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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER
a white robe. As Froude advanced, the difficulties thickened. He became, I imagine, a more competent historian, and his elaborate researches into State papers enabled him really to throw much new light upon the period. He opened and worked to great effect a quarry of information which has yielded valuable materials to him and his successors. With all his skill, indeed, the intricate maze of diplomatic intrigues sometimes becomes tiresome, and distracts him from the main current of domestic history. The wise Poloniuses of the day were not as all-important and omniscient as they fancied. A grave Spaniard, plunged into the unfamiliar atmosphere of London, exposed to the solicitations of innumerable plotters, who told him whatever story was most likely to open his purse, could not be a good authority upon English sentiment. The rough sailor, Hawkins, saw this clearly enough when he bamboozled Philip out of £40,000 by pretending to be a traitor. Froude probably gives too much weight at times to his new sources. But another result is more important. If we are to take the history of the time as really governed by cabinets and diplomatists, the difficulty of finding any adequate hero becomes an impossibility. He had