Previous Index Next
Page 56
(previous) (Page 000056) (next)

came thither, fully believing himself to stand high in the favour
of Clive, who, with dissimulation surpassing even the dissimu-
lation of Bengal, had up to that day treated him with un-
diminished kindness. The white treaty was produced and read.
Clive then turned to Mr. Scrafton, one of the servants of the

Company, and said in English, “It is now time to undeceive_

Omichund.” “Omichund,” said Mr. Scrafton in Hindostanee,
“the red treaty is a trick. You are to have nothing.” Omi-
chund fell back insensible into the arms of his attendants. He
revived; but his mind was irreparably ruined. Clive, who,
though little troubled by scrnples of conscience in his dealings
with Indian politicians, was not inhuman, seems to have been
touched. He saw Omichund a few days later, spoke to him
kindly, advised him to make a pilgrimage to one of the great
temples of India, in the hope that change of scene might restore
his health, and was even disposed, notwithstanding all that
had passed, again to employ him in the public service. But
from the moment of that sudden shock, the unhappy man sank
gradually into idiocy./ He, who had formerly been distinguished
by the strength of his understanding and the simplicity of his
habits, now squandered the remains of his fortune on childish
trinkets, and loved to exhibit himself dressed in rich garments
and hung with precious stones. In this abject state he lan-
guished a few months, and then died.

\Ve should not think it necessary to offer any remarks for
the purpose of directing the judgment of our readers, with
respect to this transaction, had not Sir John Malcolm under-
taken to defend it in all its parts. He regrets, indeed, that it
was necessary to employ means so liable to abuse as forgery;
but he will not admit that any blame attaches to those who
deceived the deceiver. He thinks that the English were not
bound to keep faith with one who kept no faith with them, and
that, if they had fulfilled their engagements with the wily
Bengalee, so signal an example of successful treason would

Previous Index Next