own sure instinct, he directed that the vacant place
should be offered to Lord North.
Receiving the summons, North hastened to London
, declined the office from fear of his inability to cope with Grenville
on questions of finance, returned to the country, and changed his mind just in season to accept1
before the appointment of another.
At that time Lord North was thirty-five years old, having seen the light in the same year with Washington
While the great Virginian
employed himself as a careful planter, or fulfilled his trust as a colonial legislator, or, in his hour of leisure, leaning against the primeval oaks on the lawn at Mount Vernon
, in full view of the thickly forested hill which now bears the Capitol
, mused on the destinies of his country and resolved to preserve its liberty, Lord North entered the cabinet, in which he was to remain for fifteen of the most eventful years in the history of Britain.
He was a Minister after the King
's own heart; not brilliant, but of varied and extensive knowledge; good-humored and able; opposed to republicanism, to reform, and to every popular measure.
He had voted for the Stamp Act, and against its repeal;2
and had been foremost in the pursuit of Wilkes
Though choleric, he was of an easy temperament; a friend to peace, yet not fearing war; of great personal courage, which however partook something of apathy; rarely violent; never enterprising; of such moderation in his ambition, his