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1 You put trust,’ said he, ‘in the actual order
chap. XIX.} 1762.
of society, without reflecting that this order is subject to inevitable changes. We are approaching the state of crisis and the age of revolutions.’ ‘Were all the kings put away, they would hardly be missed, and things would go on none the worse.’2 ‘I hold it impossible that the great monarchies of Europe should endure much longer.’3

On the retirement of Newcastle, Bute, near the end of May, transferring the seals of the Northern Department to George Grenville, became first lord of the treasury, the feeblest of British prime ministers. Bedford remained privy seal; Egremont, Grenville's brother-in-law, secretary of state for the Southern Department and America; while the able Lord North retained his seat at the Treasury Board. Early in June, on the death of Anson, Halifax returned from Ireland to join the cabinet as first lord of the admiralty. Charles Townshend was still secretary at war, yet having that confidence in his own genius which made him restless in occupying a station inferior to Grenville's.

The confidence of the ministry was confirmed by success in war. The British army and navy had acquired a habit of victory; the British men-of-war reposed in the consciousness of maritime supremacy; and, as the hawk, from his resting-place among the clouds, gazes calmly around for his prey, their eye glanced over every ocean in search of the treasureships of Spain. ‘Great monarchies,’ Choiseul had

1 [438] Social, printed in April, 1762.

2 From Emile.

3 Note to a passage in the Third Book of Emile. That work was published in May, 1762.

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