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WARREN HASTINGS. 23

been rewarded with large tracts of land, fiefs of the spear, if we
may use an expression drawn from an analogous state of things, in
that fertile plain through which the Ramgunga flows from the
snowy heights of Kumaon to join the Ganges. In the general
confusion which followed the death of Aurungzebe, the warlike
colony became virtually independent. The Rohillas were distin-
guished from the other inhabitants of India by a peculiarly fair
complexion. They were more honourably distinguished by cour-
age in war, and by skill in the arts of peace. While anarchy
raged from Lahore to Cape Comorin, their little territory enjoyed
the blessings of repose under the guardianship of valour. Agri-
culture and commerce flourished among them; nor were they
negligent of rhetoric and poetry. Many persons now living have
heard aged men talk with regret of the golden days when the
Afghan princes ruled in the vale of Rohilcund.

Sujah Dowlah had set his heart on adding this rich district to
his own principality. Right or show of right, he had absolutely
none. His claim was in no respect better founded than that of
Catherine to Poland, or that of the Bonaparte family to Spain.
The Rohillas held their country by exactly the same title by which
he held his, and had governed their country far better than his
had ever been governed. Nor were they a people whom it was
perfectly safe to attack. Their land was indeed an open plain
destitute of natural defences; but their veins were full of the high
blood of Afghanistan. A.s soldiers, they had not the steadiness
which is seldom found except in company with strict discipline;
but their impetuous valour had been proved on many fields of
battle. It was said that their chiefs, when united by common
peril, could bring eighty thousand men into the field. Sujah
Dowlah had himself seen them fight, and wisely shrank from a
conflict with them. There was in India one army, and only one
against which even those proud Caucasian tribes could not stand.
It had been abundantly proved that neither tenfold odds, nor the
martial ardour of the boldest Asiatic nations, could avail aught
against English science and resolution. Was it possible to induce
the Governor of Bengal to let out to hire the irresistible energies
of the imperial people, the skill against which the ablest chiefs of
Hindostan were helpless as infants, the discipline which had so often

triumphed over the frantic struggles of fanaticism and despair, the
I 4

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