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Chapter 20:

Parliament Learns that America has resisted– Rockingham's administration continued.


December, 1765—January, 166.

the Stamp Act, said George Grenville, when, ema-
chap XX.} 1765. Dec.
ciated, exhausted, and borne down by disappointment, he spoke in the House of Commons for the last time before sinking into the grave—‘the Stamp Act was not found impracticable. Had I continued in office, I would have forfeited a thousand lives, if the Act had been found impracticable.’1 ‘If the administration of this country had not been changed,’ Richard Rigby,2 the leader of the Bedford party, long persisted in asserting, ‘the stamp tax would have been collected in America with as much ease as the land-tax in Great Britain.’ The king had dismissed from power the only ministry bent resolutely on enforcing it; and, while America was united, his heart was divided between a morbid anxiety to execute the law, and his wish never again to employ Bedford and Grenville.

The opinion of England was as fluctuating as the mind of the king. The overbearing aristocracy desired

1 Cavendish Debates, i. 551.

2 Force: Am. Archives, i. 76.

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