Muzzle retired; and a pale, sharp-nosed, half-fed, shabbily- clad clerk, of middle age
, entered the room.
And how inexpressibly sad it was to hear him prattling on of the ideal life, of socialism, of Walt Whitman and what not,--all the dear old quackeries,--while I was already settling down comfortably to a conservative middle age.
Wine is the only youth granted to middle age," I continued,--"in vino juventus, one might say; and may you, my dear young friend, long remain so proudly independent of that great Elixir--though I confess that I have met no few young men under thirty who have been excellent critics of the wine-list.
The dashing young frigate captain, the man who in middle age
was nothing loth to give chase single-handed in his seventy-four to a whole fleet, the man of enterprise and consummate judgment, the old Admiral of the Fleet, the good and trusted servant of his country under two kings and a queen, had felt correctly Nelson's influence, and expressed himself with precision out of the fulness of his seaman's heart.
I know a woodchopper, of middle age, who takes a French paper, not for news as he says, for he is above that, but to "keep himself in practice," he being a Canadian by birth; and when I ask him what he considers the best thing he can do in this world, he says, beside this, to keep up and add to his English.
The crowds of men who merely spoke the Greek and Latin tongues in the Middle Ages were not entitled by the accident of birth to read the works of genius written in those languages; for these were not written in that Greek or Latin which they knew, but in the select language of literature.
These Greek capitals, black with age, and quite deeply graven in the stone, with I know not what signs peculiar to Gothic caligraphy imprinted upon their forms and upon their attitudes, as though with the purpose of revealing that it had been a hand of the Middle Ages which had inscribed them there, and especially the fatal and melancholy meaning contained in them, struck the author deeply.
For it is thus that people have been in the habit of proceeding with the marvellous churches of the Middle Ages for the last two hundred years.
In the Middle Ages
, a couple of young dukes, brothers, took opposite sides in one of the wars, the one fighting for the Emperor, the other against him.
In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.
From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns.
One of the most striking general facts in the later Middle Ages
is the uniformity of life in many of its aspects throughout all Western Europe.