Frequent gatherings of drift-ice passed, and at times ground together with a disagreeably strong sound. An intense chill pervaded the atmosphere, a cold unlike what Robert or Arthur had ever felt in the frosts of Ireland, it was so much more keen and penetrating.
Of late, in 1809, he found in letters from home more frequent complaints from his mother that their affairs were falling into greater and greater disorder, and that it was time for him to come back to gladden and comfort his old parents.
Of course there is no question here of the cultivated gentleman, who is familiar in Paris and London, and whose hospitality in his own land is an amiable reproach to our own too frequent thoughtlessness, but of the simpler class which confronts the traveller in street and train, in hotel and restaurant.
They appear to have learnt caution more slowly at these latter islands than at the Falklands, where they have had proportionate means of experience; for besides frequent visits from vessels, those islands have been at intervals colonized during the entire period.
But the class of things that may be called insignificant is continually receiving fresh additions: much that wears an air of importance at first, gradually becomes of no consequence at all from the fact of its frequent repetition; so that in the end we actually lose count of the number of times it happens. Hence we are better able to remember the events of our early than of our later years.
The publick meetings ever did frequent, And in her Closet constant hours she spent; Religious in all her words and wayes Preparing still for death till end of dayes; Of all her Children, Children lived to see, Then dying, left a blessed memory." There is a singular aptitude for marriage in these old Puritans. They "married early, and if opportunity presented, married often."
Intellectually again, he demanded an entire allegiance from his daughter; he could not bear to think that her zeal on his behalf was diminishing, that perhaps she was beginning to regard his work as futile and antiquated in comparison with that of the new generation. Yet this must needs be the result of frequent intercourse with such a man as Milvain.
It was characteristic of him that since the War he made frequent use of German idioms, and when conversation turned upon passing events he professed a complete contempt for English ideas, habits, and methods, and a great admiration for those of the Germans. "What's your job at the War Office?" asked Bobby.
But I could hit upon nothing. Then I tried the principle of the "most frequent letter", taking first Latin and then German as a basis. That didn't help, either; whether it ought to have done so, I am not clear. And then I came back to the window itself, and read over my notes, hoping almost against hope that the Abbot might himself have somewhere supplied the key I wanted.
Invasion, conquest, rebellion, revolution, have kept the rest of the world in a busy stir and caused frequent changes in nations and governments. But Japan and China lay aside from the broad current of invasion, removed from the general seat of war, and no internal convulsion or local invasion had been strong enough to change their political systems or modes of life.