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LORD CLIVE. 29

ordinary soldiers; on which all the rest faced about and ran
away, and it was with the greatest difliculty that Clive rallied
them. On another occasion, the noise of 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 perilous 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 Chin-
gleput. 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 one of the strongest
in India, made a breach, and was on the point of storming
when the French commandant capitulated and retired with
his men.

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 Maske-
lyne, 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.

Almost immediately after the marriage, Clive embarked
with his bride for England. He returned a very different
person from the poor slighted boy who had been sent out ten
years before to seek his fortune. He was only twenty-seven;
yet his country already respected him as one of her first
soldiers. There was then general peace in Europe. The
Carnatic was the only part. of the world where the English and
French were in arms against each other. The vast schemes of
Dupleix had excited no small uneasiness in the city of London;

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