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But even the most perfect mastery of Greek would not284 have made Plotinus a successful writer. We are told that before taking up the pen he had thoroughly thought out his whole subject; but this is not the impression produced by a perusal of the Enneads. On the contrary, he seems to be thinking as he goes along, and to be continually beset by difficulties which he has not foreseen. The frequent and disorderly interruptions by which his lectures were at one time disturbed seem to have made their way into his solitary meditations, breaking or tangling the thread of systematic exposition at every turn. Irrelevant questions are constantly intruding themselves, to be met by equally irrelevant answers. The first mode of expressing an idea is frequently withdrawn, and another put in its place, which is, in most cases, the less intelligible of the two; while, as a general rule, when we want to know what a thing is, Plotinus informs us with indefatigable prolixity what it is not.Sandys watchfulness drew blank.
Wed better get that engine started, now. Dick left the grove.CHAPTER XXX DICK ENCOUNTERS THE GHOST
When Parliament met on the 20th of February, this conspiracy was laid before it and excited great indignation. The two Houses voted cordial addresses to his Majesty, and for a while there was an air of harmony. But the fires of discontent were smouldering beneath the surface, and, on a motion being made in April, in consequence of a royal message, to grant the king an extraordinary Supply in order to enable his Majesty to contract alliances with foreign powers, that he might be prepared to meet any attempts at invasion which the Swedes might, after all, be disposed to make, the heat broke forth. The Supply moved for was fixed at two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. It was expected that Walpole, having had his name suspiciously mentioned in Gyllenborg's correspondence, would take this opportunity to wipe off all doubt by his zeal and co-operation. On the contrary, he never appeared so lukewarm. Both he and his brother Horace, indeed, spoke in favour of the Supply, but coldly; and Townshend and all their common friends openly joined the Tories and Jacobites in voting against it; so that it was carried only by a majority of four. This could not pass; and the same evening Stanhope, by the king's order, wrote to Townshend, acknowledging his past services, but informing him that he was no longer Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.
France and England being already agreed, independently of the consent of the rest of the Allies, the conference began on a basis which was sure to lead to immediate confusion and contention. The Dutch plenipotentiaries were astonished to see the different tone displayed by the French ambassadors. They were no longer the humble personages that they had been at Gertruydenberg. The Abb Polignac, who was the chief speaker, assumed a high and confident manner. The French envoys, therefore, when the Dutch deputies demanded that the treaty should be carried out on the basis of the terms offered at Gertruydenberg, told them plainly that matters were now quite altered, and that the conditions offered at Gertruydenberg could not be entertained by France at all, but those to which the Queen of England had agreed in London; that unless the Dutch were willing to treat on these conditions, they would find their allies concluding peace without them, and that on the spot. The chief article to which the Allies objected was the concession of Spain to Philip; and they were the more resolute because it had become imminently necessary from changes that had now taken place in France. The Dauphin had died of the smallpox during the last year. The title had been conferred on his son, the Duke of Burgundy; but the Duke of Burgundy had just expired, too, in the sixth year of his age; and of the Dauphin's children there only now remained the Duke of Anjou, a sickly child of two years old. This child was the only remaining obstacle to Philip, the King of Spain, mounting the throne of France. The danger was so obvious of the union of France and Spain in a very few yearsto prevent which had been the object of the warthat the English Government was compelled to demand from Philip a distinct renunciation of all claims on the French Crown, and from France as distinct a one in the treaty that any such claim should be resisted. St. John entered into a correspondence with De Torcy, the French minister, on this point; and the answers of De Torcy must have shown the English Government how useless it was to attempt to bind Frenchmen on such matters. He replied that any renunciation on the part of Philip or any French prince would be utterly null and void according to the laws; that on the king's death the next heir male of the royal blood succeeded, independently of any disposition or restriction of the late king, or any will of the people, or of himself, even; that he was, by the laws of France, sovereign by right of succession, and must be so, in spite of any circumstances to the contrary; that neither himself, the throne, nor the people had anything to do with it, but to obey the constitution. Therefore, even if Philip did bind himself to renounce the Crown of France, should the present Dauphin die, he would be king, independently of any circumstances whatever. Another expedient, however, was proposed by the English ministry, who must have seen clearly enough the folly of their treating on such hollow ground. That was, if Philip did not like to renounce the Crown of France, he should at once quit the throne of Spain, and agree that the Duke of Savoy should take it and the Indies, surrendering his own territories to Philip, to which should be added Naples, Sicily, Montserrat, and Mantua, all of which, whenever Philip succeeded to the French Crown, should be annexed to France, with the exception of Sicily, which should be made over to Austria. Louis XIV. professed to be delighted with this arrangement, but Philip would not listen to it, showing plainly that he meant, notwithstanding any renunciation, to retain his claim to both France and Spain.
When Larry rejoined Jeff, he flung the life preserver into the space behind the control seat of the amphibian, leaving it there without comment as he helped Jeff to lift and drop the still unconscious man into his own forward place.
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