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LORD CLIVE. 47

horrible apprehensions. Appalled bythe greatness and near-
ness of the crisis, distrusting his captains, dreading every one
who approached him, dreading to be left alone, he sat gloomily
in his tent, haunted, a Greek poet would have said, by the
furies of those who had cursed him with their last breath in
the Black Hole.

The day broke, the day which was to decide the fate of
India. At sunrise the army of the Nabob, pouring through
many openings of the camp, began to move towards the grove
where the English lay. Forty thousand infantry, armed with
firelocks, pikes, swords, bows and arrows, covered the plain.
They were accompanied by fifty pieces of ordnance of the
largest size, each tugged by a long team of white oxen, and
each pushed on from behind by an elephant. Some‘ smaller
guns, under the direction of a few French auxiliaries, were
perhaps more formidable. The cavalry were fifteen thousand,
drawn, not from the effeminate population of Bengal, but from
the bolder race which inhabits the northern provinces; and
the practised eye of Clive could perceive that both the men
and the horses were more powerful than those of the Carnatic.
The force which ‘he had to oppose to this great multitude
consisted of only three thousand men. But of these nearly a
thousand were English; and all were led by English officers,
and trained in the English discipline. Conspicuous in the
ranks of the little army were the men of the Thirty-Ninth
Regiment, which still bears on its colours, amidst many honour-
able additions won under Wellington in Spain and Gascony,
the name of Plassey, and the proud motto, Primus in Indis. '

The battle commenced with a cannonade in which the ar-
tillery of the Nabob did scarcely any execution, while the few
field-pieces of the English produced great effect. Several of
the most distinguished officers in Surajah Dowlah’s service fell.
Disorder began to spread through his ranks. His own terror
increased every moment. One of the conspirators urged on

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