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[101] wishes and his demands, that he seemed even disin-
Chap XXX.} 1767. Sept.
terested. His judgment was clear and his perceptions quick; but his power of will was feeble; a weakness which only endeared him the more to his royal master, making his presence soothing, not by arts of flattery, but by the qualities of his nature. He took a leading part in the conduct of affairs, just as the people of America were discussing the character of the new Revenue Act, which the King had not suggested; which no living member of the cabinet would own; which Grafton, the Prime Minister, described as ‘absurd;’ but which was left as the fatal bequest of Charles Townshend to his successors and his country.1

The new taxes were not to be collected till the twentieth of November; and should the Sons of Liberty effect a universal agreement to send for no more goods from Britain, no customs would, even then, fall due. ‘But such a confederacy,’ said Bernard,2 ‘will be impracticable without violence;’ and he advised a regiment of soldiers as the surest way of ‘inspiring notions of acquiescence and submission.’ ‘Ships of war and a regiment,’ said Paxton in England,3 ‘are needed to ensure tranquillity.’

Never was a community more distressed or

divided by fear and hope, than that of Boston. There the American Board of the Commissioners of the Customs was to be established; and to that town the continent was looking for an example. Rash

1 Grafton's Autobiography; Compare speeches of Camden, of Grafton, of Shelburne, in the House of Lords, 7 Feb. 1775, and of Camden and Grafton, 5 March, 1776.

2 Bernard to Shelburne, 31 August, 7 September, 1767.

3 Compare Bollan to Hutchinson, 11 August, 1767.

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