In fact, important differences persisted between Chatham and the Rockinghams. Both wished to extricate British troops from America to be ready to confront the French, but Chatham clung to his desperate hope that this might somehow be done without finally losing the allegiance of the colonists. Many times and woefully he repeated that it was probably too late, but still he would not, could not, accept the idea of severance. It gave him "unspeakable concern," he told Richmond, to differ with him so profoundly; still, he promised him to do his best to come to Westminster. . . .
Supported by his human crutches, his son William and son-in- law Mahon, he struggled to the House of Lords on that day. . . . Then Chatham spoke, falteringly, with obvious difficulty and more even than usual references to his infirmities. . . . [That] if peace with the House of Bourbon could not be preserved with honour, why could not war be declared without hesitation? "Any state is better than despair; . . . and if we fall, let us fall like men."
Richmond spoke again, pointing out that even the great name of Chatham was hardly sufficient in itself to guarantee victory "without an army, without a navy, and without money." It would now be France, Spain, and America against Britain; a situation disastrously changed since 1756. Chatham, in some turmoil, struggled to raise himself again to answer the Duke, succeded at last in getting to his feet, but was unable to stay on them, pressed his hand to his heart, swayed alarmingly, sank back, and was prevented from falling to the floor only by the rescuing arms of neighbouring peers. 1