previous next
[102] or an impartial and most respectable speaker of the
CHAP. VI.} 1763. April.
House of Commons; but at the head of an administration, he could be no more than the patient and mepthodical executor of plans ‘devolved’1 upon him by the statute-book of England or by his predecessors in office. The stubbornness with which he was wont to adhere to them sprung from the weakness of pride and obstinacy, that were parts of his nature, not from the vigor of a commanding will,2 which never belonged to him.

With the bequest of Bute's office, the new minister inherited also the services of his efficient private secretary, Charles Jenkinson, who now became the principal Secretary of the Treasury. He was a man of rare ability. An Oxford scholar without fortune, and at first destined for the Church, he entered life on the side of the whigs; but using an immediate opportunity of becoming known to George the Third while Prince of Wales, he devoted himself to his service. He remained always a friend and a uniform favorite of the king. Engaged in the most important scenes of political action, and rising to the highest stations, he moved with so soft a step, that he seemed to pass on as noiselessly as a shadow; and history was hardly aware of his presence. He had the singular talent of being employed in the most delicate and disagreeable personal negotiations, and fulfilling such trusts so calmly as to retain the friendship of those whom he seemed commissioned to wound. Except at first, when still very poor, he never showed a wish for office, till the time arrived when it seemed to seek him; and

1 Edmund Burke on American Taxation.

2 The elder Pitt had a very strong will, and was by no means obstinate: Grenville had a feeble will, and was very obstinate.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Cambria (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Charles Jenkinson (1)
George Grenville (1)
Edmund Burke (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1763 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: