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7 4 LORD CLIVE.

counter the resistance of those who held the power of the sword,
in a country governed only by the sword. Two hundred
English officers engaged in a conspiracy against the govern-
ment, and determined to resign their commissions on the same
day, not doubting that Clive would grant any terms rather than
see the army, on which alone the British empire in the East
rested, left without commanders. They little knew the uncon-
querahle spirit with which they had to deal. Clive had still a
few officers round his person on whom he could rely. He sent
to Fort St. George for a fresh supply. He gave commissions
even to mercantile agents who were disposed to support him at
this crisis; and he sent orders that every officer who resigned
should be instantly brought up to Calcutta. The conspirators
found that they had miscalculated. The governor was inex-
orable. The troops were steady. The sepoys, over whom
Clive had always possessed extraordinary influence, stood by
him with unshaken fidelity. The leaders in the plot Were
arrested, tried, and cashiered. The rest, humbled and dis-
pirited, begged to be permitted to withdraw their resignations.
Many of them declared their repentance even withtears. The
younger ofl'enders Clive treated with lenity. To the ringleaders
he was inflexibly severe; but his severity was pure from all
taint of private malevolence. While he sternly upheld the just
authority of his oflice, he passed by personal insults and injuries
with magnanimous disdain. One of the conspirators was ac-
cused of having planned the assassination of the governor; but
Clive would not listen to the charge. “ The oflicers,” he said,
“are Englishmen, not assassins.”

While he reformed the civil service and established his autho-

rity over the army, he was equally successful in his foreign -

policy. His landing on Indian ground was the signal for imme-
diate peace. The Nabob of Oude, with a large army, lay at
that time on the frontier of Bahar. He had been joined by
many Afghans and Mahrattas, and there was no small reason to

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