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LORD CLIVE. 91

lanthropy, stolen from the New Testament, and put into the
mouths of virtuous and philosophical Brahmins.

Clive was now secure in the enjoyment of his fortune and
his honours. He was surrounded by attached friends and
relations; and he had not yet passed the season of vigorous
bodily and mental exertion. But clouds had long been gathering
over his mind, and now settled on it in thick darkness. From
early youth he had been subject to fits of that strange melancholy
“ which rejoiceth exceedingly and is glad when it can find the
grave.” While still a writer at Madras, he had twice attempted
to destroy himself. Business and prosperity had produced a
salutary effect on his spirits. In India, while he was occupied
by great affairs, in England, while wealth and rank had still
the charm of novelty, he had borne up against his constitutional
misery. But he had now nothing to do, and nothing to wish
for. His active spirit in an inactive situation drooped and
withered like a plant in an uncongenial air. The malignity
with which his enemies had pursued him, the indignity with
which he had been treated by the committee, the censure,
lenient as it was, which the House of Commons had pro-
nounced, the knowledge that he was regarded by a large
portion of his countrymen as a cruel and perfidious tyrant, all
concurred to irritate and depress him. In the mean time, his
temper was tried by acute physical suffering. During his long
residence in tropical climates, he had contracted several painful
distempers. In order to obtain case he called in the help of
opium; and he was gradually enslaved by this treacherous ally.
To the last, however, his genius occasionally flashed through
the gloom. It was said that he would sometimes, after sitting
silent and torpid for hours, rouse himself to the discussion of
some great question, would display in full vigour all the talents
of the soldier and the statesman, and would then sink back into
his melancholy repose.

The disputes with America had now become so serious that

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