was unchanged; and to gain property was the most
ardent desire of his soul;1
so that his avarice was the great incentive to his ambition.
He had once been in England
as agent of Massachusetts
at the time when the taxing America
by parliament first began to be talked of, and had thus had occasion to become acquainted with British statesmen, the maxims of the Board of Trade, and the way in which Englishmen reasoned about the colonies.
He loved the land of his nativity, and made a study of its laws and history; but he knew that all considerable emoluments of office sprung not from his frugal countrymen, but from royal favor.
He was a man of clear discernment, and where unbiassed by his own interests, he preferred to do what was right; but his sordid nature led him to worship power; he could stoop to solicit justice as a boon; and a small temptation not only left him without hardihood to resist oppression, but would easily bend him to become its instrument.
At the same time he excelled in the art of dissimulation, and knew how to veil his selfishness by the appearance of public spirit.
The congress at Albany
was thronged beyond example by the many chiefs of the Six Nations and their allies.2
They resolved to have no French within their borders, nor even to send deputies to Canada
, but to leave to English mediation the recovery of their brethren from captivity.
It was announced, that tribes of the Far West
, dwelling on branches of Erie
and the Ohio
, inclined to friendship; and nearly at that very moment envoys from their villages were