To justify one such demand, the English produced a letter in the handwriting of Ranjit Rai, purporting to be written at the dictation of the Seths under instructions from the Nawab. The latter denied the instructions, and the Seths promptly asserted that the whole letter was a forgery of their agent's.

He told the Nawab all that he learned from me, viz. the views of the English and of the Seths, and the risk he himself was running, and he brought to his notice that the English were steadily increasing their garrison at Cossimbazar by bringing up soldiers who pretended they were deserters and wished to pass over to the Trench.

"The conversation having turned on Siraj-ud-daula, on the reasons he had given the Seths to fear him, and on his violent character, I said I understood clearly enough what they meant, and that they certainly wanted to set up another Nawab. The Seths, instead of denying this, contented themselves with saying in a low voice that this was a subject which should not be talked about.

However, every one was very polite, and I left the house." Law thinks the Seths honestly believed that the English march on Chandernagore was merely intended to frighten the French, and, as a proof of their friendliness, narrates a further incident of this visit:

In the mean time fate had avenged Law on one of his lesser enemies. This was that Ranjit Rai, who had insulted him during his interview with the Seths. The latter had pursued their old policy of inciting the English to make extravagant demands which they at the same time urged the Nawab to refuse.

"The English had on their side in the Durbar the terror of their arms, the faults of Siraj-ud-daula, the ruling influence and the refined policy of the Seths, who, to conceal their game more completely, and knowing that it pleased the Nawab, often spoke all the ill they could think of about the English, so as to excite him against them and at the same time gain his confidence.

He added that the Nawab was quite satisfied with my behaviour, and wished me much good. At last the Durbar hour arrives. I am warned. I pass into a hall, where I find Mr. Watts and a number of Diwans. The agent of the Seths is present Compliments having passed, one of the Diwans asks me if I have anything particular to say to Mr. Watts. I answer that I have not. Thereupon Mr.

He learned afterwards that the great bankers, the Seths, had just left the meeting, after it had been decided that, owing to the depletion of the treasury, only one-half of the immense sums promised to Clive and the English in Mir Jafar's treaty could be paid at once, the remainder to follow in three years.

This, then, was the French party, whose sole bond was dislike to the Seths, and the members of which, by timidity or ill-health, were unable to act. It was different with their enemies.

The sworn enemy of the Seths, and capable of holding his own against them, I think those bankers would not have succeeded so easily in their project if he had been free to act, but, unfortunately for us, he had been for some time, and was at this most critical moment dangerously ill. He could not leave his house.