an interview with Bute, whom they had so hated and
It was a proud moment for Bute, to find his aid solicited by his bitterest personal enemies.
He desired that the past might be buried in oblivion, and that all honest men might unite; but he refused to enter upon any conference on the subject of a new administration, however much the other two wished to do so.1
interposed his offices, and bore to the king the Duke
's ‘readiness to receive the royal commands, should his majesty be inclined to pursue the modification, instead of the total repeal of the Stamp Act.’2
But the king, who was resolved not to receive Grenville
again as his chief minister, disregarded the offer.
So the measures of the ministry proceeded.
Such were the auspices, when on Thursday, the thirteenth day of February, Benjamin Franklin
was summoned to the bar of the House of Commons.
The occasion found him full of hope and courage, having for his interrogators, Grenville
and Charles Townshend
, as well as the friends of the administration; and the House of Commons for intent listeners.3 Choiseul
, too, was sure to learn and to weigh all that Franklin
In answer to questions, Franklin
declared that America
could not pay the Stamp Tax
, for want of gold
, and from want of post-roads and means of sending stamps back into the country; that there were in North America
about three hundred thousand white men, from sixteen to sixty years of age; that the inhabitants of all the provinces together,