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WARREN HASTINGS.

(OCTOBER, 1841.)

Memoirs of the Life of Warren Hastings, first G’overnor- General of
Bengal. Compiled from Original Papers, by the Rev. G. R. GLEIG,
M.A. 3 vols. 8vo. London: 1841.

WE are inclined to think that we shall best meet the wishes of
our readers, if, instead of minutely examining this book, we
attempt to give, in a way necessarily hasty and imperfect, our
own view of the life and character of Mr. Hastings. Our feeling
towards him is not exactly that of the House of Commons which
impeached him in 1787; neither is it that of the House of Com-
mons which uncovered and stood up to receive him in 1813. He
had great qualities, and he rendered great services to the state.
But to represent him as a man of stainless virtue is to make him
ridiculous; and from regard for his memory, if from no other
feeling, his friends would have done well to lend no countenance
to such adulation. We believe that, if he were now living, he
would have sufficient judgment and suflicient greatness of mind
to wish to be shown as he was. He must have known that there
were dark spots on his fame. He might also have felt with pride
that the splendour of his fame would bear many spots. He would
have wished posterity to ha.ve a likeness of him, though an
unfavourable likeness, rather than a daub at once insipid and
unnatural, resembling neither him nor any body else. “Paint
me as I am,” said Oliver Cromwell, while sitting to young Lely.
“ If you leave out the scars and wrinkles, I will not pay you a
shilling.” Even in such a trifle, the great Protector showed both
his good sense and his magnanimity. He did not wish all that
was characteristic in his countenance to be lost, in the vain

attempt to give him the regular features and smooth blooming
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