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40 WARREN HASTINGS.

pearance. Letters had been sent by the Secretary of the Treasury,
exhorting all the supporters of government who held India stock
to be in attendance. Lord Sandwich marshalled the friends of the
administration with his usual dexterity and alertness. Fifty
peers and privy councillors, seldom seen so far eastward, were
counted in the crowd. The debate lasted till midnight. The
opponents of Hastings had a small superiority on the division; but
a ballot was demanded; and the result was that the Governor-
General triumphed by a majority of above a hundred votes over
the combined efforts of the Directors and the Cabinet. The minis-
ters were greatly exasperated by this defeat. Even Lord North
lost his temper, no ordinary occurrence with him, and threatened
to convoke parliament before Christmas, and to bring in a bill
for depriving the Company of all political power, and for restrict-
ing it to its old business of trading in silks and teas.

Colonel Macleane, who through all this conflict had zealously
supported the cause of Hastings, now thought that his employer
was in imminent danger of being turned out, branded with parlia-
mentary censure, perhaps prosecuted. The opinion of the crown
lawyers had already been taken respecting some parts of the
Governor-Genera.1’s conduct. It seemed to be high time to think
of securing an honourable retreat. Under these circumstances,
Macleane thought himself justified in producing the resignation
with which he had been intrusted. The instrument was not in
very accurate form ; but the Directors were too eager to be scru-
pulous. They accepted the resignation, fixed on Mr. Wheler, one
of their own body, to succeed Hastings, and sent out orders that
General Clavering, as senior member of Council, should exercise
the functions of Governor-General till Mr. Wheler should arrive.

But, while these things were passing in England, a great change
had taken place in Bengal. Monson was no more. Only four
membeis of the government were left. Clavering and Francis
were on one side, Barwell and the Governor-General on the other;
and the Governor-General had the casting vote. Hastings, who
had been during two years destitute of all power and patronage,
uecame at once absolute. He instantly proceeded to retaliate on
his adversaries. Their measures were reversed: their creatures
were displaced. A new valuation of the lands of Bengal, for the
purposes of taxation, was ordered: and it was provided that the
whole inquiry should be conducted by the Governor-General, and

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