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John Keble s Parishes, Charlotte M. Yonge For this was his special characteristic, that in every period and pursuit of life, in the public business of his county, in the House of Commons, in the University, he not only enjoyed respect and affection, but he conciliated the confidence of all. It was the unconscious tribute to a whole life and character. For to a remarkable clearness and vigour of intellect, he added a fairness of mind, a persuasiveness and courtesy of manner, with an inflexible uprightness of purpose, which won to him friend and stranger alike. I have never known any one who was not bettered by his converse, but I think none outside his own county and society can fully appreciate the remarkable influence which his name and character—in the later years it might be truly said “clarum et venerabile nomen”—exercised on all with whom he was connected. If indeed he had a fault, it was that his standard of action was so high, his nature so absolutely above the littleness of ordinary life, that he attributed to inferior men far purer and more unselfish objects than those that really moved them. “Vixit enim tanquam in Platonis politeia, non tanquam in Romuli faece.” It is the common fault of biographers to over-colour the character of a favourite hero, but those who knew Sir William Heathcote will admit that there is no exaggeration in what I have said. He was the highest product of a class and school of thought which is fast disappearing, and which will perhaps find few representatives in the next generation.

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