Macaulay, in his celebrated essay, has said that "of the conduct of Hastings at this time little is known."
Macaulay imputes this reduction to Hastings as a characteristic act of financial immorality; but in truth it had been expressly enjoined by the court of directors, in a despatch dated six months before he took up office.
Macaulay states that the members of council were put in ill-humour because their salute of guns was not proportionate to their dignity.
Yet, in the words of Macaulay, who gives an admirable account of the discussion in his essay on the comic dramatists of the Restoration, "when all deductions have been made, great merit must be allowed to the work."
Macaulay in especial exerted all his art, though in contradiction of probability and fact, to deepen still further the shade which rests upon his reputation.