|[3 -- Clive begins his military career: French competition, Mogul degeneration]||*NOTES BY VINCENT A. SMITH,
|About this time an event which at first seemed likely to destroy all his hopes in life suddenly opened before him a new path to eminence. Europe had been, during some years, distracted by the *war of the Austrian succession*. George the Second was the steady ally of Maria Theresa. The house of Bourbon took the opposite side. Though England was even then the first of maritime powers, she was not, as she has since become, more than a match on the sea for all the nations of the world together; and she found it difficult to maintain a contest against the united navies of France and Spain. In the eastern seas France obtained the ascendancy. *Labourdonnais*, governor of Mauritius, a man of eminent talents and virtues, conducted an expedition to the continent of India in spite of the opposition of the British fleet, landed, assembled an army, appeared before Madras, and compelled the town and fort to capitulate. The keys were delivered up; the French colours were displayed on Fort St. George; and the contents of the Company's warehouses were seized as prize of war by the conquerors. It was stipulated by the capitulation that the English inhabitants should be prisoners of war on parole, and that the town should remain in the hands of the French till it should be ransomed. Labourdonnais pledged his honour that only a moderate ransom should he required.||
Maria Theresa (1717-80), Archduchess of Austria, and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, was attacked in 1740 by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and other princes who disputed her rights. The ensuing war, known as that of the Austrian Succession, was ended by the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. George II of England (1727-60), being also Elector of Hanover in Germany, was keenly interested in the war.
The French king, Louis XV (1715-74), belonged to the Bourbon family, of which the French branch is now represented by the Duke of Orleans, an exile living in England.
[Glossary: *the French*]
Mauritius or Isle of France, in the Indian Ocean, to the east of Madagascar; taken by the English in 1810.
Madras surrendered Sept. 10, 1746, and was restored to the English on Aug. 21, 1749, in accordance with the terms of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. [The great French cartographer Jacques-Nicolas Bellin commemorated this high point of French success in South India in his *"Plan of Madras and of the Fort of St. George, taken by the French the 24th September 1746"*.]
|But the success of Labourdonnais had awakened the jealousy of his countryman, Dupleix, governor of Pondicherry. Dupleix, moreover, had already begun to revolve gigantic schemes, with which the restoration of Madras to the English was by no means compatible. He declared that Labourdonnais had gone beyond his powers; that conquests made by the French arms on the continent of India were at the disposal of the governor of Pondicherry alone; and that Madras should be razed to the ground. Labourdonnais was compelled to yield. The anger which the breach of the capitulation excited among the English was increased by the ungenerous manner in which Dupleix treated the principal servants of the Company. The Governor and several of the first gentlemen of Fort St. George were carried under a guard to Pondicherry, and conducted through the town in a triumphal procession under the eyes of fifty thousand spectators. It was with reason thought that this gross violation of public faith absolved the inhabitants of Madras from the engagements into which they had entered with Labourdonnais. Clive fled from the town by night in the disguise of a Mussulman, and took refuge at *Fort St. David*, one of the small English settlements subordinate to Madras.||
|The circumstances in which he was now placed naturally led him to adopt a profession better suited to his restless and intrepid spirit than the business of examining packages and casting accounts. He solicited and obtained an ensign's commission in the service of the Company, and at twenty-one entered on his military career. His personal courage, of which he had, while still a writer, given signal proof by a desperate duel with a military bully who was the terror of Fort St. David, speedily made him conspicuous even among hundreds of brave men. He soon began to show in his new calling other qualities which had not before been discerned in him, judgment, sagacity, deference to legitimate authority. He distinguished himself highly in several operations against the French, and was particularly noticed by Major Lawrence, who was then considered as the ablest British officer in India.||
The rank of ensign no longer exists. Junior officers are now called Second Lieutenants.
Stringer Lawrence (1697-1775) rose to the rank of General. The Company erected a monument to his memory in Westminster Abbey.
|Clive had been only a few months in the army when intelligence arrived that peace had been concluded between Great Britain and France. Dupleix was in consequence compelled to restore Madras to the English Company; and the young ensign was at liberty to resume his former business. He did indeed return for a short time to his desk. He again quitted it in order to assist Major Lawrence in some petty hostilities with the natives, and then again returned to it. While he was thus wavering between a military and a commercial life, events took place which decided his choice. The politics of India assumed a new aspect. There was peace between the English and French Crowns; but there arose between the English and French Companies trading to the East a war most eventful and important, a war in which the prize was nothing less than the magnificent inheritance of the house of Tamerlane.||
The house of Tamerlane, i.e., the Padshahs or Emperors of Delhi, who were descended directly in the male line from Timur (Taimur) surnamed Lang, 'the lame' (Tamerlane), by whom Delhi had been sacked in 1398.
|The empire which Baber and his Moguls reared in the sixteenth century was long one of the most extensive and splendid in the world. In no European kingdom was so large a population subject to a single prince, or so large a revenue poured into the treasury. The beauty and magnificence of the buildings erected by the sovereigns of Hindostan amazed even travellers who had seen St. Peter's. The innumerable retinues and gorgeous decorations which surrounded the throne of Delhi dazzled even eyes which were accustomed to the pomp of Versailles. Some of the great viceroys who held their posts by virtue of commissions from the Mogul ruled as many subjects as the King of France or the Emperor of Germany. Even the deputies of these deputies might well rank, as to extent of territory and amount of revenue, with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, or the Elector of Saxony.||
Babar's reign in India lasted from 1521 to 1526. His successors were Humayun (1526-56, with interruption), Akbar (1556-1605), Jahangir (1605-27), Shahjahan (1627-58), and Aurangzeb (1658-1707). [Glossary: *Babur*; *Humayun*; *Akbar*; *Jahangir*; *Shah Jahan*; *Aurangzeb*]
St. Peter's, the great cathedral at Rome, designed by Michael Angelo; Versailles, the palace of the French kings, built mainly by Louis XIV.
The last Grand Duke of Tuscany was deposed in 1860; the chief city, Florence, served as the capital of Italy for a short time. Saxony is now one of the states of the German Empire. The Elector assumed the title of king in 1806. The 'Emperor of Germany' is an incorrect phrase. The Emperor elected by German princes (Electors) claimed to be the successor of the Caesars of Rome. King George V is now the 'Caesar of India' (Kaisar-i-Hind).
|There can be little doubt that this great empire, powerful and prosperous as it appears on a superficial view, was yet, even in its best days, far worse governed than the worst governed parts of Europe now are. The administration was tainted with all the vices of Oriental despotism, and with all the vices inseparable from the domination of race over race. The conflicting pretensions of the princes of the royal house produced a long series of crimes and public disasters. Ambitious lieutenants of the sovereign sometimes aspired to independence. Fierce tribes of Hindoos, impatient of a foreign yoke, frequently withheld tribute, repelled the armies of the government from the mountain fastnesses, and poured down in arms on the cultivated plains. In spite, however, of much constant maladministration, in spite of occasional convulsions which shook the whole frame of society, this great monarchy, on the whole, retained, during some generations, an outward appearance of unity, majesty, and energy. But, throughout the long reign of Aurungzebe, the state, notwithstanding all that the vigour and policy of the prince could effect, was hastening to dissolution. After his death, which took place in the year 1707, the ruin was fearfully rapid. Violent shocks from without co-operated with an incurable decay which was fast proceeding within; and in a few years the empire had undergone utter decomposition.||.|
|The history of the successors of Theodosius bears no small analogy to that of the successors of Aurungzebe. But perhaps the fall of the Carlovingians furnishes the nearest parallel to the fall of the Moguls. *Charlemagne* was scarcely interred when the imbecility and the disputes of his descendants began to bring contempt on themselves and destruction on their subjects. The wide dominion of the Franks was severed into a thousand pieces. Nothing more than a nominal dignity was left to the abject heirs of an illustrious name, Charles the Bald, and Charles the Fat, and Charles the Simple. Fierce invaders, differing, from each other in race, language, and religion, flocked, as if by concert, from the farthest corners of the earth, to plunder provinces which the government could no longer defend. The pirates of the Northern Sea extended their ravages from the Elbe to the Pyrenees, and at length fixed their seat in the rich valley of the Seine. The Hungarian, in whom the trembling monks fancied that they recognised the Gog or Magog of prophecy, carried back the plunder of the cities of Lombardy to the depths of the Pannonian forests. The *Saracen* ruled in Sicily, desolated the fertile plains of Campania, and spread terror even to the walls of Rome. In the midst of these sufferings, a great internal change passed upon the empire. The corruption of death began to ferment into new forms of life. While the great body, as a whole, was torpid and passive, every separate member began to feel with a sense and to move with an energy all its own. just here, in the most barren and dreary tract of European history, all feudal privileges, all modern nobility, take their source. It is to this point, that we trace the power of those princes who, nominally vassals, but really independent, long governed, with the titles of dukes, marquesses, and counts, almost every part of the dominions which had obeyed Charlemagne.||
The final division of the Roman Empire was made by Theodosius the Great, who at his death in 395 left the Eastern Empire of Byzantium (Constantinople, Rum) to his son Arcadius, and the Western Empire of Rome in Italy to his son Honorius. The empire in both its parts suffered severely from the invasions of the Huns in the early years of the fifth century.
This paragraph summarizes the history of Europe during the ninth and tenth centuries. Charlemagne, i.e., Carolus Magnus, or Charles the Great, king of the Franks, was crowned Emperor of the West at Rome in 800. He died in 814, and his descendants became known as Carlovingians. The French, as distinguished from the tribal Frankish monarchy, may be dated from 987, when the dynasty of Hugh Capet took the place of the last Carlovingian in the country now called France, and Paris on the Seine became the capital of the kingdom.
The names Gog and Magog come from the English version of the Bible.... In the Book of Revelation (xx. 6) Gog and Magog personify the enemies of the kingdom of God. Later legends treated Gog and Magog as wicked giants. In the tenth century the Hungarians, then a fierce, savage people, made many raids into Germany and Italy. The Roman name Pannonia corresponds partly with modern Hungary. Sicily, in whole or in part, was held by Musalman Saracens between 827 and 1090. Campania was the old name of Middle Italy.
Feudalism, or the feudal system, was based on the theory that the king was owner of all land; the great nobles held from him their fiefs (the jagirs of India) on condition of military service, while lesser men in various degrees held their lands from the great lords on similar terms. William the Conqueror introduced the system into England in 1066.
|Such or nearly such was the change which passed on the Mogul empire during the forty years which followed the death of Aurungzebe. A succession of nominal sovereigns, sunk in indolence and debauchery, sauntered away life in secluded palaces, chewing bang, fondling concubines, and listening to buffoons. A succession of ferocious invaders descended through the western passes, to prey on the defenceless wealth of Hindostan. A Persian conqueror crossed the Indus, marched through the gates of Delhi, and bore away in triumph those treasures of which the magnificence had astounded Roe and Bernier, the Peacock Throne, on which the richest jewels of Golconda had been disposed by the most skilful hands of Europe, and the inestimable Mountain of Light, which, after many strange vicissitudes, lately shone in the bracelet of Runjeet Sing, and is now destined to adorn the hideous idol of Orissa. The Afghan soon followed to complete the work of the devastation which the Persian had begun. The warlike tribes of Rajpootana threw off the Mussulman yoke. A band of mercenary soldiers occupied Rohilcund. The Seiks ruled on the Indus. The Jauts spread dismay along the Jumna. The highlands which border on the western sea-coast of India poured forth a yet more formidable race, a race which was long the terror of every native power, and which, after many desperate and doubtful struggles, yielded only to the fortune and genius of England. It was under the reign of Aurungzebe that this wild clan of plunderers first descended from their mountains; and soon after his death, every corner of his wide empire learned to tremble at the mighty name of the Mahrattas. Many fertile viceroyalties were entirely subdued by them. Their dominions stretched across the peninsula from sea to sea. Mahratta captains reigned at Poonah, at Gualior, in Guzerat, in Berar, and in Tanjore. Nor did they, though they had become great sovereigns, therefore cease to be freebooters. They still retained the predatory habits of their forefathers. Every region which was not subject to their rule was wasted by their incursions. Wherever their kettledrums were heard, the peasant threw his bag of rice on his shoulder, hid his small savings in his girdle, and fled with his wife and children to the mountains or the jungles, to the milder neighbourhood of the hyena and the tiger. Many provinces redeemed their harvests by the payment of an annual ransom. Even the wretched phantom who still bore the imperial title stooped to pay this ignominious black-mail. The camp-fires of one rapacious leader were seen from the walls of the palace of Delhi. Another, at the head of his innumerable cavalry, descended year after year on the rice-fields of Bengal. Even the European factors trembled for their magazines. Less than a hundred years ago, it was thought necessary to fortify Calcutta against the horsemen of Berar, and the name of the Mahratta ditch still preserves the memory of the danger.||
The nominal sovereigns were Bahadur I or Shah Alam I (1797-12); Jahandar (1712-13); Farrukhsiyar (1713-19); Rafi-ud-darajat, Rafi-ud-daulat, or Shahjahan II, and Nikusiyar (1719); [Ibrahim, Oct. 1-Nov. 28, 1720]; Muhammad Shah (Oct. 1719); Ahmad Shah (April, 1748); Alamgir II (1754); Shah Alam II (1759); Akbar II (1806); Bahadur II (1837-57). Up to 1803 some of these princes possessed a certain amount of power; after 1803 they were merely pensioners of the E. I. Company. [Indian Routes: *the later Mughals*]
The Persian conqueror was Nadir Shah, who sacked Delhi in 1739, during the reign of Muhammad Shah. The Peacock Throne, made to the order of Shahjahan, was valued at 1,070 lakhs of rupees.
Sir Thomas Roe, ambassador of King James I of England to the Emperor Jahangir (1615-19). His Embassy to the Court of the Great Mogul has been printed several times, and is one of the best authorities for the history of Jahangir. François Bernier, a French physician, author of an admirable book, Travels in the Mogul Empire, A.D.1656-68; transl. by A. Constable (1891).
The diamond mines under the control of the Kutb Shahi kings of Golconda. None of the mines were close to Golconda, which is five miles west of the Nizam's capital, Hyderabad.
After the annexation of the Panjab in 1849 the great diamond known as the Koh-i-nur, or 'Mountain of Light', was added to the crown jewels of England. Ranjit Singh, the Sikh chief, who had taken the stone from Shah Shuja, at one time intended it 'to adorn the hideous idol of Orissa', i.e. the rude image of Jagannath at Puri (Ball, transl. Tavernier, ii.446, and ref.). [Glossary: *Koh-i nur*; *Ranjit Singh*; *Jagannath*]
The Afghan was Ahmad Shah Durrani, who routed the Marathas at Panipat in 1761.
The band of mercenary soldiers were the Afghan Rohillas, now represented by the Nawab of Rampur in Rohilkhand, U.P.
The Seiks, now written as 'Sikhs', were finally conquered at the battle of Gujarat, Feb. 21, 1849, which was followed by the annexation of the Panjab.
The Jauts, or *Jats*, are a vigorous agricultural tribe settled in the Eastern Panjab and neighbouring districts of the United Provinces. The rulers of Dholpur and Bharatpur (Bhurtpore) near Agra also are Jats. The Jats plundered the splendid buildings at Agra.
Macaulay gives a vivid picture of the doings of the Marathas or Mahrattas. H. H. the Maharaja Sindia still rules at Gwalior, and the Gaikwar reigns at Baroda in Guzerat (Gujarat). The kingdoms of Poonah, Berar, and Tanjore have vanished. The 'Mahratta ditch', which was never completed, was dug in 1742; its line is partly marked by the Circular Road. [Glossary: *Mahrattas*]
|Wherever the viceroys of the Mogul retained authority they became sovereigns. They might still acknowledge in words the superiority of the house of *Tamerlane*; as a Count of Flanders or a Duke of Burgundy might have acknowledged the superiority of the most helpless driveller among the later Carlovingians. They might occasionally send to their titular sovereign a complimentary present, or solicit from him a title of honour. In truth, however, they were no longer lieutenants removable at pleasure, but independent hereditary princes. In this way originated those great Mussulman houses which formerly ruled Bengal and the Carnatic, and those which still, though in a state of vassalage, exercise some of the powers of royalty at Lucknow and Hyderabad.||
For the Carlovingians see *the note on the Carlovingians*; and for the Carnatic see *the note on the Carnatic*. Flanders, the country of the Flemings between the Scheldt River and the North Sea, is now partly in Belgium, partly in Holland, and partly in France. Burgundy was a powerful state in the fifteenth century and included much territory besides the dukedom, which is now part of France.
The great Mussulman house of Bengal is now represented by the titular Nawab of Murshidabad. The last king of Oudh was deposed in 1856. H. H. the Nizam still enjoys sovereign power at Hyderabad.
[On Lucknow see the Glossary: *Awadh*]
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