Moreover, a spiritual revival mitigated the crushing effects of material ruin.
But the inevitable opposition of the nobility to this policy was not mitigated by the fact that it was carried out by a churchman; the result was to embitter the antagonism of the secular party to the church and to concentrate it upon Wolsey's head.
The reasons are that with the tax at a low rate it has been found much less intolerable than during the Napoleonic War, when it was at the rate of 10 per cent., while the pressure of the tax has also been greatly mitigated by placing very high the minimum income subject to it, and giving abatements upon the lower taxable incomes.
Even had this circumstance been known at the time, it could scarcely have mitigated the intense resentment of the whole Italian nation at an event which was considered tantamount not only to the destruction of Italian aspirations to Tunisia, but to the ruin of the interests of the numerous Italian colony and to a constant menace against the security of the Sicilian and south Italian coasts.
But this was mitigated by a strong sense of humour (not always sarcastic, though sometimes savagely so), and by tenderness, best seen in his epistolary friendships with women; and it was quite overborne by an instinct and passion for great practical affairs.