l branch; and such was his own ambition of being first in place, such his sincerity, such his fidelity to his political connections, that from this time till the day of his death he remained their acknowledged standard-bearer.
His deficiencies in knowledge and in rhetoric, the minister compensated by selecting as his secretary and intimate friend Edmund Burke, who had recently es-
chap. XV.} 1765. July. caped from the service of one of the opposite party, and from a pension bestowed by Halifax.
It was characteristic of that period for a man like Rockingham to hold for life a retainer like Edmund Burke; and never did a true-hearted, kindly and generous patron find a more faithful adherent.
He brought to his employer, and gave up to his party, all that he had—boundless stores of knowledge, especially respecting the colonies, wit, philosophy, imagination, gorgeous eloquence, unwearied industry, mastery of the English tongue, and, as some think, the most accomplished intellect whic