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[143] to share his unpopularity, that they made a parade of
chap. VIII.} 1763. Aug.
proscribing him, and wished not only to deprive him of influence, but to exile him from the court and from Westminster. He, therefore desired, and long ugcontinued to desire, to see Pitt in office, of whose personal magnanimity he was sure. The wish was inconsistent with the politics of the times; but the moment was one when parties in England, though soon to be consolidated, were as yet in a nebulous state, and very many of the time-serving public men, even Charles Townshend himself, were entirely at fault. The real option lay between a government by the more liberal aristocracy under popular influence as its guide, and an administration on new principles independent of both.

The king appeared on that occasion as the moderator between factions; and informed Grenville of his intention to call Pitt to the management of his affairs, yet with as few changes as possible.1

On Saturday the twenty-seventh, Grenville went to the king and found Pitt's servants waiting in the court. He passed two long hours of agony and bitterness in the antechamber, incensed and humiliated, on finding himself at the mercy of the brother-in-law whom he had betrayed.

The king, in his interview with Pitt, proceeded upon the plan of defeating faction by a coalition of parties; and offered the Great Commoner his old place of Secretary of State. ‘I cannot abandon the friends who have stood by me,’ said Pitt, and he declined to accept office without them. ‘Do you think it possible for me,’ answered the king, ‘to give up ’

1 Grenville's Diary for Friday 26 August, 1763.

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