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LORD CLIVE. 31

Square. He reared one palace in Shropshire and another at
Claremont. His parliamentary influence might vie with that
of the greatest families. But in all this splendour and power
envy found something to sneer at. On some of his relations
wealth and dignity seem to have salt as awkwardly as on
Mackenzie’s Margery Mushroom. Nor was he himself, with
all his great qualities, free from those weaknesses which the
satirists of that age represented as characteristic of his whole
class. In the field, indeed, his habits were remarkably simple.
He was constantly on horseback, was never seen but in his
uniform, never wore silk, never entered a palanquin, andlwas
content with the plainest fare. But when he was no longer at
the head of an army, he laid aside this Spartan temperance for
the ostentatious luxury of a Sybarite. Though his person was
ungraceful, and though his harsh features were redeemed from
vulgar ugliness only by their stern, dauntless, and commanding
expression, he was fond of rich and gay clothing, and re-
plenished his wardrobe with absurd profusion. Sir John
Malcolm gives us a letter worthy of Sir Matthew Mite, in
which Clive orders “two hundred shirts, the best and finest
that can be got for love or money.” A few follies of this
description, grossly exaggerated by report, produced an un-
favourable impression on the public mind. But this was not
the worst. Black stories, of which the greater part were pure
inventions, were circulated touching his conduct in the East.
He had to bear the whole odium, not only of those bad acts to
which he had once or twice stooped, but of all the bad acts of
all the English in India, of bad acts committed when he was
absent, nay, of bad acts which he had manfully opposed and
severely punished. The very abuses against which he had
waged an honest, resolute, and successful war, were laid to his
account. He was, in fact, regarded as the personification of all
the vices and weaknesses which the public, with or without
reason, ascribed to the English adventurers in Asia. We have
P

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