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LORD CLIVE 41

Mr. Mill, who has gone so far as to say that Clive was a man

“to whom deception, when it suited his purpose, never cost a

pang.” Clive seems to us to have been constitutionally the

very opposite of a knave, bold even to temerity, sincere even
to indiscretion, hearty in friendship, open in enmity. Neither
in his private life, nor in those parts of his public life in which
he had to do with his countrymen, do we find any signs of a
propensity to cunning. On the contrary, in all the disputes in
which he was engaged as an Englishman against Englishmen,
from his boxing-matches at school to those stormy altercations
at the India House and in Parliament amidst which his later
years were passed, his very faults were those of a high and
magnanimous spirit. The truth seems to have been that he
considered Oriental politics as a game in which nothing was
unfair. He knew that the standard of morality among the
natives of India difiered widely from that established in Eng-
land. He knew that he had to deal with men destitute of
what in Europe is called honour, with men who would give
any promise without hesitation, and break any promise without
shame, with men who would unscrupulously employ corruption,
perjury, forgery, to compass their ends. His letters show that
the great difi'erence between Asiatic and European morality
was constantly in his thoughts. He seems to have imagined,
most erroneously in our opinion, that he could effect nothing
against such adversaries, if he was content to be bound by ties
from which they were free, if he went on telling truth, and
hearing none, if he fulfilled, to his own hurt, all his engage-
ments with confederates who never kept an engagement that
was not to their advantage. Accordingly this man, in the
other parts of his life an honourable English gentleman and a
soldier, was no sooner matched against an Indian intriguer,
than he became himself an Indian intriguer, and descended,

without scruple, to falsehood, to hypocritical caresses, to the
substitution of documents, and to the counterfeiting of hands.

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