Page:Life of William Blake 2, Gilchrist.djvu/460

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356
IN MEMORIAM.

pale faces which brought the recommendation of sorrow. Let us bear with his simplicity. Perhaps when he 'made a feast,' he consulted a very old-fashioned Book as to the selection of his guests.

The writer willingly incurs the ridicule of those who believe goodness to be only a refined selfishness, when he looks back, as far as boyhood, to recall some single piece of slight or rudeness, some hard unkindness or cold neglect, some evil influence or moral flaw in his old friend's character, and cannot find it. Were there many such, sarcasm might break her shafts. Our great satirist said that, if his wide experience had shown him twelve men like Arbuthnot, he never would have written the 'Travels.'

A symmetrical soul is a thing very beautiful and very rare. Who does not find about him and within him grotesque mixtures, or unbalanced faculties, or inconsistent desires; the understanding and the will at feud, the very will in vacillation; opinions shifting with the mode, and smaller impertinences which he forgives, if they are not his own, for the amusement they afford him?

Let those who knew Francis Finch be thankful; they have seen a disciplined and a just man—'a city at unity with itself.