At such moments of crisis it almost excelled human comprehension; the mind seems to have gathered to itself and summed up the balance of all human passions arranged for and against him, and to have calculated with unerring exactitude the consequences of each decision.
He now entered, unaided save by his own unerring tact and vivid apprehension, upon a course of study which, in two years, placed him on a level with the greatest of his contemporaries.
One is lost in astonishment at the nervous yet perfectly regulated force and the unerring fidelity of every trace of the chisel.
In 1877 he received the degree of docteur es lettres with two remarkable theses, a dissertation De Macario magnete, and an Etude sur le Liber pontificalis, in which he explained with unerring critical acumen the origin of that celebrated chronicle, determined the different editions and their interrelation, and stated precisely the value of his evidence.
He is said to have rejoiced privately over Swedish victories, and certainly it was unerring instinct which told him that the great European conflict was no longer religious but dynastic. Anti-Spanish to the core, he became the greatest papal militarist since Julius II.; but Tuscany, Modena and Venice checkmated him in his ambitious attempt to conquer the duchy of Parma.
In place of these straggling efforts of the unassisted human mind, a graduated system of helps was to be supplied, by the use of which the mind, when placed on the right road, would proceed with unerring and mechanical certainty to the invention of new arts and sciences.
But at times he uses language that almost compels one to attribute to him the popular view of conscience as passing its judgments with unerring certainty on individual acts.
Originally a fisherman and diver of Anthedon in Boeotia, having eaten of a certain magical herb sown by Cronus, he leapt into the sea, where he was changed into a god, and endowed with the gift of unerring prophecy.
He was without doubt one of the greatest statesmen of his age, concealing beneath a simple exterior and homely habits a profound political sagacity and an unerring common-sense, and possessing in a high degree those useful qualities of patience, moderation, and tenacity, which characterized nearly all the princes of the house of Jagiello.
She knows with unerring instinct what is right, and does it joyously.
Then with the unerring official memory that characterized him he repeated from the opening words of the manifesto: