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[304] have ‘very just notions’ of the colonies. His tem-
chap. XV.} 1765. July.
per was mild and moderate; in his inquiries he was reasonable and accurate; and it was his desire to unite both countries in affection, as well as interest. But he was diffident and hesitating. He seemed to be inflexibly proud, and was not firm—to be candid, and was only scrupulous. His honesty, instead of nerving his will, kept him for ever a sceptic. He would in battle walk up to the cannon's mouth with imperturbable courage; but in the cabinet his mind was in a perpetual see-saw, balancing arguments, and never reaching fixed conclusions, unless his sense of honor was touched, or his gentle disposition was invigorated by his humanity. The necessity of immediate action was sure to find him still wavering. He was so fond of doing right, that the time for doing it passed before he could settle what it was; and the man who was now appointed to guide the mind of the House of Commons, never knew how to make up his own.

The ministry would have restored Shelburne to the Presidency of the Board of Trade; but he excused himself, because Rockingham, on taking office, had given no pledges but as to ‘men.’ ‘Measures, not men,’ said Shelburne, ‘will be the rule of my conduct;’ and thus the two branches of the liberal aristocracy gained their watchwords. The one was bound to provide for its connection; the other to promote reform. There could be no progress of liberty in England, but from the union of the aristocratic power of the one with the popular principle of the other. The refusal of Shelburne leaves the important office to the earl of Dartmouth, a young man, utterly inexperienced in business, distinguished only for his piety;

The one who wears a coronet and prays.

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