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[388] owed his public distinction solely to the royal favor.
chap. XVII.} 1760. Nov.
He was to the king such a confidential companion as the attendant on a heroine in the plays of the earlier French dramatists. By theory he acquiesced in royal authority. He was inferior to George the Third, even in those qualities in which that prince was most deficient; greatly his inferior in vigor of understanding and energy of character. The one had a daring hardihood and self-relying inflexibility, which danger could not startle and the dread of responsibility could not appall; while Bute, who was timid by nature, united persistence with pusillanimity; and as a consequence, had the habit of duplicity. He was ignorant of men and ignorant of business, without sagacity or courage; so that it is difficult to express adequately his unfitness for the conduct of a party, or the management of the foreign relations and public affairs of his country.

Had Bute been left to his own resources, he must have failed from the beginning. Even his earnest desire to restore peace could not have brought about his advancement; the way was opened for him by the jealous impatience of the aristocracy at power derived, independently of themselves, from the good opinion of the people of England. ‘The ministers will drop off, ere long,’ wrote the vain, rich Dodington; ‘think with yourself and your royal master of proper persons to fill up the first rank with you, in case of death or desertion. . . . . . .Remember, my noble and generous friend, that to recover monarchy from the inveterate usurpation of oligarchy is a point too arduous and important to be achieved without much difficulty and some degree of danger.’ ‘They will beat every thing,’ said Glover, of Bute and the

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