He had early become connected with the brilliant band of authors and politicians who then led the Whig party, a connexion to which he owed his appointment to the well-paid and easy post of commissioner of stamps; but in practical politics, for which he was by nature unsuited, he took no active share.
In 1844 he was appointed vice-chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, a well-paid post which enabled him to enjoy his popularity in London society.
This difference is due in part to the greater scope and complexity of the American census, and in part to the fact that in the United States the field work is done by well-paid enumerators, while in England it is done in most cases by the heads of families, who are not paid.
In 181 2 he committed the serious mistake of accepting a well-paid ornamental mission to Lisbon, which he was about to visit for the health of his eldest son.
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