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times cruelty: having one day given orders, on pain of death, that no light should be seen in the camp after eight o'clock in the evening, he perceived on going his rounds a light in the tent of an officer, who, on seeing the king, fell upon his knees, and, producing a letter, entreated pardon, it being, as he said, to his wife, and, as the battle was to be fought on the morrow, perhaps the last he should ever write.-Frederic ordered him to add, as a postscript, what he should dictate, which
“ Ere you receive this letter, I shall be no more.”—The officer expiated his crime by death.
Severe as he was, a love of justice towards his subjects was predominant in his mind, and he endeavoured to give them every advantage consistent with a despotic government; with regard to his relations with foreign powers, he was by no means scrupulous as to the choice of the means which tended to its aggrandizement. Voltaire, who knew him well, has depicted his character in three words, which compare him to a piece of marble hard and polished.
MAGNANIMITY.GREATNESS OF MIND.
MAGNANIMITY is the delight of great minds ; it is the feeling which leads us to perform noble and great actions, though painful and difficult. Magnanimity expects no reward, and rests satisfied with the self-approbation which arises from being actuated by pure and disinterested motives. It is a secret instinct of the soul which prompts to great actions; it is a quick spontaneous feeling untainted with selfishness;—it is, the forgetting of ourselves to think of others' good.
The source of true greatness of mind consists in the command we assume over our passions and
desires. The man whose soul rises to such a dignified height knows no jealousy; he is ever ready to sacrifice himself for the good of his country and of mankind: far from concealing his faults he acknowledges them; he does not suffer himself to be cast down by the reverses of fortune; when raised to dignities and power, he feels no pride; when he has it in his power to avenge himself he forgives.
PORTRAIT OF THE TRUE CHRISTIAN.
The pious man is often disdained in society by men of the world; he is often taxed with narrowness of genius and meanness of soul. He is often dismissed to keep company with those whom the world calls, “good folks.”
But how unjust is mankind! How little does it become them to distribute glory! The character of a Christian is noble and great.
A Christian unites in himself, what is most elevated in the mind of a philosopher, or in the heart of a hero. He alone knows how to distinguish the true from the false. It is the Christian, who, having learnt by the accurate exercise of his reason, the imperfection of his knowledge, and having supplied the want of perfection in himself, by submitting to the decisions of an infallable being, steadily resists all the sophisms of error and falsehood. And as he possesses and surpasses whatever is most grand in the mind of a philosopher, so he possesses whatever is most noble in the heart of a hero. That grandeur of which the worldly hero imagines himself in possession, the Christian truly enjoys; the latter forms the heroical design of taking the perfections of God for his model, and then surmounts every obstacle that opposes his laudable career; he stems the immortal torrent, repulses the pernicious max
ims of the world, bears pain, and despises shame, and finally reaches the noblest end mankind can have in view.-ROBINSON.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT, While very young, seeing his father give up, as useless, a horse extremely fiery and restive, cried out, “What a* horse do* those people lose, who, through ignorance and timidity, cannot make use of him!" He immediately approached the spirited courser, and flattered and caressed him. After having mounted, and walked him for some time, he gave him the spur; then, turning him round, gently, he brought him to the king his father, and dismounted. “O, my son,” said the king, “ seek a kingdom worthy of thy great mind; Macedonia cannot contain thee!" The horse, tamed by the skill of Alexander, has shared the fame of his master, and is known in history by the name of Bucephalus.
TO THE ENGLISH YOUTH.
Ye amiable youths, from whose minds the artifices of the world have not yet obliterated the precepts of a virtuous education; who are not yet infected with its inglorious vanities; who, still ignorant of the blandishments of seduction, have preserved the desire to perform some glorious action, and retain the power to accomplish it;—let the voice of experience recommend you to cultivate those things which tend to incite and fortify your souls to noble deeds; to acquire that cool judgment and intrepid spirit, which may enable you to form correct estimates of the characters of mankind, and of the pleasure of society. Turn your
eyes from those trifling and insignificant examples
It is an
JULIUS CÆSAR was born of the illustrious family of the Julii, in the year 98 B. C. He was the bestshaped man of his time; dextrous at all manner of exercises, indefatigable, full of valour, and of an exalted courage; forming vast designs, magnificent in his expences, and liberal even to prodigality. Nature, which seemed to have framed him to command all the rest of mankind, had given him an air of greatness and a dignity of aspect inexpressible; but that air of greatness was allayed by the sweetness and gentleness of his manners. As
an orator he was little inferior to Cicero himself, the charms of his delivery, and the strength of his arguments, made his eloquence almost irresistible. Amidst all his civil and military labours, he found time to be the author of many works; and his book on the Gallic War, which has been preserved from the ravages of time, gives him a high rank as an historian.
His boundless ambition, however, has obscured the glory of his great actions. Born a simple citizen in a Commonwealth, he formed in private life the project of becoming the master and sovereign of his country, pursuing steadily his favourite maxim, “ that he would rather be the first man in a village, than the second in Rome.” Neither the greatness nor the dangers of such an undertaking, could deter him: he foresaw the difficulties he had to encounter; but the examples of Marius and Sylla shewed him that it was not impossible for him to raise himself to the supreme power. He began with conquering men's hearts, as the surest foundation of the empire to which he aspired: wise and discreet even in his most immoderate desires, he ever acted with surprising prudence; his conceptions, always just, carried him by degrees towards his plan of sovereignty.
Having enjoyed, successively, every civil and military honour that the Republic could bestow and subdued Pompey, the great rival of his glory, he procured himself to be chosen perpetual Dictator : but even then, not content with this unconstitutional power, he aimed at the imperial dignity. He saw that the Romans were arrived at that point of effeminacy and luxuriousness, when liberty is no longer considered as a blessing by a degenerate people, and he expected little resis