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[434] thus he wrote, in January, 1762, to George,
chap. XIX.} 1762.
‘there is need of nothing but constancy; but we must persevere to the end. I see difficulties still without number; instead of appalling me, they encourage me by the hope of overcoming them.’ Nothing could be more praiseworthy than the desire of the British Government to establish peace; but nothing could be more pusillanimous than the method adopted to promote it. Ignorant of continental affairs, George the Third and his Favorite held it necessary to break or bend the firmness of will of the king of Prussia; and with that view invoked the interposition of Russia. The female autocrat of the North, the Empress Elizabeth, who, during her reign, abolished the punishment of death, but, by her hatred of the Prussian king, brought provinces into misery and tens of thousands to massacre on battle-grounds, a childish person, delighting in dress and new clothes, in intoxication and the grossest excesses of lewdness, was no more. So soon as it was known, that she had been succeeded by her nephew, the frank, impetuous Peter the Third, who cherished an unbounded admiration and sincere friendship for Frederic, the British minister at St. Petersburg was provided with a credit of one hundred thousand pounds to be used as bribes,1 and was instructed by Bute to moderate the excessive friendship of the emperor for Frederic; the strength of that friendship was a source of anxiety.2

At the same time an attempt was made to induce parliament to abandon the Prussian alliance; and

1 Bute to Keith, 6. Feb. 1762, in Raumer, II. 492. There is a copy of the letter among the Mitchell Papers in the British Museum.

2 Bute to Keith, 26 February, 1762, in Raumer, II. 501.

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