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DIRECTIONS FOR CHARGING THE NABOB OF ARCOT'S PRIVATE DEBTS

TO EUROPEANS, ON THE REVENUES OF THE CARNATIC.

FEBRUARY 28th, 1785.

WITH

AN

APPENDIX, cortaining several Documents.

Ένίαύθα τι πράττειν έχρήν άνδρα των Πλάτωνα και Αριστοτέλους ζηλωτήν δογμάτων και άρα περιοράν ανθρώπες αθλίες τους κλέπταις εκδιδομένες, ή καλα δύναμιν αυτοίς αμύνειν, oίμαι, ώς ήδη το κύκνειον εξαδoυσι δια το θεομισές εργαστήριον των τοιέτων; Έμοι μεν εν αισχρον είναι δοκεί τες μέν χιλιάρχες, όταν λείσωσι την τάξιν, καλαδικάζειν» την δε υσέρ άθλίων ανθρώπων υπολείπειν τάξιν, όταν δεη προς κλεπιας αγωνίζεσθαι τοιέτες και ταυτα τ8 Θεξ συμμαχενιος ημίν, ώσπερ εν έταξεν.

JULIANI Εpift. 17.

A D V E R T I SE M E N T.

HAT the least informed reader of this speech may be

enabled to enter fully into the spirit of the transaction on occasion of which it was delivered, it may be proper to acquaint him, that among the princes dependent on this nation in the southern part of India, the most considerable at present is commonly known by the title of the Nabob of Arcot.

This prince owed the establishment of his government, against the claims of his elder brother, as well as those of other competitors, to the arms and influence of the British East India Company. Being thus established in a considerable part of the dominions he now possesses, he began, about the year 1765, to form, at the instigation (as he asserts) of the servants of the East India Company, a variety of designs for the further extension of his territories. Some years after, he carried his views to certain objects of interior arrangement, of a very pernicious nature. None of these designs could be compassed without the aid of the company's arms; nor could those arms be employed consistently with an obedience to the company's orders. He was therefore advised to form a more secret, but an equally powerful interest among the servants of that company, and among others both at home and abroad. By engaging them in his interests, the use of the company's power might be obtained VOL. II.

without

3 I

without their ostensible authority; the power might even be employed in defiance of the authority, if the case should require, as in truth it often did require, a proceeding of that degree of boldness.

The company had put him into possession of several great cities, and magnificent castles. The good order of his affairs, his sense of personal dignity, his ideas of oriental splendour, and the habits of an Afiatick life (to which, being a native of India, and a Mahometan, he had' from his in fancy been enured) would naturally have led him to fix the seat of his government within his own dominions. Instead of this, he totally fequestered himself from his country; and, abandoning all appearance of state, he took up his residence in an ordinary house, which he purchased in the suburbs of the company's factory at Madras. In that place he has lived, without removing one day from thence, for several years past. He has there continued a constant cabal with the company's servants, from the highest to the lowest'; creating, out of the ruins of the country, brilliant fortunes for those who will, and entirely destroying those who will not, be subservient to his purposes.

An opinion prevailed, strongly confirmed by several pafsages in his own letters, as well as by a combination of circumstances forming a body of evidence which cannot be refisted, that very great sums have been by him distributed, through a long course of years, to some of the company's fervants. Besides these presumed pay,ments in ready money (of which, from the nature of the thing,, the direct, proof is very difficult) debts have at several periods been. acknowledged to those gentlemen, to an immenfe amount; that is, to some millions of sterling money. There is strong reason to suspect, that the body of these debts is wholly

fictitious,

fictitious, and was never created by money bona fide lent. But even on a supposition that this vast sum was really advanced, it was impossible that the very reality of such an astonishing transaction should not cause some degree of alarm, and incite to some sort of enquiry.

It was not at all seemly, at a moment when the company itself was so distreffed, as to require a suspension, by act of parliament, of the payment of bills drawn on them from India-and also a direct tax upon every house in England, in order to facilitate the vent of their goods, and to avoid instant insolvency-at that very moment that their servants should appear in so flourishing a condition, as, besides ten million of other demands on their masters, to be entitled to claim a debt of three or four millions more from the territorial revenue of one of their dependent princes.

The ostensible pecuniary transactions of the nabob of Arcot, with very private persons, are so enormous, that they evidently set aside every pretence of policy, which might induce a prudent government in some instances to wink at ordinary loose practice in ill-managed departments. No caution could be too great in handling this matter; no scrutiny too exact. It was evidently the interest, and as evidently at least in the power, of the creditors, by admitting secret participation in this dark and undefined concern, to spread corruption to the greatest and the most alarming

extent.

These facts' relative to the debts were so notorious, the opinion of their being a principal source of the disorders of the British government in India was so undisputed and universal, that there was no party, no description of men in parliament, who did not think themselves bound, if not in honour and conscience, at least in common decency, to in3 I 2

stitute

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