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[63] the stretch, devising schemes to realize his ambitious
Chap. XXIX.} 1767. March
views; and he turned to pay the greatest court wherever political appearances were most inviting.1

In the Cabinet meeting held on the twelfth of March at the house of Grafton, Townshend assumed to dictate to the Ministry its colonial policy. Till that should be settled, he neither could nor would move the particular sum necessary for the Extraordinaries in America. ‘If,’ said he, ‘I cannot fulfil my promise to the House, I shall be obliged to make it appear that it is not my fault, and is against my opinion.’2

A letter from Shelburne explained to Chatham the necessity that Townshend should no longer remain in the Cabinet. But Chatham was too ill to thrust his adversary out, or give advice to his colleague. Nor could Shelburne by himself alone abandon the ministry; for such a resignation would have seemed to his superior a desertion or a reproach. He continued, therefore, to protect American liberty as well as he could, but had no support, and was powerless to control events; for Grafton and even Camden yielded to Townshend's impetuosity, and were very ready to sacrifice Shelburne to the royal resentment.

The disappearance of Chatham reanimated the dissatisfied factions of the aristocracy; yet, in case of success, they had no agreement respecting ulterior measures or the distribution of influence. They had only a common desire according to the traditions of the old Whig party, to make the King so far subordinate to his ministers, that it should be ‘impossible ’

1 Grafton's Autobiography.

2 Shelburne to Chatham, 13 March, 1767; Chat. Corr. III. 233.

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