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[437] from Prussia to indulge with Bute his habit of
chap XIX.} 1762.
complaint. But ‘the Earl never requested me to continue in office,’ said Newcastle, ‘nor said a civil thing to me;’ and at last most lingeringly the veteran statesman resigned. English writers praise his disinterestedness, because the childless man, who himself possessed enormous wealth, who while in office had provided bountifully for his kindred, and who left his post only to struggle in old age to recover it and act his part anew, did not accept a pension. America gives him the better praise, that, beneath all his frivolity and follies, he had a vein of good sense, which restrained him from decisive attacks on colonial liberty.

So fell the old whig aristocracy which had so long governed England. It was false to the cause of liberty and betrayed the man of the people, only to be requited with contumely by those who reaped benefits from its treachery. Its system of government under its old form, could never be restored. It needed to be purified by a long conflict with the inheritors of its methods of corruption, before it could be awakened to a perception of its duty and animated to undertake the work of reform. But the power of the people was coming with an energy which it would be neither safe nor possible to neglect. Royalty itself no less than aristocracy was doomed. In the very days in which the English whig aristocracy was in its agony, Rousseau, the most eloquent writer of French prose, told the world, that ‘nature makes neither princes, nor rich men, nor grandees;’ that ‘the sovereignty of the people is older than the institutions which restrain it; and that these institutions are not obligatory but by consent.1

1 Contract

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