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Book IV. venues of which, free from any deduction to the Nabob's treasury, should accrue
'v 'to themselves. The Nabob urged the narrowness of his own resources, the
1763 load of debt under which he laboured, the great proportion of his revenue already allowed to the Company, and the cession which he had made, not only of lands, but of the tribute which the Company owed for Madras itself.
The Company, in truth, had now placed themselves in a situation of considerable difficulty. The Presidency could not help observing, that under the weakness of both the mind and the resources of the Nabob, the defence of Carnatic must rest upon them; and that they must, therefore, maintain at all times an army sufficient to oppose its enemies. This, without the revenue of the country, was a burden which they knew they could not sustain: And yet to strip of all his revenue a sovereign Prince of whose rights they had so often proclaimed themselves the champions, was a procedure which bore a most unfavourable appearance, and from which formidable accusations against them could hardly fail to be drawn.
The Company took the course which power, though less supported by reasons, will most commonly pursue: They adopted the alternative which was most agreeable to themselves; and the revenues of Carnatic gradually passed into their hands. The President, however, was anxious that, at this time, the donation should wear the appearance of a voluntary act on the part of the Nabob; and amid his efforts of persuasion assured him, if we can believe the Nabob himself, "that if four districts were given, the Company would be extremely pleased and obliged to him, and would ever assist him and his children with a proper force of Europeans, without desiring any thing further; that till he had cleared off his debts to the Company, the revenues of those districts, after defraying the expenses of the soldiers, should be placed to the credit of his account." * When the President began to pass from the tone of suggestion to that of requisition; and the Nabob perceived that compliance could not be escaped, he endeavoured to obtain the security of at least a written promise for those terms which had been offered in order to gain his consent. But when he transmitted the draught of an agreement, in which those terms were specified, and which he requested the Governor and Council to sign, the temper of the President broke through his policy; and he pulled off the mask with which he
* Bout's Appendix, p. 161. This declaration is made in a subsequent correspondence between the Nabob and the Governor and Council, and not denied by the Governor and Council, though such a bargain, they say, was a bad one for the Company.
had hitherto endeavoured, though it must be confessed but awkwardly, to cover Chap. VI. from the Nabob and the world the view of his real situation. He sent back v ~^C7 the agreement unsigned, with strong marks of his displeasure; and told the Nabob by letter, that it ill became the situation in which he stood, to make conditions with the Company; since "they," said he, "do not take any thing from you; but they are the givers, and you are a receiver." *
It was not till the summer of 1763 that the Nabob and Presidency were Mahomed enabled to turn their attention to Madura and Tinivelly. Though Mahomed nnrredal GoIssoof had been vigorously employed, from the raising of the siege of Madras till dura°andMa" the fall of Pondicherry, in reducing the refractory Polygars and other localtakes arms
° a to prevent his
commanders, obedience and tranquillity were by no means established: And downfall, when that active and useful partisan proposed to take the country as renter, and to become responsible, though for a small revenue from a region which hitherto had cost much and yielded nothing, the offer was not unwillingly embraced. Mahomed Issoof, like other renters of India, had no doubt an inclination to withhold if possible the sum which he engaged to pay out of the taxes which he was empowered to collect: and, like other Governors, contemplated, it is probable, from the very beginning, the chance of independence. It cannot, however, be denied, that the enemies with whom he had as yet been obliged to struggle, and who had heretofore rendered the country not only unproductive, but burdensome, left him no revenue to pay. It appears, accordingly, that none had ever been received. For this failure, the Nabob and the Company now proceeded to inflict chastisement, and in the month of August 1763, a combined army of natives and English marched to Madura. Mahomed Issoof endeavoured by negotiation, and the influence of those among the English whom he had rendered his friends, to ward off the blow. But when he found these efforts unavailing, he resolved to give himself the chance of a struggle in his own defence. He was not a man of whom the subjugation was to be expected at an easy price. He baffled all the efforts of the Nabob and the Company, till the month of October, 1764; when he had already forced them to expend a million sterling, and no ordinary quantity of English blood; and without a deed of treachery which placed his person in their hands, it is uncertain how far he might have prolonged his resistance. Among a body of French troops whom he had received from the Rajah of Tanjore, was a person of the name of Marchand, by whom he was seized and delivered to his enemies.
* Mr. Pigot's Letter to the Nabob, August 13, 1763.
Book IV. The occasions on which the interests of the Nabob and of the Rajah of Tanjore v were liable to clash or to interfere became, through their jealousy and mutual
Contentions hatred, a perpetual source of contention. The treaty which had been formed NoboBand6 un^ev tne coercive authority of the English, had defined the terms of their ■^r^abo Tth" p^1iTM11^ relation: with the usual want of foresight, every thing else was leftmound of the vague and disputable. The river Cavery, about six miles to the north-west of Cavery. Trichinopoly, is divided into two streams, of which the northern takes the name of Coleroon, and, by a course not far from direct, joins the sea at Devi-Cotah. The southern branch, which retains the name of Cavery, passes through the flat alluvial territory of Tanjore; and, dividing itself into a great number of smaller streams, overflows, and fructifies the country. But it so happens that the two branches of this great river, after flowing at some distance from one another, for a space of about twenty miles, again approach, forming what is called the island of Seringham, and are only prevented by a narrow neck of land, which requires continual repairs, from reuniting their streams, and falling down the channel of the Coleroon to the ocean. The kingdom of Tanjore was thus in the highest degree interested in the preservation of the mound of the Cavery, upon the waters of which its vegetative powers so greatly depended; and it must have anciently been a powerful instrument of coercion in the hands of the neighbouring kingdom of Trichinopoly, within the territories of which it appears to have been always included.
The Nabob, as sovereign of Trichinopoly, now assumed authority over the mound of the Cavery; and the dispute between him and the Rajah grew to importance. The Rajah endeavoured to make the reparation of the mound the condition of paying the money which he owed by the treaty; and the President, after writing several letters to the Nabob, appointed a deputy to inquire into the subject and to make his report. The rights in question were actually two. The first was the right of sovereignty in the mound; the second was the right of having the mound preserved and repaired. The first, as no one disputed, belonged to the Nabob. The second, if prescription and equity constituted any title, as undeniably belonged to the Rajah. Ignorantly and awkwardly, and not without English co-operation, they blended them together in one question; and the dispute became interminable. Who had the right of repairing the mound, was the subject about which they contended; the Nabob claiming it, as inherent in'the sovereignty; and the Rajah, as inherent in the title which he possessed to the waters of the Cavery. Unhappily, in the right which, as sovereign, the Nabob claimed, of permitting no one but himself to repair the mound, he tacitly included the right of omitting all repairs whenever he pleased. The Rajah, who Chap. VI. dreaded the consequences, solicited an interview; and by making ample submission * "^jT^ and protestations, effected a temporary compromise. It was not long, however, before he had again occasion to complain; and wrote the most pressing letters to Madras, beseeching the Presidency to lay their commands upon the Nabob for the repair of the mound. The Nabob hardly disguised his intention of allowing it to be washed away; alleging the wishes of his own people, who, on account of the overflowing of the low grounds to the eastward of Trichinopoly, desired the waters of the Cavery to be turned into the channel of the Coleroon. The English at last interfered, with a determination to prevail; and the Nabob, but not before the month of January, 1765, and with great reluctance, gave his consent, that the mound of the Cavery should be repaired by the King of Tanjore.*
Second Administration of Clive—Company s Orders respecting the Private Trade disregarded—Arrangements with the Vizir—With the Emperor— Acquisition of the Duannee—Private Trade created a Monopoly for the Benefit of the superior Servants—Reduction of the Military Allowances— Its effects—Clive resigns, and Verelst succeeds—Proceedings in England relative to the Rate of Dividend on Company's Stock—Financial difficulties —Verelst resigns, and Cartier succeeds.
Book IV. LORD CLIVE, together with Mr. Sumner and Mr. Sykes, who had accompanied him from England, and were two of the persons empowered to
Select Com- ^0Tm tne Seta* Committee, arrived at Calcutta, on the 3d of May, 176*5.
and whyrmed' ^ne tw0 otner persons of whom that extraordinary machine of government was to be composed, were absent; General Carnac, beyond the confines of the province of Bahar, with the army; and Mr. Verelst, at the distant settlement of Chittagong. For as much as the disturbances, which guided the resolves of the Company when they decreed that such a new organ of government should exist, were now removed; and for as much as the Select Committee were empowered to exercise their extraordinary powers for so long a time only as those disturbances should remain; it was a question, whether they were entitled to form themselves into a governing body; but a question of which they speedily disposed.* On the 7th of May, exactly four days after their arrival, Lord Clive, and the two gentlemen who accompanied him, assembled; and without waiting for communication with the rest of the destined members declared the Select Committee formed; assumed the whole power of government civil and military; and administered to themselves and their secretaries an oath of secrecy. The great corruption, which they represented as prevailing in the government, and tainting to a prodigious degree the conduct of the Company's servants, was
* "Upon my arrival in Bengal," said Clive (in his Speech in the House of Commons, ut supra, p. 3), "I found the powers given were so loosely and jesuitically worded, that they were immediately contested by the Council. I was determined, however, to put the most extensive construction upon them, because I was determined to do my duty to my country."