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[89] giving him leave to treat with his own old associates,
Chap. XXX.} 1767. July.
though Grafton desired to effect through Gower a junction with the friends of Bedford.1

But Rockingham, who never opened his eyes to the light that was springing from the increased intelligence of the masses, and left out of view that all his glory as a statesman had come from his opposition to Grenville and Bedford, governed himself exclusively by the ancient principle of his party ‘to fight up against the King and against the people,’2 and set about forming a Ministry by cementing the shattered fragments of the old Whig aristocracy. He began with Bedford. ‘Bedford and Grenville are one,’ said Rigby, by authority; ‘and neither of them will ever depart from the ground taken, to assert and establish the entire sovereignty of Great Britain over her Colonies.’3 But Rockingham avoided all detail as to measures and as to men, and according to the old fashion, satisfied himself by declaring for a ‘wide and comprehensive’ system. After a week's negotiation,4 and with no plan but to support privilege against prerogative, he announced to Grafton5 his readiness to form a new Administration.

The King whom Rockingham had now to encounter, was greatly his superior in sagacity and consistency of conduct. Remaining implacable towards

1 Grafton to Northington, 18 July, 1767.

2 Marquis of Lansdowne to Arthur Lee, in Life of Arthur Lee, II. 357.

3 Phillimore's Life and Correspondence of Lord Lyttelton, II. 724.

4 Numerous Papers illustrating the negotiation are to be found in Bedford's Correspondence, III. Compare, also, Lyttelton's Life and Correspondence; the Grenville Papers, IV.; and Albemarle's Rockingham, II.

5 Grafton to Rockingham, 15 July, 1767; Rockingham to Grafton, 16 July, 1767.

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