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more pensive than we should have expected, | Madras to the English was by no means com from the waywardness of his boyhood, or from patible. He declared that Labourdonnais had the inflexible sternness of his later years. "I gone beyond his powers; that conquests made have not enjoyed,” says he, “one happy day by the French arms on the continent of India since I left my native country." And again, were at the disposal of the Governor of Pondi "I must confess, at intervals, when I think of cherry alone; and that Madras should be rased my dear native England, it affects me in a very to the ground. Labourdonnais was forced to particular manner..... If I should be so far yield. The anger which the breach of the ca blest as to revisit again my own country, but pitulation excited among the English was inmore especially Manchester, the centre of all creased by the ungenerous manner in which my wishes, all that I could hope or desire for Dupleix treated the principal servants of the would be presented before me in one view." company. The Governor and several of the first gentlemen of Fort St. George were carried under a guard to Pondicherry, and conducted through the town in a triumphal procession, under the eyes of fifty thousand spectators. It was with reason thought that this gross violation of public faith absolved the inhabitants of Madras from the engagements into which they had entered with Labourdonnais. Clive fled from the town by night, in the disguise of a Mussulman, and took refuge at Fort St. David, one of the small English settlements subordi
One solace he found of the most respectable kind. The Governor possessed a good library, and permitted Clive to have access to it. The young man devoted much of his leisure to reading, and acquired at this time almost all the knowledge of books that he ever possessed. As a boy he had been too idle, as a man he soon became too busy, for literary pursuits.
But neither climate, nor poverty, nor study, nor the sorrows of a homesick exile, could tame the desperate audacity of his spirit. He behaved to his official superiors as he had be-nate to Madras. haved to his schoolmasters, and was several The circumstances in which he was now times in danger of losing his situation. Twice, placed naturally led him to adopt a profession while residing in the Writers' Buildings, he at- better suited to his restless and intrepid spirit tempted to destroy himself; and twice the pis- than the business of examining packages and tol which he snapped at his own head failed to casting accounts. He solicited and obtained go off. This circumstance, it is said, affected an ensign's commission in the service of the him as a similar escape affected Wallenstein. Company, and at twenty-one entered on his After satisfying himself that the pistol was military career. His personal courage, of really well loaded, he burst forth into an excla- which he had, while still a writer, given signal mation, that surely he was reserved for some-proof by a desperate duel with a military bully thing great. who was the terror of Fort St. David, speedily made him conspicuous even among hundreds of brave men. He soon began to show in his new calling other qualities which had not be fore been discerned in hi:n-judgment, sagacity, deference to legitimate authority. He distin guished himself highly in several operations against the French, and was particularly no ticed by Major Lawrence, who was then con sidered as the ablest British officer in India.
He had been only a few months in the army when intelligence arrived that peace had beer concluded between Great Britain and France Dupleix was in consequence compelled to re store Madras to the English Company; and the
About this time an event, which at first seemed likely to destroy all his hopes in life, suddenly opened before him a new path to eminence. Europe had been, during some years, distracted by the war of the Austrian succession. George II. was the steady ally of Maria Theresa. The house of Bourbon took the opposite side. Though England was even then the first of maritime powers, she was not, as she has since become, more than a match on the sea for all the nations of the world to gether; and she found it difficult to maintain a contest against the united navies of France and Spain. in the eastern seas France obtained the ascendency. Labourdonnais, Go-young ensign was at liberty to resume his for vernor of Mauritius, a man of eminent talents mer business. He did indeed return for a shor. and virtues, conducted an expedition to the time to his desk. He again quitted it in orde continent of India, in spite of the opposition to assist Major Law ence in some petty hosti of the British fleet-landed; assembled an ar-lities with the native., and then again returned my, appeared before Madras, and compelled to it. While he was thus wavering between a the town and fort to capitulate. The keys military and a commercial life, events took were delivered up; the French colours were place which decided his choice. The politics displayed on Fort St. George; and the contents of India assumed a new aspect. There was of the Company's warehouses were seized as peace between the English and French crowns; prize of war by the conquerors. It was stipu- but there arose between the English and French lated by the capitulation that the English in- companies trading to the East, a war inost habitants should be prisoners of war on parole, eventful and important-a war in which the and that the town should remain in the hands prize was nothing less than the magnificent of the French till it should be ransomed. La- inheritance of the house of Tamerlane. bourdonnais pledged his honour that only a moderate ransom should be required.
But the success of Labourdonnais had awakened the jealousy of his countryman, Dupleix, Governor of Pondicherry. Dupleix, moreover, had already begun to revolve giganic schemes, with which the restoration of
The empire which Baber and his Moguls reared in the sixteenth century was iong one of the most extensive and splendid in the world. In no European kingdom was so large a popu lation subject to a single prince, or so large revenue poured into the treasury. The beauty and magnificence of the buildings erected by
the sovereigns of Hindostan, amazed even travellers who had seen St. Peter's. The innumerable retinues and gorgeous decorations which surrounded the throne of Delhi, dazzled even eyes which were accustomed to the pomp of Versailles. Some of the great viceroys, who held their posts by virtue of commissions from the Mogul, ruled as many subjects and enjoyed as large an income as the King of France or the Emperor of Germany. Even the deputies of these deputies might well rank, as to extent of territory and amount of revenue, with the Grand-duke of Tuscany and the Elector of Saxony.
of the Pannonian forests. The Saracen ruled in Sicily, desolated the fertile plains of Campania, and spread terror even to the walls of Rome. In the midst of these sufferings, a great internal change passed upon the empire. The corruption of death began to ferment into new forms of life. While the great body, as a whole, was torpid and passive, every separate member began to feel ith a sense, and to move with an energy all its own. Just here, in the most barren and dreary tract of European history, all feudal privileges, all modern nobility, take their source. To this point we trace the power of those princes who, nominally vassals, but really independent, long governed, with the titles of dukes, marquesses, and counts, almost every part of the dominions which had obeyed Charlemagne.
There can be little doubt that this great empire, powerful and prosperous as it appears on a superficial view, was yet, even in its best days, far worse governed than the worst governed parts of Europe now are. The admi- Such or nearly such was the change which nistration was tainted with all the vices of passed on the Mogul empire during the forty Oriental despotism, and with all the vices in years which followed the death of Aurungzebe. separable from the domination of race over A series of nominal sovereigns, sunk in indorace. The conflicting pretensions of the lence and debauchery, sauntered away life in princes of the royal house produced a long secluded palaces, chewing bang, fondling conseries of crimes and public disasters. Ambi-cubines, and listening to buffoons. A series tious lieutenants of the sovereign sometimes of ferocious invaders had descended through aspired to independence. Fierce tribes of Hin- the western passes, to prey on the defenceless doos, impatient of a foreign yoke, frequently wealth of Hindostan. A Persian conqueror withheld tribute, repelled the armies of the go- crossed the Indus, marched through the gates vernment from their mountain fastnesses, and of Delhi, and bore away in triumph those treapoured down in arms on the cultivated plains. sures of which the magnificence had astounded In spite, however, of much constant misadmi- Roe and Bernier;-the Peacock Throne on nistration, in spite of occasional convulsions which the richest jewels of Golconda had been which shook the whole frame of society, this disposed by the most skilful hands of Europe, great monarchy, on the whole, retained, during and the inestimable Mountain of Light, which, some generations, an outward appearance of after many strange vicissitudes, lately shone in unity, majesty, and energy. But, throughout the bracelet of Runjeet Sing, and is now desthe long reign of Aurungzebe, the state, not- tined to adorn the hideous idol of Orissa. The withstanding all that the vigour and policy of Afghan soon followed to complete the work of the prince could effect, was hastening to disso- devastation which the Persian had begun. The lution. After his death, which took place in warlike tribes of Rajpoots threw off the Musthe year 1707, the ruin was fearfully rapid. sulman yoke. A band of mercenary soldiers Violent shocks from without co-operated with occupied Rohilcund. The Seiks ruled on the an incurable decay which was fast proceeding Indus. The Jauts spread terror along the Jumwithin; and in a few years the empire had un-nah. The high lands which border on the gone utter decomposition. western seacoast of India poured forth a yet The history of the successors of Theodosius more formidable race;-a race which was bears no small analogy to that of the succes- long the terror of every native power, and sors of Aurungzebe. But perhaps the fall of which yielded only, after many desperate and the Carlovingians furnishes the nearest paral- doubtful struggles, to the fortune and genius of lel to the fall of the Moguls. Charlemagne was England. It was under the reign of Aurungscarcely interred when the imbecility and the zebe that this wild clan of plunderers first disputes of his descendants began to bring descended from the mountains; and soon after contempt on themselves and destruction on his death, every corner of his wide empire their subjects. The wide dominion of the learned to tremble at the mighty name of the Franks was severed into a thousand pieces. Mahrattas. Many fertile viceroyalties were Nothing more than a nominal dignity was left entirely subdued by them. Their dominicas to the abject heirs of an illustrious name, stretched across the Peninsula from sea to Charles the Bald, and Charles the Fat, and sea. Their captains reigned at Poonah, at Charles the Simple. Fierce invaders, differing Gaulior, in Guzerat, in Berar, and in Tanjore. from each other in race, language, and reli- Nor did they, though they had become great gion, flocked as if by concert from the furthest sovereigns, therefore cease to be freebooters. corners of the earth, to plunder provinces They still retained the predatory habits of their which the government could no longer defend. forefathers. Every region which was not subThe pirates of the Baltic extended their ra- ject to their rule was wasted by their incurvages from the Elbe to the Pyrenees, and at sions. Wherever their kettledrums were heard, length fixed their seat in the rich valley of the the peasant threw his bag of rice on his shoulder. Seine. The Hungarian, in whom the trem- hid his small savings in his girdle, and fled with bling monks fancied that they recognised the his wife and children to the mountains or the Gog and Magog of prophecy, carried back the jungles—to_the_milder neighbourhood of the plunder of the cities of Lombardy to the depth | hyæna and the tiger. Many provinces redeemer,
their harvests by the payment of an annual ransom. Even the wretched phantom who still bore the imperial title, stooped to pay this ignominious "black mail." The camp-fires of one rapacious leader were seen from the walls of the palace of Delhi. Another, at the head of his innumerable cavalry, descended year after year on the rice-fields of Bengal. Even the European factors trembled for their magazines. Less than a hundred years ago, it was thought necessary to fortify Calcutta against the horsemen of Berar; and the name of the Mahratta ditch still preserves the memory of the danger. Wherever the viceroys of the Mogul retained authority they became sovereigns. They might The state of India was such that scarcely still acknowledge in words the superiority of any aggression could be without a decent prethe house of Tamerlane; as a Count of Flan- text, either in old laws or in recent practice. ders or a Duke of Burgundy would have ac- All rights were in a state of utter uncertainty; knowledged the superiority of the most hope- and the Europeans who took part in the dis less driveller among the later Carlovingians. putes of the natives confounded the confusion, They might occasionally send their titular so- by applying to Asiatic politics the public law vereign a complimentary present, or solicit of the West, and analogies drawn from the from him a title of honour. But they were in feudal system. If it was convenient to treat a truth no longer lieutenants removable at plea- Nabob as an independent prince, there was an sure, but independent hereditary princes. In excellent plea for doing so. He was independ this way originated those great Mussulmanent in fact. If it was convenient to treat him houses which formerly ruled Bengal and the as a mere deputy of the court of Delhi, there Carnatic, and those which still, though in a was no difficulty; for he was so in theory. If state of vassalage, exercise some of the powers it was convenient to consider this office as an of royalty at Lucknow and Hyderabad. hereditary dignity, or as a dignity held during In what was this confusion to end? life only, or a dignity held only during the good the strife to continue during centuries? Was pleasure of the Mogul, arguments and prece it to terminate in the rise of another great mo-dents might be found for every one of those narchy? Was the Mussulman or the Mahratta | views. The party who had the heir of Baber to be the Lord of India? Was another Baber in their hands, represented him as the unto descend from the mountains, and lead the doubted, the legitimate, the absolute sovereign, hardy tribes of Cabul and Chorasan against a whom all the subordinate authorities were wealthier and less warlike race? None of bound to obey. The party against whom his these events seemed improbable. But scarcely name was used did not want plausible preany man, however sagacious, would have texts for maintaining that the empire was do thought it possible, that a trading company, furto dissolved; and that, though it might be separated from India by fifteen thousand miles proper to treat the Mogul with respect, as a of sea, and possessing in India only a few venerable relic of an order of things which had acres for purposes of commerce, would, in less passed away, it was absurd to read him as than a hundred years, spread its empire from the real master of Hindostan. Cape Comorin to the eternal snow of the Himalayas-would compel Mahratta and Mohammedan to forget their mutual feuds in common subjection-would tame down even those wild races which had resisted the most powerful of the Moguls;—and, having established a government far stronger than any ever known in those countries, would carry its victorious arms far to the east of the Burrampooter, and far to the west of the Hydaspes--dictate terms of peace at the gates of Ava, and seat its vassals on the throne of Candahar.
The man who first saw that it was possible to found a European empire on the ruins of the Mogul monarchy was Dupleix. His restless, capacious, and inventive mind had formed this scheme, at a time when the ablest servants of the English Company were busied only about invoices and bills of lading. Nor had he only proposed to himself the end. He had also a just and distinct view of the means by which it was to be attained. He clearly saw that the greatest force which the princes of India could bring into the field would be no match for a small body of men trained in the discipline, and guided by the tactics, of the West. He
saw also that the natives of India might, under European commanders, be formed into armies, such as Saxe or Frederick would be proud to command. He was perfectly aware that the most easy and convenient way in which a European adventurer could exercise sovereign ty in India, was to govern the motions, and to speak through the mouth, of some glittering puppet dignified with the title of Nabob or Ni zam. The arts both of war and policy, which a few years later were successfully employed by the English, were first understood and prac tised by this ingenious and aspiring Frenchman.
In the year 1748, died one of the most powerful of the new masters of Ladia--the great Nizam al Mulk, Viceroy of the Deccan. His authority descended to his son Nazir Jung. Of the provinces subject to this high functionary, the Carnatic was the wealthiest and the most extensive. It was governed by an ancient Nabob, whose name the English corrupted into Anaverdy Khan.
But there were pretenders to the governmen": both of the viceroyalty and of the subordinate province. Mirzapha Jung, a grandson of Ni zam al Mulk, appeared as the competitor of Na zir Jung. Chunda Sahib, son-in-law of a former Naboo of the Carnatic, disputed the title of Anaverdy Khan. In the unsettled state of Indian law, it was easy for both Mirzapha Jung and Cranda Sahib to make out something like a claim of right. In a society aitogether disor ganized, they had no difficulty in finding greedy adventurers to follow their standards. They united their interests, invaded the Carnatic, and applied for assistance to the French, whose fame had been raised by their success agains the English in the recent war on the coast of Coromandel.
Nothing could have happened more pleasing its greatest triumph, by the fall of Nazir Jung to the subtle and ambitious Dupleix. To make and the elevation of Mirzapha, he determined ■ Nabob of the Carnatic--to make a Viceroy | to erect a column, on the four sides of which of the Deccan, to rule under their names the four pompous inscriptions, in four languages, whole of southern India;-this was indeed an should proclaim his victory to all the nations attractive prospect. He allied himself with of the East. Medals stamped with emblems the pretenders, and sent four hundred French of his success were buried beneath the foundasoldiers, and two thousand sepoys, disciplined tions of this stately pillar, and round it arose a after the European fashion, to the assistance town bearing the haughty name of Dupleix of his confederates. A battle was fought. The Fatihabad; which is, being interpreted, the City French distinguished themselves greatly. Ana- of the Victory of Dupleix. The English had verdy Khan was defeated and slain. His son made some feeble and irresolute attempts to Mohammed Ali, who was afterwards well | stop the rapid and brilliant career of the rival known in England as the Nabob of Arcot, and Company, and continued to recognise Mohamwho owes to the eloquence of Burke a most med Ali as Nabob of the Carnatic. But the unenviable immortality, fled with a scanty rem- dominions of Mohammed Ali consisted of Trinant of his army to Trichinopoly, and the con- chinopoly alone; and Trichinopoly was now querors became at once masters of almost invested by Chunda Sahib and the French every part of the Carnatic. auxiliaries. To raise the siege seemed impossible. The small force which was then at
This was but the beginning of the greatness of Dupleix. After some months of fighting, | Madras had no commander. Major Lawrence negotiation, and intrigue, his ability and good had returned to England; and not a single offifortune seemed to have prevailed everywhere. cer of established character remained in the Nazir Jung perished by the hands of his own settlement. The natives had learned to look followers; Mirzapha Jung was master of the with contempt on the mighty nation which was Deccan; and the triumph of French arms and soon to conquer and to rule them. They had French policy was complete. At Pondicherry seen the French colours flying at Fort St. all was exultation and festivity. Salutes were George; they had seen the chiefs of the Engfired from batteries, and Te Deum sung in all lish factory led in triumph through the streets the churches. The new Nizam came thither of Pondicherry; they had seen the arms and to visit his allies; and the ceremony of his in-counsels of Dupleix everywhere successful, stallation was performed there with great ponp. while the opposition which the authorities of Dupleix, dressed in the garb worn by Moham-Madras had made to his progress, had served medans of the highest rank, entered the town only to expose their own weakness, and to in the same palanquin with the Nizam, and in heighten his glory. At this moment, the valour the pageant which followed, took precedence and genius of an obscure English youth sudof all the court. He was declared Governor of denly turned the tide of fortune. India, from the river Kristna to Cape Comorin, with authority superior even to that of Chunda Sahib. He was intrusted with the command of seven thousand cavalry. It was announced that no mint would be suffered to exist in the Carnatic except that at Pondicherry. A large portion of the treasures which former Viceroys of the Deccan had accumulated, found its way into the coffers of the French governor. It was rumoured that he had received two hundred thousand pounds sterling in money, besides many valuable jewels. In fact, there could scarcely be any limit to his gains. He now raled thirty millions of people with almost absolute power. No honour or emolument could be obtained from the government but by his intervention. No petition, unless signed by him, was even perused by the Nizam.
Clive was now twenty-five years old. After hesitating for some time between a military and a commercial life, he had at length been placed in a post which partook of both characters-that of commissary to the troops, with the rank of captain. The present emergency called forth all his powers. He represented to his superiors, that unless some vigorous effort were made, Trichinopoly would fall, the house of Anaverdy Khan would perish, and the French would become the real masters of the whole peninsula of India. It was abso lutely necessary to strike some daring biow. If an attack were made on Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic, and the favourite residence of the Nabobs, it was not impossible that the siege of Trichinopoly would be raised. The heads of the English settlement, now thoroughly alarmed by the success of Dupleix, and apprehensive that, in the event of a new war be
Mirzapha Jung survived his elevation only a few months. But another prince of the same house was raised to the throne by French in-tween France and Great Britain, Madras fluence, and ratified all the promises of his pre- would be instantly taken and destroyed, ap decessor. Dupleix was now the greatest po- proved of Clive's plan, and intrusted the exetentate in India. His countrymen boasted that cution of it to himself. The young captain his name was mentioned with awe even in the was put at the head of two hundred English chambers of the palace of Delhi. The native soldiers, and three hundred sepoys armed and population looked with amazement on the pro- disciplined after the European fashion. Of gress which, in the short space of four years, the eight officers who commanded this little a European adventurer had made towards force under him, not a single one had ever dominion in Asia. Nor was the vainglorious been in action, and four of the eight were fac Frenchman content with reality of power. He tors of the Company, whom Clive's example loved to display it with arrogant ostentation had induced to offer their services. The wea before the eyes of his subjects and his rivals. ther was stormy; but Clive pushed on, through Near the spot where his policy had obtained thunder, lighting, and rain, to the gates of Ar
An attempt made by the government of Ma dras to relieve the place had failed. But there was hope from another quarter. A body of six thousand Mahrattas, half soldiers, half robbers, under the command of a chief named Morari Row, had been hired to assist Mohammed Ali; but thinking the French power irre sistible, and the triumph of Chunda Sahib certain, they had hitherto remained inactive on the frontiers of the Carnatic. The fame of the defence of Arcot roused them from their torpor. Morari Row declared that he had never before believed that Englishmen could fight, but that he would willingly help them since he saw that they had spirit to help themselves. Rajah Sahib learned that the Mahrattas were in motion. It was necessary for him to The intelligence of these events was soon be expeditious. He first tried negotiation. carried to Chunda Sahib, who, with his French He offered large bribes to Clive, which were allies, was besieging Trichinopoly. He im- rejected with scorn. He vowed that, if his mediately detached four thousand men from proposals were not accepted, he would instantly his camp, and sent them to Arcot. They were storm the fort, and put every man in it to the speedily joined by the remains of the force sword. Clive told him, in reply, with characwhich Clive had lately scattered. They were teristic haughtiness, that his father was a further strengthened by two thousand men usurer, that his army was a rabble, and that he from Vellore; and by a still more important would do well to think twice before he sent reinforcement of a hundred and fifty French such poltroons into a breach defended by Engsoldiers, whom Dupleix despatched from Pon-lish soldiers. dicherry. The whole of this army, amounting to about ten thousand men, was under the command of Rajah Sahib, son of Chunda Sahib.
cot. The garrison, in a panic, evacuated the fort, and the English entered it without a blow.
But Clive well knew that he would not be suffered to retain undisturbed possession of his conquest. He instantly began to collect provisions, to throw up works, and to make preparations for sustaining a siege. The garrison, which had fled at his approach, had now recovered from its dismay, and, having been swollen by large reinforcements from the neighbourhood to a force of three thousand men, encamped close to the town. At dead of night, Clive marched out of the fort, attacked the camp by surprise, slew great numbers, dispersed the rest, and returned to his quarters without having lost a single man.
Rajah Sahib proceeded to invest the fort of Arcot, which seemed quite incapable of sustaining a siege. The walls were ruinous, the ditches dry, the ramparts too narrow to admit the guns, the battlements too low to protect the soldier: The little garrison had been greatly reduced by casualties. It now consisted of a hundred and twenty Europeans and two hundred sepoys. Only four officers were left; the stock of provisions was scanty; and the commander, who had to conduct the defence under circumstances so discouraging, was a young man of five-and-twenty, who had been bred a book-keeper.
During fifty days the siege went on. During fifty days the young captain maintained the defence, with a firmness, vigilance, and ability which would have done honour to the oldest marshal in Europe. The breach, however, increased day by day. The garrison began to feel the pressure of hunger. Under such circumstances, any troops so scantily provided with officers might have been expected to show signs of insubordination; and the danger was peculiarly great in a force composed of men differing widely from each other in extraction, colour, language, manners, and religion. But the devotion of the little band to its chief surpassed any thing that is related of the tenth legion of Cæsar, or of the Old Guard of Napoleon. The sepoys came to Clive-not to complain of their scanty fare, but to propose that all the grain should be given to the Europeans, who required more nourishment than the natives of Asia. The thin gruel, they said, which was strained away from the rice, would suffice for themselves. History contains no more touching instance of military fidelity, or of the influence of a commanding mind. VOL. III.-41
Rajah Sahib determined to storm the fort. The day was well suited to a bold military enterprise. It was the great Mohammedan festival which is sacred to the memory Hosein the son of Ali. The history of Islam contains nothing more touching than that mournful legend:-how the chief of the Fatimites, when all his brave followers had perished round him, drank his latest draught of water and uttered his latest prayer-how the assassins carried his head in triumph-how the tyrant smote the lifeless lips with his staff
and how a few old men recollected with tears that they had seen those lips pressed to the lips of the prophet of God. After the lapse of nearly twelve centuries, the recurrence of this solemn season excites the fiercest and saddest emotions in the bosoms of the devout Moslems of India. They work themselves up to such agonies of rage and lamentation, that some, it is said, have given up the ghost from the mere effect of mental excitement. They believe that whoever during this festival falls in arms against the infidels, atones by his death for all the sins of his life, and passes at once to the gardens of the Houris. It was at this time that Rajah Sahib determined to assault Arcot. Stimulating drugs were employed to aid the effect of religious zeal, and the besiegers, drunk with enthusiasm, drunk with bang, rushed furiously to the attack.
Clive had received secret intelligence of the design, had made his arrangements, and, exhausted by fatigue, had thrown himself on ar bed. He was awakened by the alarm, and was instantly at his post. The enemy advanced, driving before them elephants whose foreheads were armed with iron plates. It was expected that the gates would yield to the shock of these living battering-rams. But the huge beasts no sooner felt the English musket-balls than they turned round, and rushed furiously away, trampling on the multitude that had urged thein