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and profound policy. The town and its pom pous name, the pillar and its vaunting inscriptions, were among the devices by which Dupleix had laid the public mind of India under a spell. This spell it was Clive's business to break. The natives had been taught that France was confessedly the first power in Europe, and that the English did not presume to dispute her supremacy. No measure could be more effectual for the removing of this delusion than the public and solemn demolition of the French trophies.
The government of Madras, encouraged by these events, determined to send a strong de tachment, under Clive, to reinforce the garri son of Trichinopoly. But just at this conjunc ture, Major Lawrence arrived from England, and assumed the chief command. From the waywardness and impatience of control which had characterized Clive, both at school and in the counting-house, it might have been expected that he would not, after such achievements, act with zeal and good humour in a subordinate capacity. But Lawrence had early treated him with kindness; and it is bare justice to Clive to say, that proud and overbearing as he was, kindness was never thrown away upon him. He cheerfully placed himself under the orders of his old friend, and exerted himself as strenuously in the second post as he could have done in the first. Lawrence well knew the value of such assistance. Though himself gifted with no intellectual faculty higher than plain good sense, he fully appreciated the powers of his brilliant coadjutor. Though he had made a methodical study of military tactics, and, like all men regularly bred to a profession, was disposed to look with disdain upon interlopers, he had yet liberality enough to acknowledge that Clive was an exception to common rules. "Some people," he wrote, "are pleased to term Captain Clive fortunate and lucky; but, in my opinion, from the knowledge I have of the gentleman, he deserved and Had the entire direction of the war been in- might expect from his conduct every thing as trusted to Clive, it would probably have been it fell out;-a man of an undaunted resolution, brought to a speedy close. But the timidity of a cool temper, and a presence of mind which and incapacity which appeared in all the never left him in the greatest danger-born a movements of the English, except where he soldier; for, without a military education of was personally present, protracted the strug- any sort, or much conversing with any of the gle. The Mahrattas muttered that his soldiers profession, from his judgment and good sense, were of a different race from the British whom he led on an army like an experienced officer they found elsewhere. The effect of this lan- and a brave soldier, with a prudence that cerguor was that in no long time Rajah Sahib, attainly warranted success." the head of a considerable army, in which were four hundred French troops, appeared almost under the guns of Fort St. George, and laid waste the villas and gardens of the gentlemen of the English settlement. But he was again encountered and defeated by Clive. More than a hundred of the French were killed or taken a loss more serious than that of thousands of natives. The victorious army marched from the field of battle to Fort St. David. On the road lay the City of the Victory of Dupleix, and the stately monument which was designed to commemorate the triumphs of France in the East. Clive ordered both the city and the monument to be rased to the ground. He was induced, we believe, to take this step, not by personal or national malevolence, but by a just
The French had no commander to oppose to the two friends. Dupleix, not inferior in talents for negotiation and intrigue to any European who has borne a part in the revolutions of India, was not qualified to direct in person military operations. He had not been bred a soldier, and had no inclination to become one. His enemies accused him of personal cowardice; and he defended himself in a strain worthy of Captain Bobadil. He kept away from shot, he said, because silence and tranquillity were propitious to his genius, and he found it difficult to pursue his meditations amidst the noise of fire-arms. He was then under the ne cessity of intrusting to others the execution of his great warlike designs: and he bitterly complained that he was ill-served. He had indeed
forward. A raft was launched on the water which filled one part of the ditch. Clive, perceiving that his gunners at that post did not understand their business, took the management of a piece of artillery himself, and cleared the raft in a few minutes. Where the moat was dry, the assailants mounted with great boldness; but they were received with a fire so heavy, and so well directed, that it soon quelled the courage even of fanaticism and of intoxication. The rear ranks of the English kept the front ranks supplied with a constant succession of loaded muskets, and every shot told on the living mass below. After three desperate onsets, the besiegers retired behind the ditch.
The struggle lasted about an hour. nundred of the assailants fell. The garrison lost only five or six men. The besieged passed an anxious night, looking for a renewal of the attack. But when day broke the enemy were no more to be seen. They had retired, leaving to the English several guns and a large quantity of ammunition.
The news was received at Fort St. George with transports of joy and pride. Clive was justly regarded as a man equal to any command. Two hundred English soldiers and seven hundred sepoys were sent to him, and with this force he instantly commenced offensive operations. He took the fort of Timery, effected a junction with a division of Morari Row's army, and hastened by forced marches to attack Rajah Sahib, who was at the head of about five thousand men, of whom three hundred were French. The action was sharp; but Clive gained a complete victory. The military chest of Rajah Sahib fell into the hands of the conquerors. Six hundred sepoys who had served in the enemy's army, came over to Clive's quarters, and were taken into the British service. Conjeveram surrendered without a blow. The Governor of Arnee deserted Chunda Sahib, and recognised the title of Mohammed Ali.
and was on the point of storming, when the French commandant capitulated and retired with his men.
Deen assisted by one officer of eminent merit, | one of the strongest in India, made a breach, the celebrated Bussy. But Bussy had marched northward with the Nizam, and was fully employed in looking after his own interests, and those of France, at the court of that prince. Among the officers who remained with Dupleix, there was not a single man of talent; and many of them were boys, at whose ignorance and folly the common soldiers laughed.
Clive returned to Madras victorious, but in a state of health which rendered it impossible for him to remain there long. He married at this time a young lady of the name of Maskelyne, sister of the eminent mathematician who long held the post of Astronomer-Royal. She is described as handsome and accomplished, and her husband's letters, it is said, contain proofs that he was devotedly attached to her.
The English triumphed everywhere. The besiegers of Trichinopoly were themselves besieged and compelled to capitulate. Churda Sahib fell into the hands of the Mahrattas, and was put to death, at the instigation probably of his competitor, Mohammed Ali. The spirit of Almost immediately after the marriage, Dupleix, however, was unconquerable, and his Clive embarked with his bride for England. resources inexhaustible. From his employers He returned a very different person from the in Europe he no longer received help or coun-poor, slighted boy who had been sent out ten tenance. They condemned his policy. They years before to seek his fortune. He was only allowed him no pecuniary assistance. They twenty-seven; yet his country already respectsent him for troops only the sweepings of the ed him as one of her first soldiers. There was galleys. Yet still he persisted, intrigued, then general peace in Europe. The Carnatic bribed, promised;-lavished his private for- was the only part of the world where the Engtune, strained his credit, procured new diplo- lish and French were in arms against each mas from Delhi, raised up new enemies to the other. The vast schemes of Dupleix had exgovernment of Madras on every side, and even cited no small uneasiness in the city of Lonamong the allies of the English Company. But don; and the rapid turn of fortune which was all was in vain. Slowly, but steadily, the power chiefly owing to the courage and talents of of Britain continued to increase, and that of Clive, had been hailed with great delight. France to decline. The young captain was known at the India House by the honourable nick-name of General Clive, and was toasted by that appellation at the feasts of the Directors. On his arrival in England he found himself an object of general interest and admiration. The East India Company thanked him for his services in the warmest terms, and presented him with a sword set with diamonds. With rare delicacy, he declined to receive this token of gratitude, unless a similar compliment was paid to his friend and commander, Lawrence.
The health of Clive had never been good during his residence in India, and his constitution was now so much impaired that he determined to return to England. Before his departure he undertook a service of considerable difficulty, and performed it with his usual vigour and dexterity. The Forts of Covelong and Chingleput were occupied by French garrisons. It was determined to send a force against them. But the only force available for this purpose was of such a description, that no officer but Clive would risk his reputation It may easily be supposed that Clive was by commanding it. It consisted of five hun- most cordially welcomed home by his family, dred newly-levied sepoys and two hundred re- who were delighted by his success, though cruits who had just landed from England, and they seem to have been hardly able to comprewho were the worst and lowest wretches that hend how their naughty, idle Bobby had bethe Company's crimps could pick up in the come so great a man. His father had been flash-houses in London. Clive, ill and ex- singularly hard of belief. Not until the news hausted as he was, undertook to make an army of the defence of Arcot arrived in England of this undisciplined rabble, and marched with was the old gentleman heard to growl out, them to Covelong. A shot from the fort killed that after all the booby had something in him. one of these extraordinary soldiers; on which His expressions of approbation became strongail the rest faced about and ran away, and iter and stronger as news arrived of one brilwas with the greatest difficulty that Clive ral- liant exploit after another; and he was at lied them. On another occasion the noise of length immoderately fond and proud of his a gun terrified the sentinels so much that one of them was found, some hours later, at the bottom of a well. Clive gradually accustomed them to danger, and by exposing himself constantly in the most periious situations, shamed them into courage. He at length succeeded in forming a respectable force out of his unpromising materials. Covelong fell. Clive learned that a strong detachment was marching to relieve it from Chingleput. He took measures to prevent the enemy from learning that they were too late, laid an ambuscade for them on the road, killed a hundred of them with one fire, took three hundred prisoners, pursued the fugitives to the gates of Chingleput, laid siege instantly to that fastness, reputed
Clive's relations had very substantial rea sons for rejoicing at his return. Considerable sums of prize-money had fallen to his share, and he had brought home several thousands, some of which he expended in extricating his father from pecuniary difficulties, and in re deeming the family estate. The remainder he appears to have dissipated in the course of about two years. He lived splendidly, dressed gayly even for those times, kept a carriage and saddled horses, and, not content with these ways of getting rid of his money, resorted to the most speedy and effectual of all modes of evacuation, a contested election followed by a petition.
At the time of the general election of 1754, the government was in a very singular state. There was scarcely any formal opposition. The Jacobites had been cowed by the issue of the last rebellion. The Tory party had fallen into utter contempt. It had been deserted by all the men of talents who had belonged to it, and had scarcely given a symptom of life during some years. The small faction which had been held together by the influence and promises of Prince Frederick had been dis- Ejected from Parliament, and straitened in persed by his death. Almost every public his means, he naturally began to look again man of distinguished talents in the kingdom, towards India. The Company and the gowhatever his early connections had been, was vernment were eager to avail themselves of in office, and called himself a Whig. But this his services. A treaty favourable to England extraordinary appearance of concord was quite had indeed been concluded in the Carnatic. delusive. The administration itself was dis- Dupleix had been superseded, and had returntracted by bitter enmities and conflicting pre-ed with the wreck of his immense fortune to tensions. The chief object of its members Europe, where calumny and chicanery soon was to depress and supplant each other. The hunted him to his grave. But many signs inprime minister, Newcastle, weak, timid, jeal- dicated that a war between France and Great ous, and perfidious, was at once detested and Britain was at hand, and it was therefore despised by the most important members of thought desirable to send an able commander his government, and by none more than by to the Company's settlements in India. The Henry Fox, the Secretary at War. This able, Directors appointed Clive Governor of Fort daring, and ambitious man seized every oppor- St. David. The king gave him the commistunity of crossing the First Lord of the Trea- sion of a lieutenant-colonel in the British sury, from whom he well knew that he had army, and in 1755 he again sailed for Asia. little to dread and little to hope; for Newcastle was through life equally afraid of breaking with men of parts and of promoting them.
Newcastle had set his heart on returning two members for St. Michael, one of those wretched Cornish boroughs which were swept away by the Reform Act in 1832. He was opposed by Lord Sandwich, whose influence had long been paramount there; and Fox exerted himself strenuously in Sandwich's behalf. Clive, who had been introduced to Fox, and very kindly received by him, was brought forward on the Sandwich interest, and was returned. But a petition was presented against the return, and was backed by the whole interest of the Duke of Newcastle.
The first service in which he was employed after his return to the East, was the reduction of the stronghold of Gheriah. This fortress, built on a craggy promontory, and almost surrounded by the ocean, was the den of a pirate named Angria, whose barks had long been the terror of the Arabian Gulf. Admiral Watson, who commanded the English squadron in the Eastern seas, burned Angria's fleet, while Clive attacked the fastness by land. The place soon fell, and a booty of a hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling was divided among the conquerors.
After this exploit Clive proceeded to his government of Fort St. David. Before he had been there two months, he received intelligence which called forth all the energy of his bold and active mind.
they hated, as the boldest and most subtle poli.
The case was heard, according to the usage of that time, before a committee of the whole House. Questions respecting elections were Of the provinces which had been subject to then considered merely as party questions. the house of Tamerlane, the wealthiest was Judicial impartiality was not even affected. Bengal. No part of India possessed such naSir Robert Walpole was in the habit of saying tural advantages, both for agriculture and comopenly, that in election battles there ought to merce. The Ganges, rushing through a hunbe no quarter. On the present occasion the dred channels to the sea, has formed a vast excitement was great. The matter really at plain of rich mould, which, even under the issue was, not whether Clive had been proper- tropical sky, rivals the verdure of an English ly or improperly returned; but whether New-April. The rice fields yield an increase such castle or Fox was to be master of the new House as is elsewhere unknown. Spices, sugar, vegeof Commons, and consequently first minister. table oils, are produced with similar exubeThe contest was long and obstinate, and suc- rance. The rivers afford an inexhaustible supcess seemed to lean sometimes to one side and ply of fish. The desolate islands along the sometimes to the other. Fox put forth all his sea-coast, overgrown by noxious vegetation, rare powers of debate, beat half the lawyers in and swarming with deer and tigers, supply the the House at their own weapons, and carried cultivated districts with abundance of salt. division after division against the whole in- The great stream which fertilizes the soil is at fluence of the Treasury. The committee de- the same time the chief highway of Eastern cided in Clive's favour. But when the reso- commerce. On its banks, and on those of its Jution was reported to the House, things took tributary waters, are the wealthiest marts, the a different course. The remnant of the Tory most splendid capitals, and the most sacred Opposition, contemptible as it was, had yet shrines of India. The tyranny of man had for sufficient weignt to tt rn the scale between the ages struggled in vain against the overflowing nicely balanced parties of Newcastle and Fox. bounty of nature. In spite of the Mussulman wcastle the Tories could only despise. Fox despot and of the Mahratta freebooter, Bengal
was known through the East as the garden of Eden, as the rich kingdom. Its population multiplied exceedingly. Other provinces were nourished from the overflowing of its granaries; and the ladies of London and Paris were clothed in the delicate produce of its looms. The race by whom this rich tract was peopled, enervated by a soft climate and accustomed to peaceful avocations, bore the same relation to other Asiatics which the Asiatics generally bear to the bold and energetic children of Europe. The Castilians have a proverb, that in Valencia the earth is water and the men women; and the description is at least equally applicable to the vast plain of the Lower Ganges. Whatever the Bengalee does he does languidly. His favourite pursuits are sedentary. He shrinks from bodily exercise; and, though voluble in dispute and singularly pertinacious in the war of chicane, he seldom engages in a personal conflict, and scarcely ever enlists as a soldier. We doubt whether there be a hundred genuine Bengalees in the whole army of the East India Company. There never, perhaps, existed a people so thoroughly fitted by nature and by habit for a foreign yoke.
use of ardent spirits, which inflamed his weak brain almost to madness. His chosen companions were flatterers, sprung from the dregs of the people, and recommended by nothing but buffoonery and servility. It is said that he had arrived at that last stage of human depravity when cruelty becomes pleasing for its own sake-when the sight of pain as pain, where no advantage is to be gained, no offence punished, no danger averted, is an agreeable excitement. It had early been his amusement to torture beasts and birds; and when he grew up, he enjoyed with still keener relish the misery of his fellow-creatures.
From a child Surajah Dowlah had hated the English. It was his whim to do so; and his whims were never opposed. He had also formed a very exaggerated notion of the wealth which might be obtained by plundering them; and his feeble and uncultivated mind was incapable of perceiving that the riches of Calcutta, had they been even greater than he ima gined, would not compensate him for what he must lose if the European trade, of which Bengal was a chief seat, should be driven by his violence to some other quarter. Pretexts for a quarrel were readily found. The English, in expectation of a war with France, had begun to fortify their settlement without a special permission from the Nabob. A rich native whom he longed to plunder had taken refuge at Calcutta, and had not been delivered up. On such grounds as these Surajah Dowlah marched with a great army against Fort Wil
The great commercial companies of Europe had long possessed factories in Bengal. The French were settled, as they still are, at Chandernagore, on the Hoogley. Lower down the stream the English had built Fort William. A church and ample warehouses rose in the vicinity. A row of spacious houses, belonging to the chief factors of the East India Company, lined the banks of the river; and in the neigh-liam. bourhood had sprung up a large and busy na- The servants of the Company at Madras had tive town, where some Hindoo merchants of been forced by Dupleix to become statesmen great opulence had fixed their abode. But the and soldiers. Those in Bengal were still mere tract now covered by the palaces of Chow-traders, and were terrified and bewildered by the ringhee contained only a few miserable huts approaching danger. The governor, who had thatched with straw. A jungle, abandoned to heard much of Surajah Dowlah's cruelty, was water-fowls and alligators, covered the site of frightened out of his wits, jumped into a boat, the present Citadel, and the Course, which is and took refuge in the nearest ship. The mili now daily crowded at sunset with the gayest tary commandant thought that he could not do equipages of Calcutta. For the ground on better than follow so good an example. The which the settlement tood, the English, like fort was taken after a feeble resistance, and other great landholders, paid rent to the govern- great numbers of the English fell into the ment; and they were, like other great land- hands of the conquerors. The Nabob seated holders, permitted to exercise a certain juris- himself with regal pomp in the principal hall diction within their domain. of the factory, and ordered Mr. Holwell, the first in rank among the prisoners, to be brought before him. He abused the insolence of the English, and grumbled at the smallness of the treasure he had found, but promised to spare their lives, and retired to rest.
Then was committed that great crime, memorable for its singular atrocity, memorable for the tremendous retribution by which it was followed. The English captives were left at the mercy of the guards, and the guards deter
The great province of Bengal, together with Orissa and Bahar, had long been governed by a viceroy whom the English called Aliverdy Khan, and who, like the other viceroys of the Mogul, had become virtually independent. He died in 1756, and the sovereignty descended to his grandson, a youth under twenty, who bore the name of Surajah Dowlah. Oriental despots are perhaps the worst class of human beings; and this unhappy boy was one of the worst specimens of his class. His undermined to secure them for the night in the standing was naturally feeble, and his temper prison of the garrison, a chamber known by naturally unamiable. His education had been the fearful name of the Black Hole. Even for such as would have enervated even a vigorous a single European malefactor that dungeon intellect, and perverted even a generous dis- would, in such a climate, have been too close position. He was unreasonable, because no- and narrow. The space was only twenty feet body ever dared to reason with him; and self- square. The air-holes were small, and op ish, because he had never been made to feel structed. It was the summer solstice-the seahimself dependent on the good-will of others. son when the fierce heat of Bengal can scarce. Early debauchery had unnerved his body and ly be rendered tolerable to natives of England his mind. He indulged immoderately in the by lofty halls and the constant waving of fans.
The number of the prisoners was one hundred She was placed in the harem of the prince, at and forty-six. When they were ordered to enter the cell, they imagined that the soldiers were joking; and, being in high spirits on account of the promise of the Nabob to spare their lives, they laughed and jested at the absurdity of the notion. They soon discovered their mistake. They expostulated; they entreated; but in vain. The guards threatened to cut down all who hesitated. The captives were driven into the cell at the point of the sword, and the door was instantly shut and locked upon them.
Surajah Dowlah, in the mean time, sen letters to his nominal sovereign at Delhi, describing the late conquest in the most pompous language. He placed a garrison in Fort Wil liam, forbade any Englishman to dwell in the neighbourhood, and directed that, in memory of his great actions, Calcutta should thenceforward be called Alinagore, that is to say, the Port of God.
In August the news of the fall of Calcutta reached Madras, and excited the fiercest and bitterest resentment. The cry of the whole
Nothing in history or fiction-not even the story which Ugolino told in the sea of ever-settlement was for vengeance. Within fortylasting ice, after he had wiped his bloody lips eight hours after the arrival of the intelligence, on the scalp of his murderer-approaches the it was determined that an expedition should be horrors which were recounted by the few sur- sent to the Hoogley, and that Clive should be at vivors of that night. They cried for mercy. the head of the land forces. The naval armaThey strove to burst the door. Holwell, who, ment was under the command of Admiral even in that extremity, retained some presence Watson. Nine hundred English infantryof mind, offered large bribes to the jailers. fine troops and full of spirit-and fifteen hunBut the answer was that nothing could be done dred sepoys, composed the army which sailed without the Nabob's orders, that the Nabob to punish a prince who had more subjects and was asleep, and that he would be angry if any- larger revenues than the King of Prussia or body awoke him. Then the prisoners went the Empress Maria Theresa. In October the mad with despair. They trampled each other expedition sailed; but it had to make its way down, fought for the places at the windows, against adverse winds, and did not reach Ben fought for the pittance of water with which gal till December. the cruel mercy of the murderers mocked The Nabob was revelling in fancied securi their agonies-raved, prayed, blasphemed-ty at Moorshedabad. He was so profoundly implored the guards to fire among them. The ignorant of the state of foreign countries, that jailers in the mean time held lights to the he often used to say that there were not ten bars, and shouted with laughter at the frantic thousand men in all Europe; and it had never struggles of their victims. At length the tu-occurred to him as possible, that the English mult died away in low gasps and moanings. would dare to invade his dominions. But, The day broke. The Nabob had slept off his though undisturbed by any fear of their milidebauch, and permitted the door to be opened. tary power, he began to miss them greatly. But it was some time before the soldiers could His revenues fell off; and his ministers sucmake a lane for the survivors, by piling up on ceeded in making him understand that a ruler each side the heaps of corpses, on which the may sometimes find it more profitable to proburning climate had already begun to do its tect traders in the open enjoyment of their loathsome work. When at length a passage gains than to put them to the torture for the was made, twenty-three ghastly figures, such purpose of discovering hidden chests of gold as their own mothers would not have known, and jewels. He was already disposed to perstaggered one by one out of the charnel-house. mit the Company to resume its mercantile A pit was instantly dug. The dead bodies, a operations in his country, when he received hundred and twenty-three in number, were the news that an English armament was in the flung into it promiscuously, and covered up. Hoogley. He instantly ordered all his troops to assemble at Moorshedabad, and marched towards Calcutta.
But these things, which, after the lapse of more than eighty years, cannot be told or read without horror, awakened neither remorse nor pity in the bosom of the savage Nabob. He inflicted no punishment on the murderers. He showed no tenderness to the survivors. Some of them, indeed, from whom nothing was to be got, were suffered to depart; but those from whom it was thought that any thing could be extorted, were treated with execrable cruelty. Holwell, unable to walk, was carried before the tyrant, who reproached him; threatened him, and sent him up the country in irons: together with some other gentlemen who were suspected of knowing more than they chose to tell about the treasures of the Company. These persons, still bowed down by the sufferings of that great agony, were lodged in miserable sheds, and fed only with grain and water, till at length the intercessions of the female relauons of the Nabob procured their release. One Englishwoman had survived that night.
Clive had commenced operations with his usual vigour. He took Budgebudge, routed the garrison of Fort William, recovered Cal cutta, stormed and sacked Hoogley. The Nabob, already disposed to make some concessions to the English, was confirmed in his pacific disposition by these proofs of their power and spirit. He accordingly made over tures to the chiefs of the invading armament, and offered to restore the factory, and to give compensation to those whom he had despoiled.
Clive's profession was war; and he felt that there was something discreditable in an accommodation with Surajah Dowlah. But his power was limited. A committee, chiefly com posed of servants of the Company who had fled from Calcutta, had the principal direction of affairs; and these persons were eager to be restored to their posts, and compensated for their losses. The government of Madras, ap