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A Popular History of France from the Earliest Time

Dupleix was now triumphant with his ally


months rolled by, full of vicissitudes and sudden turns of fortune. Murzapha Jung, at first victorious, and then vanquished by his uncle Nazir Jung, everywhere dragged at his heels as a hostage and a trophy of his triumph, had found himself delivered by an insurrection of the Patanian chiefs, Affghans by origin, settled in the south of India. The head of Nazir Jung had come rolling at his feet. For a while besieged in Pondicherry, but still negotiating and everywhere mingling in intrigues and conspiracies, Dupleix was now triumphant with his ally; the Soudhabar of the Deccan made his entry in state upon French territory. Pondicherry was in holiday trim to receive him. Dupleix, dressed in the magnificent costume of, the Hindoo princes, had gone with his troops to meet him. Both entered the town in the same palanquin to the sound of native cymbals and the military music of the.French. A throne awaited the soudhabar, surrounded by the Affghan chiefs, who were already claiming the reward of their services. The Hindoo prince needed the aid of France; he knew it. He proclaimed Dupleix nabob of all the provinces to the south of the River Krischna. Tcbunda Sahib, but lately his ally, became his vassal--"the vassal of France," murmured Madame Dupleix, when she heard of this splendid recompense for so many public and private services. The ability and indomitable bravery of M. de Bussy soon extended the French conquests in the Deccan. Murzapha Jung had just been assassinated at
the head of his army; Bussy proclaimed and supported a new soudhabar, who was friendly to the French, and who ceded to them five provinces, of which the large town of Masulipatam, already in French hands, became the capital. A third of India was obedient to Dupleix; the Great Mogul sent him a decree of investiture, and demanded of the Princess Jane the hand of her youngest daughter, promised to M. de Bussy. Dupleix well know the frailty of human affairs, and the dark intrigues of Hindoo courts; he breathed freely, however, for he was on his guard, and the dream of his life seemed to be accomplished. "The empire of France is founded," he would say.

[Illustration: Dupleix meeting the Soudhabar of the Deccan----174]

He reckoned without France, and without the incompetent or timid men who governed her. The successes of Dupleix scared King Louis XV. and his feeble ministers; they angered and discomfited England, which was as yet tottering in India, and whose affairs there had for a long while been ill managed, but which remained ever vigorous, active, animated by the indomitable ardor of a free people. At Versailles attempts were made to lessen the conquests of Dupleix, prudence was recommended to him, delay was shown in sending him the troops he demanded. In India England had at last found a man still young and unknown, but worthy of being opposed to Dupleix. Clive, who had almost in boyhood entered the Company's offices, turned out, after the turbulence of his early years, a heaven-born general; he was destined to continue Dupleix's work, when abandoned by France, and to found to the advantage of the English that European dominion in India which had been the Governor

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