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[20] as binding only on executive officers, and claimed an
chap. I.} 1748.
uncontrolled freedom of deliberation and decision. To remove the inconsistency, the king must pay his officers from an independent fund, or change his instructions. Newcastle did neither. He continued the instructions, which he privately consented should be broken. Often arbitrary from thoughtlessness, he had no system, except to weaken opposition by bestowing office on its leaders. He was himself free from avarice; but having the patronage of a continent, in colonies where consummate discretion and ability were required, he would gratify his connections in the aristocratic families of England by intrusting the royal prerogative to men of broken fortunes, dissolute and ignorant, too vile to be employed near home; so that America became the hospital of Great Britain for its decayed members of parliament, and abandoned courtiers.1 Of such officers the conduct was sure to provoke jealous distrust, and to justify perpetual opposition, But Newcastle was satisfied with distributing places; and acquiesced with indifference in the policy of the colonists, to keep the salaries of all officers of the crown dependent on the annual deliberations of the legislature. Placed between the Lords of Trade, who issued instructions, and the cabinet, which alone could propose measures to enforce them, he served as a non-conductor to the angry zeal of the former, whose places, under such a secretary, became more and more nearly sinecures; while America, neglected in England, and rightly resisting her rulers, went on her way rejoicing towards freedom and independence.

Disputes accumulated with every year; but Newcastle

1 Huske to a Friend, inclosed in Lyttelton to his Brother, 30th Jan. 1758, in Phillimore's Memoirs of Lord Lyttelton, II. 604.

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