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l4 VVARREN HASTINGS.

vassals of the throne of Delhi; they raised their revenues as col-
lectors appointed by the imperial commission; their public seal
was inscribed with the imperial titles ; and their mint struck only
the imperial coin.

There was still a nabob of Bengal, who stood to the English
rulers of his country in the same relation in which Augustulus
stood to Odoacer, or the last Merovingians to Charles Martel and
Pepin. He lived at Moorshedabad, surrounded by princely mag-
nificence. He was approached with outward marks of reverence,
and his name was used in public instruments. But in the govern-
ment of the country he had less real share than the youngest
writer or cadet in the Company’s service.

The English council which represented the Company at Calcutta
was constituted on a very different plan from that which has
since been adopted. At present the Governor is, as to all exe-
cutive measures, absolute. He can declare war, conclude peace,
appoint public functionaries or remove them, in opposition to the
unanimous sense of those who sit with him in council. They are,
indeed, entitled to know all that is done, to discuss all that is done,
to advise, to remonstrate, to send protests to England. But it is
with the Governor that the supreme power resides, and on him that
the whole responsibility rests. This system, which was intro-
duced by Mr. Pitt and Mr. Dundas in spite of the strenuous op-
position of Mr. Burke, we conceive to be on the whole the best that
was ever devised for the government of a country where no ma-
terials can be found for a representative constitution. In the time
of Hastings the Governor had only one vote in council, and, in case
of an equal division, a casting vote. .2 therefore happened not
unfrequently that he was overruled on the gravest questions ; and
it was possible that he might be wholly excluded, for years to-
gether, from the real direction of public afl"-airs.

The English functionaries at Fort \Villiam had as yet paid little
or no attention to the internal government. of Bengal. The only
branch of politics about which they much busied themselves was
negotiation with the native princes. The police, the administra-
tion of justice, the details of the collection of revenue, were almost
entirely neglected. VVe may remark that the phraseology of the
Company’s servants still bears the traces of this state of things. To
this day they always use the word “ political” as synonymous with
“ diplomatic.” VVe could name a gentleman still living, who was

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