Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/237

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East, all the politics of Sir Josiah were utterly confounded by the Revolution. He had flattered himself that he had secured the body of which he was the chief against the machinations of interlopers, by uniting it closely with the strongest government that had existed within his memory. That government had fallen; and whatever had leaned on the ruined fabric began to totter. The bribes had been thrown away. The connections which had been the strength and boast of the corporation were now its weakness and its shame. The King who had been one of its members was an exile. The judge by whom all its most exorbitant pretensions had been pronounced legitimate was a prisoner. All the old enemies of the Company, reinforced by those great Whig merchants whom Child had expelled from the direction, demanded justice and vengeance from the Whig House of Commons, which had just placed William and Mary on the throne. No voice was louder in accusation than that of Papillon, who had, some years before, been more zealous for the charter than any man in London.[170] The Commons censured in severe terms the persons who had inflicted death by martial law at Saint Helena, and even resolved that some of those offenders should be excluded from the Act of Indemnity.[171] The great question, how the trade with the East should for the future be carried on, was referred to a Committee. The report was to have been made on the twenty-seventh of January 1690; but on that very day the Parliament ceased to exist.

The first two sessions of the succeeding Parliament were so short and so busy that little was said about India in either House. But, out of Parliament, all the arts both of controversy and of intrigue were employed on both sides. Almost as many pamphlets were published about the India trade as about the oaths. The despot of Leadenhall Street was libelled in prose and verse.