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[278] a junior Lord of the Treasury, contrary, as he himself
Chap. XL.} 1769 May.
with the utmost solemnity declared, to his most earnest wish, and his intention at that very time,1 to give his deciding vote in the Cabinet against the repeal, which the Duke of Grafton, the head of his Board, had proposed and advocated.2

Now, indeed, the die was cast. Neither the Bedford party, nor the King meant to give up the right to tax; and they clung to the duty on tea, as an evidence of their lordly superiority. ‘We can grant nothing to the Americans,’ said Hillsborough, ‘except what they may ask with a halter round their necks.’3 ‘They are a race of convicts,’ said the famous moralist, the pensioned Samuel Johnson, ‘and ought to be thankful for any thing we allow them short of hanging.’4 A Circular letter was sent forthwith to all the Colonies, promising on the part of the Ministry to lay no more taxes on America for revenue, and to repeal those on paper, glass, and colors. Camden found fault with the paper as not couched in terms so conciliatory as those in the minute of the Cabinet. The complaint was pitiful, for the substance of the decision had been truly given. More honied words would have been useless hypocrisy. Camden should have blamed himself. When he acquiesced in the removal of Shelburne, he gave his assent to his own humiliation.

1 Lord North, Cavendish Debates, i. 485.

2 Besides the Autobiography of the Duke of Grafton, compare the speeches of the Duke of Grafton and of Weymouth in the House of Lords, 5 March, 1776; in Force VI. 312.

3 Du Chatelet to Choiseul, 12 May, 1769.

4 Boswell's Life of Johnson, 435.

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