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32 WARREN HASTINGS.

who, to do them justice, were men of too much honour knowingly
to countenance false accusations, but who were not sufficiently
acquainted with the East to be aware that, in that part of the
world, a very little encouragement from power will call forth, in a
week, more Oateses, and Bedloes, and Dangerfields, than West-
minster Hall sees in a century. .

It would have been strange indeed if, at such a juncture,
Nuncomar had remained quiet. That bad man was stimulated at
once by malignity, by avarice, and by ambition. Now was the
time to be avenged on his old enemy, to wreak a grudge of
seventeen years, to establish himself in the favour of the majority
of the Council, to become the greatest native in Bengal. From
the time of the arrival of the new Councillors, he had paid the
most marked court to them, and had in consequence been excluded,
with all indignity, from the Government-house. He now put into
the hands of Francis, with great ceremony, a paper containing
several charges of the most serious description. By this document
Hastings was accused of putting oflices up to sale, and of receiving
bribes for suffering offenders to escape. In particular, it was
alleged that Mahommed Reza Khan had been dismissed with
impunity, in consideration of a great sum paid to the Governor-
General.

Francis read the paper in _Council. A violent altercation fol-
lowed. Hastings complained in bitter terms of the way in which
he was treated, spoke with contempt of Nuncomar and of Nunco-
mar’s accusation, and denied the right of the Council to sit in
judgment on the Governor. At the next meeting of the Board,
another communication from Nuncomar was produced. He re-
quested that he might be permitted to attend the Council, and that
he might be heard in support of his assertions. Another tempes-
tuous debate took place. The Governor-General maintained that
the council-room was not a proper place for such an investigation ;
that from persons who were heated by daily conflict with him he
could not expect the fairness of judges; and that he could not,
without betraying the dignity of his post, submit to be confronted
with such a man as Nuncomar. The majority, however, resolved
to go into the charges. Hastings rose, declared the sitting at an
end, and left the room, followed by Barwell.’ The other members
kept their seats, voted themselves a council, put Clavering in the
chair, and ordered N uncomar to be called in. Nuncomar not only

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