Previous Index Next
Page 38
(previous) (Page 000038) (next)
 
32 LORD CLIVE.

before a committee of the whole House. Questions 1'95Pe°ti“8'
elections were then considered merely as pi11‘tY questions’
Judicial impartiality was not even affected. Sir Robert Wal-
pole was in the habit of saying openly that, in election battles,
there ought to be no quarter. On the present 0CC€1Si0n the
excitement Was great. The matter really at issue was, not
whether Clive had been properly or improperly returned, but
whether Newcastle or Fox was to be master of the new House
of Commons, and consequently first minister. The contest was
long and obstinate, and success seemed to lean sometimes to
one side and sometimes to the other. Fox put forth all his
rare powers of debate, beat half the lawyers in the House at
their own weapons, and carried division after division against

the whole influence of the Treasury. The committee decided"

in Clive’s favour. But when the resolution was reported to
the House, things took a different course. The remnant of the
Tory Opposition, contemptible as it was, had yet sufficient
weight to turn the scale between the nicely balanced parties of
Newcastle and Fox. Newcastle the Tories could only despise.
F ox they hated, as the boldest and most subtle politician and
the ablest debater among the Whigs, as the steady friend of
Walpole, as the devoted adherent of the Duke of Cumberland.
After wavering till the last moment, they determined to vote
in a body with the Prime Minister’s friends. The consequence
was that the House, by a small majority, rescinded the decision
of the committee, and Clive was unseated.
Ejected from Parliament, and straitened in his means, he
naturally began to look again towards India. The Company
and the Government were eager to avail themselves of his
services. A treaty favourable to England had indeed been
concluded in the Carnatic. Dupleix had been superseded, and
had returned with the wreck of his immense fortune to Europe,
where calumny and chicanery soon hunted him to his grave.
But many signs indicated that a war between France and

Previous Index Next