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34 LORD CLIVE.

butary waters, are the wealthiest marts, the most splendid
capitals, and the most sacred shrines of India. The tyranny
of man had for ages struggled in vain against the overflowing
bounty of nature. In spite of the Mussulman despot and of
the Mahratta freebooter, Bengal was known through the East
as the garden of Eden, as the rich kingdom. Its population
multiplied exceedingly. Distant provinces were nourished from
the overflowing of its granaries; and the 1101318 ladies Of
London and Paris were clothed in the delicate produce of its
looms. The race by whom this rich tract was peopled, ener-
vated by a soft climate and accustomed to peaceful employments,
bore the same relation to other Asiatics which the Asiatics
generally bear to the bold and energetic children of Europe.
The Castilians have a proverb, that in Valencia the earth is
water and the men women; and the description is at least
equally applicable to the vast plain of the Lower Ganges.
\Vhatever the Bengalee does he does languidly. His favourite
pursuits are sedentary. He shrinks from bodily exertion;
and, though volublein dispute, and singularly pertinacious in
the war of chicane, he seldom engages in a personal conflict,
and scarcely ever enlists as a soldier. We doubt whether
there be a hundred genuine Bengalees in the whole army of
the East India Company. There never, perhaps, existed a
people so thoroughly fitted by nature and by habit for a foreign
yoke.
The great commercial companies of Europe had long pos-
sessed factories in Bengal. The French were settled, as they
still are, at Chandernagore on the Hoogley. Higher up the

‘stream the Dutch traders held Chinsurah. Nearer to the sea,

the English had built Fort William. A church and ample
warehouses rose in the vicinity. A row of spacious houses,
belonging to the chief factors of the East India Company, lined
the banks of the river; and in the neighbourhood had sprung
“P 8 large and busy native town, where some Hindoo me;--

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