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3 God! thou art mighty!— At thy footstool bound,
Lie gazing to thee, Chance and Life and Death ;
Nor in the million worlds that blazc beneath,
Is one that can withstand thy wrath's hot breath.
Hear my last prayer! I ask no mortal wreath ;
Then take my spirit, All Omnipotent, to thee.
4 Now for the fight — now for the cannon peal
Forward — through blood and toil and cloud and fire !
The volley's roll, the rocket's blasting spire;
retire, On them hussars ! - Now give them rein and hcel ;
Think of the orphaned child, the murdered sire: Earth cries for blood, in thunder on them whcel ! This hour to Europe's fate shall set the triumph-scal!
CXV. - TRUE GREATNESS.
[From an article on the “ Life and Character of Napoleon Bonaparte," orig. inally published in the Christian Examiner,” iu 18:27.]
Such was Napoleon Bonaparte. But some will say he was still a great man. This we mean not to deny. But we would have it understood, that there are various kinds
or orders of greatness, and that the highest did not belong 5 to Bonaparte.
There are different orders of greatness. Among these, the first rank is unquestionably due to moral greatness, or magnanimity ; to that sublime energy by which the soul, smitten with the love of virtue, biuds itself indissolubly,
for life and for death, to truth and duty; espouses as its own the interests of human nature ; scorns all meanness, and defies all peril; hears in its own conscience a voice
louder than threatenings and thunders; withstands all the 5 powers of the universe which would sever it from the cause
of freedom and religion ; reposes an unfaltering trust in God in the darkest hour; and is ever “ready to be offered up” on the altar of its country or of mankind.
Of this moral greatness, which throws all other forms of 10 greatness into obscurity, we see not a trace in Napoleon.
Though clothed with the power of a God, the thought of consecrating himself to the introduction of a new and higher era, to the exaltation of the character and condi
tion of his race, seems never to have dawned on his mind. 15 The spirit of disinterestedness and self-sacrifice seems not to have waged a moment’s war with self-will and ambition.
His ruling passions, indeed, were singularly at variance with magnanimity. Moral greatness has too much sim
plicity, is too unostentatious, too self-subsistent, and enters 20 into others' interests with too much heartiness, to live an
hour for what Napoleon always lived, to make itself the theme and gaze and wonder of a dazzled world.
Next to moral comes intellectual greatness, or genius in the highest sense of that word ; and by this we mean that 25 sublime capacity of thought, through which the soul, smit
ten with the love of the true and the beautiful, essays to comprehend the universe, soars into the heavens, penetrates the earth, penetrates itself, questions the past, an
ticipates the future, traces out the general and all compre80 hending laws of nature, binds together by innumerable
affinities and relations all the objects of its knowledge, rises from the finite and transient to the infinite and the everlasting, frames to itself, from its own fulness, lovelier
and sublimer forms than it beholds, discerns the harmonies 35 between the world within and the world without us, and
finds in every region of the universe types and interpreters
of its own deep mysteries and glorious inspirations. This is the greatness which belongs to philosophers, and to the master-spirits in poetry and the fine arts.
Next comes the greatness of action ; and by this we mean 5 the sublime power of conceiving bold and extensive plans;
of constructing and bringing to bear on a mighty object, a complicated machinery of means, energies, and arrangements, and of accomplishing great outward effects.
To this head belongs the greatness of Bonaparte, and that 10 he possessed it, we need not prove, and none will be hardy
enough to deny. A man who raised himself from obscurity to a throne ; who changed the face of the world ; who made himself felt through powerful and civilized nations; who
sent the terror of his name across seas and oceans; whose 15 will was pronounced and feared as destiny; whose dona
tives were crowns; whose antechamber was thronged by submissive princes; who broke down the awful barrier of the Alps, and made them a highway; and whose fame was
spread beyond the boundaries of civilization to the steppes 20 of the Cossack, and the deserts of the Arab, - a man, who
has left this record of himself in history, has taken out of our hands the question, whether he shall be called great. All must concede to him a sublime power of action energy equal to great effects.
CXVI. - PRISONERS' EVENING SERVICE-A SCENE
OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
(The Reign of Terror was the period in French history from June 2, 1793, to July 27, 1794, during which Robespierre was at the head of the government, and a great many persons were put to death by the revolutionary tribunals.
A royalist father and his daughter have been condemned to death, and the following dialogue is supposed to take place between them, in prison, on tho evening before their execution.)
[Scene - A Prison in Paris, during the Reign of Terror.) D'AUBIGNE' an aged Royalist. — BLANCHE, his Daughter, a
BLANCHE. What was our doom, my father ?
I lay unconsciously through that dread hour.
Without relenting, on thy silvery hair ?
Yes, my poor
child ! They send us home.
BLANCHE. Oh! shall we gaze again
And the gray turret of our own château,
The loving laughter in their children's eyes,
– Father! thy glance is clouded, — on thy brow
D'AUBIGNE'. Upon my brow, dear girl, There sits, I trust, such deep and solemn peace 20 As may befit the Christian, who receives
And recognizes, in submissive awe,
Thou dost not mean
D'AUBIGNE'. Where is the spirit's home ?
Beyond the sword's reach, and the tempest's power?30 Where, but in Heaven.
* Pronounced Do-bēn'yā.
We must die!
Come to my heart, and wecp there ! - for awhile 5 Give Nature's passion way, then brightly rise
In the still courage of a woman's heart !
BLANCHE (falling on his bosom.) Oh! clasp me fast i
to go, Young, and so fair ! — Yet were it worse, methinks,
To leave thee where the gentle and the brave, 15 The loyal-hearted and the chivalrous,
And they that loved their God, have all been swept,
For them no hearth
No altar holy; therefore did they fall,
In noble blood; the temples are gone down,
Who hath not panted, as a dove, to flee, 25 To quit forever the dishonored soil,
The burdened air ? - Our God upon the cross,
And bravely die!
way T! An evil doom for thy dear honored head ! 0! thou, the kind, the gracious !
whom all eyes Blessed as they looked upon ! — Speak yet again, —
Say, will they part us? 35 D'AUBIGNE'. No, my Blanche; in death
We shall not be divided.