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[24] men who were dismissed only for maintaining Privi-
Chap. XXVI.} 1766. July.
lege against Prerogative; and if they mitigated taxation in America by repealing the Stamp Act, they boasted of having improved the revenue raised there from trade,1 renewed the unconstitutional method of making parliamentary Requisitions on colonial Assemblies, and in the Declaratory Act introduced into the statute book the worst law that ever found a place there, tyrannical in principle, false in fact, and impossible in practice.

The incapacity of Pitt's new Administration was apparent from its first day, when he announced to his astonished and disheartened colleagues his purpose of placing himself as the Earl of Chatham in the House of Lords. During the past year such an elevation in rank had often been suggested as his due, and would have been no more than a moderate distinction for merit far inferior to his own. Besides, he was too much ‘shattered’ to lead the Commons; and if the King should grow weary of his counsels, he might wish secure dignity for his age.2 But in ceasing to be the Great Commoner, he veiled his superiority; and made a confession of the utter ruin of his health. ‘My friend,’ said Frederic of Prussia on hearing of it, ‘has harmed himself by accepting a Peerage.’3 ‘It argues,’ said the King of Poland, ‘a senselessness to glory to forfeit the name of Pitt for any title.’4 ‘The strength of the Administration,’ thought all his colleagues, ‘lay in his remaining with the Commons.’ ‘There was but one voice among us,’ said Grafton,

1 Edmund Burke's Short Account of a late Short Administration.

2 De Guerchy to Choiseul, 19 Dec. 1766.

3 Andrew Mitchell to Chatham, 17 Sept. 1766; Chat. Corr. III. 70.

4 Charles Lee to King of Poland, 1 Dec. 1766; Lee's Life, 187.

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