Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/351

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THIRD MARQUESS OF SALISBURY 307

' pure and self-denying patriotism," and the lofty morality of Pitt were also the distinguishing characteristics of Lord Burghley. Hereditary tendency may, therefore, have had more to do with the development of his character than conscious discipleship. Moreover, the task which he successfully accomplished was not unlike that which had confronted his ancestor. For it was his to guide the nation safely through a period of extreme danger, at the same time enormously increasing her prestige and extending her posses- sions. And just as Burghley was compelled to throw cold water on the hot-heads, whose love of adventure, noble in itself, could not fail to bring about the war which it was his life-long labour to avoid ; so when the Jingoes clamoured for reckless action, Lord Salisbury remained cool and imperturbable, hearing, no doubt, amid the tumult, ancestral voices prophesying war. As he wrote of Castlereagh, " no tinge of that enthusiastic temper which leads men to overhunt a beaten enemy, to drive a good cause to excess, to swear allegiance to a formula, or to pursue an imprac- ticable ideal, ever threw its shadow upon his serene, impassive intelligence." Like Castlereagh, too and again like Lord Burghley " he had not the talents that captivate the imagination, or the warmth of sympathy that kindles love. Men felt to him as to the pilot who had weathered an appalling storm, the physician who had mastered a terrible malady. They recognised his ability, and were glad in a moment of danger

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