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60 WARREN HASTINGS.

cusations brought against him. Hastings, who wanted money and
not excuses, was not to be put off by the ordinary artifices of East-
ern negotiation. He instantly ordered the Rajah to be arrested
and placed under the custody of two companies of sepoys.

In taking these strong measures, Hastings scarcely showed his
usual judgment. It is possible that, having had little opportunity
of personally observing any part of the population of India, except
the Bengalees, he was not fully aware of the difference between
their character and that of the tribes which inhabit the upper pro-
vinces. He was now in a land far more favourable to the vigour of
the human frame than the Delta of the Ganges; in a land fruitful of
soldiers, who have been found worthy to follow English battalions
to the charge and into the breach. The Rajah was popular among
his subjects. His administration had been mild ; and the prosperity

. of the district which he governed presented a striking contrast to

the depressed state of Bahar under our rule, and a still more strik-
ing contrast to the misery of the provinces which were cursed b
the tyranny of the Nabob Vizier. The national and religious prey:
judices with which the English were regarded throughout India
were peculiarly intense in the metropolis of the Brahminical super-
stition. It can therefore scarcely be doubted that the Governor-
General, before he outraged the dignity of Cheyte Sing by an ar-
rest, ought to have assembled a force capable of bearing down all
opposition. This had not been done. The handful of sepoys who
attended Hastings would probably have been sufficient to overawe
Moorshedabad, or the Black Town of Calcutta. But they were
unequal to a conflict with the hardy rabble of Benares. The streets
surrounding the palace were filled by an immense multitude, of
whom a large proportion, as is usual in Upper India, wore arms.
The tumult became a fight, and the fight a massacre. The English
oflicers defended themselves with desperate courage against over-
whelming numbers, and fell, as became them, sword in hand. The
sepoys were butchered. The gates were forced. The captive
prince, neglected by his gaolers during the confusion, discovered
an outlet which opened on the precipitous bank of the Ganges, let
himself down to the water by a string made of the turbans of his
attendants, found a boat, and escaped to the opposite shore.

If Hastings had, by indiscreet violence, brought himself into a
difiicult and perilous situation, it is only just to acknowledge that
he extricated himself with even more than his usual ability and

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