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WARREN HASTINGS. 45

All the measures which the crisis required were adopted by Hast-
ings without a moment’s delay. The French factories in Bengal
were seized. Orders were sent to Madras that Pondicherry should
instantly be occupied. Near Calcutta, works were thrown up which
were thought to render the approach of a hostile force impossible.
A maritime establishment was formed for the defence of the river.
Nine new battalions of sepoys were raised, and a corps of native
artillery was formed out of the hardy Lascars of the Bay of Bengal.
Having made these arrangements, the Governor-General with
calm confidence pronounced his presidency secure from all attack,
unless the Mahrattas should march against it in conjunction with
the French.

The expedition which Hastings had sent westward was not so
speedily or completely successful as most of his undertakings. The
commanding otlicer procrastinated. The authorities at Bombay
blundered. But the Governor-General persevered. A new com‘-
mander repaired the errors of his predecessor. Several brilliant
actions spread the military renown of the English through regions
where no European flag had ever been seen. It is probable that,
if a new and more formidable danger had not compelled Hastings
to change his whole policy, his plans respecting the Mahratta
empire would have been carried into complete effect.

The authorities in England had wisely sent out to Bengal, as
commander of the forces and member of the Council, one of the
most distinguished soldiers of that time. Sir Eyre Coote had,
many years before, been conspicuous among the founders of the
British empire in the East. At the council of war which preceded
the battle of Plassey, he earnestly recommended, in opposition to
the majority, that daring course which, after some hesitation, was
adopted, and which was crowned with such splendid success. He
subsequently commanded in the south of India against the brave
and unfortunate Lally, gained the decisive battle of Wandewash
over the French and their native allies, took Pondicherry, and
made the English power supreme in the Carnatic. Since those
great exploits near twenty years had elapsed. Coote had no
longer the bodily activity which he had shown in earlier days;
nor was the vigour of his mind altogether unimpaired.  was
capricious and fretful, and required much coaxing to keep him in
good-humour. It must, we fear, be added that the love of money
had grown upon him, and that he thought more about his allow-

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