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64 WARREN HASTINGS.

Dwelling; while Asaph-ul-Dowlah held his court in the stately
Lucknow, which he had built for himself on the shores of the
Goomti, and had adorned with noble mosques and colleges.

Asaph-ul-Dowlah had already extorted considerable sums from
his mother. She had at length appealed to the English; and the
English had interfered. A solemn compact had been made, by
which she consented to give her son some pecuniary assistance,
and he in his turn promised never to commit any further invasion
of her rights. This compact was formally guaranteed by the
government of Bengal. But times had changed; money was
wanted; and the power which had given the guarantee was not
ashamed to instigate the spoiler to excesses such that even he
shrank from them.

It was necessary to find some pretext for a confiscation incon-
sistent, not merely with plighted faith, not merely with the or-
dinary rules of humanity and justice, but also with that great law
of filial piety which, even in the wildest tribes of savages, even in
those more degraded communities which wither under the in-
fluence of a corrupt half-civilisation, retains a certain authority
over the human mind. A pretext was the last thing that Has-
tings was likely to want. The insurrection at Benares had pro-
duced disturbances in Oude. These disturbances it was convenient
to itnpute to the Princesses. Evidence for the imputation there
was scarcely any; unless reports wandering from one mouth to
another, and gaining something by every transmission, may be
called evidence. The accused were furnished with no charge;
they were permitted to ‘make no defence ; for the Governor-General
wisely considered that, if he tried them, he might not be able to
find a ground for plundering them. It was agreed between him
and the Nabob Vizier that the noble ladies should, by a sweeping
act of confiscation, be stripped of their domains and treasures
for the benefit of the Company, and that the sums thus obtained
should be accepted by the government of Bengal in satisfaction of
its claims on the government of Oude.

\Vhile Asaph-ul-Dowlah was at Chunar, he was completely
subjugated by the clear and commanding intellect of the English
statesman. But, when they had separated, the Vizier began to
reflect with uneasiness on the engagements into which he had
entered. His mother and grandmother protested and implored.

llis heart, deeply corrupted by absolute power and licentious

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