That 'lumen siccum' which his great contemporary is so fond of referring to in his philosophy, that dry light which is so apt, he tells us, in most men's minds, to get 'drenched' a little sometimes, in 'the humours and affections, and distorted and refracted in their mediums, did not always, perhaps, in its practical determinations, escape from that accident even in the philosopher's own; but in this stormy, world-hero, there was a latent volcano of will and passion; there was, in his constitution, 'a complexion' which might even seem to the bystanders to threaten at times, by its 'o'ergrowth, the 'very pales and forts of reason'; but the intellect was, notwithstanding, in its due proportion in him; and it was the majestic intellect that triumphed in the end.

Privately, one studies his own ill-modeled visnomy to see if by any chance it bespeaks the emotions he inwardly feels. We know as Hamlet did the vicious mole of nature in us, the o'ergrowth of some complexion that mars the purity of our secret resolutions. Yet our friends have passed it over, have shown their willingness to take us as we are.

Not less weak than Montaigne's trust in human reason is that of Hamlet when he fears 'the pales and forts of reason' may be broken down by the o'ergrowth of some complexion. With such a mode of thought it is not to be wondered at that he should welcome the first occasion when the task of his life may be revealed to him by a heavenly messenger.