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Evacuation of Boston. British troops fail to Halifax-objects
of campaign 1776, three; first, recovery of Canada, and
declaration failed. - Internal proceed the south-frege of
himself candidate for London-rejected-chosen for Middle-
concur in opposition to administration. W ISE and liberal as was the policy of our king, cha P.
which sought to govern by virtue and ability instead of a party-confederacy, it had not hitherto 1768. attained the merited success. The royal plan had to Vol. II.
CHA P. encounter obstacles which partly arose from parti
u cular incidents and characters, but were chiefly 1768.
owing to general causes.
The long supremacy of the whig combination had conferred on its members, in the public opinion, a prescriptive right to govern. When Pitt adopted the project of Bolingbroke, or more probably fol. lowed the natural course of transcendent talents, he was aware of the authority which the junto had acquired: he well knew that political changes ought to be gradual, and accommodated to the opinions and sentiments of the times. He therefore did not propose entirely to exclude the phalanx; but, without admitting their command, to enjoy their assistance. Even this partial invasion they bore with impatience, and only from the overpowering force of genius did they bear it at all: Pitt's administration afforded strong proofs, that a change of political system must be gradual, and that the projected alteration would be arduous, unless pre-eminent abi. lity guided and invigorated the execution. The earl of Bute attempted a more extensive and rapid change, than befits the progressive variations of human affairs : in seeking a reform agreeable to reason and justice, he failed, by precipitation and the want of superior talents. His personal unpopularity was prejudicial to any scheme which he could undertake, and his successors (long conceived to be his tools) partook of the prevalent hatred, which was farther increased by their internal and colonial mea. sures. The administration of Rockingham courted popularity, but in its weakness and inefficiency de.