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44 LORD CLIVE.

3 I I‘ . ‘L IJ
lish had suffered at his hands, the dangeib f0 \Vll10h 0m‘ t”‘ P
. , - ‘ 1;

‘must have been exposed had he continued to ielgna ‘1PP°3‘: 0
us fully to justify the resolution of deposing him. But nothing
can justify the dissimulation which Clive St00Ped to l3m°t‘Se'
He wrote to Surajah Dowlah in terms so afliectionate that they
for a time lulled that weak prince into perfect S€CU1'itY° The
. . 1 ' -.
same courier who carried this “ soothing letter,” as (Jhve call”
it, to the Nabob, carried to Mr. \Vatts a letter in the following

terms: “ Tell Meer Jaffier to fear nothing. I will join him_

with five .thousand men who never turned their backs. Assure
him I will march night and day to his assistance, and stand by
him as long as I have a man left.’’

It was impossible that a plot which had so many ramifica-
tions should long remain entirely concealed. Enough reached
the ears of the Nabob to arouse his suspicions. But he was
soon quieted by the fictions and artifices which the inventive
genius of Omichund produced with miraculous readiness. All
was going well; the plot was nearly ripe; when Clive learned
that Omichund was likely to play false. The artful Bengalee
had been promised a liberal compensation for all that he had
lost at Calcutta. But this would not satisfy him. His services
had been great. He held the thread of the whole intrigue.
By one word breathed in the ear of Surajah Dowlah, he could
undo all that he had done. The lives of \Vatts, of Meer J aflier,
of all the conspirators, were at his mercy; and he determined
to take advantage of his situation and to make his own terms.
He demanded three hundred thousand pounds sterling as the
price of his secrecy and of his assistance. The committee,
incensed by the treachery and appalled by the danger, knew
not what course to take. But Clive was more than Omichum1’3
match in Oiiiicliund’s own arts. The man, he said, was a
yillain. Any artifice which would defeat such knavery was
ijustitiable. The best course would be to promise what was
115l=i€d- Omichund would soon be at their mercy; and then

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