Harry Boyce addressed Queen Anne in glittering verse. She was not present. She had, however, no cause to regret that, for he was tramping the Great North Road at four miles by the hour - a pace far beyond the capacity of Her Majesty's legs; and his verses were Latin - a language not within the capacity of Her Majesty's mind. Her absence gave him no grief. In all his twenty-four years he could not remember being grieved by anyone's absence. His general content was never diminished at finding himself alone. He chose the Queen as the subject of his verses merely because he did not admire her. She appeared to him then, as to later generations, a woman ineffectual and without interest; a dull woman physically, mentally, and perhaps morally; just the woman upon whom it would be hardest to make an encomium of any splendour. So he was heartily ingenious over his alcaics, and relished them. From this you may divine much that you have to know about the soul of Harry Boyce. It was more given to mockery than enthusiasms, apter to criticisms than devotion, not very gentle nor very kind, and so quite satisfied with itself and by itself. To be sure, it was yet only twenty-four.
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