Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman

By Paul Revere Frothingham | Go to book overview

VIII AT THE COURT OF SAINT JAMES'

MOST travellers feel themselves none too eager for work after crossing the Channel; but the new Minister at eleven o'clock at night began his official duties. His predecessor, Mr. Stevenson, had sailed for home a month before. In the interval an immense amount of correspondence had accumulated. It was piled high on the ministerial desk. But Everett in characteristic fashion set to work on it at once! With the aid of a strong cup of tea which he found waiting, he opened and read every letter and despatch that night. 'When I went to bed,' he wrote, 'I threw myself on my knees, and prayed for strength to support the great burden.' At six o'clock the next morning he was in the office again, and by twelve o'clock everything was filed away, and in order.

It was no light responsibility that he had undertaken. Without having had any experience in the subordinate posts of a diplomatic career, and with no Chargé, or First Secretary, to acquaint him with the customs and traditions of the office, he was thrown entirely upon his own resources. Acting with discretion, however, he sent a note next day to Lord Aberdeen, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and asked for an interview when he might present his 'Letter of Credence.' Lord Aberdeen received him 'with great kindness'; but, owing to the state of the Queen's health, his audience with Her Majesty for presenting his credentials was delayed for a month.

November 20. At half-past two, I drove to the Foreign Office where the Earl of Aberdeen had appointed to meet me. He received me with great ease and courtesy and placed me at once at my own ease. He is, I should think, about fifty-three years of age, of middle stature, slightly -- very slightly -- lame with one leg. He expressed great satisfaction at McLeod's acquittal. . . . On my going away, he invited me to dine on Thursday.

-188-

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Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I - Background and Beginning 1
  • II - Pegasus in the Pulpit 19
  • III - Wander Years 36
  • IV - The Greek Professor 61
  • V - Apollo in Politics 93
  • VI - Governor of Massachusetts 127
  • VII - Port After Stormy Seas 157
  • VIII- At the Court of Saint James' 188
  • IX - A Diplomat in London 220
  • X - President of Harvard 265
  • XI - An Interlude 302
  • XII - Secretary of State and Senator 329
  • XIII - The Orator 373
  • XIV - With the God of Battles 414
  • Index 473
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