So many years have passed since the death of Rhodes that, now, one can judge him objectively. To me, knowing him so well as I did, it seem that as his figure recedes into the background of history, it acquires more greatness. He was a mystery to so many because few had been able to guess what it was that he really meant, or believed in, or hoped for. Not a religious man by any means, he yet possessed that religion of nature which pervades the soul of anyone who has ever lived for long face to face with grandeurs and solitudes where human passions have no entrance. It is the adoration of the Greatness Who created the beauty which no touch can defile, no tongue slander, and nobody destroy. Under the stars, to which he confided so much of the thoughts which he had kept for himself in his youth and early manhood, Rhodes became a different man. There in the silence of the night or the dawn of early morning, when he started for those long rides of which he was so fond, he became affectionate, kind, thoughtful and tender. There he thought, he dreamt, he planned, and the result of these wanderings of his mind into regions far beyond those where the people around him could stray was that he revealed himself as God had made him and such as man hardly ever saw him. Rhodes had always been a great reader; books, indeed, had a great influence over his mind, his actions and opinions. He used to read slowly, and what he had once assimilated he never forgot. Years after he would remember a passage treating of some historical fact, or of some social interest, and apply it to his own work. For instance, the idea of the Glen Grey Act was suggested to him by the famous book of Mackenzie Wallace dealing with Russia,[B] in which he described the conditions under which Russian peasants then held their land. When Rhodes met the author of the aforementioned volume at Sandringham, where both were staying with the then Prince and Princess of Wales, he told him at once, with evident pleasure at being able to do so, that it was his book which had suggested that particular bit of legislation.