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‘ [387] his affairs, and understands them astonishingly well.
chap. XVII.} 1760. Nov.
His faculties seem to me equal to his good intentions. A most uncommon attention, a quick and just conception, great mildness, great civility, which takes nothing from his dignity, caution and firmness are conspicuous in the highest degree.’ ‘The king,’ said the chief proprietary of Pennsylvania,1 ‘attends daily to business; shows great steadiness in his resolutions, and is very exact to all his applications, whether of business or recreation.’ But Charles Townshend, being questioned as to his character, deliberated a moment, and replied, ‘The young man is very obstinate;’ and four months had not passed, when Pratt, the attorney-general predicted that ‘this would be a weak and inglorious reign.’2

To place himself above aristocratic dictation and dictation of all sorts, was the ruling passion of George the Third; and for its gratification he was bent on securing ‘to the court the unlimited and uncontrolled use of its own vast influence under the sole direction of its private favor.’3 For his instrument in accomplishing this purpose, he cherished the Earl of Bute, whom he valued only because he found in him an obsequious friend, ready to give effect to the new system; and within five weeks from the commencement of his reign, Bute was planning how to make a place for himself among the ministers. To the party of the court he brought no strength whatever. He had neither experience, nor political connections, nor powerful family friendships, nor great capacity; and

1 Penn to Hamilton.

2 Nicholls's Recollections.

3 Burke: Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontent. Works, i. 358.

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