Previous Index Next
Page 36
(previous) (Page 000036) (next)

and the rapid turn of fortune, which was chiefly owing to the
courage and talents of Clive, had been hailed with great delight.
The young captain was known at the India House by the
honourable nickname of General Clive, and was toasted by that
appellation at the feasts of the Directors. On his arrival in
England, he found himself an object of general interest and
admiration. The East India Company thanked him for his
services in the warmest terms, and bestowed on him a sword
set with diamonds. \Vith rare delicacy, he refused to receive
this token of gratitude, unless a similar compliment were paid
to his friend and commander, Lawrence.

It may easily be supposed that Clive was most cordially
welcomed home by his family, who were delighted by his
success, though they seem to have been hardly able to com-
prehend how their naughty idle Bobby had become so great a
man. His father had been singularly hard of belief. Not
until the news of the defence of Arcot arrived in England was
the old gentleman heard to growl out that, after all, the booby
had something in him. His expressions of approbation became
st.ronger and stronger as news arrived of one brilliant exploit
after another; and he was at length immoderately fond and
proud of his son.

Clive’s relations had very substantial reasons for rejoicing at
his return. Considerable sums of prize money had fallen to
his share ; and he had brought home a moderate fortune, part
of which he expended in extricating his father from pecuniary
difficulties, and in redeeming the family estate. The remainder
he appears to have dissipated in the course of about two years.
He lived splendidly, dressed gaily even for those times, kept a.
carriage and saddle horses, and, not content with these ways
of getting rid of his money, resorted to the most speedy and
effectual of all modes of evacuation, a contested election fol-
lowed by a petition.

At the time of the general election of 1754, the government

Previous Index Next