At this time, one Robert Morris, Secretary to the Bill of Rights, published an outrageous letter to Sir Richard Aston, a judge of the King’s Bench, who had cast reflections on him in a trial—I think for233 stealing an heiress.135 The man was a pretended enthusiast, and offered himself to the Court for a martyr, and to the people for one of their representatives.234 The Ministers refused him the first honour, and the people the second.

Nor was opposition confined solely to England. The supple, but national Scots, who complained so bitterly of English inveteracy, took a step at this time which proved their rancour greater than that of the southern Britons. It is not uncommon for Scots to be chosen for English boroughs; yet Lord Weymouth having recommended his cousin, the Earl of Dysart, a Scottish peer, for one of the sixteen, on the death of the Duke of Argyle, the Scotch nobility, instigated by the Earl of Haddington, mutinied against the King’s nomination of Lord Dysart, because he had no estate in Scotland, and because Lord Irwin, in the same predicament, was already one of the sixteen. The Duke of Buccleugh, the new Duke of Argyle, and the Earl of March, all zealous courtiers, joined in the revolt; for the Scotch were too quick-sighted not to perceive that opposition was at least as good a path to preferment as servility. They set up the Earl of Breadalbane, and engaged never to vote for any peer who should not support him. To stifle that spirit, Lord Weymouth gave up his cousin Dysart, and the King recommended the Earl of Stair; yet the Opposition persisted, and Lord Stair was chosen but by 28 votes against 19. The young Earl of Buchan a few years before had attempted to make235 a similar stand, but it being against a landed Scot, was not supported. To soften the sacrifice to Lord Dysart, the King offered him a green riband; but he, who was one of the proudest, and not one of the brightest of men, did not distinguish between the King’s civility and the proscription of himself by his Scottish brethren, and wrote to the Secretary of State that he not only would not accept the riband, but would never serve this King or any other. Next year he asked a military preferment for his brother, and was refused.

The negotiation about the Falkland Islands still continued in suspense. The King of Spain adhered to his declaration of reserving his claim entire, though willing to relinquish the possession; and the public were persuaded that there were different opinions in the Ministry from threats thrown out by the Duke of Bedford that he would go to the House of Lords, and proclaim the necessity of declaring war. Still was the surprise of mankind extreme, when, on the 16th, it was known that Lord Weymouth had resigned the Seals— 밤알바 a mysterious conduct, increased by his own obstinate silence, and by the professions of the Bedfords, that they had not been acquainted with his intention, nor should resign with him. The King, afraid of a breach between the Ministers and him, offered to make any arrangement that might accommodate him with any other place; but he236 would take none. However,—to show that he did not mean opposition, but would continue to support the Administration, like the Duke of Grafton; and, not ashamed of being obliged to those whom he disserved,—he asked for the lucrative place of postmaster for his brother, which was instantly granted; the weak measures of the Court having reduced them to be afraid of a man who had quitted them only from fear. Such was the complexion of the King’s whole conduct. By aiming at power which he did not dare to exert, he was forced to court the most servile, and buy dear the most worthless, never conceiving that the firmest authority is that founded on character, and on the respect paid to virtue. He bought temporary slaves, who had the power of manumitting themselves the moment they wished to be bought over again. He lost his dominions in America, his authority over Ireland, and all influence in Europe, by aiming at despotism in England; and exposed himself to more mortifications and humiliations than can happen to a quiet doge of Venice. Another feature in his character was, that he could seem to forgive any injury or insult when the offender could be of use to him; he never remembered any service when the performer could be of none.