If in this confession he to some extent tampered with his conscience, there is every reason to believe that his culpable timidity was occasioned, not by personal fear, but by anxiety lest by his death he should hinder instead of promoting the cause of truth.
It may be but an idle whim, but it has always seemed to me, that the extraordinary vacillations of movement displayed by some whales when beset by three or four boats; the timidity and liability to queer frights, so common to such whales; I think that all this indirectly proceeds from the helpless perplexity of volition, in which their divided and diametrically opposite powers of vision must involve them.
It should be remembered that what with the known timidity of his colleagues, and what with the strength and violence of the Russian party in England, his achievement at Berlin was like the reclamation of butter from a dog's mouth; as Prince Bismarck understood in acknowledging Disraeli's gifts of statesmanship. It should also be remembered, when his Eastern policy in 1876-1878 is denounced as malign and a failure, that it was never carried out.
The glare of these seemed to the allies to betoken the familiar device of lighting fires previous to a retreat, and thus confirmed them in the impression which Napoleon's calculated timidity had given.
But this occasional timidity is characteristic of almost all herding creatures.
Beyond a doubt he was not without a certain moral timidity contrasting strangely with his eager temperament and alertness of intellect; but, though he was not cast in a heroic mould, he must have been one of the most amiable of men.
Robert the Pious, a crowned monk, resembled his father in eschewing great schemes, whether from timidity or prudence; yet from 996 to 1031 he preserved intact the authority Robert he had inherited from Hugh, despite many domestic dis- the Pious turbances.
Lana yielded without any sign of hesitation, returning his kisses with timidity born of both inexperience and hunger.
All she could see was that his former stern and determined expression had altered to one of timidity and submission.
But the essential narrowness and timidity of his general outlook prevented him from detecting and estimating latent forces, either in politics or in matters strictly intellectual and moral; and this lack of understanding and sympathy accounts for his distrust and dislike of the passion and fancy of Shelley and Keats, and for his praise of the half-hearted and elegant romanticism of Rogers and Campbell.