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myself, and licking myself whole of the wounds I have received in these hot services ;” adding, that as as he was free from his present business, his purpose was to recoil into that dispensation he was in before he wrote or published anything to the world-in which he says he very sparingly so much as read any books, but sought a more near union with a certain life and sense (the sixth sense), “which I infinitely prefer before the dryness of mere reason the wantonness of the trimmest imagination."
He had no turn for dry and laborious criticism: he studied things more than words: of his own skill in dead languages, though it was in reality very considerable, he spoke jestingly, in that depreciating ironical way that he always used of himself—that he was like the man that passed by a garrison with a horseshoe hanging at his belt, when a bullet being shot at him struck right upon it, upon which he remarked, "that a little armour was sufficient, if well placed;"_and he often said, in writing his books, that when he came to criticism and quotation, it was "like going over ploughed lands."
I subjoin a few extracts from an ode by the Ingenious and Learned ” Mr. Norris, which is prefixed to Ward's Life of More. The composition has great merit; it is in Cowley's manner, but is the precursor of the art of Gray. It
serves, I think, to emphasize both the opinion which his contemporaries deliberately held of him, as well as the points in his life and work which seem most worthy of our attention,
Truth's outer courts were trod before,
Strange restless curiosity !
And this is a well-conceived epigram
How calm thy life, how easy, how secure
The conclusion is:
Thy stage of learning ends ere that of life be done;
More was a tall, spare man, well-proportioned and graceful; his face was noted for its serene and lively air. He was of ruddy complexion, which grew pale in later life, though always clear and spirited; and “his eye,” says a friend who was often with him, was hazel," and as vivid as an eagle's. He had luxurious tastes in dress, and the air of a courtier : none of the clownishness of the retired scholar was in the least perceptible in his motions, words, or general bearing.
His portrait represents him in his later years as much such a man as we should have imagined: he wears his hair, which was light and long, over his shoulders, and a faint streak of moustache upon his upper lip; the face is grave but not displeasing; it has the broad arched forehead, strongly indented, that is characteristic of masculine intellect; very high and prominent cheekbones, big firm lips, and a massive chin; the cheek is healthy and not attenuated; the eyes clear and steady, the right eyelid being somewhat drooped, thus conveying a humorous look to the face; he wears the black gown, with girded cassock, and a great silk scarf—the amussis dignitatis-over his shoulders; the gown is tied at the neck by strings; and the broad white bands give a precise and quiet air to the whole.
Though temperate and abstemious in life and diet, he was not in the least what we should call an ascetic: he tried some experiments in diet in early life, such as vegetarianism, which he practised for a whole year, but found it did not suit him, and came back to meat; in fact, though he
usually dined in Hall, yet he absented himself on Friday, when fish was eaten, and dined in his own rooms, eating meat because he found it more wholesome; and he was not an abstainer-his regular drink was small beer, of which he uttered an enthusiastic panegyric, saying that it was a divine drink. He loved the open air; he said he would always be in it if possible; that he studied best in an arbour without his hat, so that the air might play on his temples. He was very sensitive to weather, and found that the autumn brought with it a melancholy which distressed him.
At the age of sixty-six he wrote his last book, and returned to the quiet contemplative life which suited him so well, and he says that he never had enjoyed so long a period of serene light and inward happiness; but clouds began to gather in his mind-in reality it was the failing body, but he attributed it to the mind, and was rather unhappy about himself. He was then attacked by a kind of low fever, and fainted one evening in the Combination Room after supper: however, as a healthy man is apt to do, he paid no attention to this, but he found himself growing weaker. Once pathetically, as he sat talking in his room, he spread out his hands in the sun; they were thin and delicate with growing weakness. “My body," he said, “is strangely run out.” He then began to suffer from sleeplessness; for weeks
together he could get no rest. “I thought I should have died laughing,” he said to Dr. Ward, "but I find myself like a fish out of its element, that lies tumbling in the dust of the street." Then, after a pause : “I am but the remains of an ordinary man." His mind began to fail him; he could no longer read or think. He said to Dr. Davies, an old friend, that some one had said to him that this, if known, might prejudice his writings; "but," he added, "I have read of a person, an excellent mathematician, who at last came to dote, but none will say that any of his former demonstrations were any the worse for that."
At last he got very weary of the weakness and the long strain. “Never any person," he said, " ever thirsted more after his meat and drink than I do for a release from the body. Yet," he added, “I deserved greater afflictions from the hand of God than those I have met with.”
He dwelt much on the next world. glad to think when I am gone,” he said, " that I shall still converse with this world in my writings. But it is a greater satisfaction to me that I am going to those with whom I shall be as well acquainted in a quarter of an hour as if I had known them many years."
The day before he died an old friend came to see him.
Henry More was very silent, but at
“ I am