Could it be that Burleigh stood in need of all this money to cover other sums that he had misapplied?
Bitter is a tax, particularly if misapplied; a rate, particularly if embezzled.
The truth of the Greeks was mistaken by the pseudo-classicists and misapplied.
In short, the bill seems to have been a model of misapplied benevolence.
A term singularly, but very often, misapplied ...