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‘ [383] now unnecessary. I have been and shall be your
chap. XVII.} 1760. Oct.
friend, and you shall see it.’ The veteran courtier caught at the naked hook as soon as thrown out, and answered in the same strain.

The king, so young and so determined to rule, praised the loyalty of Newcastle, who in return was profuse of promises.1 ‘My Lord Bute,’ said the king, ‘is your good friend. He will tell you my thoughts at large.’ And before the ashes of the late king were cold,2 the faithless duke was conspiring with the new influences on and around the throne to subvert the system, by which Pitt had not only restored but exalted his country.

On meeting the council, the king, and with good reason, appeared agitated and embarrassed; for his speech, which had been drawn by Bute, set up adhesion to his plan of government as the test of honesty; calumniated the war as ‘bloody’ and expensive; and silently abandoned the king of Prussia. Newcastle, who was directed to read it aloud, seemed to find it unexceptionable; and opportunely lowered his voice at the offensive parts, so that his words could not be distinguished. ‘Is there any thing wrong in point of form?’ asked the king; and then dismissed his ministers; and the declaration was projected, executed and entered in the council books without any previous notice to Pitt.

The Great Commoner was ‘extremely hurt;’3 he discerned what was plotting; and after vainly seeking to inspire Newcastle with truth and firmness,4 he

1 Newcastle himself gives the account of all this. ‘I made suitable returns.’

2 William Pitt to Nuthall, 10 Dec., 1765. Chat. Corr. II. 349. It was not known how literally true was the accusation of Pitt, till the publication of Newcastle's letter to Hardwicke, 26 Oct., 1760, con containing his own account of his interview with the king.

3 Harris's Hardwicke, III. 215.

4 Walpole's Memoirs of George III., i. 10.

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