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L ETTER XIV.
SINCE I last took up the reed of fiendThip, my heart bas beet fretted with vex. ation, and my soul chilled with astonishment. Will the friend of Zaarmilla bélieve it possible, that I should have found fraud and falsehood, venality and corruplion, even in that court-protected vehicle of public information, that pure source of intelligence, called a Newspaper? .
The manner in which I made the diragreeable discovery, was, to me, no less extraordinary, than the discovery itself. I went, as usual, yesterday morning, to fpend an hour at the neighbouring coffeehouse, and, on entering it, was surprised to find myself the object of universal attention. Every eye was turned towards me; some few seemed to regard me with a look of contempt; but ihe general expression was that of pily and compassion. I had advanced to a box, and called for a newspaper, but was hëltating whether I should retire, cr stay to peruse its contents; when a gentleman, whom I obferred to eye me with particular eager
ness, approaching me with much for. mality, begged leave to enquire, whether miles, I was indeed the Rajah of Almora, a native Prince of Rohi'cund? On being sem answered in the affirmative, the gentle.
lad ble man, again bowing to the ground, thus rich proceeded : " I hope your highness will try
, not attribute it to any want of respect, that I have thus presumed to intrude my. z.op self into your presence.
I entertain too much respect, for whatever is illustrious w we in birth, or honourable in rank, or digni- zence fied in title, or exalted in authority, to
ied to do any thing derogatory to its greatness. ure I am but too conscious of the prejudice 2, th which your highness must inevitably entertain against this nation, to hope that you will look upon any individual belong- alte ing to it, without suspicion and abhorrence! But I hope to convince you, in fpite of the reasons you have had to the tilge contrary, that we are not a nation of monfters. Some virtue ftill remains among us, digni confined to me, and my honourable friends, it is true; but we, Sir, are Englishmen.net Englishmen, capable of blushing at the nefarious practices of delegated authority. lud Englithmen, who have not been completely embowelled,of our natural entrails; our hearts, and galls, and spleens, and livers, have not been forcibly torn from our
ave mbo v
bodies, and their places supplied by fhawls and lacks, and nabob-Thips, and dewames! We have real hearts of flesh and blood, within our bofoms. Hearts, which bleed at the recital of human misery, and feel for the woes of your unhappy country, with all the warmth of -unfophisticated virtue.” Perceiving my intention to speak, “I know, Sir, what you would say,” cried he, with vehemence: “You would tell me, that your hatred to the English race, was founded in nature and in justice.--You would tell me, that it is we who have desolated your Empire, who have turned the fruitful and delicious garden of Rohilound, into a waste and howling wilderness.We, who have extirpated the noble race of warriors, who were your kind proteciors! your indulgent lords! your beneficent friends! to whom you paid a proud submission; a dignified obedience; a subordination more defirable than the tumultuous spirit of the most exalted freedom !” Again I attempt. ed to speak.-" Ah !” cried he, in a still louder tone, “ you need not describe to me, the ravages you have seen committed; the insults you have sustained ! You need not tell me, that your friends have been slaughtered: your country plundered; your houses burned; your land laid waste; your Zenana dikhonoured : and
120 ) the favourile, the lovely, the virtuous wife of your affections, perhaps, torn from your agonizing bosom!” This was a chord not to be touched, even by the rude hand of a stranger, without exciting a visible emotion." I see the subject is too much for you,” cried he, “ it is too fraught with borror, to be surveyed with indif. ference. Nature fickens at the recollection, but you need say no more ; depend upon it, I shall niake a proper representation of your cafe. Through me, your wrongs thall find a tongue. I will proclaim to the world, all that I have heard you utter. That mass of horrors, that system of iniquity, which your highness would describe, shall be laid open to the eye of day, and its wicked, nefarious, abominable, and detested author, expofed to the just indignation of the congre. gated universe!"-At these words, again bowing to the ground, he turned round, and departed. As I had no doubt of the unhappy man's insanity, I exceedingly rejoiced at his departure, and that he had done no mischief to himself or others, during this paroxysm of deliriun.
Among the crowd, which the vociferation of this unhappy mapiac had attracicd round us, I perceived one of the gentlemen I had met at Miss Ardent's; and
was happy to take the opportunity of renewing our acquaintance. From him I learned, that the notice of the noisy ora. tor, had been drawn upon me, by a para. graph inserted in a newspaper of that morning, which, after mentioning my name, and describing my person, safely and wickedly infinuated, " that I had come there on behalf of the Hindoo inhabitants of Bengal, to complain of the horrid cruelties, and unexampled oppreffion, under which, through the mal-administration of the British governor of India, we were made to groan.".
I was exceedingly shocked at the idea of the consequences, that night arise to the chosen servant of the minifter, the writer of the newspaper, from having fuffered himfelf to be thus imposed uponi. I did not know what punishment might await the confidential conductor of this vehicle of intelligence, should his masier discover that he liud suffered a falsehood to pollute that pure fountain of public instruction, in which his care for the morals, the virtue, the fortune, the health, and the beauty of all the subjects of this extensive Empire, is fo fully evinced. The gentleman observing my anxiety, told me, that the best method of proceeding, was, to authorise the publisher to contradict the