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[275] the most uncertain tenure of office; for they had no
chap. XII.} 1757.
strength in parliament; their favorite held his high position at the sufferance of the aristocracy. ‘I borrow,’ said Pitt, ‘the Duke of Newcastle's majority to carry on the public business.’1

The new ministry kissed hands early in July, 1757. ‘Sire,’ said the Secretary, ‘give me your confidence, and I will deserve it.’ ‘Deserve my confidence,’ replied the king, ‘and you shall have it;’2 and kept his word. All England applauded the Great Commoner's elevation. John Wilkes,3 then just elected member of parliament, promised ‘steady support to the measures’ of ‘the ablest minister, as well as the first character, of the age.’ Bearing a message from Leicester House, ‘Thank God,’ wrote Bute, ‘I see you in office. If even the wreck of this crown can be preserved to our amiable young prince, it is to your abilities he must owe it. You have a soul, that, instead of sinking under adversity, will rise and grow stronger against it.’

But Pitt knew himself called to the ministry neither by the king, nor by the parliament of the aristocracy, nor by Leicester House, but ‘by the voice of the people;’ and the affairs of the empire were now directed by a man who had demanded for his countrymen an uncorrupted representation, a prevailing influence in designating ministers, and ‘a supreme service’ from the king. Assuming power, he bent all factions to his authoritative will, and made ‘a venal age unanimous.’ The energy of his mind was the spring of his eloquence.

1 Harris's Life of Hardwicke, III. 450.

2 Almon's Anecdotes, i. 229.

3 Chatham Correspondence, i. 240.

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