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for his ability and chara&er to the moft confidential trufts by Mr. Dundas, having been engaged to profecute the fame refearch, has fhewn much ability in fele&ing, out of the chaos of records, an appearance of fyftem; but the circumftances of the natives, and of the Englijh, at the periods under confideration, do not juftify the conclufions, and the ethical arrangements in which he appears to be authorifed by official records. To fubftitute a perfect fyftem would require more ability than I am poffefled of; and the information relative to Britijh India, as yet, is not fufficiently diftinct to aflume the form of a perfect fyftem. This object can only be attained by afcertaining the real circumftances of Great "Britain and of Britijh India; deductions arifing from paft experience, at any rate, will prove fafer guides than fpeculative ftatements and fpeculative opinions, particularly when a neglecT: of known principles is required,' previous to the admiffion of the new theories.
In the firft place, therefore, I mall examine how far humanity and honour can be applied to Britijh Ihd'ta from precedent, which Will connect what is neceflary to adduce in oppofition to Mr. Bruce and to Mr. Ruffell on this point. I mall be led to a more ditFufe and general review, by the obfervations which arife from contemplating the extent of Mr. RufJeU\ aflertions. I mould have 'looked on this fubject with great delicacy, if this gentleman's opinion, from his public fituation and communications, had not, in many refpects, defervedly great weight in the public eftimation; and if there did not appear a confiderable degree of fyftematic pertinacity in keeping afloat a queftion pregnant with mifchief to the natives, derogatory to the rights of the ftate, and, in my opinion, not founded on a review of the proceedings of Parliament, or of treaties and grants, by which, de jure & fatto, the rights of the Crown fraud paramount to the privileges of the Company.