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LORD CLIVE. 37

‘appeared. Every servant of a British factor was armed with
all the power of his master; and his master was armed with all
the power of the Company. Enormous fortunes were thus
rapidly accumulated at Calcutta, while thirty millions of human
beings were reduced to the extremity of wretchedness. They
had been accustomed to live under tyranny, but never under
tyranny like this. They found the little finger of the Company
thicker than the loins of Surajah Dowlah. Under their old
masters they had at least one resource: when the evil became
insupportable, the people rose and pulled down the government.
‘But the English government was not to be so shaken off. That
government, oppressive as the most oppressive form of barbarian
despotism, was strong with all the strength of civilisation. It
resembled the government of evil Genii, rather than the govern-
ment of human tyrants. Even despair could not inspire the soft
Bengalee with courage to confront men of English breed, the
hereditary nobility of mankind, whose skill and valour had so
often triumphed in spite of tenfold odds. The unhappy race
never attempted resistance. Sometimes they submitted in
patient misery. Sometimes they fled from the white man, as
their fathers had been used to fly from the Mahratta; and the
palanquin of the English traveller was often carried through
silent villages and towns, which the report of his approach had
made desolate.

The foreign lords of Bengal were naturally objects of hatred
to all the neighbouring powers; and to all the haughty race
presented a dauntless front. The English armies, every where
outnumbered, were every where victorious. A succession of
commanders, formed in the school of Clive, still maintained the
fame of their country. “ It must be acknowledged,” says the
Mussulman historian of those times, “that this nation’s pre-
sence of mind, firmness of temper, and undaunted bravery, are
past all question. They join the most resolute courage to the

most cautious prudence; nor have they their equals in the art
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