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WARREN HASTINGS. 95

spent in reading papers and hearing witnesses. The next article
was that relating to the Princesses of Oude. The conduct of this
part of the case was entrusted to Sheridan. The curiosity of the
public to hear him was unbounded. His sparkling and highly
finished declamation lasted two days; but the Hall was crowded to
suffocation during the Whole time. It was said that fifty guineas
had been paid for a single ticket. Sheridan, when he concluded,
contrived, with a knowledge of stage effect which his father might
have envied, to sink back, as if exhausted, into the arms of Burke,
who hugged him with the energy of generous admiration.

June was now far advanced. The session could not last much
longer; and the progress which had been made in the impeach-
ment was not very satisfactory. There were twenty charges. On
two only of these had even the case for the prosecution been
heard; and it was now a year since Hastings had been admittedto
bail.

The interest taken‘by the public in the trial was great when the
Court began to sit, and rose to the height when Sheridan spoke on
the charge relating to the Begums. From that time the excitement
went down fast. The spectacle had lost the attraction of novelty.
The great displays of rhetoric were over. What was behind was
not of a nature to entice men of letters from their books in the
morning, or to tempt ladies who had left the masquerade at two to be
out of bed before eight. There remained examinations and cross-
examinations. There remained statements of accounts. There
remained the reading of papers, filled with words unintelligible to
English ears. with lacs and crores, zemindars and aumils, sunnuds
and perwannahs, jaghires and nuzzurs. There remained bicker-
ings, not always carried on with the best taste or with the best
temper, between the managers of the impeachment and the counsel
for the defence, particularly between Mr. Burke and Mr. Law.
There remained the endless marches and countermarches of the
Peers between their House and the Hall : for as often as a point of
law was to be discussed, their Lordships retired to discuss it apart;
and the consequence was, as a Peer wittily said, that the judges
walked and the trial stood still.

It is to be added that, in the spring of 1788, when the trial com-
menced, no important question, either of domestic or foreign
policy. occupied the public mind. The proceeding in Westminster
Hall, therefore, naturally attracted most of the attention of Par-

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