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LORD CLIVE. 59

sand pounds sterling a year. The whole of this splendid estate,
sufficient to support with dignity the highest rank of the
British peerage, was now conferred on Clive for life.

This present we think Clive justified in accepting. It was
a present which, from its very nature, could be no secret. In
fact, the Company itself was his tenant, and, by its acquies-
cence, signified its approbation of Meer J affier’s grant.

But the gratitude of Meer J aflier did not last long. He had
for some time felt that the powerful ally who had set him up
might pull him down, and had been looking round for support
against the formidable strength by which he had himself been
hitherto. supported. He knew that it would be impossible to
find among the natives of India any force which would look the
Colone1’s little army in the face. The French power in Bengal
was extinct. But the fame of the Dutch had aneiently been
great in the Eastern seas; and it was not yet distinctly known
in Asia how much the power of Holland had declined in
Europe. Secret communications passed between the court of
Moorshedabad and the Dutch factory at Chinsurah; and urgent
letters were sent from Chinsurah, exhorting the government
of Batavia to fit out an expedition which might balance the
power of the English in Bengal. The authorities of Batavia,
eager to extend the influence of their country, and still more
eager to obtain for themselves a share of the wealth which had
recently raised so many English adventurers to opulence,
equipped a powerful armament. Seven large ships from Java
arrived unexpectedly in the I-Ioogley. The military force on
board amounted to fifteen hundred men, of whom about one
half were Europeans. The enterprise was well timed. Clive
had sent such large detachments to oppose the French in the
Carnatic that his army was now inferior in number to that of
the Dutch. He knew that Meer Jaflier secretly favoured the
invaders. He knew that he took on himself a serious respon-
sibility if he attacked the forces of a friendly power; that the

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