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and just in the very nick of time to save me from their bloodthirsty weapons.
“ Now the volunteers that did assist the suffering Huguenots, and those that entered into the service of the States, though they were what you have called mercenary soldiers, and spoke so ill of because of their leaving their own country to share in the conflicts of another, were as honourable men as can be met with any where; and my friend that I have described to you at some length was a fair specimen of the class. For mine own part I think it no disparagement of a man, but rather shewing of his sense, let him be of what profession he may, if that there shall be abroad better opportunities for the studying of it than at home, he seeketh to advance his knowledge by attending of a foreign school."
Note: “ I deny it not,” replied Master Francis, “yet would I rather that all men should seek improving of themselves in such studies as give no provocation to anger, than be earnest in the acquiring of such skill as can only be used for the slaughtering of their fellow-creatures
Every truly philanthropic mind would say amen to your wish,” observed Sir Walter. whilst different governinents have different religions, the people of one will in some way be prejudiced against the inhabitants of the other, and if such prejudice lead not to a war between them, it
shall continue it with greater fierceness than can any other thing. There are a many hot-headed zealots who seem to think of their Creator as but another Mars, who delighteth only in sanguinary fields; and think the fittest service they can render him is the slaughtering of as many as they can of such as worship him not after the exact fashion as themselves. St. Bernard hath justly said, “ Frustra sperant qui sic de misericordia Dei sibi blandiuntur,'~they hope in vain who in this sort flatter themselves with God's mercy.”
“ But what became of Colonel Harquebus?” enquired the secretary, after there had been a pause of some few minutes, for he had listened with some interest to Sir Walter's account of him.
By the last intelligence, he was fighting with his customary valour against the Spaniards, who had come to assist the Leaguers in Bretagne," replied Sir Walter. “ Yet I marvel somewhat he hath not returned to England before this, for his mother hath been dead these ten years, and the lady she was so eager for him to wed, hath long since been married to another; so that there can be now no hindrance to his coming back; but possibly the stirring life he hath led abroad for the last twenty years he hath grown so accustomed to, that he could not put up with the quietness he should meet with at home.”
6 Methinks ’tis marvellous strange there should
"T te na bare ther
be such a fondness in one man to seek the lives of his fellows," observed Master Francis. “He must needs be but of a poor spirit who will not do battle with the enemies of his country when they are intent upon her disadvantage; but of the sort of satisfaction that is to be enjoyed by constant strife wherever it is to be met with, I know not, nor wish to know. I think in that be most worth the respecting is one that th ever his weapon ready, but is loath to draw ay save upon warrantable grounds; and employetii his leisure to gain such knowledge as may be most useful to mankind, whereof he shall essay to make it profitable by the writing of books and the like."
“ If all were to write books there should presently be no readers,” replied his patron, “nor can all have that inclination for study that will lead to the writing of books; nor can all books be of advantage to the reader when he hath such in his hand. However it doth oft happen that what is stupidly writ shall find admirers; or, as St. Jerome hath it, • Nullus est imperitus scriptor, qui lectorem non inveniat,'—there be no book so dull but it shall meet with a suitable dull reader. You should quarrel with no man for having his taste or disposition unlike your own; for if it were not for the infinite diversity of likings which are to be met with in the world, all mankind would be everlastingly set by the ears because of the insufficiency of what they
most affect to satisfy so great a number; whilst of what they mislike there should be nothing but a monstrous wastefulness ever a going on, because there is not one who careth for a taste of it."
“ Had I my will, there is none living I should so much desire to be like as yourself,” said Master Francis, "for it must be manifest unto all that you are as excellent in the most admirable scholarship as you are in every kind of thing necessary for the statesman and comman
gic 6 And why should you not be like me?” enquired his patron, kindly. “Do as I have done. No matter how many and how pressing be your occupations of the day, give but five hours to sleep, and six to study, and you shall find time, as I have, for the acquiring of a proficiency in such matters as some think me perfect in. I began life with no better advantage than yourself—scarce so muchfor when I went with the volunteers into France, and had little beside my sword to help me, I was then but about seventeen years of age. However, by doing of what I have said, and throwing away of no opportunity for honourable advancement, I have become what I am. And why should you not be like me?"
His secretary did hesitate in giving him an answer, and seemed a little disturbed; and when his patron repeated the question he grew more embarrassed in his countenance.
Supposing I possessed the wondrous talents you have shewn, which cannot be imagined a moment,” at last he observed, with a manner that looked as if he were ill at ease. “My birth must be an insurmountable bar to my rising above what your goodness hath made me.”
“ You will have that Holdfast, then, for your father!” exclaimed Sir Walter.
6 I have spoke to my uncle on the subject," replied Master Francis, and he hath assured me there can be no doubt of it.”
56 I had rather it had been otherwise for your sake,” said his patron, with all sincerity of heart; then, as if desirous of changing the subject, he pointed out to his secretary the little bark that had accompanied the Lion's Whelp, breasting the waves very gallantly at the distance of half a mile astern, with all her sails spread out.
Both watched her progress with exceeding interest, for truly it was a pleasant sight to look upon so small a shipmthe only one thing visible in the wide expanse of waters, save a few porpoises, nearer at hand, sportively tumbling about-dancing over the huge billows as lightly as a rose-leaf.
“She smacks along at a brave rate," observed Sir Walter, “ seemingly as if she were proud of the adventurous spirits she carries. Well, they be noble hearts, sure enough, yet are they of the same sort of stuff as have been many others since the days of