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[326] Lords, as the mature result of his long reflection, a
Chap. XLII.} 1770. Jan.
most cautious beginning of Parliamentary reform. The Reform of the English Parliament! How much must take place before that event can come about.

Shrinking from the storm, Grafton threw up his office. The King affected regret, but had foreseen and provided against the contingency, being at this moment equally tranquil and resolved.1 Conway hinted at trying Rockingham and his friends. ‘I know their disposition,’ said the King, ‘and I will not hear of them. As for Chatham, I will abdicate the crown sooner than consent to his requirements.’ Before the world knew of the impending change, he sent Weymouth and Gower, of the Bedford party, ‘to press Lord North in the most earnest manner to accept the office of First Lord Commissioner of the Treasury;’2 and he preceded their visit by a friendly autograph note of his own. Lord North did not hesitate; and the King exerted all his ability and his ten years experience to establish the Minister of his choice, teaching him how to flatter Conway,3 and “how to prevent desertion.”

On the last day of January, the new Prime Minister, amidst great excitement and the sanguine hopes of the opposition, appeared in the House of Commons. ‘The ship of state,’ said Barre, ‘tossed on a stormy sea, is scudding under a jury-mast, and hangs out signals for pilots from the other side.’ ‘The pilots ’

1 In the King's letter to Lord North of the 23 January, the King writes, ‘My mind is more and more strengthened in the rightness of the measure.’ That implies previous consideration of the measure.

2 King to Lord North, 23 Jan. 1770.

3 King to Lord North, 29 Jan 1770.

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