Edward Everett, Orator and Statesman

By Paul Revere Frothingham | Go to book overview

IX
A DIPLOMAT IN LONDON

IT should not be inferred that Mr. Everett's lot in London was a wholly happy one, or that his path was uniformly smooth. He was subjected to the customary criticisms which are passed on Americans who live at foreign Courts, and sharp eyes from home were always on the lookout for ways of living that did not seem to accord well with democratic simplicity. If he went to pass two days in the country with his friend Sydney Smith, it was reported in the American newspapers that he had stayed a month, neglecting his official duties. Because he had his private carriage, instead of depending upon the street cabs, it was reported of him that he was living in undue style.

In connection with the first charge Sydney Smith wrote an interesting letter to the London 'Chronicle,' April 18, 1844, as follows:


THE AMERICAN PRESS AND THE REVEREND SYDNEY SMITH

To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle.

SIR -- The Locofoco papers in America are, I observe, full of abuse of Mr. Everett, their Minister, for spending a month with me at Christmas in Somersetshire. The month was neither lunar nor calendar, but consisted of forty-eight hours -- a few minutes more or less.

I never heard a wiser or more judicious defence than he made to me, and others, of the American insolvency; not denying the injustice of it, speaking of it, on the contrary, with the deepest feeling, but urging with great argumentative eloquence every topic that could be pleaded in extenuation. He made upon us the same impression he appears to make universally in this country: we thought him (a character which the English always receive with affectionate regard) an amiable American, republican without rudeness, and accomplished without ostentation. 'If I had known that gentleman five years ago' (said one of my guests), 'I should have been deep in the American funds: and, as it is, I think at times that I see nineteen or twenty shillings in the pound in his face.' However this

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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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