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1765.]
THE MAHRATTAS.

73 his army of intestine disorder, Monro marched them in the autumn against the enemy, whom he entirely routed, breaking up by this victory the confederacy between the three native princes. Sujah Dowlah and the Mogul sued for peace; the latter obtained it, but the former refused to deliver up Sumroo and Meer Cossim, both of whom Monro demanded as a necessary preliminary.

Being unwilling to surrender his former allies, Sujah Dowlah attempted to strengthen himself by bringing in the Mahrattas, under their celebrated chief, Holkar; but this expedient did not serve his purpose, since, in May 1765, he was defeated with great slaughter at Corah, by General Carnac, and found himself ultimately a prisoner in the hands of the English. His territories were restored to him, with the exception of Allahabad, Corah and the Douab, which passed into the possession of the Mogul, who, grateful for these advantages, conferred upon the Company the Dewanee of Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa for an annual pension of twenty-six lacs of rupees.

CHAPTER VI.

REFORMS EFFECTED BY CLIVE-HIS RETURN TO ENGLAND-THE NABOBS

-ACCUSATION AGAINST CLIVE-HIS DEATH.

1765—1772. The arrival of Clive in India proved by no means welcome to the civil servants in Calcutta. One of his first measures was to examine into a nefarious bargain, by which the sovereignty of Bengal had been conferred upon Nujeem-ood-Dowlah, the eldest son of Meer Jaffier, who had lately died. He endeavoured also with success to put a stop to private trading and other abuses, while he urged upon the directors at home the absolute necessity of increasing the stipends of their servants. Nujeem-oodDowlah had been appointed nabob before Clive's coming, and much to his annoyance, the more especially as that prince and his ministers boasted publicly of the manner in which they had succeeded in bribing the principal members of the Calcutta Council.

The matter was investigated, and the guilty parties strove to defend themselves by imputing unworthy motives to Clive and his party. But they could not stand for a moment before his stern decision of character. Using the dictatorial authority with which he had been entrusted, he suspended at once several senior civilians from their employments. The same firm decision he exhibited with regard to some refractory military officers, when these last resisted the withdrawal of the additional pay, or

“ double batta," as it was termed, which had been allowed to them during active service. On this occasion considerable excitement prevailed ; 200 European officers resigned their commissions, and a serious mutiny was apprehended. Fearless and resolute,

1767.) INTERVIEW BETWEEN LORD CLIVE AND THE MOGUL. 75

Clive presented himself at Monghir, where the discontented officers had assembled, he harangued the troops, placed the offenders under immediate arrest, and in a short time 'tranquillity and order were completely restored.

Returning to Calcutta, Clive proceeded quietly with his reforms. His energy and determination enabled him to triumph over every species of opposition, but the interests which he attacked were too numerous and too closely connected to be assailed with impunity. The conscientious discharge of his duty raised him up enemies both in India and England, whose efforts, though they could not entirely destroy his splendid reputation, cast a blight upon his fame, and darkened with sorrow and vexation his declining days.

During the progress of these reforms, Clive undertook to dethrone and pension Nujeem-ood-Dowlah, who instead of grieving for his lost dignity, consoled himself with the reflection that he now possessed a large annual sum to waste upon his ignoble debaucheries. Although deposed, however, it was thought better to effect this change as noiselessly as possible, and therefore while Nujeem-ood-Dowlah had to all intents and purposes ceased to reign, the public acts of government still continued to receive the sanction of his name. An interview took place between the Mogul and Lord Clive near the city of Allahabad, when the descendant of Timour formally invested a trading company of English merchants with the Dewanee of the provinces of Bengal, Orissa, and Bahar. This investiture gave them and their servants the collection and absolute management of all taxes and revenues belonging to these districts, bestowing upon them in fact a virtual sovereignty over some of the most fertile regions in the Peninsula.

Clive returned again to England, wearied in mind and broken down in health. He had undoubtedly contributed more than any one else to the establishment of the

British dominion in the East upon a firm and stable foundation. On his first arrival in India, he found the interests of the Company represented by a body of powerless traders oppressed occasionally by the native authorities, and trembling at the power of the Mogul, When he relinquished the post of Governor, he left a society of rulers holding in vassalage the descendant of Aurungzeeb, dictating to princes, and exercising uncontrolled sway over the fairest regions of the Peninsula. With regard to much of this success he could say with sentiments of excusable pride, “ It is my work!” He might have added also with truth that the inhabitants of the country he quitted, and the directors of the service he had adorned, were indebted to him for reforms of a most beneficial character, tending to consolidate the English power, and to diffuse throughout the regions under its sway, the blessings of prosperity and peace. Nor had these measures been carried out at no personal inconvenience to himself. The hydra of corruption, though crushed by his energy, had left a sting in his bosom, the anguish of which drove him eventually to madness and despair. He was yet to exhibit during the brief remnant of time allotted to him, a memorable example of how little princely wealth and a world-wide reputation can contribute to happiness, when those sound religious principles are wanting which can alone enable us to bear in dignified and forgiving silence unfriendly censure, and to maintain peace and tranquillity within, while a popular tempest and the strife of men's tongues are raging without. Lord Clive landed in England to find the affairs of the Company in a disturbed state, and the Indian interest growing daily more unpopular with the nation at large. Various causes contributed to bring about this result. The quarrels among the directors, the industrious activity of Mr. Sullivan and his party in blackening the character of their opponents, and above all, the social absurd and general behaviour of

1767.]

THE NABOBS.

77

the Anglo-Indians who returned to their native country after a lengthened sojourn abroad, tended to leave on the public mind a mingled impression of dislike and contempt, which soon found vent within the walls of parliament. The sudden influx of wealth that during a period of recent and unprecedented success had overwhelmed the servants of the Company, enabled many of them to return in a few years to England with fortunes equal to those possessed by the wealthiest nobles in the realm. The Nabob, as he was popularly termed, lived in a style of costly magnificence, attended by troops of servants, over whom he ruled with an air of imperious command, which, however suited to the East, was by no means consonant with the feelings of his countrymen. An unfriendly climate had injured his health, and generated or encouraged occasional ebullitions of peevishness and spleen. Of obscure, sometimes of humble origin, his manners and tastes awakened, in an age peculiarly alive to social distinctions, the contempt of those whom he irritated by eclipsing with his wealth. Long residence in a country where polished society was then utterly unknown, had vulgarized his habits, and obliterated from his memory even the acquirements of his youth. Accustomed to domineer and to indulge in sensual and licentious pleasures, his behaviour was haughty, his tone offensive, and his morals, even according to the low religious standard which then popularly prevailed, indecorous and reprehensible. But the odium grew deeper and more inveterate when frequent quarrels at the India-house led people to speculate upon the source of that wealth, the ostentatious display of which had already offended them so much. It was whispered that the vulgar disagreeable personage whom every one alternately flattered and despised, owed his riches to means which excited popular hatred without quenching popular contempt. Tales of provinces desolated and despoiled, of dethroned princes, of open and unblushing

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