enemy; that, therefore, the colonies should be
invited by their deputies to state to parliament their wishes and expectations, and a truce be proclaimed, until the issue should be known.’
Of this communication Lord North took no note whatever until within six days of the opening of parliament, and then replied by enclosing a copy of the intended speech.
Hastening to court, Grafton
complained of the violent, injudicious, and impracticable schemes of the ministers, framed in a misconception of the resources of the colonies; and he added: ‘Deluded themselves, they are deluding your majesty.’
The king debated the business at large; but when he announced that a numerous body of German troops was to join the British
answered earnestly: ‘Your majesty will find too late that twice the number will only increase the disgrace, and never effect the purpose.’
On the twenty sixth of October, two days after the refusal of the empress of Russia
was known, the king met the parliament.
Of the many who were to weigh his words spoken on that occasion, the opinion of those not present was of the most importance.
Making no allusion whatever to the congress or to its petition, he charged the people in America
with being in a state of openly avowed revolt, levying a rebellious war for the purpose of establishing an independent empire; he professed to have received the most friendly offers of foreign assistance; and he announced that he had garrisoned Gibraltar
and Port Mahon
with his electoral troops, in order to employ the former garrisons in America