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‘ [443] obeyed,’ replied Bute, ‘and will talk to the two secre-
chap. XIX.} 1762.
taries on their scruples.’ And it was so. The young man of three-and-twenty subdued his two secretaries of state, secretly laughing all the while at their displeasure and dismay. ‘Judge of Grenville's countenance,’ said he to Bute, ‘by that of his brother,’ Earl of Temple, ‘at the installation.’ ‘Lord Egremont was wise enough to fly into a passion in the closet.’ ‘I have but one sentiment to offer,’ said he to the king,—‘which is, to send the Duke of Bedford fixed articles for the preliminaries, upon no event to be changed, and if the French refuse to comply, immediately to recall him.’ ‘The sentiment,’ said George, who repeated the conversation, ‘is totally different from mine; a boy of ten years old might as well have been sent to Paris on this errand.’ The secretary yielded, and some subjects were left at the discretion of Bedford; but Bute, with singular perfidy, indirectly, through the Sardinian minister, and in his own handwriting, communicated1 to the French ambassador the decision adopted, and even minutes of the advice given by the various members of the cabinet council, on condition that the details should be kept religiously from Spain, and from the Duke of Bedford. Thus the ministry of the hostile power, with which Bedford was to negotiate a peace, was, without his knowledge, made acquainted with his most secret instructions. Nothing better explains the character of Bute, and its discovery drew on him the implacable displeasure and contempt of Bedford.

The consummation of the peace languished and was delayed; its failure even was anticipated, because

1 Wiffen's House of Russell, II. 506.

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