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your style even in the freest conversation, and most familiar letters. After, at least, if not before you have said a thing, reflect if you could not have said it better.
Every man who has the use of his eyes and his right hand, can write whatever hand he pleases. Nothing is so ungentlemanlike as a school-boy's scrawl. I don't desire you to write a stiff, formal hand, like a schoolmaster, but a genteel, legible, and liberal character, and to be able to write quick.
SIR,—The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny, but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience. Whether youth can be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not, sir, assume the province of determining ; but surely age may become justly contemptible, if the opportunities which it brings have passed away without improvement, and vice appears to prevail when the passions have subsided. The wretch who, after having seen the consequences of a thousand errors, continues still to blunder, and whose age has only added obstinacy to stupidity, is surely the object either of abhorrence or contempt, and deserves not that his gray hairs should secure him from insult. Much more, sir, is he to be abhorred who, as he advanced in age, has receded from virtue, and become more wicked with less temptation ; who prostitutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his country. LORD CHATHAM.
CIVIL SERVICE OF INDIA, 1866. It was near three of the o'clock in the afternoon before the battle began, which at that time of the year was so late that some were of opinion “that the business should be deferred till the next day.” But against that there were many objections : "the king's numbers could not increase, the enemy's might ;" for they had not only their garrisons within distance, but all that county so devoted to them, that they had all provisions brought to them without the least trouble ; whereas, on the other side, the people were so disaffected to the king's party, that they carried away or hid their provisions, insomuch as there was neither meat for man nor horse ; and the very smiths hid themselves that they might not be compelled to shoe the horses, of which in those stony ways there was great need. This proceeded not from any radical malice or disaffection to the king's person, but by the reports and infusions which the other very diligent party had wrought into the people's belief; “ that the cavaliers were of a fierce, bloody, and licentious disposition, and that they committed all manner of cruelty upon the inhabitants of those places where they came, of which robbery was the least.”
The culprit was indeed not unworthy of that great presence. He had ruled an extensive and populous country, and made laws and treaties, had sent forth armies, had set up and pulled down princes. And in his high place he had so borne himself that all feared him, that most had loved him, and that hatred itself could deny him no title to glory, except virtue. He looked like a great man, and not like a bad man. A person small and emaciated, yet deriving dignity from a carriage which, while it indicated deference to the court, indicated also habitual self-possession and self-respect, a high and intellectual forehead, a brow pensive, but not gloomy, a mouth of inflexible decision, a face pale and worn, but serene, on which was written as under the picture in the council-chamber at Calcutta, Mens æqua in arduis. Such was the aspect with which the great proconsul presented himself to his judges.
CIVIL SERVICE OF INDIA, 1867. LEARNING, on its revival, was held in high estimation by the English princes and nobles ; and, as it was not yet too common, even the great deemed it an object of ambition to attain a character for literature. The four successive sovereigns, Henry, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, may, on one account or other, be admitted into the class of authors. Queen Catharine Parr translated a book. Lady Jane Grey, considering her age and her sex and her station, may be regarded as a prodigy of literature. Queen Elizabeth wrote and translated several books, and she was familiarly acquainted with the Greek as well as Latin tongue. It is pretended that she made an extemporary reply in Greek to the University of Cambridge, who had addressed her in that language. It is certain that she answered in Latin without premeditation, and in a very spirited manner, to the Popish ambassador, who had been wanting in respect to her. When she had finished, she turned about to her courtiers, and said, “ S’death, my lords,” (for she was much addicted to swearing,) “I have been obliged to scour up my old Latin, that hath long lain rusting." Elizabeth, even after she was queen, did not entirely drop the ambition of appearing as an author ; and, next to her desire or ambition for beauty, this seems to have been the chief object of her vanity.
It is an error to suppose that the English gentry were lodged in stately or even in well-sized houses. Generally speaking, their dwellings were as much inferior to those of their descendants in capacity as they were in convenience. The usual arrangement consisted of an entrance passage running through the house, with a hall on one side, a parlour beyond, and one or two chambers above ; and on the opposite side a kitchen, pantry, and other offices. Such was the ordinary manor-house of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as appears not only from the documents and engravings, but, as to the latter period, from the buildings them
selves, sometimes, though not very frequently, occupied by families of consideration.
But if the domestic buildings of the fifteenth century would not seem very spacious or convenient at present, far less would this luxurious generation be content with their internal accommodation. A gentleman's house containing three or four beds was extraordinarily well provided ; few, probably, had more than two. The walls were commonly bare, without wainscot or even plaster, except that some great houses were furnished with hangings, and that perhaps hardly so soon as the reign of Edward IV. It is unnecessary to add that neither libraries of books nor pictures could have found a place among furniture.
CIVIL SERVICE OF INDIA, April 1868. ABOUT thirty years before this time a Mohammedan soldier had begun to distinguish himself in the wars of Southern India. His education had been neglected ; his extraction was humble. His father had been a petty officer of revenue ; his grandfather a wandering dervise. But though thus meanly descended, though ignorant even of the alphabet, the adventurer had no sooner been placed at the head of a body of troops than he approved himself a man born for conquest and command. Among the crowd of chiefs who were struggling for a share of India, none could compare with him in the qualities of the captain and the statesman. He became a general; he became a sovereign. Out of the fragments of old principalities, which had gone to pieces in the general wreck, he formed for himself a great, compact, and vigorous empire. That empire he ruled with the ability, severity, and vigilance of Louis the Eleventh. .... He was an oppressor; but he had at least the merit of protecting his people against all oppression except his own. He was now in extreme old age ; but his intellect was as clear, and his spirit as high, as in the prime of manhood. Such was the great Hyder Ali, the founder of the Mohammedan kingdom of Mysore, and the most formidable enemy with whom the English conquerors of India have ever had to contend.
As Hannibal utterly eclipses Cathage, so, on the contrary, Fabius, Marcellus, Claudius, Nero, even Scipio himself, are as nothing when compared to the spirit, and wisdom, and power of Rome. The Senate, which voted its thanks to its political enemy, Varro, after his disastrous defeat, because he had not despaired of the commonwealth, and which declined either to solicit, or to reprove, or to threaten, or in any way to notice the twelve colonies which had refused their accustomed supplies of men for the army, is far more to be honoured than the conqueror of Zama. This we should the more carefully bear in mind, because our tendency is to admire individual greatness far more than national ; and as no single Roman will bear comparison with Hannibal, we are apt to murmur at the event of the contest, and to think that the victory was awarded to the least worthy of the combatants. On the contrary, never was the wisdom of God's providence more manifest than in the issue of the struggle beween Rome and Carthage. It was clearly for the good of mankind that Hannibal should be conquered ; his triumph would have stopped the progress of the world. For great men can only act permanently by forming great nations ; and no one man, even though it were Hannibal himself, can in one generation effect such a work. But where the nation has been merely enkindled for a while by a great man's spirit, the light passes away with him who communicates it; and the nation, when he is gone, is like a dead body, to which magic power had for a moment given an unnatural life; when the charm has ceased, the body is cold and stiff as before.