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1 In a house of four hundred and fifty he es-
chap IX.} 1764 Feb.
caped, but only by a majority of fourteen. The king felt the vote of the opposition as a personal offence. ‘My nature,’ said he, firmly, ‘ever inclines me to be acquainted with who are my true, and who false friends; the latter I think worse than open enemies. I am not to be neglected unpunished.’2 In the account Grenville sent him of the division, marks of being dispirited were obvious, and the king instantly answered, ‘that if he would but hide his feelings, and speak with firmness, the first occasion that offered, he would find his numbers return.’ The minister followed his sovereign's advice, and the event exceeded the most sanguine expectations of both.3

The occasion was offered on presenting the budget.

There were still reasons enough to make Grenville reluctant to propose a stamp-tax for America. But the wish for it was repeated to him from all classes of men; and was so general, that had he not proposed it, he would not have satisfied the expectations of his colleagues, or the public, or parliament, or the king.

The Americans in London unanimously denied either the justice or the right of the British Parliament, in which America was not represented, to grant their property to the crown; and this questioning of the power of parliament irritated4 the minister. It was an impeachment of his declared belief and of his acts, and his conscience easily condemned opinions which thwarted his ambition. Besides; as a thorough

1 [179] Papers, II. 493.

2 King to Grenville, 18 February, 1764. Grenville Papers, II. 267.

3 In a letter from the king to Lord North, 22 February, 1780.

4 John Huske's Letter, printed in Boston Gazette of 4 Nov. 1764.

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