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LORD CLIVE. 75

expect a general coalition of all the native powers against the
English. But the name of Clive quelled in an instant all oppo-
sition. The enemy implored peace in the humblest language,
and submitted to such terms as the new governor chose to
dictate.

At the same time, the government of Bengal was placed on
a new footing. The power of the English in that province had
hitherto been altogether undefined. It was unknown to the
ancient constitution of the empire, and it had been ascertained
by no compact. It resembled the power which, in the last
decrepitude of the Western Empire, was exercised over Italy
by the great chiefs of foreign mercenaries, the Ricimers and the
Odoacers, who put up and pulled down at their pleasure a suc-
cession of insignificant princes, dignified with the names of
Caesar and Augustus. But as in Italy, so in India, the warlike
strangers at length found it expedient to give to a domination
which had been established by arms the sanction of law and
ancient prescription. Theodoric thought it politic to obtain
from the distant court of Byzantium a commission appointing
him ruler of Italy; and Clive, in the same manner, applied to
the Court of Delhi for a formal grant of the powers of which he
already possessed the reality. The Mogul was absolutely help-
less; and, though he murmured, had reason to be well pleased
that the English were disposed to give solid rupees which he
never could have extorted from them, in exchange for a few
Persian characters which cost him nothing. A bargain was
speedily struck ; and the titular sovereign of Ilindostan issued
a warrant, empowering the Company to collect and administer
the revenues of Bengal, Orissa, and Bahar.

There was still a Naboh, who stood to the British autho-
rities in the same relation in which the last drivelling Chilpcrics
and Childerics of the Merovingian line stood to their able and
vigorous Mayors of the Palace, to Charles Martel and to Pepin.
At one time Clive had almost made up his mind to discard this

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