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8 WARREN HASTINGS.

tory subordinate to that of Fort William. Here, during several
years, Hastings was employed in making bargains for stuffs with
native brokers. While he was thus engaged, Surajah Dowlah suc-
ceeded to the government, and declared war against the English.
The defenceless settlement of Cossimbazar, lying close to the
tyrant’s capital, was instantly seized. Hastings was sent a pri-
soner to Moorshedabad, but, in consequence of the humane inter-
vention of the servants of the Dutch Company, was treated with
indulgence. Meanwhile the Nabob marched on Calcutta; the
governor and the commandant fled; the town and citadel were
taken, and most of the English prisoners perished in the Black
Hole.

In these events originated the greatness of Warren Hastings.
The fugitive governor and his companions had taken refuge on the
dreary islet of Fulda., near the mouth of the Hoogley. They were
naturally desirous to obtain full information respecting the pro-
ceedings of the Nabob ; and no person seemed so likely to furnish
it as Hastings, who was a prisoner at large in the immediate
neighbourhood of the court. He thus became a diplomatic agent,
and soon established a high character for ability and resolution.
The treason which at a later period was fatal to Surajah Dowlah
was already in progress; and Hastings was admitted to the deli-
berations of the conspirators. But the time for striking had not
arrived. It was necessary to postpone the execution of the de-
sign; and Hastings, who was now in- extreme peril, fled to Fulda.

Soon after his arrival at Fulda, the expedition from Madras,
commanded by Clive, appeared in the Hoogley. Warren, young,
intrepid, and excited probably by the example of the Commander
of the Forces who, having like himself been a mercantile agent of
the Company, had been turned by public calamities into a soldier,
determined to serve in the ranks. During the early operations
of the war he carried a musket. But the quick eye of Clive
soon perceived that the head of the young volunteer would be
more useful than his arm. Wlien, after the battle of Plassey,
Meer Jafier was proclaimed Nabob of Bengal, Hastings was ap-
pointed to reside at the court of the new prince as agent for the

Company.

He remained at Moorshedahad till the year 1761, when he be-
came a member of Council, and was consequently forced to reside
at Calcutta. This was during the interval between Clive’s first

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