History of the United States of America, from the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 6

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XXI.
MASSACHUSETTS CONSULTS HER SISTER COLONIES. ADMINISTRA-
TION OF GRAFTON. HILLSBOROCGH SECRETARY FOR THE COL-
ONIES.

NOVEMBER 1767–APRIL 1768.

ON the twenty-fourth of November, the twelfth parliament came together for the last time previous to its dissolution. Its members were too busy in preparing for the coming elections to interfere with America, about which the king’s speech was silent, and, when Grenville descanted on two or three papers in the “Boston Gazette,” as infamous libels on parliament, the house showed weariness. Bedford objected to Grenville’s test for America, and “preferred making an example of some one seditious fellow.” The king kept the ministry from breaking, and proved himself the most efficient man among them. “He makes each of them,” said Mansfield, “believe that he is in love with him, and fools them all. They will stand their ground,” he added, “unless that mad man, Lord Chatham, should come and throw a fireball in the midst of them.” But Chatham’s long illness had for the time overthrown his powers. When his health began to give out, it was his passion to appear possessed of the unbounded confidence of the king. A morbid restlessness led him to vie in expense with his equals in the peerage, who were the inheritors of vast estates. He would drive out with ten outriders, and with two carriages, each drawn by six horses. His vain magnificence deceived no one. “He is allowed to retain office as a livelihood,” observed Bedford. The king complained of him as “a charlatan, who in difficult times affected ill-health to render himself the more sought after,” and, saying that politics was a vile trade, more fit for a hack than for a gentleman, he

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