Previous Index Next
Page 9
(previous) (Page 000009) (next)
 
LORD CLIVE.

(JANUARY, 1840.)

The Life of Robert Lord Clive; collected from the Family Papers,
communicated by the Earl of Powis. By l\IAJon-GENERAL SIR.
JOHN MALCOLM, K.C.B. 3 vols. 8vo. London: 1836.

WE have always thought it strange that, while the history of
the Spanish empire in America is familiarly known to all the
nations of Europe, the great actions of our countrymen in the
East should, even among ourselves, excite little interest. Every
schoolboy knows who imprisoned Montezuma, and who strangled
Atahualpa. But we doubt whether one in ten, even among
English gentlemen of highly cultivated minds, can tell who
won the battle of Buxar, who perpetrated the massacre of
Patna, whether Sujah Dowlah ruled in Oude or in Travancore,
or whether Holkar was a Hindoo or a Mussulman. Yet the
victories of Cortes were gained over savages who had no
letters, who were ignorant of the use of metals, who had not
broken in a single animal to labour, who wielded no better
weapons than those which could be made out of sticks, flints,
and fish-bones, who regarded a horse-soldier as a monster, half
man and half beast, who took a harquebusier for a sorcerer,
able to scatter the thunder and lightning of the skies. The
people of India, when we subdued them, were ten times as
numerous as the Americans whom the Spaniards vanquished,
and were at the same time quite as highly civilised as the
A 2

Previous Index Next