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[101] but now that he was at that period of life when the
CHAP. VI.} 1761 April.
gentler passions are quiet, and ambition rules without restraint, he was so much like the bird that croaks whilst enjoying the fullest meal, that towards those even who had benefited him most, there remained in his heart something like a harsh willingness to utter reproach for their not having succeeded in doing more. And when he looked back upon the line of his predecessors in office; upon Bute, Newcastle, Devonshire, Waldegrave, and even Pelham, under whom he had been trained, it was easy for him to esteem himself superior to them all. Yet Grenville wanted the elements of true statesmanship and greatness: he had neither a creative mind to devise a system of policy, nor active powers to guide an administration. His nature inclined him not to originate measures, but to amend, and alter, and regulate. He had neither salient traits nor general comprehensiveness of mind; neither the warm imagination, which can arrange and vivify various masses of business, nor sagacity to penetrate the springs of public action and the consequences of measures. In a word, he was a dull, plodding pedant in politics; a painstaking, exact man of business, capable of counting1 the Manilla ransom if it had ever been paid. In his frequent, long, and tedious speeches, it has been said that a trope2 never passed his lips; but he abounded in repetitions and explanatory self-justification. He would have made a laborious and an upright judge,

1 Dr. Johnson's Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Falk land's Islands. First edition: ‘Let him (George Grenville) not be depreciated in his grave. He had powers not universally possessed. Could he have enforced payment of the Manilla ransom, he could have counted it.’ Boswell's Life of Johnson, chap. XXV.

2 Knox: Extra-official Papers.

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