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[139] ‘the ministerial Cerberus,’1 as they were called, al-
chap. VIII.} 1763. Aug.
though too fond of office to perceive their own weakness, had neither popularity, nor weight in parliament, nor the favor of the court. To strengthen his government, the king, conforming to the views sketched by Bute in the previous April,2 but against the positive and repeated advice3 of his three ministers, directed Egremont to invite Lord Hardwicke to enter the cabinet, as President of the Council.

‘It is impossible for me,’ said Hardwicke, at an interview on the first day of August,4 ‘to accept an employment, whilst all my friends are out of court.’5 ‘The king,’ said Egremont, ‘cannot bring himself to submit to take in a party in gross, or an opposition party.’ ‘A king of England,’ answered Hardwicke, ‘at the head of a popular government, especially as of late the popular scale has grown heavier, will sometimes find it necessary to bend and ply a little; not as being forced, but as submitting to the stronger reason, for the sake of himself and his government. King William, hero as he was, found himself obliged to this conduct; so had other princes before him, and so did his majesty's grandfather, King George the Second, who thanked me for advising him to it.’6

The wise answer of the illustrious jurist was reported

1 Wilkes to Temple, 26 July. Grenville Papers, II. 81.

2 Bute to Bedford, 2 April, 1763: ‘I once gone, it will be very hard for me to believe that the Duke of Newcastle will, with Lord Hardwicke, &c. continue a violent or peevish opposition,’ &c &c. Bedford Cor. III. 226.

3 Grenville's Diary, in Grenville Papers, II. 191.

4 The date of Newcastle's letter, in Albemarle's Memoirs of Rockingham, i. 169, is given as of June 30, 1763, a mistake, for the letter refers to the conversation held in August.

5 Hardwicke to his son, 5 August, 1763, in Harris, 370.

6 Grenville's Diary, in Papers, 191. Hardwicke, in Harris, Grenville III. 372. Walpole, in his Reign of George III., i. 285, mixing fiction with fact.

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