In the midst of intense political preoccupations, Burke always found time to keep up his intimacy with the brilliant group of his earlier friends.
Under stress of these preoccupations, however, organic unity of structure went very much to the wall, and Telemaque is a grievous offender against its author's own canons of literary taste.
It lay not in the German genius to escape from the preoccupations and the limitations of the middle ages, for this reason mainly that what we call medieval was to a very large extent Teutonic. But on the Spanish peninsula, in the masterpieces of Velazquez, Cervantes, Camoens, Calderon, we emerge into an atmosphere of art, definitely national, distinctly modern, where solid natural forms stand before us realistically modelled, with light and shadow on their rounded outlines, and where the airiest creatures of the fancy take shape and weave a dance of rhythmic, light, incomparable intricacy.
To escape from these preoccupations and prejudices except upon the path of conscious and deliberate sin was impossible for all but minds of rarest quality and courage; and these were too often reduced to the recantation of their supposed errors no less by some secret clinging sense of guilt than by the church's iron hand.
In its various forms, this policy gave rise to the chief internal preoccupations of the Government during the years 1909-12.