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[140] to the king, who, disregarding the most earnest
chap. VIII.} 1763 Aug.
dissuasions of Grenville, desired ten days for reflection, on which Grenville went into the country to await the decision. But on Wednesday, the third, Halifax, with Egremont at his side, harangued the king for half an hour, pressing him, on the instant, to resolve either to support his administration or to form another from their adversaries. Halifax turned this in all the ways that eloquence could dictate or invent, yet without extorting any answer whatever; and when he said, that surely the king could not mean to take into his service the whole body of the opposition and yield to the invasion of those he had detested, the usual disclaiming of such a purpose was also suppressed.1 The angry Egremont spoke to the same effect, and the king still preserved absolute silence. ‘Behavior so insulting and uncivil,’ said Egremont to Grenville, ‘I never knew nor conceive could be held to two gentlemen.’ Yet the king had only remained silent on a subject on which he had reserved to himself ten days before coming to a decision; and it was his ministers, whose questions were insulting, uncivil, and impertinent. Instead of hastily resigning,2 Egremont was ready to concert with Grenville how to maintain themselves in office in spite of the king's wishes, by employing ‘absolute necessity and fear.’3 It is not strange that the discerning king wished to be rid of Egremont. To that end Shelburne, who was opposed to Egremont's schemes of colonial government, was commissioned to propose a coalition between

1 Egremont to Geo. Grenville, 3 August, 1763, in Grenville Papers, II. 85-87.

2 Geo. Grenville to Egremont, 4 August, 1763, in Grenville Papers, II. 83, 84.

3 Egremont to Grenville, 6 Aug. 1763, in Grenville Papers, II. 88.

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