing military ftores neceffary for the defence of the garrison."

Paragraph 11th.

"That no treaty with foreign powers fhall be concluded by the King of Tanjore without our concurrence."

Paragraph 13th.

"No troops whatever, except thofe of the Company, shall be permitted to refide within the city of Tanjore, and except alfo fuch native guards as may be neceffary for fupporting the dignity of his Majefty's government; and the number of fuch native guards fhall be fixed by our Governor and Council, and not exceeded or augmented by the King of Tanjore on any account or pretence whatever."

• Such are the Orders given by the Company in the character of guarantees to the treaty of 1762! Pretending to act under the authority of an office merely mediatorial, they affume high and imperial powers. On the fpecious pretext, but in real perverfion of the character of guarantees, which could only entrust to them the care of former ftipulations, they dictate new terms, and impofe new conditions. Melted with compaflion for an unfortunate Prince, as they profefs them felves, they determine to redrefs his injuries by re-initating him in his dominions. Mark how their fympathy works! They feize his kingdom to themfelves, fill his forts with their gar rifons, and his country with their forces; keeping his Majesty a flateprifoner with not a femblance of royalty, excepting indeed a bodyguard about his perfon, that ferves only to remind him of his loft dignity. Thus do they " fupport the dignity of his Majefty's government!" and thus do they ** replace" an injured Prince" on the throne of his ancestors!"

After fome remarks on the impolicy as well as injuftice of this measure, the Writer concludes by calling upon Government, to whom the Nabob has made his appeal, to support the public faith and the honour of the British nation, by restoring to the Nabob of Arcot the country of Tanjore, and perform

ing every condition, according to the ftipulations between him and the Prefidency of Madras.

Without attempting to decide on the merits of the main question, which more properly belongs to the court of juftice than to that of criticism, we may be allowed to remark, that every fresh developement of the tranfactions in the Eaft affords a new occafion for lamenting the power of avarice to blind men's eyes and harden their hearts. Whatever benefits mankind may derive from commerce, we find little reason to expect that it will improve their ideas of equity, or strengthen their principles of humanity.


ART. IX. Moral Eclogues. 4to. I S. Payne. 1778.

Ọ thefe Eclogues is prefixed no other introduction than the following brief advertisement:

The moft rational definition of Paftoral Poetry, feems to be that of the learned and ingenious Dr. Johnson, in the 37th number of his Rambler. "Paftoral, fays he, being the reprefentation of an action or paffion, by its effects on a country life, has · nothing peculiar, but its confinement to rural imagery, without which it ceases to be Pastoral." This theory the Author of the following Eclogues has endeavoured to exemplify.'

The peculiarity, here mentioned, refers only to the imagery of Paftoral. Many writers, especially Pope, have thought the numbers of almost equal confequence; and that a polished, easy, gentle flow of verfe was one of the characteristics principally requifite in Paftoral Poetry. The Writer of the Eclogues before us, has accordingly been equally attentive to the style and imagery. The liquid lapfe of his measures is rarely interrupted, though fome few lines do not quite accord with the sweetness of the reft, viz.

Beneath a broad oak on the graffy plain

And again,

While herds and flocks their annual increase yield—

In these, and fome other inftances, the accent is misplaced, and the harmony deftroyed; but a poetical ear will, in moft parts of these Paftorals, be fufficiently gratified. There is a novelty in the conduct and scenery of the third Eclogue, entitled, Armyn; or the Difcontented, which induces us to felect fome lines from thence, as a fpecimen of thefe Eclogues.

There, on the hill's foft flope, delightful view!
Fair fields of corn, the wealth of ARMYN, grew.
His sturdy hinds,” a slow laborious band,
Swept their bright fcythes along the level land:
Blithe youths and maidens nimbly near them paft,
And the thick fwarth in careless wind-rows caft.

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Full on the landscape fhone the weftering fun,
When thus the Swain's foliloquy begun :

"Hafte down, O Sun! and close the tedious day:
"Time, to the unhappy, flowly moves away.
"Not fo, to me, in RODEN's fylvan bowers,
"Pafs'd youth's fhort blissful reign of careless hours;
"When to my view the fancy'd Future lay,
"A region ever tranquil, ever gay.

"O then, what ardors did my breast inflame!

"What thoughts were mine, of friendship, love, and fame!
“ How tasteless life, now all its joys are try’d,
"And warm pursuits in dull repose fubfide !”
He paus'd: his clofing words ALBINO heard,
As down the ftream his little boat he fleer'd;
His hand releas'd the fail, and dropt the oar,
And moor'd the light skiff on the fedgy fhore.
"Ceafe, gentle Swain," he faid; "no more, in vain,
"Thus make past pleasure cause of present pain!
"Ceafe, gentle Swain," he faid; "from thee, alone,
"Are youth's bleft hours and fancy'd profpects flown?
« Ah, no!—remembrance to my view restores
"Dear native fields, which now my foul deplores ;
"Rich hills and vales, and pleasant village scenes
"Of oaks whose wide arms stretch'd o'er daified greens,
" And wind-mill's fails flow-circling in the breeze,
"And cottage walls envelop'd half with trees~
"Sweet fcenes, where beauty met the ravish'd fight,
"And mufic often gave the ear delight;

"Where DELIA's fmile, and MIRA's tureful fong,
"And DAMON's converfe, charm'd the youthful throng!

"How chang'd, alas, how chang'd!-O'er all our plains,
"Proud NORVAL, now, in lonely grandeur reigns;
"His wide-spread park a waste of verdure lies,

"And his vaft villa's glittering roofs arise.

"For me, hard fate!-But fay, fhail I complain?
"These limbs yet active Life's fupport obtain.

"Let us, or good or evil as we share,

"That thankful prize, and this with patience bear."
The foft reproach touch'd ARMYN's gentle breaft;
His alter'd brow a placid fmile exprest.

"Calm as clear ev'nings after vernal rains,
"When all the air a rich perfume retains,

"My mind," faid he, " its murmurs driv'n away,

"Feels Truth's full force, and bows to Reafon's fway."

The Reader will not find the reft of the work inferior to this extract. The Author, like other Paftoral Poets, has marked the feveral feafons of each Eclogue; but he has devoted two to fummer, and none to winter.


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