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safely embedded and preserved. It has arrested ten thousand lightning flashes of genius, which, unless thus fixed and arrested, might have been as bright, but would have also been as quickly passing and perishing as the lightning. Words convey the mental treasures of one period to the generations that follow; and laden with this, their precious freight, they sail safely across gulfs of time in which empires have suffered shipwreck, and the languages of common life have sunk into oblivion.
TRENCH,“ Study of Words."
Perseverance is a prime quality in every pursuit. Youth is, too, the time of life to acquire this inestimable habit. Men fail much oftener from want of perseverance than from want of talent and good disposition: as the race was not to the hare but to the tortoise ; so the meed of success in study is not to him who is in haste, but to him who proceeds with a steady and even step. It is not to a want of taste, or of desire, or of disposition to learn that we have to ascribe the rareness of good scholars, so much as to the want of patient perseverance.
THE EARLY CHARACTER OF HENRY VIII.
If Henry VIII. had died previous to the first agitation of the divorce, his loss would have been deplored as one of the heaviest misfortunes which had ever befallen the country; and he would have left a name which would have taken its place in history by the side of that of the Black Prince, or of the conqueror of Agincourt. Left at the most trying age, with his character unformed, with the means at his disposal of gratifying every inclination, , and married by his ministers when a boy to an unattractive woman, far his senior, he had lived for thirty-six years almost without blame, and bore through England the reputation of an upright and virtuous king. Nature had been prodigal to him of her rarest gifts. In person he is said to have resembled his grandfather, Edward IV., who was the handsomest man in Europe. His form and bearing were princely; and amidst the easy freedom of his address, his manner remained majestic. No knight in England could match him in the tournament, except the Duke of Suffolk ; he drew with ease as strong a bow as was borne by any yeoman of the guard ; and these powers were sustained in unfailing vigour by a temperate habit and by constant exercise. Of his intellectual ability we are not left to judge from the suspicious panegyrics of his contemporaries. His State papers and letters may be placed by the side of those of Wolsey or of Cromwell, and they lose nothing in the comparison. Though they are broadly different, the perception is equally clear,
the expression equally powerful, and they breathe throughout an irresistible vigour of purpose. In addition to this, he had a fine musical taste, carefully cultivated; he spoke and wrote in four languages; and his knowledge of a multitude of other subjects, with which his versatile ability made him conversant, would have formed the reputation of any ordinary man. He was among the best physicians of his age; he was his own engineer, inventing improvements in artillery, and new constructions in ship-building; and this, not with the condescending incapacity of a royal amateur, but with thorough workmanlike understanding.....
In all directions of human activity, Henry displayed natural powers of the highest order, at the highest stretch of industrious culture. “attentive,” as it is called, “to his religious duties,” being present at the services in chapel two or three times a-day with unfailing regularity, and showing to outward appearance a real sense of religious obligation in the energy and purity of his life. In private, he was good-humoured and good-natured. His letters to his secretaries, though never undignified, are simple, easy, and unrestrained ; and the letters written by them to him are similarly plain and business-like, as if the writers knew that the person whom
, they were addressing disliked compliments, and chose to be treated as a man. Again, from their correspondence with one another, when they describe interviews with him, we gather the same pleasant impression. He seems to have been always kind, always considerate, inquiring into their private concerns with genuine interest, and winning, as a consequence, their warm and unaffected attachment. .
It is certain that if, as I said, he had died before the divorce was mooted, Henry VIII., like that Roman Emperor, said by Tacitus to have been consensu omnium dignus imperii nisi imperasset, would have been considered by posterity as formed by Providence for the conduct of the Reformation, and his loss would have been deplored as a perpetual calamity. We must allow him, therefore, the benefit of his past career, and be careful to remember it, when interpreting his later actions. Not many men would have borne themselves through the same trials with the same integrity; but the circumstances of those trials had not tested the true defects in his moral constitution. Like all princes of the Plantagenet blood, he was a person of a most intense and imperious will. His impulses, in general nobly directed, had never known contradiction; and late in life, when his character was formed, he was forced into collision with difficulties with which the experience of discipline had not fitted him to contend. Education had done much for him, but his nature required more correction than his position had permitted, whilst unbroken prosperity and early independence of control had been his most serious misfortune. He had capacity, if his training had been equal to it, to be one of the greatest of men. With all his faults about him, he was still perhaps the greatest of his contemporaries; and the man best able, of all living Englishmen, to govern England, had been set to do it by the conditions of his birth.
FROUDE,“ History of England."
A HOMELESS WANDERER.
Two days are passed. It is a summer evening : the coachman has set me down at a place called Whitcross; he could take me no farther for the sum I had given him, and I was not possessed of another shilling in the world. The coach is a mile off by this time; and I am alone. At this moment I discover that I forgot to take the parcel out of the pocket of the coach where I had placed it for safety —there it remains, there it must remain, and now I am absolutely destitute.
I struck straight into the heath: I held on to a hollow I saw deeply furrowing the brown moorside ; I waded knee-deep in its dark growth; I turned with its turnings, and finding a moss-blackened granite crag in a hidden angle, I sat down under it. High banks of moor were about me; the crag protected my head : the sky was over that.
Some time passed before I felt tranquil even here; I had a vague dread that wild cattle might be near, or that some sportsman or poacher might discover If a gust of wind swept the waste, I looked up,
, fearing it was the rush of a bull; if a plover whistled, I imagined it a man. Finding my apprehensions unfounded, however, and calmed by the deep silence that reigned as evening declined at nightfall, I took confidence. As yet I had not thought; I had only listened, watched, dreaded : now I regained the faculty of reflection.
What was I to do? where to go ? Oh! intolerable