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LORD OLIVE. 5

The effect of the book, even when we make the largest al-
lowance for the partiality of those who have furnished and of
those who have digested the materials, is, on the whole, greatly
to raise the character of Lord Clive. We are fa.r indeed from
sympathizing with Sir John Malcolm, whose love passes the
love of biographers, and who can see nothing but wisdom and
justice in the actions of his idol. But we are at least equally
far from concurring in the severe judgment of Mr. Mill, who
seems to us to show less discrimination in his account of Clive
than in any other part of his valuable work. Clive, like most
men who are born with strong passions and tried by strong
temptations, committed great faults. But every person who
takes a fair and enlightened view of his whole career must
admit that our island, so fertile in heroes and statesmen, has
scarcely ever produced a man more truly great either in arms
or in council.

The Clives had been settled, ever since the twelfth century,
on an estate of no great value, near Market-Drayton, in Shrop-
shire. In the reign of George the First, this moderate but
ancient inheritance was possessed by Mr. Richard Clive, who
seems to have been a plain man of no great tact or capacity.
He had been bred to the law, and divided his time between
professional business and the avocations of a small proprietor.
He married a lady from Manchester, of the name of Gaskill,
and became the father of a very numerous family. His eldest
son, Robert, the founder of the British empire in India, was
born at the old seat of his ancestors on the twenty-ninth of
September, 1725.

Some lineaments of the character of the man were early
discerned in the child. There remain letters written by his
relations when he was in his seventh year; and from these
letters it appears that, even at that early age, his strong will
and his fiery passions, sustained by a constitutional intrepidity

which sometimes seemed hardly compatible with soundness of
A 3

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