Previous Index Next
Page 82
(previous) (Page 000082) (next)
 
'76 , LORD CLIVE.

phantom altogether; but he afterwards thought that it might be
convenient still to use the name of the Nabob, particularly in
dealings with other European nations. The French, the Dutch,
and the Danes, would, he conceived, submit far more readily to
the authority of the native Prince, whom they had always been
accustomed to respect, than to that of a rival trading corporation.
This policy may, at that time, have been judicious. But the
pretence was soon found to be too flimsy to impose on any body;
and it was altogether laid aside. The heir of Meer J affier still
resides at Moorshedabad, the ancient capital of his house, still
bears the title of Nabob, is still accosted by the English as
“Your Highness,” a.nd is still suffered to retain a portion of the
regal state which surrounded his ancestors. A pension of a
hundred and sixty thousand pounds a year is annually paid to
him by the government. His carriage is surrounded by guards,
and preceded by attendants with silver maces. I-Iis person and
his dwelling are exempted from the ordinary authority of the
ministers of justice. But he has not the smallest share of poli-
tical power, and is, in fact, only a noble and wealthy subject of
the Company.
It would have been easy for Clive, during his second ad-
ministration in Bengal, to accumulate riches such as no sub-
ject in Europe possessed. He might indeed, without subjecting
the rich inhabitants of the province to any pressure beyond
that to which their mildest rulers had accustomed them, have
received presents to the amount of three hundred thousand
pounds a year. The neighbouring princes would gladly have
paid any price for his favour. But he appears to have strictly
adhered to the rules which he had laid down for the guidance
of others. The Rajah of Benares ofl“ered him diamonds of
great value. The Nabob of Oude pressed him to accept a
large sum of money and a. casket of costly jewels. Clive
courteously, but peremptorily refused: and it should be ob-
served that he made no merit of his refusal, and that the facts

Previous Index Next