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LORD CLIVE. 7

armed, some with swords and shields, some with bows and
arrows. The business of the servant of the Company was not,
as now, to conduct the judicial, financial, and‘ diplomatic
business of a great country, but to take stock, to make advances
to weavers, to ship cargoes, and above all to keep an eye on
private traders who dared to infringe the monopoly. The
younger clerks were so miserably paid that they could scarcely
subsist without incurring debt; the elder enriched themselves
by trading on their own account; and those who lived to rise
to the top of the service often accumulated considerable fortunes.

Madras, to which Clive had been appointed, was, at this
time, perhaps, the first in importance of the Company’s settle-
ments. In the preceding century, Fort St. George had arisen
on a barren spot beaten by a raging surf; and in the neigh-
bourhood a town, inhabited by many thousands of natives, had
sprung up, as towns spring up in the East, with the rapidity of
the prophet’s gourd. There were already in the suburbs many
white villas, each surrounded by its garden, whither the wealthy
agents of the Company retired, after the labours of the desk
and the warehouse, to enjoy the cool breeze which springs up
at sunset from the Bay of Bengal. The habits of these mer-
cantile grandees appear to have been more profuse, luxurious,
and ostentatious, than those of the high judicial and political
functionaries who have succeeded them. But comfort was far
less understood. Many devices which now mitigate the heat of
the climate, preserve health, and prolong life, were unknown.
There was far less intercourse with Europe than at present.
The voyage by the Cape, which in our time has often been
performed within three months, was then very seldom ac-
complished in six, and was sometimes protracted to more than
a year. Consequently, the Anglo-Indian was then much more
estranged from his country, much more addicted to Oriental
usages, and much less fitted to mix in society after his return
to Europe, than the Anglo-Indian of the present day.

A 4

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