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“It well beseemeth kings, all mortals it beseemeth well,
To possess their souls in patience, and await what can betide.” One of Hildebrand's biographers pictures that pontiff directing his prescient gaze to the distant conflicts and the coming glories in which the Normans, his potent liegemen, were to minister to his vast designs. “The auspicious hour was not yet come. His self command tranquilly abided the approach of it.”l Writing of Loyola in mid career, Sir James Stephen says, that impetuous as had been the temper of Ignatius in early life, he had now learnt to be patient of the tardy growth of great designs. An anonymous essayist on the subject of social patience calls attention to the fact, too frequently ignored, that the power of a positive institution, like the force of naked reason, depends very materially on the character of the persons to whom you present it, and on whom you expect it to operate. Rash the man is therefore called who thinks he has only to give people a good institution, and it is sure to take effect, experience soon proving how vain is the expectation. The most superficial observation of the ordinary history of human action, it is contended, might teach a wisdom beyond this. “Send the most judicious, intrepid, and zealous of missionaries among savages, send them in successive relays for half a century, or a couple of generations,” will not the whole community have been civilized, to say the least, by the end of that time ? On the contrary, “all experience in such matters has shown that an indefinite quantity of time is needed before any impression whatever, worth calling an impression, is made, under the most favourable circumstances, and where the influence of the civilizing force is least disturbed.”
Washington Irving bids those who are disposed to faint under difficulties, in the prosecution of any great and worthy undertaking, to remember that eighteen years elapsed after the time that Columbus conceived his enterprise before he was enabled to carry it into effect; that the greater part of that time was passed in almost hopeless solicitation, amidst poverty, neglect, and taunting ridicule; that the prime of his life had wasted away in the struggle ; and that when his perseverance was finally crowned with success, he was in his fifty-sixth year : altogether an example that should encourage the enterprising never to despair.
1 So again Dean Milman begins a paragraph on the conduct of Hilde. brand at the death of Nicholas II., with the remark, that he knew his time was not yet come; adding, that of all the great qualifications of this lofty churchman, nothing is more extraordinary than his suppression of his personal ambition, and the patience with which he was content to work in a subordinate station, to be the first in influence without being the first in worldly dignity.
Lamartine's portraiture of Louis Philippe is of a man the whole of whose policy was, to perform that skilfully which the exigency of the moment required, and to trust to the future for the rest. “His star never lighted him but a few steps in advance, and he neither wished nor asked of it more lustre, for his only ambition was to learn to wait. Time was his providence.” Sir Samuel Romilly pointedly remarks, from personal observation, of the orators and busybodies of the National Assembly in 1791, that, as might naturally be supposed, the most superficial men were the most in haste to speak. “Men who are conscious of their own superiority are not so impatient to discover it; they wait for some occasion worthy of them, and willingly forego a little reputation, which they are sure of reaping at some time or other in the greatest abundance." Such is the placid practical philosophy of Mr. Disraeli's Beckendorff, over whose head more than thirty years had passed ere the world felt his power, or was even conscious of his existence. “A deep student, not only of man in detail but of man in groups, not only of individuals but of nations, Beckendorff had hived up his ample knowledge of all subjects which could interest his fellow creatures ; and when the opportunity, which in this world occurs to all men, occurred to Beckendorff, he was prepared.” Il mondo è di chi ha pazienza, says the Italian proverb: the world is his who has patience. Remember the old rustic chair (and who sat in it) of Ser Federigo :
“ High perched upon the back of which there stood
The image of a falcon carved in wood,
And underneath the inscription, with a date,
* All things come round to him who will but wait.”” The desolate daughter and sister in Wordsworth's White Doe of Rylstone is sorely tempted to disregard the injunction laid upon her, to remain patiently at home and await the issues of mortal strife without. But she successfully resists the temptation, and with this result—the italics and the capitals being the poet's very own :
“Her duty is to stand and wait;
In resignation to abide
O’ER PAIN AND GRIEF A TRIUMPH PURE.”
“Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting.” Nameless is the expectant, but exemplary is the attitude of expectancy, in Chauncy Hare Townshend's little poem :
“I have prayed, and now I wait;
But come it will !
Then, heart, be still !”
DECEIVING AND DECEIVED.
2 Timothy iii. 13. “ VIL men and seducers," the apostle predicted, when
L limself ready to be offered, and the time of his departure at hand, should "wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." There is a satisfaction to the sense of what is called poetical justice, in this kind of retributive reciprocity. Meet it seems that the cheater be himself cheated, the deceiver deceived. The prophet proclaims woe to the treacherous dealer, who had not been treacherously dealt withal. The immunity
was not to be lasting; the betrayer's time would come, the hour of betrayal, and the man to betray. “When thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.” Πλανώντες και πλανώμενοι, deceiving and being deceived.
The sense of poetical justice, or of ethical retribution, is always more or less gratified at every instance in history of the beguiler being beguiled, the cheater cheated, the biter bit. As where Lord Grey, the English commander in Scotland, accomplished his purpose of taking the castle of Dalkeith, by imitating the cunning of the “crafty and able” master of that stronghold, George Douglas; who, “after his old fashion,” says Tytler, represented himself as favourably inclined to England. “To be thus overreached and entrapped in his own devices was peculiarly mortifying to this long practised intriguer," and seems, by the historian's account, to have sunk deeper into his spirit than the loss of either his wife or his castle. Or as where Babington, the conspirator, offered himself as a spy to Walsingham, hoping by this means to become acquainted with all the secret purposes of that astute minister, who was, however, too old a diplomatist to be thus taken in. Walsingham took Babington in, in more senses than one; accepted his services, and turned them to his own use. As with the policy expressed by Racine's Mithridate,
“Feignons ; et de son coeur, d'un vain espoir flatté,
Par un mensonge adroit tirons la vérité.” Or again, to apply the exultant terms of the same author's Roxane :
“... Ah! ma joie est extrême
Que le traître, une fois, se soit trahi lui-même.” If one's joy is not extreme, at any rate one's bile is not stirred, at finding the cheap john who, in “London Labour and the London Poor,” bought as stolen goods an apparent packet of Sheffield cutlery, with a knife tied to the outside paper, exasperated by the discovery of the actual cubic contents, a solitary brick. In another section of that book we have this remark from one of the street-sellers of rings and sovereigns
for wagers, concerning those who are foolish enough to buy : “It's some satisfaction to know they think they are a-taking you in, for they give you only a shilling or two for an article which, if really gold, would be worth eight or ten.” An æsthetic critic remarks on the peculiar influences exerted on architecture and architects by the fact that when what he calls "a spry Yankee ” wishes to build a house, he very generally thinks to overreach his architect and builder by pretending that he wants much less accommodation than he is resolved to have; thinking that, the contract once made and begun to be executed, he will be able to squeeze more work out for the same price. “It is gratifying to know that in such cases he usually meets his match, and has to pay smartly." But how lamentable, adds the critic, that the exercise of a noble art should ever be degraded into a conflict between a couple of rogues, each trying to outwit the other! Impartial lookers on incline to indulge the feeling which prompted Young's lines on “two state rooks " playing the game of faces on each other, in foolish hope to steal each other's trust, —
“ Both cheating, both exulting, both deceived ;
And, sometimes, both (let earth rejoice !) undone.” Schiller's Mortimer utters, or mutters, this valedictory, or maledictory, passage as he listens to the receding footfall of one female sovereign who has just engaged him, as she believes, to rid her of another :
“Go, false, deceitful queen! As thou deludest
The world, e'en so I cozen thee. 'T is right
Thus to betray thee ; 't is a worthy deed.” Mr. Motley's analysis of the duplicity of Alexander Farnese does justice to the stress laid by his highness on the immense advantage to be obtained by the deception practised upon an enemy whose own object was to deceive. It was perfectly understood indeed, between Philip II. and his confidential advisers, that they were always to deceive every one, upon every occasion. “Only let them be false, and it was impossible to be wholly wrong; but grave mistakes might occur from