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2. His name at once calls up before us a slender and feeble frame, a lofty and ample forehead, a nose curved like the beak of an eagle, an eye rivalling that of an eagle in brightness and keenness, a thoughtful and somewhat sullen brow, a firm and somewhat peevish mouth, a cheek pale, thin, and deeply furrowed by sickness and by care. That pensive, severe, and solemn aspect could scarcely have belonged to a happy or a good-humoured man. But it indicates in a manner not to be mistaken capacity equal to the most arduous enterprises, and fortitude not to be shaken by reverses or dangers.
3. No disaster could for one moment deprive him of his firmness or of the entire possession of all his faculties. His defeats were repaired with such marvellous celerity that, before his enemies had sung the Te Deum, he was again ready for conflict; nor did his adverse fortune ever deprive him of the respect and confidence of his soldiers. That respect and confidence he owed in no small measure to his personal courage. Courage, in the degree which is necessary to carry a soldier without disgrace through a campaign, is possessed, or might, under proper training, be acquired, by the great majority of men. 4. But courage
like that of William is rare indeed. He was proved by every test; by war, by wounds, by painful and depressing maladies, by raging seas, by the imminent and constant risk of assassination, a risk which has shaken very strong nerves, a risk which severely tried even the adamantine fortitude of Cromwell. Yet none could ever discover what that thing was which the Prince of Orange
His advisers could with difficulty induce him to take any precaution against the pistols and daggers of conspirators.
5. Old sailors were amazed at the composure which he preserved amidst roaring breakers on a perilous coast. In battle his bravery made him conspicuous even among tens of thousands of brave warriors, drew forth the generous applause of hostile armies, and was scarcely ever questioned even by the injustice of hostile factions. During his first campaigns he exposed himself like a man who sought for death, was always foremost in the charge and last in the retreat, fought, sword in hand, in the thickest press, and, with a musket ball in his arm and the blood streaming over his cuirass, still stood his ground and waved his hat under the hottest fire.
6. His friends adjured him to take more care of a life invaluable to his country; and his most illustrious antagonist, the great Condé, remarked, after the bloody day of Seneff, that the Prince of Orange had in all things borne himself like an old general, except in exposing himself like a young soldier. William denied that he was guilty of temerity. It was, he said, from a sense of duty, and on a cool calculation of what the public interest required, that he was always at the post of danger. The troops which he commanded had been little used to war, and shrank from a close encounter with the veteran soldiery of France. It was necessary that their leader should show them how battles were to be won.
7. And in truth more than ne day which had seemed hopelessly lost was retrieved by the hardihood with which he rallied his broken battalions and cut down the cowards who set the example of flight. Sometimes, however, it seemed that he had a strange pleasure in venturing
It was remarked that his spirits were never so high and his manners never so gracious and easy as amidst the tumult and carnage of a battle.
8. Even in his pastimes he liked the excitement of danger. Cards, chess, and billiards gave him no pleasure. The chase was his favourite recreation; and he loved it
most when it was most hazardous. His leaps were sometimes such that his boldest companions did not like to follow him. He seems even to have thought the most hardy field sports of England effeminate, and to have pined in the Great Park of Windsor for the
which he had been used to drive to bay in the forests of Guelders, wolves, and wild boars, and huge stags with sixteen antlers.
9. The audacity of his spirit was the more remarkable because his physical organisation was unusually delicate. From a child he had been weak and sickly. In the prime of manhood his complaints had been aggravated by a severe attack of smallpox. He was asthmatic and consumptive. His slender frame was shaken by a constant hoarse cough. He could not sleep unless his head was propped by several pillows, and could scarcely draw his breath in any but the purest air. Cruel headaches frequently tortured him. Exertion soon fatigued him. The physicians constantly kept up the hopes of his enemies by fixing some date beyond which, if there were anything certain in medical science, it was impossible that his broken constitution could hold out. Yet, through a life which was one long disease, the force of his mind never failed, on any great occasion, to bear up his suffering and languid body.—Lord Macaulay.
Questions on the lesson :—How could it be said that William had never been young? By what means are his features well known to us? What is said of his general appearance? of his several features --his forehead--nose-eye-brow—mouth-cheek? How is his aspect described? What did it show and what not? How did he act in the midst of disaster? What of his defeats? What remarkable characteristics belonged to his courage? What is said of him at sea ? In battle? In his first campaigns? What was Condé's remark? How did William defend himself from the charge of rashness? In what kinds of pastimes did he delight? What made his bravery and audacity the more remarkable?
Condé, Prince of, one of the greatest military commanders in the reign of Louis XIV.
Seneff, in Flanders. Here Condé, in 1674, defeated William, then Prince of Orange.
Guelders or Guelderland, a province of the Netherlands, southeast of the Zuyder Zee.
NATURE UNSUBDUED.-PART I.
1. When man, at the word of his Maker, stood up to receive his birthright, God pronounced on him a benediction, and gave him this commission: “Replenish the earth: subdue it: and have dominion over every living thing.”
“ Subdue and have dominion." These are the first recorded words that fell on the human ear; and Heaven's blessing was in them.
2. But what is this subduing of the earth? How is Nature brought under subjection? Man's highest glory consists in obedience to the Eternal Will. Is he not then in this case actually taking the reins into his own hands! Far from it. He is but yielding submission. He is learning that will, and placing himself, as Lord Bacon has said, in direct subserviency to divine laws. When he sets his sails and drives over the waves before the blast, feeling the pride of power in that the gale has been broken into a willing steed, he still looks up reverently, and acknowledges that God in nature has been his teacher, and is his strength.
3. When he strikes the rock and out flows the brilliant metal, he admits that it is in obedience to a higher will than his own, and a reward of careful searching for truth, in complete subjection to that will.
When he yokes together a plate of copper and zinc, and urges them to action by a cup of acid,—and then despatches burdens of thought on errands of thousands of miles,-man may indeed claim that he has nature at his bidding, subdued, a willing messenger; and yet it is so, because man himself acts in perfect obedience to law. He may well feel exalted; but his exaltation proceeds from the fact that he has drawn from a higher source of strength than himself; and a mind not morally perverted will give the glory where it is due.
4. These are the rewards of a humble and teachable spirit, kneeling at the shrine of nature; and if there is indeed that forgetfulness of self, and that unalloyed love of truth, which alone can ensure the highest success in research, this shrine will be viewed as only the portal to a holier temple, where God reigns in his purity and love.
5. The command,"subdue and have dominion," is, then, a mark both of man's power, and of God's power. It requires man to study his Maker's works, that he may adapt himself to his laws, and use them to his advantage;
-to become wise, that he may be strong;—to elevate and ennoble mind, that matter may take its true place of subjection. It involves not merely a study of nature in the ordinary sense of those words, but also a study of man himself, and the utmost exaltation of the moral and mental qualities; for man is a part of nature; and moreover, to understand the teachings of Infinite Wisdom, the largest expansion of intellect and loftiest elevation of soul are requisite.
6. Solomon says, that, in his day, “there was nothing new under the sun. What is, is what has been, and what shall be. The sentiment was not prompted by any modern