him, the motion was rejected, in a very full house, by
more than two to one.
The minority were astonished as well as overwhelmed with mortification.
Some of them ungenerously blamed Grenville
for his imprudence.
At the palace, the king, when informed of this great majority, was so affected, that those who saw him most frequently, had never found him more so, and believed he wished for nothing so much as to be able to change his administration.
His personal influence was therefore next invoked to arrest the repeal of the Stamp Act.
On Monday, the tenth of February, Lord Strange, Chancellor
of the Duchy of Lancaster
, went in to the king on the business of his office; when he came out, he declared to some of the king's servants that ‘his majesty had given him authority to say, that he was for a modification of the Stamp Act, but not for a repeal of it.’
Upon this the onset was renewed in the House of Commons.
Trecothick was, on the eleventh, under examination at the bar of the house.
‘Do you think,’ asked Lord Strange, ‘the Americans
will not rather submit to the Stamp Act than remain in the confusion they are in?’
But this question was voted improper.
‘Will the Americans
acquiesce, if this act is mitigated?’
‘No modification will reconcile them to it,’ answered Trecothick; ‘nor will any thing satisfy them less than its total repeal.’
‘What insolent rebels,’ cried the inflamed partisans of Grenville
; and they redoubled their zeal to create delay, in the expectation of receiving news from America
of the submission of one or more of the principal colonies to the Stamp Act.
But the Sons of Liberty, acting spontaneously, were steadily advancing