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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.
A series of nominal sovereigns, sunk in indolence and debauchery, sauntered away life in secluded palaces, chewing bang, fondling concubines, and listening to buffoons. A series of ferocious invaders had 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 devastation which the Persian had begun. The warlike tribes of Rajpoots threw off the Mussulman yoke. A band of mercenary soldiers occupied Rohilcund. The Seiks ruled on the Indus. The Jauts spread terror along the Jumnah. The high lands which border on the western seacoast of India poured forth a yet more formidable race ;-a race which was long the terror of every native power, and which yielded only, after many desperate and doubtful struggles, to the fortune and genius of England. It was under the
reign of Aurungzebe that this wild clan of plunderers first descended from the 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 peninsular from sea to sea. Their Captains reigned at Poonah, at Gaulior, 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 neighborhood of the hyæna and the tiger. Many provinces redeemed their
ses by the payment of an annual ransom. Even the wretched phantom who still bore the im
; stooped to pay this ignominious " black mail.” The camp-fires of one rapacious leader were seen from the walls of the palace of D other, at the head of his innumerable cavalry,
ed year after year on the rice-fields of Ben
" the European factors trembled for their
8. Less than a hundred years ago, it was thought necessary to fortify Calcutta against
Berar;, and the name of the Mahratta eserves the memory of the danger.
the viceroys of the Mogul retained auy became sovereigns. They might still
descended year after year on the I gal. Even the European factors tre
horsemen of Berar; and the nai ditch still preserves the memory 01 L
Wherever the viceroys thority they became sovere
acknowledge in words the superiority of the house of Tamerlane ; as a Count of Flanders or a Duke of Burgundy would have acknowledged the superiority of the most hopeless driveller among the later Carlovingians. They might occasionally send to their titular sovereign a complimentary present, or solicit from him a title of honor. But they were in truth 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.
THE LATE LORD HOLLAND.
The late Lord Holland succeeded to the talents and to the fine natural dispositions of his House. But his situation was very different from that of the two eminent men of whom we have spoken. In some important respects it was better; in some it was worse than theirs. He had one great advantage over them. He received a good political education. The first lord was educated by Sir Robert Walpole. Mr. Fox was educated by his father. The late lord was educated by Mr. Fox. The pernicious maxims early imbibed by the first Lord Holland, made his great talents useless, and worse than useless, to the state. The pernicious maxims early imbibed by Mr. Fox, led him, at the commencement of his public life, into great faults, which, though afterward nobly expiated, were
never forgotten. To the very end of his career, small men, when they had nothing else to say in defence of their own tyranny, bigotry, and imbecility, could always raise a cheer by some paltry taunt about the election of Colonel Luttrell, the imprison. ment of the lord mayor, and other measures in which the great Whig leader had borne a part at the age of one or two-and-twenty. On Lord Holland no such slur could be thrown. Those who most dissent from his opinions must acknowledge, that a public life, more consistent, is not to be found in our annals. · Every part of it is in perfect harmony with every other; and the whole is in perfect harmony with the great principles of toleration and civil freedom. This rare felicity is in a great measure to be attributed to the influence of Mr. Fox. Lord Holland, as was natural in a person of his talents and expectations, began at a very early age to take the keenest interest in politics; and Mr. Fox found the greatest pleasure in forming the mind of so hopeful a pupil. They corresponded largely on political subjects when the young lord was only sixteen; and their friendship and mutual confidence continued to the day of that mournful separation at Chiswick. Under such training, such a man as Lord Holland was in no danger of falling into those faults which threw a dark shade over the whole career of his grandfather, and from which the youth of his uncle was not wholly free.
On the other hand, the late Lord Holland, as compared with his grandfather and his uncle, labored under one great disadvantage. They were members of the House of Commons. He became
a Peer while still an infant. When he entered public life, the House of Lords was a very small and a very decorous assembly. The minority to which he belonged was scarcely able to muster five or six votes on the most important nights, when eighty or ninety lords were present. Debate had accordingly become a mere form, as it was in the Irish House of Peers before the Union. This was a great misfortune to a man like Lord Holland. It was not by occasionally addressing fifteen or twenty solemn and unfriendly auditors, that his grandfather and his uncle attained their unrivalled parliamentary skill. The former had learned his art in “the great Walpolean battles," on nights when Onslow was in the chair seventeen hours without intermission; when the thick ranks on both sides kept unbroken order till long after the winter sun had risen upon them; when the blind were led out by the hand into the lobby; and the paralytic laid down in their bed-clothes on the benches. The powers of Charles Fox were, from the first, exercised in conflicts not less exciting. The great talents of the late Lord Holland had no such advantage. This was the more unfortunate, because the peculiar species of eloquence, which belonged to him in common with his family, required much practice to develope it. With strong sense, and the greatest readiness of wit, a certain tendency to hesitation. was heriditary in the line of Fox. This hesitation arose, not from the poverty but from the wealth of their vocabulary. They paused, not from the difficulty of finding one expression, but from the difficulty of choosing between several. It was only