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‘ [36] in the office’; that the system, ‘if not speedily reme-
chap. II.} 1748. Oct.
died, would affect the dependency of the colonies on the crown.’1 And he entreated the king to ‘make a good example for all America, by regulating the government of New York.’ ‘Till then,’ he added, ‘I cannot meet the Assembly, without danger of exposing the king's authority and myself to contempt.’2

Thus issue was joined with a view to involve the

British parliament in the administration of the colonies, just at the time, when Bedford, as the secretary, was resolving to introduce uniformity into their administration by supporting the authority of the central government; and his character was a guarantee for resolute perseverance. ‘Considering the present situation of things,’ he had declared to Newcastle,3 ‘it would be highly improper to have an inefficient man at the head of the Board of Trade;’ and, at his suggestion, on the first day of November, 1748, two months after the peace of America and Europe had been ratified, the Earl of Halifax, then just thirty-two years old, entered upon his long period of service as First Commissioner for the Plantations. He was fond of splendor, profuse, and in debt; passionate, overbearing, and self-willed; ‘of moderate sense, and ignorant of the world.’4 Familiar with a feeble class of belles-lettres, he loved to declaim long passages from Prior;5 but his mind was not imbued with political theories, or invigorated by the lessons of a manly philosophy. As a public man, he was fond of authority;

1 Ms. Present state of the Province of N. Y.

2 Clinton to Bedford, 20 October, 1748.

3 Bedford to Newcastle, 11 August, 1748. Bedford Correspondence, i. 441.

4 Walpole's George II.

5 Richard Cumberland's Memoirs of Himself.

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