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WARREN HASTINGS. 13

and his wife’sklover. It was arranged that the Baroness should
institute a suit for a divorce in the courts of Franconia, that the
Baron should afford every facility to the proceeding, and that,
during the years which might elapse before the sentence should
be pronounced, they should continue to live together. It was also
agreed that Hastings should bestow some very substantial marks
of gratitude on the complaisant husband, and should, when the
marriage was dissolved, make the lady his wife, and adopt the
children whom she had already borne to Imhoff.

At Madras, Hastings found the trade of the Company in a very
disorganised state. His own tastes would have led him rather to
political than to commercial pursuits: but he knew that the favour
of his employers depended chiefly on their dividends, and that
their dividends depended chiefly on the investment. He there-
fore, with great judgment, determined to apply his vigorous mind
for a time to this department of business, which had been much
neglected, since the servants of the Company had ceased to be
clerks, and had become warriors and negotiators.

In a very few months be effected an important reform. The
Directors notified to him their high approbation, and were so
much pleased with his conduct that they determined to place him
at the head of the government of Bengal. Early in 1772 he
quitted Fort St. George for his new post. The Imhoffs, who were
still man and wife, accompanied him, and lived at Calcutta on
the same plan which they had already followed during more than
two years.

When Hastings took his seat at the head of the council board,
Bengal was still governelaccording to the system which Clive
bad devised, a system wlii’-",‘h was, perhaps, skilfully contrived for
the purpose of facilitating and concealing a great revolution, but
which, when that revolution was complete and irrevocable, could
produce nothing but inconvenience. There were two governments,
the real and the ostensible. The supreme power belonged to the
Company, and was in truth the most despotic power that can be
conceived. The only restraint on the English masters of the
country was that which their own justice and humanity imposed
on them. There was no constitutional check on their will, and
resistance to them was utterly hopeless.

But, though thus absolute in reality, the English had not yet
assumed the style of sovereignty. They held their territories as

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