Gambar halaman

ing the magazines and warehouses of the English Company, seized no private property.

On hearing of the agreement to restore Madras to the Eng. lish, Dupleix began a bitter opposition, but his arguments and expostulations could not induce Labourdonnais to break the treaty. Without assistance, however, the goods could not be removed from Madras before the time agreed upon for the surrender of the place, and this Dupleix refused. By agreement with the English the time was extended, but to avoid the terrific storms of the season Labourdonnais was forced to withdraw with his fleet, and Dupleix at once took command.

Baffled, and bitterly disappointed, Labourdonnais sailed for home. Taken prisoner and carried to England, he was there treated with the greatest respect and allowed to proceed at once to France. There he was thrown into prison and held in confinement for about three


He died soon after his release. The policy of the French government in this case did not materially differ from that of those kings who assured Gulliver that they had never knowingly preferred any man of merit.

Soon after the departure of Labourdonnais from Madras, his rival declared the treaty of capitulation annulled, and, besides refusing to surrender the place, ordered the seizure of considerable private property. The Nabob, believing certain promises made him by Dupleix to be insincere, sent a large force to at. tack the French, only to meet overwhelming defeat at the hands of the well-drilled garrison of Labourdonnais. This battle first proved the decisive superiority of modern European arms and discipline when opposed to the unwieldy masses of Asiatic troops.

The same year in which Madras was captured, the English made an attack upon L'Orient with the object of seizing the stores of the Company. The place was weakly fortified and garrisoned. The commander capitulated. Suddenly, however, the English became impressed with the belief that the French were in some way deceiving them, and, hastening to their boats, they sailed away, seized with a panic, not unlike that which infected the troops of the Swedish general Horn when, at Bamberg, they hurriedly fled before a mere advance guard of Tilly's army.

After the fall of Madras the English still held Fort St. David, a settlement but a few miles from Pondicherry. Dupleix endeavored to capture it, but the Nabob had joined with the English and against the united forces he failed. He then endeavored by ravaging the Nabob's territory to induce him to withdraw his army from before St. David, but this also was unavailing. In January, 1747, a few French ships arrived, and Dupleix represented bis force as greatly increased. At this the Nabob promptly abandoned the English cause. The arrival of English reënforcements still prevented Dupleix from carrying out his plans. In January, 1748, Major Lawrence took command, and Admiral Boscawen arrived with reënforcements in August.

The English now took the offensive, and, in a series of curi. ously inefficient operations against Pondicherry, not only utterly failed in their object but also suffered the loss of Major Lawrence as a prisoner to the enemy.

Want of sufficient kpowledge of the ground upon which they were to operate contributed largely to this failure. Horace Walpole, in one of bis letters, mentions a rumor that Boscawen was sent out to India to take part in the expedition against Pondicherry through the influence of one who desired to see him disgraced and who believed that the expedition would most probably fail.

Soon the news of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle arrived, and Madras, much stronger than when last held by the Eng. lisb, was given up by Dupleix in accordance with the terms of

that treaty.

But though the two rival powers were at peace in Europe they were not in India. Dupleix had matured plans for securing French ascendancy by interfering in the quarrels of the native princes, and the state of affairs now allowed him to put his plans into execution. Nizam al Mulk, Subahdar of the Deccan, died in 1748, and Nazir Jung, one of his sons, became bis successor.

A strong competitor arose in the person of a grandson of the Nizam, Mirzapha Jung. Nominally the Great Mogul possessed the right of appointment, but his power did not equal his right. He contented himself with selling to each of the competitors a commission to hold the office.


An'war ad dien was Nabob of the Carnatic. A rival for this position was found in Chunda Saheb, a representative of a family formerly in power. These two. pretenders united their forces. They were joined by a body of French soldiers. The combined forces marched against the army of An'war ad dien, who, though over one hundred years old, commanded in per

The forces of the Nabob were defeated; he himself was killed, and his son, Mahomed Ali, retreated to Trichinopoly.

This battle gave control of the Carnatic to the victors, but it soon seemed as if they in turn would be overpowered. Nazir Jung, with an army it is said of 300,000 men, advanced into the Carnatic. . Dupleix intrigued with him, but owing to the arrival of an English force in Nazir's camp his advances were declined.

Mirzapha Jung surrendered himself. The French soldiers became demoralized. Before such a host it was found necessary to retreat to Pondicherry, while over the surrounding country the enemy spread his tents, and from that "City of War” arose the customary sounds of an Eastern encampment:

“Ringing of arms, and flapping in the breeze
Of streamers from ten thousand canopies ;-
War-music, bursting out from time to time

With gong and tymbalon's tremendous chime.” But soon the tide again changed. The native camp was but carelessly guarded, and a bold night attack of the French so dismayed Nazir Juug that he at once retreated to Arcot. Ma. homed Ali, at the head of a large body of troops, was attacked and defeated by the French. A greater success followed. A night attack up the almost inaccessible heights of Gingee ; & vehement, fearless dash over frowning redoubts and fortifications, gave the French possession of what was the strongest fortress in the Carnatic if not in all India.

Disheartened by his losses Nazir was now willing to treat with his enemies, but Dupleix had meanwhile been intriguing with some of the chiefs in the camp of the Subahdar, and these trai. tors now sent to inform him that an attack might successfully be made. A small force of French, assisted by Sepoys, at once advanced and attacked Nazir's army. They were joined by the traitors. Nazir himself was killed, and Mirzapha Jung was taken from prison and elevated to the position from which his rival bad just been so suddenly hurled.

The new Subahdar showed himself not ungrateful. Dupleix was treated with the greatest consideration and honor, and made governor of a large territory. The Nabob of the Carnatic was his deputy. He made great display of his dignity and power; somewhat, no doubt, from vanity, but mainly from his knowledge that by such display he could best maintain his in. fluence. William the Third sent a magnificent embassy to France to impress the subjects of Louis with a high idea of the strength of the English. The policy of making a show of power was even more judicious in the case of Dupleix, for the people of India knew nothing of the real strength of France ; it was, therefore, wise to overawe them with splendid pageants.

Mirzapha Jung and his army, accompanied by Bussy with a French force, soon left Pondicherry. A revolt broke out among the native troops and Mirzapha was killed. For a time there was terrible confusion, but Bussy promptly set up as Subabdar, a son of Nizam al Mulk, Salabut Jung, who was then with the army. The new Subahdar agreed to carry out the agreements and promises made by Mirzapha. He established himself at Golconda, and, by the aid of Bussy, was able to defeat and subject all who opposed him, and the French obtained still further acquisitions of valuable territory.

Mahomed Ali made offers of the greater part of his claims, but this did not satisfy the demands of the French. He retired to Trichinopoly and was at once besieged by Chunda Saheb and the French. To create a diversion in favor of the besieged, Clive seized Arcot and held the place in spite of despe. rate efforts to dislodge him. The English, largely reinforced by native troops, forced the French to raise the siege of Trichinopoly and made many of them prisoners. Chunda Saheb was aseassinated.

In spite of reverses Dupleix was soon again in a position to face the English, but he labored under one great disadvantage; the troops which were sent out from France were despicable characters. The siege of Trichinopoly was however undertaken, but failed of its purpose. Another great change was at band.

Both the French and English Companies had long desired peace; the French, because they were blind to the enormous advantages that Dupleix was securing; the English, because by peace alone could they hope to retain the little power in India which they still possessed. In August, 1754, Godeheu arrived as successor to Dupleix, and distinguished himself by concluding a treaty of peace which relinquished all the advantages gained by the French, and all the vast acquisitions they had made. Dupleix, poorer than he was when made Governor of Pondicherry, returned to France.

Importapt events soon occurred in Bengal. Suraja Dowla, ruler of that province, attacked and seized Calcutta, the city in which, half a century later, Thackeray was born. The English who had not ied were thrust into the Black Hole; and there most of them miserably perished. Clive, at the head of an expedition, at once left Madras for the purpose of restoring the English power. There were three hundred French in Bengal. Should they join Suraja Dowla, the success of the English would be almost impossible. The breaking out of the Seven Years' War seemed to make such a course probable.

But the French proposed to Clive that in Bengal the two riations should observe neutrality towards each other, and without actually signing a treaty to that effect, were given to understand that their proposition was accepted.

Clive was therefore not interfered with, but no sooner had he secured his ends than he suddenly turned against the French and captured Chandernagore. At Plassey, on June 23, 1757, the

army of Suraja Dowla fled in confusion before a small opposing force, and the English were now indisputable masters of Bengal.

Meanwhile Bussy was greatly distinguishing himself in the Deccan, and had he been placed at the head of affairs, even Clive might not have been able to thwart him. In April, 1758, the French received a considerable accession to their forces, but with these reënforcements came Count Lally, to act as Cornmander-in-chief. He had acquired a high reputation for enterprise and courage but was to prove himself unfitted for high commands. As was said of the Emperor Galba, he would always have been considered worthy of exercising power, had

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