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[5] the occasion to escape from the care of America1 to
Chap. XXV.} 1766. May.
the Northern Department. There appeared a great and general backwardness2 to embark with Rockingham. Lord North3 had hardly accepted a lucrative post, before he changed his mind and excused himself. Lord Howe would not serve unless under Pitt.4 Lord Hardwicke also refused the place left vacant by Grafton; so did his brother, Charles Yorke; and so did Egmont; till at last it fell to the husband of Conway's step-daughter, the liberal, self-confident Duke of Richmond; who added grace and courtesy of manners to firm affections, but was swayed by a violent and undiscerning ambition, that far outran his ability.5 He, too, shunned6 the conduct of American affairs, and they were made over to a new Department of State, which Dartmouth was to accept,7 and which Charles Townshend avowed his hope of obtaining from a future Administration. Once, to delay his fall, Rockingham suggested a coalition8 with the Duke of Bedford. In saloons, female politicians, at their game of loo, divined the ruin of the Ministry, and were zealots for governing the colonies by the hand of power.9

In America half suppressed murmurs mingled with the general transport. Arbitrary taxation by Parliament10 began to be compared with restrictions on industry

1 De Guerchy, the French Ambassador at London, to Choiseul, 22 May, 1766.

2 Grafton's Autobiography.

3 Lord North to Rockingham, 24 May, 1766.

4 Lord Hardwicke's Memorial. Albemarle's Memoirs of Rockingham and his Contemporaries, i. 335.

5 Albemarle, i. 340.

6 Garth, member of the House of Commons, and Agent for South Carolina, to the Committee of South Carolina, 6 June, 1766.

7 De Guerchy to Choiseul, 22 May, 1766.

8 Duke of Richmond's Journal in Albemarle, i. 349.

9 Rigby to Bedford, in Bedford Cor., 4 June, 1766.

10 Philalethes in Holt's Gazette, No. 1218, 8 May, 1766.

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