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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 392



386 THE LABOURS OF HERCULES. [XV. about Henry VII. We will not stay to compare him with Charles VIII or Ferdinand the Catholic ; I do not know that we can care much for either, but we do care very little for Henry VII. Yet, again, here is the uniter of the Roses, the founder of the Tudor dictatorship which steered England through the age of the Reformation, which projected and secured the union with Scotland, which started England in the race of commercial enterprise ; here is the hero of romance, in whom the prophetic eye of the saintly Henry of Lancaster had seen the Joash of the British Zion ; the child of exile, hunted, like David, as a partridge on the mountains; the knight-errant coming to rescue the distressed lady, as Perseus to Andromeda ; the avenger of blood at Bosworth field ; the Hercules of the twelve labours; who overcame the Nemean lion in Edward IV; the Erymanthian boar in Richard III; the Arcadian stag in John of Lincoln ; the Cretan bull in James of Scotland; the mares of Diomedes in Martin Swart ; whose hydra had been the civil wars ; who had put down the Stymphalian birds by the agency of the Star Chamber ; had thwarted in Margaret of York the host of the Amazons; and found the three heads of Geryon in Maximilian, the archduke Philip, and the dowager of Burgundy; who had beaten Cacus in Perkin Warbeck, and Cerberus in three still more insignificant enemies, and by overcoming Max's opposition to the French alliance had lulled the dragon and made his way into the garden of the Hesperides. It is not every Hercules who answers so precisely to the archetype. And then think of him as the eligible parti of Europe ; the young pretender of fifty looking out for a wife ; thinking of the queen of Naples as very practicable, and at all events worth very minute inquiries as to 'teeth and staylaces ; or perhaps Margaret of Austria, who could make him


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