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36 WARREN HASTINGS.

which Nuncomar was about to die was regarded by them in much
the same light in which the selling of an unsound horse, for a sound
price. is regarded by a Yorkshire jockey. _

The Mussulmans alone appear to have seen with exultation the
fate of the powerful Hindoo, who had attempted to rise by means
of the ruin of Mahommed Reza Khan. The Mahommedan historian
of those times takes delight in aggravating the charge. He assures
us that in Nuncomar’s house a casket was found containing coun-
terfeits of the seals of all the richest men of the province. We
have never fallen in with any other authority for this story, which
in itself is by no means improbable.

The day drew near; and Nuncomar prepared himself to die with
that quiet fortitude with which the Bengalee, so effeminately timid
in personal conflict, often encounters calamities for which there is
no remedy. The sherifl", with the humanity which is seldom
wanting in an English gentleman, visited the prisoner on the eve
of the execution, and assured him that no indulgence, consistent
with the law, should be refused to him. N uncomar expressed his
gratitude with great politeness and unaltered composure. Not a
muscle of his face moved. Not a sigh broke from him. He put
his finger to his forehead, and calmly said that fate would have
its way, and that there was no resisting the pleasure of God. He
sent his compliments to Francis, Clavering, and Monson, and
charged them to protect Rajah Goordas, who was about to become
the head of the Brahmins of Ben gal. The sheriff withdrew, greatly
agitated by what had passed, and Nuncomar sat composedly down
to write notes and examine accounts.

The next morning, before the sun was in his power, an immense
concourse assembled round the place where the gallows had been
set up. Grief and horror were on every face ; yet to the last the
multitude could hardly believe that the English really purposed to
take the life of the great Brahmin. At length the mournful pro-
cession came through the crowd. Nuncomar sat up in his palan-
quin, and looked round him with unaltered serenity. He had just
parted from those who were most nearly connected with him.
Their cries and contortions had appalled the European ministers
of justice, but had not produced the smallest effect on the iron
stoicism of the prisoner. The only anxiety which he expressed
was that men of his own priestly caste might. be in attendance to
take charge of his corpse. He again desired to be remembered to

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