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70 LORD CLIVE.

thousand pounds sterling was distributed among nine of the
most powerful servants of the Company; and, in consideration
of this bribe, an infant son of the deceased Nabob was placed
on the seat of his father. The news of the ignominious bar-
gain met Clive on his arrival. In a private letter, written im-
mediately after his landing, to an intimate friend, he poured
out his feelings in language which, proceeding from a man so
daring, so resolute, and so little given to theatrical display of
sentiment, seems to us singularly touching. “Alas!” he says,
“ how is the English name sunk! I could not avoid paying the
tribute of a few tears to the departed and lost fame of the
British nation—irrecoverably so, I fear However, I do de-
clare, by that great Being who is the searcher of all hearts, and
to whom we must .be accountable if there be a hereafter, that
I am come out with a mind superior to all corruption, and that
I am determined to destroy these great and growing evils, or
perish in the attempt.”

The Council met, and Clive stated to them his full determi-
nation to make a thorough reform, and to use for that purpose
the whole of the ample authority, civil and military, which had
been confided to him. J ohnstone, one of the boldest and worst
men in the assembly, made some show of opposition. Clive
interrupted him, and haughtily demanded Whether he meant to
question the power of the new government. Johnstone was
cowed, and disclaimed any such intention. All the faces round
the board grew long and pale; and not another syllable of dis-
sent was uttered.

Clive redeemed his pledge. He remained in India about a
year and a half ; and in that short time effected one of the most
extensive, difiicult, and salutary reforms that ever was accom-
plished by any statesman. This was the part of his life on
which he afterwards looked back with most pride. He had it
in his power to triple his already splendid fortune; to connive
at abuses while pretending to remove them; to conciliate the

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