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with a mere handful of men against his enormous host. He monstrous treachery, sank down into idiotcy, and soon after set up Dowlah's general-in-chief, Meer Jaffier, and hailed expired. him nabob of Bengal, Orissa, and Bahar. So far, the Clive and his associates took care of themselves. They punishment of Dowlah for the atrocity committed on our claimed from their tool, Meer Jaffier, two million seven huncountrymen in the Black Hole would have had an air of dred and fifty thousand pounds as the claim of the company, justice, had not this Black Hole been the English prison, the fleet, the army, and themselves for their services. Clive's where our countrymen in that hot climate had been in the own share was two hundred and fifty-four thousand pounds habit of confining their prisoners. As Mr. Mill, their own and the shares of the members of the committee from twenty historian, of the India House, very justly asks, " What had thousand to one hundred thousand pounds each. They and they to do with a Black Hole? Had no Black Hole existed, as none ought to exist anywhere, least of all in the sultry and unwholesome climate of Bengal, those who perished in the Black Hole of Calcutta would have experienced a different fate.”
This was bad enough ; but the means of accomplishing this whole treason were of the most infamous kind. Clive engaged one Omichund, a wealthy merchant, to betray Dowlah, for a reward of three hundred thousand pounds. Never intending to pay this reward, Clive had two treaties drawn up with Meer Jaffier—one on white paper, intended to be real, in which no mention was made of Omichund; and another on red paper, stating the reward to Omichund. All the
MEDAL STRUCK IN COMMEMORATION OF THE BATTLE OF PLASEL members of the committee of the council of Calcutta, with Clive, signed both treaties, except admiral Watson, who, the officers of the army and pavy shared amongst them for
this job' one million two hundred and sixty-one thousand and seventy-five pounds. Besides this, it was stipulated that the French factories and effects should be given up to the English, and the French never again allowed to enter Bengal. The territory surrounding Calcutta, to the distance of six landred yards beyond the Mahratta ditch, and all the land lying south of Calcutta as far as Calpee, should be granted there on zemindary tenure, the company paying the rent, like the other zemindars. Thus the English, who were before merely : the tenants of a factory, became, in reality, the rulers of Bengal, for Meer Jaffier was a mere tool in their hands, as they, ere long, showed by deposing him.
At this moment poor Meer Jaffier found it impossible to retain his seat without the support of the English. Shah Alum, the eldest son of the great mogul, was coming against him with a large army. Clive met and defeated him, and for this service he received from his puppet a jagkire, domain worth twenty-seven thousand pounds a year.
Some years after, when Clive was called to account for these gifts before a committee of the house of commots, far from admitting that he had shown any culpable cupidity, he expressed his astonishment at his own moderatise. “When I recollect," he said, “entering the nabob's treasury
at Moorshedabad, with heaps of gold and silver to the right BLACK HOLE, CALCUTTA.
and left, and those crowned with jewels, I am amazed at with an Englishman's proper sense of honour, signed only nothing but my own forbearance." the real one. But, lest the absence of the admiral's signature At the same time, Clive sent expeditions under coloni should excite Omichund's suspicion, the signature of the ad- Forde to drive the French from the Northern Circas miral was attached to the document without his consent. tract of country stretching from the mouth of the When the plot had succeeded, when the battle of Plassy was Kistna to the pagoda of Juggernaut. Bussey had invain won, and Meer Jaffier acknowledged as nabob, or subadah, of it from the Deccan, and left the marquis de Conflans to hold Bengal, Omichund was coolly informed that the treaty which it. Forde defeated Conflans, and made himself master he had seen was a sham, and that he would not receive a single Masulipatam against a very superior force. rupee! No more diabolical transaction ever took place in Scarcely had colonel Forde returned from this expedition, any country or in any age of the world, however dark and towards the end of the year 1759, when the Dutch, envio abandoned. Omichund. confounded at this example of of the English success, sent an armament of seven men-of
war and one thousand four hundred soldiers from Java. took place betwixt Pococke and D'Aché at sea, and the forces They landed in the Hooghly, and began committing ravages; on land. Colonel Brereton attempted to take Wandewash, but Forde surprised and defeated them, taking every one of but failed ; and it remained for colonel Eyre Coote to defeat their ships. They were glad to apologise, and pay the Lally. Coote arrived at Madras on the 27th of October, expenses of the war. In February, 1760, a few weeks after and, under his direction, Brereton succeeded in taking these events, Clive, whose health was failing, set sail for Wandewash on the last of November. To recover this place, England, where he was received with the highest éclât, was Lally marched with all his force, supported by Bussey, but made an Irish peer, as lord Clive, baron of Plassy. He soon sustained a signal defeat on the 22nd of January, 1760. In after entered parliament.
this battle colonel Brereton was killed, and general Bussey Thus had this bold, able, and unprincipled man, by a taken prisoner. Arcot, Trincomalee, Devi-Cottah, Cuddalore, bargain with a traitor to betray his prince and country, and other places fell rapidly into the hands of colonel Coote. enriched himself, and laid the foundation of that system of The French called in to their aid the nabob of Mysore, Hyder perpetual aggression by which we have made ourselves Ali, but to little purpose. Pondicherry was invested on the masters of India. That Clive saw and intended this great 8th of December, and, on the 16th of January, 1761, it scheme is plain from his own words before parliament during surrendered, Lally and his troops, amounting to two thouthis visit. He declared—“We must now go further; sand, remaining prisoners. This was the termination of the we cannot stop here. Having established ourselves by force, real power of France in India ; for though Pondicherry was and not by consent of the nabob, we must endeavour to restored by the treaty of 1763, the French never again redrive them out again." Again, in 1765, before his return, covered their ground there, and their East India Company he said—“We have at length arrived at that critical period soon after was broken up. The unfortunate Lally-called which I have long foreseen ; I mean that period which also “Lally-Tollendal," from a corruption of his Irish name, renders it necessary for us to determine whether we can or Lally of Tullydale-on his return to France was thrown into shall take the whole to ourselves. Jaffier Ali Khan is dead. the Bastille, condemned for high treason, and beheaded in His natural son is a minor, but I know not whether he is the Place de Grève on the 9th of May, 1766. yet declared successor. Sujah Dowlah is beat from his do- As we proceed, we shall from time to time have to narrato minions. We are in possession of it, and it is scarcely a series of the most marvellous deeds of bravery, and equally hyperbole to say, to-morrow the whole Mogul empire is in marvellous crimes, done by our country in the conquest of our power !”
the great peninsula of India, with its one hundred and fifty The scheme of wholesale aggression and aggrandisement millions of people. We shall have to unfold a system of thus boldly sketched out by a man who had talent and daring the most unparalleled conquests, oppressions, and extortions for anything, and not a single restraining principle to perpetrated by us, a Christian people, the pioneers of impede him, soon grew busy, vast, and amazing. The great civilisation; and these mingled details of glory and darkness mogul, the territories of Oudeand Arcot, Mysore, Travancore, we shall draw, not from the testimony of the enemies, but Berars, Tanjore, the Mahrattas, the whole peninsula, in fact, from the friends and members of the East India Company speedily felt the influence of this man's views; and the itself—from Sir Thomas Munro, the marquis of Wellesley, future history of Indian conquest is but the filling up of Sir John Shore-afterwards lord Teignmouth-the Hon. them.
Frederick Shore, his brother, an Indian judge, from Forbes, Our next great move was against the French in the Car-Orme, Scott Waring, Strachey, Vansittart, and others, natic. After various actions betwixt the French and actors and narrators of these facts-men covered with English in India during the seven years' war, general count Indian honours, enriched with Indian spoils ; from Warreu de Lally, an officer of Irish extraction, arrived at Pondicherry Hastings himself ; but, above all, from Mill, the secretary in April, 1758, with a force of one thousand two hundred of the East India Company, and its own historian, drawing men. The admiral count d'Aché was engaged by admiral his materials from their own archives. Following these Pococke, who, however, could not prevent him landing the authorities, there can be no mistake; and, when our readers troops. Lally attacked and took Fort St. David, considered have had these details before them, they will see that the strongest fort belonging to the East India Company, and when England intrusted the destinies of India—which has then, mustering all his forces, made his appearance, in De- been so emphatically called the IRELAND of the East-to comber of that year, before Madras. He had with him two a mere trading company, she assumed the responsibility of thousand seven hundred French and four thousand natives, la monstrous load of crime and oppression; and having now whilst the English had in the town four thousand troops made the first righteous step of setting aside that company, only, of which more than half were sepoys. But captain she has a vast work of recompense before her—a work of Caillaud had marched with a small force from Trichinopoly, wise reform and humane wisdom towards that immense, which harassed the rear of the French. After making that beautiful, and populous empire. himself master of the Black Town, and threatening to burn The earl of Bute became more and more unpopular. it down, he found it impossible to compel Fort St. George to The conditions of the peace were greatly disapproved, and surrender, and, after a severe siege of two months, on the the assurance that not only Bute, but the king's mother appearance of admiral Pococke's squadron, which had sailed to and the duke of Bedford, had received French money for Bombay for more troops, he decamped in the night of the 16th carrying the peace, was generally believed. The conduct of February, 1759, for Arcot, leaving behind him all his of Bute in surrounding the king with his creatures, in -ammunition and artillery, fifty-two pieces. Fresh combats I which he was joined by the princess of Wales, added greatly
to the public odium. George was always of a domestic and equally profligate, and still more lewd. There these retiring character, and he was now rarely seen, except scandalous associates rivalled the “Hell-Fire Club" in their when he went once or twice a-year to parliament, or at orgies. levées, which were cold, formal, and unfrequent. Though, This unique chancellor—"my chancellor,” as Wilkes says probably, the main cause of this was the natural disposition Bute used to call him—issued the new loan to the public of himself and queen, yet Bute and the princess got the with so little advertisement, that the friends of the ministers credit of it. Then the manner in which Bute paid his visits secured the greater part of the shares, and they soon rose to to the princess tended to confirm all the belief of their eleven per cent. premium, by which they were enabled, at guilty intimacy. He used always to go in an evening in a the public cost, to make heavy sums. The tax which Sir sedan chair belonging to one of the ladies of the princess's Francis proposed was one on cider and perry, besides some household, with the curtains closely drawn, and taking additional duties on wines. There was at once an outcry in every other precaution of not being seen. There were the city against this tax, led on by the lord mayor, alderman numbers of lampoons launched at the favourite and the Beckford, a great friend of Pitt. The cry was only too princess. They were compared to queen Isabella and sure to find a loud echo from the cider-growing districts. Mortimer, and Wilkes actually wrote an ironical dedication Bute and his chancellor were quickly compelled to reduce of Ben Jonson's play of “The Fall of Mortimer," to Bute. the proposed impost from ten shillings a hogshead, to be paid It was declared that he was cramming all the public offices by the first buyer, that is, by the merchant, to four with Scotchmen, whilst it was notorious that only one shillings, to be paid by the grower. The tax thus cut down Eaglishman, Mr. Chauncey Townshend, had ever been was calculated to produce only seventy-five thousand elected to any public office, in Scotland since the union. pounds-a sum scarcely worth the while to incur so much
All these causes of unpopularity were rendered more odium for. But it was still equally declaimed against, effective by the powerful political party which now assailed because this sum was to be levied on all qualities alike. The him. Pitt led the way, and the dukes of Devonshire, City of London still petitioned against it as a tax levied Bolton, and Portland, the marquis of Rockingham, the earls especially on the most loyal counties in the kingdom, and Temple, Cornwallis, Albemarle, Ashburton, Hardwicke, and as being a strange first-fruits of peace. Pitt denounced it Besborough, lords Spencer, Sondes, Grantham, and Villiers, as introducing the exciseman into private dwellings, thus James Grenville, Sir George Saville, and other whigs, violating the old maxim, of every Englishman's house being presented a formidable phalanx of opponents in both houses. his castle. The measures, too, which he was obliged to bring forward, George Grenville stood forward and declared that the were certain to augment his discredit. The funded debt tax was necessary, from the profuse war expenditures of the had grown to upwards of a hundred millions, and there former ministry—a blow at Pitt, which was scarcely dealt, were three millions and a half besides unfunded. It was when it recoiled on the speaker. He said, if Pitt objected necessary to raise a new loan, and, moreover, to raise a new to this tax, ministers would be glad to hear from him where tax, for the income was unequal to the expenditure, even in they should lay another. “Let him tell me where ?” he time of peace. The chancellor of the exchequer recently exclaimed, " I say, sir, let him tell me where ?” On which chosen was not a man likely to make these new burdens go Pitt, who sate opposite, sang out, in a tone admirably dowo easily. Dashwood was a man of taste, who had mimicking the querulous one of Grenville, the well-known travelled in Italy, and acquired a fondness of the fine arts, line of a popular song, “ Gentle Shepherd, tell me where ?" but he by no means was a man of business. On the con The house was thrown into convulsions of laughter, amid trary, he was a man of known dissolute character, afterwards which Pitt rose and walked out of it. The name of described by Wilkes as all his life puzzling over tavern bills, “Gentle Shepherd” stuck by Grenville, who, in his stiff and therefore chosen by Bute to be chancellor of a kingdom manner and countenance, was anything but the ideal of a a hundred millions in debt. He had had himself painted, in gentle shepherd. the habit of a Franciscan friar, a play on his own name, The cider tax passed, opposed by thirty-nine peers and a kneeling in adoration of a Venus de Medici. Wilkes could hundred and twenty commoners; but it left a very sore well describe him, for he had been with him one of a feeling in the western counties, that cider, worth only five set of licentious and irreligious rakes, who had formed them- shillings a hogshead, the poor man's meagre beverage, selves into a company of so-called “New Franciscans." should have a tax levied on it nearly doubling the price; Amongst these were Paul Whitehead, lord Sandwich, and whilst that of fifty shillings a hogshead, the rich man's others, twelve in all. They had taken Medenham, near luxury, only paid the same. The growers even threatened Marlow, a beantiful place on the banks of the Thames, amid to let the apples fall and rot under the trees, rather than hanging woods and green meadows. The abbey belonged to make them into cider, subject to so partial a tax. No the Cistertian monks, and these so-called New Franciscans imposition had excited so much indignation since Sir Robert Dow used to meet there, to put on the habits of that order, Walpole's excise bill, in 1733. In the cider counties and practice all kinds of profligacy and obscenity to bur- bonfires were made in many places, and Bute was burnt lesque the rites and processions of a catholic brotherhood. emblematically as a jack-boot-Jack Bute—and his supOver the portal they inscribed the motto pretended by posed royal mistress under that of a petticoat, which two Rabelais to have been over the portal of Theleme Abbey, articles, after being carried about on poles, were hurled into Fay ce que voudras—"Do as you like." There were other the flames. inscriptions over other doors, or in other parts of the grounds, Instead of taking means to conciliate the public, Bute,
stung by these testimonies of dislike, and by the pamphlets quitted his post as ambassador at Paris, and was succeeded and lampoons which issued like swarms of wasps, revenged by the earl of Hertford. The earl of Sandwich became head himself by others, which only intensified the hatred against of the admiralty, and the earl of Shelburne head of the
| board of trade. Old marshal Ligonier was removed from A well-deserved pension was granted to Dr. Johnson ; but the post of master of the ordnance, to make way for the the merit of that was more than neutralised by a similar marquis of Granby, but received a peerage. These changes pension being conferred on Dr. Shebbeare, a mere hackney being completed, the king closed the session of parliament on pamphleteer, who had recently been convicted of fraudulent the 19th of April, with a speech, in which he declared the practices at Oxford, when employed to arrange the Claren- peace honourable to his crown, and beneficial to his people. don papers; and who, in the reign of George I., had been This avowal in the royal speech called forth John Wilkes set in the pillory for a libel on the king. Bute refused the in No. 45 of the “ North Briton," destined to become a professorship of modern languages to Gray, the poet, and famous number indeed. Wilkes had ceased in the “North gave it to the tutor of Sir James Lowther, a man of no Briton” to employ mere initials when commenting on note, and evidently only because Sir James had lately leading men in parliament or government; and he now married his daughter. Still worse for him, he had caused boldly declared that the speech put into the king's mouth the dukes of Newcastle and Grafton, and the marquis of by the ministers was false in its assertion, that the peace Rockingham, to be dismissed from the lord lieutenancies of was either honourable to the crown or beneficial to the their respective counties, because they voted against the country. This was regarded as a gross insult to his peace on Bute's terms. With a still more petty rancour he majesty, though it was avowedly declared to attack only the had visited the sins of these noblemen on the persons in ministry; and on the 30th of April, Wilkes was arrested small clerkships and other posts who had been recommended upon a “general warrant," that is, a warrant not mentionby them, turning them all out. Sir Henry Fox joined him ing him or any one by name, but applying to the authors, relentlessly in these pitiful revenges, and would have carried printers, and publishers, of the paper in question. them further had he not been checked by others.
| George Grenville, the new minister, had, of course, the For a time, Bute and his colleagues appeared to brave the credit of this proceeding ; though it was well known that load of hatred and ignominy which was now piled every- Bute still secretly directed the movements of government, where upon them, but it was telling; and suddenly, on the and he or the king might be the real authors of the order. 7th of April, it was announced that the obnoxious minister George Grenville, a plain, methodical man, of no remarkable had resigned. Many were the speculations on this abrupt talent, thus inaugurated the first remarkable act of his act, some attributing it to the influence of Wilkes, and his administration-he raised Wilkes into a wonderful notoriety; remorseless attacks in the “ North Briton ;” others to the and his next great act was to be the passing of the Stamp king and queen having at length become sensitive on the Act, by which he lost us America. Nothing could have assumed relations of Bute and the king's mother; but Bute been so fortunate for Wilkes. It was by audacity rather himself clearly stated the real and obvious cause—no sup- than talent that such a man must make his reputation with port, either in parliament or out of doors. “The ground," the public, and this afforded him the occasion ; this made a he wrote to a friend, " on which I tread is so hollow, that I martyr and a hero of him. As for the number itself, it am afraid not only of falling myself, but of involving my was declared to be below the usual merit of the “ North royal master in my ruin. It is time for me to retire." Briton," which was altogether more distinguished for reck
With Bute retired his two stanchest supporters, Dash- less, bold assertion, and daring onslaught on ministers, than wood and Fox; but they were both raised to the peerage, for wit or ability. Compared with the keen, stinging, Dashwood to become lord: le Despencer, and Fox, lord scarifying diatribes of “ Junius ” of that period, how bald Holland. Fox, who had by no means acquired a pleasant and tame reads now the “North Briton!" Burke, some reputation, retired, for the most part, from public life. He years afterwards, referring in the house of commons to this built himself a villa, in a fanciful style, at Kingsgate, on No. 45, described it as a weak mixture of vinegar and the coast of Thanet; and where Gray, who had been so water. But it was foolishly made important by the govern. scurvily served by him and his colleagues, did not forget, in ment, and Wilkes was not the map to let the opportunity go some caustic stanzas, to tell him that it was the most con
unimproved. The king's messengers commenced their work genial place for him :
by a blunder; they arrested Leach, a printer, who had no Old and abandoned by each venal friend,
connection with the paper. They then, however, secured Here Holland took the pions resolution, To smuggle a few years, and strive to mend
Kearsley, the publisher, who named Balfe as the printer. A broken character and constitution.
These two men had been carried before lord Halifax, on the On this congenial spot he fixed his choice;
29th, and, admitting that Wilkes was the author of the Earl Goodwin trembled for his neighbouring sands: Here sea-gulls scream, and cormorants rejoice,
paper, he was seized too. Wilkes assumed such a tone, And mariners, though shipwrecked, fear to land.
declaring that the messengers were acting on an illegal George Grenville succeeded to both Bute and Dashwood, authority, a general warrant, and menacing them with the becoming first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the consequences, that, in alarm, they returned without him. exchequer, and the king announced that he had intrusted But receiving more positive orders, the next morning they the direction of affairs to him, and the lords Egremont and arrested him, without even allowing him to see the warrant, Halifax, the secretaries of state, whence they soon acquired though he demanded it, and which they were bound legally the name of " The Triumvirate.” The duke of Bedford I to have shown to him. They conveyed him to the honge of