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[355] disingenuousness which studies the secret characters
Chap. XLIV.} 1770. March
of men in order to use them as its instruments. No one could tell whether the king really liked him. He could flatter, cajole, and humor, or frown and threaten; he could conceal the sense of injuries and forget good service; bribe the corrupt by favors, or terrify deserters by punishment. In bestowing rewards, it was his rule, as far as possible, to preserve the dependence of his favorites by making none but revocable grants; and he required of his friends an implicit obedience. He was willing to govern through Parliament, yet did not conceal his readiness to stand by his Ministers, even though they should find themselves in a minority; and was sure that one day the Government must disregard majorities.

With a strong physical frame, he had also a nervous susceptibility which made him rapid in his utterance; and so impatient of contradiction, that he never could bear the presence of a Minister who resolutely differed from him, and was easily thrown into a state of high excitement, bordering upon madness. Anger which changed Chatham into a seer, pouring floods of light upon his mind, and quickening his discernment, served only to cloud or disturb the mind of George the Third, so that he could not hide his thoughts from those about him, and, if using the pen, could neither spell correctly nor write coherently. Hence the proud, unbending Grenville was his aversion; and his years with the compliant Lord North, though full of public disasters, were the happiest of his life. Conscious of his devotion to the cause of legitimate authority, and viewing with complacency his own correctness of morals, he identified himself with the cause which he venerated.

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