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[146] a neutral person at the head of the Treasury, in-
chap. VIII.} 1763. Aug.
stead of Lord Temple.1 The message was an announcement to Pitt that his system was rejected; and the great commoner stood forewarned in the presence of his sovereign. The audience lasted nearly two hours. The king proposed Halifax for the Treasury: Pitt was willing he should have the Paymaster's place. ‘But I had designed that,’ said the king, ‘for poor George Grenville; he is your own relation, and you once loved him.’ To this the only answer was a low bow. The king as a lure named Temple to be at the head of the Treasury. ‘That,’ said Pitt, ‘is essential;’ but he still insisted on a thorough change of administration. ‘Well, Mr. Pitt,’ said the king, ‘I see this won't do. My honor is concerned, and I must support it.’2 A government formed out of the minority who had opposed the peace, seemed to the king an offence to his conscience and a wound to his honor.3 ‘The House of Commons,’ said Pitt, on taking leave, ‘will not force me upon your majesty, and I will never come into your service against your consent.’4

Events now shaped themselves. First of all, Bute, having disobliged all sides, went to the country with the avowed purpose of absolute retirement. His retreat was his own act;5 and not a condition to be made the basis of a new ministry. As his only protection against the Duke of Bedford, he desired

1 Grenville's Diary, in Grenville Papers, II. 202.

2 Hardwicke in Harris.

3 Grenville to Strange, 3 Sept. 1763, in Grenville Papers, II. 105. ‘The consideration of his honor, &c., and of his conscience, &c.’

4 King's account to Hertford in Walpole, i. 292.

5 Grenville's Diary, in Papers, II. 203. Compare too Grenville to Stuart Mackenzie, 16 Sept. 1763; and Grenville to Lord Strange, and to Lord Granby, 3 Sept. 1763.

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