wishes and his demands, that he seemed even disin-
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
‘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
‘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.