A HOUSE OF COMMONS elected for North in 1780 thus ejected him in March 1782 in favour of Fox and Shelburne; in February 1783 they replaced Shelburne by the Fox-North Coalition; by February 1784 they had almost come round to ejecting that coalition in order to instal Shelburne's disciple Pitt.
Cabinets thus clearly did not depend on popular mandate but poised and turned as of old on a balance, between a royal executive, groups maintained by ministerial influence, and a public opinion not yet drawn up through party systems but scattered, formless, and difficult of expression. The memory of old attachments or resentment for new wrongs moved, it is true, in party grooves. Though all was now a faction fight, the King told William Grenville, there had once been two great bodies acting on principle, while Yorkshire reformers cheerfully hoped 'to rebuild Whiggism'. (1) But the two parties so sharply contrasted had not existed for fifty years, nor did they exist now. Whigs of all sorts combined to stop the American war and carry some economic reform, but here their agreement ceased. Fox hoped they would anyhow give 'a good stout blow to the Crown'; the great Whig houses behind him cared little for the radical reforms which Shelburne and Pitt hoped to achieve through that very Crown, purged of corruption and strong against aristocracy. Those whom the Whigs called 'Tories' were equally divided. There were many of the type who had clung to every government in turn, but essentially, as Walpole had fallen, so now had North, by the swing of independent country gentlemen against him. No party contained the able philanthropic Scot George Dempster, who had voted for Bute's peace, worked hard against the American war, was equally to support Fox's India Bill and Pitt's Irish policy, and ended in opposing the French Revolution; nor Hoghton, a loyal follower of North, whose independency was 'hurt' at receiving a Govern-