British Foreign Secretary
March 25, 1807 to October 11, 1809
|Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, first page of Chapter 6.|
Suspicion of cleverness puts me in mind of the phrase 'too clever by half', which is an English expression which I take as a slight against anything most people cannot easily comprehend, which is why most good ideas are never implemented.
There are situations where a clever person comes up with a solution to a problem, but the solution either is so complex that it cannot be successfully implemented, or it fails because of some unforeseen side effect. Hence, the preference for simple, understandable solutions, even if they are crude, inefficient and expensive. Some people have other, incorrect ideas of the meaning of this phrase.
P.S. Previous post on this book.
P.P.S. Notice how Napoleon is spelled with two O's, not two A's which was my tendency. I'm not the only one to get it wrong.
P.S. #3 Wiki pertaining to this book.