The non-importation agreement enforced.—the New Tory party installed in power.
August 1769,—January 1770.
‘the Lieutenant Governor
well understands my
, as he transferred the Government
was descended from one of the earliest settlers of Massachusetts
and loved the land of his birth.
A native of Boston
, he was its representative for ten years, during three of which he was Speaker
of the Assembly; for more than ten other years, he was a member of the Council, as well as Judge
of Probate; since June 1758,2
he had been Lieutenant Governor
, and since September 1760, Chief Justice
also; and twice he had been chosen Colonial Agent
No man was so experienced in the public affairs of the Colony; and no one was so familiar with its history, usages and laws.
In the Legislature he had assisted to raise the credit of Massachusetts
by substituting hard money for a paper currency.
As a Judge, though he decided political questions
with the subserviency of a courtier, yet in approving
wills, he was considerate towards the orphan and the window, and he heard private suits with unblemished integrity.
In adjusting points of difference with a neighboring jurisdiction, he was faithful to the Province by which he was employed.
His advancement to administrative power was fatal to England
and to himself.
The love of money, which was his ruling passion in youth, had grown with his years; and avarice in an old man is cowardly and mean; knows that its time is short, and clutches with eagerness at immediate gains.
A nervous timidity which was natural to him, had been increased by age as well as by his adverse experience during the riots on account of the Stamp Act; and in the conduct of public affairs made him as false to his employers as to his own honor.
While he cringed to the minister, he trembled before the people.
professed zeal for the interests and liberties of the Province.
With fawning treachery he claimed to be its friend; had at one time courted its favor by denying the right3
of Parliament to tax America either internally or externally; and had argued with conclusive ability against the expediency and the equity of that measure.4
He now redoubled his attempts to deceive; wrote favorable letters which he never5
sent, but read to those about him as evidence of his good will; and professed even to have braved hostility
for his attachment to colonial liberties.6
he wished not to be thought to have been very closely connected with his predecessor7
At the same moment, ‘I have lived in perfect harmony with Governor Bernard
,’ was the time-server's first message to the Colonial Office;8
‘I flatter myself, he will when he arrives in England
give a favorable opinion of me;’ and expressing his adhesion to the highest system of metropolitan authority, and retaining the services of Israel Mauduit
as his agent, he devoted his rare ability and his intimate acquaintance with the history and constitution of the Province to suggest for its thorough ‘subjection’9
a system of coercive measures, which England
gradually and reluctantly adopted.
Wherever the Colony had a friend, he would artfully set before him such hints as might incline him to harsh judgments.10
Even to Franklin
he vouched for the tales of Bernard
as ‘most just and candid.’11
He paid court to the enemies of American liberty by stimulating them to the full indulgence of their malignity.
He sought out great men, and those who stood at the door of great men, the underlings of present Ministers or prospective Ministers, of Grenville
, or Hillsborough
, or Jenkinson
, or the King
; urged them incessantly to bring on the crisis by the immediate intervention of Parliament;12
and advised the change of the
Charter of the Province,13
as well as those of Rhode
Island and Connecticut
; the dismemberment of Massachusetts14
the diminution of the liberties of New England
the establishment of a citadel16
within the town of Boston
; the stationing of a fleet in its harbor;17
the experiment of martial law;18
the transportation of ‘incendiaries’19
prohibition of the New England
with other measures, which he dared not trust to paper,21
and recommended only by insinuations and verbal messages.
At the same time he entreated the concealment of his solicitations.
‘Keep secret every thing I write,’22
said he to Whately
, his channel for communicating with Grenville
‘I have never yet seen any rational plan for a partial subjection;’ he writes to Jenkinson
's influential friend Mauduit
; ‘my sentiments upon these points should be concealed.’23
Though he kept back part of his thoughts, he begged Bernard
to burn his letters.
‘It will be happy if, in the next Session, Parliament make thorough work,’24
he would write to John Pownall
, the Secretary
of the Board of Trade; and then ‘caution’ him to ‘suffer no parts of his letters to transpire.’
‘I humbly entreat your Lordship, that my letters may not be made public,’ was his ever-renewed prayer to successive Secretaries of State
, so that he conducted the Government
like one engaged in a
conspiracy or an intrigue.
But some of his letters
could hardly fail to be discovered; and then it would be disclosed that he had laid snares for the life of patriots, and had urged the ‘thorough’ overthrow of English liberty in America
The agreement of non-importation originated in New-York
, where it was rigidly carried into effect.
No acrimony appeared; every one, without so much as a single dissentient, approved the combination as wise and legal; persons in the highest stations declared against the Revenue Acts
and the Governor
wished their repeal.26
His acquiescence in the associations for coercing that repeal, led the moderate men among the patriots of New-York
to plan a Union of the Colonies in an American Parliament, preserving the Governments of the several Colonies, and having the members of the general Parliament chosen by their respective Legislatures.27
They were preparing the greatest work of their generation, to be matured at a later day; their confidence of immediate success assisted to make them alike disinclined to independence, and firm in their expectation of bringing England
to reason by suspending their mutual trade.
The people of Boston
stimulated by the unanimity and scrupulous fidelity of New-York
, were impatient that a son of Bernard
, two sons of Hutchinson
, and about five others, would not accede to the
At a great and public Meeting of Mer-
in Faneuil Hall, Hancock
proposed to send for Hutchinson
's two sons, hinting what was true, that the Lieutenant Governor
was himself a partner30
with them in their late extraordinary importations of tea. As the best means of coercion, it was voted not to purchase any thing of the recusants; subscription papers to that effect were carried round from house to house, and every body complied.31
The Anniversary of the Fourteenth of August was commemorated with unusual solemnity.
Three or four hundred dined together in the open field at Dorchester
; and since the Ministry had threatened the leading patriots with death for treason, the last of their Forty-Five Toasts was: ‘Strong halters, firm blocks, and sharp axes, to such as deserve them.’32
The famous Liberty Song was sung, and all the company with one heart joined in the chorus.
At five in the afternoon, they returned in a procession a mile and a half long, entered the town before dark, marched round the State-House
, and quietly retired each to his own home.33
was sustained by South Carolina
, whose Assembly, imperfectly imitated by New Jersey
refused compliance with the Billeting Act
whose people enforced the agreement of not import-
ing, by publishing the names of the few enemies to America
, who kept aloof from the Association.36
studied with care the news from the Colonies, and was convinced of ‘their intrepidity’37
and ‘their animated and persevering zeal;’38
while the British Ministry
gave no steady attention to American affairs;39
and defeated the hope of conciliatory measures which all parties seemed to desire,40
by taking the advice of Bernard
The ferment in the Colonies went on increasing.
Copies having just then been received of the many letters from the public officers in Boston
which had been laid before Parliament, Otis
, who was become almost irresponsible from his nearness to frenzy,42
grew wild with rage at having been aspersed as a demagogue, and provoked43
an affray, in which he, being quite alone, was set upon by one of the Commissioners
of the Customs, aided by bystanders, and received ‘much hurt’44
from a very severe blow on the head.45
This affair multiplied quarrels between the people and the King
's officers, and mixed personal
bitterness with the struggle for suspending the
trade with England
Early in October a vessel, laden with goods shipped by English houses themselves, arrived at Boston
The military officers
had been speculating on what would be done, and Dalrymple
to protect the factors.
But his assistance was not demanded; Hutchinson
permitted the merchants to reduce the consignees to submission, and even to compel an English adventurer to re-embark his goods.47
One and another of the Boston
recusants yielded; even the two sons of Hutchinson
himself by their father's direction, gave up eighteen chests of tea and entered fully into the agreement.
Four still held out, and their names, with those of the two sons of Hutchinson
, whose sincerity was questioned, stand recorded as infamous on the journals of the town of Boston
On the fifteenth another ship arrived; again the troops looked on as bystanders, and witnessed the complete victory of the people.49
A letter from New-York
next invited Boston
to extend the agreement against importing indefinitely until every Act imposing duties should be repealed; and on the seventeenth, by the great influence of Molineux
, Samuel Adams
and William Cooper
, this new form was adopted.50
On the eighteenth of October, the town, summoned
together by lawful authority, made their
‘Appeal to the World.’
They refuted and covered with ridicule ‘the false and malicious aspersions’ of Bernard
, and the Revenue Officers
; and making the language and the intrepidity of Samuel Adams51
their own, they avowed their character and proclaimed their decision, with a boldness that would have seemed arrogance, had not events proved it to have been magnanimity.
‘A legal meeting of the Town of Boston
,’ such were their words,
is an Assembly where a noble freedom of speech is ever expected and maintained; where men think as they please and speak as they think.
Such an Assembly has ever been the dread, often the scourge of tyrants.
An Appeal to the World, or a Vindication of the Town of Boston, p. 18.
‘We should yet be glad that the ancient and happy union between Great Britain
and this country might be restored.
The taking off the duties on paper, glass and painters' colors, upon commercial principles only, will not give satisfaction.
Discontent runs through the continent upon much higher principles.
Our rights are invaded by the Revenue Acts
; therefore until they are all repealed,’ ‘and the troops recalled,’ ‘the cause of our just complaints cannot be removed.’
The declaration of the town of Boston52
was fearless and candid; Hutchinson
, through secret channels, sent word to Grenville
, to Jenkinson
that all would be set right if Parliament,53
within the first week of its session,54
would change the municipal government of Boston
incapacitate its patriots to hold any public office,56
and restore the vigor of authority by decisive action.
He would abolish the existing ‘vague, uncertain sort of government;’ he would have no ‘partial subjection.’57
But he prepared also for the inaction of Parliament; writing orders for a new and large supply of teas for his sons' shop; and instructing his correspondent how to send them to market, so as to elude the vigilance of the Boston
Meantime languor crept over all the servants of Government.
Two regiments remained to preserve order; ‘I consider myself to be without support,’59
said their Commander
; who could get no leave to employ his little army.
On Saturday the twenty-eighth, a great multitude of people laid hold of an informer,60
besmeared him with tar and feathers, and with the troops under arms as spectators, carted him through the town which was illuminated for the occasion.
Mein, a printer, whose caricatures of leading patriots had given offence, engaged in a quarrel, fired pistols, and fled for shelter to the main guard, whence he was obliged to escape in disguise,
only to abscond from the town.
the commotions, the only two importers who had continued to stand out, capitulated.61
To the military, its inactivity was humiliating.
Soldiers and officers spoke of the people angrily as rebels.
‘The men were rendered desperate’ by the firmness with which the local magistrates put them on trial for every transgression of the provincial laws.62
Arrests provoked resistance.
‘If they touch you, run them through the bodies,’ said a Captain in the twenty-ninth regiment to his soldiers, and was indicted for the speech.63
The magistrates continued their efforts to check the insolence of offenders by the civil authority, although soldiers were repeatedly rescued from peace officers, and contrived to evade legal punishments.64
In November, a true Bill was found by the Grand
Jury against Thomas Gage
, as well as many others, ‘for slandering the town of Boston
was so ‘continually engaged in disagreeable broils,’ that he and other officers longed to leave the town.
not having been proclaimed, ‘a military force,’ Hutchinson
owned, ‘was of no sort of use,’ and was ‘perfectly despised.’66
‘Troops,’ said Samuel Adams
, ‘which have heretofore been the terror of the enemies to liberty, parade the streets, to become the objects of the contempt even of women and children.’67
The menace that he and his friends should
be arrested and shipped to England
, was no more
heeded than idle words.
The Assembly of North Carolina, in November, unanimously68
adopted the protest of Virginia
against the proposal, and thus provoked a dissolution, which opened to the Regulators some hope of relief through new elections.
But a different turn was given to public thought, when Botetourt, the King
's own Friend, communicated to the Assembly of Virginia the ministerial promises of a partial repeal, and with the most solemn asseverations abdicated in the King
's name all further intentions of taxing America.
The Council, in its reply, advised the entire repeal of the existing taxes; the Burgesses expressed their gratitude for ‘information sanctified by the royal word;’ and considered the King
's influence to be pledged ‘towards perfecting the happiness of all his people.’69
Botetourt was so pleased with their Address, that he found his prospect brighten, and praising their loyalty, wished them freedom and happiness, ‘till time should be no more.’
The flowing and confident assurances of Botetourt encouraged the expectation that the unproductive tax on tea would also be given up. Such was his wish; and such the advice of Eden
, the new Lieutenant Governor
To the Legislature of New-York, Colden
, who, on account of the death of Moore
, now administered the Government
, announced unequivocally ‘the greatest probability that the late duties imposed by the authority of Parliament, so much to the dissatisfaction of the Colonies,
would be taken off in the ensuing session.’71
The confident promise confirmed the loyalty of
, though by way of caution they adopted and put upon their journals the resolves of Virginia
Dec. The cardinal policy of New-York
was the security and development of colonial liberty through an American Constitution, based upon a union of the Colonies in one general Congress.
This purpose, it was believed, might be accomplished, without dissolving the connection with Great Britain
. ‘They are jealous of the scheme in England
,’ said William Smith
; ‘yet they will find the spirit of Democracy so persevering, that they will be under the necessity of coming into it.’73
Under the pretext of framing common regulations of trade with the Indians, the Assembly of New-York at its present session, with the concurrence of its Lieutenant Governor
invited each Province to elect representatives to a body which should exercise legislative power for them all. It was a great step towards the American Union.
, when she heard of the proposal, made choice of Patrick Henry
and Richard Bland
, to appear as her Representatives.75
But the cherished scheme was defeated for the time by the British Ministry
, who saw in Union the certain forerunner of independence.
A general tendency to conciliation prevailed.
Since the merchants of Philadelphia
chose to confine their agreement for non-importation to the repeal of Townshend
the merchants of Boston
for the sake of Union gave up their more extensive covenant, and reverted to their first stipulations.77
The dispute about the Billeting Act
had ceased in New Jersey
; the Legislature of New-York, pleased with the permission to issue colonial bills of credit,78
disregarded the appeal from MacDougall
, “to the betrayed inhabitants of the city and Colony, and sanctioned a compromise by a majority of one.”
was commercially the most closely connected with England
A Colony of planters, it numbered about forty-five thousand whites; of negroes more than eighty thousand.
The annual exports from Charleston
reached in value about two and a quarter millions of dollars, of which three fourths went directly or indirectly to England
Unhappily its laws restraining the importation of negroes had expired on the first of January, and their renewal was prohibited.
In consequence, five thousand five hundred negroes, chiefly adults, for immediate service, were sent there within eleven months, and, were sold upon an average at near forty pounds sterling each, amounting in the aggregate to a million of dollars.
But however closely the ties of interest
, the people were high-
spirited; and notwithstanding the great inconvenience to their trade, they persevered in the strict observance of their association; looking with impatient anxiety for the desired repeal of the Act complained of.80
Thus all America
confined its issue with Great Britain
to the single question of the Act imposing a duty on tea. ‘Will not a repeal of all other duties satisfy the colonists?’81
asked one of the ministerial party of Franklin
And he frankly answered: ‘I think not; it is not the sum paid in the duty on tea, that is complained of as a burden, but the principle of the Act, expressed in the Preamble.’
The faithful advice was communicated to the Ministry; but what effect could it produce, where Hillsborough administered the Colonies with Bernard
for his Counsellor?
Men felt that a crisis82
was near which would affect every part of the British
saw no prospect of establishing such a government as he desired, until free speech in the mother country should be restrained; and Otis
, who was bowed to the ground with the sorrow of despair, had no hope for America
, but ‘from some grand revolution in England
The question was not a narrow colonial one respecting three pence a pound duty on tea; it involved the reality of representative Government, and its decision would show, whether the feudal monarchy of the
was to make way for authority resting
on centralized power, or for government resting on the consent of the public reason.
The colonists had friends in the friends of liberty in England
As the cause of the people was every where the same, South Carolina
in December remitted to London
ten thousand five hundred pounds currency, to the Society for supporting the Bill of Rights
, that the liberties of Great Britain
might alike be protected.84
Many of the patriots of Ireland85
saw that their hopes were bound up with those of the Colonies; and Bushe, the friend of Grattan
, in imitation of Molineux
, published ‘the case of Great Britain
,’ with a vehement invective against Grenville
‘Hate him,’ said he to Grattan
; ‘I hope you hate him.’
And it was Grenville
's speeches and Grenville
's doctrine, ‘that roused Grattan
to enter on his great career in Ireland
The laboring people of England
, also, in the manufacturing districts, especially in Birmingham
, longed to enjoy the abundance and freedom of America
, and the ships which refused to take English merchandise might have returned full freighted with skilful artisans.87
In the history of the English
people, this year marks the establishment of Public Meetings,88
under the lead of Yorkshire
The principle of representation, trampled upon by a venal Parliament, was to be renovated by the influence of voluntary assemblies.
The Press, too, came forward with unwonted
boldness, as the interpreter of public opinion and a legitimate power in the state.
‘Can you conceive,’ wrote the anonymous Junius89
to the King
, ‘that the people of this country will long submit to be governed by so flexible a House of Commons?
The oppressed people of Ireland
give you every day fresh marks of their resentment.
The Colonies left their native land for freedom and found it in a desert.
Looking forward to independence, they equally detest the pageantry of a King and the supercilious hypocrisy of a bishop.’
The meeting of Parliament in January, 1770,
would decide, whether the British Empire
was to escape dismemberment.
recommended to the more liberal aristocracy90
that junction with the people, which, after sixty years, achieved the Reform of the British Constitution; but in that day it was opposed by the passionate impulses of Burke
and the inherent reluctance of the high-born.
The debate on the ninth turned on the capacity and rights of the people, and involved the complaints of America
and of Ireland
, not less than the discontent of England
at the disfranchisement of Wilkes
‘It is vain and idle to found the authority of this House
upon the popular voice,’ said Charles Jenkinson
, pleading for the absolute independence of Parliament.
‘The discontents that are held up as spectres,’ said Thomas de Grey
, brother of the Attorney General
, ‘are the senseless clamors of the thoughtless,
and the ignorant, the lowest of the rabble.
petition was obtained by a few despicable mechanics, headed by base-born people.’
‘The privileges of the people of this country,’ interposed Serjeant Glynn
, ‘do not depend upon birth and fortune; they hold their rights as Englishmen, and cannot be divested of them but by the subversion of the Constitution
‘Were it not for petition-hunters and incendiaries,’ said Rigby
, ‘the farmers of Yorkshire
could not possibly take an interest in the Middlesex election of representatives in Parliament.
But supposing that a majority of the freeholders had signed these petitions without influence and solicitation; the majority, even of this class, is no better than an ignorant multitude.’
Up rose the representative of the Yorkshire weavers and freeholders, ‘the spotless’ Sir George Saville
. ‘The greatest evil,’ said he, ‘that can befall this nation, is the invasion of the people's rights by the authority of this House.
I do not say that the majority have sold the rights of their constituents; but I do say, I have said, and I shall always say, that they have betrayed them.
The people understand their own rights and know their own interests as well as we do; for a large paternal estate, a pension, and support in the treasury, are greater recommendations to a seat in this Assembly, than either the honesty of the heart or the clearness of the head.’
invited censure on such unprecedented expressions.
excused them as uttered in heat.
‘I am not conscious,’ resumed Saville
, ‘that I have spoken in heat; if I did, I have had time to pool, and I again say, as I said before, that
has betrayed the rights of its constitu-
‘In times of less licentiousness,’ rejoined Gilmour
, ‘members have been sent to the Tower for words of less offence.’
‘The mean consideration of my own safety,’ continued Saville
, ‘shall never be put in the balance against my duty to my constituents.
I will own no superior but the laws; nor bend the knee to any but to Him who made me.’
The accusation which Saville
brought against the House of Commons, was the gravest that could be presented; if false, was an outrage in comparison with which that of Wilkes
was a trifle.
But Lord North92
bore the reproach meekly and soothed the majority into quietude.
The debate proceeded, and presently Barre
‘The people of England
know, the people of Ireland
know, and the American
people feel, that the iron hand of ministerial despotism is lifted up against them; but it is not less formidable against the prince, than against the people.’—‘The trumpeters of sedition have produced the disaffection;’ replied Lord North, speaking at great length.
‘The drunken ragamuffins of a vociferous mob are exalted into equal importance with men of judgment, morals, and property.
I can never acquiesce in the absurd opinion that all men are equal.
The contest in America
which at first might easily have been ended, is now for no less than sovereignty on one side, and independence on the other.’
The Ministry who were crushed in the argument, carried the House
by a very large majority.
In the House of Lords, Chatham
, whose voice had
not been heard for three years, proposed to consider
the causes of the discontent which prevailed in so many parts of the British
‘I have not,’ said he, ‘altered my ideas with regard to the principles upon which America
should be governed.
I own I have a natural leaning towards that country; I cherish liberty wherever it is planted.
America was settled upon ideas of liberty, and the vine has taken deep root and spread throughout the land.
Long may it flourish.93
Call the combinations of the Americans
dangerous; yet not unwarrantable.
The discontent of two millions of people should be treated candidly; and its foundation removed.’
‘Let us save,’ he continued, ‘this Constitution, dangerously invaded at home; and let us extend its benefits to the remotest corners of the empire.
Let slavery exist nowhere among us; for whether it be in America
, or in Ireland
, or here at home, you will find it a disease which spreads by contact, and soon reaches from the extremity to the heart.’
Camden, whom Chatham
's presence awed more than office attracted, awoke to his old friendship for America, and by implication accused his colleagues of conspiring against the liberties of the country.
Lord Mansfield, in his reply to Chatham
, ‘which was a masterpiece of art and address,’94
declined giving an opinion on the legality of the proceedings
of the House of Commons in reference to the Middle
sex election, but contended, that whether they were right or wrong, the jurisdiction in the case belonged to them and from their decision there was no appeal.
‘I distrust,’ rejoined Chatham
, ‘the refinements of learning, which fall to the share of so small a number of men. Providence
has taken better care of our happiness, and given us in the simplicity of Common Sense a rule for our direction by which we shall never be misled.’
The words were revolutionary; Scotland
, in unconscious harmony with Kant
and the ablest minds in Germany
, was renovating philosophy by the aid of Common Sense and Reason; Chatham
transplanted the theory, so favorable to democracy, into the Halls of legislation.
‘Power without right,’ he continued, aiming his invective at the venal House of Commons, ‘is a thing hateful in itself and ever inclining to its fall.
Tyranny is detestable in every shape; but in none so formidable, as when it is assumed and exercised by a number of tyrants.’
Though the House of Lords opposed him by a vote of more than two to one, the actual Ministry was shattered; and Chatham
, feeble and emaciated as he was, sprang forward with the party of Rockingham
, to beat down the tottering system, and raise on its ruins a Government more friendly to liberty.
But the King
was the best politician among them all. Dismissing Camden, he sent an offer of the Chancellor
's place to Charles Yorke
, who was of the Rockingham
He had long coveted the high dignity beyond any thing on earth.
Now that it was within his reach, he vacillated, wished delay, put the temptation aside; and formally announced his refusal, hoping a recurrence of the opportunity at a later day.
‘If you will not comply,’ said the King
, ‘it must
make an eternal breach between us.’
gave way, was reproached by Hardwicke
his brother, and by Rockingham
; begged his brother's forgiveness, kissed him and parted friends; and then with a fatal sensibility to fame95
went home to die by his own hand.
His appalling fate scattered dismay among the Ministry, and encouraged the opposition to put forth its utmost energies.
On the twenty-second of January, Rockingham
, overcoming his nervous weakness, summoned resolution to make a long speech in the House of Lords.
He turned his eyes, however, only towards the past, condemning the policy of George the Third, and defending the old system of English government, which restrained the royal prerogative by privilege.
While the leader of the great Whig party cherished no hope of improvement from any change in the forms of the Constitution
, the aged and enfeebled Chatham
, once more the man of the people, rose to do service to succeeding generations.
‘Whoever,’ said he, ‘understands the theory of the English Constitution
and will compare it with the fact, must see at once how widely they differ.
We must reconcile them to each other, if we wish to save the liberties of this country.
The Constitution intended that there should be a permanent relation between the constituent and representative body of the people.
As the House of Commons is now formed, that relation is not preserved, it is destroyed;’ and he proceeded to open before the House
Lords, as the mature result of his long reflection, a
most cautious beginning of Parliamentary reform.
The Reform of the English Parliament!
How much must take place before that event can come about.
Shrinking from the storm, Grafton
threw up his office.
affected regret, but had foreseen and provided against the contingency, being at this moment equally tranquil and resolved.96 Conway
hinted at trying Rockingham
and his friends.
‘I know their disposition,’ said the King
, ‘and I will not hear of them.
As for Chatham
, I will abdicate the crown sooner than consent to his requirements.’
Before the world knew of the impending change, he sent Weymouth
, of the Bedford
party, ‘to press Lord North in the most earnest manner to accept the office of First Lord Commissioner of the Treasury;’97
and he preceded their visit by a friendly autograph note of his own. Lord North did not hesitate; and the King
exerted all his ability and his ten years experience to establish the Minister
of his choice, teaching him how to flatter Conway
and “how to prevent desertion.”
On the last day of January, the new Prime Minister, amidst great excitement and the sanguine hopes of the opposition, appeared in the House of Commons. ‘The ship of state,’ said Barre
, ‘tossed on a stormy sea, is scudding under a jury-mast, and hangs out signals for pilots from the other side.’
on board,’ answered North
, ‘are very capable of
conducting her into port.’
All agreed that he spoke admirably well; inspiring such confidence that he prevailed by a majority of forty. ‘A very handsome majority,’99
said the King
; ‘a very favorable auspice on your taking the lead in administration.
A little spirit will soon restore order in my service.’100
From that night, the new Tory Party held possession of the Cabinet
Its opponents were divided between those who looked back to privilege as their old harbor of refuge, and those who saw beyond the abasement of the aristocracy a desirable increase of popular power.