payments, to their proprietors and government 
together, but by six hundred and eight thousand 
pounds, beyond what they had been before 
their late territorial acquisitions. What 
the gross revenue of those territorial acquisitions 
was supposed to amount to, has already 
been mentioned; and by an account brought 
by the Cruttenden East Indiaman in 1769, 
the neat revenue, clear of all deductions and 
military charges, was stated at two millions 
forty-eight thousand seven hundred and forty-seven 
pounds. They were said, at the same 
time, to possess another revenue, arising partly 
from lands, but chiefly from the customs 
established at their different settlements, amounting 
to four hundred and thirty-nine 
thousand pounds. The profits of their trade
too, according to the evidence of their chairman 
before the house of commons, amounted
at this time, to at least four hundred thousand 
pounds a-year; according to that of their 
accountant, to at least five hundred thousand
according to the lowest account, at least equal 
to the highest dividend that was to be paid to 
their proprietors. So great a revenue might 
certainly have afforded augmentation of six 
hundred and eight thousand pounds in their 
annual payments; and, at the same time, have 
left a large sinking fund, sufficient for the 
speedy reduction of their debt. In 1773, 
however, their debts, instead of being reduced
were augmented by an arrear to the treasury 
in the payment of the four hundred thousand 
pounds; by another to the custom-house 
for duties unpaid; by a large debt to the 
bank, for money borrowed; and by a fourth
for bills drawn upon them from India, and 
wantonly accepted, to the amount of upwards 
of twelve hundred thousand pounds. The 
distress which these accumulated claims 
brought upon them, obliged them not only to 
reduce all at once their dividend to six per 
cent. but to throw themselves upon the mercy 
of government, and to supplicate, first, a release 
from the further payment of the stipulated 
four hundred thousand pounds a-year
and, secondly, a loan of fourteen hundred 
thousand, to save them from immediate bankruptcy
The great increase of their fortune 
had, it seems, only served to furnish their servants 
with a pretext for greater profusion, and 
a cover for greater malversation, than in proportion 
even to that increase of fortune. The 
conduct of their servants in India, and the general 
state of their affairs both in India and in 
Europe, became the subject of a parliamentary 
inquiry: in consequence of which, several 
very important alterations were made in 
the constitution of their government, both at 
home and abroad. In India, their principal 
settlements of Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta
which had before been altogether independent 
of one another, were subjected to a governor-general
assisted by a council of four 
assessors, parliament assuming to itself the 
first nomination of this governor and council
who were to reside at Calcutta; that city having 
now become, what Madras was before, the 
most important of the English settlements in 
India. The court of the Mayor of Calcutta
originally instituted for the trial of mercantile 
causes, which arose in the city and neighbourhood, 
had gradually extended its jurisdiction 
with the extension of the empire. It was now 
reduced and confined to the original purpose 
of its institution. Instead of it, a new supreme 
court of judicature was established, consisting 
of a chief justice and three judges, to 
be appointed by the crown. In Europe, the 
qualification necessary to entitle a proprietor 
to vote at their general courts was raised, from 
five hundred pounds, the original price of a 
share in the stock of the company, to a thousand 
pounds. In order to vote upon this qualification
too, it was declared necessary, that 
he should have possessed it, if acquired by his 
own purchase, and not by inheritance, for at 
least one year, instead of six months, the term 
requisite before. The court of twenty-four 
directors had before been chosen annually
but it was now enacted, that each director 
should, for the future, be chosen for four 
years; six of them, however, to go out of office 
by rotation every year, and not be capable 
of being re-chosen at the election of the six 
new directors for the ensuing year. In consequence 
of these alterations, the courts, both 
of the proprietors and directors, it was expected
would be likely to act with more dignity 
and steadiness than they had usually done before. 
But it seems impossible, by any alterations
to render those courts, in any respect
fit to govern, or even to share in the government 
of a great empire; because the greater 
part of their members must always have too 
little interest in the prosperity of that empire
to give any serious attention to what may promote 
it. Frequently a man of great, sometimes 
even a man of small fortune, is willing 
to purchase a thousand pounds share in India 
stock, merely for the influence which he expects 
to acquire by a vote in the court of proprietors. 
It gives him a share, though not 
in the plunder, yet in the appointment of the 
plunderers of India; the court of directors
though they make that appointment, being necessarily 
more or less under the influence of 
the proprietors, who not only elect those directors
but sometimes over-rule the appointments 
of their servants in India. Provided 
he can enjoy this influence for a few years, and 
thereby provide for a certain number of his 
friends, he frequently cares little about the dividend
or even about the value of the stock 
upon which his vote in founded. About the 
prosperity of the great empire, in the government 
of which that vote gives him a share, he 
seldom cares at all. No other sovereigns ever 
were, or, from the nature of things, ever could 
be, so perfectly indifferent about the happiness