The selfishness of the three directors threw away this golden opportunity.
But Miranda's desire - that all the South American colonies should form a federal republic - awoke the selfishness of provincial administrations, and the cause was believed to be hateful to heaven owing to a great earthquake on the 26th of March 1812.
It is not easy to see how Washington survived the year 1775; the colonial poverty, the exasperating annoyances, the outspoken criticism of those who demanded active operations, the personal and party dissensions in Congress, the selfishness or stupidity which cropped out again and again among some of the most patriotic of his coadjutors were enough to have broken down most men.
At a later stage in his reign he was guilty of an act of even grosser selfishness; for after the War of the Polish Succession, in which he supported the claims of Augustus III.,elector of Saxony,he yielded Lorraine to Stanislaus Leszczynski, whose claims had been defended by France, and through whom France ultimately secured this beautiful German province.
Some had heard of his great learning, and others had heard of his selfishness and cruelty.