But thus " idle " though he may have been as a " student," he already meditated authorship. In the first long vacation - during which he, doubtless with some sarcasm, says that " his taste for books began to revive " - he contemplated a treatise on the age of Sesostris, in which (and it was characteristic) his chief object was to investigate not so much the events as the probable epoch of the reign of that semi-mythical monarch, whom he was inclined to regard as having been contemporary with Solomon.
The second half of the 16th century was a period of ferment and anarchy, marked by the arrival of the Portuguese and the rise of some remarkable adventurers, one of whom, Hideyoshi, conquered Korea and apparently meditated the invasion of China.
The severe impartiality of the sacred historian has concealed no feature in this dark picture, - the brutal passion of Amnon, the shameless counsel of the wily Jonadab, the " black scowl " 1 that rested on the face of Absalom through two long years of meditated revenge, the panic of the court when the blow was struck and Amnon was assassinated in the midst of his brethren.
Then he meditated revolt.
He now meditated a further enterprise against Geneva; but his attempt to capture the city by treachery and with the help of Spain (the famous escalade) in 1602 failed completely.