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Title: Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History
Author: Horne, Charles F. (Charles Francis), 1870-1942 [Editor]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all
other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has
been maintained.

Captions marked with [TN] have been added while producing this file.]

[Illustration: Justinian and his council.]


_A Series of Pen and Pencil Sketches of_



Copyright, 1894, BY SELMAR HESS

edited by Charles F. Horne

[Illustration: Publisher's arm.]

New-York: Selmar Hess Publisher

Copyright, 1894, by SELMAR HESS.


  SUBJECT                         AUTHOR                          PAGE

  ALFRED THE GREAT,           _Sir J. Bernard Burke, LL.D._,       101
  ST. AMBROSE,                _Rev. A. Lambing, LL.D._,             68
  ARCHIMEDES,                 _John Timbs, F.S.A._,                 59
  ARISTOTLE,                  _Fénelon_,                            54
    CANTERBURY,               _Rt. Rev. Henry Codman Potter_,       88
  ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO,     _James, Cardinal Gibbons_,            73
  FRANCIS BACON,              _Hon. Ignatius Donnelly_,            154
  WILLIAM BRADFORD,           _Elbridge S. Brooks_,                172
  AUGUSTUS CÆSAR,                                                   66
  JOHN CALVIN,                                                     140
  CHARLES I. OF ENGLAND,      _F. Hindes Groome_,                  177
  _Letter written on the eve of his
    execution by Charles I. to his son_,                           180
  CHARLES V. OF GERMANY,                                           133
  MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO,      _Rev. W. J. Brodribb_,                63
  NICHOLAS COPERNICUS,        _John Stoughton, D.D._,              122
  OLIVER CROMWELL,            _Lord Macaulay_,                     181
  DAVID, KING OF ISRAEL,      _Margaret E. Sangster_,               10
  DEMOSTHENES,                _E. Benjamin Andrews_,                47
  DIOGENES,                   _Fénelon_,                            54
    ENGLAND,                  _Samuel L. Knapp_,                   149
  FREDERICK, THE GREAT ELECTOR,                                    189
  GALILEO GALILEI,                                                 161
  JOHN HUSS,                  _Rev. Dr. Tweedy_,                   106
  ISABELLA OF CASTILE,        _Sarah H. Killikelly_,               114
  JUSTINIAN THE GREAT,                                              85
  JOHN KNOX,                  _P. Hume Brown_,                     144
  LOUIS XI. OF FRANCE,        _E. Spencer Biesly, M.A._,           111
  LOUIS XIV.,                 _Oliver Optic_,                      192
  MARTIN LUTHER,                                                   127
  _Letter of affection from Luther
    to his little son Hans_,                                       132
  LYCURGUS,                   _Rev. Joseph T. Duryea_,              22
  MAHOMET,                                                          95
  MOSES,                      _Henry George_,                        1
  ST. PATRICK,                _Rev. G. F. Maclear, B.D._,           80
  WILLIAM PENN,                                                    200
  PERICLES,                                                         34
  CARDINAL RICHELIEU,                                              166
  SOCRATES,                   _Fénelon_,                            38
  SOLOMON,                    _Rev. Charles F. Deems_,              16
  THEMISTOCLES,                                                     29




  ILLUSTRATION                           ARTIST               TO FACE PAGE

  JUSTINIAN AND HIS COUNCIL,             _Benjamin Constant_ _Frontispiece_
  MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES,                _Paul Delaroche_            2
  THE VICTORS OF SALAMIS,                _Fernand Cormon_           32
                                           Lecomte-du-Nouy_         48
  AUGUSTUS CÆSAR AND CLEOPATRA,          _August von Heckel_        66
  LOUIS XI. AND OLIVIER LE DAIN,         _Hermann Kaulbach_        112
    WORMS,                               _E. Delperte_             130
  CHARLES V. ON HIS WAY TO THE CONVENT,  _Hermann Schneider_       138
  MOLIERE AT BREAKFAST WITH LOUIS XIV.,  _Jean Lêon Gérôme_        198


  DAVID CALMING THE WRATH OF SAUL,       _J. J. Lefebvre_           12
  JUDGMENT OF SOLOMON,                   _Jos. Führich_             18
  DEATH OF SOCRATES,                     _Louis David_              42
  DIOGENES IN HIS TUB,                   _Jean Lêon Gérôme_         44
  DEATH OF ARCHIMEDES,                   _Gustave Courtois_         60
  AMBROSE REBUKES THEODOSIUS,            _Peter Paul Rubens_        72
    ST. MONICA,                          _Ary Scheffer_             74
  ST. PATRICK JOURNEYING TO TARA,                                   82
  CONVERSION OF ETHELBERT BY AUGUSTINE,  _H. Tresham_               92
  THE MUEZZIN,                           _Jean Lêon Gérôme_        100
    SCHOOL,                              _Benziger_                104
  EXECUTION OF HUSS,                     _C. G. Hellquist_         110
    OF GRANADA,                          _F. de Pradilla_          120
  COPERNICUS,                            _O. Brausewetter_         124
    COTTA,                               _G. Spangenberg_          128
  ELIZABETH AND MARY STUART,             _Hermann Kaulbach_        152
  GALILEO BEFORE THE INQUISITION,                                  164
  A CONCERT AT RICHELIEU'S PALACE,       _J. Leisten_              172
  A PURITAN CHRISTMAS,                   _Hyde_                    174
  PRINCESS ELIZABETH IN PRISON,          _J. Everett Millais_      180
    REFUSE THE CROWN                                               186
    ASSOCIATION OF THE DUTCH NOBILITY,   _F. Neuhaus_              190


  Lives of great men all remind us,
    We can make our lives sublime,
  And departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time.




(1571-1451 B.C.)

         [Footnote 1: Copyright. 1894. by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Moses. [TN]]

Three great religions place the leader of the Exodus upon the highest
plane they allot to man. To Christendom and to Islam, as well as to
Judaism, Moses is the mouthpiece of the Most High; the medium, clothed
with supernatural powers, through which the Divine Will has spoken. Yet
this very exaltation, by raising him above comparison, may prevent the
real grandeur of the man from being seen. It is amid his brethren that
Saul stands taller and fairer.

On the other hand, the latest school of Biblical criticism asserts that
the books and legislation attributed to Moses are really the product of
an age subsequent to that of the prophets. Yet to this Moses, looming
vague and dim, of whom they can tell us almost nothing, they, too,
attribute the beginning of that growth which flowered centuries after in
the humanities of Jewish law, and again, higher still and fairer,
gleamed forth in that star of spiritual light which rested over the
stable of Bethlehem, in Judea.

But whether wont to look on Moses in this way or in that, it may be
sometimes worth our while to take the point of view in which all shades
of belief may find common ground, and accepting the main features of
Hebrew record,[2] consider them in the light of history, and of human
nature as it shows itself to-day. Here is a case in which sacred history
may be treated as we would treat profane history without any shock to
religious feeling. The keenest criticism cannot resolve Moses into a
myth. The fact of the Exodus presupposes such a leader.

         [Footnote 2: Moses, the lawgiver of the Hebrew people, was,
         according to the Biblical account, an Israelite of the tribe of
         Levi, and the son of Amram and Jochebed. He was born in Egypt,
         in the year 1571 B.C., according to the common chronology. To
         evade the edict of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, that all the
         male children of the Hebrews should be killed, he was hid by
         his mother three months, and then exposed in an ark of rushes
         on the banks of the Nile. Here the child was found by Pharaoh's
         daughter, who adopted him for her son, entrusting him to his
         own mother to nurse, by which circumstance he was preserved
         from being entirely separated from his own people. He was
         probably educated at the Egyptian court, where he became
         "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians." At the age of
         forty years Moses conceived the idea of freeing his Hebrew
         brethren from their bondage in Egypt, and on one occasion,
         seeing an Egyptian maltreating an Israelite, he interfered,
         slew the Egyptian, and buried him in the sand. The next day,
         upon his attempting to reconcile two Hebrews who had
         quarrelled, his services were scornfully rejected, and he was
         upbraided with the murder of the Egyptian. Finding that his
         secret was known, he fled from Egypt, and took refuge with a
         tribe of Midianites in Arabia Petræa, among whom he lived as a
         shepherd forty years, having married the daughter of their
         priest Jethro or Reuel.

         As Moses led his father-in-law's flocks in the desert of Sinai,
         God appeared to him at Mount Horeb in a bush which burnt with
         fire, but was not consumed, and commanded him to return to
         Egypt and lead out his people thence into the land of Canaan.
         On his arrival in Egypt, the Israelites accepted him as their
         deliverer and after bringing ten miraculous plagues upon the
         land of Egypt before he could gain Pharaoh's consent to the
         departure of the people, he led them out through the Red Sea,
         which was miraculously divided for their passage, into the
         peninsula of Sinai. While the people were encamped at the foot
         of Sinai, God delivered to them through Moses the law which,
         with some additions and alterations, was ever after observed as
         their national code. After leading the Israelites through the
         wilderness for forty years, Moses appointed Joshua as his
         successor in the command over them, and died at the age of one
         hundred and twenty years, on Mount Pisgah, on the east side of
         the River Jordan, having first been permitted to view the land
         of Canaan from its summit. God buried him in the valley of
         Bethpeor, in the land of Moab, but his tomb was never made

To lead into freedom a people long crushed by tyranny; to discipline and
order such a mighty host; to harden them into fighting men, before whom
warlike tribes quailed and walled cities went down; to repress
discontent and jealousy and mutiny; to combat reactions and reversions;
to turn the quick, fierce flame of enthusiasm to the service of a steady
purpose, require some towering character--a character blending in
highest expression the qualities of politician, patriot, philosopher,
and statesman.

Such a character in rough but strong outline the tradition shows us--the
union of the wisdom of the Egyptians with the unselfish devotion of the
meekest of men. From first to last, in every glimpse we get, this
character is consistent with itself, and with the mighty work which is
its monument. It is the character of a great mind, hemmed in by
conditions and limitations, and working with such forces and materials
as were at hand--accomplishing, yet failing. Behind grand deed, a
grander thought. Behind high performance, the still nobler ideal.

Egypt was the mould of the Hebrew nation--the matrix in which a single
family, or, at most, a small tribe, grew to a people as numerous as the
American people at the time of the Declaration of Independence. For four
centuries, according to the Hebrew tradition--a period as long as
America has been known to Europe--this growing people, coming a
patriarchal family from a roving, pastoral life, had been placed under
the dominance of a highly developed and ancient civilization--a
civilization symbolized by monuments that rival in endurance the
everlasting hills; a civilization so ancient that the Pyramids, as we
now know, were hoary with centuries ere Abraham looked on them.

[Illustration: Moses in the bulrushes.]

No matter how clearly the descendants of the kinsmen who came into Egypt
at the invitation of the boy-slave become prime minister, maintained the
distinction of race, and the traditions of a freer life, they must have
been powerfully affected by such a civilization; and just as the Hebrews
of to-day are Polish in Poland, German in Germany, and American in the
United States, so, but far more clearly and strongly, the Hebrews of the
Exodus must have been Egyptian.

It is not remarkable, therefore, that the ancient Hebrew institutions
show in so many points the influence of Egyptian ideas and customs. What
is remarkable is the dissimilarity. To the unreflecting nothing may seem
more natural than that a people, in turning their back upon a land where
they had been long oppressed, should discard its ideas and institutions.
But the student of history, the observer of politics, know that nothing
is more _un_natural. For "institutions make men." And when amid a people
used to institutions of one kind, we see suddenly arise institutions of
an opposite kind, we know that behind them must be that active, that
initiative force--the "men who in the beginnings make institutions."

This is what occurs in the Exodus. The striking differences between
Egyptian and Hebrew policy are not of form but of essence. The tendency
of the one is to subordination and oppression; of the other, to
individual freedom. Strangest of recorded births! from out the strongest
and most splendid despotism of antiquity comes the freest republic. From
between the paws of the rock-hewn Sphinx rises the genius of human
liberty, and the trumpets of the Exodus throb with the defiant
proclamation of the rights of man.

Consider what Egypt was. The very grandeur of her monuments testify to
the enslavement of the people--are the enduring witnesses of a social
organization that rested on the masses an immovable weight. That narrow
Nile Valley, the cradle of the arts and sciences, the scene, perhaps, of
the greatest triumphs of the human mind, is also the scene of its most
abject enslavement. In the long centuries of its splendor its lord,
secure in the possession of irresistible temporal power, and securer
still in the awful sanctions of a mystical religion, was as a god on
earth, to cover whose poor carcass with a tomb befitting his state
hundreds of thousands toiled away their lives. For the classes who came
next to him were all the sensuous delights of a most luxurious
civilization, and high intellectual pleasures which the mysteries of the
temple hid from vulgar profanation. But for the millions who constituted
the base of the social pyramid there was but the lash to stimulate their
toil, and the worship of beasts to satisfy the yearnings of the soul.
From time immemorial to the present day the lot of the Egyptian peasant
has been to work and to starve, that those above him might live
daintily. He has never rebelled. The spirit for that was long ago
crushed out of him by institutions which made him what he is. He knows
but to suffer and to die.

Imagine what opportune circumstances we may, yet to organize and carry
on a movement resulting in the release of a great people from such a
soul-subduing tyranny, backed by an army of half a million highly
trained soldiers, requires a leadership of most commanding and
consummate genius. But this task, surpassingly great though it is, is
not the measure of the greatness of the leader of the Exodus. It is not
in the deliverance from Egypt, it is in the constructive statesmanship
that laid the foundations of the Hebrew commonwealth that the
superlative grandeur of that leadership looms up. As we cannot imagine
the Exodus without the great leader, neither can we account for the
Hebrew polity without the great statesman. Not merely intellectually
great, but morally great--a statesman aglow with the unselfish
patriotism that refuses to grasp a sceptre or found a dynasty.

It matters not when or by whom were compiled the books popularly
attributed to Moses; it matters not how much of the code there given may
be the survivals of more ancient usage or the amplifications of a later
age; its great features bear the stamp of a mind far in advance of
people and time, of a mind that beneath effects sought for causes, of a
mind that drifted not with the tide of events, but aimed at a definite

The outlines that the record gives us of the character of Moses--the
brief relations that wherever the Hebrew scriptures are read have hung
the chambers of the imagination with vivid pictures--are in every way
consistent with this idea. What we know of the life illustrates what we
know of the work. What we know of the work illumines the life.

It was not an empire such as had reached full development in Egypt or
existed in rudimentary patriarchal form in the tribes around, that Moses
aimed to found. Nor was it a republic where the freedom of the citizen
rested on the servitude of the helot, and the individual was sacrificed
to the state. It was a commonwealth based upon the individual; a
commonwealth whose ideal it was that every man should sit under his own
vine and fig-tree, with none to vex him or make him afraid; a
commonwealth in which none should be condemned to ceaseless toil; in
which, for even the bond slave, there should be hope; in which, for even
the beast of burden, there should be rest. A commonwealth in which, in
the absence of deep poverty, the manly virtues that spring from personal
independence should harden into a national character; a commonwealth in
which the family affections might knit their tendrils around each
member, binding with links stronger than steel the various parts into
the living whole.

It is not the protection of property, but the protection of humanity,
that is the aim of the Mosaic code. Its sanctions are not directed to
securing the strong in heaping up wealth, so much as to preventing the
weak from being crowded to the wall. At every point it interposes its
barriers to the selfish greed that, if left unchecked, will surely
differentiate men into landlord and serf, capitalist and workman,
millionaire and tramp, ruler and ruled. Its Sabbath day and Sabbath year
secure, even to the lowliest, rest and leisure. With the blast of the
Jubilee trumpets the slave goes free, the debt that cannot be paid is
cancelled, and a re-division of the land secures again to the poorest
his fair share in the bounty of the common Creator. The reaper must
leave something for the gleaner; even the ox cannot be muzzled as he
treadeth out the corn. Everywhere, in everything, the dominant idea is
that of our homely phrase--"Live and let live!"

And the religion with which this civil policy is so closely intertwined
exhibits kindred features--from the idea of the brotherhood of man
springs the idea of the fatherhood of God. Though the forms may resemble
those of Egypt, the spirit is that which Egypt had lost; though a
hereditary priesthood is retained, the law in its fulness is announced
to all the people. Though the Egyptian rite of circumcision is
preserved, and the Egyptian symbols reappear in all the externals of
worship, the tendency to take the type for the reality is sternly
repressed. It is only when we think of the bulls and the hawks, of the
deified cats and sacred ichneumons of Egypt, that we realize the full
meaning of the command--"Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven

And if we seek, beneath form and symbol and command, the thought of
which they are but the expression, we find that the distinctive feature
of the Hebrew religion, that which separates it by such a wide gulf from
the religions amid which it grew up, is its utilitarianism, its
recognition of divine law in human life. It asserts, not a God whose
domain is confined to the far-off beginning or the vague future, who is
over and above and beyond men, but a God who in His inexorable laws is
here and now; a God of the living as well as of the dead; a God of the
market-place as well as of the temple; a God whose judgments wait not
another world for execution, but whose immutable decrees will, in this
life, give happiness to the people that heed them and bring misery upon
the people that forget them.

The absence in the Mosaic books of any reference to a future life is
only intelligible by the prominence into which this truth is brought.
Nothing could have been more familiar to the Hebrews of the Exodus than
the doctrine of immortality. The continued existence of the soul, the
judgment after death, the rewards and punishments of the future state,
were the constant subjects of Egyptian thought and art. But a truth may
be hidden or thrown into the background by the intensity with which
another truth is grasped. And the truth that Moses brought so
prominently forward, the truth his gaze was concentrated upon, is a
truth that has often been thrust aside by the doctrine of immortality,
and that may perhaps, at times, react on it in the same way. This is the
truth that the actions of men bear fruit in this world, that though on
the petty scale of individual life wickedness may seem to go unpunished
and wrong to be rewarded, there is yet a Nemesis that with tireless feet
and pitiless arm follows every national crime, and smites the children
for the father's transgression; the truth that each individual must act
upon and be acted upon by the society of which he is a part; that all
must in some degree suffer for the sin of each, and the life of each be
dominated by the conditions imposed by all.

It is the intense appreciation of this truth that gives the Mosaic
institutions so practical and utilitarian a character. Their genius, if
I may so speak, leaves the abstract speculations where thought so easily
loses and wastes itself, or finds expression only in symbols that
become finally but the basis of superstition, in order that it may
concentrate attention upon laws that determine the happiness or misery
of men upon this earth. Its lessons have never tended to the essential
selfishness of asceticism, which is so prominent a feature in Brahmanism
and Buddhism, and from which Christianity and Islamism have not been
exempt. Its injunction has never been, "Leave the world to itself that
you may save your own soul," but rather, "Do your duty in the world that
you may be happier and the world be better." It has disdained no
sanitary regulation that might secure the health of the body. Its
promise has been of peace and plenty and length of days, of stalwart
sons and comely daughters.

It may be that the feeling of Moses in regard to a future life was that
expressed in the language of the Stoic, "It is the business of Jupiter,
not mine;" or it may be that it partook of the same revulsion that shows
itself in modern times, when a spirit essentially religious has been
turned against the forms and expressions of religion, because these
forms and expressions have been made the props and bulwarks of tyranny,
and even the name and teachings of the Carpenter's Son perverted into
supports of social injustice--used to guard the pomp of Cæsar and
justify the greed of Dives.

Yet, however such feelings influenced Moses, I cannot think that such a
soul as his, living such a life as his--feeling the exaltation of great
thoughts, feeling the burden of great cares, feeling the bitterness of
great disappointments--did not stretch forward to the hope beyond; did
not rest and strengthen and ground itself in the confident belief that
the death of the body is but the emancipation of the soul; did not feel
the assurance that there is a power in the universe upon which it might
confidently rely, through wreck of matter and crash of worlds. But the
great concern of Moses was with the duty that lay plainly before him:
the effort to lay foundations of a social state in which deep poverty
and degrading want should be unknown--where men, released from the
meaner struggles that waste human energy, should have opportunity for
intellectual and moral development.

Here stands out the greatness of the man. What was the wisdom and
stretch of the forethought that in the desert sought to guard in advance
against the dangers of a settled state, let the present speak.

In the full blaze of the nineteenth century, when every child in our
schools may know as common truths things of which the Egyptian sages
never dreamed; when the earth has been mapped, and the stars have been
weighed; when steam and electricity have been pressed into our service,
and science is wresting from nature secret after secret--it is but
natural to look back upon the wisdom of three thousand years ago as the
man looks back upon the learning of the child.

And yet, for all this wonderful increase of knowledge, for all this
enormous gain of productive power, where is the country in the civilized
world in which to-day there is not want and suffering--where the masses
are not condemned to toil that gives no leisure, and all classes are not
pursued by a greed of gain that makes life an ignoble struggle to get
and to keep? Three thousand years of advance, and still the moan goes
up, "They have made our lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in
brick, and in all manner of service!" Three thousand years of advance!
Yet the piteous voices of little children are in the moan.

We progress and we progress; we girdle continents with iron roads and
knit cities together with the mesh of telegraph wires; each day brings
some new invention; each year marks a fresh advance--the power of
production increased, and the avenues of exchange cleared and broadened.
Yet the complaint of "hard times" is louder and louder: everywhere are
men harassed by care, and haunted by the fear of want. With swift,
steady strides and prodigious leaps, the power of human hands to satisfy
human wants advances and advances, is multiplied and multiplied. Yet the
struggle for mere existence is more and more intense, and labor is
cheapest of commodities. Beside glutted warehouses human beings grow
faint with hunger and shiver with cold; under the shadow of churches
festers the vice that is born of want.

Trace to their root the causes that are thus producing want in the midst
of plenty, ignorance in the midst of intelligence, aristocracy in
democracy, weakness in strength--that are giving to our civilization a
one-sided and unstable development; and you will find it something which
this Hebrew statesman three thousand years ago perceived and guarded
against. Moses saw that the real cause of the enslavement of the masses
of Egypt was, what has everywhere produced enslavement, the possession
by a class of the land upon which and from which the whole people must
live. He saw that to permit in land the same unqualified private
ownership that by natural right attaches to the things produced by
labor, would be inevitably to separate the people into the very rich and
the very poor, inevitably to enslave labor--to make the few the masters
of the many, no matter what the political forms, to bring vice and
degradation no matter what the religion.

And with the foresight of the philosophic statesman he sought, in ways
suited to his times and conditions, to guard against this error.

Everywhere in the Mosaic institutions is the land treated as the gift of
the Creator to His common creatures, which no one has the right to
monopolize. Everywhere it is, not your estate, or your property; not the
land which you bought, or the land which you conquered, but "the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee"--"the land which the Lord lendeth
thee." And by practical legislation, by regulations to which he gave the
highest sanctions, he tried to guard against the wrong that converted
ancient civilizations into despotisms--the wrong that in after centuries
ate out the heart of Rome, and produced the imbruting serfdom of Poland
and the gaunt misery of Ireland, the wrong that is to-day crowding
families into single rooms and filling our new States with tramps. He
not only provided for the fair division of the land among the people,
and for making it fallow and common every seventh year, but by the
institution of the jubilee he provided for a redistribution of the land
every fifty years and made monopoly impossible.

I do not say that these institutions were, for their ultimate purpose,
the best that might even then have been devised, for Moses had to work,
as all great constructive statesmen have to work, with the tools that
came to his hand, and upon materials as he found them. Still less do I
mean to say that forms suitable for that time and people are suitable
for every time and people. I ask, not veneration of the form, but
recognition of the spirit.

Yet how common it is to venerate the form and to deny the spirit! There
are many who believe that the Mosaic institutions were literally
dictated by the Almighty, yet who would denounce as irreligious and
"communistic" any application of their spirit to the present day. And
yet to-day how much we owe to these institutions! This very day, the
only thing that stands between our working classes and ceaseless toil is
one of these Mosaic institutions. Let the mistakes of those who think
that man was made for the Sabbath, rather than the Sabbath for man, be
what they may; that there is one day in the week on which hammer is
silent and loom stands idle, is due, through Christianity, to
Judaism--to the code promulgated in the Sinaitic wilderness.

It is in these characteristics of the Mosaic institutions that, as in
the fragments of a Colossus, we may read the greatness of the mind whose
impress they bear--of a mind in advance of its surroundings, in advance
of its age; of one of those star souls that dwindle not with distance,
but, glowing with the radiance of essential truth, hold their light
while institutions and languages and creeds change and pass.

That the thought was greater than the permanent expression it found, who
can doubt? Yet from that day to this that expression has been in the
world a living power.

From the free spirit of the Mosaic law sprang that intensity of family
life that amid all dispersions and persecutions has preserved the
individuality of the Hebrew race; that love of independence that under
the most adverse circumstances has characterized the Jew; that burning
patriotism that flamed up in the Maccabees and bared the breasts of
Jewish peasants to the serried steel of Grecian phalanx and the
resistless onset of Roman legion; that stubborn courage that in exile
and in torture has held the Jew to his faith. It kindled that fire that
has made the strains of Hebrew seers and poets phrase for us the highest
exaltations of thought; that intellectual vigor that has over and over
again made the dry staff bud and blossom. And passing outward from one
narrow race it has exerted its power wherever the influence of the
Hebrew scriptures has been felt. It has toppled thrones and cast down
hierarchies. It strengthened the Scottish Covenanter in the hour of
trial, and the Puritan amid the snows of a strange land. It charged with
the Ironsides at Naseby; it stood behind the low redoubt on Bunker Hill.

But it is in example as in deed that such lives are helpful. It is thus
that they dignify human nature and glorify human effort, and bring to
those who struggle hope and trust. The life of Moses, like the
institutions of Moses, is a protest against that blasphemous doctrine,
current now as it was three thousand years ago; that blasphemous
doctrine preached ofttimes even from Christian pulpits: that the want
and suffering of the masses of mankind flow from a mysterious
dispensation of Providence, which we may lament, but can neither quarrel
with nor alter.

Adopted into the immediate family of the supreme monarch and earthly
god; standing almost at the apex of the social pyramid which had for its
base those toiling millions; priest and prince in a land where prince
and priest might revel in all delights--everything that life could offer
to gratify the senses or engage the intellect was open to him.

What to him the wail of them who beneath the fierce sun toiled under the
whips of relentless masters? Heard from granite colonnade or beneath
cool linen awning, it was mellowed by distance, to monotonous music. Why
should _he_ question the Sphinx of Fate, or quarrel with destinies the
high gods had decreed? So had it always been, for ages and ages; so must
it ever be. The beetle rends the insect, and the hawk preys on the
beetle; order on order, life rises from death and carnage, and higher
pleasures from lower agonies. Shall the man be better than nature?
Soothing and restful flows the Nile, though underneath its placid
surface finny tribes wage cruel war, and the stronger eat the weaker.
Shall the gazer who would read the secrets of the stars turn because
under his feet a worm may writhe?

Theirs to make bricks without straw; his a high place in the glorious
procession that with gorgeous banners and glittering emblems, with clash
of music and solemn chant, winds its shining way to dedicate the
immortal edifice their toil has reared. Theirs the leek and the garlic;
his to sit at the sumptuous feast. Why should he dwell on the
irksomeness of bondage, he for whom the chariots waited, who might at
will bestride the swift coursers of the Delta, or be borne on the bosom
of the river with oars that beat time to songs? Did he long for the
excitement of action?--there was the desert hunt, with steeds fleeter
than the antelope and lions trained like dogs. Did he crave rest and
ease?--there was for him the soft swell of languorous music and the
wreathed movements of dancing girls. Did he feel the stir of
intellectual life?--in the arcana of the temples he was free to the lore
of ages; an initiate in the society where were discussed the most
engrossing problems; a sharer in that intellectual pride that centuries
after compared Greek philosophy to the babblings of children.

It was no sudden ebullition of passion that caused Moses to turn his
back on all this, and to bring the strength and knowledge acquired in a
dominant caste to the life-long service of the oppressed. The
forgetfulness of self manifested in the smiting of the Egyptian shines
through the whole life. In institutions that moulded the character of a
people, in institutions that to this day make easier the lot of toiling
millions, we may read the stately purpose.

Through all that tradition has given us of that life runs the same grand
passion--the unselfish desire to make humanity better, happier, nobler.
And the death is worthy of the life. Subordinating to the good of his
people the natural disposition to found a dynasty, which in his case
would have been so easy, he discards the claims of blood and calls to
his place of leader the fittest man. Coming from a land where the rites
of sepulture were regarded as all-important, and the preservation of the
body after death was the passion of life; among a people who were even
then carrying the remains of their great ancestor, Joseph, to rest with
his fathers, he yet conquered the last natural yearning and withdrew
from the sight and sympathy of men to die alone and unattended, lest the
idolatrous feeling, always ready to break forth, should in death accord
him the superstitious reverence he had refused in life.

"No man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day." But while the despoiled
tombs of the Pharaohs mock the vanity that reared them, the name of the
Hebrew who, revolting from their tyranny, strove for the elevation of
his fellow-men, is yet a beacon light to the world.

[Signature of the author.]



(1074-1001 B.C.)

         [Footnote 3: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: David Rex. [TN]]

More than a thousand years before the beginning of the Christian era, in
a little farmstead in Palestine, there was rejoicing at the birth of a
son. Not the first-born, whose coming was a fit occasion for gifts and
feasting, not the second, the third, nor even the seventh. David was the
eighth son of Jesse the Bethlehemite. Jesse would seem to have been a
landholder, as his fathers had been before him, a man of substance, with
fields and flocks and herds. We first meet David, a ruddy, fair-haired
lad, tough of sinew and keen of eye and aim, keeping the sheep among the

Two hundred years before David's day, a fair woman of Moab had brought a
new infusion of strength, a new type, into the princely line of Judah.
The blood of the daring children of the wilderness flowed in the veins
of those who descended from Boaz. Just as in modern times and in royal
houses a single feature, as a set of the jaw, a curve of the lips, a
fulness of the brow or the eye, is stamped upon a race by some marriage
of its heir with a strong woman of another race, so, it has always
seemed to me, that the poetry, the romance, the fire and the passion,
came with Ruth of Moab into the household of Boaz. For they were strong
and beautiful, these sons of Jesse, who had Ruth as their not remote
ancestress, and the mother-qualities live long and tell through many

Of Jesse's many sons, David was the youngest. His early life was spent
as was that of other boys belonging to his class and period. He must
have added to his natural abilities and quickness, rare talents for
attaining such knowledge as was possible, knowledge of all woodcraft and
of nature, knowledge of musical instruments, and acquaintance with arms.
Clean of limb and sure of foot, ready of repartee, fearless and alert,
he was, even as a boy, something of what he was to become in maturity,
one of the greatest men of his own or any age. Unique in some
capacities, versatile and varied in arts and accomplishments, at once
vindictive and forgiving, impetuous and politic, shrewd and impulsive,
heroic and mean, of long memory for wrongs committed, of decisive act
and incisive speech, relentless and magnanimous, strong and weak. A man
whose influence has never died out among men, and who is to-day a vital
force in the world of religion, of philanthropy, and of letters.

The short and ill-starred reign of Saul, the first king of the Jews,
chosen when the people had wearied of the theocratic style of
government, came to a speedy end. While yet the crown was on his head,
the favor of the Lord departed from Saul, and Samuel, the Lord's
prophet, was sent, 1064 B.C., to anoint his successor. The monarch was
virtually deposed, though still in power. Saul was like a man under
sentence of death who is still ignorant of his coming fate, and Samuel,
who entertained a strong regard for him, evidently cared little to carry
out the command received from God to discover the new king. Almost under
protest, the old prophet sought Jesse the Bethlehemite, great-grandson
of Boaz and the beautiful Ruth, and father of the sturdy set of stalwart
sons who passed in review before him.

The youngest of these, a lad herding sheep in the fields, ruddy and
goodly to look upon, bearing in his eyes the fearlessness of her who
left her father's house to follow Naomi's desolate fortunes, came from
the fields when he was sent for. Peaceful as was his shepherd's life in
general, it was not without its occasional spice of danger, as when a
lion and a bear, famished and furious and ravening for their prey, came
out of the wintry woods to devour the sheep. Then, as the sacred
chronicler tersely and with Homeric brevity tells us, the shepherd "slew
both the lion and the bear."

That strange possession, the Spirit of the Lord, came upon David from
the day of his anointing by Samuel, though it is improbable that he
understood then, or for long afterward, precisely what was the function
to which he had been consecrated. David was far older, and had dipped
deep into many cups, before he spoke or thought of himself as "The
Lord's Anointed."

The steps toward the throne were not smoothed for the boy's feet, though
his upward path was in a comparatively straight line. First, quite
naturally, it came about that he was sent for by King Saul, who was
afflicted with periods of melancholia which were charmed away only by
the sweetness of melody. David's harp, on which he played skilfully, was
the instrument of relief to Saul, and Saul looking on the young man
loved him, desired to attach him to his person, and speedily made him
his armor-bearer. Jonathan, Saul's son, grew so deeply attached to
David, that their souls were knit together in that strong friendship
which strikes its fibres into the soil underlying passion, and godlike
in its endurance. The friendship of the two young men passed into a
proverb, a proverb which is the crystallization of history. As David and
Jonathan, is friendship's strongest simile.

Of the episodes of this portion of David's life, the conflict with
Goliath is familiar to every reader. The youth, armed with a pebble and
a sling, slays the boastful champion, storming about in helmet and
greaves and brazen target, and the victorious hosts of Israel pursue the
defeated and flying Philistines hour after hour, till the sun goes down.
Saul, apparently forgetful of his former favorite and armor-bearer,
inquires whose son the stripling is, led proudly into his presence by
Abner, the captain of the host.

"I am the son of thy servant, Jesse, the Bethlehemite," is the modest

Again, this time aroused by jealousy, Saul's moody fit returns and his
insanity is once more dispelled by David's harp. David becomes the
king's son-in-law, and Michal, the king's daughter, loves her husband so
dearly that she sets her woman's wits at work to save him when her
father's hot displeasure, in the summary fashion known to Eastern kings,
sends messengers to seek his life. Poor Michal, whose love was never
half returned!

The next chapter in David's history is a curious one. Anointed king over
Israel, he wanders an outlaw captain, hiding in crannies of the
mountains, gathering to himself a band of young and daring spirits,
reckless of peril, and willing to accept service under a leader who
fears nothing, and whose incursions into the adjacent countries dispose
people to hold him in wholesome terror. Again and again, in this
precarious Robin Hood life of his, David has the opportunity to revenge
himself upon Saul, but with splendid generosity puts the temptation

"The Lord judge between me and thee," he exclaims; "the Lord avenge me
of thee, but mine hand shall not be upon thee."

An interesting side-light is thrown upon this portion of David's career,
by the incident of his meeting with Abigail, a woman fair and discreet,
married to a sordid churl named Nabal. David and his band had protected
Nabal's fields from other rovers, and had been, so to speak, a wall of
fire between the churl's estate and the hand of depredation. But at the
time of the sheep-shearing the surly ingrate refuses food and drink to
the band of David, though the favor is most courteously asked. When the
rough answer is brought back, one sees the quick temper of the soldier,
in the flashing repartee, and the hand flying to the sword. Little had
been left to Nabal of barn or byre, if sweet-voiced and stately Abigail,
wiser than her lord, had not herself brought a present in her hand, and
with a gentle tongue soothed the angry warrior.

In days to come, Abigail was to be wife to David, after the custom of
the period, which attached a numerous harem to the entourage of a
chieftain or a king.

[Illustration: David calming the wrath of Saul.]

In judging of David, of his relations with women, and of his dealings
with his enemies, it is not fair to measure him by the standards of our
own time. His was a day of the high hand, and of lax morality. The kings
of neighboring countries knew no gentleness, no law but of
self-interest and of self-pleasing in their marriages, and in their
quarrels. Many of the alliances made by David were distinctly in the
line of political arrangements, bargains by which he strengthened his
boundary lines, and attracted to his own purposes the resources or the
kindly interest of other nations.

Reading of David's dashing forays, when he and his valiant two hundred
fought the Amalekites, chased the Philistines, took prisoners and spoil,
yet with rare wisdom ordained that, in the division of the spoils, those
who tarried at home by the stuff, the guard of wives and children,
should share equally with those who took upon them the pleasanter, if
more perilous, tasks of the battle, we are transported into the morning
of the world. These were days when the trumpets blew and the flags
fluttered, days of riotous health and the joy of life.

After the death of Saul and of Jonathan his son, David succeeded to the
throne. This story is very dramatic. The conquering Philistines affixed
the bodies of the dead heroes to their temple walls, and hung their
armor as a trophy in the house of Ashtaroth. But the valiant men of
Jabesh-Gilead came by night, took down the bodies and burned them, then
buried the bones, and wept over them for seven days. David himself
ordered to execution the messenger who brought him Saul's crown and
bracelet, confessing that his own hand had given the king the _coup de
grâce_. His lamentation over Saul and Jonathan rises to the height of
the sublime. Never laureate sang in strains more solemn and tender.

But from this moment on the tenor of David's life was boisterous and
broken. He was constantly at war, now war that was defensive only, again
war that was fiercely aggressive. He had to face internal dissensions.
As his sons grew up, children of different mothers and of different
trainings, there came to the heart of the father, always most
passionately loving, such bitterness as none but great souls know.

Between David's house and that of Saul there was long and fierce
dispute, and never any real peace. Treachery, assassination, jealousy,
marked the course of these two houses, though David, to his lasting
honor, be it said, showed only kindness and rendered only protection to
the kindred of Saul. He could not control the cupidity or fierceness of
his retainers, but he gave the crippled Mephibosheth the household and
the income befitting a prince.

David was thirty years old when he began his reign. His first capital
was Hebron, where he was publicly anointed, after the custom of the
period. His reign lasted forty years, seven years and six months of
which he spent in Hebron. Observing the natural advantages of Jerusalem
as a stronghold, he took it after a sharp contest, and set up the throne
there, remaining there for thirty-three years.

In nothing did David display great abilities in a more marked manner
than in the choice of his generals and counsellors. Joab, Abishai, and
Zeruiah, Hushai and Ahithophel were all men of great administrative or
executive powers. They were not invariably faithful to David's
interests, but in the main they served him well, and to his "mighty men
of valor" he owed the debt for success that all great captains owe to
those who surround their persons, further their plans, and aid their

In the Second Book of Chronicles the honor-roll of David's heroes is
starred with undying lustre. Thirty captains are mentioned, among them
three mightiest, and the record of these valiant men is like the record
written of Thor and his followers in the legendry of the stormy
Norsemen. There was one who slew an Egyptian, a giant five cubits high,
with a spear like a weaver's beam, and the champion went down to the
combat armed with a staff only, disarmed the Egyptian, and slew him with
his own spear. Another slew "a lion in a pit in a snowy day." One sees
the picture, the yellow-maned, fierce-eyed lion, the white drift of the
blinding flakes, the hole of the pit, deep-walled and narrow, a fit lair
for the wild beast. The incident of the well of Bethlehem belongs here.
The king was spent and athirst, and he longed for a drink from the old
well by the gate. But when three mighty men cut their way sword in hand
through the enemy's host, and brought the precious water, the king would
not drink it, but poured it out before the Lord in libation. "God
forbid," he exclaimed, "that I should drink the blood of these men, that
have put their lives in jeopardy!"

If David had always been as noble! But men have the defects of their
qualities. These mighty men of earth have often, on one side or another,
a special liability to temptation. In the seduction of Bathsheba and the
cowardly murder of Uriah, her husband, David committed a sin for which
he was punished not only in the denunciation of Nathan the prophet and
the loss of Bathsheba's first child, but by the stings of a deep
remorse, which expresses itself in a psalm which is a miserere. Yet
Bathsheba became the mother of Solomon, and Solomon was the heir chosen
by the Lord to preserve the kingly line of David, and to maintain the
kingdom in great glory and splendor.

In the quaint language of the sacred scribes, we find David's frequent
battles graphically described. Rapid and pitiless as Attila or Napoleon,
he "smote" the Amalekites, and the Ammonites, and the neighboring
warlike peoples, and compelled them to pay tribute. He was not more
rapacious than France has recently shown herself to Siam, or than
England to India, and he was emphatically the "battle-axe of God." It
was enlightenment against savagery, the true religion against the
idolatries and witchcrafts of a false worship. In every way David
displayed statesmanship, not carrying on war for the mere pleasure of
it, but strengthening his national lines, and laying deep the
foundations on which his successor was to carry forward a kingdom of

It was not until Hiram, king of Tyre, sent cedar from Lebanon, on floats
down the Mediterranean, that David built him a house. The hardy soldier
had often slept with the sky for his roof, and the grass for his bed,
but as he grew rich and strong he needed a palace. With the pleasure and
security of the palace, the ceiled house, came the wish of the devout
soul to erect a temple to God. Never was sacrifice greater nor pain more
intense than that which the great king experienced when told that not
for him was to be this crowning joy, this felicity which would have made
his cup overflow. His hands had shed too much blood. He had been a man
of war from his youth. The temple on Mount Zion, a glittering mass of
gold and gems, shining like a heap of snowflakes on the pilgrims going
up to the annual passover, was to be the great trophy not of David's,
but of Solomon's time. David acquiesced in the divine ordering, though
with a sore heart. But he occupied himself with the accumulation of rich
materials, so that when Solomon came to the throne he might find much
and valuable preparation made.

The troubles of David's reign, gathering around him thickly, as the
almond blossoms of age grew white upon his head, were chiefly brought
upon him through dissensions in his family. Did so loving a father spoil
his sons in their early youth, or were they, as is probable, influenced
by the spites, the malignities, and the weaknesses of the beautiful
foreign princesses who were their mothers? In the rebellion of Absalom,
the king tasted the deepest draught of sorrow ever pressed to mortal
lips, and the whole tragic tale is as vivid in its depiction, and as
intensely real in its appeal to-day, as when fresh from the pen of the

The conduct of Absalom, whose beauty and vanity were equalled by his
ambition and his ingratitude, has made him forever infamous. He omitted
no act that could convict him of shameless infidelity to all that was
worthy a prince, and with an armed host he set his battle in array
against his father. One charge, reiterated again and again, showed the
depth of that father's heart--a heart like that of the Father in Heaven
for its yearning over ingrates and rebels:

"Beware that none touch the young man Absalom!"

Joab, of all men in the realm, least afraid of David and most relentless
when any one stood in his way, himself became Absalom's executioner,
when, David's people being victors, Absalom hung caught by his hair in
the boughs of an oak, unable to escape. Then it was a question who
should tell the king these tidings, which dashed the hearts of the
conquerors with a sudden pang. Finally a swift runner reached the
watch-tower, whence the old king looked forth, awaiting news of the day.

"Is the young man Absalom safe?" he asked

And Cushi answered, "The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise
against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is."

"And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate,
and wept; and as he went, thus he said 'O my son Absalom, my son, my son
Absalom! Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom my son, my son!'"

Long, long ago, these battles and sieges, these truces and victories,
were over forever on this earth. Egypt and Assyria, contemporary with
Israel in greatness, have perished from the memories of men, save as a
few marbles remain to tell their tale. The vitality of David is
imperishable, but not because he was a shrewd statesman, a doughty
warrior, or a captain of conquering armies. David the shepherd, David
the king, are of the past. David the musician, David the psalmist, is as
alive to-day as he ever was, the music of his harp still vibrating in
temples and cathedrals and in human souls. Those matchless hymns
antedating our modern era by so many shifting centuries, are lisped by
children at their mother's knee, form part of every religious ritual of
which the one God is the centre, and voice the love and prayer and
praise of every heart that seeks the Creator. With the intense adoration
and trust of the Hebrew, we too exclaim, "The Lord is my shepherd, I
shall not want," and "God is our refuge and strength, a very present
help in time of trouble."

[Signature of the author.]



(1033-975 B.C.)

         [Footnote 4: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: A town. [TN]]

Looking down the vista of the past ages we see standing conspicuous
among men David, the father of Solomon. In David's case it is as if the
all-wise God had constructed in one human being an organ with all the
keys and stops possible to humanity, and as if the Holy Ghost had on
that organ with those keys and stops played every tune of every song
that all humanity may need to sing in life or death, or carry in memory
from earth to heaven. When we remember who Solomon's father was we are
helped to grasp the significance of the life and character of the son,
who, narrower indeed than his father, was yet more brilliant and more

In 1033 B.C., shortly after the death of David's first child by
Bathsheba, which was begotten in sin, a second child was born, whom
David called "Solomon," or "peaceful," probably with reference to the
peace between God and David brought about by the latter's deep penitence
for his sin against Uriah. But the Prophet Nathan, to whose wise and
tender care he was early committed, called him "Jedediah," or, "The
beloved of the Lord." If, as the best authorities are agreed, Solomon
wrote the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs, he had still another name,
"Lemuel," which means, "to God," or "dedicated to God."

The great number and variety of traditions about Solomon extant in
Persia, Arabia, Abyssinia, and among the Jews and other peoples, is a
proof of the profound impression which he made on his age, and an
evidence of his greatness; for only the great among men beget many
traditions. Before taking up the authentic and credible history of
Solomon a few specimens of these traditions may well receive our

The Abyssinians claim that a son given to the Queen of Sheba by Solomon
was the founder of their imperial dynasty! In Persian literature Solomon
is a favorite character. With nothing to say of David, it has countless
stories of his gifted son. One alone, called "Solomon-Nameh," fills
eighty books. Arabia also claims Solomon as the Father of her kings, and
to this day, under the eastern sky dusky Arabs sit around the lonely
tent-fire and tell weird and wonderful tales of the wit, wisdom, and
wealth of Solomon. Legends of which he is the hero are also preserved
not only in Asia and Africa, but also in the remotest corners of Europe.
According to these stories he could interpret the language of birds and
beasts, was acquainted with the mysterious virtues of herbs and gems,
knew spells for casting out demons and charms for curing diseases,
possessed a ring which revealed to him the past, present, and future,
was acquainted with the arts of magic and by them made evil spirits his
slaves, who helped him with his vast buildings and other great
enterprises. It was with the assistance of demons called Jinns that he
built the gorgeous city of Persepolis; while other evil spirits,
rebelling, he conquered after a long and fierce struggle and immured in
dark depths and caves of the sea. But let us return to sober history.
The only trustworthy account of the wise king available, is that which
is written in the Bible and in the crumbling ruins of his great
buildings and public and private works in the East, especially in and
around Jerusalem.

He was ten years of age when the rebellion of his older brother,
Absalom, fell almost like a death-blow upon the brow and heart of his
aged father David, with whom he shared the perils of flight and a brief
exile. Not many years later Adonijah, another brother, with the
connivance of Joab, David's rugged old general, and Abiathar, the elder
high priest, attempting to steal the throne, Zadok the high priest,
Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, the most famous and heroic of Israel's
captains after Joab, together with Bathsheba, the beautiful and
ambitious mother of Solomon, succeeded in thwarting Adonijah's base
designs and roused in David for a short time his old-time energy.
Whereupon he placed Solomon upon the throne while yet a young man only
fifteen or twenty years of age.

Upon taking up his sceptre Solomon first of all, removed his father's
enemies and the heads of the conspiracies which had been made against
the throne, not even hesitating to cut off Joab, whose deeds of prowess
had added a marvellous lustre to the military fame of Israel. Solomon
now sat secure upon his throne, the undisputed monarch of the wide
territory secured by the conquests of his great father. About this time,
in order to strengthen his kingdom, he married a daughter of the
Pharaoh of Northern Egypt, an alliance which pleased the people, for it
showed that their king was a king among kings. The end of this political
alliance, however, was not as brilliant as its beginning promised;
because, although Egypt was at that time the most mighty nation of the
world, because the most wealthy and civilized, yet it was divided into
two kingdoms, and after the lapse of years, the Pharaoh of the united
kingdom did not hesitate to become Solomon's foe because one of his
wives had been an Egyptian princess.

After removing the enemies of the throne, and marrying the daughter of
Pharaoh, Solomon repaired to the heights of Gibeon, six miles north of
Jerusalem, a spot far-famed as the home of the Tabernacle of the
Congregation, which was the original Tent of the wanderings. On the
brazen altar in front of the Tabernacle the young king offered to
Jehovah a holocaust of a thousand victims.

It was on the night after this magnificent sacrifice that the Lord
offered to Solomon, dreaming, his heart's chief desire. The wise and as
yet pious young king asking for wisdom, the Lord was so pleased that He
promised him not only wisdom, but also wealth, honor, and long life. He
had already been endowed with extreme personal beauty.

Immediately following this vision the wisdom of the king was tested in a
way which showed that his God was a faithful promiser. Into the royal
presence two women of bad character were ushered by the authorities,
bringing two babes, the one living and the other cold in death. In the
night the latter's mother had by accident smothered it, whereupon she
had stolen the living babe from its mother's side. In the morning a
bitter conflict was waged by the two women over the living child, each
wildly claiming it as her own. When the officers of the law were
appealed to they brought the case before their king, whose wisdom and
fitness to judge a great kingdom were now to be tried. As the spectators
of the dramatic scene looked on, it was with anxious curiosity, which in
a moment was turned into horror as Solomon ordered a stalwart attendant
to take a keen sword and cut the living little one into two parts and
give to each mother a half. One of the women appeared stolidly satisfied
with this arrangement, but the other sprang between the babe and its
executioner, and, weeping, pleaded that its life might be spared and her
rival be permitted to have the whole child. In this pity and tenderness
Solomon discovered the true mother heart, and to her gave the babe,
while the news of the marvellous wisdom of the new king spread like
wild-fire through Jerusalem and all Israel.

Solomon had now secured an assured place in the hearts of his subjects,
and was firmly seated on a throne from which for forty years he governed
Israel with a rule whose wisdom was surpassed only by its magnificence.

As it is impossible at this date to get at the exact chronological order
of the events of his life from the time that he ascended the throne, and
as it was remarkable for the fruits of peace rather than war, we may
best study it by considering his government, household, buildings,
riches, and writings.

[Illustration: Judgment of Solomon.]

Solomon's rule extended over a wide territory and over many peoples, for
it had been the glory of David that he fought successfully with and
subdued the enemies of Israel on every side. From the Mediterranean
Sea to the Euphrates, and from the Red Sea to the northern bounds of
Syria, the great son of David held sway, and thus was God's ancient
promise to Abraham fulfilled. (Gen. xv. 18.)

Solomon's government was Asiatic, that is it was an absolutism, marked
by luxury, display, and taxation so heavy as to amount almost to
oppression. Its luxuriousness and display are illustrated by his
seraglio, which included seven hundred wives (1 Kings xi. 3); and its
despotic nature is seen in such acts as his summary and severe
punishment of Adonijah, Joab, and Abiathar.

For the first time in the history of Israel, alliances were entered into
with other nations. We have already seen how Solomon had married an
Egyptian princess. Then he made a treaty with his neighbor on the
Mediterranean coast, Hiram, king of Tyre, who in exchange for corn
agreed to supply Solomon with timber for building the Temple and his own
magnificent palace. The timber was floated down from Tyre to Joppa
whence it was transported to Jerusalem or wherever needed.

At peace with surrounding nations, and with a thoroughly systematized
and centralized government, Solomon sat on his throne of ivory and gold
and looked around on his people, to see an astonishing increase of
population and a tremendous growth in business and wealth, especially
during the first half of his reign.

Entering his court and his household, one saw all things in keeping with
his Asiatic government: magnificent palaces, surrounded by beautiful
gardens; multitudes of slaves, each one having his work and doing it
with swiftness and precision; troops of courtiers, and a harem of seven
hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Around his gorgeous throne
stood his officers and attendants, in his stables were forty thousand
horses, and chariots in proportion. Whenever he went forth before his
people it was to dazzle them with his splendor. But, fond as he was of
display and of women, he nevertheless did not neglect the business of
his kingdom, a large part of each day being spent either in his
throne-room with his officials, or superintending his great public and
private works. Besides this no inconsiderable part of his time in his
home was given to study, meditation, and writing.

The king was one of the greatest builders of the ages. Among the
structures erected by him, easily first in splendor was the Temple. In
Solomon's Temple lies Solomon's true greatness and glory rather than in
his songs, his proverbs, his riches, and his outward splendor. It was
the bud whose blooming was in Christ and Christianity. Around it was to
be preserved the people chosen to save the true knowledge of their God
for the human race and produce the human nature of Jesus Christ,
humanity's incarnate God and Saviour.

The conception of a fitting, permanent, earthly abode for Jehovah, and
for the ark and the sacred symbols therein, was David's. He it was who
took the ark to Jerusalem and placed it in a temporary tabernacle or
tent while he collected money and materials for a great shrine. To aid
him in his great work David had already secured the friendship of Hiram,
king of Tyre, with whom, as we have seen, Solomon made a treaty, and
from whom he procured both workmen and materials for his great

The Temple was begun four hundred and eighty years after the exodus from
Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, or 1012 B.C., and was
completed in the twelfth year of his reign. Its site was Mount Moriah at
the point where Araunah's threshing-floor had been, and where the angel
met David at the time the plague was stayed.

The house of the Lord finished, Solomon built his gorgeous palaces. And
thirteen years after the completion of the Temple (991 B.C.) the people
of Israel assembled on the occasion of its dedication. This occurred at
the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, when a magnificent festival of two
weeks' duration was held. The priests bore the ark into the "Holy of
Holies" and deposited it under the wings of the cherubim. When they had
retired the cloud of glory filled the whole edifice, and thus proclaimed
the approving presence of Jehovah. Thereupon Solomon stood upon the
brazen platform which had been built for him and made his memorable
prayer. He thanked God for helping him to build the Temple; and prayed
that He would hear the prayers that should there be made. Scarcely was
his prayer ended when fire came down from heaven and consumed the
sacrifice which had been laid on the altar, and the awe-stricken
multitude bowed with their faces to the ground upon the pavement and
worshipped and adored the Lord, saying, "For He is good; for His mercy
endureth forever." (2 Chron. vii. 3.)

In keeping with the Temple were the gorgeous palaces on which for
thirteen years Solomon lavished time and toil and money. In the "Tower
of the House of David," as one of these was called, hung a thousand
golden bucklers; while in the great judgment-hall stood the far-famed
throne of the great king. (1 Kings x. 18-20.) Solomon's other buildings
were beautiful gardens and pools, and aqueducts and a luxurious summer
resort. He moreover, either established or built many important towns or
fortresses, among others being Tadmor in the wilderness, afterward
celebrated in history as Palmyra. Countless workmen and inestimable
wealth were involved in the building enterprises of the great king,
which included at the last, to his shame, rival temples to Moloch, and
the other false gods of his heathen wives.

Of course, Solomon's government, household, and buildings, as we have
considered them, involved the accumulation and expenditure of vast sums
of money. But the king's ambition, energy, industry, and business talent
rose to the height of these demands. From two sources he drew his vast
wealth, namely, taxation and commerce. He received large revenues in the
way of tributes from subject peoples, in addition to the increasingly
heavy taxes which he imposed on the people of Israel. Besides taxation,
the king increased his wealth by means of his great commercial
operations in the desert, which was the highway between the Orient and
the Occident, and by means of his two fleets, one on the Mediterranean
and the other on the eastern arm of the Red Sea, which provided a
waterway to both Southern Asia and Western Africa. So rich did Solomon
become from these sources that it is said that he "made silver and gold
at Jerusalem as plentiful as stones." (2 Chron. i. 15.) There was,
however, one fatal fault in Solomon's commercial policy: all the gain
went to the palace and the government. Herein lay one of the secrets of
the division and fall of the nation immediately upon the close of his

Naturally, Solomon's commercial greatness, together with the pomp and
splendor of his court and government, carried his fame to all parts of
the earth. But that for which he received the greatest respect from
surrounding nations was his wisdom, manifested in many ways but chiefly
in his writings. One of the marked effects of David's long and vigorous
reign was to stimulate mental activity in the Hebrew mind. The great
foreign wars with the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Sabeans, and the
surrounding nations, who were more or less advanced in a knowledge of
the arts and sciences, had the effect of widening the range of knowledge
of Israel as a nation, and of stirring her up to an ambition to excel
her neighbors in affairs of peace as well as in those of war. Solomon's
peaceful and wise reign, characterized as it was by commercial
prosperity, gave the people both the time and means for cultivating the
arts. In study and in wisdom the king was the leader of his day and
generation. He was learned in political economy, a great king. He was
learned in music and poetry, having composed some of the most beautiful
of the Psalms, such as the second. But in cultivating the fine arts he
did not neglect the physical sciences, for he was a botanist, writing of
all kinds of trees and plants; and he was a natural historian, writing
works on beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes. It would be most
interesting to see these science primers prepared by Solomon, and
compare them with what we see on the same subjects in our own day. But
the Bible has not preserved them, and they have long centuries ago
passed into oblivion. Solomon's knowledge was not of that shallow sort
which is limited to the sphere of earthly material, "seen things;" for
he was wise with that deeper knowledge which has for its object God and
the human soul, and their natures and movements in their natural
relations. This wisdom is illustrated and handed down to us in his
Proverbs of which we are told he spoke three thousand. A portion of
these is in the Book of Proverbs, the others are lost to us.

In his poetry also was crystallized much of his wisdom. This consisted
of one thousand and five songs, all of which have gone down in the flood
of years, with the exception of the Song of Solomon, which is an
epithalamium, in which pure wedded love is incarnated. It is a sort of
poetry of the family relations, and, therefore, worthy a place in the
sacred canon. Taken literally and read with a pure heart, it is
eminently fitted to spiritualize the family relations. This theory of
this much discussed portion of Solomon's writings by no means shuts out
the more spiritual use of the book, wherein we see in it the Church
represented by the bride and God by the bridegroom.

In Ecclesiastes we have the latest conclusions of Solomon's moral
wisdom. Read in the light of its general scope rather than the dim light
of detached portions, it appears as the confessions of a humbled,
penitent, believing, godly man, who, after piety followed by apostasy,
comes back to piety with the conclusion that after all, "the fear of the
Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

Through his writings and sayings Solomon's genius flashed from Jerusalem
into the surrounding darkness of the heathen nations, and lighted by its
rays, as mariners by the beacon in the light-house tower, there came of
all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth,
which had heard of his wisdom, (1 Kings x. 1-10.) The celebrated visit
of the Queen of Sheba is a deeply interesting illustration of these
royal visits to the court of Israel's splendid king.

Such was King Solomon the magnificent, and such the life of one of
earth's most famous men. But, after all, he is a striking illustration
of Plato's saying, that "Princes are never without flatterers to seduce
them, ambition to deprave them, and desires to corrupt them." So,
forgetting that as a king he was God's vicegerent, he lived more and
more to gratify his lusts and ambitions, and to please his flatterers,
especially his heathen wives. These finally seduced him into permitting
temples to be built to Moloch and their other false gods. This ended in
Solomon's becoming idolatrous himself. Then his wealth gradually melted
away, his allies plotted against him, and, in the midst of life, being
about fifty-eight years old, he died in the year 975 B.C., leaving a
terrible legacy to his sons: a corrupted religion, a depleted treasury,
and a discontented and broken people.

Although there is every reason to believe that Solomon died a penitent
man, yet his sins and the consequent wretchedness of soul, and the ruin
of his kingdom, teach most emphatically the weakness of human nature,
even when accompanied by the greatest genius, the perils of material
prosperity, and the real insufficiency of all possible earthly good to
satisfy the wants of the soul of man.

[Signature of the author.]



(About 884-820 B.C.)

         [Footnote 5: Copyright. 1894. by Selmar Hess.]

Scholars generally agree in the judgment that Lycurgus was a real
person. It is probable that he was born in the ninth century B.C., and
that, in the later part of the same century (850-820), he was an
important, if not the principal, agent in the reconstruction of the
Dorian state of Sparta, in the Peloponnesus. According to Herodotus, he
was the uncle of King Labotas, of the royal line of Eurysthenes. Others,
whom Plutarch follows, describe him as the uncle and guardian of King
Charilaus, and therefore in the line of Procles. Either way his
mythical lineage would be traced to Hercules. We are able to find no
trustworthy records of the circumstances of his birth, and of the
incidents of his childhood and youth. Plutarch, with all his diligence,
found nothing. Nor could he sift and blend the varying stories of his
later life and so construct a consistent and credible narrative, O.
Müller says: "We have absolutely no account of him as an individual

[Illustration: Lycurgus. [TN]]

Accordingly Lycurgus appears already in his maturity. We know what he
was only from what he did. He has this imperishable honor, that he did
something, and did it in such a manner and with such effect that the
memory of him and his deeds has lasted until this late time, and bids
fair to last throughout all time.

The following traditions concerning Lycurgus are commonly repeated.
Polydectes, his brother, was king in Sparta. After the king's death a
son was born to the widow. Lycurgus became his guardian and presented
him to the magistrates as their future king. He was suspected by the
queen's brother of a design to take the crown, and even of a purpose to
destroy his infant nephew. Accordingly he went into exile. He remained
some time in Crete, studying the institutions of the Dorian people of
that island. He travelled extensively in Asia and was especially careful
to observe the manners and customs of the Ionians. He found the poems of
Homer, transcribed and arranged them, and caused them to be more
generally known. The Egyptians claimed that he visited their country and
derived much of his wisdom from them. Meanwhile the affairs of Sparta
were in a critical condition and the king and the people alike desired
his presence and his aid in restoring peace and renewing the prosperity
of the community and the people of Laconia. Immediately upon his return
he entered upon the work of framing a constitution and reconstructing
the state. Notwithstanding much opposition and complaint from the
classes obliged to make concessions and sacrifices for the common good,
he secured the assent of the people to his legislation. Having seen the
system in working order, he announced his purpose to leave the country
for a period, and moved the citizens to take an oath that they would
observe the laws until he should return. He departed to remain away to
the end of his life, but first repaired to Delphi and obtained an oracle
promising prosperity to the Spartans, so long as they should maintain
faithfully the constitution.

Laconia was the southeastern portion of the peninsula. The soil was
mainly mountain land and meagrely productive under toilsome and careful
tillage. So much of it as was naturally fertile lay in the centre, shut
in from the sea by the mountains. At the time of the Dorian immigration,
it was occupied in part by the descendants of the old Pelasgian
population and in part by a mixed people which had come in at different
times and from various sources. Because of the limited area there was
already considerable pressure between the several elements. Accordingly
the Dorians and their Achæan and Æolian allies met with a stout
resistance, and established themselves after an obstinate and
long-continued struggle. They descended from the sources of the Eurotas
and forced their way into the plains in the midst of the land. They
seized the heights on the right bank of the river at a point where its
channel is split by an island and it was most easy to cross the stream.
The hill of Athene became the centre of the settlement. Their
establishment in the land was a slow process. It is said Laconia was
divided into six districts, with six capital cities, each ruled by a
king. The immigrants were distributed among the inhabitants and lands
were allotted to them, in return for which they recognized the authority
of the kings and engaged to support them in power. They seem to have
been adopted by the kings, as their kindred were in Crete, as the
military guardians of their prerogatives. The result was inevitable.
They who are intrusted to maintain power become conscious that it is
really their own, take formal possession of it, and exercise it for
their own ends.

Two leading families drew to themselves the central body of the Dorians,
rallied the rest, gathered them all at one point, and made it the centre
of the district and the seat of government. They were supported by
families of common descent and recognized by the people of the land, who
suffered no change in the circumstances of their life. These gave them
homage, paid to them taxes, and united with their kindred in celebrating
funeral rites at their tombs. Sparta became the capital of the whole
country, while the former capitals became country towns.

But there were difficulties in the way of the new régime. There were
conflicting claims between the two royal families. Both of them were in
collision with families in all respects their equals as to lineage and
rank. The older and newer elements of the mass of the population were
mingled but not yet combined. Everywhere there was friction, with
occasions enough for irritation and confusion. The descendants of the
primitive races were attached to their ancient ways. The Dorians were
not less, but more tenacious of their traditional customs. And they were
conscious of their vantage and knew they were able to insist on their
preferences. As the props of the royal houses they could hope to make
terms with them, or withdraw and let them fall, or turn to cast them
down. The kings were compelled, on the one hand, to exert themselves to
hold in control a subject people, and, on the other, to check the
headstrong Dorian warriors. There was danger of the disruption of the
kingdom, a lapse into anarchy, the rise of opposing factions, and a
conflict destructive alike and equally of the welfare of all classes of
the people.

There was need of a statesman who could comprehend the problem, find a
solution, commend it to the judgment of all classes, and gain their
cordial consent to the renovation of the state upon a more equitable
basis. He must be a man of large capacity, great attainments, thorough
sincerity, earnest devotion, generous and self-sacrificing patriotism.
He must have ability to conceive a high ideal, steadily contemplate it,
and nevertheless consider the materials on which and the conditions
under which he must do his work, maintain the sober judgment which
discriminates between the ideal and the practicable, and exercise the
rigid self-control which calmly renounces the best conceivable and
resolutely attempts the best attainable. He must have regard to the
ideas, sentiments, associations, sacred traditions, and immemorial
customs of the several races and classes of the people. He must be
prudently conservative and keenly cautious in shaping and applying new
measures and methods. He must study and comprehend the inevitable
oppositions of interests, and conceive modes of action which involve
reasonable concessions accompanied by manifest compensations. He must
ally himself with no party and yet command the confidence of all
parties. Whatever prior advantage he may have had in the matters of
birth, rank, and association, he must use to conciliate those who would
be asked to make the largest apparent sacrifices, and so turn it to
account for the benefit of those who might otherwise suspect and
distrust him and fall away from his influence. He must be able to
explain and commend the system he might devise, convince the several
parties of its wisdom, persuade them to yield their preferences and
accept the needful compromises, and move them to make a fair and full
experiment of its provisions. Such a man was Lycurgus, if we may trust
the persistent tradition that he was the framer of the new constitution
and the second founder of the Dorian state of Sparta. From time to time
the question has been raised, was the work of Lycurgus original or an
imitation, shaped perhaps by his observations among the Dorian folk on
the island of Crete? It does not matter what the answer shall be. The
statesman who fitly adapts may be as wise and skilful as he who invents
and creates. The man who loves his people, plans and labors for their
good, will not peril their welfare by his experiments, disdaining the
help of those who have wrought before him, and the guidance of his
contemporaries in examples, the benign results of which he may have had
opportunity to witness. The truth appears to be that Lycurgus had
respect to the reverence of the people for the ancient ways, and
retained as far as he was able the suitable elements of the primitive
polity of the Homeric age. This was based on the Council of Chiefs or
Elders and occasional meetings of an assembly of the people to listen
and learn, to assent and give heed. From whatsoever sources he drew, he
adapted the materials of his knowledge to the conditions under which his
structure must be shaped, the circumstances under which it must get on
its base and stand secure. Those who affirm the exemplary influence of
the Cretan polity, hold fast to the tradition that Lycurgus visited the
island and could not have failed to observe the features of society
there, and could not have expelled from his mind the similarity of
conditions among the two peoples and the expedients which the lawgiver
of Crete had employed to meet and resolve the difficulties he
encountered and secure the results he attained. It must, however, be
remembered that similar peoples with common traditions and customs,
under like circumstances may independently work out for themselves
systems of society analogous in many particulars and varying only by
adaptation to special conditions. If Lycurgus perceived what was
suitable to the exigency, wrought it into a plan, moved the people to
accept it, brought harmony out of discord, order out of confusion,
contentment out of unrest, prosperity out of impending calamity, and
rescued the commonwealth for the time, he deserved abundant honor and
still deserves a permanent rank among the notable statesmen of the

The constitution was unwritten. Its provisions were expressed in forms
known as Rhætra. The kings were retained. Their power was a guaranty of
unity. They maintained the continuity of civic life. Each was a check
upon the other. They were held under restraint by the senate. Its
composition and functions were now fixed. It met not only to deliberate
and advise, but to perform judicial offices. In case of capital offences
the kings sat with the elders, each having, with every other member, but
a single vote. The members were thirty in number, one for each of the
ten clans of each of the three tribes, the kings representing their
clans and sitting as equals with equals, though presiding at the
sessions. The elders must be of the age of sixty and upward, and were
appointed for life. The ancient division of the people was preserved;
the households were grouped in thirties, the thirties in clans, the
clans in tribes. Their capital was Sparta. It was not a compact walled
town. It stretched into the open country and Dorians lived along the
entire valley of the Eurotas. Not only those dwelling at the ford of the
river, but all were acknowledged as Spartans. The kings were required to
summon the heads of the families in the assembly once every month. The
place was designated. The session was brief. To encourage brevity there
was no provision for seats, but the freemen stood. Elders and other
public officers were chosen. Official persons made known new laws,
declarations of war and peace and treaties. The people simply voted aye
or nay. The decision was according to the volume of sound. The session
closed with a military review.

The army: The Dorians had entered the land and held their place in it by
force of arms. To maintain their power it was necessary to develop a
military system and maintain a body of vigorous and able soldiers. All
citizens were constituted guardians of the nation. To all their rights
was attached the duty of military service. They composed a standing
army. The valley became a camp. The men left their estates under the
management of the women. The wife cared for the home, reared the young
children, and superintended the laborers in the business of the farm.
The soldier could not leave the valley or enter it without announcement.
The older men visited their homes on "leave of absence," the younger by
stealth at night. Emigration was desertion punishable by death. To have
gold and silver was to risk the same penalty. The heavy iron money only
could be held, and this was without value in foreign parts. The soldier
was part of an animated machine. His simple duty was to obey. Speech was
repressed. It became abrupt, brief, pithy. Relief was found at the
Lesche, near the training-ground, where talk was often free and even
merry. The whole aim of the discipline was to form the soldier. Marriage
was delayed for the sake of vigorous offspring. The girls were trained
for motherhood. They were subject to a system of athletic exercises, and
engaged in contests of running, wrestling, and boxing. The boys were put
under training at the age of eight years. They became accustomed to
severe exercise, and were inured to patient and painful endurance. They
were compelled to suffer hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and fatigue, and to
bear torture without flinching or show of emotion. Their food was kept
almost within the limits of war rations. To increase the amount and
variety they were allowed to steal. But they were careful not to be
detected, lest they should be severely punished. Likely this was a
device for training them to stealthy and cautious movements. After the
time of their maturity they continued gymnastic culture. They hunted the
goats, boars, stags, and bears on the rugged heights of the Taygetus
range. There was no system of liberal education; mental growth and
development were not sought as ends. They were rather feared. Poetry and
music were used to a limited degree, so far as they might be made
conducive to forming the traits of the soldier.

While the Spartans were solely occupied in preparation for the art of
war, it is evident there must have been a population as wholly given to
the pursuit of the practical arts, or the community could not have
existed. There were two classes of laborers. The Perioeci dwelt in the
rural townships. They were mainly of the mixed population of the lands,
but there were Dorians among them. They were freemen; they held lands,
and enjoyed certain rights of local government, voting for their
magistrates in their townships. More and more they were trained for
military service and entered the ranks as heavy-armed infantry. Some of
them were shepherds and herdsmen. From them came all the skilled
workmen, who wrought in the quarries and mines, provided building
materials, shaped iron implements, made woollen stuff and leathern
wares. Their number was three times as great as that of the citizens of
the capital city. But over all their townships the Spartans held sway
through the kings, the senate, and the assembly. These facts exhibit the
civil polity which became so common during Greek and Roman times, and
obtained again in Italy after the fall of the empire and the barbarian
invasions, up to the time of the Renaissance.

The Helots were a rural people dwelling on the lands of the Spartans
which lay about the capital or in the Laconian towns. Some of them were
in the country as villagers and rustics when the Dorians came. They
remained upon their lands as they were before, but were forced to pay a
part of the annual produce of barley, oil, and wine. Some of them were
people made captive in the border wars. They were serfs. They were,
however, wards of the state. No one could treat them as personal
property. They could not be sold or given away. They belonged to the
inventory of the farm. Their taxes were defined by law. More could not
be exacted. They could not be harmed in person. They were of value to
the state and therefore protected. More and more they were needed in the
army, where they were respected and honored for energy and bravery.
Grote says they were as happy as the peasantry of the most civilized and
humane modern nations. They lived in their villages, enjoyed their homes
and the companionship of their wives and children, and the common
fellowship of their neighbors, with ample supply for their needs and
comfort from the surplus product of their labor and apart from the eye
of their masters. Still the Helot had in him the common sentiments of
our nature. His state was servile and mean. It was not to be expected he
would always remain content in his subjection to his superiors in social
and civil life. More and more his discontent would menace the stability
of the community. Especially when the exigencies of war should compel
his rulers to place arms in his hands and enlist him for defence against
the foreign foe, it would become necessary to keep close watch upon him
and to use strong measures for the repression of his impulse toward

Judged by the highest standards, Lycurgus certainly did not form the
Laconians into an ideal nationality. He set up a military sovereignty in
the land, and this demanded that the citizens should be soldiers, live
in the camp, and devote themselves solely to the art of war. It is
likely he perceived the imperfections of the system, anticipated its
reflex effect upon the character and manners of the Spartans, and
foreknew its weakness and the consequent perils of the people when it
should inevitably be put to stress and strain by the aspirations of the
subject classes after freedom and social equality. Could he speak for
himself, he would doubtless say, with Solon, that he had not done the
best he knew but the best he could, that his constitution was
provisional and suited to the time, and that it was designed to serve as
a bridge over which his countrymen could cross a torrent and reach
safely the solid ground on which they might securely stand to rearrange
their polity and form themselves on a more equitable and generous basis
into a real and happy commonwealth.

[Signature of the author.]


(514-449 B.C.)

[Illustration: Themistocles. [TN]]

Themistocles, who raised Athens from a subordinate position to her proud
rank as leader of the Grecian States, was born about the year B.C., 514.
He was the son of Nicocles, an Athenian of moderate fortune, who,
however, was connected with the priestly house of the Lycomedæ; his
mother, Abrotonon, or, according to others Euterpe, was not an Athenian
citizen; and according to most authorities, not even a Greek, but either
a native of Caria or of Thrace. The education which he received was like
that of all Athenians of rank at the time, but Themistocles had no taste
for the elegant arts which then began to form a prominent part in the
education of Athenian youths; he applied himself with much more zeal to
the pursuit of practical and useful knowledge. This, as well as the
numerous anecdotes about his youthful wilfulness and waywardness,
together with the sleepless nights which he is said to have passed in
meditating on the trophies of Miltiades, are more or less clear symptoms
of the character which he subsequently displayed as a general and a
statesman. His mind was early bent upon great things, and was incapable
of being diverted from them by reverses, scruples, or difficulties. The
great object of his life appears to have been to make Athens great. The
powers with which nature had endowed him were quickness of perception,
an accurate judgment of the course which was to be taken on sudden and
extraordinary emergencies, and sagacity in calculating the consequences
of his own actions; and these were the qualities which Athens during her
wars with Persia stood most in need of. His ambition was unbounded, but
he was at the same time persuaded that it could not reach its end unless
Athens was the first among the Grecian States; and as he was not very
scrupulous about the means that he employed for these ends, he came into
frequent conflict with Aristides the Just, who had nothing at heart but
the welfare of his country and no desire for personal aggrandizement.

In the year 483 B.C., when Aristides was sent into exile by ostracism,
Themistocles, who had for several years taken an active part in public
affairs, and was one of the chief authors of the banishment of his
rival, remained in the almost undivided possession of the popular favor,
and the year after, B.C. 482, he was elected archon eponymus of Athens.
The city was at that time involved in a war with Ægina, which then
possessed the strongest navy in Greece, and with which Athens was unable
to cope. It was in this year that Themistocles conceived and partly
carried into effect the plans by which he intended to raise the power of
Athens. His first object was to increase the navy of Athens; and this he
did ostensibly to enable Athens to contend with Ægina, but his real
intention was to put his country in a position to meet the danger of a
second Persian invasion, with which Greece was threatened. The manner in
which he raised the naval power was this. Hitherto the people of Athens
had been accustomed to divide among themselves the yearly revenues of
the silver-mines of Laurion. In the year of his archonship these
revenues were unusually large, and he persuaded his countrymen to forego
their personal advantage, and to apply these revenues to the enlargement
of their fleet. His advice was followed, and the fleet was raised to the
number of two hundred sail. It was probably at the same time that he
induced the Athenians to pass a decree that for the purpose of keeping
up their navy, twenty new ships should be built every year. Athens soon
after made peace with Ægina, as Xerxes was at Sardis making preparations
for invading Greece with all the forces he could muster. At the same
time Themistocles was actively engaged in allaying the disputes and
hostile feelings which existed among the several states of Greece. He
acted, however, with great severity toward those who espoused the cause
of the Persians, and a Greek interpreter, who accompanied the envoys of
Xerxes that came to Athens to demand earth and water as a sign of
submission, was put to death for having made use of the Greek tongue in
the service of the common enemy.

After affairs among the Greeks were tolerably settled, a detachment of
the allied troops of the Greeks was sent out to take possession of
Tempe, under the command of Themistocles, of Athens, and Euænetus, of
Sparta; but on finding that there they would be overwhelmed by the host
of the barbarians, they returned to the Corinthian isthmus. When Xerxes
arrived in Pieria, the Greek fleet took its post near Artemisium on the
north coast of Euboea, under the command of the Spartan admiral
Eurybiades, under whom Themistocles condescended to serve in order not
to cause new dissensions among the Greeks, although Athens alone
furnished one hundred and twenty-seven ships, and supplied the
Chalcidians with twenty others; while the Spartan contingent was
incomparably smaller. When the Persian fleet, notwithstanding the severe
losses which it had sustained by a storm, determined to sail round the
eastern and southern coasts of Euboea, and then up the Euripus, in order
to cut off the Greek fleet at Artemisium, the Greeks were so surprised
and alarmed that Themistocles had great difficulty in inducing them to
remain and maintain their station. The Euboeans, who perceived the
advantages of the plan of Themistocles, rewarded him with the sum of
fifty talents, part of which he gave to the Spartan Eurybiades and the
Corinthian Adimantus to induce them to remain at Artemisium. In the
battle which then took place, the Greeks gained considerable advantage,
though the victory was not decisive. A storm and a second engagement
near Artemisium, severely injured the fleet of the Persians, but the
Greeks also sustained great losses, as half of their ships were partly
destroyed and partly rendered unfit for further service. When at the
same time they received intelligence of the defeat of Leonidas, at
Thermopylæ, the Greeks resolved to retreat from Artemisium, and sailed
to the Saronic gulf.

Xerxes was now advancing from Thermopylæ, and Athens trembled for her
existence, while the Peloponnesians were bent upon seeking shelter and
safety in their peninsula, and upon fortifying themselves by a wall
across the Corinthian isthmus. On the approach of the danger the
Athenians had sent to Delphi to consult the oracle about the means they
should employ for their safety, and the god had commanded Athens to
defend herself behind wooden walls. This oracle, which probably had been
given at the suggestion of Themistocles, was now also interpreted by him
as referring to the fleet, and his advice to seek safety in the fleet
was followed. He then further moved that the Athenians should abandon
the city to the care of its tutelary deity, that the women, children,
and infirm should be removed to Salamis, Ægina, or Troezen, and that the
men should embark in the ships. The fleet of the Greeks, consisting of
three hundred and eighty ships, assembled at Salamis, still under the
supreme command of Eurybiades. When the Persians had made themselves
masters of Attica, and Athens was seen in flames at a distance, some of
the commanders of the fleet, under the influence of fear, began to make
preparation for an immediate retreat. Themistocles saw the disastrous
results of such a course, and exerted all his powers of persuasion to
induce the commanders of the fleet to maintain their post; when all
attempts proved ineffectual, Themistocles had recourse to threats, and
thus induced Eurybiades to stay. The example of the admiral was followed
by the other commanders also. In the meantime the Persian fleet arrived
in the Saronic gulf, and the fears of the Peloponnesians were revived
and doubled, and nothing seemed to be able to keep them together. At
this last and critical moment Themistocles devised a plan to compel them
to remain and face the enemy. He sent a message to the Persian admiral,
informing him that the Greeks were on the point of dispersing, and that
if the Persians would attack them while they were assembled, they would
easily conquer them all at once, whereas it would be otherwise necessary
to defeat them one after another.

This apparently well-meant advice was eagerly taken up by the enemy, who
now hastened, as he thought, to destroy the fleet of the Greeks. But the
event proved the wisdom of Themistocles. The unwieldy armament of the
Persians was unable to perform any movements in the narrow straits
between the island of Salamis and the mainland. The Greeks gained a most
complete and brilliant victory, for they only lost forty ships, while
the enemy lost two hundred, or according to Ctesias, even five hundred.
Very soon after the victory was decided, Xerxes with the remains of the
fleet left the Attic coast and sailed toward the Hellespont. The battles
of Artemisium and Salamis occurred in the same year, B.C. 480.

When the Greeks were informed of the departure of Xerxes, they pursued
him as far as Andros, without gaining sight of his fleet, and
Themistocles proposed to continue the chase. But he gave way to the
opposition that was made to this plan, and consented not to drive the
vanquished enemy to despair. The Greek fleet therefore only stayed some
time among the Cyclades, to chastise those islanders who had been
unfaithful to the national cause. Themistocles, in the meantime, in
order to get completely rid of the king and his fleet, sent a message to
him, exhorting him to hasten back to Asia as speedily as possible, for
otherwise he would be in danger of having his retreat cut off.
Themistocles availed himself of the stay of the Greek fleet among the
Cyclades for the purpose of enriching himself at the cost of the
islanders, partly by extorting money from them by way of punishment, and
partly by accepting bribes for securing them impunity for their conduct.
He was now, however, the greatest man in Greece, his fame spread
everywhere, and all acknowledged that the country had been saved through
his wisdom and resolution. But the confederate Greeks, actuated by
jealousy, awarded to him only the second prize; at Sparta, whither he
went, as Herodotus says, to be honored, he received a chaplet of
olive-leaves--a reward which they had bestowed upon their own admiral
Eurybiades--and the best chariot that the city possessed, and on his
return three hundred knights escorted him as far as Tegea in Arcadia.

When the Persian army had been again defeated at Platæa and Mycale in
B.C. 479, and when the Athenians had rebuilt their private dwellings, it
was also resolved, on the advice of Themistocles, to restore the
fortifications of Athens, but on a larger scale than they had been
before, and more in accordance with the proud position which the city
now occupied in Greece. This plan excited the fear and jealousy of the
rival states, and especially of Sparta, which sent an embassy to Athens,
and under the veil of friendship, which ill concealed its selfish
policy, endeavored to persuade the Athenians not to fortify the city.
Themistocles, who saw through their designs, undertook the task of
defeating them with their own weapons. He advised his countrymen to
dismiss the Spartan ambassadors, and to promise that Athenian envoys
should be sent to Sparta to treat with them there respecting the
fortifications. He himself offered to go as one of the envoys, but he
directed the Athenians not to let his colleagues follow him until the
walls, on which all hands should be employed during his absence, should
be raised to such a height as to afford sufficient protection against
any attack that might be made upon them. His advice was followed, and
Themistocles, after his arrival at Sparta, took no steps toward opening
the negotiations, but pretended that he was obliged to wait for the
arrival of his colleagues. When he was informed that the walls had
reached a sufficient height, and when he could drop the mask with
safety, he gave the Spartans a well-deserved rebuke, returned home, and
the walls were completed without any hindrance. He then proceeded to
carry into effect the chief thing which remained to be done to make
Athens the first maritime power of Greece. He induced the Athenians to
fortify the three ports of Phalerum, Munychia, and Piræus by a double
range of walls.

[Illustration: The victors of Salamis.]

When Athens was thus raised to the station on which it had been the
ambition of Themistocles to place it, his star began to sink, though he
still continued for some time to enjoy the fruits of his memorable
deeds. He was conscious of the services he had done his country, and
never scrupled to show that he knew his own value. His extortion and
avarice, which made him ready to do anything, and by which he
accumulated extraordinary wealth, could not fail to raise enemies
against him. But what perhaps contributed more to his downfall was his
constant watchfulness in maintaining and promoting the interests of
Athens against the encroachments of Sparta, which in its turn was ever
looking out for an opportunity to crush him. The great men who had grown
up by his side at Athens, such as Cimon, and who were no less indebted
to him for their greatness in the eyes of Greece than to their own
talents, were his natural rivals, and succeeded in gradually supplanting
him in the favor of the people. They also endeavored to represent him as
a man of too much power, and as dangerous to the public. The consequence
of all this was that in B.C. 472, he was banished from Athens by the
ostracism. He took up his residence at Argos, where he was still
residing when, in the same year, B.C. 472, Pausanias was put to death at
Sparta for his ambitious and treacherous designs, and his fate involved
that of Themistocles. The Spartans, in their search to discover more
traces of the plot of Pausanias, found a letter of Themistocles from
which it was evident that he had been acquainted with his plans. This
was sufficient for the Spartans to ground upon it the charge that
Themistocles had been an accomplice in his crime, and ambassadors were
forthwith sent to Athens to demand that he should suffer the same
punishment as Pausanias.

This charge was no less welcome to his enemies at Athens than the
discovery of his letter had been to the Spartans. Orders were
consequently issued to arrest and convey him to Athens; and foreseeing
that his destruction would be unavoidable if he should fall into the
hands of his enemies, he fled to Corcyra, and thence to the opposite
coast of Epirus, where he took refuge at the court of Admetus, king of
the Molossians. On his arrival the king was absent, but his Queen Phthia
received him kindly, and pointed out to him in what manner he might win
the sympathy of Admetus. When the king returned home, Themistocles,
seated on the hearth and holding the child of Admetus in his arms,
implored the king not to deliver him up to his persecutors, who traced
him to the court of the Molossians. It is stated that Themistocles was
here joined by his wife and children. The king not only granted his
request, but provided him with the means of reaching the coast of the
Ægean, whence he intended to proceed to Asia and seek refuge at the
court of the king of Persia. From Pydna he sailed in a merchant ship to
the coast of Asia Minor. At Ephesus he received such part of his
property as his friends had been able to wrest from the hands of his
enemies at Athens, together with that which he had left at Argos.

A few months after his arrival in Asia, Xerxes was assassinated (B.C.
465), and was after a short interval succeeded by Artaxerxes. Various
adventures are told of Themistocles before he reached the residence of
the Persian king. On his arrival he sent him a letter, in which he
acknowledged the evils he had inflicted upon his predecessor; but at the
same time claimed the merit of having saved him from destruction by his
timely advice. He added that his present exile was only the consequence
of his great zeal for the interests of the king of Persia. He did not
ask for an immediate interview with the king, as he was yet unacquainted
with the language and the manners of the Persians, to acquire which he
requested a year's time. During this period he applied himself so
zealously and with such success to these studies that at the close of
the year, when he was presented to the king, he is said to have excited
the jealousy of the courtiers, and was most kindly received by the king,
to whom he held out prospects of conquering Greece by his assistance.
The king became so attached to him, that Themistocles was always in his

But death overtook him at the age of sixty-five, before any of his plans
were carried into effect. Most of the ancient writers state that he put
an end to his life by poison, or according to another strange story, by
drinking the blood of a bull, because he despaired of being able to
fulfil his promises to the king. The motive for his suicide is very
questionable. Reflection on his past life and upon the glory of his
former rivals at Athens, are much more likely to have rendered him
dissatisfied with life. Before he took the poison he is said to have
requested his friends to convey his remains secretly to Attica, and in
later times a tomb which was believed to contain them existed in Piræus.
In the market-place of Magnesia a splendid monument was erected to his
memory, and his descendants in that place continued to be distinguished
by certain privileges down to the time of Plutarch.


(499-429 B.C.)

[Illustration: Pericles. [TN]]

Pericles, the greatest statesman of ancient Greece, was born of
distinguished parentage in the early part of the fifth century B.C. His
father was that Xanthippus who won the victory over the Persians at
Mycale, 479 B.C.; and by his mother, Agariste, the niece of the great
Athenian reformer, Cleisthenes, he was connected with the princely line
of Sicyon and the great house of the Alcmæonidæ. He received an
elaborate education, but of all his teachers the one whom he most
reverenced was the serene and humane philosopher, Anaxagoras. Pericles
was conspicuous all through his career for the singular dignity of his
manners, the Olympian grandeur of his eloquence, his "majestic
intelligence" in Plato's phrase, his sagacity, probity, and profound
Athenian patriotism. Both in voice and in appearance he was so like
Pisistratus, who had once overturned the Athenian republic and ruled as
a king, that for some time he was afraid to come forward in political
life. When he entered on public life Aristides had only recently died,
Themistocles was an exile, and Cimon was fighting the battles of his
country abroad. Although the family to which he belonged was good, it
did not rank among the first in either wealth or influence, yet so
transcendent were the abilities of Pericles that he rapidly rose to the
highest power in the state as the leader of the dominant democracy. The
sincerity of his attachment to the popular party has been questioned,
but without a shadow of evidence. At any rate, the measures which,
either personally or through his adherents, he brought forward and
caused to be passed, were always in favor of extending the privileges of
the poorer class of the citizens, and, if he diminished the spirit of
reverence for the ancient institutions of public life, he enlisted an
immense body of citizens on the side of law. He extended enormously, if
he did not originate, the practice of distributing gratuities among the
citizens for military service, for acting as dicast and in the Ecclesia
and the like, as well as for admission to the theatre--then really a
great school for manners and instruction. Pericles seems to have grasped
very clearly, and to have held as firmly, the modern radical idea, that
as the state is supported by the taxation of the body of the citizens,
it must govern with a view to general interests rather than to those of
a caste alone. About 463, Pericles, through the agency of his follower,
Ephialtes, struck a great blow at the influence of the oligarchy, by
causing the decree to be passed which deprived the Areopagus of its most
important political powers. Shortly after the democracy obtained another
triumph in the ostracism of Cimon (461). During the next few years the
political course pursued by Pericles is less clearly intelligible to us,
but it is safe to say that in general his attitude was hostile to the
desire for foreign conquest or territorial aggrandizement, so prevalent
among his ambitious fellow-citizens. Shortly after the battle of Tanagra
(457), in which he showed conspicuous courage, Pericles magnanimously
carried the measure for the recall of Cimon. His successful expeditions
to the Thracian Chersonese, and to Sinope on the Black Sea, together
with his colonies planted at Naxos, Andros, Oreus in Euboea, Brea in
Macedonia, and Ægina, as well as Thurii in Italy, and Amphipolis on the
Strymon, did much to extend and confirm the naval supremacy of Athens,
and afford a means of subsistence for her poorer citizens. But his
greatest project was to form, in concert with the other Hellenic states,
a grand Hellenic confederation in order to put an end to the mutually
destructive wars of kindred peoples, and to make Greece one mighty
nation, fit to front the outlying world. The idea was not less sagacious
than it was grand. Had it been accomplished, the semi-barbarous
Macedonians would have menaced the civilized Greeks in vain, and even
Rome at a later period, might perhaps have found the Adriatic, and not
the Euphrates, the limit of her empire. But the Spartan aristocrats were
utterly incapable of appreciating such exalted patriotism, or of
understanding the political necessity for it, and by their secret
intrigues the well-planned scheme was brought to nothing. Athens and
Sparta were already in that mood toward each other which rendered the
disaster of the Peloponnesian war inevitable. When the Spartans, in 448,
restored to the Delphians the guardianship of the temple and treasures
of Delphi, of which they had been deprived by the Phocians, the
Athenians immediately after marched an army thither and reinstated the
latter. Three years later an insurrection broke out in the tributary
Megara and Euboea, and the Spartans again appeared in the field as the
allies of the insurgents. The position of Athens was critical. Pericles
wisely declined to fight against all his enemies at once. A bribe of ten
talents sent the Spartans home, and the insurgents were then thoroughly
subdued. The thirty years' peace with Sparta (445) left him free to
carry out his schemes for the internal prosperity of Athens.

Cimon was now dead and was succeeded in the leadership of the
aristocratic party by Thucydides, son of Melesias, who in 444 B.C. made
a strong effort to overthrow the supremacy of Pericles by attacking him
in the popular assembly for squandering the public money on buildings
and in festivals and amusements. Thucydides made an effective speech;
but Pericles immediately rose and offered to execute the buildings at
his own expense, if the citizens would allow him to put his own name
upon them instead of theirs. The sarcasm was successful. Thucydides was
ostracized, and to the end of his life, Pericles reigned the undisputed
master of the public policy of Athens. During the rest of his career
"there was," says the historian Thucydides, "in name a democracy, but in
reality a government in the hands of the first man." And the Athens of
his day was the home of Æschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Anaxagoras,
Zeno, Protagoras, Socrates, as well as Myron and Phidias; while there
flourished at the same time, but elsewhere in Greece, Herodotus,
Hippocrates, Pindar, Empedocles, and Democritus. The centre of this
splendid group was Pericles, of whom the truthful pen of Thucydides
records that he never did anything unworthy of his high position, that
he did not flatter the people or oppress his adversaries, and that with
all his unlimited command of the public purse, he was personally

Soon after this the Samian war broke out, in which Pericles gained high
renown as a naval commander. This war originated in a quarrel between
Miletus and the island of Samos, in which Athens was led to take part
with the former. The Samians, after an obstinate struggle, were beaten,
and a peace was concluded (439). The position in which Athens then stood
toward many of the Greek states was peculiar. Since the time of the
Persian invasion, she had been the leader of the confederacy formed to
resist the attacks of the powerful enemy, and the guardian of the
confederate treasury kept in the isle of Delos. Pericles caused the
treasury to be removed to Athens, and commuting the contingents of the
allies for money, enormously increased the contributions to the
patriotic fund, Athens herself undertaking to protect the confederacy.
The grand charge against Pericles is that he applied the money thus
obtained to other purposes than those for which it was designed; that,
in short, he adorned and enriched Athens with the spoils of the allied
states. To his mind Hellas was subordinate to Athens, and he confounded
the splendor of the dominant city with the splendor of Greece, in a
manner possible to a man of poetic imagination, hardly to a man of the
highest honor. His enemies, who dared not attack himself, struck at him
in the persons of his friends. Phidias was flung into prison for the
impiety of introducing portraits of himself and Pericles into the battle
of the Amazons depicted on the shield of the goddess Athena in the
Parthenon; the brilliant Aspasia, the famous mistress of Pericles, was
arraigned on a charge of impiety, and only acquitted through the
eloquence of Pericles on her behalf; while the aged Anaxagoras was
driven from the city.

It is unnecessary to give a detailed account of all that Pericles did to
make his native city the most glorious in the ancient world. Greek
architecture and sculpture under his patronage reached perfection. To
him Athens owed the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, left unfinished at his
death, the Propylæa, the Odeum, and numberless other public and sacred
edifices; he also liberally encouraged music and the drama; and during
his life, industry and commerce were in so flourishing a condition that
prosperity was universal in Attica.

At length, in 431, the long foreseen and inevitable Peloponnesian war
broke out between Athens and Sparta. The plan of Pericles was for Athens
to adopt a defensive attitude, to defend the city itself, leaving Attica
to be ravaged by the enemy, but to cripple the power of Sparta by
harassing its coasts. The story of the war must be told elsewhere; here
it is enough to say that the result was unfavorable to Athens for
reasons for which Pericles was only in small part to blame. He trusted
in the ultimate success of Athens, both from her superior wealth and
from her possessing the command of the sea, but he had not calculated
upon the deterioration in her citizens' spirit, nor upon the robust
courage of the Boeotian and Spartan infantry. Nor was his advice to keep
behind the city walls rather than face the enemy in the field, best
calculated to arouse the Athenians' courage. The plague ravaged the city
in 430, and in the autumn of the following year, Pericles died after a
lingering fever. His two sons had been carried off by the plague, he had
been harassed by a charge of peculation brought by Cleon, and the actual
infliction of a fine by the dicastery, while he had been without office
from July, 430, to July, 429, but before the last he recovered his hold
over the Ecclesia, and was gratified in the closing days of his life by
its legitimation of his and Aspasia's son.

As a statesman his greatest fault was a failure to foresee that personal
government is ultimately ruinous to a nation. He taught the people to
follow a leader, but he could not perpetuate a descent of leaders like
himself. Hence we cannot wonder, when days of trouble broke over Athens,
how that men spoke bitterly of Pericles and all his glory. Yet he was a
lofty-minded statesman, inspired by noble aspirations, and his heart
was full of a noble love for the city and her citizens. Plutarch tells
the story that, as he lay dying and apparently unconscious, his friends
around his bed were passing in review the great achievements of his
life, and the nine trophies which he had erected at different times for
so many victories. The dying patriot quietly interrupted with the
characteristic sentence: "What you praise in my life belongs partly to
good fortune, and is, at best, common to me with many generals. But that
of which I am proudest, you have left unnoticed--no Athenian has ever
put on mourning through any act of mine."


From the French of FÉNELON

(468-399 B.C.)

[Illustration: Socrates. [TN]]

Socrates, who, by the consent of all antiquity, has been considered as
the most virtuous and enlightened of Pagan philosophers, was a citizen
of Athens, and belonged to the town of Alopecé.

He was born in the fourth year of the 77th Olympiad. His father,
Sophroniscus, was a sculptor; and his mother, Phanaretè, a midwife.

He first studied philosophy under Anaxagoras, and next under Archelaus,
the natural philosopher. But finding that all these vain speculations
concerning natural objects served no useful purpose, and had no
influence in rendering the philosopher a better man, he devoted himself
to the study of ethics; and (as Cicero, in the third book of his
Tusculan Questions, observes) may be said to be the founder of moral
philosophy among the Greeks. In the first book, speaking of him still
more particularly and more extensively, he expresses himself thus: "It
is my opinion (and it is an opinion in which all are agreed) that
Socrates was the first who, calling off the attention of philosophy from
the investigation of secrets which nature has concealed (but to which
alone all preceding philosophers had attached themselves), engaged her
in those things which concern the duties of common life; his object was
to investigate the nature of virtue and vice; and to point out the
characteristics of good and evil; saying, that the investigation of
celestial phenomena was a subject far above the reach of our powers;
and that even were they more within the reach of our faculties, it could
have no influence in regulating our conduct."

That part of philosophy, then, whose province is the cultivation of
morals, and which embraces every age and condition of life, he made his
only study. This new mode of philosophizing was the better received on
this account, that he who was the founder of it, fulfilling with the
most scrupulous care all the duties of a good citizen, whether in peace
or in war, enforced by example the precepts which he taught.

Of all the philosophers who have acquired celebrity, he (as Lucian in
his dialogue of the Parasite remarks) was the only one that ever
subjected himself to the hardships of war. He served two campaigns, in
both of which, though unsuccessful, he served in person and exhibited a
manly courage. In the one, he saved the life of Xenophon, who when
retreating, had fallen from his horse and would have been killed by the
enemy, had not Socrates taking him upon his shoulders, removed him from
the danger and carried him several furlongs, till his horse, which had
run off, was brought back. This fact is related by Strabo.

In his other campaign, the Athenians having been entirely defeated and
put to flight, Socrates was the last to retreat, and showed such a stern
aspect that the pursuers of those who fled, seeing him every moment
ready to turn upon them, never had the boldness to attack him. This
testimony is given him by Athenæus.

After these two expeditions, Socrates never set a foot out of Athens. In
this, his conduct was very different from that of the other
philosophers, who all devoted a part of their life to travelling, that
by intercourse with the learned of other countries they might acquire
new knowledge. But as that kind of philosophy to which Socrates limited
himself led a man to use every effort to know himself rather than to
burden his mind with knowledge which has no influence on moral conduct,
he thought it his duty to dispense with tedious travelling, in which
nothing was to be learned which he might not learn at Athens among his
countrymen, for whose reformation, besides, he thought his labors ought
to be devoted, rather than to that of strangers. And as moral philosophy
is a science which is taught better by example than by precept, he laid
it down as a rule to himself, to follow and practise all that right
reason and the most rigid virtue could demand.

It was in compliance with this maxim that, when elected one of the
senators of the city, and having taken the oath to give his opinion
"according to the laws," he peremptorily refused to subscribe to the
sentence by which the people, in opposition to the laws, had condemned
to death nine officers; and though the people took offence at it, and
some of the most powerful even threw out severe menaces against him, he
always firmly adhered to his resolution; thinking it inconsistent with
the principles of a man of virtue or honor, to act contrary to his oath
merely to please the people. Except on this single occasion, we know not
whether he ever acted in a civil capacity; but insulated as the occasion
was, he acquired such reputation by it at Athens, for probity and the
other virtues, that he was more respected there than the magistrates

He was very careful of his person, and blamed those who paid no
attention to themselves, or who affected exterior negligence. He was
always neat, dressed in a decent, becoming manner; observing a just
medium between what might seem gross and rustic, and what savored of
pride and effeminacy.

Though furnished with few of the blessings of fortune, he always
maintained perfect disinterestedness by receiving no remuneration from
those who attended on his instructions. By such conduct he condemned the
practice of the other philosophers, whose custom it was to sell their
lessons, and to tax their scholars higher or lower, according to the
degree of reputation they had acquired.

Thus Socrates, as Xenophon relates, used to say that he could not
conceive how a man, whose object it was to teach virtue, should think of
turning it to gain; as if to form a man of virtue, and to make of his
pupil a good friend, were not the richest advantages and the most solid
profit with which his cares could be rewarded.

It must further be remarked that Socrates kept no class, as did the
other philosophers, who had a fixed place where their scholars
assembled, and where lectures were delivered to them at stated hours.
Socrates' manner of philosophizing consisted simply in conversing with
those who chanced to be where he was, without any regard to time or

He was always poor; but in his poverty so contented, that though to be
rich was within the reach of a wish, by receiving the presents which his
friends and scholars often urged him to accept, he always returned them;
to the great displeasure of his wife, who had no relish for carrying
philosophy to such a height. In regard to food and clothes, so hardy was
his manner of life that Antiphon, the Sophist, sometimes reproached him,
by saying that he had not a slave so miserable as would be contented
with it: "For," said he, "your food is disgustingly mean; besides, not
only are you always very poorly dressed, but winter or summer you have
the same robe; and never anything above it: with this, you on all
occasions, go barefoot."

But Socrates proved to him that he was greatly mistaken if he thought
that happiness depended on wealth or finery; and that, poor as he might
seem to him, he was in fact happier than he. "I consider," said he,
"that as to want nothing is the exclusive prerogative of the gods, so
the fewer wants a man has, the nearer he approaches to the condition of
the gods."

It was impossible that virtue so pure as that of Socrates should have no
effect in exciting admiration, especially in a city such as Athens,
where that example must have appeared very extraordinary. For those very
persons who have not the happiness to follow virtue themselves, cannot
refrain from doing justice to those who do follow it. This soon gained
Socrates the universal esteem of his fellow-citizens, and attracted to
him many scholars of every age; by whom the advantages of listening to
his instructions, and engaging in conversation with him, were preferred
to the most fascinating pleasure and the most agreeable amusements.

What rendered the manner of Socrates peculiarly engaging was, that
though in his own practice he maintained the most rigid severity, yet to
others he was in the highest degree gentle and complaisant. The first
principle with which he wished to inspire his youthful auditors was
piety and reverence for the gods; he then allured them as much as
possible to observe temperance, and to avoid voluptuousness;
representing to them how the latter deprives a man of liberty, the
richest treasure of which he is possessed.

His manner of treating the science of morals was the more insinuating,
as he always conducted his subject in the way of conversation and
without any apparent method. For without proposing any point for
discussion, he kept by that which chance first presented. Like one who
himself wished information, he first put a question, and then, profiting
by the concessions of his respondent, brought him to a proposition
subversive of that which in the beginning of the debate had been
considered as a first principle. He spent one part of the day in
conferences of this kind, on _morals_. To these everyone was welcome,
and according to the testimony of Xenophon, none departed from them
without becoming _a better man_.

Though Socrates has left us nothing in writing, yet by what we find in
the works of Plato and Xenophon, it is easy to judge both of the
principles of his ethical knowledge and of the manner in which he
communicated them. The uniformity observable (especially in his manner
of disputing), as transmitted by these two scholars of Socrates, is a
certain proof of the method which he followed.

It will be difficult to conceive how a person who exhorted all men to
honor the gods, and who preached, so to speak, to the young to avoid and
abandon every vice, should himself be condemned to death for impiety
against the gods received at Athens, and as a corrupter of youth. This
infamously unjust proceeding took place in a time of disorder and under
the seditious government of the thirty tyrants. The occasion of it was
as follows:

Critias, the most powerful of these thirty tyrants, had formerly, as
well as Alcibiades, been a disciple of Socrates. But both of them being
weary of a philosophy the maxims of which would not yield to their
ambition and intemperance, they, at length, totally abandoned it.
Critias, though formerly a scholar of Socrates, became his most
inveterate enemy. This we are to trace to that firmness with which
Socrates reproached him for a certain shameful vice; and to those means
by which he endeavored to thwart his indulging in it. Hence it was that
Critias, having become one of the thirty tyrants, had nothing more at
heart than the destruction of Socrates, who, besides, not being able to
brook their tyranny, was wont to speak against them with much freedom.
For, seeing that they were always putting to death citizens and powerful
men, he could not refrain from observing, in a company where he was,
that if he to whom the care of cattle was committed, exhibited them
every day leaner and fewer in number, it would be very strange if he
would not himself confess that he was a bad cow-herd.

Critias and Charicles, two of the most powerful of the thirty tyrants,
feeling the weight of the allusion fall upon themselves, first enacted
that no one should teach in Athens the art of reasoning. Although
Socrates never had professed that art, yet it was easy to discover that
he was aimed at; and that it was intended thus to deprive him of the
liberty of conversing as usual, on moral subjects, with those who
resorted to him.

That he might have a precise explanation of this law, he went to the two
authors of it; but as he embarrassed them by the subtlety of his
questions, they plainly told him that they prohibited him from entering
into conversation with young people.

But, seeing Socrates' reputation was so great that to attack him and
serve him with an indictment would have drawn upon them public odium, it
was thought necessary to begin by discrediting him in the view of the
public. This was attempted by the comedy of Aristophanes entitled "The
Clouds," in which Socrates was represented as teaching the art of making
that which is just appear unjust.

The comedy having had its effect, by the ridicule which it threw upon
Socrates, Melitus brought a capital accusation against him, in which he
alleged; first, that he did not honor those as gods, who were
acknowledged such at Athens, and that he was introducing new ones;
secondly, that he corrupted the youth; that is to say, that he taught
them not to respect their parents, or the magistrates. The accuser
required that for these two crimes he should be condemned to death.

Enraged as the tyrants were (and especially Critias and Charicles)
against Socrates, it is certain that they would have been very reluctant
to condemn him, had he availed himself in the least of the favorable
circumstances in his case. But the intrepidity and resolution with which
he heard the accusation, refusing even to pay any fine, as that would
have been to avow himself in some degree culpable; and especially the
firmness with which he addressed the judges when called upon to state
the punishment which he thought he deserved, enraged them against him.
For, with confidence in his integrity, he answered them, "That he
thought he deserved to be maintained at the public expense during the
rest of his life." This whetted afresh the resentment of the thirty
tyrants, who caused him now to be condemned to death.

Lysias, a very eloquent philosopher, had composed an apologetical
oration that Socrates might avail himself of it, and pronounce it before
the judges, when called to appear before them. Socrates having heard it,
acknowledged it to be a very good one, but returned it, saying that it
did not suit him. "But why," replied Lysias, "will it not suit you,
since you think it a good one?"

"Oh, my friend!" returned Socrates, "may there not be shoes and
different articles of dress very good in themselves, and yet not
suitable for me?"

The fact is, though the oration was very fine and energetic, yet the
manner in which it was conducted, did not suit the uprightness and
candor of Socrates.

[Illustration: Death of Socrates.]

Now condemned to death, Socrates was put into prison, where some days
after, he died by drinking the poison hemlock. For this was the
instrument of death, then used by the Athenians, in the case of those
who were condemned for capital crimes.

According to Diogenes Laërtius, Socrates was twice married, but of the
two wives he has given him, we know nothing except of the famous
Xantippè, by whom he had a son named Tamprocles; Xantippè rendered
herself celebrated by her ill-humor, and by the exercise which she
afforded to the patience of Socrates. He had married her, he said, from
a persuasion that if he were able to bear with her bad temper, there
could be nothing which he might not support.

He died in the first year of the 95th Olympiad, aged seventy.


From the French of FÉNELON

(412-323 B.C.)

[Illustration: Diogenes. [TN]]

Diogenes the Cynic, son of Icesius a banker, was born about the 91st
Olympiad, in Sinope, a city of Paphlagonia. He was accused of having
forged money, in concert with his father. Icesius was arrested, and died
in prison. Alarmed at the fate of his father, Diogenes fled to Athens.
When he had arrived at that city, he inquired for Antisthenes; but the
latter, having resolved never to take a scholar, repulsed him and beat
him off with his stick. Diogenes was by no means discouraged by this
treatment. "Strike--fear not," said he to him, bowing his head; "you
shall never find a stick hard enough to make me run off, so long as you
continue to speak." Overcome by the importunity of Diogenes, Antisthenes
yielded, and permitted him to become his scholar.

Banished from his native country and without any resource, Diogenes was
reduced to great indigence. He perceived one day, a mouse running
briskly up and down, without any fear of being surprised by the approach
of night, without any anxiety about a lodging-place, and even without
thinking of food. This reconciled him to his misery. He resolved to live
at his ease, without constraint, and to dispense with everything which
was not absolutely necessary for the preservation of life. He doubled
his cloak, that by rolling himself up in it, it might serve the purposes
both of a bed and of a coverlet. His movables consisted of a bag, a jug,
and a staff; and wherever he went he always carried his furniture along
with him. His stick, however, he used only when he went to the country,
or on some emergency. Persons really lame were, he said, neither the
deaf nor the blind, but those who had no bag.

He always went barefoot, nor did he wear sandals even when the ground
was covered with snow. He endeavored also to accustom himself to eat raw
flesh, but this was a point of perfection to which he never could
arrive. He entreated a person of his acquaintance to afford him some
little hole in his lodging, to which he might occasionally retire. But
as he was dilatory in giving him a positive answer he took possession of
an earthen tub, which he always carried about with him, and which was
the only house he ever had. In the heat of summer when the fields were
scorched by the sun, he used to roll among the burning sands, and in
winter to embrace statues covered with snow, that he might accustom
himself to endure without pain the inclemencies of heat and cold.

He treated everyone with contempt. He accused Plato and his scholars of
dissipation, and of the crime of loving good cheer. All the orators he
styled "the slaves of the people." Crowns were, he said, as brittle
marks of glory as bubbles of water, which burst in the formation; that
theatrical representations were the wonder of fools only. In a word,
nothing escaped his satiric humor.

He ate, he spoke, he slept, without discrimination, wherever chance
placed him. Pointing to Jupiter's porticos on one occasion, he
exclaimed: "How excellent a dining-room the Athenians have built for me

He frequently said: "When I consider the rulers, the physicians, and the
philosophers whom the world contains, I am tempted to think man
considerably elevated by his wisdom above the brutes; but when, on the
other hand, I behold augurs, interpreters of dreams, and people who can
be inflated with pride on account of their riches or honors, I cannot
help thinking him the most foolish of all animals."

When taking a walk one day, he observed a child drinking from the hollow
of his hand. He felt greatly affronted at the sight. "What!" exclaimed
Diogenes, "do children know better than I do with what things a man
ought to be contented?" Upon which he took his jug out of his bag, and
instantly broke it, as a superfluous movable.

The province in philosophy to which Diogenes attached himself, was that
of morals. He did not, however, entirely neglect the other sciences. He
was possessed of lively parts, and easily anticipated objections.

[Illustration: Diogenes in his tub.]

As he was one day discoursing on a very serious and important subject
everyone passed by without giving himself the least concern about what
Diogenes was saying. Upon this, he began to sing. The people crowded
about him. He immediately seized the opportunity of giving them a severe
reprimand for flocking about him and attending with eagerness to a
mere trifle, while they would not so much as listen to things of the
greatest importance.

Walking out once at noon, with a lighted torch in his hand, he was asked
what he was in quest of. "I am searching for a _man_," said he. On
another occasion he called out in the middle of a street: "Ho!
_men_--_men_." A great many people assembling around him, Diogenes beat
them away with his stick, saying "I was calling for men."

Alexander passing through Corinth on one occasion, had the curiosity to
see Diogenes, who happened to be there at that time. He found him
basking in the sun in the grove Craneum, where he was cementing his tub.
"I am," said he to him, "the great king Alexander." "And I," replied the
philosopher, "am the dog Diogenes." "Are you not afraid of me?"
continued Alexander. "Are you good or bad?" returned Diogenes. "I am
good," rejoined Alexander. "And who would be afraid of one who is good?"
replied Diogenes.

Alexander admired the penetration and free manners of Diogenes. After
some conversation, he said to him: "I see, Diogenes, that you are in
want of many things; and I shall be happy to have an opportunity of
assisting you: ask of me what you will." "Retire a little to one side
then," replied Diogenes; "you are depriving me of the rays of the sun."

It is no wonder that Alexander stood astonished at seeing a man so
completely above every human concern. "Which of the two is richest?"
continued Diogenes: "he who is content with his cloak and his bag, or he
for whom a whole kingdom is not sufficient, but who is daily exposing
himself to a thousand dangers in order to extend its limits?"
Alexander's courtiers felt indignant that so great a king should do so
much honor to such a dog as Diogenes, who did not even rise from his
place. Alexander perceived it, and turning about to them said: "Were I
not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes."

As Diogenes was one day going to Egina, he was taken by pirates, who
brought him to Crete, and exposed him to sale. He did not appear to be
in the least disconcerted, nor to feel the least uneasiness on account
of his misfortune. Seeing one Xeniades, corpulent and well-dressed, "I
must be sold to that person," said he, "for I perceive he needs a
master. Come, child," said he to Xeniades, as he was coming up to
purchase him, "come, child, buy a man." Being asked what he could do, he
said he had the talent of commanding men. "Crier," said he, "call out in
the market, _If anyone needs a master, let him come here and purchase

Xeniades charged him with the instruction of his children, a task which
Diogenes performed with great fidelity. He made them commit to memory
the finest passages of the poets, with an abridgment of his own
philosophy, which he composed on purpose for them. He made them exercise
themselves in running, wrestling, hunting, horsemanship, and in using
the bow and the sling. He accustomed them to very plain fare, and in
their ordinary meals to drink nothing but water. He ordered them to be
shaven to the skin. He brought them with him into the streets very
carelessly dressed, and frequently without sandals and tunics. These
children had a great affection for Diogenes, and took particular care to
recommend him to their parents.

When Diogenes was in slavery, some of his friends used their interest to
procure him his liberty. "Fools!" said he, "you are jesting. Do you not
know that the lion is not the slave of them who feed him? They who feed
him are his slaves."

Diogenes one day heard a herald publish that Dioxippus had conquered men
at the Olympic games. "Say slaves and wretches," said he to them. "It is
I who have conquered men."

When it was said to him, "You are old, you must take your ease," he
said, "What? must I slacken my pace at the end of my course? Would it
not be fitter that I should redouble my efforts?"

When walking in the streets, he observed a man let fall some bread which
he was ashamed to lift. In order to show him that a man ought never to
blush when he is desirous to save anything, Diogenes collected the
fragments of a broken bottle and carried them through the town. "I am
like good musicians," said he, "who leave the true sound that others may
catch it." To one who came to him to be his disciple, he gave a gammon
of bacon to carry and desired him to follow him. Ashamed to carry it
through the streets, the man threw it down and made off. Diogenes
meeting him a few days after, said to him, "What? has a gammon of bacon
broken our friendship?"

After reflecting on his life, Diogenes smiling said: "That all the
imprecations generally uttered in tragedies had fallen upon him; that he
had neither house, nor city, nor country; and that, in a state of
indigence he lived from day to day; but that to fortune he opposed
firmness; to custom, nature; and reason to the disorders of the soul."

Diogenes was greatly beloved and highly esteemed by the Athenians. They
publicly scourged one who had broken his tub, and gave the philosopher

He was one day asked where he chose to be buried after his death? He
replied: "In an open field." "How!" said one, "are you not afraid of
becoming food for birds of prey and wild beasts?" "Then I must have my
stick beside me," said Diogenes, "to drive them away when they come."
"But," resumed the other, "you will be devoid of all sensation." "If
that be the case," replied he, "it is no matter whether they eat me or
not, seeing I shall not be sensible to it."

Some say that having arrived at the age of ninety, he ate a neat's-foot
raw, which caused indigestion to such a degree that he burst. It is said
by others that feeling himself burdened with age, he retained his
breath, and was thus the cause of his own death. His friends coming next
day, found him muffled up in his cloak. Upon first discovering him they
doubted whether he were not asleep (which with him, was very unusual);
they were soon convinced that he was dead. There was a great dispute
among them about who should bury him; but when on the eve of breaking
out into open violence, the magistrates and old men of Corinth
opportunely arrived to appease the disturbance.

Diogenes was buried beside the gate lying toward the isthmus. There was
erected, beside his tomb, a dog of Parian marble. The death of this
philosopher happened in the first year of the 114th Olympiad, on the
same day that Alexander died at Babylon.



(385-322 B.C.)

         [Footnote 6: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Demosthenes. [TN]]

Demosthenes, the foremost orator of all history, was born in Athens
about July in the year 385 B.C. His father, also named Demosthenes, a
manufacturer of swords, was a gentleman widely and justly esteemed. His
mother was Cleobule, the daughter of Gylon by a Scythian lady. The
father died when the son was about seven years of age, leaving an estate
of fourteen or fifteen talents, equal to some $200,000 now. The
guardians partly embezzled, partly wasted the property, and the young
orator's first law business, occupying several years, was the
prosecution of these criminals to recover what he might. His success was
but partial, yet his patrimony, with what he earned, always kept him in
relative affluence, spite of his expensive tastes and great public and
private munificence. As a boy he was weak, and did not avail himself of
the physical training then usual among Greek youth of good families. He,
however, employed the best teachers in his studies and his mental
education was thorough. To Thucydides and the old rhetoricians he was
ardently devoted, and these, with personal instruction by the orator
Isæus, did most to form his style.

The early years of Demosthenes's manhood were spent in preparing
speeches for sale, in instructing pupils in rhetoric, and in the severe
and painstaking education of himself as a public speaker. His resolution
in overcoming obstacles is much dwelt upon by ancient writers. He at
first lisped and stammered and had a weak voice. To cure these faults he
enunciated with pebbles in his mouth and declaimed while walking uphill
and by the roaring breakers of the sea-shore. He shut himself in an
underground study, which he constructed for the purpose, and practised
going through long trains of thought there alone. "When he went out
upon a visit or received one," says Plutarch, "he would take something
that passed in conversation, some business or fact that was reported to
him, for a subject to exercise himself upon. As soon as he had parted
from his friends, he went to his study, where he repeated the matter in
order as it passed, together with the arguments for and against it. The
substance of the speeches which he heard he committed to memory, and
afterward reduced them to regular sentences and periods, meditating a
variety of corrections and new forms of expression, both for what others
had said to him and he had addressed to them. Hence it was concluded
that he was not a man of much genius, and that all his eloquence was the
effect of labor. A strong proof of this seemed to be that he was seldom
heard to speak anything extempore, and though the people often called
upon him by name as he sat in the assembly, to speak to the point
debated, he would not do it unless he came prepared." It is related that
when in speaking he happened to be thrown into confusion by any
occurrence in the assembly, the orator Demades, the foremost extempore
speaker of the age, often arose and supported him in an extempore
address, but that he never did this for Demades. Demosthenes was not,
however, the slave of manuscript or memory. He declared that "he neither
wrote the whole of his orations nor spoke without first committing part
to writing." There was said to be greater spirit and boldness in his
impromptu speeches than in those which he had elaborately prepared.
People thought that sometimes when he spoke out thus on a sudden, his
eloquence was inspired from above, as when once he uttered, in regular
though unpremeditated verse, the forceful oath:

  "By earth, by all her fountains, streams, and floods."

Demosthenes's first speeches were harsh and obscure. The sentences were
too long, the metaphors violent and inapt. On the occasion of his first
set address before a public assembly he even broke down. He was,
however, indomitable in his determination and efforts to speak well, and
persevered until at last the most critical heard him with delight.
Notwithstanding certain defects which nice critics very early remarked,
such as undue vehemence, argumentation and intensity too long sustained,
and, in general, lack of variety and relief, Demosthenes's oratory is
worthy the exalted regard which the best readers have in all ages
accorded to it. His thought is always lucid and weighty, his argument
fair and convincing, his diction manly and solid. He never uses a
superfluous or a far-fetched word, never indulges in flowers,
word-painting, or rhetorical trickery of any kind. He shows no trace of
affectation, no effort to surprise or to be witty He depends for effect
upon truth logically and earnestly presented. If such a style,
everywhere perfectly kept up, was in any degree artificial, how
matchless the art which concealed the art! So plain and straightforward
are many of the speeches, that one is tempted to refer their wonderful
power when spoken to some richness of elocution not appreciable now.
Says Hume, treating of Demosthenes' manner, "Could it be copied, its
success would be infallible over a modern assembly. It is rapid harmony
exactly adjusted to the sense. It is vehement reasoning without any
appearance of art; it is disdain, anger, boldness, freedom, involved in
a continued stream of argument; and, of all human productions, the
orations of Demosthenes present to us the models which approach nearest
to perfection." ("Essay of Eloquence." Comp. Lord Brougham's Works,
vii., 59 foll.)

[Illustration: Demosthenes practising oratory.]

Demosthenes was between twenty-five and thirty when Philip of Macedon
began his astonishing career of conquest. It was soon clear that he was
to be the rival of Athens for the headship of Greece. Demosthenes became
the champion of the Athenian cause, and henceforth, so long as he lived,
used all his powers against Macedonian aggressions. Most of his best
speeches relate to this issue. His eloquence, argument, and personal
influence won nearly all the Grecian states to a coalition that, for a
time, successfully forbade Philip to set foot in Greece proper. Only
Thebes and Sparta stood out, and when Philip, daring them all, ventured
south and conquered Phocis, even the Thebans yielded to Demosthenes's
pleas and joined the league. In vain, however. At the decisive battle of
Chæronea, B.C. 338, Philip was entirely victorious. The allies fled,
Demosthenes himself among them, leaving Philip to become at his leisure
the master of every city so far south at least as the northern confines
of Sparta. He might have realized his wish at once but for his excesses.
He drank himself drunk, dancing over his slain foes, and beating time in
maudlin song to the caption of the Athenian decree which Demosthenes had
procured against him. But it is said that when sober again he trembled
to remember "the prodigious power of that orator who had obliged him to
put both empire and life on the cast of a day." Two years after the
battle of Chæronea Philip is stricken down by the assassin Pausanias.
Alexander mounts the throne, a youth of twenty. Greece flies to arms
against him, not dreaming that a greater than Philip is here. Marching
quickly against the Thracians and the Illyrians, who at once succumb, he
volts to smite rebellious Thebes and Athens, whom Demosthenes's
incessant appeals have again induced to take the field. In spite of him,
the Athenians now basely desert the Thebans, leaving them to stand the
entire fury of the war alone. Greece is thus soon quieted again, and the
boy warrior, leaving Antipater behind with a sufficient home guard,
crosses to Asia never to return. Once, later, when Harpalus, Alexander's
renegade treasurer, came to Athens with his bags of Asiatic gold, and
again after Alexander's death, it for a moment seemed possible to throw
off Macedonia's yoke. Each time the orator led in an attempt to do this,
but failed. Fined fifty talents for taking some of Harpalus' gold, he
fled from Athens, living for a time in Troezen and Ægina. The new hope
for the former Greek régime evoked by Alexander's death was brief.
Athens recalled Demosthenes and he made a successful tour of the cities
to rally them against Antipater. Antipater, however, was too strong, and
his victory at Cranon, B.C. 322, fully restored Macedonia's supremacy.
Pursued to Calaurea by Antipater's emissaries, Demosthenes fled for
refuge to the temple of Neptune there, took poison, which he had long
carried with him for that purpose, and died, aged sixty-two.

It is clear that both the Macedonian conquerors deemed Demosthenes their
most powerful foe. Drunk or sober, Philip thought constantly of him as
the great force to be reckoned with. When he with nine other deputies
visited Philip's court, it was Demosthenes's speech to which Philip felt
called to give special reply, treating him with argument, while
bestowing his choicest hospitality upon the others. Æschines and
Philocrates accordingly came home full of praise for Philip. He was
eloquent, they said, handsome, and could drink more liquor than any
other man. Demosthenes, showing for the nonce some wit, ridiculed these
traits, the first as that of a sophist, the second as that of a woman,
the third as that of a sponge. "The fame of Demosthenes reached the
Persian court; and the king wrote letters to his lieutenants commanding
them to supply him with money and to attend to him more than to any
other man in Greece; because he best knew how to make a diversion in his
favor by raising fresh troubles and finding employment for the
Macedonian arms nearer home. This Alexander afterward discovered by
letters of Demosthenes which he found at Sardis, and the papers of the
Persian government expressing the sums which had been given him."

The moral character of Demosthenes was fiercely assailed during his
life, the chief charges being vacillation, unchastity, cowardice, and
the receipt of bribes. In weighing these accusations we must remember
that they were inspired by personal hatred, and that public life in
Demosthenes's day was characterized by almost inconceivable strife and
bitterness. There was probably considerable ground for all the
allegations, except, perhaps, that of infirmity in purpose. Plutarch
believes that the orator was "vindictive in his nature and implacable in
his resentments." But the same author wonders how Theopompus could say
that he was a man of no steadiness, since it appeared that "he abode by
the party and the measures which he first adopted, and was so far from
quitting them during his life that he forfeited his life rather than
forsake them." "He was never a time-server either in his words or in his
actions. The key of politics which he first touched he kept to without
variation." But he certainly lacked physical courage. At Chæronea, a
battle which he himself had brought on, he fled ignominiously, throwing
away his arms. His cowardice was recognized in the inscription upon the
pedestal of the bronze statue which the Athenians erected to him.

  "Divine in speech, in judgment, too, divine,
   Had valor's wreath, Demosthenes, been thine,
   Fair Greece had still her freedom's ensign borne,
   And held the scourge of Macedon in scorn."

It is equally certain that he loved gold too well, and sometimes took it
when it should have burnt his hands.

For all this, Demosthenes's character was rather a noble one for that
age. Among the distinguished Athenians of the day, only Phocion's
outshone it. Nearly all that Demosthenes's foes cite to his discredit
seems weak considering the known vices of the period, while much of it,
as when they taunt him with always drinking water instead of wine,
implies on his part a creditable strength of will, which is further
attested by his self-discipline in mastering his chosen art. What, after
all, speaks the most strongly for the orator's character is the serious
moral tone of his orations. This cannot have been simulated, and hence
cannot have proceeded from a man with a vicious nature.

The esteem in which Demosthenes was held at Athens is seen in what
occurred soon after the battle of Chæronea, an event which led to
Demosthenes' greatest oratorical effort. One Ctesiphon had proposed that
the people reward Demosthenes' public services by the gift of a golden
crown, and the senate had passed a bill to this effect, for submission
to the vote of the assembly. Æschines denied that the orator's conduct
gave him any right to be thus honored, and prosecuted Ctesiphon for
bringing forward an unconstitutional measure. After years of delay, the
trial came on in B.C. 330, Æschines delivering his famous address
against Ctesiphon, really an adverse critical review of Demosthenes's
public and private life to that time, to which Demosthenes replied by
his immortal Oration on the Crown. Demosthenes gained a surprising
victory. Although the judges were nearly all of the Macedonian party,
Æschines did not secure for his cause a fifth part of their votes, a
fact which, according to Athenian law, subjected him to a fine of a
thousand drachmas for provoking the litigation. He at once left Athens
and never returned.

The most recent judgment of Demosthenes as a statesman differs much from
that in which nearly all the standard English and American authorities
since Grote agree. Till lately it has been common to think of Athens as
a real democracy, favorable to freedom, the bulwark of liberty then for
Greece and the world. Philip has been deemed a mere barbarian, whose
victory was certain to be, and was, the death of Grecian liberty. This
being so, Demosthenes, in opposing Philip and his son Alexander, was not
only a sincere patriot but a wise one. This is the view of Greek
politics then which one gets from Demosthenes himself. Readers of his
masterly orations insensibly adopt it, without due reflection upon the
evidence now available to substantiate a different one. Demosthenes is
understood to argue for a constitutional form of government, which, to
all lovers of such, is an additional reason for siding with him. Grote's
history urges the same view in a most enthusiastic and unhesitating way,
and has had enormous influence in disseminating it. Thucydides, the
original Greek historian most read in our time, makes the fate of
everything good in Greece turn upon that of Athens. This great author so
trains us in his manner of thought as to disqualify us from coolly
considering the question whether the fortunes of Greece might not have
risen or fallen in some other way.

The present writer believes the above theory to be almost entirely an
error. Doubtless Demosthenes was honest, but he was mistaken in his
views of what was best for Greece and even for Athens. Philip and
Alexander, however selfish, were neither in purpose nor in fact so
hostile to Greek freedom as the mighty orator makes out. Inordinate
ambition possessed both. In this they are to be ranked with Napoleon and
Julius Cæsar rather than with Washington. They, however, clearly saw the
vanity of the old Greek _régime_, the total uselessness of trying to
unify Greece or to make her independent of Persia through any of the
devices paraded by the politicians. Therefore, with patriotism and
philanthropy enough to give their cause a certain moral glow in their
minds, they set out by force of arms--the only possible way to
succeed--first, to unify Greece, and next, to make her eternally
independent of Persia. Since Gustav Droysen, in his "Alexander the
Great," led off with this theory, the best writers upon Greek history
have gradually adopted it, deserting Grote more and more. Droysen went
too far. With him Alexander was the veritable demigod whom he sottishly
decreed that his subjects should see in him. Droysen, of course, has too
little respect for Demosthenes's policy. Victor Duruy is the only late
writer of note who still blows the trumpet for our old orator as a
statesman. He says that "the result of the Macedonian dominion was the
death of European Greece," and he calls it the immortal glory of
Demosthenes to have perceived this; yet even he admits that "the
civilization of the world gained" by the Macedonian conquest, and hence,
after all, places himself, "from the point of view of the world's
history, on the side of Philip and his son." The tendency of writers
upon this period is thus to exalt the man with a great national policy
in his head though with a sword in his hand, at the expense of him who,
never so honestly, dinned the populace with his high-sounding pleas for
an obstructive course.

We are learning that republicanism or democracy, whichever one pleases
to call it, was in ancient times a very different thing from aught that
now exists under either name. The various republics of Greece and the
republic of Rome were nothing but oligarchies, often atrociously
tyrannical. Even at their best estate the rights of individuals in them,
of their citizens even, were far less perfectly guarded than in some
pretty absolute monarchies of later times.

"The Athenian imperial democracy was no popular government. In the first
place there was no such thing as representation in their constitution.
Those only had votes who could come and give them at the general
assembly, and they did so at once upon the conclusion of the debate.
There was no Second Chamber or Higher Council to revise or delay their
decisions, no crown; no High Court of Appeal to settle claims against
the state. The body of Athenian citizens formed the assembly. Sections
of this body formed the jury to try cases of violation of the
constitution either in act or in the proposal of new laws.

"The result was that all outlying provinces, even had they obtained
votes, were without a voice in the government. But as a matter of fact
they had no votes, for the states which became subject to Athens were
merely tributary; and nothing was further from the ideas of the
Athenians than to make them members of their Imperial Republic, in the
sense that a new State is made a member of the American Republic.

"This it was which ruined even the great Roman republic, without any
military reverses, and when its domination of the world was unshaken.
Owing to the absence of representation, the empire of the Roman republic
was in the hands of the city population, who were perfectly incompetent,
even had they been in real earnest, to manage the government of the vast
kingdoms their troops had conquered. In both cases the outsiders were
governed wholly for the benefit of the city crowd.

"The mistakes and the injustices which resulted in the Roman executive
were such that any able adventurer could take advantage of the
world-wide discontent, and could play off one city faction against the
other. It is not conceivable that any other general course of events
would have taken place at Athens, had she become the ruler of the
Hellenic world. Her demos regarded itself as a sovran, ruling subjects
for its own glory and benefit; there can therefore be no doubt that the
external pressure of that wide discontent, which was the primary cause
of the Peloponnesian war, would have co-operated with politicians
within, if there were no enemies without, and that ambitious military
chiefs, as at Rome, would have wrested the power from the sovran people
either by force or by fraud." (Mahaffy, "Problems in Greek History," 98

In other words, however distressing the ills which might happen to
Athens through Philip's success, they could not be worse than those
which were sure to beset her in any event; while for Greece as a whole,
Philip's victory would mean unity and peace such as could have been
secured in no other way.

This splendid possibility, which must have impressed the minds of
Phocion and Philip, is obscured to our thought by the untimely death of
both the great Macedonian generals, before their plans had any time to
bear fruit. Desperate chaos follows Alexander's death of course; and
when, little by little, order is evolved, it is a new order, not the old
one. Never again does Athens sit there as a queen looking out upon her
Ægean, but her day of political glory is ended forever.

It is natural to trace all this wild disorder, involving the decline of
Athens, the wars of Alexander's successors, small and great, and also
the Roman conquest at last, to Philip's victory at Chæronea. As we read
the tangled and bloody record, we say to ourselves: Oh, how much better
all would have been had the Athenians roused at the cry of Demosthenes,
and beaten Philip instead of being beaten! We assume that had this
happened Greece would have kept on its old splendid way, able to have
conquered Rome herself when Rome came. Philip ruined Greece; the advice
of Demosthenes, had it been followed, would have saved her.

Superficially considered, all this seems clever reasoning; but it is in
fact a stupendous fallacy. _Post hoc ergo propter hoc._ Philip conquered
and subsequently things went ill with Greece. A man looked at Mars and
subsequently had the cholera.

Let us no longer argue so childishly. The evils that befell Hellas were
not at all those which Demosthenes prophesied. They are no proof of his
foresight. From the point of view of his wishes they were entirely
accidental. To see this we need only inquire what would in all
probability have come to pass had Alexander lived. One may heavily
discount Droysen's adoration of the young conqueror, and yet, from what
he achieved while alive and the way in which he achieved it, believe
that immeasurable blessings to Greece and to humanity would have
resulted from a lengthening of his days. I cannot think it rash to
affirm that ten or twenty years added to Alexander's career would
probably have changed subsequent history in at least three colossal

1. Probably Greece would have been more happily, perfectly, and
permanently cemented together than was the case, or could in any other
way have been the case.

2. Probably Greece would not only have been at last forever free from
Asia but would also have become Asia's lord, and this in a manner truly
beneficial to both lands.

3. Probably Greece would have ruled Rome instead of being ruled by Rome,
and this, too, in such wise as to have benefited both, and the world as

[Signature of the author.]


From the French of FÉNELON

(384-322 B.C.)

[Illustration: Two men sitting face to face. [TN]]

Of all the philosophers of antiquity, Aristotle was one of the most
celebrated; and in every seat of learning, his name, even at this day,
is held in esteem.

He was son of Nicomachus, a physician, and friend of Amyntas, king of
Macedonia, and was descended from Machaon, son of Æsculapius. He was
born at Stagira, a city of Macedonia, in the first year of the 99th
Olympiad. He lost his father and mother in his infancy, and was very
much neglected by those who had the charge of his education.

In his early years he dissipated almost all his patrimony in libertinism
and debauchery. At first he became a soldier; but the profession of arms
not suiting his turn of mind, he went to Delphi to consult the Oracle,
and fix his determination. By the response of the Oracle, he was
directed to go to Athens and pursue the study of philosophy. He was
then in his eighteenth year. For twenty years he studied in the academy
under Plato, and as he had spent all his inheritance, he was induced, in
order to procure a subsistence, to vend medicines at Athens.

Aristotle ate little and slept less. So strong was his passion for
study, that in order to resist the oppression of sleep, he kept at his
bedside a brazen basin, over which when in bed, he stretched one of his
hands in which he held an iron ball, that if he should fall asleep, the
noise of the ball dropping into the basin might awake him instantly.

According to Laërtius his voice was shrill and squeaking, his eyes
small, his legs slender, and he dressed magnificently.

Aristotle was a man of acute parts, and one who easily comprehended the
most difficult questions. He soon became master of the doctrines of
Plato, and distinguished himself among the other academicians. No
question was decided in the academy without the opinion of Aristotle,
though it was often subversive of that of Plato. By all his
fellow-students he was considered as a prodigy of genius, and his
opinions were often followed, in opposition to those of his master.
Aristotle left the academy. This excited the resentment of Plato. He
could not refrain from treating him as a rebel, comparing him to the
chick which pecks its dam.

The Athenians appointed him ambassador to Philip, king of Macedonia,
father of Alexander the Great. Aristotle, having spent some time in
Macedonia in settling the affairs of the Athenians, found, upon his
return, that Xenocrates had been chosen master of the academy. Seeing
that place thus filled he said, "It would be a shame for me to be
silent, when Xenocrates speaks." He accordingly established a new sect,
and taught doctrines different from those of his master Plato.

The celebrity of Aristotle, who now surpassed all his contemporaries in
every kind of science, especially in the departments of philosophy and
politics, induced Philip, king of Macedonia, to offer him the care of
the education of his son Alexander, then fourteen years of age.
Aristotle accepted. He continued Alexander's preceptor for eight years;
and according to the testimony of Plutarch, taught him some secret
doctrines which he communicated to none other.

The study of philosophy did not render the manners of Aristotle austere.
He applied to business, and took an interest in everything that passed
at the court of Macedonia. From respect to this philosopher, Philip
rebuilt Stagira, his native city, which had been destroyed during the
wars, and restored to their possessions all the inhabitants, of whom
some had fled and others had been reduced to slavery.

When Alexander's education was finished, Aristotle returned to Athens,
where he was well received on account of the mildness with which, for
his sake, that city had been treated by Philip. He fixed upon a place in
the Lyceum highly beautified with avenues of trees, where he established
his school. He used to walk about when teaching and from this
circumstance his sect was called _Peripatetic_. The Lyceum was soon
thronged by a concourse of students whom Aristotle's reputation had
drawn together from every quarter of Greece.

Alexander recommended to him to attend particularly to experiments in
physical science. To facilitate his observations he sent him, besides
800 talents to defray expenses, a great number of huntsmen and fishermen
to supply him from every quarter with subjects for experiment.

At that time Aristotle published his books of physics and metaphysics.
Of this, Alexander who was now in Asia, got information. That ambitious
prince, desirous of being in everything the first man in the world, was
dissatisfied that the learning of his master should become common.

He showed his resentment by the following letter: "You have not done
well in publishing your books on speculative science. If what you taught
me be taught to men of all ranks, I shall then have nothing but in
common with others. But I would have you consider that I had rather be
superior to other men in abstract and secret knowledge, than to surpass
them in power."

To appease this prince Aristotle sent him for answer, that he had
published his books, but in such a way that in fact they were not
published. By this he apparently meant, that his doctrines were laid
down in a manner so embarrassed that it was impossible for any one ever
to understand them.

Aristotle carefully investigated that question, the great object of
moral philosophy, how men might be rendered happy in the present world.
In the first place, he refutes the opinion of the voluptuous, who make
happiness to consist in corporal pleasures. "Not only," said he, "are
these pleasures fleeting, they are also succeeded by disgust; and while
they enfeeble the body they debase the mind."

He next rejects the opinion of the ambitious, who place happiness in
honors, and, with this object in view, pay no regard to the maxims of
equity or the restraints of law. "Honor," he said, "exists in him who
honors." "The ambitious," he adds, "desire to be honored in consequence
of some virtue of which they wish themselves supposed to be possessed;
that consequently, happiness consists in virtue, rather than in honors,
especially as these are external and do not depend upon ourselves."

In the last place, he refutes the system of the avaricious, who
constitute riches the supreme good. "Riches," he said, "are not
desirable on their own account; they render him who possesses them
unhappy, because he is afraid to use them. In order to render them
really useful it is necessary to use and to distribute them, and not to
place happiness in what is in itself detestable and not worth the

The opinion of Aristotle is, that happiness consists in the most perfect
exercise of the understanding and the practice of the virtues. The most
noble exercise of the understanding, he considered to be speculation
concerning natural objects; the heavens, the stars, nature, and chiefly
the First Being. He observed, however, that without a competency of the
good things of fortune suited to a man's situation in life, it was
impossible to be perfectly happy, because without this we could neither
have time to pursue speculation, nor opportunity to practise the
virtues. Thus, for example, one could not please his friends; and to do
good to those whom we love is always one of the highest enjoyments of

"Happiness depends therefore," he said, "on three things: the goods of
mind, as wisdom and prudence; the goods of the body, as beauty, health,
strength; and the goods of fortune, as riches and nobility." Virtue he
maintained, is not sufficient to render men happy; the goods of the body
and of fortune are absolutely necessary; and a wise man would be unhappy
were he to want riches or if his share of them were insufficient.

He affirmed, on the other hand: "Vice is sufficient to render men
unhappy. Though in the greatest affluence and enjoying every other
advantage, it is impossible for a man ever to be happy while the slave
of vice. The wise man is not wholly exempted from the ills of life, but
his share of them is small." "The virtues and vices," he said, "are not
incompatible, for the same man, though intemperate, may be just and

He mentions three kinds of friendship; one of relationship, another of
inclination, and a third of hospitality.

Elegant literature, he thinks, contributes greatly to produce a love of
virtue; and the cultivation of letters he affirms to be the greatest
consolation of age.

Like Plato, he admitted the existence of a Supreme Being, to whom he
attributed providence.

In his politics, he maintains that the monarchical form of government is
the most perfect, because in other forms there are more rulers than one.
An army under the conduct of one able commander, succeeds better than
one conducted by several leaders; and while deputies, or chief men, are
employed in assembling and deliberating, a monarch has already finished
an expedition and executed his designs. The rulers of a republic do not
care though they should ruin the state, provided they enrich themselves.
Jealousies are engendered, divisions arise, and the republic is in
danger of being finally destroyed and overthrown. In a monarchy, on the
other hand, the interests of the prince are those of the state; and the
state of course must flourish.

Aristotle was one day asked, "What does a man gain by telling a lie?"
"Not to be believed," said he, "even when he tells the truth."

Having been blamed for giving alms to a bad man, he said: "It is not
because he is bad, but because he is a man, that I have compassion for

To his friends and scholars he used to say, that knowledge is to the
soul what light is to the eyes; and that mellowness of the fruit makes
up for the bitterness of the root. When irritated against the Athenians,
he reproached them with neglecting their _laws_, and using their _corn_;
though possessed of the former, as well as the latter.

He was one day asked, "What it is that is soonest effaced?" "Gratitude,"
replied he. "What is hope?" "A waking man's dream."

Diogenes presented Aristotle with a fig. Aristotle very well knew that
were he to refuse it, Diogenes would level his wit against him. He took
the fig, therefore, and with a smile said, "Diogenes has at once lost
his fig and the use he intended to make of it."

He said there were three things very necessary to children: Genius,
exercise, and instruction. When asked the difference between the learned
and the ignorant, he replied: "The same as between the living and the
dead." "Knowledge," he said, "is an ornament in prosperity, and in
adversity a refuge. Those who give children a good education, are much
more their fathers than those who have begotten them; the latter
communicate mere life to them; the former put it in their power to spend
it comfortably." "Beauty," said he, "is a recommendation infinitely
stronger than any kind of learning."

He was one day asked, What pupils should do to turn their instructions
to the greatest advantage? "They must," said he, "always keep in view
those before them, and never look back to those behind them."

A certain person was one day boasting of being the citizen of an
illustrious state. "Do not value yourself upon that," said Aristotle;
"rather ask yourself whether you deserve to be so?"

Reflecting on human life, he sometimes said: "There are some who amass
riches with as much avidity as if they were to live forever; others are
as careless about their possessions as if they were to die to-morrow."

When asked, what is a friend? he replied, "One soul animating two
bodies." "How," said one to him, "ought we to act to our friends?" "As
we would have them to act toward us," replied Aristotle. He used
frequently to exclaim, "Ah! my friends, there is not a friend in the

He was one day asked, "How it comes that we prefer beautiful women to
those who are ugly?" "You now ask a blind man's question," returned

He was asked what advantage he had derived from philosophy? "To do
voluntarily," replied he, "what others do through fear of the laws."

It is said that during his stay at Athens he was intimate with an able
Jew, by whom he was accurately instructed in the science and religion of
the Egyptians, for the acquisition of which everyone at that time used
to go to Egypt itself.

Having taught in the Lyceum for thirteen years with great reputation,
Aristotle was accused of impiety by Eurimedon, priest of Ceres. He was
so overwhelmed with the recollection of what Socrates had suffered that
he hastily left Athens and retired to Chalcis in Euboea. It is said by
some that he there died of vexation because he could not discover the
cause of the flux and reflux of the Euripus. By others it is added that
he threw himself into that sea, and when falling said, "Let the Euripus
receive me since I cannot comprehend it." And lastly, it is affirmed by
others that he died of a colic in the sixty-third year of his age, two
years after the death of his pupil, Alexander the Great.

By the Stagirites, altars were erected to him as a god.

Aristotle made a will, of which Antipater was appointed the executor. He
left a son called Nicomachus, and a daughter who was married to a
grandson of Demaratus, king of Lacedæmonia.



(287-212 B.C.)

[Illustration: A boat. [TN]]

It is scarcely possible to view the vast steamships of our day without
reflecting that to a great master of mechanics, upward of two thousand
years since, we in part owe the invention of the machine by which these
mighty vessels are propelled upon the wide world of waters. This power
is an application of "the Screw of Archimedes," the most celebrated of
the Greek geometricians. He was born in Sicily, in the Corinthian colony
of Syracuse, in the year 287 B.C., and when a very young man, was
fortunate enough to enjoy the patronage of his relative Hiero, the
reigning prince of Syracuse.

The ancients attribute to Archimedes more than forty mechanical
inventions--among which are the endless screw; the combination of
pulleys; an hydraulic organ, according to Tertullian; a machine called
the HELIX, or screw, for launching ships; and a machine called
_loculus_, which appears to have consisted of forty pieces, by the
putting together of which various objects could be framed, and which
were used by boys as a sort of artificial memory.

Archimedes is said to have obtained the friendship and confidence of
Hiero by the following incident. The king had delivered a certain weight
of gold to a workman, to be made into a crown. When the crown was made
and sent to the king, a suspicion arose in the royal mind that the gold
had been adulterated by the alloy of a baser metal, and he applied to
Archimedes for his assistance in detecting the imposture; the difficulty
was to measure the bulk of the crown without melting it into a regular
figure; for silver being, weight for weight, of greater bulk than gold,
any alloy of the former in place of an equal weight of the latter would
necessarily increase the bulk of the crown; and at that time there was
no known means of testing the purity of metal. Archimedes, after many
unsuccessful attempts, was about to abandon the subject altogether, when
the following circumstance suggested to his discerning and prepared mind
a train of thought which led to the solution of the difficulty. Stepping
into his bath one day, as was his custom, his mind doubtless fixed on
the object of his research, he chanced to observe that, the bath being
full, a quantity of water of the same bulk as his body must flow over
before he could immerse himself. He probably perceived that any other
body of the same bulk would have raised the water equally; but that
another body of the same weight, but less bulky, would not have produced
so great an effect. In the words of Vitruvius, "as soon as he had hit
upon this method of detection, he did not wait a moment, but jumped
joyfully out of the bath, and running forthwith toward his own house,
called out with a loud voice that he had found what he sought. For as he
ran he called out, in Greek, 'Eureka! Eureka!--I have found it! I have
found it!'" When his emotion had sobered down, he proceeded to
investigate the subject calmly. He procured two masses of metal, each of
equal weight with the crown--one of gold and the other of silver--and
having filled a vessel very accurately with water, he plunged into it
the silver, and marked the exact quantity of water that overflowed. He
then treated the gold in the same manner, and observed that a less
quantity of water overflowed than before. He next plunged the crown into
the same vessel full of water, and observed that it displaced more of
the fluid than the gold had done, and less than the silver; by which he
inferred that the crown was neither pure gold nor pure silver, but a
mixture of both. Hiero was so gratified with this result as to declare
that from that moment he could never refuse to believe anything
Archimedes told him.

Travelling in Egypt, and observing the necessity of raising the water of
the Nile to points which the river did not reach, as well as the
difficulty of clearing the land from the periodical overflowings of the
Nile, Archimedes invented for this purpose the screw which bears his
name. It was likewise used as a pump to clear water from the holds of
vessels; and the name of Archimedes was held in great veneration by
seamen on this account. The screw may be briefly described as a long
spiral with its lower extremity immersed in the water, which, rising
along the channels by the revolution of the machine on its axis, is
discharged at the upper extremity. When applied to the propulsion of
steam-vessels the screw is horizontal; and being put in motion by a
steam-engine, drives the water backward, when its reaction, or return,
propels the vessel.

The mechanical ingenuity of Archimedes was next displayed in the various
machines which he constructed for the defence of Syracuse during a three
years' siege by the Romans. Among these inventions were catapults for
throwing arrows, and ballistæ for throwing masses of stone; and iron
hands or hooks attached to chains, thrown to catch the prows of the
enemy's vessels, and then overturn them. He is likewise stated to have
set their vessels on fire by burning-glasses; this, however, rests upon
modern authority, and Archimedes is rather believed to have set the
ships on fire by machines for throwing lighted materials.

[Illustration: Death of Archimedes.]

After the storming of Syracuse, Archimedes was killed by a Roman
soldier, who did not know who he was. The soldier inquired, but the
philosopher, being intent upon a problem, begged that his diagram might
not be disturbed; upon which the soldier put him to death. At his own
request, expressed during his life, a sphere inscribed in a cylinder was
sculptured on his tomb, in memory of his discovery that the solid
contents of a sphere is exactly two-thirds of that of the circumscribing
cylinder; and by this means the memorial was afterward identified. One
hundred and fifty years after the death of Archimedes, when Cicero was
residing in Sicily, he paid homage to his forgotten tomb. "During my
quæstorship," says this illustrious Roman, "I diligently sought to
discover the sepulchre of Archimedes, which the Syracusans had
totally neglected, and suffered to be grown over with thorns and briars.
Recollecting some verses, said to be inscribed on the tomb, which
mentioned that on the top was placed a sphere with a cylinder, I looked
round me upon every object at the Agragentine Gate, the common
receptacle of the dead. At last I observed a little column which just
rose above the thorns, upon which was placed the figure of a sphere and
cylinder. This, said I to the Syracusan nobles who were with me, this
must, I think, be what I am seeking. Several persons were immediately
employed to clear away the weeds and lay open the spot. As soon as a
passage was opened, we drew near, and found on the opposite base the
inscription, with nearly half the latter part of the verses worn away.
Thus would this most famous, and formerly most learned, city of Greece
have remained a stranger to the tomb of one of its most ingenious
citizens, had it not been discovered by a man of Arpinum."

To Archimedes is attributed the apophthegm: "Give me a lever long
enough, and a prop strong enough, and with my own weight I will move the
world." This arose from his knowledge of the possible effects of
machinery; but however it might astonish a Greek of his day, it would
now be admitted to be as theoretically possible as it is practically
impossible. Archimedes would have required to move with the velocity of
a cannon-ball for millions of ages to alter the position of the earth by
the smallest part of an inch. In mathematical truth, however, the feat
is performed by every man who leaps from the ground; for he kicks the
world away when he rises, and attracts it again when he falls back.

Under the superintendence of Archimedes was also built the renowned
galley for Hiero. It was constructed to half its height, by three
hundred master workmen and their servants, in six months. Hiero then
directed that the vessel should be perfected afloat; but how to get the
vast pile into the water the builders knew not, till Archimedes invented
his engine called the helix, by which, with the assistance of very few
hands he drew the ship into the sea, where it was completed in six
months. The ship consumed wood enough to build sixty large galleys; it
had twenty tiers of bars and three decks; the middle deck had on each
side fifteen dining apartments besides other chambers, luxuriously
furnished, and floors paved with mosaics of the story of the "Iliad." On
the upper deck were gardens with arbors of ivy and vines; and here was a
temple of Venus, paved with agates, and roofed with Cyprus-wood; it was
richly adorned with pictures and statues, and furnished with couches and
drinking-vessels. Adjoining was an apartment of box-wood, with a clock
in the ceiling, in imitation of the great dial of Syracuse; and here was
a huge bath set with gems called Tauromenites. There were also on each
side of this deck, cabins for the marine soldiers, and twenty stables
for horses; in the forecastle was a fresh-water cistern which held 253
hogsheads; and near it was a large tank of sea-water, in which fish were
kept. From the ship's sides projected ovens, kitchens, mills, and other
offices, built upon beams, each supported by a carved image nine feet
high. Around the deck were eight wooden towers, from each of which was
raised a breastwork full of loopholes, whence an enemy might be annoyed
with stones each tower being guarded by four armed soldiers and two
archers. On this upper deck was also placed the machine invented by
Archimedes to fling stones of 300 pounds weight and darts eighteen feet
long, to the distance of 120 paces; while each of the three masts had
two engines for throwing stones. The ship was furnished with four
anchors of wood and eight of iron; and "the water-screw" of Archimedes,
already mentioned, was used instead of a pump for the vast ship; "by the
help of which one man might easily and speedily drain out the water,
though it were very deep." The whole ship's company consisted of an
immense multitude, there being in the forecastle alone 600 seamen. There
were placed on board her 60,000 bushels of corn, 10,000 barrels of salt
fish, and 20,000 barrels of flesh, besides the provisions for her
company. She was first called the Syracuse, but afterward the
Alexandria. The builder was Archias, the Corinthian shipwright. The
vessel appears to have been armed for war and sumptuously fitted for a
pleasure-yacht, yet was ultimately used to carry corn. The timber for
the main mast, after being in vain sought for in Italy, was brought from
England. The dimensions are not recorded, but they must have exceeded
those of any ship of the present day; indeed, Hiero, finding that none
of the surrounding harbors sufficed to receive his vast ship, loaded it
with corn and presented the vessel with its cargo to Ptolemy, King of
Egypt, and on arriving at Alexandria it was hauled ashore, and nothing
more is recorded respecting it. A most elaborate description of this
vast ship has been preserved to us by Athenæus, and translated into
English by Burchett, in his "Naval Transactions."

Archimedes has been styled the Homer of geometry; yet it must not be
concealed that he fell into the prevailing error of the ancient
philosophers--that geometry was degraded by being employed to produce
anything useful. "It was with difficulty," says Lord Macaulay, "that he
was induced to stoop from speculation to practice. He was half ashamed
of those inventions which were the wonder of hostile nations, and always
spoke of them slightingly, as mere amusements, as trifles in which a
mathematician might be suffered to relax his mind after intense
application to the higher parts of his science."



(106-43 B.C.)

[Illustration: Cicero. [TN]]

Marcus Tullius Cicero, the foremost orator of ancient Rome, one of her
leading statesmen, and the most brilliant and accomplished of her men of
letters, lived in those stirring later days of the Roman republic, that
age of revolution and civil wars, in which an old and decaying order of
things was passing away. It was the age of great and daring spirits, of
Catiline, Cæsar, Pompey, Antony, with whose history Cicero's life is so
closely intertwined.

Born 106 B.C., at an old Italian town, Arpinum in Latium, of a good
family, and inheriting from his father, who was a man of considerable
culture, a moderate estate, he went as a boy to Rome, and there, under
the best teachers and professors, he learned law and oratory, Greek
philosophy, and Greek literature, acquiring in fact the universal
knowledge which he himself says in his essay "On the Orator" (De
Oratore), an orator ought to possess. An orator in the ancient world, we
should bear in mind, was first and chiefly a pleader of causes, causes
both legal and political--speaker alike, as we should say, at the bar
and in parliament. Hence the necessity for knowledge and information of
every kind. Cicero's first important speech, in his twenty-sixth year,
was the successful defence in a criminal trial of a client against one
of the favorites of the all-powerful Sulla, then dictator. After a visit
to Athens, and a tour in Asia Minor, where he profited by the society of
eminent professors of rhetoric and men of letters, he returned to Rome,
and at thirty years of age he was in the highest repute at the Roman

In 76 B.C., having been elected quæstor (a financial secretary, as we
may say) by a unanimous popular vote, he held an appointment in Sicily,
where he won the good opinion of two highly important interests, apt at
times to conflict, the traders and the revenue collectors. To this he
owed the glory of his successful impeachment of the infamous Verres, in
70 B.C., which he undertook at the request of the Sicilian provincials.
The bad man who had so hideously misgoverned them, felt himself crushed
by Cicero's opening speech, and went into voluntary exile. Cicero was
now a power in the state, and his rise up the official ladder was sure
and rapid; in 66 B.C. he was prætor, and supported in a great political
speech (Pro Lege Manilia) the appointment of Pompey to the conduct of
the war with Mithridates, which in fact carried with it the supreme
control of Asia and of the East. In 63 B.C., at the age of forty-four,
he was consul, the highest dignity attainable to a Roman; in that
memorable year he foiled by a bold promptitude, the revolutionary plot
of Catiline, in which many distinguished Romans--Cæsar it was even said
among them--were implicated. He was now at the height of his fame;
"father of his country" he was actually called, for a brief space he was
with all classes the great man of the day. But the tide soon turned;
Cicero might have saved the country, but in saving it, it was said he
had violated the constitution, according to which a Roman citizen could
not be capitally punished but by the sentence of the people in regular
assembly. As it was, Roman citizens guilty of complicity with Catiline
had, at Cicero's instigation, been put to death simply by an order of
the senate; this, it was said, was a dangerous precedent and Cicero must
be held responsible for it. His bitter enemy, Clodius, now tribune,
pressed the charge against him in inflammatory speeches specially
addressed to the lowest class of citizens, and Cicero in despair left
Rome in 58 B.C., and took refuge at Thessalonica. That same year saw the
"father of his country" condemned to exile by a vote of the Roman
people, and his house at Rome and his country houses at Formiæ and
Tusculum plundered and ruined.

But in those revolutionary days the events of one year were reversed by
those of the next; in 57 B.C., with new counsels and new tribunes, the
people almost unanimously voted the recall of the exile, and Cicero was
welcomed back to Rome amid an outburst of popular enthusiasm. But he was
no longer a power in the world of politics; he could not see his way
clearly; and he was so nervously sensitive to the fluctuations of public
opinion that he could not decide between Pompey and the aristocracy on
the one hand, and Cæsar and the new democracy on the other. His leanings
had hitherto been toward Pompey and the senate and the old republic; but
as time went on, he felt that Pompey was a half-hearted man, who could
not be trusted, and that he would have ultimately to succumb to his far
abler and more far-sighted rival, Cæsar. The result was that he lost the
esteem of both parties, and came to be regarded as a mere trimmer and
time-server. There was all that political indecision about him which may
be often observed in eminent lawyers and men of letters. The age wanted
strong men such as Cæsar; this Cicero certainly was not. He was gentle,
amiable, very clever, and highly cultivated, but the last man in the
world to succeed in politics. The later years of his life were spent
chiefly in pleading at the bar and writing essays. In 52 B.C. he
composed one of his finest speeches in defence of Milo, who had killed
Clodius in a riot, and was then standing for the consulship; in this he
was acting quite against the wishes of Pompey. In the following years
(51-50 B.C.) he was in Asia, as governor of the province of Cilicia, and
here the best side of his character showed itself in his just and
sympathetic treatment of the provincials. In 49-48 B.C. he was with
Pompey's army in Greece to fight for the old cause, of which, however,
he well-nigh despaired, and after the decisive battle of Pharsalia, at
which he was not present, he threw himself on the conqueror's mercy.
Cæsar, who had certainly nothing to fear from him, received him kindly,
and was a great friend to him from that day; but Cicero was not a happy
man now that he could no longer make speeches in the senate or in the
courts; to all this Cæsar's victory had for the time at least put at
end. In the years 46, 45, 44 B.C., he wrote most of his chief works on
rhetoric and philosophy, living in retirement and brooding mournfully
over his griefs and disappointments. In 43 B.C., the year after Cæsar's
death, he had once again the delight of having his eloquence applauded
by the senate. In that year his famous speeches against
Antony--Philippics, as he called them after the title of Demosthenes's
orations against Philip of Macedon--were delivered. These cost him his
life. As soon as Antony, Octavius (afterward the Emperor Augustus), and
Lepidus had leagued themselves together in the so-called triumvirate for
the settlement of the state, they followed the precedent of former
revolutions, a proscription-list of their political enemies. All such
were outlawed and given up to destruction. Cicero's name was in the
fatal list. Old and feeble, he fled to his villa at Formiæ, pursued by
the soldiers of Antony, and was overtaken by them as he was being
carried in a litter down to the shore, where it had been his intention
to embark. With a calm courage (which, to quote Macaulay's words) "has
half redeemed his fame," he put his head out of the litter and bade his
murderers strike. He died in the December of 43 B.C., in the sixty-third
year of his age.

As an orator and a pleader Cicero undoubtedly stands in the first rank.
Many of his speeches have come down to us. Of these the most famous, and
perhaps the finest, are his speeches against Verres and against
Catiline. Eloquence in those days of furious faction and revolution was
a greater force than it is with us. As a politician he failed because he
did not distinctly realize to himself that the old republic, the
government of the senate and of the nobles, had been tried and had been
found wanting. He had not the courage to face the great changes which he
felt were impending. Pompey, the champion of the old order, was not a
leader to whom he could look up with confidence. And so he wavered, and
half acquiesced in Cæsar's triumph, even though he suspected that with
that triumph the Rome which he had known and loved would pass away. To
us it is as an essayist and as the writer of a multitude of letters to
friends, full of miscellaneous information, that Cicero is particularly
attractive; there is a gracefulness and refinement and elevation of tone
about his writings which cannot fail to incline the reader to say with
Erasmus, "I feel a better man for reading Cicero." His essays on "Old
Age" and "on Friendship," his De Officiis or "Whole Duty of Man," as we
may paraphrase it, are good and pleasant reading such as we can all
enjoy. There is no fairer picture in literature than of him sitting in
the garden of his villa at Tusculum, surrounded by admiring friends, and
engaged upon his "Tusculan disputations;" while his treatises on the
"Nature of the Gods," and on the "True Ends of Human Life" (De Finibus),
if they do not show any very deep and original thought, at least give us
an insight into the teachings of the various philosophical schools.


(63 B.C.-14 A.D.)

[Illustration: Augustus Cæsar. [TN]]

Caius Julius Cæsar Octavianus Augustus, son of Caius Octavius and Atia
(Julius Cæsar's niece), was born in 63 B.C. He was the first and
greatest of the Roman emperors, in his way perhaps fully as great as his
adoptive father, Julius Cæsar. The Octavian family came originally from
Velitræ, in the country of the Volsci; and the branch to which Augustus
belonged was rich and honorable. His father had risen to the rank of
senator and prætor, but died in the prime of life, when Augustus was
only four years old. Augustus was carefully educated in Rome under the
guardianship of his mother and his step-father; and his talents
recommended him to his great-uncle, Julius Cæsar, who adopted him as his
son and heir. At the time of Cæsar's assassination (44 B.C.), Augustus
was a student under the celebrated orator Apollodorus, at Apollonia in
Illyricum, whither, however, he had been sent chiefly to gain practical
instruction in military affairs. He returned to Italy, and now first
learning that he was his uncle's heir, assumed the name of Julius Cæsar
Octavianus. The soldiers at Brundusium saluted him as Cæsar, but he
declined their offers, and entered Rome almost alone. The city was at
this time divided between the republicans and the friends of Mark
Antony, but the latter, by adroit manoeuvres, had gained the ascendency,
and enjoyed almost absolute power. At first, Augustus was haughtily
treated by Antony, who refused to surrender Cæsar's property; but after
some fighting, in which Antony was worsted and forced to flee across the
Alps, Augustus, who had made himself a favorite with the people and the
army, obtained the consulship and carried out Cæsar's will. He found an
able advocate in Cicero, who at first had regarded him with contempt. To
himself the great orator seemed to be laboring in behalf of the
republic, whereas he really was only an instrument for raising Augustus
to supreme power. When Antony returned from Gaul with Lepidus, Augustus
threw off the republican mask, and joined them in establishing a
triumvirate. He obtained Africa, Sardinia, and Sicily; Antony, Gaul; and
Lepidus, Spain. Their power was soon made absolute by the massacre of
those unfriendly to them in Italy, and by the victory at Philippi over
the republicans under Brutus and Cassius. The Perusian war, excited
by Fulvia, wife of Antony, seemed likely to lead to a contest between
Augustus and his rival; but was ended by Fulvia's death, and the
subsequent marriage of Antony with Octavia, sister of Augustus. Shortly
afterward the Roman world was divided anew, Augustus taking the western
half, and Antony the eastern. The contest for supremacy commenced. While
Antony was lost in luxurious dissipation at the court of Cleopatra,
Augustus was industriously striving to gain the love and confidence of
the Roman people, and to damage his rival in public estimation. War was
at length declared against the Egyptian queen, and at the naval battle
of Actium (31 B.C.) Augustus was victorious, and became sole ruler of
the whole Roman world. Antony soon afterward ended his life by suicide;
and Cleopatra, learning of his death and believing that Augustus
intended carrying her in chains to Rome, also killed herself, so that
Augustus triumphed only over her dead body, which he found awaiting him.
Antony's son by Fulvia, and Cæsarion, son of Cæsar and Cleopatra, were
put to death; and in 29 B.C., after regulating affairs in Egypt, Greece,
Syria, and Asia Minor, Augustus returned to Rome in triumph, and,
closing the temple of Janus, proclaimed universal peace.

[Illustration: Augustus Cæsar and Cleopatra.]

His subsequent measures were mild and prudent. To insure popular favor,
he abolished the laws of the triumvirate, and reformed many abuses.
Hitherto, since Cæsar's death, he had been named Octavian; but now the
title of Augustus ("sacred" or "consecrated") was conferred on him. In
his eleventh consulship (23 B.C.), the tribunician power was granted him
for life by the senate. Republican names and forms still remained, but
they were mere shadows; and Augustus, in all but name, was absolute
monarch. In 21 B.C., on the death of Lepidus, he had the high title of
Pontifex Maximus bestowed on him. The nation surrendered to him all the
power and honor that it had to give.

After a course of victories in Asia, Spain, Pannonia, Dalmatia, Gaul,
etc., Augustus (9 B.C.) suffered the one crushing defeat of his long
rule, in the person of Quintilius Varus, whose army was annihilated by
the Germans under Hermann. The loss so afflicted Augustus that for some
time he allowed his beard and hair to grow, as a sign of deep mourning,
and often exclaimed, "O Varus, Varus, give me back my legions!"
Thenceforth he confined himself to plans of domestic improvements and
reform, and so beautified Rome that it was said, "Augustus found the
city built of brick, and left it built of marble." He also built cities
in several parts of the empire; and altars were raised by the grateful
people to commemorate his beneficence; while by a decree of the senate
the name Augustus was given to the month Sextilis.

Though thus surrounded with honor and prosperity, Augustus was not free
from domestic trouble. The abandoned conduct of his daughter Julia was
the cause of sore vexation to him. He had no son, and his nephew
Marcellus, and Caius and Lucius, his daughter's sons, whom he had
appointed as his successors and heirs, as well as his favorite stepson,
Drusus, all died early; while his stepson, Tiberius, was an unamiable
character whom he could not love. Age, sorrow, and failing health warned
him to seek repose; and, to recruit his strength, he undertook a
journey to Campania; but his infirmity increased, and he died at Nola
(14 A.D.), in the seventy-seventh year of his age. According to
tradition, shortly before his death, he called for a mirror, arranged
his hair neatly, and said to his attendants: "Did I play my part well?
If so, applaud me!" Augustus had consummate tact and address as a ruler
and politician, and made use of the passions and talents of others to
forward his own designs. The good and great measures which marked his
reign were originated mostly by himself. He encouraged agriculture,
patronized the arts and literature, and was himself an author; though
only a few fragments of his writings have been preserved. Horace,
Virgil, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, and Livy--greatest of Latin poets
and scholars--belonged to the Augustan Age, a name since applied in
France to the reign of Louis XIV., in England to that of Queen Anne.




         [Footnote 7: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: St. Ambrose. [TN]]

Biographical history presents few characters more interesting either to
the statesman or the churchman than that of St. Ambrose. As a
statesman--though but a small part of his life was devoted to the
affairs of civil government--he showed great prudence, was sincerely
devoted to the interests of his imperial master, and yet he was at the
same time an uncompromising advocate and defender of the rights of the
people. As a churchman he united a high degree of personal sanctity and
a fatherly care of those intrusted to his pastoral vigilance--especially
the poor--to an extraordinary firmness in maintaining the rights of the
Church against imperial usurpation, and the purity of doctrine against
the inroads of heresy.

St. Ambrose was born about the year 340, of a Roman of the same name who
was at that time prefect of the pretorium in Gaul, a province which then
embraced a large portion of western and southwestern Europe. Arles,
Lyons, and Trèves contend for the honor of being his birthplace, but it
is most probable that it was in the latter he first saw the light.
Legends, too, are not wanting of extraordinary occurrences which took
place during his infancy, that seemed to presage his future greatness.
Be these as they may, his life and works, which are before the world,
stand in need of no such embellishments, now that they have become
matters of history. His father died in his infancy, and his mother
returned to Rome, where her wealth and social position enabled her to
give her children the best education possible; and none of them profited
more by his opportunities than Ambrose. His attainments were numerous
and varied, embracing, among other things, a thorough knowledge of the
Greek language and literature, oratory of a high order, unusual skill in
poetic composition, and a thorough acquaintance with music.

Having completed his education, he went to Milan to enter upon his
public career. Here his learning, ability, and integrity were soon
recognized, and preferments crowded thick upon him. But under all
circumstances he remained true to himself; and, although then only a
catechumen--or one undergoing instruction before embracing
Christianity--he yet made the maxims of the Gospel the rule of his life
and conduct. In a short time he was made governor of the provinces of
Liguria and Æmelia, which embraced the greater part of Northern Italy.
When setting out to assume the duties of that exalted position, he was
told by one of those highest in authority, to "go and rule more as a
bishop than a judge." Although but thirty years of age at the time of
his appointment, he strove by his vigilance, mildness, and probity, to
act upon that advice which seemed almost prophetic; for he was soon
after called to the bishopric of Milan, as we shall presently have
occasion to remark. The Arian heresy was then at the zenith of its
power, and was at least secretly, and often openly, favored by the
imperial authority. In few places was it more openly defiant than at
Milan. Auxentius, the Arian bishop of that see, died in the year 374,
and a serious tumult was raised during the election of his
successor--the Arians and the orthodox Christians each contending for
the mastery. In the discharge of his duties as governor, Ambrose entered
the assembly, where by his firmness, prudence, and moderation he
succeeded in restoring order. Tradition states that in a moment of
tranquillity a child cried out: "Ambrose is bishop;" but, be that as it
may, and it matters little, so great was the public appreciation of his
merits, and so high was the esteem in which he was held, that he was
immediately elected by acclamation. Alarmed at this determination of the
people, he endeavored to escape the honor and remain in concealment till
another election should take place; but the vigilance of the people
prevented it. He then had recourse to another means of escape, urging
that he was only a catechumen and could not lawfully be elected a
bishop. But this, too, was overruled, when he insisted that being in the
service of the emperor his permission was necessary. So far, however,
from this availing, it had the opposite effect, for the Emperor
Valentinian readily gave his consent, adding the flattering remark that
he was very much pleased to know that the civil governors whom he had
selected to rule the provinces of the Empire, were fit to be made
bishops to rule the Church of God. Seeing the will of heaven so clearly
manifested, Ambrose feared longer to refuse his acquiescence, and at the
age of thirty-four he passed through the various ecclesiastical orders
and was consecrated Bishop of Milan on December 7, 374.

Solicitude for the portion of the Church now entrusted to his pastoral
care was thenceforth his only thought; and to his other numerous and
profound acquirements he added that of a careful study of the
scriptures. In those unhappy times storms were raging on all sides
between the orthodox Christians and the Arians; and while he and the
church of Milan were congratulated from all sides on the choice of so
able a chief pastor, he clearly saw that his future life must be one of
constant struggle with the civil power for the rights of the Church, and
with the Arians for the purity of doctrine. But his extraordinary
combination of gentleness and charity with firmness and courage never
failed him, and in the end it proved equal to the task imposed upon him;
and it has handed down his name as one of the noblest on the pages of
the world's history. The better to free himself from unnecessary
trammels, he at once disposed of his immense wealth to the poor, except
so much of it as was necessary for the becoming maintenance of his
household; and the administration of even this he committed to others.

The turbulent times through which the Church had passed and was still
passing, had necessarily given rise to numerous abuses; and to the
correction of these the newly consecrated bishop unsparingly devoted
himself. But though this was destined to be a life-work, and though he
met with a great measure of success, "it must needs be that scandals
come," and no one can hope to eradicate entirely every abuse. Never was
the Arian heresy so successfully dealt with as by him, and if he did not
succeed in entirely destroying it, he did succeed in breaking its power
and restoring greater tranquillity to the Church than it had enjoyed for
a long term of years. Many elements combined to produce these consoling
results, and since we are treating of an eminent churchman, it is
necessary to attach due importance to his own personal sanctity, which
was at once a rebuke to disregard of ecclesiastical discipline, a living
illustration of what the true Christian should be, and an evidence of
the purity of his motives and the sincerity of his conduct. This
holiness had its effect too before the Throne of Grace, for the
scriptures assure us that the prayers of the just man avail much. So
long as we entertain the belief that Christ has established a church on
earth, we must from necessity hold that He takes a lively interest in
it, and blesses the labors of those who devote themselves to its
extension. His eloquence, too, in the pulpit not only advanced the
interests of religion, but also stimulated the zeal and guided the
efforts of others of less ability. His numerous controversial works
refuted the errors and sophistries of the enemies of religion, on the
one hand, and on the other, explained and defended its tenets. Those who
wished to tread the higher walks of the spiritual life, found in his
several treatises on certain of the Christian virtues, a sure light to
guide them in the way of perfection. Devoting his attention to the
liturgy of divine worship, he added greatly to the attractiveness of the
ceremonial, especially by a thorough revision of the church music that
had previously been in use. But in the march of the human mind nothing
now remains of the Ambrosian chant in its purity, save the "Exultet," as
it is called, which is a hymn sung in the Latin Church during the
blessing of the Paschal candle on Holy Saturday. Large numbers of his
poetic compositions still remain, and are found for the most part in the
Roman breviary. It may be said that his pen was never idle nor his voice
hushed when the interests of religion could be promoted, and many of his
writings remain to our day, a proof of his learning, an evidence of his
zeal, and a monument to his courage. Among his successes in advancing
the cause of religion must be mentioned his conversion, in 387, of St.
Augustine, the greatest light of the Western Church. But he is better
known to the world at large by his firmness in withstanding the
usurpation of the secular power, and bringing those in high places to
confess and repent of their faults. In doing this he had ever the best
interests of mankind at heart.

Soon after his consecration as a bishop he wrote to the emperor,
complaining of the corruption of some imperial governors; to whom
Valentinian replied: "I have long since been acquainted with your
freedom of speech, which did not deter me from consenting to your
consecration. Continue to apply to our sins the remedies prescribed by
the divine law." Even in our own day, not a few salutary laws are due to
his humane influence. He prevailed on the Emperor Gratian to pass a law,
among others, that no criminal should be executed within less than
thirty days after sentence had been passed. He also succeeded, but with
great difficulty, in having the pagan statues removed from the senate.
He had also a law passed forbidding the Arians to rebuild or repair
their churches. When the Empress Justina sent to him asking the use of
certain churches for the celebration of Easter, he refused; and when
threats were made he answered in language worthy of a Christian prelate:
"Should you ask what is mine, as my land or my money, I would not refuse
you, though all that I possess belongs to the poor; but you have no
right to that which belongs to God." A year later, the Easter of 386,
the same request was made, when the intrepid bishop answered: "Naboth
would not give up the inheritance of his ancestors, and shall I give up
that of Jesus Christ?" It may perhaps be difficult for many in our day,
when so little importance is attached to Christian unity, to appreciate
the fearless action of this heroic person; but his biography would be
imperfect in a very important particular if these points were passed
over in silence; and before passing judgment on him we must bear in mind
the rule of the historian and biographer, so frequently lost sight of,
that persons and things must be judged by the times and circumstances in
which they were placed. The times change and we change in them.

Perhaps the most remarkable event in the life of St. Ambrose, so far as
the world at large will judge him, was his rebuke of the Emperor
Theodosius. Instances like this are not rare, it is true, in the history
of the Christian Church; but this one stands forth with more than
ordinary prominence. The circumstances are briefly these: A sedition
broke out in the city of Thessalonica, in which a number of officers and
the commander of the imperial forces were slain. Theodosius, at the
instigation of Rufinus, a military officer of prominence, sent a warrant
to the commander of Illyricum to let the soldiers loose upon the city; a
command that was carried out with great cruelty, and by which more than
seven thousand persons, the innocent as well as the guilty, were
massacred in the most inhuman manner. The grief of Ambrose on hearing
this was extreme; and, in order to afford the emperor time to reflect,
he withdrew from Milan, and addressed him a very touching letter
exhorting him to repentance, assuring him at the same time that he, as
bishop, would not receive his offerings nor perform the services of
religion in his presence till he had done so. The prelate soon after
returned to his episcopal city; and when the emperor appeared at the
doors of the church to attend divine services, he forbade him to enter
till he had done penance for his crime. Excuses and palliations were of
no avail, and when the emperor urged that King David had sinned, he was
told that as he had imitated David in his sin, he should also imitate
him in his repentance; and the doors of the church were closed against
him. The emperor returned to his palace, where for eight months he did
penance for his fault; and he was not admitted to full communion till he
had perfectly complied with the requirements of the bishop.

While to the general reader there may appear an unwonted severity, and
even a tyrannical vindictiveness in this firmness of the holy prelate,
his companions and those who knew his character best find in it an
evidence of his zeal for the cause of religion, and his desire for the
true conversion of the sinner; and the man of the world will find in him
the champion of the poor and oppressed against the tyranny of power. It
is a well-known fact of history that he did not cease, during all this
time, to beseech heaven with prayers and tears for the emperor, whom he
sincerely loved. But his character in this, as in all else, has
withstood the test of time, and shines with undiminished lustre down the
vista of ages.

St. Ambrose died about midnight before Holy Saturday, April 4, 397; and
his body reposes in a vault under the high altar of the basilica of
Milan--the church that he had served so long and so well. His feast is
kept in the Latin Church on December 7th, and he is justly regarded as
one of the most illustrious doctors of the Church.

[Signature of the author.]

[Illustration: Ambrose rebukes Theodosius.]




         [Footnote 8: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: St. Augustine. [TN]]

Among the few great names which have most signally emblazoned the pages
of history, and whose fame and influence have not been limited to their
own age, country, or people, that of Augustine, saint and bishop, stands
out pre-eminently as worthy of all the encomiums bestowed upon him by
serious students of men and their times. He has been and is regarded as
the greatest and most celebrated of theologians, the father and master
of preachers of the Divine Word, the peer of the rarest and most
enlightened minds, whose soaring is above all time. He has been given a
place with Plato and Bossuet, with Cicero and St. Thomas, in the
universal acclaim. Great in faith, great in thought, great in virtue,
great in genius, he lived in the century of great men, towering above
all. Athanasius was Patriarch of Alexandria and Cyril of Jerusalem;
Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzen, and Basil the Great, formed a
triumvirate of holy, eloquent, and erudite defenders of truth and
justice; Ambrose was by his faith and piety illumining the See of Milan;
the Christian Cicero, Chrysostom, was pouring forth at Constantinople
streams of golden eloquence; Jerome, the hermit of Bethlehem, was giving
his masterly expositions of Scripture. And Augustine arose in this
galaxy of greatness and genius to shed glory on the land and church of
Africa, which had seen its Tertullian and been adorned by its Cyprian.
Contact with such men were an honor; drinking at their feet deep and
wholesome draughts of purest wisdom were glory: but to have the notes of
one's song arise above theirs as did Augustine's, were solid genius and
lasting fame.

St. Augustine was born on November 13, A.D. 354, at the little town of
Tagasta, in ancient Numidia, which is now Algeria. His father was an
unassuming and honorable soul, though of humble and modest origin. His
mother was the sainted Monica, who is so justly venerated on Christian
altars. The early education of Augustine was received in his native
village, with slender means and amidst meagre advantages. As a boy he
manifested very little of those studious habits which were afterward to
distinguish and elevate him to universal honor. At great sacrifice on
his father's part, and with the princely generosity of a noted
inhabitant of Tagasta, named Romanian, he was sent to the better
equipped schools of the neighboring Madaura and later to Carthage. The
schools of Carthage, though not so renowned and exceptional as those of
Alexandria and Antioch, were yet among the most prominent of the Roman
World. He was sixteen years of age when he was taken to this city, and
after four years he had risen to the first place in the schools of
rhetoric and had mastered all the branches of the liberal arts then
taught. None could equal his penetration, none surpass him in the
readiness of his answers or in the clearness of his expositions. The
subtle distinctions and divisions of Aristotle were plain to him. And in
the arena of philosophical disputation he knew no superior. He was
particularly attracted to the study of eloquence; and the perusal of
Cicero's "Hortensius" (which unfortunately has been lost in the
vicissitudes of time) stirred his soul to higher flights and begot a
noble enthusiasm for the imperishable beauty of wisdom, made him
impatient of the evanescent hopes of men, and carried him onward to
further quest of truth.

When his studies were completed, he returned in 370 to Tagasta and
lodged with his wealthy patron and benefactor; for his father had died
the year after his arrival in Carthage. Though here he began to teach
grammar and kindred branches, he did not long remain at home; he soon
departed again for Carthage, where his successes as a master surpassed
those he had gained as a disciple. Led by his former fame and by the
daily increasing applause which greeted the youthful professor of
rhetoric, many gathered around him. He was then only twenty-three years
of age. Among his pupils he numbered Licentius and Alypius--two names
indissolubly bound up with the story of Augustine's life. His place
among the learned and first men of that ancient city was made doubly
secure when, at a public contest in poetry, he was awarded the prize,
and was crowned with the laurel by the Proconsul, Vindician, before the
assembled people and most celebrated minds of the city.

But while he was thus advancing in favor with men, while thirst for
truth was burning him, he yielded to the seductions of the wealthy youth
of his time; though he had been early trained by his pious mother in the
love of virtue and the hatred of iniquity, yet the apparent austerity of
virtue seemed now to affright him, and the pleasures of life and the
allurements of vice captivated his ardent disposition; and while he
never seems to have plunged into the extravagances and disorders common
to so many of his companions, nor to have been guilty of crimes which
spring from a cruel nature or very depraved instincts, he indulged in
some pursuits which formed the prolific source of future profound grief.
He loved ease, and was averse to self-denial and hardship--hence his
indiscretions and follies. But the most distinguishing trait of his
character was his honesty, and this feature redeemed and palliated his
few irregularities.

[Illustration: St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica.]

The scholars of Carthage were anything but sober, industrious, modest,
and orderly youths. They were indocile and turbulent; not only
disturbing by their wild pranks the peace of the city, but interrupting
by their noisy behavior and inattention the master's discourses and
lectures. It was next to impossible to preserve any semblance of
discipline in the classes. So Augustine left in disgust and set out for
Rome, the ancient mistress of the world. He had been enamoured by her
imperishable traditions and magnificent monuments of grandeur and art,
by her memories of numerous great men, their genius and their works, by
her history ever rich in majesty and glory. Induced by the consideration
that he would find there the absence of unfavorable circumstances and
the presence of stronger incentives to enthusiasm and high inspiration,
he left his country and his mother, and in 383, with Alypius, his friend
and pupil, he departed for this metropolis. But again he was doomed to
disappointment. Though disciples were not wanting, and his chair was
surrounded by a throng of earnest and strong students, he did not find
the all-absorbing passion for wisdom and truth, for the sublime and
beautiful, that he had fondly anticipated. There was not, indeed, the
same degree of turbulence and disorder as at Carthage, but the
magnificence and ostentation of the Roman family and life, their
splendid palaces and festive orgies, could not but prove very injurious
to habits of study. The youth had imbibed the venal corruption
everywhere prevalent. Hence it not seldom happened that Roman scholars
conspired to rob their master of his salary and desert his class in a
body. Roman vileness and baseness disgusted Augustine even more than
Punic insubordination. He therefore took advantage of a request made by
the citizens of Milan of Symmachus who was then Prefect of Rome, that he
would procure for them a professor of rhetoric. He accepted the
proposal; and toward the close of the year 384 he was teaching at Milan.

Up to this time the soul of Augustine was not influenced by higher
inspiration than pleasure, nor his mind by anything which did not
correspond to his preconceived notions of philosophic accuracy. Nor was
he yet a Christian by baptism, as it was the custom of the age to
postpone the reception of this sacrament till later in life, both that
it might be received with better dispositions and more fruit, and
because sins and faults committed by the baptized possessed in their
eyes and before God deeper malice and blacker ingratitude; they wished
to avoid this evil. When a child, Augustine was so ill that his life was
despaired of; the waters of regeneration were about to be poured over
him; but he soon recovered and again the baptism was deferred. In Milan
he was attracted by St. Ambrose's eloquent discourses on the Christian
religion; and their simple and earnest character, their strong and
convincing argument, their fervid and impassioned vein appealed to the
young man's mind. His heart was touched by the manifest holiness of the
good bishop's life and conduct, especially when he contrasted them with
those of the Manicheans with whom he had so long been associated. The
study of Platonic philosophy urged him on to celestial heights and made
him gaze on the infinite nature of God. The Epistles of St. Paul riveted
his attention in his search after purest truth, and joined to the pious
prayers of the Sainted Monica, who thus drew down abundant grace divine,
completed the miracle of his conversion. The wayward Augustine wept for
his sins, the learned philosopher bowed his head in faith and humility
before the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of God as revealed by
Him. After a period of seclusion which he spent from August (386) to the
Easter solemnity of the next year, with Monica, Alypius, Licentius, and
several others, at Cassiciacum in the suburbs of Milan, he was baptized
by St. Ambrose on April 24th or 25th, A.D. 387.

Once a Christian, Augustine thought of returning to his native country.
He desired to perfect himself in the Christian science and spirit, and
to teach and defend among his own people Catholic doctrines and
interests--henceforth to be the sole aim of his life. In August or
September therefore of that same year he set out with his mother and
friends for Africa. But the death of Monica at Ostia in Italy changed
his plans. And after paying all the duties of religion and filial
tenderness to this devoted mother, he went to Rome. But in the spring of
the year 388 he finally set foot on his native shores. He betook himself
immediately to the environs of Tagasta and found an asylum for study,
contemplation, and prayer.

It happened that, prompted by zeal and affection, he went on one
occasion in 391 to Hippo, which was on the Mediterranean Sea five
leagues from Carthage, and the site of the present Bona, for the purpose
of inducing a certain friend to join him in his solitude. While here he
entered the church where the holy bishop, Valerius, was preaching to the
people and complaining of his sad need of a priest to aid him in his
duties, and especially to exercise the office of preaching, since an
impediment in his speech rendered that duty very difficult and extremely
painful for him. Preaching was the exclusive function of the bishop. And
when Augustine as a priest assumed the duty, he was the first in
priest's orders who had ever preached in presence of a bishop. And it
was in that capacity that he arose in the Council of Hippo (393) and
delivered his famous discourse on "Faith and its Creed." As Augustine
entered the church while the bishop was making the above complaint, the
congregation, who recognized him (for his fame had spread over all
Africa), immediately, as if by divine inspiration, proposed him for the
office of priest. Valerius was of course overjoyed; and after a short
time which the saint requested for preparation, he was ordained and
attached to the church of Hippo. The esteem in which the new priest was
held, his apostolic labors, his eloquence, his piety, soon impelled the
aged bishop to raise his sacerdotal co-laborer to the episcopal dignity
and associate him still more closely with himself in the government of
the See of Hippo. He was accordingly consecrated a little before
Christmas of the year 395. And the subsequent thirty-five years were the
busiest, the most arduous, and the most fruitful of his long and
eventful career. His energy was indefatigable and extended in every
direction. The religious movements of his time brought into play all the
resources of his mind and heart. He combated heresies and reclaimed
heretics. His correspondence embraced a multitude of subjects and was
carried on with various parts of the Church. His zeal in preaching never
knew rest, and his efforts in instructing the ignorant were ceaseless.
He established centres of religious life for men and women, and composed
for them a rule of life and spirit and principles that have not yet
died. He was alive to the necessity of a zealous and energetic clergy
whom he wished trained in the spirit and teachings of the Gospel maxims
and counsels, and therefore formed the nucleus of a monastic clergy. He
had begun the realization of this idea in the community which he
established at Hippo just after his ordination as priest, and he
perfected it when he was made bishop. Ten of those whom he trained in
this his first monastery, became bishops of the various sees of Africa,
including Alypius, who was sent to Tagasta, Possidius, his first
biographer, and Fortunatus, who was his successor in the See of Hippo.
During all this time he continued to wear the long black robe and hood
and leathern girdle peculiar to the cenobites of the East, which he had
donned at Milan shortly after his baptism when he laid aside the dress
of his native Africa. Not only his vesture but also his daily life and
practices were the same as those which are the privilege and glory of
monks, nuns, and hermits. None surpassed him in austerities and
self-denial, as none had surpassed him in philosophic lore at Carthage,
and at Milan and Rome.

The magnificent effects of his extraordinary gifts, fertile ingenuity,
and deep learning and broad mind; the influence of his genius on the
thoughts and ideas of his own and succeeding ages, may be best gleaned
from a brief survey of his writings. Augustine's early aim was to seek
truth. He was perplexed with many doubts; he could not conceive the
existence of anything real outside of physical bodies; and nothing
around him completely and satisfactorily gave him answer. The
Manicheans, who had occupied themselves with questions on the nature of
God, the creation of the world, and the origin of evil, seemed to have
attained on these points some tangible conclusions. For want of better
Augustine defended their doctrines without participating in the excesses
which distinguished those sectaries. But he felt himself alienated from
them, partly because of the lack of the prestige of great men among
them, and because he found Faustus, a Manichean bishop and the Goliath
of their forces, ignorant of many simple subjects, and unable to give
but vague and shallow responses to the questions that agitated his soul.
He afterward had a famous controversy with this Faustus, and wrote
against him thirty-three books. The results of Augustine's studies were
that he was able to refute their attacks on Holy Scripture which they
said had undergone serious changes, and to see the falsehood of their
main postulate that good proceeds from a good principle and evil from an
evil principle; and also to recognize the futility of their objection
that the Christians spoke of a human form in God. Against this sect his
principal writings are "On the Manners and Customs of the Catholic
Church and those of the Manicheans;" "The Utility of Faith," "The Two
Souls," and a book against Adimantes, the disciple of Manes, in which he
reconciles the contradictions alleged to exist between the Old and the
New Testament.

From the Manicheans Augustine turned to the Academicians, who were a
philosophical sect, and pretended that it was impossible for man to come
to the possession of truth. Augustine had many conferences on this
subject with his friends in his retreat at Cassiciacum: and the outcome
was two books "On Order," and one on "The Blessed Life." These works
discussed the matter thoroughly and left the philosophers no loophole of

A more dangerous error, though purely local in its immediate
surroundings, was the denial of the validity of Baptism when conferred
by heretics. This contention had occasioned a schism in the church of
Africa since the beginning of the fourth century. It received the name
of Donatism from Donatus, schismatic Bishop of Carthage, who had been
aided by another Donatus of Casæ Nigræ. In St. Augustine's time it had
spread over the whole country. The Saint put forward the true idea of
the Church and showed that the minister of a sacrament does not
communicate to the recipient his own character of holiness or of guilt,
that it is Christ Himself who baptizes and absolves and gives efficacy
to sacramental signs. The cogency of his words, the clearness of his
explanations, and his grace of manner led many of the Donatists to
desire union with the Church, which he showed them, as Christ's Body, is
one and indivisible. His chief works in this controversy are a letter to
Maximinus, a Donatist bishop whom he brought back to Catholic Unity, the
"Christian Combat," the "One Baptism," three books against Parmeian,
letter to Glorius and three others, and a conference with Bishop
Fortunatus, at Turbusum.

As if by divine inspiration he had laid down in a work on "Free Will,"
which he had begun at Rome, enlarged at Tagasta, and completed in 395,
principles which afford sufficient answer to the errors of Pelagianism.
This heresy broached novel teachings on man, the fall, and the state in
which that fall had left the human race. St. Augustine, who had not been
able to take part in the council of Carthage, where Pelagius was first
condemned, brought out in clear light the true doctrine and nature and
action of supernatural grace, and the effects of original sin on man's
will and heart. His treatises on "Merit" and the "Remission of Sins,"
explained all the weakness of fallen nature, the need of divine grace to
perform actions that conduce to eternal life, and the necessity and
place of human effort in the work of justification and faith. As it was
asserted that children should not be baptized because the sin of Adam
was not transmitted to them, he wrote a book on the "Baptism of
Children." In "Nature and Grace" and "Faith and its Works," "On the
Grace of Jesus Christ" and "Original Sin," still further explanation and
argument are given to establish Catholic truth.

Still another heresy was beginning to poison religious thought:
Arianism, or the denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ, was invading
the church of Africa. And the writings of St. Augustine against this
movement are among his most luminous and brilliant works. He wrote three
letters and fifteen books on the Trinity--these he commenced in 400 and
completed in 416. Perhaps the clearest and plainest are the one hundred
and twenty-four treatises (so called) on the Gospel of St. John, and ten
on the First Epistle of the same Apostle. They were sermons or
catechetical instructions and homilies, delivered during the year 416 to
his flock, on the prevalent heresies but especially on the Arian. And
his response to the five questions of Honorius, a citizen of Carthage,
contains lucid expositions of some difficult portions of Scripture.

On Scripture matters, besides the works just mentioned, St. Augustine's
enlightened views are found in twelve books on the "Literal Sense of
Genesis;" in these he seems to have divined all modern objections and
theories about this work of Moses. On the seven first books of the
Bible, he has left us seven treatises. "An Explanation of the Psalms," a
correspondence with St. Jerome on the Epistle to the Galatians, four
books on the agreement of the Evangelists, two on Gospel questions, and
a book on "Things That are not Seen," should not be unknown to Biblical

Nor was the Pagan attitude toward Catholic Truth forgotten. He had
passed through the phase, and knew the Pagan mind. He put down their
difficulties, reasoned away their doubts, threw light on their darkness,
led them on in truth, in "The True Religion," "Eighty-three Questions,"
"The Christian Doctrine," and an early treatise on the "Immortality of
the Soul."

But by far his greatest and most enduring works are his "Confessions"
and "The City of God." The former, at once a poem, a history, and a
treatise of philosophy, beautifully expresses the trials and efforts of
a human soul striving for truth and happiness away from God, and the
ecstatic sentiments of the same soul on the attainment of both truth and
happiness in the faith and virtues of Jesus Christ and in His Gospel.
The other, in eloquent and philosophical vein, discourses on the Church
of God on earth and in heaven; shows the hollowness of all opinions,
thoughts, and efforts contrary to the eternal order which is God; is, as
it were, an encyclopedia of all that he had written before, an
exhaustless summary of refutation against heresy and paganism, and an
analysis of the glories and benefits of Christianity. St. Augustine in
its composition occupied all the time from 413 to 426--the period of his
momentous struggle against Pelagianism.

The lines of intellectual and religious thought which called forth the
just mentioned and other productions of St. Augustine's brilliant
genius, have continued all along the centuries even till now. The same
movements exist; the same tendencies, though more intense in their
working, actuate men toward truth; and the same obstacles impede their
progress; objections, in other forms perhaps, yet substantially the
same, are urged against the very points against which the sainted
pontiff wrote and struggled--God, Creation, the Bible, Christ, human
infirmity or human strength, man's power to attain truth unaided, and
his freedom from any supernatural dependence. No wonder that Augustine,
who had passed through all these phases of action, should have always
been called upon for effective weapons in the warfare, and that he
should have been the supreme authority in such questions for many an age
in the Latin or Western Church. His sounds are as clear to-day, and his
arguments are as convincing and potent. The student and the dialectician
and the theologian can ill afford to be unfamiliar with the great
doctor's thoughts.

All these writings everywhere evidence the beauty of his character, as
his actions were ever in accord with evangelical perfection. There is
wonderful power of mercy, compassion, and love, in all. He had been weak
himself, hence he treated weakness with gentleness. Two things rendered
him indulgent; a sad experience of the infirmities of human nature, and
a profound knowledge of the depth of those infirmities. His virtues of
humility, compassion, moderation, and generosity, all sprung from that,
just as his deep faith and strong convictions of Christian truth were
begotten of his fierce struggle with doubt and error and his long and
ardent search for truth.

He died in honor on August 28th, A.D. 430. But men have not ceased to
admire his genius, appreciate his labors, love his character; and
thousands imitate his piety and are governed by his mandates of
spiritual life.

[Signature of the author.]



(ABOUT 372-466)

[Illustration: A book. [TN]]

The original name of St. Patrick was _Succat_, which is said to signify
"strong in war." Patricius appears to have been his Roman name. He was
born of Christian parents at some period between A.D. 372 and A.D. 415.
His father, Calphurnius, was a deacon, his grandfather, Potitus, a
priest Though an ecclesiastic, Calphurnius would seem to have held the
rank of decurion, and may therefore have been of Roman or provincial
British extraction. His birthplace was a spot which he himself calls
Bonavem Taberniæ, and which in all probability may be identified with
the modern Kirkpatrick, between Dumbarton and Glasgow.

The parents of Succat, as has been already said, were Christians, and it
would seem that the Gospel had been preached to some extent in the
neighborhood of his father's home. Whatever amount, however, of
instruction he may have received was rudely interrupted, when he was
about sixteen years of age.

The coasts of Scotland were at this time exposed to the frequent
incursions of Irish chieftains, who landed from their swift barks,
ravaged the country, and having carried off as many of the inhabitants
as they could, consigned them to slavery. In one of these expeditions
the house of Calphurnius was attacked, and Succat, with two of his
sisters and many of his countrymen, was carried away and conveyed to the
north of Ireland.

Here he was purchased as a slave by Michul or Milchu, a chief of North
Dalaradia, who dwelt in the valley of the Braid, near Mount Slemish, in
the country of Antrim. The work assigned him was that of attending his
master's flocks and herds, and in his "Confession," which he wrote
toward the close of his life, he describes how he wandered over the
bleak mountains, often drenched with the rains, and numbed with the
frosts. His period of servitude lasted six years; and during this time
he would seem to have made himself acquainted with the language of the
native tribes, and to have learned their habits and modes of life. At
length he succeeded in effecting his escape to the seaside, where he
took ship, and, after a tempestuous passage, regained his father's
house. His stay, however, was destined to be very short. In a predatory
excursion he was a second time taken captive, and again, after a brief
interval, succeeded in making his escape.

Had he listened to his parents, he would now have remained with them,
but he was bent on a very different occupation. "The Divine Voice," he
says, "frequently admonished me to consider whence I derived the wisdom
which was in me, who once knew neither the number of my days nor was
acquainted with God; and whence I obtained afterward so great and
salutary a gift as to know and to love God." During the weary hours,
moreover, of his captivity, he had often reflected how blessed a thing
it would be if he, to whom it had been given to know the true God and
his Son Jesus Christ, could carry the glad tidings to his master's
people and the land of his exile.

One night, he tells us, he had a dream, in which he thought he saw a man
coming from Ireland with a number of letters. One of these he gave him
to read, and in the beginning occurred the words, "The voice of the
Irish." While he was reading it, he thought he heard a voice calling to
him across the Western Sea, "We entreat thee, holy youth, to come and
walk among us."

Obedient, therefore, to what he deemed to be a plain leading from
heaven, and resisting the arguments and entreaties of relatives and
friends, who mocked at his enthusiastic resolve, he set out for the
monasteries in Southern France, there to prepare himself for the work of
preaching the gospel in the land of his captivity. Amidst the
conflicting legends which now follow him at every step, it seems
probable that he repaired to the monastic schools of Tours, Auxerre, and
Lerins, where he studied and was employed for some little time in
pastoral duties, having been ordained successively deacon and priest.

There, too, he would seem to have been elevated to the episcopate, and
thence with a band of fellow-laborers he set sail for Ireland, about the
middle of the fifth century. Landing on one of the islands off the coast
of Dublin, he and his companions tried unsuccessfully to obtain
provisions, which they greatly needed. Thence sailing northward they put
in at a strait called Brene, and after landing at the southwestern
extremity of Strangford Lough, advanced some considerable way into the

They had not gone far before they encountered a native chief named
Dichu, at the head of a band of men. Mistaking St. Patrick for the
leader of one of the many pirate crews which at that time often
appeared upon the coast, he was on the point of putting him to death.
But struck by the missionary's appearance, and seeing that both he and
his companions were unarmed, he hospitably received them into his house.
In frequent interviews he now heard the doctrines of the faith, and
after a time was baptized, with all his family. According to some
authorities he also bestowed upon his instructor the ground whereon his
barn was built; and here arose the celebrated church called _Sabhall
Patraic_, "The Barn of Patrick," which still retains the name of Sabhal,
or Saul, and is situated about two miles northeast of Downpatrick.

Leaving Saul, the missionaries proceeded to northern Dalaradia, and the
residence of St. Patrick's old master, Milchu. But nothing would induce
the old chief to receive one who had once been his slave, or to forsake
the paganism of his forefathers. His journey thus ineffectual, St.
Patrick returned to the district where Dichu resided, and made the
neighborhood for sometime his headquarters. Thence proceeding southward,
he determined to visit the central parts of the island, and especially
the famous hill of Tara, where King Laoghaire was about to hold a great
religious festival in the presence of all of his tributary chieftains,
druids, and bards. In this stronghold of druidism he resolved to
celebrate the approaching festival of Easter, and preach the word to the
assembled chiefs. It was Easter eve, we are told, when he reached the
neighborhood of Tara, and having erected a tent, he made preparations
for spending the night with his companions, and kindled a fire for the
purpose of preparing food. As the smoke curled upward in the evening
air, it was observed by the druids in the king's tents and caused the
greatest consternation. To kindle any fire during the solemn assembly of
the chiefs, before the king had lighted the sacred flame in the palace
of Tara, was a sin of the greatest enormity, and the druids did not
scruple to warn the king that if the fire of the stranger was not
extinguished that night, unto him, whose fire it was, would belong the
sovereignty of Ireland forever.

Messengers were accordingly sent to discover the authors of the
sacrilege, and to order them to appear before Laoghaire. The
missionaries went, and their fearlessness when in the presence of the
monarch and his nobles won for them a respectful hearing. On the
following day St. Patrick again addressed the chiefs, doubtless in their
own language, and proclaimed to them the doctrines of the faith.
Laoghaire himself, indeed, did not profess to be a convert, but he gave
permission to the man of God to preach the word, on condition that he
did not disturb the peace of the kingdom. During the ensuing week,
therefore, when the great public games were celebrated at Tailten, the
missionary and his companions addressed themselves to the youngest
brother of the king, and were so favorably received that he professed
himself a believer, submitted to baptism, and is said to have given the
site of a church called afterward "The Great Church of Patrick."

[Illustration: St. Patrick journeying to Tara.]

The impression thus made upon the chiefs was soon shared by their
subjects, and though the pagan party made frequent attempts to put the
missionaries to death, from which they narrowly escaped, they were
heartily received in Westmeath, Connaught, Mayo, and Ulster, and
before long found themselves strong enough to destroy the great idol
Crom-cruach, on the plain of Magh Slecht, in the county of Cavan; and,
in the district of the clan Amalgaidh, admitted to baptism the seven
sons of the king and many of their people.

To the worshippers of the powers of nature, and especially the sun and
other heavenly bodies, St. Patrick proclaimed that the great luminary
which ruled the day had no self-originated existence, but was created by
One whom he taught them to call God the Father. "Besides him," said he,
"there is no other god, nor ever was, nor will be. He was in the
beginning before all things, and from him all things are derived,
visible and invisible." He told them next of "his only begotten Son
Jesus Christ, who had become man, had conquered death and ascended into
heaven, where he sat far above all principalities and powers, and whence
he would hereafter come to judge both the quick and the dead, and reward
every man according to his deeds." "Those," he declared, "who believed
in him, would rise again in the glory of the true Sun, that is, in the
glory of Jesus Christ, being by redemption sons of God and joint-heirs
of the Christ, of whom, and by whom, and to whom, are all things; for
the true Sun, Jesus Christ, will never wane nor set, nor will any perish
who do his will, but they shall live forever, even as he liveth forever
with God the Father Almighty, and the Holy Spirit, world without end."

Such, as it would seem from his "Confession," was the Gospel he
proclaimed, and his words, confirmed and illustrated by his own intrepid
zeal, ardent love, and sincere and devoted life, made a deep impression
on the minds of the Celtic chiefs. With the religious enthusiasm deeply
seated in the primitive Celtic character, which many years before won
for St. Paul so warm a reception in Galatia, their hearts were touched
and they welcomed the missionary, and believed the word which he

As time went on, the labors of St. Patrick were lightened by the arrival
of the bishops Secundinus, Auxilius, and Isserninus, whom he had sent
either to France or Britain to receive consecration. Their coming
enabled him to extend the sphere of his operations, and he undertook
missionary tours in Meath, Leinster, Ossory, and Munster. These
continued for several years, during which he was occupied in preaching
the word, baptizing new converts, and erecting churches. Knowing well
how much his own acquaintance with the native language had contributed
to his success, he labored diligently to establish a native ministry
wherever he went. Cautiously selecting from the higher classes those
whose piety and intelligence seemed to fit them for the work of the
ministry, he established seminaries and monastic schools, where they
were trained and educated; and to these schools the young of both sexes
flocked with extraordinary eagerness.

While he was laboring in the southeastern part of Munster, a petty
prince of Cardiganshire, named Coroticus, though apparently professing
Christianity, set out from Wales, and descending on the Irish coast with
a band of armed followers, murdered several of the people, and carried
off a large number with the intention of disposing of them as slaves.
This outrage, perpetrated in one of the districts where St. Patrick was
baptizing, roused his keenest indignation, and he wrote a letter, which
he sent by one of his companions, calling upon Coroticus to restore the
captives, many of whom had been baptized. But his request being treated
with contempt and scorn, he composed another circular epistle, in which
he inveighed in the strongest terms against the cruelty of the marauding
tribe and its chief. He contrasted his conduct with that of the
Christians of the Continent, who were in the habit of sending large sums
of money to ransom captives, and concluded by threatening him and his
followers with excommunication, unless he desisted in future from his
piratical habits. What was the result of the epistle is not known, but
it is to be feared that the attempt to recover the captives was not
successful. Slavery and the trade in slaves was almost more difficult to
root out than paganism, and the inhuman traffic was in full activity as
late as the tenth century between England and Ireland, and the port of
Bristol was one of its principal centres.

Meanwhile, after a somewhat lengthened sojourn in the district of Lowth
and parts of Ulster, St. Patrick reached the district of Macha,
containing the royal city of Emania, the residence of the kings of
Ulster, the remains of which, under the name of the Navan, still exist
about two miles west of Armagh. Here he was cordially received by Daire,
a wealthy chief, who made over to him a pleasant piece of ground on an
eminence, _Druim-sailch_, or "Hill of the Willows." The spot pleased St.
Patrick, and here he determined to erect a church. The foundations were
accordingly laid, and around it rose by degrees the city of Armagh, the
ecclesiastical metropolis of Ireland; and here its founder spent the
remainder of his life, only leaving it now and then to visit his
favorite retreat at Saul, round which clustered so many associations of
his earliest labors, and of his first convert Dichu.

Here, too, having called to his aid the bishops Secundinus, Isserninus,
and Auxilius, who next to himself were best qualified by long experience
for the work, he proceeded to hold synods, and to make regulations for
the general government of the churches he had founded. Again and again
he was solicited to revisit his friends and relatives in Scotland, but
nothing could induce him to leave his post. In his "Confession," written
when far advanced in years, he touchingly describes how often he had
been requested to come among his kinsmen once more, but how a deep sense
of the spiritual love between himself and his flock ever retained him in

It was while he was staying at Saul that the apostle of Ireland was
seized with his last illness. He had lived to a good old age, and the
sunset of his life was calm and peaceful. Perceiving that his end drew
nigh, and desirous, as we are told, that Armagh should be the
resting-place of his remains, he set out thither, but was unable to
continue the journey. Increasing weakness, and, as it seemed to him the
voice of an angel, bade him return to the church of his first convert;
and there he closed his eyes in death, probably in the year A.D. 466,
leaving behind him the visible memorials of a noble work nobly done. He
and his fellow-laborers had made for themselves, by the labors of their
own hands, civilized dwellings amid the tangled forest and the dreary
morass. At a time when clan-feuds and bloodshed were rife, and princes
rose and fell, and all was stormy and changeful, they had covered the
islands with monastic schools, where the Scriptures were studied,
ancient books collected and read, and native missionaries trained for
their own country, and for the remotest parts of the European continent.



[Illustration: Justinian. [TN]]

Flavius Anicius Justinianus, nephew on the mother's side of the Emperor
Justin, was born in 482 or 483 A.D., in the village of Tauresium, in
Illyria. His original name was Upranda. Although of obscure parentage,
and indeed slave-born, he shared the success of his maternal uncle,
Justin, being invited at an early age to Constantinople, where he
received an early education. When his uncle assumed the purple, in 518,
he appointed Justinian commander-in-chief of the army of Asia. His
tastes, however, inclining him rather to civic pursuits, he declined
this appointment, and remained attached to the court of Constantinople.
In 521, he was named consul, and during the remaining years of the reign
of his uncle he continued to exercise great influence. In 527 the
Emperor Justin, by the advice of the senate, proclaimed him his partner
in the empire. Justin survived this step but four months, and in the
same year Justinian was proclaimed sole emperor, and crowned along with
his wife, the famous Theodora, whom, despite her more than dubious
antecedents as an actress, he had raised to the position as his wife.
Justinian on his accession was in his forty-fifth year. His reign, which
extends over thirty-eight years, is the most brilliant in the history of
the late empire. Although himself without the taste or the capacity for
military command, he had the good fortune or the skill to select the
ablest generals of the last days of Roman military ascendency. Under the
direction of his generals, and especially of the celebrated Narses and
Belisarius, his reign may be said to have restored the Roman Empire, at
least in outward appearance, to its ancient limits, and to have reunited
the East and the West under a single rule. In his first war--that with
Persia--he concluded a treaty by which the crisis that had so long
threatened, was at least warded off; but the rejoicings which celebrated
its termination had, owing to a domestic revolution, almost proved fatal
to the authority of Justinian himself. A conflict of the so-called Blue
and Green factions in the circus, in 532, was but an outburst of
political discontent, which went so far as to elect a rival emperor,
Hypatius. Justinian himself was struck with dismay, and had made
preparations for flight; but the vigor and determination of Theodora
arrested the revolt. Narses, with a relentless hand, repressed the
tumults, 30,000 victims having, it is said, fallen in a single day. By
the arms of Belisarius, the Vandal kingdom of Africa was re-annexed to
the Empire; and the same general, conjointly with Narses, restored the
imperial authority in Rome, in Northern Italy, and in a large portion of
Spain. One of the most extraordinary, though in the end ineffective
works of the reign of Justinian, was the vast line of fortification
which he constructed, or renewed and strengthened, along the eastern and
southeastern frontier of his empire. These works of defence, and the
construction of many public buildings both in his capital and in other
cities of the Empire, involved an enormous expenditure, and the fiscal
administration of Justinian, in consequence, pressed heavily on the
public resource.

It is, however, as a legislator that Justinian has gained his most
enduring renown. His good fortune in obtaining the services of able
generals was not greater than that which attended him in the field of
law and legislation. Brilliant as were the triumphs of Narses and
Belisarius, they were indeed short-lived in comparison with the work
done by the celebrated Tribonian and his coadjutors in the way of
reforming and codifying the law. Immediately on his accession Justinian
set himself to collect and codify the principal imperial constitutions
or statutes enacted prior to, and in force at, the date of his
accession. In this respect he followed the example set by his
predecessor, Theodosian. The code in which these constitutions were
collected was published in 528-29, and it contained a general provision
by which all previous imperial enactments were repealed. But Justinian's
ambition in the matter of consolidating the laws went much further.
Imperial constitutions made up but a comparatively small part of the
body of the law. The bulk of it (what might be called the common law)
was contained in the writings of the jurists, that is, of text-writers
and commentators. Of these writers there were at this time many hundreds
of volumes in existence, and, owing to want of agreement in the opinion
of the various writers, the law was in a state of great uncertainty, not
to say confusion.

To remedy this evil, Justinian resolved upon the publication of a single
treatise in which the commentaries and other writings of the jurists
might be digested and harmonized. The preparation of this great work was
intrusted to Tribonian, with the assistance of Theophilus, a celebrated
professor of law at Berytus (modern Beyrout), and two other professors,
and it was completed in the almost incredibly short period of four
years. It was published in fifty books, under the title Digesta or
Pandectæ. While the Digest was in course of preparation Justinian
resolved on the composition of a third work--viz., a systematic and
elementary treatise on the law which might serve as a text-book for the
use of students, and as an introduction to the larger work. The
preparation of this was also intrusted to Tribonian and his colleagues,
and having been completed a few days before the Digest, was published in
four books on the same day (December 31, 534), under the title of
Institutiones. It is based upon the Institutes of Gaius, and is familiar
to all modern lawyers under the name of "Justinian's Institutes."
Meantime, while both the Digest and the Institutes were being prepared,
the Code of 529 above mentioned was withdrawn from circulation and
republished in 534 with some alterations, and especially with the
addition of fifty new constitutions (known as the Quinquaginta
Decisiones) which had in the interim been pronounced by Justinian. This
new edition, in twelve books, is known as the Codex Repetitiæ
Proelectionis, and is the one which has come down to us, no copy of the
earlier codex being extant. All these works (Code, Digest, Institutes)
were written originally in Latin, and all of them were prepared with
care and skill, and testify to the great ability of Tribonian and his
co-editors. Upon the publication of the "Digest" Justinian declared by a
constitution that all previous law-books and decisions were to be held
as superseded and it was forbidden to refer to them in the practice of
the courts. During the subsequent years of his reign Justinian
pronounced from time to time several new constitutions or laws, some of
them making very important changes in certain departments of the law.
These (mostly in Greek) were collected and published under the title of
"Novellæ" (_i.e._, "The Novels" or "New Works"). There were, so far as
can be ascertained, about one hundred and seventy of these Novels. The
Institutes, Digest, Code, and Novels together make up what is known as
the Corpus Juris Civilis.

The character of Justinian has been much canvassed, and opinions are not
agreed about it. Procopius, in two separate works, has painted him in
very different lights. Making allowance, however, for much exaggeration
of his abilities by contemporary writers, it may be said that he
contrasts favorably with most of the emperors, whether of the earlier or
of the later Empire. If his personal virtues be open to doubt (and
certainly vanity, avarice, and inconstancy were in no small degree
characteristic of him), he, on the other hand, displayed undoubted
ability as a ruler, and, in the main, just and upright intentions. He
was easy of access, patient of hearing, courteous and affable in
discourse, and perfect master of his temper. In the conspiracies against
his authority and person he often showed both justice and clemency. He
excelled in the private virtues of chastity and temperance; his meals
were short and frugal; on solemn fasts he contented himself with water
and vegetables, and he frequently passed two days and as many nights
without tasting any food. He allowed himself little time for sleep, and
was always up before the morning light. His restless application to
business and to study, as well as the extent of his learning, have been
attested even by his enemies. He was, or professed to be, a poet and
philosopher, a lawyer and theologian, a musician and an architect; but
the brightest ornament of his reign is the compilation of Roman law
which has immortalized his name. He died on November 14, 565, at the age
of eighty-three, and in the thirty-eighth year of his reign.

A few words must be said about the legislative reforms carried through
by Justinian. He was not only a collector and a codifier of the laws; he
also introduced in many directions the most fundamental changes into the
substantive law itself. The following were the most important changes.
(1) He ameliorated the condition of slaves--depriving their masters of
the power of putting them to death. He declared that any one who put a
slave to death by his own hand should be guilty of homicide. (2) He
greatly revolutionized the law of intestate succession by giving to
cognati (relatives on the mother's side) an equal share with agnati
(relatives on the father's side) of the same degree. These two changes
in the law were probably in a large measure induced by the circumstances
of his birth. (3) He made considerable changes in the law of divorce,
and as to the property of spouses. (4) He reformed civil procedure in
the way of making it uniform, and introducing a system of small-debt



(DIED, 604)

         [Footnote 9: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: St. Augustine. [TN]]

A complete biography of St. Augustine of Canterbury it is impossible to
write: almost all that is known of him is his work as a missionary to
the English, and almost the only source of our knowledge of that
missionary work is the "Ecclesiastical History" of Bæda. But the mission
of St. Augustine was one of the great crises, not only of the history of
the Christian Church, but of the history of human civilization. The
difference between a number of Celtic churches, with bishops largely
subordinate to the abbots of monasteries, included (as it seems) in none
of the great Catholic patriarchates, cut off from all communication with
the great centres of human thought and life--and a Church of England
taking her place, at once independent and subordinate, in the swift
development of human progress, both conservative and creative--this
difference is quite incalculable. And the mission of St. Augustine made
the difference.

The triumph of Christianity depended--apart from its divine
authority--upon the thorough organization of the Christian communities;
and that organization had for its centre the Episcopacy. But as separate
congregations without a bishop could never have escaped disintegration,
so the united congregations, with their presbyters and bishop, would
have been powerless without some further organization, uniting the
bishops, with well-defined regulations, under some recognized hierarchy
of authority. Thus arose metropolitan sees, and the great patriarchates
of the Catholic Church--Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria,
Constantinople. This centralization was rendered necessary by the course
of events; but it had otherwise no divine authority and might be
modified just as validly as it was created. When the Roman Empire was
submerged under the deluge of barbarian races, a yet closer
centralization became necessary, at least in the West; and the ark in
which floated over that terrible deluge not only the Christian religion,
but the remains of ancient civilization, both Greek and Roman, was the
patriarchate of Rome. The man who not only clearly perceived, but was
absolutely compelled to assume, his awful responsibility in the West,
the Saviour at once of the Church and the world, was the splendid
pontiff, Gregory the Great; the great pontiff who sent St. Augustine and
his companions to preach the gospel to the English conquerors of
Britain. If we would clearly understand the work of St. Augustine we
must free our minds from the illusion produced by familiar names. One of
these is the name Britain. In the time of Gregory the Great the island
called by that name was, of course, the same as that on which Julius
Cæsar had landed. The barbarians whom Cæsar encountered had been subdued
by his successors, and a Roman province had been formed. Roman
civilization had been introduced and, one might almost say, had
flourished. The Christian religion had found its way thither; there had
been Christian congregations and bishops, and even a heresiarch. But
Rome, in the struggle for her own existence, had been compelled to
withdraw her legions from the province of Britain; and to leave the
people not only to their internal dissensions, but to the attacks of the
"Scots" and "Picts," from Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. Then
followed the conquest of Britain by the English, as the Teutonic
invaders began soon to be called. The Celtic people were largely driven
out, including the Celtic Christians. The English were heathens, and the
Celtic Christians seem to have made no effort whatever for their
conversion. The English, again, were by no means consolidated into an
English nation. It was to one division of these English heathens that
Gregory the Great sent Augustine.

Even the term "the British Church" is somewhat misleading. There is not
the slightest trustworthy evidence, either as to the time when, or the
person by whom, Christianity was introduced into Britain. There, of
course, as everywhere else, the Church was under the rule of bishops;
but, excepting for the purpose of ordaining, the authority of the
British bishops seems to have been entirely overshadowed by the
authority of the abbots of monasteries. There seems, as we have said, no
evidence of anything resembling the patriarchal system among them; nor
of any close or frequent communication between the British churches and
the rest of Christendom. This is proved, among other things, by their
curious reckoning of Easter; which (as Gieseler shows, "Eccle. Hist.,"
ii., 164, English translation) was by no means identical with that of
the Quarto-decimans. It was simply the survival of the use of an old
cycle which had been elsewhere superseded by one more accurate and

The ascertainable biography of St. Augustine begins with his mission, by
command of Gregory, to the heathen English; and especially to the
subjects of Ethelbert, King of Kent, who had married a Christian lady.
There is not the slightest reason for discrediting the story related by
Bæda, of the incident which first excited Gregory's interest in the
heathen English. The relations between Britain and Rome having come to
an end, it is not in the least surprising that even a person so
exceptionally well informed should have known nothing about the Teutonic
peoples--Angles, Jutes, Saxons--which had driven out the British. That
he should have played upon words so suggestive as Angli, Deira, and
Ælla, is exactly what might be expected from the author of the "Magna
Moralia." The familiar story--he calls it "opinio quæ de beato Gregorio
traditione majorum ad nos usque perlata est"--as told by Bæda, is as
follows ("Hist. Eccl.," ii., 1):--

It is reported that some merchants, having just arrived at Rome on a
certain day, exposed many things for sale in the market-place, and
abundance of people resorted thither to buy; Gregory himself went with
the rest, and, among other things, some boys were set to sale, their
bodies white, their countenances beautiful, and their hair very fine.
Having viewed them, he asked, as is said, from what country or nation
they were brought? and was told, from the island of Britain, whose
inhabitants were of such personal appearance. He again inquired whether
those islanders were Christians, or still involved in the errors of
paganism? and was informed that they were pagans. Then, fetching a deep
sigh from the bottom of his heart, "Alas! what pity," said he, "that the
author of darkness is possessed of men of such fair countenances; and
that being remarkable for such graceful aspects, their minds should be
void of inward grace." He therefore again asked, what was the name of
that nation? and was answered that they were called Angles. "Right,"
said he, "for they have an angelic face, and it becomes such to be
co-heirs with the angels in heaven. What is the name," proceeded he, "of
the province from which they are brought?" It was replied, that the
natives of that place were called Deiri. "Truly are they De ira," said
he, "withdrawn from wrath, and called to the mercy of Christ. How is the
king of that province called?" They told him his name was Ælla; and he,
alluding to the name, said, "Hallelujah, the praise of God the Creator
must be sung in those parts."

Gregory was eager to go at once on a mission to the home of these
beautiful children, and the then pope gave his consent; but the Roman
people could not bear the loss of one already so useful and
distinguished, and almost before he had started he was recalled. When,
during his own pontificate, Gregory carried out his purpose, it was
probably due to a request of Queen Bertha, speaking, most likely, in
behalf of some of the Kentish people, made to the Frankish bishops for
missionaries. "It has come to our knowledge," writes Gregory, "that,
through the mercy of God, the people of the Angli are eagerly desiring
to be converted to the Christian faith, but that the priests of their
own neighborhood neglect them." When Bertha married Ethelbert it was on
condition that she should retain her own religion; and she was
accompanied to Kent by a French bishop, named Luidhard, who must have
acted chiefly as her private chaplain. Ethelbert nobly kept his word,
and thus the piety of Bertha, and her religion, may easily and deeply
have impressed the Kentish heathen. That the Celtic bishops and
clergy--"sacerdotes e vicinio"--did nothing for the conversion of the
heathen English can scarcely be matter of surprise, though possibly of
regret. For they were not only Christians, but belonged to the conquered
race; whom, apart from their religion, it was the policy of the
conquerors to drive out of the country, and who were compelled to take
refuge in the remotest districts of the land. The Frankish bishops seem
to have done little or nothing in response to Queen Bertha's
solicitations; and Gregory ordered Candidus, administrator of the
Patrimony of St. Peter in Gaul, to bring up English youths, and have
them trained in monasteries, and fitted to be made missionaries to their
own land. At length, in the sixth year of his pontificate, he determined
to undertake the work himself; and sent from his own monastery of St.
Andrew, on the Cælian Hill, in Rome, a company of forty monks, headed by
their prior, Augustine.

Their progress at first was rapid. Starting in the summer of A.D. 596,
they soon arrived in the neighborhood of Aix, in Provence. But the
nearer they came to what should have been their journey's end, the less
inclined they were for the work to which they had been appointed. The
heathen English were represented as barbarians of unusual ferocity; and
the companions of Augustine were as frightened as the companions of
Caleb and Joshua. They induced their prior to return to Gregory and seek
a release from their perilous task. But Gregory was not a man to be
frightened himself, or to have much sympathy with cowards. He wrote,
however, with great gentleness: "For as much as it had been better not
to begin a good work than to think of desisting from that which has been
begun, it behoves you, my beloved sons, to fulfil the good work which,
by the help of the Lord, you have undertaken. Let not, therefore, the
toil of the journey, nor the tongues of evil-speaking men, deter you:
but with all possible earnestness and zeal, perform that which by God's
direction you have undertaken." He furnished them with letters to the
bishops of Tours, Marseilles, Vienne, and Autun, and also to the
metropolitan of Arles. After the lapse of a year they slowly continued
their journey, and landed at last at Ebbe's Fleet, in the Isle of

As soon as they had landed Augustine sent the interpreters, whom he had
obtained from "the nation of the Franks," to tell Ethelbert of his
arrival. Ethelbert seems to have been a really noble-hearted man, and
had doubtless been attracted by the piety of his wife Bertha. The
missionaries told him that they had come from Rome, the great capital of
the West, and "had brought a joyful message which most undoubtedly
assured to all that took advantage of it, everlasting joys in heaven,
and a kingdom that would never end, with the living and true God." The
king ordered them to remain in the island where they had landed, and
promised that they should be furnished with all necessaries till he
should consider what he would do with them. Soon after he came to the
island, and conferred with Augustine and his companions in the open air;
fearing the possibility of magic enchantments if he met them under any
roof. He was much impressed by their ceremonial, their bearing, and
their teaching. "Your words and promises," he said, "are very fair, but
as they are new to us, and of uncertain import, I cannot approve of them
so far as to forsake that which I have so long followed with the whole
English nation ["cum omni Anglorum gente:" this by no means implies, it
is scarcely necessary to say, an English nation in the modern sense of
those words]. But because you are come from far into my kingdom, and, as
I conceive, are desirous to impart to us those things which you believe
to be true and most beneficial, we will not molest you, but give you
favorable entertainment, and take care to supply you with your necessary
sustenance; nor do we forbid you to preach, and gain as many as you can
to your religion."

By the king's invitation they crossed from Thanet and took their abode
in the then rude town of Canterbury, and before long were allowed to
worship in St. Martin's Church, with the queen. Their influence
gradually increased, and a considerable number of the English were
converted. At last Ethelbert himself received baptism (Whitsunday, A.D.
597); and following his example, it is said that on December 25th
following--mid-winter!--upward of ten thousand were baptized in the
waters of the Swale. Of course, it cannot be supposed that in these
mediæval "conversions" of whole tribes or "nations," there was any
rational acceptance of the complete theology of the Church. The
conversion was rather the acceptance of a discipline, a mode of life;
founded indeed on Christian doctrine and in all kinds of subtle ways
symbolizing it; but primarily an imitation of a sweeter and purer life,
and a more spiritual and suggestive worship. The words of Bæda (i., 26)
are worthy of note as indicating the temper both of Gregory and
Augustine: "Their conversion the king so far encouraged, as that he
compelled none to embrace Christianity, but only showed more affection
to the believers, as to his fellow-citizens in the heavenly kingdom. For
he had learnt from his instructors and leaders to salvation, that the
service of Christ ought to be voluntary, not by compulsion."

[Illustration: Conversion of Ethelbert by Augustine.]

Having so far succeeded in his mission, Augustine went to Arles and was
consecrated archbishop of the English by the Metropolitan Virgilius.
[Bæda says (i., 27): "Archiepiscopus genti Anglorum ordinatus est," the
actual see probably being then undetermined.] On his return he
despatched Lawrence and Peter to Rome to tell Gregory that the Angli had
been converted to the faith, and that he himself (Augustine) had been
made a bishop. They were also to bring back the Pope's answers to sundry
questions respecting the conduct of the mission which Augustine proposed
to him. Both the questions and the answers are highly suggestive. The
first question was as to the division of the offerings of the faithful.
The second as to differences of "Use" in the celebration of Mass and
other divine offices. The answer of Gregory is almost classical, and may
well be repeated here: "You know, my brother," he says, "the custom of
the Roman Church.... But it pleases me that if you have found anything,
whether in the Roman Church, or the church of the Gauls
["Galliarum"], or any church whatever, which may be more pleasing to
Almighty God, you carefully make choice of the same and diligently teach
the church of the English, which as yet is new in the faith ... whatever
you have been able to collect from many churches. For things are not to
be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good
things." The fourth and fifth questions of Augustine refer to prohibited
degrees of marriage, and Gregory replies, as to the marriage of
first-cousins, among other objections, "we have learned by experience
that no offspring can come of such marriage." To Augustine's inquiry as
to his relations with the bishops of Gaul and Britain ["Galliarum
Brittaniarumque,"] Gregory replies that Augustine has no authority
whatever within the jurisdiction of the metropolitan of Arles; but he
adds: "As for all the bishops of Britain ["Brittaniarum"], we commit
them to your care, that the unlearned may be taught, the weak
strengthened by persuasion, and the perverse corrected by authority."
Considering the context--Augustine had been asking whether, under the
circumstances, he could consecrate bishops without the presence of any
other bishops; and, moreover, he had not as yet come into any kind of
contact with the Celtic bishops--it seems probable that "the bishops of
Britain" here placed under Augustine's jurisdiction were the bishops to
be afterward consecrated by himself, with or without the presence and
witness of Gallic or other bishops. Gregory's advice to Augustine,
conveyed through the Abbot Mellitus, may well be pondered by the
managers of modern missions. He says: "The temples of the idols in that
nation [the English] ought not to be destroyed; but let the idols that
are in them be destroyed; let holy water be made and sprinkled in the
said temples, let altars be erected, and relics placed. For if those
temples are well built it is requisite that they be converted from the
worship of devils to the service of the true God; that the nation ...
adoring the true God, may the more familiarly resort to the places to
which they have been accustomed." He even suggests that their
sacrifices--which were largely festivals, as much social as
religious--should be discontinued, indeed, as sacrifices, but changed
into banquets and associated with the day of the dedication of a church,
or the "nativity" of a holy martyr. And all this on the perfectly sound
principle, too often forgotten, that "he who strives to reach the
highest place raises himself by steps and degrees, and not by leaps
[gradibus vel passibus non autem saltibus elevatus]."

At last Augustine was brought into contact with the Celtic bishops. It
was clear that their assistance would be very valuable in the endeavor
to convert the English, and also that their peculiar usages would convey
the impression of far greater diversity of doctrine than actually
existed. Augustine was willing to make much concession. There were three
conditions of union which seemed to him indispensable: agreement as to
the time of keeping Easter; agreement as to the mode of administering
baptism; and hearty co-operation in mission work among the heathen. We
may leave out of consideration alleged miracles; also the curious, or
even the ludicrous, test of a divine mission suggested by "the aged
hermit" of the story. The Celtic bishops refused any sort of
co-operation, and Augustine left them, not without a solemn warning:
"If they would not have peace with their brethren, they would have to
accept war from their enemies; if they would not preach the way of life
to the nation of the Angli, they would have to suffer at their hands the
vengeance of death." It is scarcely credible--though in religious
controversy almost anything is credible--that a warning so obviously
wise, and even charitable, should have been interpreted as a mere
threat, and as evidence that Augustine himself was the author of the
calamities that afterward befell the Celtic Church.

Such is the simple story of the mission and the life--for we read
nothing about his life but his mission--of Augustine, the first
archbishop of Canterbury. He was not able to carry out the whole scheme
of Gregory. He was not the first to introduce Christianity into Britain.
But, apart from Queen Bertha's private chaplain, he was the first to
introduce Christianity to the English--those Teutonic tribes which were
the ancestors of the English of to-day. Who first brought the gospel to
the Roman province of Britain no one knows; nor is it of the slightest
importance that anyone should know. But that there should have been two
Christian religions in England when the nation was being consolidated,
would have been fatal both to nation and church. We conclude this brief
notice by a passage from two historians, neither of whom could possibly
be suspected of any undue subservience to the modern Church of Rome. The
first is from Mr. Green's "The Making of England" (pp. 314, 315); he is
speaking of the results of the Synod of Whitby (A.D. 664).

"It is possible that lesser political motives may have partly swayed
Oswin in his decision, for the revival of Mercia had left him but the
alliance of Kent in the south, and this victory of the Kentish Church
would draw tighter the bonds which linked together the two powers. But
we may fairly credit him with a larger statesmanship. Trivial in fact as
were the actual points of difference which parted the Roman Church from
the Irish, the question to which communion Northumbria should belong
was, as we have seen, of immense moment to the after-fortunes of
England. It was not merely that, as Wilfrid said, to fight against Rome
was to fight against the world. Had England, indeed, clung to the Irish
Church, it must have remained spiritually isolated from the bulk of
Western Christendom. Fallen as Rome might be from its older greatness,
it preserved the traditions of civilization, of letters, and art and
law. Its faith still served as a bond which held together the nations
that sprang from the wreck of the Empire. To repulse Rome was to condemn
England to isolation. But grave as such considerations were, they were
of little weight beside the influence which Oswin's decision had on the
very unity of the English race. The issue of the Synod not only gave
England a share in the religious unity of Western Christendom; it gave
her a religious unity at home. However dimly such thoughts may have
presented themselves to Oswin's mind, it was the instinct of a statesman
that led him to set aside the love and gratitude of his youth, and to
secure the religious oneness of England in the Synod of Whitby."

The other is from Milman's "History of Latin Christianity" (ii., 198,
199, Amer. Edition): "The effect of Christianity on Anglo-Saxon England
was at once to re-establish a connection both between the remoter parts
of the island with each other, and of England with the rest of the
Christian world. They ceased to dwell apart, a race of warlike,
unapproachable barbarians, in constant warfare with the bordering
tribes, or occupied in their own petty feuds or inroads, rarely, as in
the case of Ethelbert, connected by intermarriage with some neighboring
Teutonic state. Though the Britons were still secluded in the mountains,
or at extremities of the land, by animosities which even Christianity
could not allay, yet the Picts and Scots, and the parts of Ireland which
were occupied by Christian monasteries, were now brought into peaceful
communication, first with the kingdom of Northumbria, and through
Northumbria with the rest of England. The intercourse with Europe was of
far higher importance, and tended much more rapidly to introduce the
arts and habits of civilization into the land. There was a constant flow
of missionaries across the British Channel, who possessed all the
knowledge which still remained in Europe. All the earlier metropolitans
of Canterbury and the bishops of most of the southern sees, were
foreigners; they were commissioned at Rome, if not consecrated there;
they travelled backward and forward in person, or were in constant
communication with that great city, in which were found all the culture,
the letters, the arts, and sciences which had survived the general

Nobody need disparage the Celtic Church; but it is not too much to say
that the Celtic Church could never have preserved Christianity in
Britain against the victorious Saxon or English heathen. But from the
very beginning the Church of England has retained the traces of her
early origin, when Gregory the Great was Pope, when the claim to be
universal bishop was deemed untenable, when even the ritual of the Mass
was still in unessential details flexible.

[Signature of the author.]



The Arabian "Prophet" was born at the city of Mecca, some time during
the sixth century, but the precise year has, after much discussion,
still been left in doubt. Hottinger says, A.D. 571, Reiske, A.D. 572,
and Gagnier, A.D. 578. His lineage has also been the subject of great
altercation, one party exalting him above most of his countrymen, while
the other degraded him to the lowest rank--particularly contemporary
Christian writers, who were desirous of rendering him an object of
contempt; and in the same degree that the Christians felt themselves
called upon to degrade the Arabian prophet, so did the Mahometans think
themselves compelled to exalt him. Mahomet successfully vindicated for
himself a high lineage among his countrymen; the tribe of Koreish, to
which he belonged, laying claim to Ishmael as their progenitor, and this
claim, arising from the vanity of the tribe, was eagerly laid hold of
and supported by his votaries.

[Illustration: Two camel ridders. [TN]]

Abdallah, the father of Mahomet, was the youngest son of Abd al
Motâlleb, the son of Hashem. "Hashem," say the authors of the "Modern
Universal History," "succeeded his father Abd al Menaf in the
principality of the Koreish, and consequently in the government of
Mecca, and the custody of the Caaba." So far the genealogy of the
prophet is supported by authentic history--that he was descended from
the princes of his people cannot be denied. This descent from Ishmael,
Gibbon, after Sale, thus disproves: "Abulfeda and Gagnier describe the
popular and approved genealogy of the prophet. At Mecca I would not
dispute its authenticity; at Lausanne, I will venture to observe, 1st,
That, from Ishmael to Mahomet, a period of two thousand five hundred
years, they reckon thirty instead of seventy-five generations. 2d. That
the modern Bedoweens are ignorant of their history, and careless of
their pedigree."

Abdallah, though of high lineage, was possessed of little wealth; and as
he died while his son was yet an infant, we may easily suppose that
little to have been diminished by the rapacity of his kindred. At the
early age of six years Mahomet lost his mother, Amina; and two years
after, his grandfather, Abd al Motâlleb, who when dying, earnestly
confided the helpless orphan to the care of Abu Taleb, the eldest of his
sons, and the successor to his authority. From him, though treated with
kindness, Mahomet received a scanty education; but whether that
education was equal or inferior to that of his countrymen, it is not
easy to discover. Tradition states that at the time of Mahomet's first
declaration concerning his mission, only one man in Mecca could write.
If so, it is nothing wonderful that Mahomet, like the rest of his
kindred, should also he unable to write. At thirteen years of age, he is
said to have made a journey to Syria, in the caravan of his uncle, and,
some years after, to have performed the same journey in the capacity of
factor to his mistress, Cadijah.

The next remarkable event in the life of Mahomet, is his appearance in
the character of a soldier. At the early age of fourteen, he served
under his uncle, who commanded the troops of his tribe, the Koreish, in
their wars against the rival tribes of Kenan and Hawazan. The
circumstance is worthy of remark, as illustrative of the perfect
compatibility between the business of a merchant and that of a soldier,
among the Arabian people, and upon the constant and rapid transition
from one to the other.

By the assistance of his uncle he became soon after the factor of a rich
trading widow in his native city. The animosity of his enemies has
degraded the confidential agent into a driver of camels. It has been
confidently and constantly asserted that he was a menial servant in the
household of his mistress, Cadijah; while, in truth, he was employed to
carry on her mercantile transactions, and to superintend her affairs. In
this situation of factor, his conduct and integrity gained him the
affections of his mistress. Cadijah was not, in the eyes of her people,
degraded by an alliance with the grandson of their prince; and in her
own estimation, by bestowing her hand and fortune upon Mahomet, she
gained a young, handsome, and affectionate husband. Twenty years of
constancy, of kind and respectful attention, on the part of Mahomet,
fully justified her choice. It may, indeed, be imagined, and we confess
the supposition bears the appearance of some plausibility, that the
affection of Cadijah was not uninfluenced by the handsome person and
insinuating eloquence of her youthful suitor. And we cannot refuse our
applause to the conduct of Mahomet, who, whatever might have been her
motives, never afterward forgot the benefits he had received from his
benefactress, never made her repent having so bestowed her affection, or
grieve at having placed her fortune and her person at his absolute
disposal. Cadijah, at the time of her marriage, was forty; Mahomet,
twenty-five years of age. Till the age of sixty-four years, when she
died, did Cadijah enjoy the undivided affection of her husband; "in a
country where polygamy was allowed, the pride or tenderness of the
venerable matron was never insulted by the society of a rival. After her
death he placed her in the rank of the four perfect women: with the
sister of Moses, the mother of Jesus, and Fatima, the best beloved of
his daughters. 'Was she not old?' said Ayesha, with the insolence of a
blooming beauty; 'has not Allah given you a better in her place?' 'No,
by Allah!' said Mahomet, with an effusion of honest gratitude, 'there
never can be a better! She believed in me, when men despised me: she
relieved my wants when I was poor and persecuted by the world.'"

Commerce now occupied his attention, and till the age of forty nothing
remarkable happened in the life of the future prophet. His marriage with
Cadijah raised him to an equality with the first citizens of Mecca, gave
an importance to his opinions, and, combined with the power of his
family, probably rendered it impossible to punish or interrupt the first
steps he made toward the propagation of his new religion. When relieved
from the pressure of indigence, his mind seems almost immediately to
have been turned toward religious meditation. The result of this
meditation was an opinion exceedingly unfavorable to the religion of his
countrymen. The first statement of this conviction was met rather by
ridicule than anger, being considered the fantasy of a dreaming
enthusiast, who was little to be dreaded, and unworthy of opposition. We
are told that he retired to a cave in Mount Hara, near Mecca, where, as
he assured his first proselyte, his wife, he regularly received the
visits of the angel Gabriel. This tale his wife believed, or affected to
believe. The next on the list of true believers were Zeid, the servant
of the prophet, and Ali, the son of his uncle, Abu Taleb. The impetuous
youth, disdaining his two predecessors in the true faith, proudly styled
himself the first of believers. The next and most important convert was
Abu Bekr, a powerful citizen of Mecca, by whose influence a number of
persons possessing great authority were induced to profess the religion
of Islam. Three years were spent in the arduous task of converting six
of these men. They were afterward his chief companions, and with a few
others, were the only proselytes to the new religion before it became
publicly known.

The apostle, who was at first derided, came at length to be feared. The
people flocked to hear his doctrines, and as they retired, wondering and
believing, general consternation reigned among the governors of Mecca.
Frightened by his growing influence, they imprudently endeavored to
arrest the evil by punishing the offender. For some time, however, the
power of Abu Taleb, the prophet's uncle, defended him against these
hostile attacks, which served, by manifesting the alarm and hatred of
the nobles, to increase Mahomet's fame and importance. Persecution gave
him strength by bringing him before the public. Once known, he gained
sympathizing listeners among the benevolent, because a persecuted man;
and blindly believing votaries among the ignorant and fearful, because a
bold and vehement declaimer against wickedness, as well as an eloquent
describer of the horrible torments attached to unbelief. In the seventh
year of his mission, the heads of the tribe of Koreish made a solemn
league one with another, engaging themselves to have no commerce or
connection with the families of Hashem and Al Motâlleb. While Abu Taleb
lived the league was of no avail; the power of the uncle defended the
nephew against the designs of his enemies. At length, at the end of the
seventh year, Abu Taleb died; and a few days after his death Mahomet was
left a widower, by the decease of Cadijah. In his affliction he termed
this fatal year the year of mourning.

The unprotected prophet was now completely exposed to the attacks of his
enemies. His only safety was in flight, and had not the city of Medina
been friendly to his cause, the religion of Islam would have been
crushed in the bud. The fame of Mahomet, however, had extended far
beyond the walls of his native town. Distance, by shrouding him in
mystery, increased his influence. While he was scorned and derided at
Mecca, he was worshipped at Medina. A secret deputation from the city of
Medina waited on the apostle, and an alliance was entered into "during
two secret and nocturnal interviews, on a hill in the suburbs of Mecca."
Seventy-three men and two women having professed the faith of Islam, as
well as some yet unbelievers, met the prophet and proffered him
assistance. "What recompense," said they, "have we to expect, should we
fall in your defence?" "Paradise," exclaimed the confident apostle. They
promised him fidelity and allegiance.

From a fugitive Mahomet became a monarch; no sooner had he arrived at
Medina than he found himself at the head of an army devoted to his
person, obedient to his will, and blind believers in his holy office.
The _fugitives_ from Mecca and the _auxiliaries_ of Medina (the two
parties into which Mahomet's followers were now divided) gathered round
their chief, and with friendly emulation vied with each other in
obedience and in valor. To prevent all jealousy between the brethren,
Mahomet wisely gave each one a friend and companion from the rival band;
each _fugitive_ had for his brother one of the _auxiliaries_. Their
fraternity was continued in peace and in war, and during the life of the
prophet their union was undisturbed by the voice of discord.

The commands of the prophet were followed to the letter. The first
warlike attempt of the believers was, nevertheless, unsuccessful.
Mahomet having learned that a caravan, the property of the hostile
Koreish, was on its way from Syria to Mecca, despatched his uncle Hamza,
with a party of thirty horse, to capture it. Hamza, however, discovering
the caravan to be guarded by 300 men, desisted from his hostile
enterprise, and returned without the expected booty. On the plain of
Beder, Mahomet, at the head of his troops, effaced the shame of this
failure. A rich caravan, proceeding to Mecca, and guarded by Abu Sofian,
with between thirty and forty men, occasioned the contest. The spies of
Mahomet informed him that this rich and apparently easy prey was within
his grasp. He advanced with a few followers in pursuit of it; but before
he could overtake the unprotected band, Abu Sofian had sent for a
reinforcement from Mecca. A troop consisting of 950 men, among whom were
the chief persons of that city, instantly obeyed the summons. Mahomet
was posted between the caravan and the coming succor, being able to
oppose to this formidable force no more than 313 soldiers, mounted for
the most part on camels; some few (according to some authors, not more
than two) being mounted on horses.

Undismayed by this disparity of force, Mahomet determined to try the
event of a battle, and risk his fortune and perhaps his life upon the
contest. The troops were persuaded to engage the superior forces of the
enemy, and for the present to abandon the tempting prize of Abu Sofian's
rich caravan. Mahomet animated them by his prayers, and in the name of
the Most High promised them certain victory. However assured he might
have been of divine assistance, he was careful to let slip no human
means of securing success. An entrenchment was made to cover the flanks
of his troop, and a rivulet flowed past the spot he had chosen for his
encampment, and furnished his army with a constant supply of water. When
the enemy appeared, descending from the hills, Mahomet ordered his
soldiers to the attack; but before the armies could engage, three
combatants, Ali, Al Hareth, and Hamza, on the side of the Moslems, and
three of the Koreish, joined in single conflict. The Moslem warriors
were victorious, and thus gave to both armies a presage of the coming
engagement. The prophet, with Abu Bekr, at the commencement of the
battle, mounted a pulpit, fervently demanding of God the assistance of
Gabriel and three thousand angels; but when his army appeared to waver,
he started from his place of prayer, mounted a horse, and flinging a
handful of dust into the air, exclaiming, "May their faces be
confounded!" rushed upon the enemy. Fanaticism rendered his followers
invincible; the numerous forces of the Koreish were unable to break the
ranks or resist the furious attacks of his confiding soldiers. They
fled, leaving seventy of their principal officers dead upon the field,
and seventy prisoners in the hands of the enemy. Of the Moslems, only
fourteen were slain. The names of the slaughtered warriors have been
handed down to posterity, and enrolled among the list of pious martyrs
whom the faithful Mussulman is taught to worship.

Space will not permit us to enumerate the various battles fought by
Mahomet; according, however, to the computation of some authors, no less
than twenty-seven expeditions were undertaken, in which he personally
commanded, and in which nine pitched battles were fought. During the
same period, he was besieged in Medina, by the implacable Koreish; but,
by his own skill, and the bravery of his troops, he repelled all their
attacks. In the sixth year of the Hegira, with 1,400 men, he meditated
what he asserted to be a peaceful pilgrimage to the holy temple of
Mecca. Entrance into the city being refused by the people, the prophet,
in his anger, determined to force his way. At this critical juncture an
ambassador was despatched from Mecca to demand a peace. The policy of
Mahomet induced him to lay aside his determination of assaulting his
native city, and to accept the peaceful offers of his countrymen. A
truce of ten years was consequently concluded between the prophet and
the Koreish.

Two years had hardly elapsed when Mahomet accused the people of Mecca of
a breach of their engagement. When a man is really desirous of
quarrelling, a pretext is never wanting. He was now strong, and his
enemies were weak. His superstitious reverence for the city of his
nativity, and for the temple it contained, served also to influence his
determination for war. The time since the concluding of the truce had
been skilfully employed in seducing the adherents of the Koreish, and
converting to his religion the chief citizens of Mecca. With an army of
10,000 men he marched to besiege it, and no sooner did he appear before
the walls than the city surrendered at discretion.

[Illustration: The Muezzin.]

The religion of Mahomet may be considered now to have been permanently
settled. The conquest of Mecca and of the Koreish was the signal for the
submission of the rest of Arabia. The events of the prophet's after-life
cease, therefore, to possess an interest for a Western reader. They
were, for the most part, merely expeditions undertaken for the purpose
of reducing the petty tribes who still resisted his authority, and were
all of them eventually successful. The influence and religion of Mahomet
continued rapidly to extend; his difficulties were over; and the hour of
his prosperity has nothing to instruct or to amuse the general reader.
Between the taking of Mecca and the period of his death, not more than
three years elapsed. In that short period he had destroyed the idols of
Arabia; had extended his conquests to the borders of the Greek and
Persian empires; had rendered his name formidable to those once mighty
kingdoms; had tried his arms against the undisciplined troops of the
former, and defeated them in a desperate encounter at Muta. His throne
was now firmly established, and an impetus given to the Arabian nations
that in a few years induced them to invade, and enabled them to subdue,
a great portion of the globe. India, Persia, the Greek Empire, the whole
of Asia Minor, Egypt, Barbary, and Spain, were reduced by their
victorious arms. The Muezzin[10] was heard throughout an empire greater
than Alexander's; and though the temporal power of his successors has
now faded to a shadow, the religion which he founded still holds sway
throughout all that empire, and is even endeavoring to extend itself.
Although Mahomet did not live to see such mighty conquests, he laid the
first foundations of this wide-spreading dominion, and established over
the whole of Arabia, and some part of Syria, the religion he had

         [Footnote 10: The Muezzin is the Mahometan official who
         announces to the faithful the hour of prayer. Three times in
         the day and twice at night he goes up to the balcony of one of
         the minarets of the mosque, and chants the call. It is a simple
         but solemn melody, which floats down from the height of his
         turret upon the sleeping or bustling city with vast
         impressiveness, and receives immediate and universal




[Illustration: Family scene. [TN]]

No name in English history is so popular, and so justly popular, as that
of Alfred the Great. That he taught his people to defend themselves and
defeat their enemies, is the least of his many claims to our grateful
admiration; he did much more than this; he gave the first impulse to the
spirit of civilization, and taught a horde of wild barbarians that there
were other and worthier pursuits than war or the pleasures of the table.
In fact, he was one of those highly gifted men that would seem to be
raised up especially by Providence to meet certain emergencies, or to
advance the career of nations. Such was the hero, so beautifully
recorded by the pen of Edmund Burke, and of whose history we now purpose
to give a slight sketch for the amusement of those who might turn in
weariness from a more ample record.

Alfred the Great was born at Wantage, in Berkshire, in the year 849, one
of the most dreary and calamitous periods of English chronicle. He was
the youngest son of Ethelwulph, a mild and virtuous prince, but full of
a timid piety which utterly disqualified him for the circumstances in
which he was placed. According to the historian Asser, young Alfred,
being of a more comely person and sweeter disposition than his elder
brothers, became the favorite of both his parents, and was sent by them
to Rome, while yet a child, in order that he might be anointed king by
the Pope himself. But though the feeble piety of Ethelwulph showed this
especial instance of regard for his son, he altogether neglected his
education, and the young prince in his twelfth year had not yet learned
to read or write. Fortunately for himself, and still more so for the
kingdom he was afterward to govern, he possessed a mind too active to be
entirely subdued by the most unfavorable circumstances. If he could not
read for himself, he nevertheless loved to listen to the rude but
inspiring strains of Saxon poetry when recited by others, and had he not
been a hero and a statesman, he might probably have been a poet. At
length, as the old chronicler tells us--"on a certain day, his mother
was shewing him and his brothers a Saxon book of poetry, which she held
in her hand, and said, 'Whichever of you shall the soonest learn this
volume, shall have it for his own.'" Thus stimulated, Alfred bent
himself to the task with all that steady ardor which so strongly
characterized him in after-life, and easily won the prize from his tardy
competitors. This gave a fresh impulse to his natural appetite for
learning; even his passion for the chase could not divert him from
earnest study; nor was he to be deterred by what might have been a
better excuse for indolence, the incessant tortures of the secret malady
which had attacked him while yet a child, and which never left him but
with life. What this _secret_ disease was, the old chroniclers have
forgotten, or for some reasons omitted, to explain.

In 871, Alfred succeeded his brother in the sovereignty of Wessex, at a
period when the whole country was suffering under the ravages of the
Danes, who burnt, plundered, and destroyed without the least distinction
of age, sex, or profession. Being still pagans, the convent was no more
sacred to them than the palace or the cottage. They waged war upon all
alike, and the general misery was yet farther increased by a raging
pestilence, and the internal dissensions of the people.

Alfred now for the first time took the field against these brave, but
ruthless, invaders. He was defeated; yet such was his skill and courage,
that he was able to maintain the struggle till at length a peace, or
rather a truce, was concluded between the combatants, for these
intervals of calm seldom lasted beyond a year. Neither was this the
worst of the evils that beset the Saxon prince. Any compact he might
make with one party of the Danes was considered binding only upon _that_
party, and had no influence whatever upon others of their countrymen,
who had different leaders and different interests. Thus, upon the
present occasion, Alfred had no sooner made terms with one piratical
horde than he was invaded by a fresh body of them under Rollo; and when
he had compelled these to abandon Wessex, and seek for an easier
conquest on the shores of Normandy, he was attacked by fresh bodies of
Danes already settled in the other parts of England. So long, however,
as they ventured to meet him in the open field, his skill secured him
the victory; till, taught by repeated defeats, they had recourse to
another system of tactics. "They used," says Burke, "suddenly to land
and ravage a part of the country; when a force opposed them they retired
to their ships and passed to some other part, which in a like manner
they ravaged, and then retired as before, until the country, entirely
harassed, pillaged, and wasted by their incursions, was no longer able
to resist them. Then they ventured safely to enter a desolated and
disheartened country and to establish themselves in it."

To meet this system of warfare it was necessary to create a navy at a
time when the Saxons knew not how to build ships, or to manage them when
built. But the genius of Alfred triumphed over every obstacle. He
brought shipwrights from the Continent, himself assisted the workmen in
their labors, and engaged Frisian seamen, the neighbors of the Danes,
and, like them, pirates.

The new armament being completed, Alfred fell upon a Danish fleet which
was bringing round a large force from Wareham to the relief of their
friends, besieged in Exeter. These he defeated at all points, taking or
destroying no less than one hundred and twenty, already damaged by a
previous storm, and perhaps, on that account, less capable of defence.
The Danes, whom he held cooped up in Exeter, found themselves in
consequence compelled to surrender, and, giving hostages not to trouble
Wessex any longer, they settled themselves in Mercia, after the example
of so many of their countrymen, and became occupants of the land they
had before ravaged. Thus Alfred, in the seventh year of his reign, had
lost nothing by the war waged under so many difficulties and
disadvantages, enough to have overwhelmed a man of less energy and
genius; he still retained that portion of the kingdom which lies south
of the Thames, the only part ever belonging to him in separate
sovereignty, while the Danes possessed all the country on the northern
side of the river. The rest of the land was thus divided: Halfdane
reigned in Northumberland; his brother in East Anglia; and Guthrum,
Osketel, and Amund, governed with their subordinate king, Ceowulph, in

There now occurs a difficulty in the life of Alfred, unexplained by the
most industrious of his historians from any satisfactory record. We have
just seen him triumphant, and at peace with his defeated enemies.
Suddenly, without the notice of any lost battle, we find him seeking
refuge in the cottage of a herdsman in the _Isle of Ethelingeye_, or
_Island of Nobles_, now called Athelney. This spot, scarcely comprising
two acres of ground, was surrounded on all sides by marshes, so that it
could be approached only in a boat, and in it flourished a considerable
grove of alders, in which were stags, goats, and other animals. Here it
is that the romantic incident of the burnt cake is supposed to have
occurred; a story told by many of the old writers, but nowhere so fully
as in the Latin life of St. Neot. There we read that "Alfred, a
fugitive, and exiled from his people, came by chance and entered the
house of a poor herdsman, and there remained some days in poverty,
concealed and unknown.

"Now it happened that on the Sabbath day, the herdsman, as usual, led
his cattle to their accustomed pastures, and the king remained alone
with the man's wife. She, as necessity required, placed a few loaves,
which some call _loudas_, on a pan, with fire underneath, to be baked
for her husband's repast on his return, as well as for her own.

"While she was of need busied, peasant-like, upon other affairs, she
went anxious to the fire, and found the bread burning on the other side.
She immediately assailed the king with reproaches. 'Why, man, do you sit
thinking there, and are too proud to turn the bread? Whatever be your
family, with such manners and sloth, what trust can be put in you
hereafter? If you were a nobleman, you will be glad to eat the bread
which you neglect to attend to.' The king, though stung by her
upbraidings, yet heard her with patience and mildness, and roused by her
scolding, took care to bake her bread as she wished."

This fable has been variously narrated; some accounts making the
disguised prince busy in forming for himself a bow with arrows and other
instruments of war, while the woman gives vent to her indignation in

  "To turn the burning cakes you have forgot,
   Prompt as you are to eat them when they're hot."

In a short time the king's retreat became known to his adherents, who
flocking to him in numbers, he soon found himself enabled to carry on a
sort of guerilla warfare upon the nearest Danes. Growing bolder from the
general success of these sallies, he at length determined upon more
decisive measures; but before making the attempt, it was expedient to
learn the actual condition of his enemy. With this view he assumed the
costume of a Saxon minstrel, and ventured into the Danish camp at
Chippenham, about thirty miles distant from his stronghold among the
marshes. In this disguise he went from tent to tent, and, as some of the
chroniclers tell us, was admitted into the tent of Guthrum himself, the
Danish leader, his quality of gleeman assuring safety even to a Saxon.
Having obtained the necessary information, he returned to Athelney,
which he finally left on the seventh week after Easter, and rode to
_Egbert's Stone_, in the eastern part of _Selwood_, or the _Great Wood_.
Here he was met by all the neighboring folk of Somersetshire, Wiltshire,
and Hampshire, who had not, for fear of the pagans, fled beyond the sea.
Once more he encountered his enemies, and with a success almost as
marvellous as the vision of St. Neot, which announced it, he routed the
Danes at Ethendune with so much slaughter that they were glad to obtain
peace on such terms as he chose to dictate. Guthrum embraced
Christianity, and became the adopted son of Alfred.

The king's next care was to endeavor at amalgamating the Danes, who had
settled in the country, with the victorious Saxons; a wise policy, and
as wisely carried out. The result of it was, that when new hordes of
invaders poured down upon England, they met with no encouragement from
their countrymen already established in the island, and for want of this
support were easily put to flight. Nor was it by land only that Alfred
proved his superiority, being no less successful by sea against the
Danes of East Anglia. These he defeated off their adopted coast, and
captured thirteen of their ships, with all the treasure in them.

[Illustration: King Alfred visiting a monastery school.]

Fearful as were the ravages committed by the Danes, they were yet, like
many others of the evils of life, productive in the end of good.
Before their invasion of the country, Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia, and
Northumberland existed as four independent kingdoms. The last three they
subdued in a little time to their own power, but being in turn defeated
by Alfred, the conquered states fell to him, and this led the way to
their final consolidation into a single kingdom. It was, however, a work
of time, for the turbulent spirit of the Northmen required long and
judicious treatment to make them lay down the sword, and take up the
spade and sickle.

Peace being at length restored, Alfred, who was a full century in
advance of his people, commenced in earnest the arduous task of
civilization. He called about him from all parts the most learned men of
the day, and, setting the example in his own person, did more in a few
years for the general advancement than had been previously effected in
as many ages. Deficient himself in cultivation, but a giant in
intellect, he devoted himself to study amid care, toil, and disease,
mastered the Latin tongue, and--if we may believe William of
Malmsbury--translated almost all that was known of Roman literature into
Saxon. His clear and capacious mind was pious without bigotry, and while
he reverenced the Pope as universal vicar, according to the doctrines of
his age, he had yet none of the religious weakness of his father, but
governed his kingdom in absolute independence of the Roman see. At the
same time, no prince was more earnest in advancing the general interests
of religion, which he considered, truly enough, essential to the
well-being of the country. He rebuilt the ruined monasteries, added
largely to the endowments of those that had escaped the barbarous
invaders, and gave every encouragement to the ecclesiastics who came
recommended to his favor by ability or virtue.

While thus employed in the arts of peace, Alfred did not for an instant
neglect the military defences of his kingdom, without which, indeed, he
would have been like an improvident husbandman, who should carefully
cultivate his land, but leave it unhedged and unprotected. One of his
most efficient measures for this purpose, was the building of a new kind
of galleys, which "were twice as long, twice as high, sailed more
quickly, and were less unsteady than those of the Danes; some of these
ships had sixty oars, some more." In addition to these naval
improvements, his genius, which seemed to adapt itself alike to all
arts, suggested a complete revolution in the existing state of military
tactics, both in the field and in fortifications. He was, however,
feebly seconded by his people; they had not yet arrived at that degree
of practical wisdom which teaches men to endure a present pain for the
sake of a future benefit, and could with difficulty be brought to make
preparations against dangers which were still remote from them.

Had Alfred done no more than what has been already mentioned, he would
have deserved the lasting gratitude of his countrymen. But, in addition
to all this, his services as a legislator must be taken into the
account. If we judge of the system established by him, with reference to
the age in which, and for which, it was produced, we shall find that in
this respect also, the great Alfred stands without a rival. He had no
help from the accumulated wisdom of ages; his enactments were to a great
extent the result of his own mind and genius; or, at least, we may say
of him, that he was the most original of legislators.

Peace had lasted for what in those days must be held a very considerable
period. But now the storm burst forth again as violently as ever. In the
year 893 a famine visited the coast of France, and of so sweeping a
kind, that the Danes, who had settled there under Hastings, determined
to relieve themselves by a piratical attack upon Kent. Having landed
without opposition, for Hastings had taken the English by surprise, he
formed two encampments, the one at Appledore, the other at Milton, only
twenty miles apart; there they were joined by many of their countrymen,
who poured in from the north and east, notwithstanding their oaths, and
that they had given hostages for their good conduct to the king of
Wessex. Incredible as it may now seem, the invaders were allowed for a
whole year to retain possession of the land thus acquired, without any
attempt being made to dislodge them. The chroniclers of the time,
however, tell us that this delay was occasioned by the necessity of
providing against the faithlessness of their brethren, who, although
they had not yet revolted, were hardly to be trusted without some
farther security for their loyal adherence to the pledges already given.
Having taken the necessary measures, Alfred then attacked Hastings,
compelled him to sue for peace, and next turned his arms against a body
of these pirates who had established themselves at Farnham. With them,
too, he was no less successful; but while he was thus occupied, the
East-Anglian and Northumbrian Danes seized the opportunity of revolt,
and sailed in two fleets for the coast of Devonshire. These also he
defeated, though even then it required no less than three years to drive
these new invaders from the country.

And now, in the year 901, having fulfilled his earthly mission as the
defender and civilizer of his people, the great and good King Alfred
expired, on October 26th, six days before the Mass of All Saints--not
less beloved by his contemporaries than admired by after-ages.




[Illustration: John Huss. [TN]]

John Huss, a reformer before the Reformation, and the martyr of
Constance, was born about the year 1373. His birthplace was Hussinetz, a
village of Bohemia. His parentage was humble, and his early toils and
privations formed the school in which he was trained for future
hardships and sufferings. He studied at the university of Prague; and
some of his teachers were men somewhat in advance of their age. In the
year 1396 Huss received his master's degree, and began to lecture in
his university in 1398. In 1400 he was appointed confessor to the Queen
of Bohemia; and in 1401 he became president of the philosophical faculty
of Prague. The corruptions of his day, especially among the Romish
priesthood, early suggested deep thoughts to this ardent man, and he
found a few who were like-minded with himself among those who resided at
Prague. Some of these entered into an arrangement for spreading truth as
purely as it was then known; Huss was chosen their preacher, and there,
in a place appropriately called "Bethlehem," or the House of Bread, he
"refreshed the common people with the bread of holy preaching." The
impression which he produced was profound. A fervent love, a holy life,
glowing appeals, and a gentle manner, all helped to make him a master in
grace, but soon brought him into collision with dark, mediæval minds.

Here, then, is another decided and heroic man who has entered the ranks
of the friends of truth. He will have much to do and much to endure--his
patron will become his persecutor, and his friends will cast him out--if
he is to assail the corruptions of the year 1400. But Huss was not the
man to be damped by danger. His only inquiry was, What is duty?--he will
do it at all hazards, and let us consider how; for in considering it, we
see another example of the need of heroic decision in a world like ours,
if man would really benefit his brother man. As early as the year 1391,
the Bohemian reformer was studying the works of the great Englishman of
that age; and all these things helped to urge him forward in the path in
which he resolved to move. An archbishop might thwart him, and try to
put him down. A whole university might oppose some of his measures.
Wickliff's books might be burned, and loud remonstrances be heard. As a
result, students, variously estimated at from 5,000 to 44,000 might
forsake the university of Prague. But unmoved by such commotions, Huss
went boldly forward.

But, intrepid as he was, Huss needed all his intrepidity. One of his
friends was first thrown into prison, and then banished for his
boldness; and Huss had to appeal to the archbishop, the chief agent in
the persecution. "What is this," he cried "that men stained with
innocent blood--men guilty of every crime--shall be found walking abroad
with impunity, while humble priests, who spend all their efforts to
destroy sin ... are cast into dungeons as heretics, and must suffer
banishment for preaching the gospel?"

Matters soon reached a crisis. Huss was summoned to Italy to defend his
doctrines, and all Bohemia was roused by that step. The future martyr
was not permitted to go--it would have been to sacrifice his life.
Meanwhile Queen Sophia used her influence on his behalf. The king wrote
to the Pope and the cardinal in his favor. He demanded liberty for Huss
to preach, and insisted that all actions against him should cease, so
that for a while the persecution was stayed. But at last Huss was
pronounced a heretic; and now he is one stage nearer to Constance and
the funeral pile. On the way, however, he could exclaim, "Where I see
anything at variance with the doctrines of Christ, I will not obey,
though the stakes were staring me in the face." That was his maxim all
through life; and in such an age such heroism in such a cause was the
harbinger of death.

At one stage of these life and death struggles, Huss had to do battle
against a whole theological faculty; and that and similar contests
trained him to a boldness and decision which was constantly growing. But
he had now to separate, for the truth's sake, from friends whom he had
prized through life. His pathway, indeed, is gradually becoming more
narrow, as well as more rough--he is one of those who must often walk

Indulgences were now attacked by him in public disputations. About this
period some of his friends were condemned to death because they objected
to indulgences, and Huss took up their cause. He hastened to the Senate
House, and pleaded for the three condemned men. He made their danger his
own, and declared that he, the teacher, not they, the disciples, should
die. In spite of his efforts, and in violation of promises given that no
blood should be shed, his three friends were hurried to execution; and
what could be the result of that step, but a more intense antagonism, a
more resolute decision? On a subsequent occasion, accordingly, Huss
appeared before the king and his council, to defend what he reckoned the
right. He offered, with characteristic ardor, to be bound to die at the
stake if he did not make good his views, provided his eight opponents
would do the same. But all other struggles were soon merged in the great
conflict with Rome itself. The Pope had determined to put down Huss, and
he was excommunicated with the most terrible of papal forms. If he did
not submit in twenty days, the ban was to be proclaimed against him in
all churches; all who harbored him were to be laid under an interdict,
and Huss himself was to be burned according to law.

The King of Bohemia had urged Huss to leave Prague for a time, in the
hope that peace might thus be restored. He complied, and, like Luther in
the Wartburg, in the Castle of Kozi-hradek wrote some of his most
important works. Never was more determined courage displayed by any man
in similar circumstances than by Huss in that castle.

From his hiding-place Huss often went abroad and preached to the crowds
who flocked to hear him; but the Council of Constance is now at hand,
for we are referring to the year 1414, and he is to proceed thither
under a safe-conduct from Sigismund, Emperor of Germany, with the
assurance that if he could not submit to the decision of the Council,
the emperor would send him back unharmed to Bohemia. This was an
opportunity for which Huss had longed. He would now, he thought, deliver
his message and uphold the truth before assembled potentates, and
proceeded to Prague to prepare for the council.[11] He there publicly
challenged all his opponents to convict him of error if they could, and
proved that he was valiant for the truth as long as he was free.

         [Footnote 11: It should be carefully observed here, that the
         emperor guaranteed to Huss a safe journey both to Constance and
         from it. The words of the document are: "Ut ei transire, stare,
         morari, redire libere permittatis."]

Huss set out for Constance on October 11, 1414, with two faithful
knights to protect him by the way. Even in Germany he was cordially
welcomed by many. He courted opportunities of making known his views,
and at Nuremberg, in particular, he enjoyed such an opportunity to the
full. He reached Constance on November 3d, where his enemies were busily
employed, and he was speedily posted as a vile heretic; indeed, it was
soon made plain that if he was a bold, intrepid man, he needed to be so.
Officials from the Pope, who was then at Constance, desired him, as an
interdicted priest, to abstain from the Church services; but he declined
to comply. Had he chosen even to equivocate, he might have escaped; but
Huss was not the man to trim. Such a course was formally proposed to
him; but though he was far from being buoyed up by false hopes, he
resolutely and without hesitation declined all underhand suggestions: he
would uphold the truth, but that was all that he would do. "I fear
nothing," he said; "for I hope that, after a great conflict, will ensue
a great victory, and after the victory a still greater reward to me, and
a still greater discomfiture to my enemies."

Huss was not kept long in suspense. He sought various opportunities of
proclaiming his views: but these were all denied him, and moreover, on
November 28th, he was made a close prisoner. He was removed in chains to
the castle of Gottleben. By night and day he was kept chained there, and
all was done that was likely to bow down, or to break, the undaunted
man. But though one form of disease after another assailed him, no
wavering thought was harbored, no wavering word escaped; all his sorrows
only led him deeper and deeper into the truth which he prized so well,
and, in the face of crowding dangers, his resolution actually became
more and more fixed and heroic.

The cruel mockery of justice at Constance was carried on by tribunal
after tribunal; but the victim was steadfast and unmovable. Now, gleams
of hope broke forth for him and his friends, and then darkness gathered
round them once more; but Huss found one thing unchanging, the word of
his God--and when the council met in the Franciscan convent, which had
become the martyr's prison, formally to try his case, they cruelly
attempted to prejudge the matter without hearing him at all. But the
emperor interfered, and Huss appeared before them, ready to retract
whatever was contrary to Scripture: but whenever he attempted to plead,
a savage outcry arose around, till the voice of truth was drowned in the
din. On June 7th, he stood forth the second time before the council; but
it was a wrangle rather than a solemn trial, for Huss would not abate
one jot of his convictions, except as the Scriptures condemned them.

On June 8th, his third examination took place. Huss was told, at the
close, that if he would suppliantly submit and retract opinions which he
declared he never held, his judges would be lenient--otherwise, his
danger was obvious. He was thus asked to confess his errors, to swear
that he would never more preach them, and publicly recant; but he
constantly refused such terms, unless he were convicted by the word of
God. Even the emperor pleaded with him to yield; the judges also urged
him, and professed a desire for his escape; but he was not to be moved,
and must therefore hasten back to his cell, an outcast heretic in
chains. If he would recant, he would be permitted to live--but little
more, for imprisonment for life was to be his lot. But little did those
judges know either the man whom they held in their grasp, or the
principles and the power which bore him up. He could die, but he could
not be anything but a true man. An emperor's safe-conduct was found to
be a worthless thing, and "Trust not in princes" was a portion of the
word of God which Huss learned thoroughly to understand.

[Illustration: Huss' execution. [TN]]

It was with unruffled self-possession that Huss gave himself to
martyrdom. As he had never abandoned the Romish Church, he calmly
engaged in its functions preparatory to his death. Indeed, some touching
scenes were witnessed in his prison--he unshaken--his friends, his very
enemies weeping like womanhood beside him. Deputation after deputation
visited him--one of them from the emperor himself--and recantation was
constantly the burden of their pleading. But Huss would not recant
except upon conviction; and on July 6, 1415, he appeared once more
before the council, where the emperor was present on his throne. Many of
the judges were Huss's bitter personal enemies, for as he had assailed
the measureless corruptions of their order, that was an unpardonable
sin. Besides, history is careful to tell that bribery was largely
employed to make sure of his destruction--and now the last act of the
dark tragedy has arrived. No further defence was permitted to Huss, yet
he uttered one solemn appeal. Once and again he prayed for his enemies.
Being clothed in his priestly robes, he was stripped of them by seven
bishops, while he still persisted in holding fast his convictions,
except as the truth of God could be shown to condemn them. The mark of
his tonsure was next removed, and that with great cruelty. A cap daubed
over with the figures of demons was then placed on his head, and thus
the heroic martyr of Bohemia was led forth to be burned in the name of

[Illustration: Execution of Huss.]

At the place of execution Huss prayed, and often repeated the words,
"Into thy hands, Lord, I commit my spirit." When compelled to rise from
his knees, he still appealed to the Saviour, and prayed for "a strong
and steadfast soul" to endure that shameful death. Even after he was
placed at the stake, and had actually been surrounded by fagots, he
declared that he willingly wore his chains for Christ, who wore yet
heavier bonds. With his last breath he repelled a temptation to recant,
and when the fire was kindled he began to sing with a loud voice,
"Jesus, son of the living God, have mercy upon me." When he was
repeating the words for the third time, his voice failed; he was stifled
by the flames, and soon reduced to ashes. These ashes were cast into the

Thus perished one of the noblest men who ever walked our world. His
death led to the Hussite war. In his native Bohemia he was so loved that
the peasants rose in great bodies, crying for vengeance. Many of the
nobles joined them, and for fifteen years battle and bloodshed avenged
his execution.




[Illustration: A group of men. [TN]]

During the Middle Ages there was a constant struggle in the West between
the two elements of the temporal power--the central, or national, and
the local, or that of the great vassals. Gradually the local governments
all merged in large aggregates, in each of which a single national
government gathered to itself all military, civil, and judicial
functions. This movement was already in progress before the end of the
thirteenth century. By the end of the fifteenth the struggle was
substantially decided, though it did not come completely to an end till
the latter part of the seventeenth century.

In France, as in most countries, the agent in this organizing and
nationalizing movement was the crown. Almost every French monarch did
something toward enforcing recognition of the royal authority in all
parts of that country which by geographical conditions, as well as by
its history, was fitted for political unity. But, either because they
did not see their way to undertaking the direct government of so large
an area, or because they were themselves under the dominion of feudal
ideas, they did not always avail themselves of their frequent
opportunities for extinguishing the local governments of the fiefs
which fell into their hands. The Valois kings granted many of them as
appanages to their younger sons, and so created a new set of great
vassals, who revived the struggle for feudal independence. The most
dangerous of these, the Duke of Burgundy, openly aided the English
invaders. This prince, besides his French fiefs, possessed the yet more
important territories now known as Belgium and the Netherlands. Charles
VII., the father of Louis XI., having expelled the English, established
a permanent force of nine thousand cavalry--the first standing army in
modern times.

During the life of his father, Louis was not a dutiful subject. His
masterful spirit could brook no superior. He even conspired with the
rebel vassals. But as king (1461-1483) he pursued the policy of his
greatest predecessors with undaunted courage, patient perseverance, and
political genius of the highest order. At first he was too much in a
hurry. He tried to clip the wings of all his vassals at once. He
irritated the industrial classes by severe taxation. He drove into exile
or rebellion his father's ablest generals and councillors. This brought
upon him the so-called "League of Public Welfare," headed by Charles the
Bold, heir of Burgundy, which aimed at a virtual dismemberment of
France. Persevering as Louis was, he had none of the weak obstinacy
which cannot distinguish between means and ends. Finding himself
overmatched, though he had cut his way through the hosts of rebels at
Montlhéry, he conceded to them everything they demanded. By the treaty
of Conflans (1465) he might seem to have flung up the game in despair,
and to have signed the ruin of France. But his high Court of Justice
(Parlement), by refusing to register the treaty, gave him an excuse for
evading its performance, and by negotiating with the princes separately
he broke up their coalition. The peaceful and industrious classes stood
by him, and he studiously cared for their interests; mixing familiarly
with the citizens of Paris, dining at their houses, standing godfather
to their children, putting aside all state and ceremony, and even
dressing in humble attire. The precautions of his residence at Plessis
belong only to the last months of his life, when he was old and
paralytic. Never ashamed to own a mistake and to retrace false steps, he
won back the most valuable of his father's servants, whom he had at
first driven away. His designs against feudalism were not for a moment
suspended. But instead of attacking all his vassals at once he took them
in detail; while one was being crushed, others were humored till their
turn came.

[Illustration: Louis XI. and Olivier Le Dain.]

As a young man he had shown warlike tastes and brilliant personal valor;
but as king he always preferred negotiation and policy. It was a too
daring confidence in his mastery of these weapons which led him to risk
his famous visit to Charles the Bold, at Péronne (1468), so vividly
painted by Scott in "Quentin Durward," who, however, omits to mention
the safe-conduct which Charles basely violated. At such critical moments
Louis's nerve became steadiest and his intellect most acute. The
concessions extorted from him at Péronne seemed to undo the work of
years; but when once he was free he found means to remedy all the
mischief that had been done. "Never," says his Minister Comines, "was
there a man so sagacious in adversity; when he drew back it was to make
a longer spring." In another war with Burgundy, Edward IV., of England,
landed with a large army (1475). To warlike nobles it seemed very base
that Louis bought off the invaders instead of rushing upon another Crécy
or Agincourt; but he thoroughly despised such criticism. He had an army,
and a good one; but if a round sum of money would effect his purpose
more cheaply, surely, and speedily, why should he expose his subjects to
the horrors and losses of war? Two years later Charles fell at Nancy,
fighting against the Swiss, who were in the pay of Louis. It was the
death-blow of feudalism. Louis promptly seized the duchy of Burgundy and
some other territories of the deceased duke. Altogether, during his
reign, he brought eleven provinces under the direct government of the
crown--Brittany being the only great fief which at his death remained
independent. He had thus assured the unity of France and her
preponderance in Europe.

Hardly less important services to his country were his establishment of
order and good administration, his financial and judicial reforms, his
encouragement of industry and commerce. "He effected," says Lavallée,
"attempted, or projected, all the innovations of modern France."
Diplomacy, the modern makeshift for the international office of the
mediæval papacy, dates from him. Historians have dwelt on his cruelty,
perfidy, and superstition.[12] Turbulent nobles, like St. Pol and
Armagnac, were brought to the block; treacherous ministers, like
Cardinal La Balue, were kept for years in iron cages; vulgar criminals
swung from gibbets on every highroad. But this severity toward ruffians
of high and low degree, who had preyed on the country for the best part
of the century, wrought peace and prosperity for the law-abiding and
industrious. In the decay of feudal manners and Catholic discipline, the
sentiment of honor had almost vanished from public life. But, judged
relatively to his times, Louis is not to be branded as perfidious. He
did not scruple to break treaties contrary to the interests of his
country, which had been extorted from him by force; but he was more
straightforward than his principal contemporaries. Twice, when he could
have got rid of Charles the Bold by acts of treachery, which in those
days no one would have blamed, he chose the honorable course. To
reproach a man of the fifteenth century with superstition, because he
thought there might be some efficacy in images and relics, is an abuse
of language. If he clung to life it was because he felt that so much of
his projected work remained unfinished. He met death with remarkable
fortitude, his thoughts and efforts being to the last moment occupied
with the affairs, not of his soul, but of his country. His minister and
intimate friend, Comines, has left a faithful and judicious account of
his life. Two great poets have dealt unfairly with him: Scott could not
forgive the foe of feudalism; Hugo was blinded by democratic prejudices.

         [Footnote 12: It is said that Louis was a firm believer in
         astrology, that he wore a cap set round with leaden images of
         the saints to which he prayed, but told them falsehoods even in
         his prayers. His choice of a confidential adviser was perhaps
         his greatest offence in the eyes of the nobility, for he
         selected his barber, Olivier le Dain, or Oliver the Devil. This
         man mocked his master even while he served him. Our engraving,
         after the painting of Hermann Kaulbach, represents both in
         characteristic positions.]




         [Footnote 13: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Isabella. [TN]]

Isabella, the only daughter of John II., of Castile, and Isabella, of
Portugal, his second wife, was born in Madrigal, Spain, in 1451. Upon
the death of her father her elder half-brother succeeded to the throne
in 1454, as Henry IV. The queen dowager retired from court life with her
infant son Alfonso, and her daughter Isabella, then in her fourth year.
The royal children were reared by a wise mother in the seclusion of the
little town of Arevalo, until Isabella was twelve years old. How
carefully the seeds of character were sown in these early years is shown
by the after-fruits. Her fervent piety and unwavering faith, her strict
integrity and self-abnegation, disarmed the enemies of her crown, as
they disarm the unprejudiced historian of to-day. The verdict of four
hundred years is still: "Her faults were the faults of her age, her
virtues were her own." The quiet home life at Arevalo came suddenly to
an end in 1463, when King Henry arbitrarily ordered the infantas, as all
royal children are called in Spain, to repair to the palace as members
of his court. Thus at the early age of twelve years Isabella entered
upon her public career, and from thenceforth the eyes of the civilized
world were turned upon her. Shortly after, a revolution deposed Henry
and placed Alfonso upon the throne. Both kings had their followers, and
the boy-king, eleven years old, rode on horseback at the head of his
troops beside his appointed regent. But the crown was too heavy for the
young victim, and Alfonso was one morning found dead in his bed. To
Isabella, a beautiful girl of sixteen, the fallen crown was offered and
urged; but in spite of the fact that the old standard had already been
unfurled in her honor, and unmoved by the eloquence of the primate and
the arguments of the first nobles of the land, Isabella, with a wisdom
beyond her years, resolutely refused to take the throne. Her reasons
baffled her advisers: "So long as King Henry lives none other has the
right to wear the crown." She advised his reinstatement and promised to
help redress the wrongs of which the nation had the unquestioned right
to complain. An amnesty was declared and a reconciliation was effected;
but not until Henry had consented to divorce his queen and to
acknowledge Isabella as the heir-apparent to the throne in place of his
reputed daughter, Joanna. The cortes, or parliament, was assembled to
ratify the treaty, and at the same time, passed a resolution that the
infanta was not to be coerced in her matrimonial alliance. In 1468,
with great pomp and ceremony, Isabella was solemnly proclaimed Princess
of Asturias, heir-apparent to the throne of Castile and Leon. She is
described as of medium height, of fair complexion, regular features,
auburn hair, clear blue eyes, and with a sweet but serious expression
that told both sides of her character. She inherited from her father a
desire for knowledge and a love of literature, and was herself a fine
linguist. These graces of mind and person, added to her nearness to the
throne, soon brought many ardent suppliants from the principal thrones
of Europe for the honor of her hand. Her cousin, Prince Ferdinand of
Aragon, was her wise choice, and to him she was married, notwithstanding
her brother's opposition, in 1469. The brilliant wedding at Valladolid,
in the presence of the nobility and about two thousand persons, closes
the second period of her life. Five years intervened before the Princess
of Asturias became Queen of Leon and Castile. Stormy years, for the
angry brother instituted a fresh rebellion against her succession, and
Isabella was again the peace-maker; years of poverty, also, for the
heirs-apparent of Castile and Aragon had scarcely a competency for their
daily needs. Isabella was residing in Segovia at the time of her
brother's death; hence, in Segovia, with more than the usual solemnities
which accompany the accession of a new sovereign even in Spain, she took
the vows and was crowned Queen of Castile and Leon in 1474. During the
first four years and a half of her reign civil war desolated her
kingdom, for Joanna, the reputed daughter of Henry IV., again contested
her right to the crown, supported by the King of Portugal, to whom she
was affianced. But the same people who had said "Isabella shall be the
heir-apparent," said now "Isabella shall rule over us," and conquered.
The reign of Isabella, therefore, dates from 1479, when she was left in
undisputed possession of her throne, rather than from 1474, when she
wore her crown for the first time in Segovia. The same year that brought
peace to the Queen of Castile elevated Ferdinand to the throne of

No more important epoch marks the history of Spain than the union of the
crowns of Castile and Aragon; it meant the end of petty principalities
and powers, it meant united Spain. But the crowns were only linked
together, for Isabella, even in her marriage contract, had maintained
the independence of the crown of Castile and her individual right to
rule over it. It was this loyalty to her inherited crown that won the
love and confidence of her people and made them ready, when the need
came, to die for Isabella of Castile. And it was this independence of
her crown that enabled her to say at last to Columbus: "I will assume
the enterprise for mine own crown of Castile," and "to the crown of
Castile" belonged the first discovered territories in the New World.

Had the reign of Isabella been less distinguished for events of such
momentous magnitude as to involve the future interests of the world, her
personal life would yet furnish data for a series of volumes, so replete
was it with stirring incidents and with heart-breaking sorrows. But the
same mental strength and moral courage that made her eminent as a queen,
made her remarkable also as a friend and mother. Prescott says: "Her
heart overflowed with affectionate sensibilities to her family and
friends. She watched over the declining years of her aged mother and
ministered to her sad infirmities with filial tenderness; we have
abundant proofs of how fondly and faithfully she loved her husband to
the last; while for her children she lived more than for herself, and
for them too she died; for it was their loss and their afflictions which
froze the current of her blood before age had had time to chill it."

Five children, four daughters and one son, grew to maturity under her
guiding influence. Isabella, the first born, and ever the favorite child
of the sovereigns, was born in 1470. She was twice married, first to
Alfonso, Prince of Portugal, who was killed by a fall from his horse
within five months after their marriage. Seven years later she married
his brother, Emanuel, King of Portugal. To the intense grief of her
husband, her parents, and her kingdom, she died in 1498, just one hour
after the birth of her son, the first and only heir to the kingdoms of
Castile, Aragon, and Portugal. The little Prince Miguel did not live to
fulfil the hopes that were centred in him, for he died, to the great
grief of the nation, before he had completed his second year.

The only son of Ferdinand and Isabella, Juan, Prince of Asturias, was
born in 1478. In his twentieth year he married the Princess Margaret,
daughter of the Emperor Maximilian; but before the elaborate nuptial
rejoicings had ended the young bridegroom died suddenly of a malignant

The Infanta Joanna, born 1479, married Philip I., son of the German
emperor, and became the mother of the great Emperor Charles V. of
Germany, Charles I. of Spain. Her mental derangement, tending to
permanent insanity, was a sore grief to the great queen, who
nevertheless made her the heir to her crown, with Ferdinand as regent.

The Infanta Maria, born in 1482, married Emanuel, the King of Portugal,
in 1600. Her daughter Isabella married her cousin, Charles V., and was
the mother of Philip II.

The fifth and last child of Ferdinand and Isabella, Catalina, was born
in 1485. She married, when scarcely sixteen, Arthur, Prince of Wales,
son of Henry VII., but was left a widow within a year. By special
dispensation from the Pope she married her brother-in-law in 1509, and
is better known in history as Catharine of Aragon, first wife of Henry
VIII., of England, mother of Mary I., or "bloody Mary." Knowing her
Spanish parentage, we can better understand why she was such an ardent
Roman Catholic. Strange that one so loyal to the forms of her religion
should have been the innocent cause of the English Reformation! The
injured queen, divorced, remained in England, a religious recluse, until
her death in 1536.

This brief outline of family life, with its joys, disappointments, and
heart-breaking sorrows, brings into clearer relief the mental strength
and moral courage of Isabella, who, while carrying this burden on her
heart never relaxed for a moment her vigilant, vigorous rule over a
mighty empire; and this brings us at last to the

                    GREAT HISTORIC QUEEN.

From the very beginning of the reconquest of Spain from the Arab-Moors
in 718, when the brave band of refugees who had not bowed to the Saracen
yoke issued from the mountains of Asturias in the extreme northwest
corner of Spain, under Pelayo, with vows resting upon them "to rid the
land of its infidel invaders and to advance the standard of the cross
until it was everywhere victorious over the crescent," the "Expulsion of
the Moors" had been the hereditary appanage of the crown of Castile and
Leon, the first fruits of the reconquest.

The crown was heavy and the burden was great that descended to Isabella
in 1474, for although she came to the throne through Gothic ancestry and
in conformity with Gothic law, her father's heir and the chosen of the
people, yet the nation had already poured out its blood in defence of
her "succession" and the war of her "accession" was pending. No wonder
that Isabella never forgot that it was through the people and for the
people, and in defence of the cross, that she wore the crown and sat
upon the throne of Leon and Castile.

During the preceding reigns the laws of the country had been so
constantly defied that they had become of no effect. The one law of
barbarism seemed the only law that governed,

  "He can take who has the power,
   And he may keep who can."

The country was infested with lawless banditti, and even the cities were
powerless to protect individuals or property. The prisons were
overcrowded with suspected criminals who had never been brought to
trial; the immorality of the court had spread like a deadly poison
through the lower grades of social life; even the priests had become
tainted with the general demoralization. The coin of Castile had been
debased until the most necessary articles of life were enhanced from
three to six times their value; the late civil wars had exhausted the
treasury, and the country seemed on the verge of bankruptcy. The Moors
had even ceased to pay tribute and were making frequent forays into the
surrounding country, taking men, women, and children into Mussulman
captivity with the hope of exacting a ransom. Public confidence was
dead. No wonder that Isabella felt her crown heavy and the burden of her
kingdom great.

But the brave, resolute woman, making choice of wise and able
counsellors, entered at once upon a vigorous crusade of reform. The
first measure proposed to the cortes, in 1476, was the re-establishment
of the celebrated Hermandad, or Holy Brotherhood, which was carried into
effect the same year. The new institution differed from the ancient,
inasmuch as its power proceeded from the crown and was disbanded by it
in 1498. The Hermandad in our day would be called a mounted police, but
in the days of Isabella every organization came under the sanction of
the Church. The duties of the Holy Brotherhood were to arrest offenders
throughout the kingdom and to enforce the law. Every one hundred
householders throughout the kingdom maintained one Hermandad. Upon the
flight of a criminal tocsins were sounded, and the officers of the
Brotherhood stationed within hearing took up a pursuit that left little
hope for escape. Thus a body of cavalry, two thousand in number, fully
equipped and supported, was at the disposal of the crown to enforce the
law and to suppress insurrections. In a few years the country was
cleared of banditti and the blessing of personal security under the
government was restored.

Isabella revived also another ancient custom of her forefathers, that of
presiding in person over courts of justice. From city to city she
travelled on horseback, making the circuit of her kingdom, regardless of
personal fatigue. Side by side with Ferdinand, when he had leisure from
foreign complications to accompany her, she sat (not unmindful of the
dignity belonging to the crown) with her courtiers around her, to listen
with interest, that she might redress wrongs, punish the wrongdoers, and
administer justice even to the lowliest of her subjects. Her personal
address, and the unbounded respect which her integrity inspired; her
proclamation throughout the kingdom that the interests of her people
were her interests, re-established such public confidence that, says a
writer of that age, "Those who had long despaired of public justice
blessed God for their deliverance, as it were, from deplorable
captivity." Nor did the sovereigns relax their personal efforts for the
restoration of law and order until the cortes had passed measures for
the permanent administration of justice. Thus in a few years, from a
state of anarchy and misrule, Castile entered upon her "Golden Age of

The golden age of literature, developed in the next century, has been
justly ascribed to the impetus given by Isabella to liberal education,
classical and scientific. Under her patronage schools were established
in every city, presided over by learned men. The printing press, lately
invented, was introduced; foreign books were imported free of duty,
while such precedence was given to native literature as led on to the
brilliant achievements of the sixteenth century. In social reform
precept was enforced by example. In all that was pure, in all that was
true, in all that was noble and magnanimous, Isabella, in private life,
was a witness unto her people. No calumny of any kind, even in a
depraved age, was ever cast upon Isabella of Castile or upon any one of
her royal children. But the strongest characteristic of Isabella, that
which colored her whole life and gave force to every public action, was
her fervent piety and her unfaltering [perhaps blind] faith in the
divine authority of the Roman Catholic Church. For all the evils that
grew out of the latter she is still branded, even among the
liberal-minded of to-day, regardless of her illiberal age, with that
worst of all brands, "a religious bigot." This side of her character we
will not discuss, but refer our readers to the history of Christianity
during the fifteenth century, when the great flood-tide of religious
intolerance reached its height.

It was in the fulness of this tide that the great historic events of her
reign occurred, viz., the conquest of Granada, the expulsion of the
Jews, the Inquisition, and the discovery of America. After each of
these, for honor or dishonor, we interline the name of Isabella. Yet the
conquest of Granada, or the reconquest of every foot of land which the
Moors had taken from the Goths, was foreordained in Castilian councils
centuries before Isabella was born. The expulsion of the Jews, the
so-called "enemies of Christ," was but a part of the same effort "to rid
the land of unbelieving invaders." The Inquisition, with all its
horrors, was re-established by the Church during that age of
intolerance to which the reign of Isabella belongs. Yet these are still
named to the dishonor of Isabella.

But the discovery of America, with all its lasting benefits to mankind,
is the immortal crown which the world has woven out of her proffered
"Jewels;" and with this crown it has crowned Isabella of Castile.

In the marriage contract of the youthful prince and princess it was
agreed that Ferdinand should lead the armies of Castile against the
Moors as soon as the affairs of the kingdom would permit. The
opportunity and the provocation came after twelve years, when the
sovereigns sent to demand of the Moors the long unpaid tribute, and
received only the defiant answer, "Tell your masters that the Moors who
paid tribute to Castile are dead. Our mints no longer coin gold, but
steel!" And to prove the efficacy of their steel they sallied forth and
took Zahara, one of the strongholds which the father of Ferdinand had
taken from the Moors. The chivalry of Spain sprang quickly into
well-girt saddles, and the ten years' siege of Granada, "the last
stronghold of the Moors in Spain," began in 1481. The Iliad of the
reconquest of Spain from the Arab-Moors has yet to be written; the Homer
of its Iliad has yet to appear. But the closing year of the struggle
between Christian knight and turbaned Moor would furnish as stirring
incidents, and immortalize the names of its heroes as successfully, as
has the Greek Homer the Trojan war.

Those of us who have read the story of the Arab-Moors in Spain, the
quick-witted, light-footed, brave-hearted Moors, who coveted the land
"flowing with milk and honey" that lay across a narrow strait; who
conquered it, redeemed its barren wastes, and made them to blossom as
the rose; who, in their quick flight from the Arabian deserts through
civilized lands, gathered seeds of knowledge and planted them so freely
in the land of their adoption that their planting overspread the earth;
who, like the Goths, became enervated when they became stationary, and
were no longer able to resist the powerful foe who had from their
entrance into Spain sworn their expulsion or their extermination, will
be ready to weep when the final retribution comes. Yet come it did, when
Ferdinand and Isabella pitched their tents and planted their banners of
Castile and Aragon upon the verdant vega, or plain, around Granada.

And yet we as readily accept the inevitable. We have known that it was
impossible for Isabella to allow any portion of her dominions to be
possessed by a people alien in race, language, customs, and religion; to
see the Crescent triumphant over any site that had been hallowed by the
Cross. To the Spanish Christian the fall of Granada was only the final
victory of a righteous war. It was the triumph of his race, his nation,
and his creed. And, looking back over the long march from Asturias to
Granada, he claimed to have invaded no man's right; every victory but
won back what was his own: every step retraced by the Moors but left him
in possession of another portion of his inheritance from his

The Arab-Moors claimed also hereditary rights. For nearly eight hundred
years the Moors had held possession of that strip of land between the
"Snow Mountains" and the blue sea, in Southern Spain. One cannot but
feel respect for the brave Moorish king of Granada, who said, when
threatened with invasion, "Our mint no longer coins gold, but steel!" In
this last great chivalrous war, a war for race and creed and country,
all honor is due to the vanquished, who poured out their blood like
water for their homes and their religion. The details of this heroic
death-struggle belong to history rather than to biography. Yet Isabella
was the great animating spirit of the war. Her tent was side by side
with that of Ferdinand, and her counsel was ever wise and practical.

And near the royal tents were others which she erected, where the
wounded in the fray might have medical aid and tender nursing. Thus our
"Warrior Queen," with a woman's heart, provided the first Army Hospital
on record. The tents were burned down, but a substantial city arose, as
if by magic, to take their place. The knights would have called it
"Isabella," but she named it "Santa Fé," the city of Holy Faith. And
this city helped to bring the war to a close. The Moors knew by it that
Isabella had come to stay until she had added Granada to the crown of

Another form rises before us as we look back four hundred years across
the vega of Granada to the city of Sante Fé. We forget for a time the
Christians and the Moors, we see only the great queen and the great
discoverer. The man of science, Christoforo Colombo, had been lately
dismissed from the court at Sante Fé. The sovereigns had no time for
adventurers seeking aid to discover unknown lands when the reconquest of
their own was just within their grasp. Cast down, but not discouraged,
Columbus, all alone, was retracing his steps across the vega, en route
for a port from whence to sail for England, when the queen sent a royal
summons for him to return, and he reached Sante Fé just in time to be
present at the surrender of Granada. Let me add that while the Moors as
a nation fell with Granada, they were not as individuals banished from
Spain until the reign of Philip II., the great-grandson of Isabella.

[Illustration: Ferdinand and Isabella. The surrender of Granada.]

We all know the story of Columbus. At this time he was but a penniless
mendicant travelling on foot from court to court, seeking patronage to
enable him to prove the truth which his great mind had grasped, the
rotundity of the earth. The subject had given him no rest for eighteen
years. He had discussed it before wise men in council assembled; he had
pleaded with royalty in vain; at the court of Isabella, for the first
time, he laid his plans and discussed his projects before a woman. The
world to-day pays its tribute of four hundred years to Columbus, the
World-finder. All honor to the brave man who, firm of faith and fearless
of fate, unfurled his sails upon an unknown sea, and planted the cross
and the banner of Castile upon an unknown land. All honor, too, to Queen
Isabella of Spain, who, with "faith in things unseen," had the courage
to say, "I will undertake the enterprise for mine own crown of Castile,"
and from whose presence Columbus went forth to discover a land he never
dreamed of, and to open a gate for the exodus of nations across the
pathless sea. The same pen that signed the capitulation of the Moors and
the contract with Columbus, signed also an edict for the expulsion of
all unbaptized Jews from Spain between March and July of 1492. This
edict condemned to perpetual exile from one to eight hundred thousand
of Spain's most wealthy subjects. The coast was lined with vessels of
every kind, and size, busy with the transportation of these unhappy
victims, when Columbus was seeking for vessels and men to cross the "Sea
of Darkness." And now we are beginning to understand the momentous
events that culminated in the reign of Isabella. We find that religious
enthusiasm, inspired during the long wars with the "Infidel Moors,"
developed into religious bigotry. In the Jews, Spain expelled the most
wealthy portion of her subjects; in the Moors, the most industrious; the
wealth and industry of the nation were sacrificed for race and creed.
And then within its own race and creed arose a new foe to combat; with
equal energy and blind zeal Spain crushed Protestantism within her
borders through the terrors of the Inquisition.

But let us not lay the whole blame of such intolerant Christianity upon
the unfortunate woman who fell heir to the crown of Castile during the
period when the Church of Rome had the power to bind the consciences of
men. Let us remember that as a woman Isabella was an honor to her sex;
as a Christian she lived devoutly; as a queen she ruled wisely for the
uplifting of her nation, and that the only censure the world casts upon
her is the fortitude with which she said "Infidelity must be banished
from the land."

"Bury me in Granada, the brightest jewel in my crown," she said, when
dying, in far-off Castile, November 26, 1504. The way was long and the
December winds were cold as the royal cortége, with knightly escort,
wended its way across the barren heights of Central Spain into the
beautiful valley of Andalusia, across the lovely vega, past Santa Fé, up
the rugged slope of the acropolis of Granada into the Chapel Isabella,
near the unrivalled Alhambra. Here in the very heart of the last Moorish
capital, while the whole nation mourned, they laid all that was mortal
of the great queen, whom Lord Bacon has named "the corner-stone of the
greatness of Spain."

Twelve years later, January 23, 1516, they laid King Ferdinand beside
her, "the wisest king that ever ruled in Spain." (Prescott.) Their
grandson, Charles V., now summoned the finest artists in the world to
prepare royal mausoleums for Ferdinand and Isabella and for his parents,
Joanna of Castile and Philip of Burgundy. The cathedral of Granada is
the Spanish temple of victory. It covers the site of an ancient Moorish
mosque. Within its royal chapel one may read, in bas-relief, the whole
story of the reconquest of Spain. On either side of its high altar kneel
the life-size statues of the final conquerors; while in solemn, stately
magnificence, the royal mausoleums of purest Carrara marble, with their
reclining portrait figures of Ferdinand and Isabella in soft,
time-tinted alabaster, tell us that here the nation, "redeemed from
bondage," laid their deliverers to rest. And here, at the close of
nearly four hundred years, a hand from across the sea lays this tribute,
with a garland of white roses and a wreath of olive leaves and
immortelles, upon the tomb of ISABELLA OF CASTILE.

[Signature of the author.]




[Illustration: Copernicus. [TN]]

The life of Nicholas Copernicus furnishes a signal example of the
accordance between profound religious sentiment and the utmost
inquisitiveness respecting the secrets of nature and the laws of the

The birthplace of genius is sometimes found nestled amid the fairest
scenes, and the opening years of life are favored with appeals to
curiosity and imagination, such as stimulate the exercise of the
intellect; but the lot of Copernicus, as a boy, was cast in one of the
flattest, tamest, and most uninteresting parts of Germany. Not far from
the banks of the Vistula, on the way to the free city of Dantzic, lies a
fortified town named Thorn, where the river is crossed by a wooden
bridge, and the place is adorned by a bronze statue of our
philosopher--for there he was born. His father was a merchant, and in
the municipal records his father's name appears as a freeman admitted to
the franchise in 1462. In 1472 or 1473 a son was added to the family,
and the parents had a horoscope taken of the child, who appeared at
thirty-eight minutes past four on January 19, 1472, according to some;
at forty-eight minutes past four in the afternoon of February 19, 1473,
according to others; the exact instant of the nativity being an
important point in astrological calculations, which, in those days,
inspired in fathers and mothers the deepest concern. At all events,
Copernicus was deemed to have entered the world under a lucky planet,
and it was augured that he would turn out a man of distinguished talent.
About ten years before Martin Luther studied at Mansfield, and then at
Eisenach, and rambled about the quaint streets, singing Christmas carols
in the town where he was born, Nicholas Copernicus passed through a
similar course of education. He did so under some old-fashioned
pedagogue, who no more dreamed of the scientific fame of his pupil than
did Trebonius of the approaching celebrity of young Master Martin.
Copernicus would there learn to read, to write, to construe Latin, and
to commit to memory hymns, prayers, and catechisms. Whether as a lad he
studied Greek is uncertain; but, as his parents seem to have been
wealthy, he would enjoy greater advantages than his still more
illustrious contemporary; hence at an early period he was sent to
Cracow, where he studied philosophy, mathematics, and medicine.
Mathematics formed his favorite pursuit, and by the thorough acquisition
of its principles and modes of reasoning he laid the basis of his
subsequent eminence. But he took a degree as doctor of medicine; and
according to the comprehensive methods of culture which obtained in
those days, he paid attention to painting, and made some proficiency as
an artist. Scholars were at that period accustomed to travel, and
Copernicus proceeded from Cracow to Bologna; and in that city of feudal
palaces and towers he would find a school of painting to cultivate his
artistic taste, as well as a university where he could study astronomy.
There he entered upon divers calculations connected with the position of
the earth and the plan of the heavenly bodies. Then proceeding to Rome,
he became there a mathematical professor, and won vast renown. Soon
after the commencement of the sixteenth century he returned to the banks
of the Vistula, and having been ordained to the priesthood, had a
canonry at Frauenburg, on the Frische-Häff, bestowed upon him by his
uncle. The cathedral is described as a handsome building of brick,
erected in 1342, in an elevated part of the town, overlooking the flat
sandbanks of the Elbing, as it flows on its way to the Baltic. In
connection with his canonry, Copernicus had some contention about his
official rights, the nature of which does not appear. All we know is
that he settled down in that quiet, out-of-the-way corner of the world,
heedless of worldly ambition and indifferent to ecclesiastical honors
and emoluments. He was no sceptic, no free-thinker, nor do we find him
taking a part in the theological controversies of his age. No mention is
made of what he thought and did in relation to the grand quarrel between
Luther and Leo, or the Diet of Worms, or the burning of the bull at the
gates of Wittenberg, or the other stirring events of the Reformation;
only we know he remained a Catholic, a quiet, self-contained,
thoughtful, devout man, childlike in his religion, trustful in his
piety, and exemplary in the discharge of clerical duties. We can picture
him going through the usual routine of canonical services in Frauenburg
Cathedral, full of faith and prayer. With this vocation he coupled
medical practice. He turned to good charitable account that proficiency
in the healing art which he had acquired at Cracow, and visited the sick
and the poor, bringing upon himself the blessing of those who were ready
to perish. But the nature of his intellect, sharpened by studies at
Bologna and Rome, gave him special advantages in the pursuit of
astronomical knowledge; and as he had a decided taste in that direction,
what time he could spare from the cathedral and the treatment of the
sick he devoted to the study of the heavens. "He went very little into
the world; he considered all conversation as fruitless except that of a
serious and learned cast, so that he formed no intimacies except with
grave and learned men." Alone at midnight he would watch the stars; in
his study with his books he would inquire of the ancients; and then the
profound thoughts passing through his mind he would exchange with the
"grave and reverend seigniors" of his acquaintance.

The Ptolemaic hypothesis of the universe was then in fashion. It was
supposed that the earth was the centre of celestial motions, that the
sun, the moon, and the stars revolved around the world which we
inhabit. Not that the Pythagorean hypothesis was totally forgotten.
There were those who believed that the sun, not the earth, is the centre
of the great circle in which the heavenly bodies perform their
evolutions; but the Ptolemaic hypothesis had the ascendency beyond all
doubt; and with this hypothesis Copernicus could not rest satisfied. It
appeared to him beset with insuperable difficulties. True enough, the
rotation of the heavens around the earth seemed to be what the human eye
beheld, as anyone watched sunrise and sunset. But what the senses thus
presented, reason, in its ponderings, was led to contradict. For the
notion of a huge mechanism like the celestial sphere, spinning round the
terraqueous globe as its pivot looked unreasonable. To explain it in any
way on mathematical principles needed a most complicated array of cycles
and epicycles. Symmetry and simplicity were wanting in the theory. _A
priori_ objections started up against it. If the senses pointed to the
earth as a centre, reason pointed to a centre elsewhere. Copernicus
studied the works of ancient philosophers on the question. He examined
mathematical traditions and criticised the opinions of learned
professors. He found accounts of those who had asserted the motion of
the earth. "Though," he says, "it appeared an absurd opinion, yet, since
I knew that in former times liberty had been permitted to others to
figure as they pleased certain circles for the purpose of demonstrating
the phenomena of the stars, I considered that to me also it might be
easily allowed to try whether, by a supposition of the earth's motion, a
better explanation might be found of the revolution of the celestial
orbs. Having assumed," he goes on to say, "the motions of the earth, by
laborious and long observation I at length found that if the motions of
the other planets be compared with the revolution of the earth, not only
these phenomena follow from the suppositions, but also that the several
orbs and the whole system are so connected in order and magnitude, that
no one part can be transposed without disturbing the rest and
introducing confusion into the whole universe." What Copernicus was in
search of was some simple and symmetrical theory of the appearances of
the heavens which would relieve him of the complexity and confusion
attendant on the Ptolemaic system so popular in the schools. He started
from an _a priori_ point of reasoning--the only one thought of in his
day--but he came to certain conclusions which _a posteriori_ examination
in after times abundantly confirmed.

[Illustration: Copernicus.]

He believed that the earth is spherical; that the earth and the sea
constitute a wonderful globe; that the motions of the heavenly bodies
are circular and uniform, or compounded of circular and uniform motions;
that the earth revolves on its own axis, and also performs a journey
along its own orbit round the sun; that the sphere of the fixed stars is
immensely distant, and that it is impossible to explain the motion of
the planets upon the supposition of the earth being their centre. And he
distinctly remarks: "It does not shame us to confess that the whole
space in which the moon revolves, together with the earth, moves along a
great orbit among the planets, round the sun every year; that the sun
remains permanent and immovable, whatever may be its apparent motion."
It must be kept in mind throughout any careful study of his theory,
that it was an _hypothesis_ framed to remove difficulties connected with
older systems; that he sought to bring conceptions of the universe into
harmony with reason, instead of giving way to impressions made by the
senses, or to the authority of world-honored teachers, either in other
days or in his own; nor can we omit adding that, while he found fault
with the Ptolemaic cycles and epicycles, he constructed similar devices
of his own.

"As the real motions, both of the earth and the planets, are unequable,
it was requisite to have some mode of representing their inequalities;
and accordingly the ancient theory of excentrics and epicycles was
retained so far as was requisite for this purpose." In the case of
Mercury's orbit he makes suppositions which are extremely complex,
although they manifest his apprehension of the difficulties attendant on
the common theory of his own time; but he verified many of his views by
astronomical observations; and his approximations to modern science, and
the light he threw on preceding discoveries, establish the fame of
Nicholas Copernicus.

On a review of the life of Copernicus, and the conclusions he reached,
the mental and moral qualities of the man come out with conspicuous and
extraordinary lustre.

He was a mathematician, thus walking in the footsteps of Roger Bacon.
This science, since the days of Euclid, had been pursued with untiring
ardor, and many who neglected to study, or who, by their own
imagination, distorted the actual phenomena of nature, addicted
themselves to the investigation of the abstract properties of magnitude
and number. Copernicus, in his knowledge of mathematical principles, and
in his skilful application of them to astronomical inquiries, probably
surpassed all his contemporaries. And, at the same time, he had that
inventive genius which is fruitful in suggestions, such as become
pioneers in the path of scientific demonstration. His independence of
mind, his real originality, and his boldness in the pursuit of truth are
quite as remarkable as the qualities just noticed; indeed, they are
involved in or they led to the latter of these. "I beg you," says one of
his admiring disciples, "to have this opinion concerning that learned
man, my preceptor, that he was an ardent admirer and follower of
Ptolemy; but when he was compelled by phenomena and demonstration, he
thought he did well to aim at the same mark at which Ptolemy had aimed,
though with a bow and shaft very different from his." We must recollect
that Ptolemy says 'He who is to follow philosophy must be a freeman in
mind.' Copernicus knew very well that there were many prepared to
challenge his conclusions, and perhaps to bring theological objections
to the principles of science which he had been constrained to adopt.
"If, perchance," it is said in the preface to his book on astronomy,
"there be vain babblers who, knowing nothing of mathematics, yet assume
the right of judging, on account of some place of Scripture, perversely
wrested to their purpose, and who blame and attack my undertaking, I
heed them not, and look upon their judgments as rash and contemptible."

Copernicus had a profound reverence for Scripture. He regarded it as the
Word of God, able to make us wise unto salvation; and none of his
discoveries pertaining to the laws of nature shook for one moment his
confidence in the revelation of the gospel. Copernicus delayed for years
the publication of his discoveries to the world. That delay had been
thought to have proceeded from something like fear, or, at least,
caution, lest views in some respects so novel should rouse
ecclesiastical antagonism and expose him to serious persecution. But the
words used in the dedication of his astronomical work seem to point in
another direction. It is there said that he had kept it four times the
nine years recommended by Horace, and published it at last in compliance
with the entreaties of his friend, Cardinal Schomberg. "Though I know,"
it is added, "that the thoughts of a philosopher do not depend on the
judgment of the many, his study being to seek out truth in all things as
far as that is permitted by God to human reason, yet when I considered
how absurd that doctrine would appear, I long hesitated whether I should
publish my book, or whether it were not better to follow the example of
the Pythagoreans and others, who delivered their doctrines only by
tradition and to friends." From this passage we should infer that he
apprehended controversy rather than persecution, that for the former he
had no desire, that he was without ambition, and felt no wish to found a
new school, but would rather leave truths he had learned quietly to make
their way through the world.

The fame of Copernicus is now wide as the world. He painted a portrait
of himself which fell into the hands of Tycho Brahe; and he wrote an
epigram upon the subject, to the effect that the whole earth could not
contain the whole of the man who whirled it along the ocean of ether.
Less extravagant was the grateful enthusiasm of Rhiticus, a disciple of
Copernicus, when he wrote, "God has given to my excellent preceptor a
reign without end, which may He vouchsafe to guide, govern, and
increase, to the restoration of astronomical truth. Amen!"

"The Copernican system" is the name now generally given to the almost
universal scientific belief that the earth and the planets revolve
around the sun, though the system carried out and perfected by Kepler,
Newton, Halley, Laplace, and others is by no means perfectly identical
with the theory of the German astronomer. But the inextricable
interweaving of his name with opinions sanctioned by the entire
scientific world, is one of the noblest conceivable tributes to the
magnitude and lustre of his renown.

His death was in harmony with his life. Shortly before he expired he
repeated these words:

  "Non parem Paulo gratiam requiro,
   Veniam Petri neque posco; sed quam
   In crucis ligno dederat latroni
         Sedulus oro."

He had lived a life of Christian virtue--imitating his master, who went
about doing good, healing the sick and preaching the gospel to the
poor--yet, so far from having anything whereof to boast before God, he
said himself that he felt his need of infinite mercy, and in seeking
the pardon of his sins he would not place himself on a level with Paul
or Peter, but rather choose a point of self-humiliation by the side of
the penitent thief.

His work on the revolution of the celestial bodies was passing through
the press at the time of his fatal illness in 1543, when he had
completed his seventieth year and was brought to him just before he
breathed his last; and thus, as has been beautifully expressed, he was
"made to touch the first printed copy of his book when the sense of
touch was gone, seeing it only as a dim object through the deepening

He is buried under a flat stone in one of the side aisles of his own
cathedral at Frauenburg. On his monument is painted a half-length
portrait, pale, thin, aged, but with an expression of countenance
intelligent and pleasant. His hair and eyes are black; he is habited as
a priest; his hands are joined in prayer; before him is a crucifix, at
his feet a skull, and behind him are a globe and a pair of compasses.
His devotion, his deadness to the world, and his love of science are
thus aptly symbolized.



[Illustration: Luther and a group of men. [TN]]

Martin Luther, the greatest of the Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth
century, was born at Eisleben on November 10, 1483. His father was a
miner in humble circumstances; his mother, as Melancthon records, was a
woman of exemplary virtue, and particularly esteemed in her walk of
life. Shortly after Martin's birth his parents removed to Mansfeld,
where their circumstances ere long improved by industry and
perseverance. Their son was sent to school; and both at home and in
school his training was severe. His father sometimes whipped him, he
says, "for a mere trifle till the blood came," and he was subjected to
the scholastic rod fifteen times in one day! Luther's schooling was
completed at Magdeburg and Eisenach, and at the latter place he
attracted by his singing the notice of a good lady of the name of Cotta,
who welcomed the lad into her family and provided him with a comfortable
home during his stay there. Here under Trebonius he made good progress
in Latin. In 1501, when he had reached his eighteenth year, he entered
the university of Erfurt, with the view of qualifying himself for the
legal profession. He went through the usual studies in the classics and
the schoolmen, and took his degree of doctor of philosophy, or master of
arts, in 1505, when he was twenty-one years of age.

Previous to this, however, a profound change of feeling had begun in
him. The death of a friend, and the terror of a thunder-storm, deeply
impressed him. Chancing one day to examine the Vulgate in the university
library, he saw with astonishment that there were more gospels and
epistles than in the lectionaries. He was arrested by the contents of
his newly found treasure. His heart was deeply touched, and he resolved
to devote himself to a spiritual life. He separated himself from his
friends and fellow-students, and withdrew into the Augustinian convent
at Erfurt. Here he spent the next three years of his life--years of
peculiar interest and significance; for it was during this time that he
laid, in the study of the Bible and of Augustine, and with the
assistance of his life-long friend Staupitz, the foundation of those
doctrinal convictions which were afterward to rouse and strengthen him
in his life-long struggle. He describes very vividly the spiritual
crisis through which he passed, the burden of sin which so long lay upon
him, "too heavy to be borne," and the relief that he at length found in
the clear apprehension of the doctrine of the "forgiveness of sins,"
through the grace of Christ.

In the year 1507 Luther was ordained a priest, and in the following year
he removed to Wittenberg, destined to derive its chief celebrity from
his name. He became a teacher in the new university founded there by the
Elector Frederick of Saxony. At first he lectured on dialectics and
physics, but his heart was already given to theology, and in 1509 he
became a bachelor of theology, and commenced lecturing on the Holy
Scriptures. His lectures made a great impression, and the novelty of his
views already began to excite attention. "This monk," said the rector of
the university, "will puzzle our doctors and bring in a new doctrine."
Besides lecturing, he began to preach, and his sermons reached a wider
audience, and produced a still more powerful influence. They were
printed and widely circulated in Germany, France, and England, so that
his doctrines were diffused throughout Europe. His words, as Melancthon
says, were "born not on his lips, but in his soul," and they moved
profoundly the souls of all who heard them. In 1511 he was sent on a
mission to Rome, and he has described very vividly what he saw and heard
there. His devout and unquestioning reverence--for he was yet in his own
subsequent view "a most insane papist"--appears in strange conflict with
his awakened thoughtfulness and the moral indignation at the abuses of
the papacy beginning to stir him.

[Illustration: Luther introduced to the home of Frau Cotta.]

On Luther's return from Rome he was made a doctor of the Holy
Scriptures, and his career as a reformer may be said to have commenced.
The system of indulgences had reached a scandalous height. The idea that
it was in the power of the Church to forgive sin had gradually grown
into the notion that the Pope could issue pardons of his own free will,
which, being dispensed to the faithful, exonerated them from the
consequences of their transgressions. The sale of these pardons had
become an organized part of the papal system. Money was largely needed
at Rome, and its numerous emissaries sought everywhere to raise funds by
the sale of "indulgences;" the principal of these was John Tetzel, a
Dominican friar, who had established himself at Jüterberg (1517).
Luther's indignation at the shameless traffic which this man carried on,
finally became irrepressible. "God willing," he exclaimed, "I will beat
a hole in his drum." He drew out ninety-five theses on the doctrine of
indulgences, which on October 31st he nailed up on the door of the
church at Wittenberg, and which he offered to maintain in the university
against all impugners. The general purport of these theses was to deny
to the Pope all right to forgive sins. This sudden and bold step of
Luther was all that was necessary to awaken a wide-spread excitement.
Tetzel was forced to retreat from the borders of Saxony to
Frankfort-on-the-Oder, where he drew out and published a set of
counter-theses and publicly committed those of Luther to the flames. The
students at Wittenberg retaliated by burning Tetzel's theses. The
elector refused to interfere, and the excitement increased as new
combatants--Hochstratten, Prierias, and Eck--entered the field. Eck was
an able man, and an old friend of Luther's, and the argument between him
and the reformer was especially vehement. In 1518 the latter was joined
by Melancthon, who became one of his dearest and most trusted friends.

At first the Pope, Leo X., took little heed of the disturbance; he is
reported even to have said, when he heard of it, that "Friar Martin was
a man of genius, and that he did not wish to have him molested." Some of
the cardinals, however, saw the real character of the movement, which
gradually assumed a seriousness evident even to the Pope; and Luther
received a summons to appear at Rome, and answer for his theses (1518).
Once again in Rome, it is unlikely he would ever have been allowed to
return. His university and the elector interfered, and a legate was sent
to Germany to hear and determine the case. Cardinal Cajetan was the
legate, and he was but little fitted to deal with Luther. He would enter
into no argument with him, but merely called upon him to retract. Luther
refused, and fled from Augsburg, whither he had gone to meet the papal
representative. The task of negotiation was then undertaken by Miltitz,
a German, who was envoy of the Pope to the Saxon court, and by his
greater address, a temporary peace was obtained. This did not last long.
The reformer was too deeply moved to keep silent. "God hurries and
drives me," he said; "I am not master of myself; I wish to be quiet, and
am hurried into the midst of tumults." Dr. Eck and he held a memorable
disputation at Leipsic (1519), in which the subject of argument was no
longer merely the question of indulgences, but the general power of the
Pope. The disputation, of course, came to no practical result; each
controversialist claimed the victory, and Luther in the meantime made
progress in freedom of opinion, and attacked the papal system as a whole
more boldly. Erasmus and Hutten joined in the conflict, which waxed more
loud and threatening.

In 1520 the reformer published his famous address to the "Christian
Nobles of Germany." This was followed in the same year by a treatise "On
the Babylonish Captivity of the Church." In these works, both of which
circulated widely and powerfully influenced many minds, Luther took
firmer and broader ground; he attacked not only the abuses of the papacy
and its pretensions to supremacy, but also the doctrinal system of the
Church of Rome. "These works," Ranke says, "contain the kernel of the
whole Reformation." The papal bull containing forty-one theses was
issued against him; the dread document, with other papal books, was
burned before an assembled multitude of doctors, students, and citizens,
at the Elster Gate of Wittenberg. Germany was convulsed with excitement.
Eck (who had been the chief agent in obtaining the bull) fled from place
to place, glad to escape with his life, and Luther was everywhere the
hero of the hour.

Charles V. had at this time succeeded to the empire, and he convened his
first diet of the sovereigns and states at Worms. The diet met in the
beginning of 1521; an order was issued for the destruction of Luther's
books, and he himself was summoned to appear before the diet. This was
above all what he desired--to confess the truth before the assembled
powers of Germany. He resolved--having received a safe-conduct--to obey
the summons, come what would. All Germany was moved by his heroism; his
journey resembled a triumph; the threats of enemies and the anxieties of
friends alike failed to move him. "I am resolved to enter Worms," he
said, "although as many devils should set at me as there are tiles on
the housetops." His appearance and demeanor before the diet, and the
firmness with which he held his ground and refused to retract, all make
a striking picture. He was not allowed to defend his opinions. "Unless I
be convinced," he said, "by Scripture and reason, I neither can nor dare
retract anything, for my conscience is a captive to God's word, and it
is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. There I take my
stand. I can do no otherwise. So help me God. Amen."

On his return from Worms he was seized, at the instigation of his
friend, the Elector of Saxony, and safely lodged in the old castle of
the Wartburg. The affair was made to assume an aspect of violence, but
in reality it was designed to secure him from the destruction which his
conduct at Worms would certainly have provoked, he having been placed
under the ban of the empire. He remained in this shelter for about a
year, concealed in the guise of a knight. His chief employment was his
translation of the Scriptures into his native language. He composed
various treatises besides, and injured his health by sedentary habits
and hard study. His imagination became morbidly excited, and he thought
he saw and heard the Evil One mocking him while engaged in his literary
tasks; the blot from the inkstand that he hurled at him is still shown
on the wall of his chamber. The subject of the personality and presence
of Satan was a familiar one with Luther, and he has many things about it
in his Table-talk.

[Illustration: Martin Luther before the Council of Worms.]

The disorders which sprang up in the progress of the Reformation
recalled Luther to Wittenberg. He felt that his presence was
necessary to restrain Carlstadt and others, and, defying any danger to
which he might still be exposed, he returned in 1522 to the old scene of
his labors, rebuked the unruly spirits who had acquired power in his
absence, and resumed with renewed energy his interrupted work. He strove
to arrest the excesses of the Zwickau fanatics, and counselled peace and
order to the inflamed peasants; while he warned the princes and nobles
of the unchristian cruelty of many of their doings, which had driven the
people to exasperation and frenzy. At no period of his life is he
greater than now, in the stand which he made against lawlessness on the
one hand and tyranny on the other. He vindicated his claim to be a
reformer in the highest sense by the wise and manly part which he acted
in this great social crisis in the history of Germany. In this year also
he published his acrimonious reply to Henry VIII. on the seven
sacraments. Although he had been at first united in a common cause with
Erasmus, estrangement had gradually sprung up between the scholar of
Rotterdam and the enthusiastic reformer of Wittenberg. This estrangement
came to an open breach in the year 1525, when Erasmus published his
treatise "De Libero Arbitrio." Luther immediately followed with his
counter-treatise "De Servo Arbitrio." The controversy raged loudly
between them; and in the vehemence of his hostility to the doctrine of
Erasmus, Luther was led into various assertions of a very questionable
kind, besides indulging in the wild abuse of his opponent's character.
The quarrel was an unhappy one on both sides; and it must be confessed
there is especially a want of generosity in the manner in which Luther
continued to cherish the dislike which sprang out of it.

In the course of the same year Luther married Katharina von Bora, one of
nine nuns who, under the influence of his teaching, had emancipated
themselves from their religious vows. The step rejoiced his enemies and
even alarmed some of his friends, like Melancthon. But it greatly
contributed to his happiness, while it served to enrich and strengthen
his character. All the most interesting and touching glimpses we get of
him henceforth are in connection with his wife and children.

Two years after his marriage he fell into a dangerous sickness and
depression of spirits, from which he was only aroused by the dangers
besetting Christendom from the advance of the Turks. Two years later, in
1529, he engaged in his famous conference at Marburg with Zwingli and
other Swiss divines. The following year finds him at Coburg, while the
diet sat at Augsburg. It was deemed prudent to intrust the interests of
the Protestant cause to Melancthon, who attended the diet, but Luther
removed to Coburg to be at hand for consultation. The drawing up of the
Augsburg Confession marks the culmination of the German Reformation
(1530); and the life of Luther from henceforth possesses comparatively
little interest. He survived sixteen years longer, but they are years
marked by few incidents of importance. He died at Eisleben on February
18, 1546, and was buried at Wittenberg.

Luther's character presents an imposing combination of great qualities.
Endowed with broad human sympathies, massive energy, manly and
affectionate simplicity, and rich, if sometimes coarse humor, he is at
the same time a spiritual genius. His intuitions of divine truth were
bold, vivid, and penetrating, if not comprehensive; and he possessed the
art which God alone gives to the finer and abler spirits that He calls
to do special work in this world, of kindling other souls with the fire
of his own convictions, and awakening them to a higher consciousness of
religion and duty. He was a leader of men, therefore, and a Reformer in
the highest sense. His powers were fitted to his appointed task; it was
a task of Titanic magnitude, and he was a Titan in intellectual
robustness and moral strength and courage. It was only the divine energy
which swayed him, and of which he recognized himself the organ, that
could have accomplished what he did.

View him as a mere theologian, and there are others who take higher
rank. There is a lack of patient thoughtfulness and philosophical temper
in his doctrinal discussions; but the absence of these very qualities
gave vigor to his bold, if sometimes crude, conceptions, and enabled him
to triumph in the struggle for life and death in which he was engaged.
To initiate the religious movement which was destined to renew the face
of Europe, required a gigantic will, which, instead of being crushed by
opposition, or frightened by hatred, should only gather strength from
the fierceness of the conflict before it. To clear the air thoroughly,
as he himself said, thunder and lightning are necessary. Upon the whole,
it may be said that history presents few greater characters--few that
excite at once more love and admiration, and in which we see tenderness,
humor, and a certain picturesque grace and poetic sensibility more
happily combined with a lofty and magnanimous, if sometimes rugged,

Luther's works are very voluminous, partly in Latin, and partly in
German. Among those of more general interest are his Table-Talk, his
letters, and sermons. His Commentaries on Galatians and the Psalms are
still read; and he was one of the great leaders of sacred song, his
hymns, rugged but intense and expressive, having an enduring power.

As an example of his more tender writing, take his letter to his little
son Hans:

"Grace and peace in Christ. My dear little son, I am glad to hear that
thou learnest well and prayest diligently. Do this, my son, and continue
it; when I return home I will bring thee a fine fairing.

"I know a beautiful, cheerful garden, in which many children walk about.
They have golden coats on, and gather beautiful apples under the trees,
and pears, and cherries, and plums; they sing and jump about, and are
merry; they have also fine little horses with golden bridles and silver
saddles. And I asked the man, 'Whose children are they?' He replied,
'These are the children who like to pray and learn and are pious.' Then
I said, 'My good man, I have a son; his name is Hans Luther; may he not
also come to this garden to eat such nice apples and pears, and ride
such fine little horses, and play with these children?' And the man
said, 'If he likes to pray and learn, and is pious, he shall come to
this garden with Lippus and Just; and when they all come together, they
shall have pipes and cymbals, lutes, and other musical instruments; and
dance and shoot with little cross-bows.'

"And he showed me a fine meadow in the garden, prepared for dancing:
there being nothing but golden pipes, cymbals, and beautiful silver
cross-bows. But it was yet early, and the children had not dined.
Therefore I could not wait for the dancing, and said to the man, 'My
good master, I will go quickly and write all this to my dear little son
Hans, that he may pray diligently, learn well, and be pious, that he
also may be admitted into this garden; but he hath an aunt Lena whom he
must bring with him.' The man answered, 'So be it; go and write this to

"Therefore, my dear little son Hans, learn and pray with all confidence;
and tell this to Lippus and Just, that they also may learn and pray; and
ye will all meet in this beautiful garden. Herewith I commend thee to
Almighty God. Give greetings to Aunt Lena, and also a kiss from me,

  "Thy loving father,

                                   "MARTIN LUTHER."



[Illustration: Charles V. [TN]]

Charles V., who ruled over more kingdoms than any other European monarch
before or since, who was the most powerful ruler of his century, and
who, on the whole, used his great power wisely and well, was born at
Ghent, February 24, 1500. His parents were the Archduke Philip, son of
the Emperor Maximilian, and Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and
Isabella of Castile. To those united kingdoms Charles succeeded on the
death of his grandfather Ferdinand, in 1516. The early part of his reign
was stormy; a Flemish regency and Flemish ministers became hateful to
the Spaniards, and their discontent broke out into civil war. The
Castilian rebels assumed the name of The Holy League, and seemed
animated by a spirit not unlike that of the English Commons under the
Stuarts. Spain was harassed by these internal contests until 1522, when
they were calmed by the presence of Charles, whose prudence and, we may
hope, his humanity, put an end to the rebellion. He made some examples,
but soon held his hand, with the declaration, that "too much blood had
been spilt." An amnesty was more effectual than severities, and the
royal authority was strengthened, as it will seldom fail to be, by
clemency. Some of his courtiers informed him of the place where one of
the ring leaders was concealed. His answer is worthy of everlasting
remembrance: "You ought to warn him that I am here, rather than acquaint
me where he is."

Spain, the Two Sicilies, the Low Countries, and Franche Comté, belonged
to Charles V. by inheritance; and by his grandfather Maximilian's
intervention he was elected king of the Romans; nor had he to wait long
before that prince's death, in 1519, cleared his path to the empire. But
Francis I. of France was also a candidate for the imperial crown, with
the advantage of being six years senior to Charles, and of having
already given proof of military talent. The Germans, however, were
jealous of their liberties; and not unreasonably dreading the power of
each competitor, rejected both. Their choice fell on Frederic, Elector
of Saxony, surnamed the Wise, celebrated as the protector of Luther; but
that prince declined the splendid boon, and recommended Charles, on the
plea that a powerful emperor was required to stop the rapid progress of
the Turkish arms.

The political jealousy, embittered by personal emulation, which existed
between the Emperor and the King of France, broke out into war in 1521.
France, Navarre, and the Low Countries were at times the seat of the
long contest which ensued; but chiefly Italy. The duchy of Milan had
been conquered by Francis in 1515. It was again wrested from the French
by the emperor in 1522. In 1523, a strong confederacy was formed against
France, by the Pope, the Emperor, the King of England, the Archduke
Ferdinand, to whom his brother Charles had ceded the German dominions of
the House of Austria, the states of Milan, Venice, and Genoa; all united
against a single power. And in addition, the celebrated Constable of
Bourbon became a traitor to France to gratify his revenge; brought his
brilliant military talents to the emperor's service, and was invested
with the command of the Imperial troops in Italy. To this formidable
enemy Francis opposed his weak and presumptuous favorite, the Admiral
Bonnivet, who was driven out of Italy in 1524, the year in which the
gallant Bayard lost his life in striving to redeem his commander's

The confidence of Francis seemed to increase with his dangers, and his
faults with his confidence. He again entered the Milanese in 1525, and
retook the capital. But Bonnivet was his only counsellor; and under such
guidance the siege of Pavia was prosecuted with inconceivable rashness,
and the battle of Pavia fought without a chance of gaining it. Francis
was taken prisoner, and wrote thus to his mother, the Duchess of
Angoulême: "Everything is lost, except our honor." This Spartan spirit
has been much admired; but whether justly, may be a question. From a
Bayard, nothing could have been better; but the honor of a king is not
confined to fighting a battle; and this specimen, like the conduct of
Francis in general, proves him to have been the mirror of knighthood,
rather than of royalty.

Charles, notwithstanding his victory at Pavia, did not invade France,
but, as the price of freedom, he prescribed the harshest conditions to
the captive king. At first they were rejected, but his haughty spirit
and conscience were at length both reconciled to the casuistry that the
fulfilment of forced promises may be eluded. Francis, therefore,
consented to the treaty of Madrid, made in 1526, by which it was
stipulated that he should give up his claims in Italy and the Low
Countries; surrender the Duchy of Burgundy to Spain; and return into
captivity if these conditions were not fulfilled in six weeks. When once
at large, instead of executing the treaty, he formed a league with the
Pope, the King of England, and the Venetians, to maintain the liberty of
Italy. The Pope absolved him from his oaths, and he refused to return
into Spain. The passions of the rival monarchs were now much excited,
and challenges and the lie were exchanged between them. No duel was
fought, nor probably intended; but the notoriety of the challenge went
far to establish a false point of punctilio, we will not call it honor,
among gentlemen, and single combats became more frequent than in the
ages of barbarism.

In 1529, the course of these calamities was suspended by the treaty of
Cambray, negotiated in person by two women. The Duchess of Angoulême and
Margaret of Austria, governess of the Low Countries, met in that city,
and settled the terms of pacification between the rival monarchs.

For Charles's honorable conduct on Luther's appearance before the diet
of Worms, the reader may refer to the life of the reformer in the
present volume. The cause of Lutheranism gained ground at the diet of
Nuremberg; and if Charles had declared in favor of the Lutherans, all
Germany would probably have changed its religion. As it was, the
Reformation made progress during the war between the emperor and Clement
VII. All that Charles acquired from the diet of Spire, in 1526, was to
wait patiently for a general council, without encouraging novelties. In
1530, he assisted in person at the diet of Augsburg, when the
Protestants (a name bestowed on the reformers in consequence of the
protest entered by the Elector of Saxony and others at the second diet
of Spire) presented their confession, drawn up by Melancthon, the most
moderate of Luther's disciples. About this time Charles procured the
election of his brother Ferdinand as king of the Romans, on the plea
that, in his absence, the empire required a powerful chief to make head
against the Turks. This might be only a pretence for family
aggrandizement; but the emperor became seriously apprehensive lest the
Lutherans, if provoked, should abandon the cause of Christendom, and
policy therefore conceded what zeal would have refused. By a treaty
concluded with the Protestants at Nuremberg, and ratified at Ratisbon in
1531, Charles granted them liberty of conscience till a council should
be held, and annulled all sentences passed against them by the imperial
chamber; on this they engaged to give him powerful assistance against
the Turks.

In 1535, Muley Hassan, the exiled king of Tunis, implored Charles's aid
against the pirate Barbarossa, who had usurped his throne. The emperor
eagerly seized the opportunity of acquiring fame by the destruction of
that pest of Spain and Italy. He carried a large army into Africa,
defeated Barbarossa, and marched to Tunis. The city surrendered, being
in no condition to resist, and while the conqueror was deliberating what
terms to grant, the soldiery sacked it, committed the most atrocious
violence, and are said to have massacred more than thirty thousand
persons. This outrage tarnished the glory of the expedition, which was
entirely successful. Muley Hassan was restored to his throne.

In 1536 a fresh dispute for the possession of the Milanese broke out
between the King of France and the Emperor. It began with negotiation,
artfully protracted by Charles, who promised the investiture, sometimes
to the second, sometimes to the youngest, son of his formerly impetuous
rival, whom he thus amused, while he took measures to crush him by the
weight of his arms. But if misfortune had made the King of France too
cautious, prosperity had inspired Charles with a haughty presumption,
which gave the semblance of stability to every chimerical vision of
pride. In 1536 he attempted the conquest of France by invading Provence;
but his designs were frustrated by a conduct so opposite to the national
genius of the French that it induced them to murmur against their
general. Charles, however, felt by experience the prudence of those
measures which sacrificed individual interests to the general good by
making a desert of the whole country. Francis marked his impotent hatred
by summoning the emperor before parliament by the simple name of Charles
of Austria, as his vassal for the counties of Artois and Flanders. The
charge was the infraction of the treaty of Cambray, the offence was laid
as felony, to abide the judgment of the court of peers. On the
expiration of the legal term, two fiefs were decreed to be confiscated.
A fresh source of hostility broke out on the death of the young Dauphin
of France, who was said to have been poisoned, and the king accused
Charles V. of the crime. But there is neither proof nor probability to
support the charge; and the accused could have no interest to commit the
act imputed to him, since there were two surviving sons still left to

But the resources even of Charles were exhausted by his great exertions;
arrears were due to his troops, who mutinied everywhere from his
inability to pay them. He therefore assembled the Cortes, or
states-general, of Castile, at Toledo, in 1539, stated his wants, and
demanded subsidies. The clergy and nobility pleaded their own exemption
and refused to impose new taxes on the other orders. Charles, in anger,
dissolved the Cortes, and declared the nobles and prelates forever
excluded from that body, on the ground that men who pay no taxes have no
right to a voice in the national assemblies. But the people of Ghent
made a more serious resistance to authority, on account of a tax which
infringed their privileges. They offered to transfer their allegiance to
Francis, who did not avail himself of the proposal, not from either
conscientious or chivalrous scruples, but because his views were all
centred in Milan; he therefore betrayed his Flemish clients to the
emperor, in hopes of obtaining the investiture of the Italian duchy. By
holding out the expectation of this boon, Charles obtained a
safe-conduct for his passage through France into Flanders, whither he
was anxious to repair without loss of time. His presence soon reduced
the insurgents. The inhabitants of Ghent opened their gates to him on
his fortieth birthday, in 1540; and he entered his native city, in his
own words, "as their sovereign and their judge, with the sceptre and the
sword." He punished twenty-nine of the principal citizens with death,
the town with the forfeiture of its privileges, and the people by a
heavy fine for the building of a citadel to coerce them. He broke his
word with Francis by bestowing the Milanese on his own son, afterward
Philip II.

Our limits will not allow of our detailing the circumstances of the
emperor's calamitous expedition against Algiers; but his courage,
constancy, and humanity in distress and danger, claim a sympathy for his
misfortunes which is withheld from the selfish and wily career of his

Francis devised new grounds for war, and allied himself with Sweden,
Denmark, and the Sultan Soliman. This is the first instance of a
confederacy with the North. But he had alienated the Protestants of
Germany by his severe measures against the Lutherans, and Henry VIII. by
crossing the marriage of his son Edward with Mary of Scotland, yet in
her cradle. Henry therefore leagued with the emperor, who found it
convenient to bury the injuries of Catherine of Aragon in her grave. The
war was continued during the two following years with varying success:
the most remarkable events were the capture of Boulogne by the English,
and the great victory won by the French over the Imperialists at
Cerisolles, Piedmont, in 1544. In the autumn of that year a treaty was
concluded at Crespi, between Charles and Francis, involving the ordinary
conditions of marriage and mutual renunciations, with the curious clause
that both should make joint war against the Turks. In the same year the
embarrassments created by the war, and the imminent danger of Hungary,
increased the boldness of the German Protestants belonging to the league
of Smalkald, and the emperor, while presiding at the diet of Spire, won
them over by consenting to the free exercise of their religion.

The Catholics had always demanded a council, which was convened at Trent
in 1545. The Protestants refused to acknowledge its authority, and the
emperor no longer affected fairness toward them. In 1546 he joined Pope
Paul III. in a league against them, by a treaty in terms contradictory
to his own public protestations. Paul himself was so imprudent as to
reveal the secret, and it enabled the Protestants to raise a formidable
army in defence of their religion and liberties. But the Electors of
Cologne and Brandenburg, and the Elector Palatine, resolved to remain
neuter. Notwithstanding this secession, the war might have been ended at
once, had the confederates attacked Charles while he lay at Ratisbon
with very few troops, instead of wasting time by writing a manifesto,
which he answered by putting the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of
Hesse under the ban of the empire. He foresaw those divisions which soon
came to pass by Maurice of Saxony's seizure of his cousin's electorate.

Delivered by the death of Francis in 1547, in which year Henry VIII.
also died, from the watchful supervision of a jealous and powerful
rival, and relieved from the fear of the Turks by a five years' truce,
Charles was at liberty to bend his whole strength against the revolted
princes of Germany. He marched against the Elector Frederick of Saxony,
who was defeated at Mulhausen, taken prisoner, and condemned to death
by a court-martial composed of Italians and Spaniards, in contempt of
the laws of the empire. The sentence was communicated to the prisoner
while playing at chess; his firmness was not shaken, and he tranquilly
said, "I shall die without reluctance, if my death will save the honor
of my family and the inheritance of my children." He then finished his
game. But his wife and family could not look at his death so calmly; at
their entreaty he surrendered his electorate into the emperor's hands.
The other chief of the Protestant league, the Landgrave of Hesse, was
also forced to submit, and detained in captivity, contrary to the
pledged word of the emperor; who, fearless of any further resistance to
his supreme authority, convoked a diet at Augsburg in 1548. At that
assembly Maurice was invested with Saxony, and the emperor, in the vain
hope of enforcing a uniformity of religious practice, published by his
own authority a body of doctrine called the "Interim," to be in force
till a general council should be assembled. This necessarily was
unsatisfactory to both parties, but its observance was enforced by a
master with whom terror was the engine of obedience.

These measures, however, did not preserve tranquillity long in Germany.
Maurice of Saxony and the Elector of Brandenburg urged the deliverance
of the Landgrave of Hesse, as having made themselves sureties against
violence to his person. Charles answered by absolving them from their
pledges. The Protestants, of course, charged him as arrogating the same
spiritual authority with the popes. And Maurice, offended at the slight
put upon him, directed his artful policy to the humiliation of Charles.
He had compelled his subjects to conform to the Interim by the help of
the timid Melancthon, who was no longer supported by the firmness of
Luther. On the other hand, he had silenced the clamors of the more
sturdy by a public avowal of his zeal for the Reformation. In the
meantime the diet of Augsburg, completely at the emperor's devotion, had
named him general of the war against Magdeburg, which had been placed
under the ban of the empire for opposition to the Interim. He took that
Lutheran city, but by private assurances regained the good-will of the
inhabitants. He also engaged in a league with France, but still wore the
mask. He even deceived the able Granville, Bishop of Arras, afterward
cardinal, who boasted that "a drunken German could never impose on him;"
yet was he of all others most imposed on. At last, in 1552, Maurice
declared himself; and Henry II. of France published a manifesto,
assuming the title of "Protector of the liberties of Germany and its
captive princes." He began with the conquest of the three bishoprics of
Toul, Baden, and Metz. In conjunction with Maurice he had lain a plan
for surprising Charles at Innspruck, and getting possession of his
person, and the daring attempt had almost succeeded. Charles was forced
to escape by night during a storm, in a paroxysm of gout, and was
carried across the Alps in a litter. These disputes were adjusted in
1555, at the diet of Augsburg, by the solemn grant of entire freedom of
worship to the Protestants. The King of France was abandoned by his
allies, and scarcely named in the treaty.

[Illustration: Charles V. on his way to the convent.]

Henry resolved to defend his acquisition of the three bishoprics, and
Charles to employ his whole force for their recovery. The Duke of
Guise made adequate preparations for the defence of Metz, the siege of
which the emperor was compelled to raise after sixty-five days spent in
fruitless efforts, with the loss of 30,000 men by skirmishes and
battles, and by diseases incident to the severity of the season. "I
perceive," said he, "that Fortune, like other females, forsakes old men,
to lavish her favors on the young." This sentiment probably sunk deeper
into his reflections than might be inferred from the sarcastic terms in
which it was clothed: for in the year 1556, after various events of war,
alternately calamitous to the subjects of both nations, he astonished
Europe by his abdication in favor of his son. In an assembly of the
states at Brussels, he addressed Philip in a speech which melted the
audience into tears. The concluding passage, as given by Robertson, is
worth transcribing. "Preserve an inviolable regard for religion;
maintain the Catholic faith in its purity; let the laws of your country
be sacred in your eyes; encroach not on the rights and privileges of
your people; and if the time should ever come when you shall wish to
enjoy the tranquillity of private life, may you have a son endowed with
such qualities that you can resign your sceptre to him with as much
satisfaction as I give up mine to you!" Charles retired into a
monastery, where he died after more than two years passed in deep
melancholy, and in practices of devotion inconsistent with sound health,
when only between fifty-eight and fifty-nine years of age. His activity
and talents had been the theme of universal admiration, the ardor of his
ambitious policy had been extreme, and his knowledge of mankind
profound; but he should have followed up the objects of his high
aspirations by a straighter road. His glory would have been truly
enviable had he devoted his efforts to the happiness of his subjects,
instead of harassing their minds by dissensions, and mowing down their
lives by hundreds of thousands in war.

To the statesman or the politician the history of this period is an
inexhaustible fund of instruction and interest, and to the general
reader it is rendered more than usually attractive by the almost
dramatic contrast of character among the principal actors in the scene.
Francis seems to have been the representative of the expiring school of
chivalry; Charles was not the representative, but the founder of the
modern system of state policy; Henry was the representative of
ostentation, violence, and selfishness, to be found in all ages.



[Illustration: Calvin. [TN]]

John Calvin was born at Noyon, in Picardy, on July 10, 1509. His father,
Gerard Caulvin or Cauvin, was procureur-fiscal of the district of Noyon,
and secretary of the diocese. He was one of six children--four sons and
two daughters. All the three sons who survived were ecclesiastics; and
the reformer himself, while still only twelve years of age, was
appointed to a chaplaincy in the cathedral church of Noyon. Calvin was
educated in circumstances of ease and even affluence. The noble family
of De Mortmar, in the neighborhood, invited him to share in the studies
of their children; he was in some measure adopted by them; and when the
family went to Paris, in his fourteenth year, he accompanied them. He
was entered as a pupil in the College de la Marche, under the regency of
Mathurin Cordier, better remembered, perhaps, by his Latin name of
Corderius. It was under this distinguished master that Calvin laid the
foundation of his own wonderful mastery of the Latin language. During
this early period he was so distinguished by the great activity of his
mental powers and the grave severity of his manners that his companions,
it is said, surnamed him "The Accusative."

For a while his attention was directed to the study of law, and his
father sent him to the university of Orleans, then adorned by Pierre de
l'Étoile, one of the most famous jurists of his day. At Orleans he
continued the same life of rigorous temperance and earnest studiousness
for which he was already noted. It was while a law-student in Orleans
that he became acquainted with the Scriptures, and received his first
impulse to the theological studies which have made his name so
distinguished. A relative of his own, Pierre Robert Olivetan, was there
engaged in a translation of the Scriptures; and this had the effect of
drawing Calvin's attention, and awakening within him the religious
instinct which was soon to prove the master-principle of his life. The
seeds of the new faith were now beyond doubt sown in his heart, and from
this time, although he still continued for a while longer to pursue his
legal studies, his main interests appear to have been religious and
theological. From Orleans he went to Bourges, where he acquired the
knowledge of Greek, under the tuition of a learned German, Melchior
Wolmar. He began here to preach the reformed doctrines, and passed over
into the ranks of Protestantism, under the slow but sure growth of his
new convictions rather than under the agitation of any violent feeling.
Here, as everywhere, his life presents a marked contrast to that of

He proceeded to Paris in 1533, which at this date had become a centre of
the "new learning," under the teaching of Lefèvre and Farel, and the
influence of the Queen of Navarre, sister of Francis I. The Sorbonne
itself had not escaped the infection. There was a growing religious
excitement in the university, in the court, and even among the bishops.
This, however, was not to last. The king was soon stirred up to take
active measures to quell this rising spirit, and the result was that
Calvin and others were obliged to flee for their lives. After this he
repaired for a short time to his native place, resigned the preferment
he held in the Roman Catholic Church, and for a year or two led a
wandering life, sheltered in various places. We find him at Saintorge;
at Nerac, the residence of the Queen of Navarre; at Angoulême, with his
friend Louis du Tillet; then for a brief while at Paris again.
Persecutions against the Protestants at this time raged so hotly that
Calvin was no longer safe in France, and he betook himself to Basel,
whence he issued, in the year 1536, the first edition of his "Christianæ
Religionis Institutio," with the famous preface addressed to Francis I.
The concentrated vigor and intensity of feeling of this address, rising
into indignant remonstrance, and at times into pathetic and powerful
influence, make it one of the most memorable documents in connection
with the Reformation. After completing this great service to the cause
of Protestantism, he made a short visit to Italy, to Renée, the Duchess
of Ferrara. Finally, he revisited his native town, sold the paternal
estate, which had devolved to him on the death of his eldest brother,
and, bidding Noyon adieu, set out, in company with his younger brother
and sister, on his way to Strasbourg. The direct road being rendered
dangerous by the armies of Charles V., which had penetrated into France,
he sought a circuitous route through Savoy and Geneva.

The result of this journey was memorable for the cause of the
Reformation. Arrived in Geneva, in the autumn of 1536, he met there his
friend, Louis du Tillet, who communicated the fact of his arrival to
Farel, then in the very midst of his struggle to promote the
Reformation. Farel hastened to see him, and urge upon him the duty of
remaining where he was, and undertaking his share of the work of God.
Calvin did not at first respond to the call. He was given, he himself
says, to his "own intense thoughts and private studies." He wished to
devote himself to the service of the reformed churches generally, rather
than to the care of any particular church. By some strange insight,
however, Farel penetrated to the higher fitness of the young stranger
who stood before him, and he ventured to lay the curse of God upon him
and his studies if he refused his aid to the church of Geneva in her
time of need. "It was," Calvin said, "as if God had seized me by his
awful hand from heaven." He abandoned his intention of pursuing his
journey, and joined eagerly with Farel in the work of reformation.

Having entered upon his task, he soon infused an energy into it which
crowned the struggling efforts of Farel with success. The hierarchical
authority was already overturned before his arrival; the citizens had
asserted their independence against the Duke of Savoy. The magistrates
and people eagerly joined with the reformers in the first heat of their
freedom and their zeal. A Protestant Confession of Faith was drawn out,
approved of by the Council of Two Hundred, and then proclaimed in the
cathedral church of St. Peter. Great and marvellous changes were wrought
in a short time upon the manners of the people; where license and
frivolity had reigned, a strict moral severity began to characterize the
whole aspect of society. The strain, however, was too sudden and too
extreme. A spirit of rebellion against the rule of Calvin and Farel
broke forth; but they refused to yield to the wishes of a party animated
by a more easy and liberal spirit than themselves, and known in the
history of Geneva under the nickname of Libertines; and the consequence
was that they were both expelled from the city after less than two
years' residence.

[Illustration: A procession. [TN]]

Calvin retreated to Strasbourg, and devoted himself to theological
study, especially to his critical labors on the New Testament. Here, in
October, 1539, he married the widow of a converted Anabaptist.

The Genevans found, after a short time, that they could not well get on
without Calvin. His rule might be rigid; but an authority even such as
his was better than no settled authority at all; and the Libertine party
seem to have been unable to construct any efficient and beneficent form
of government. Accordingly, they invited Calvin to return; and, after
some delay on his part, in order to test the spirit in which they were
acting, he acceded to their invitation, and in the autumn of 1541, after
three years' absence, once more made his entry into Geneva.

Now, at length, he succeeded in establishing his plan of
church-government. By his College of Pastors and Doctors, and his
Consistorial Court of Discipline, he founded a theocracy, which aimed
virtually to direct all the affairs of the city, and to control and
modify both the social and individual life of the citizens. The
Libertines still remained a strong party, which was even augmented after
Calvin's return, by men such as Ami Perrin, who had strongly concurred
in the invitation to Calvin, but who were afterward alienated from him
by the high hand with which he pursued his designs, as well as by their
own schemes of ambition. The struggle with this party lasted, with
varying fortune, for no less a period than fifteen years, and was only
terminated in 1555, after a somewhat ridiculous _émeute_ in the streets.
Perrin and others, driven from the city, were executed in effigy; and
the reformer's authority from this date was confirmed into an absolute
supremacy. During the long struggle with the Libertines occurred also
Calvin's controversies with Sebastian Castellio, Jerome Bolsec, and
above all, Michael Servetus.

After the execution of Servetus, and the expulsion of the Libertines two
years later, Calvin's power in Geneva was firmly established, and he
used it vigorously and beneficently for the defence of Protestantism
throughout Europe. By the mediation of Beza he made his influence felt
in France in the great struggle that was there going on between the
hierarchical party, with the Guises at its head, and the Protestants,
led by Condé and Coligny. In 1561 his energies began to fail. He had
been long suffering from bad health, though his strength of will and
buoyancy of intellect sustained him; but his health grew very much
worse, and although he survived for more than two years, he never
regained any vigor. He died on May 27, 1564.

Very different estimates have been formed of Calvin's character. None,
however, can dispute his intellectual greatness or the powerful services
which he rendered to the cause of Protestantism. Stern in spirit and
unyielding in will, he is never selfish or petty in his motives. Nowhere
amiable, he is everywhere strong. Arbitrary and cruel when it suits him,
he is yet heroic in his aims, and beneficent in the scope of his
ambition. His moral purpose is always clear and definite: to live a life
of duty, to shape circumstances to such divine ends as he apprehended,
and in whatever sphere he might be placed, to work out the glory of God.

He rendered a double service to Protestantism, which, apart from
anything else, would have made his name illustrious: he systematized its
doctrine, and he organized its ecclesiastical discipline. He was at once
the great theologian of the Reformation, and the founder of a new church
polity which did more than all other influences together to consolidate
the scattered forces of the Reformation and give them an enduring
strength. As a religious teacher, as a social legislator, and as a
writer, especially of the French language, whose modern prose style was
then in process of formation, his fame is second to none in his age, and
must always conspicuously adorn the history of civilization.

His famous "Institutio" entitles Calvin to the foremost place among the
dogmatic theologians of the Reformed Church. This masterpiece of
luminous argument presents a complete system of Christian faith, based
on the Protestant principle that the Scriptures are the source of
Christian truth. "Two things there are," says Hooker, in the preface to
the "Ecclesiastical Polity," "which have deservedly procured him honor
throughout the world--the one, his exceeding pains in composing the
'Institutions of the Christian Religion;' the other, his no less
industrious travails for exposition of Holy Scripture." His Commentaries
embrace the greater part of the Old Testament and the whole of the New,
except the Revelation, and place him in the front rank of expositors of




[Illustration: John Knox. [TN]]

John Knox, the great Scottish Reformer, was born at Giffordgate, a
suburb of the town of Haddington, in 1505, the year preceding the birth
of his famous countryman, George Buchanan. Knox has himself told us in a
single sentence all that is definitely known of his family connections:
"My lord," he represents himself as saying to the notorious Earl of
Bothwell, "my grandfather, grandsire (maternal grandfather), and father
have served under your lordship's predecessors, and some of them have
died under their standards." He received the elements of his education
in the grammar school of his native town, and in 1522 was sent to the
University of Glasgow. St. Andrews was nearer his home, and possessed
the more famous university; but he was probably drawn to Glasgow by the
fame of the most distinguished literary Scotchman of his
generation--John Major, the schoolman. For this reason, at least,
Buchanan was sent to St. Andrews, though Glasgow was nearer his native
place, when Major had migrated to the former university. At Glasgow,
under Major, Knox could have been subjected to none of the influences of
the great intellectual revolution which substituted for the studies and
methods of mediævalism the ideas of the Revival of Letters. Like all his
educated contemporaries, he learned to speak and write Latin with
perfect fluency; but it was always with an idiom that showed he had none
of the humanist's scruples regarding purity of language. What he learned
from Major was the art for which that scholar was renowned throughout
Europe--the art of logical exercitation; and Knox's writings everywhere
show that all through life he had a natural delight in the play of
dialectic. He left the university without taking the degree of master of
arts, thus by the conditions of all the mediæval universities precluding
himself from the career of an academic teacher.

During the eighteen years that follow his leaving the university, Knox
passes completely out of sight. All that is known of him during this
period is that, from 1540 to 1543, he acted as notary in his native town
of Haddington. As in the documents that establish this fact his name
appears with the addition of "Sir," the title of priests who were not
Masters of Arts, Knox must have been in orders in the Church of Rome
till as late as 1543. In 1544 we find him acting as tutor to the sons of
Douglas of Lorgniddry and Cockburn of Ormiston--families, it is to be
noted, both favorably disposed to the new opinions in religion now
making their way in Scotland. Through these families he was brought into
contact with George Wishart, who had lately returned from travelling in
Germany and England, with the burning zeal to gain his country to the
Lutheran reformation. From this period the future direction of Knox's
life was decided, and thenceforward, with an intensity and self-devotion
never surpassed, he is the apostle of the cause with which his name is
forever identified--the establishment in Scotland of what he deemed the
only true conception of the primitive church as based on the teaching of
Christ and the apostles. We have reason to believe that, even before
this date, his sympathies were on the side of reform in religion, but
the teaching and example of Wishart seem first to have brought to him
the clear consciousness of his mission. Knox identified himself with
Wishart with all the impetuosity of his character, and was in the habit,
he tells us, of carrying a two-handed sword before the preacher. When
Wishart was seized by the emissaries of Cardinal Beaton, Knox would
willingly have attended him to the last; but Wishart, who knew the fate
in store for him, rejected the offer. "Return to your bairns" (meaning
Knox's pupils), he said, "and God bless you. One is sufficient for one

Wishart was burned in St. Andrews in March, 1546, and in May of the same
year Cardinal Beaton was murdered. The cardinal's murderers held
possession of the castle of St. Andrews; and, as Knox was known to be
the enemy of Beaton (though he had no share in his assassination), he
was forced (1547) for his own safety to join them with his pupils. Here
his zeal and theological attainments made him so conspicuous that, at
the instance of the leaders of the reforming party (Sir David Lyndsay
among the rest), he was formally called to the ministry, and preached
with much acceptance in the castle and parish church of St. Andrews. A
few months later the castle surrendered to the French; and, in the teeth
of the express terms of capitulation, the more prominent of the besieged
party were sent as prisoners on board the French galleys. For eighteen
months Knox remained a captive, his first winter being spent in a galley
on the Loire, the second in prison in Rouen. His constitution was not
naturally robust, and his hard experience during these two years
seriously impaired his health for the rest of his life. The breach of
faith on the part of the French, and the ignominy to which he was
subjected, were never forgotten by Knox, and must in part explain and
justify his life-long conviction that no good thing could come of French
policy or French religion.

In February, 1549, on the express intercession of Edward VI., Knox
regained his liberty. As it was still unsafe for him to return to
Scotland, for the next four years, till the death of Edward VI., he made
his home in England. From all that is known of him during these years,
it is clear that he made himself a person to be reckoned with by those
at the centre of authority in the country. By his preaching at Berwick
he gave such offence to the Bishop of Durham that he was removed to
Newcastle, where it was supposed his influence would be less
mischievous. In 1551 he was appointed one of six chaplains to Edward
VI., and in 1552, at the suggestion of the Duke of Northumberland, he
was offered the bishopric of Rochester. As the duke's object in
suggesting the appointment was simply to check, as far as he could, what
he deemed the dangerous activity of Knox, the offer was unhesitatingly
rejected. Knox's importance in England is still further proved by the
fact that, along with five others, he was consulted by Archbishop
Cranmer regarding his forty-five (afterward forty-two) articles of

On Mary's accession, Knox, like the majority of the Reformed ministers,
had to seek refuge on the continent. That he might be within call,
should circumstances permit his return either to Scotland or England, he
took up his abode at Dieppe till the beginning of the following year
(1554), when he proceeded to Geneva. In July of this year he was again
in Dieppe, "to learn the estate of England;" but with Mary of Lorraine
as regent in Scotland, and Mary Tudor as Queen of England, he was
convinced that for the present both these countries were closed against
him. He accordingly accepted a call from the English congregation at
Frankfort-on-the-Main, where, however, on account of a dispute regarding
the use of the Book of Common Prayer, he remained only a few months. At
Geneva he found a congregation of his own way of thinking; but, eager to
be an apostle in his own country, he once more returned to Dieppe
(August, 1555), whence he ventured into Scotland in September. He
remained in Scotland till July of the next year, residing chiefly in
Edinburgh, but making preaching journeys into various parts of the
country. The new doctrines were steadily spreading in Scotland, but as
yet their supporters were not strong enough to present a confident front
against the government. It was at his own risk, therefore, that Knox
remained in the country; and at the prayer of the congregation in
Geneva, he returned to that town in July, 1556. It was probably during
this visit to Scotland that he married his first wife, Marjory Bowes, to
whom he seems to have been engaged during his sojourn in Newcastle. For
the next two years he remained in Geneva, ministering to his
congregation, and seeing much of Calvin, whose influence on Knox
regarding all the great questions of the time was afterward to bear
fruit in the ordering of affairs in Scotland. To this period also belong
several of his minor writings, and notably his "First Blast of the
Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women," the publication of
which he must afterward have regretted in the interest of the cause he
had most at heart.

Meanwhile, in Scotland the ground was being prepared for the great work
in store for Knox. Under Mary of Lorraine as regent, the French
influence had come to be regarded as a danger to the independence of the
country, and a sense of this danger threw many into the party of reform.
The unworthy lives of the old clergy, and the cupidity of many of the
nobles, worked in the same direction. In 1557 the advocates of reform
bound themselves, by what is known as the First Covenant, to do all in
their power to effect a religious revolution, and by 1558 they felt
themselves strong enough to summon Knox to their aid in the work he
deemed the mission of his life.

In May, 1559, Knox found himself again in Scotland, which he never again
left for a prolonged period. He at once became the life and soul of his
party. At the moment of his arrival the Lords of the Congregation, as
the Protestant nobility termed themselves, were in open revolt against
the regent. By his preaching at Perth and St. Andrews Knox gained these
important towns to his cause, and by his labors in Edinburgh, of which
he was appointed minister, he also won a strong party against the
government. But the reformers, of their own resources, could not hold
their ground against the regent, subsidized by France with money and
soldiers. Mainly, therefore, through the efforts of Knox, who all
through his public career was deep in the politics of the time, the
assistance of England was obtained against what was now deemed the
French invasion. The help of England proved effective, and by the treaty
of Leith (1560), and the death of the regent the same year, the
insurgent party became masters of the country. The estates of Parliament
having met on August 1st, the ministers were ordered to draw up a
Confession of Faith which should embody the new teaching, and on August
17th Protestantism was formally established as the religion of the
country. Having gained thus much, the ministers, desirous of practical
results from their victory, drew up the first Book of Discipline--a
document ever memorable in the history of Scotland, and admirable in
itself for its wise and liberal suggestions for the religious and
educational organization of the country. These suggestions, however,
were little to the mind of the majority of the Protestant nobles, who,
"perceiving their carnal liberty and worldly commodity to be impaired
thereby," sneeringly spoke of them as "devote imaginationis." In the
revolution that had been accomplished Knox had been the leading spirit;
but he saw that the victory was as yet only half gained, and that the
deadliest struggle had still to be decided.

The return of the young queen to Scotland (August, 1561) revived all the
old dissensions, and introduced new elements into the strife of parties.
By every opinion she held on religion, on the relations of prince and
subject, on the fundamental principles of life, Mary was separated as by
an abyss from the party represented by Knox. If we may judge from the
language which each used of the other, Knox and she failed to find one
point on which genial intercourse was possible. As the minister of St.
Giles (then the only Reformed church in Edinburgh), Knox believed that
Mary was his special charge. Her personal conduct, therefore, no less
than her public policy, were made the subject of his most stringent
criticism; and during the six years of her reign his attitude toward her
was that of uncompromising insistence. The celebration of mass in
Holyrood Chapel, in defiance of the late religious settlement, first
roused his wrath; and a sermon delivered by him in St. Giles led to the
first of those famous interviews with Mary, the record of which makes
such a remarkable portion of his "History of the Reformation." The
division of ecclesiastical property, by which those in actual possession
received two-thirds, the reformed ministers one-third, was a further
ground of quarrel with the new government. The delay of Mary to confirm
the late religious settlement also gave rise to the greatest anxiety on
the part of Knox and his brother ministers. In view of the precarious
interests of the great cause, Knox spoke out with such frankness as to
alienate the most powerful noble in the country, and the one whom he
respected most--Lord James Stuart, afterward the Regent Moray. The
marriage of Mary with Darnley (1565), again, however, led them to common
counsels, as both saw in this marriage the most serious menace against
the new religion. In the subsequent revolt, headed by Moray and the
other Protestant nobles, Knox nevertheless took no part, and remained at
his charge in Edinburgh. But after the murder of Rizzio, he deemed it
wise, considering Mary's disposition toward him, to withdraw to Kyle, in
Ayrshire, where he appears to have written the greater part of his

The events of the next two years--the murder of Darnley, Mary's marriage
with Bothwell, and her subsequent flight into England--again threw the
management of affairs into the hands of the Protestant party; and under
Moray as regent the acts of 1560, in favor of the reformed religion,
were duly ratified by the estates of the realm. As in the former
revolution, Knox was still the same formidable force the nobles had to
reckon with; and at Stirling, at the coronation of James VI. (1567), he
preached in that strain which gave his sermons the character and
importance of public manifestoes. The assassination of Moray, in 1570,
and the consequent formation of a strong party in favor of Mary, once
more endangered the cause to which he had devoted his life, and the
possession of the castle of Edinburgh by the queen's supporters forced
him to remove to St. Andrews for safety. He had already had a stroke of
apoplexy, and he was now but the wreck of his former self, but his
spirit was as indomitable as ever. The description of him at this
period, by James Melville, can never be omitted in any account of Knox.
"Being in St. Andrews, he was very weak. I saw him every day of his
doctrine go hulie and fear with a furring of martricks about his neck, a
staff in the one hand, and good, godly Richart Ballanden, his servant,
holding up the other, oxter from the abbey to the parish church; and be
the said Richart and another servant lifted up to the pulpit where he
behooved to loan, at his first entry, but or he had done with his
sermon, he was so active and vigorous that he was like to ding that
pulpit in blads, and fly out of it."

It was the desire of his congregation of St. Giles to hear him once more
before he died. Accordingly, by short stages, he made his way to
Edinburgh, and on November 9, 1572, at the induction of his successor in
office, he made his last public appearance. He died the same month, at
the age of sixty-seven, and was buried in the churchyard then attached
to St. Giles, behind which church a small square stone in the pavement
of Parliament Square, marked "J. K., 1572," now indicates the spot where
he is supposed to lie. The saying of Regent Morton at his grave, "Here
lieth a man who in his life never feared the face of man" (Calderwood),
was the most memorable panegyric that could have been pronounced to his

Knox was twice married. His first wife, Marjory Bowes, died in 1560,
leaving him two sons. By his second wife, Margaret Stewart, daughter of
Lord Ochiltree, whom (little more than a girl) he married in 1564, he
had three daughters. His widow and all his family survived him.

In their broader features the character of Knox and of the work he
achieved cannot be misread. In himself he stands as the pre-eminent type
of the religious reformer--dominated by his one transcendent idea,
indifferent or hostile to every interest of life that did not subserve
its realization. He is sometimes spoken of as a fanatic; but the term is
hardly applicable to one who combined in such a degree as Knox, the
shrewdest worldly sense with an ever-ready wit and a native humor that
declares itself in his most serious moments and in the treatment of the
loftiest subjects. To blame him for intolerance or harshness is but to
pass judgment on his age and on the type to which he belongs. It is his
unquestionable tribute, that the work he accomplished was the fashioning
anew of his country's destinies. It has to be added that by his "History
of the Reformation in Scotland," Knox holds a place of his own in the
history of literature. His narrative, as was to be expected, is that of
one who saw only a single aspect of the events he chronicles; but the
impress of the writer's individuality, stamped on every page, renders
his work possibly unique in English literature.




[Illustration: Elizabeth I. [TN]]

If the question respecting the equality of the sexes was to be
determined by an appeal to the characters of sovereign princes, the
comparison is, in proportion, manifestly in favor of woman, and that
without having recourse to the trite and flippant observation, proved to
have been ill-founded, of male and female influence. Elizabeth of
England affords a glorious example in truth of this position.

Daughter of Henry VIII., a capricious tyrant, and of the imprudent and
unfortunate Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was born at Greenwich, on the banks
of the Thames, September 7, 1533. Her infancy was unfortunate through
the unhappy fate of her mother, but she was nevertheless educated with
care and attention; in her yet infant faculties her father had the
discernment to perceive uncommon strength and promise. Lady Champernoun,
an accomplished and excellent woman, was appointed by Henry governess
to the young princess. It appears to have been the custom of the times
to instruct young women in the learned languages, an admirable
substitute for fashionable and frivolous acquisitions; habits of real
study and application have a tendency to strengthen the faculties and
discipline the imagination. Mr. William Grindal was Elizabeth's first
classical tutor; with him she made a rapid progress. From other masters
she received the rudiments of modern languages; at eleven years of age
she translated out of French verse into English prose "The Mirror of the
Sinful Soul," which she dedicated to Catherine Parr, sixth wife to Henry
VIII. At twelve years of age she translated from the English into Latin,
French, and Italian, prayers and meditations, etc., collected from
different authors by Catherine, Queen of England. These she dedicated to
her father, December 30, 1545; MS. in the royal library at Westminster.
She also, about the same period, translated from the French "The
Meditations of Margaret, Queen of Navarre, etc.," published by Bale,

Mr. Ascham thus speaks of Elizabeth in a letter to Sir John Cheke: "It
can scarcely be credited to what degree of skill in the Latin and Greek
she might arrive, if she should proceed in that course of study wherein
she hath begun by the guidance of Grindal." In 1548 she had the
misfortune to lose her tutor, who died of the plague. At this time, it
is observed by Camden, that she was versed in the Latin, French,
Spanish, and Italian tongues, had some knowledge of the Greek, was well
skilled in music, and both sung and played with art and sweetness.

After the death of her father, her brother, King Edward, who tenderly
loved her, encouraged her in her studies and literary pursuits, while,
without imposition or restraint, he left her to choose her own
principles and preceptors. To supply the loss of her tutor she addressed
herself to the celebrated Roger Ascham, who, at her solicitation, left
Cambridge and consented to become her instructor. Under him she read the
orations of Æschines, and Demosthenes' "On the Crown," in Greek, and
understood at first sight not only the force and propriety of the
language and the meaning of the orator, but the whole scheme of the
laws, customs, and manners of the Athenians. By Doctor Grindal,
professor of theology, she was initiated into the subtleties of polemic
divinity, to which she gave assiduous application. Such, during the
short reign of her brother, was the laudable and tranquil time of her
life, and by these occupations and pursuits she was prepared for the
great part she was to act on the theatre of Europe.

In July, 1553, Mary, after the death of Edward, succeeded to the throne;
and having received from her sister many favors and testimonies of
esteem, she treated her at first with a form of regard; but Elizabeth
was afterward imprisoned and harshly treated, even to the hazard of her
life. Her sufferings were, however, mitigated by the interposition of
Philip, the husband of Mary, for which she was ever grateful.

The reign, the bigotry, and the butchery of Mary, who, _to do God
service_, amused herself by burning and torturing her people, lasted
five years and four months. She died, fortunately for the nation,
November 17, 1558. A parliament had been assembled a few days previous
to her death, to which the chancellor notified the event. "God save
Queen Elizabeth," resounded in joyful acclamations through both houses,
while by the people a transport still more general and fervent was

The commencement of her reign was not less auspicious than its duration
was prosperous to the country and glorious to herself. It is observed by
Bayle that to say only that no woman reigned with more glory would be
saying little. "It must be added that there have been but few great
kings whose reigns are comparable to hers, it being the most beautiful
period of English history."

Elizabeth when informed of the death of her sister, was at Hatfield,
whence, after a few days, she proceeded to London, through crowds of
people, who contended with each other in testimonies of joy and
attachment. On entering the Tower she was affected with the comparison
of her past and present situation; once a captive, exposed to the
bigotry and malignity of her enemies, now a sovereign, triumphant over
her adversaries, and the hope and joy of the nation. Falling on her
knees she expressed her gratitude to heaven for the deliverance she had
experienced from her persecutors, a deliverance, she declared, not less
miraculous than that of Daniel from the den of lions. With a magnanimity
that did her honor, and a prudence that evinced her judgment, she threw
a veil over every offence that had been committed against her, and
received graciously and with affability the most virulent of her

On the death of her sister, Elizabeth had, by her ambassador, signified
her accession to the Pope, whose precipitate temper, insolent
reflections, and extravagant demands, determined her to persevere in the
plan she had already secretly embraced. While, to conciliate the
Catholics she retained in her cabinet eleven of her sister's
counsellors, she took care to balance their power by adding to their
number eight partisans of the Protestant faith; among whom were Sir
Nicholas Bacon, whom she created lord keeper, and Sir William Cecil,
made Secretary of State.

Cecil assured her that the greater part of the nation, since the reign
of her father, inclined to the reformation, though constrained to
conceal their principles by the cruelties practised under the late
reign. These arguments, to which other considerations and reasonings
were added, founded on policy and on a knowledge of mankind, had their
just weight with Elizabeth, and determined her to adopt the party which
education and political wisdom equally inclined to her favor. Yet she
wisely resolved to proceed gradually by safe and progressive steps. As
symptoms of her future intentions, and with a view of encouraging the
Protestants, whom persecution had discouraged and depressed, she
recalled all the exiles, and gave liberty to those who had, on account
of their religion, been confined in prison. She also altered the
religious service, and gave orders that the Lord's prayer, the litany,
the creed, and the gospels, should be read in the churches in the vulgar
tongue; and she forbade the elevation of the host in her presence.

The bishops, foreseeing in these measures the impending change, refused
to officiate at her coronation; and it was not without difficulty that
the Bishop of Carlisle was at length prevailed upon to perform the
ceremony. Amid the joyful acclamations of her subjects, as she was
conducted through London, a boy, personating Truth, let down from a
triumphal arch, presented to her a copy of the Bible. She received the
present graciously, placed it near her heart, and declared that of all
the costly testimonies of attachment given to her that day by the city,
this was the most precious and acceptable. Elizabeth insinuated herself
into the affections of the people by the most laudable art; frank in her
address, and on all public occasions affable, conciliating, and easy of
access, she appeared delighted with the concourse that crowded around
her; entered, without forgetting her dignity, into the pleasures and
amusements of her subjects, and acquired a popularity unknown to her
predecessors. Her youth, her graces, her prudence, her fortitude, and
her talents, attracted the admiration of one sex and afforded to the
other a subject of pride and triumph. Individuals were captivated by her
complacency, the public won by her services, while her authority,
chastened by religion and law, appeared to be derived from its
legitimate source, the choice and affections of the people.

The Commons entreated her, with all humility, that she would make choice
of a husband to share with her the weight of government, a request which
they hoped, from her sex and age, would not be displeasing or offensive.
To this Elizabeth replied, that as their application was expressed in
general terms, merely recommending marriage, without pretending to
direct her choice, she could not be offended or regard their wishes
otherwise than as a new instance of their attachment toward her; but
that any farther interposition respecting this subject, on their part,
it would ill become them as subjects to make, or her, as an independent
princess, to endure. England was the husband which she had betrothed to
her; Englishmen were her children; while employed in rearing and
governing such a family, she could not deem herself sterile or her life
useless. She desired, for her own part, no higher character, nor fairer
remembrance of her to be transmitted to posterity, than to have this
inscription, when she should pay the debt of nature, engraven on her
tomb: "Here lies Queen Elizabeth, who lived and died a maiden queen."

Misfortune threw the Queen of Scots into the power of Elizabeth, and she
was denied those services to which the unfortunate are entitled. Driven
beyond endurance, she openly and bitterly defied her more fortunate
rival, who viewed her with jealousy as heir to the crown, and was
fearful that her beauty and influence might supplant her own popularity.
Mary was kept in prison eighteen years and then executed on the
scaffold. This transaction will ever remain a foul blot on the character
of Elizabeth.

[Illustration: Elizabeth defied by Mary Stuart.]

Neither the cares of government nor the infirmities of approaching age
weaned her from the love of letters, which at every interval of leisure
were her great delight. When nearly sixty years of age, in 1592, she
made a second visit to Oxford, where, having been entertained with
orations, disputations, etc., she pronounced on her departure, a Latin
oration to the vice-chancellors and doctors, when she took her last
farewell of the university. In the ensuing year she translated from
Latin into English, Boethius's "De Consolatione Philosophæ." In 1598,
when the disturbances in Ireland occupied a considerable share of her
attention, she translated Sallust's "De bello Jugurthino," also the
greater part of Horace's "De Arte Poetica," and Plutarch's book, "De
Curiositate," all of which were written in her own hand.

But Elizabeth no longer took an interest in public concerns; her sun was
setting, overshadowed by a dark cloud. Prosperity and glory palled upon
her sense; an incurable melancholy had fixed itself on her heart. The
anxiety of her mind made swift ravages upon her feeble frame; the period
of her life visibly approached. The Archbishop of Canterbury advised her
to fix her thoughts on God. She did so, she replied, nor did her mind in
the least wander from Him. Her voice and her senses soon after failing,
she fell into a lethargic slumber, which having continued some hours,
she expired gently, without a struggle, March 24, 1603, in the
seventieth year of her age and the forty-fifth of her reign.

The character of Elizabeth appears to have been exalted by her friends
and depreciated by her enemies, in nearly equal proportions. As a
monarch, her activity and force of mind, her magnanimity, sagacity,
prudence, vigilance, and address, have scarcely been surpassed in royal
annals, and are worthy of the highest admiration. Pope Sixtus V. spoke
of her on all occasions as "a woman with a strong head," and gave her a
place among the three persons who only, in his opinion, deserved to
reign; the remaining two were himself and Henry IV. of France. "Your
queen," said he once to an Englishman, "is born fortunate; she governs
her kingdom with great happiness; she wants only to be married to me to
give the world a second Alexander."

Her temper and her talents equally fitted her for government. Capable of
self-command, and of controlling her own passions, she acquired an
unlimited ascendency over those of her people. She possessed courage
without temerity; spirit, resource, and activity in war, with the love
of peace and tranquillity. Her frugality was exempt from avarice, it was
the result rather of her love of independence than a passion for
accumulation. She never amassed any treasures. Her friendships were
uniform and steady, yet she was never governed by her favorites--a
criterion of a strong mind. Her choice in her ministers gave proof of
her sagacity, as her constancy in supporting them did of her firmness.
If a conduct less rigorous, less imperious, and more indulgent would
have thrown greater lustre over her character, let it be remembered that
some good qualities appear to be incompatible with others; nor let the
seductive and corrupting nature of power be left out in the account. Her
insincerity was perhaps the greatest blot in her character and the
fruitful source of all the vexatious incidents of her reign. Though
unacquainted with philosophical toleration, the only method of disarming
the turbulence of religious factions, she yet preserved her people, by
her prudence and good sense, from those theological disputes which
desolated the neighboring nations.

Beset with enemies, both at home and abroad, among the most powerful
princes in Europe, the most enterprising and the least scrupulous, the
vigor of her administration enabled her to defeat all their purposes,
to annoy and plunder them in their own dominions, and to preserve her
own dignity untouched and unimpaired. Few monarchs have succeeded to a
throne in more difficult circumstances, nor have any ever reigned with
more uniform success and prosperity.

If, as a woman, cut off by the peculiarities of her situation from the
sympathies of nature and the charm of equal affections, Elizabeth, at
times suffered under these privations, which even gave to her
sensibility additional force and acuteness, the strength of her reason
still triumphed over her passions, and the struggle which her victories
cost her served but to display the firmness of her resolution and the
loftiness of her mind.

The praises which have by some been bestowed upon Elizabeth for her
regard for the constitution and tender concern for the liberties of the
people, are wholly without foundation. Few princes have exerted with
more arbitrary power the regal prerogatives which had been transmitted
to her by her immediate predecessors; yet no censure belongs to her for
this conduct, in the principles of which she had been trained and of the
justice of which she was persuaded. What potentate, what man, has
voluntarily resigned the power in which those beneath him quietly
acquiesced? Compared with the reigns of her father and sister, that of
Elizabeth might be termed a golden age.




         [Footnote 14: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

Francis Bacon was born in York House, London, on January 22, 1561. Of
this building only the ancient water-gate, fronting the Thames, survives
the waste of time. His father, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was for twenty years
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under Elizabeth--a famous statesman,
orator, and wit. His mother, Lady Ann Bacon, was the second daughter of
the celebrated Sir Anthony Cooke, formerly tutor of King Edward VI.,
Henry VIII.'s short-lived son. She was a woman of great learning and
many accomplishments, and of a strong, earnest, passionate,
affectionate, and religious nature.

Francis was the youngest of eight children, six of whom were by the
first wife of Sir Nicholas. He belonged to the aristocracy of England,
but not to that ancient, warlike race of battle-crowned warriors, whose
pedigree dated back beyond the Crusades. His father was a lawyer. Both
his father's family and his mother's seem to have risen from the ranks
on the great wave of the Reformation; they belonged to the intellectual
new age, then dawning; rather than to the rude, fighting age which was
about to pass away. Francis was no accident. We can see in him the two
natures of his father and his mother--the commingling of the powerful,
practical, sagacious politician and man of affairs, with the studious,
contemplative, imaginative, affectionate, religious enthusiast.

His birthplace was a palace; the country seat of Gorhamsbury, near Saint
Albans' village, is in the midst of the most charming rural scenery in
England, or in the world. There a great part of his youth and early
manhood was passed.

[Illustration: Francis Bacon. [TN]]

He came into this breathing world when the human race were upon the
threshold of the tremendous development which now surrounds us. He was
born sixty-nine years after Columbus had re-opened the long-closed
pathway from the eastern to the western shores of the Atlantic Ocean;
twenty-seven years after the French took possession of Canada; twelve
years after the Portuguese settled in Brazil; and forty-six years before
the first English colonists landed at Jamestown, Va. The degree of
advancement of the mind of the age will be understood when it is
remembered that it was only one hundred and twenty-five years, at the
date of Bacon's birth, since Guttenberg had invented movable types, in
Germany; and but eighty-seven years since Caxton set up his printing
press at Westminster. No man has ever lived who did more than Bacon to
change the opinions and condition of those who came after him.

It was a "day of little things." England contained less than five
million inhabitants, and of these probably not one-tenth spoke a
language which could be understood to-day by the English-using people of
the world. The mass of the populace were steeped to the lips in
brutality and ignorance. The houses of the peasants were built of
"sticks and dirt;" many of them "without chimneys or glazed windows;"
the habits of the people were "inconceivably filthy;" "scurvy and
leprosy were endemic;" the schools did not, as a rule, teach English;
the amusements of the populace were bear-baitings and dancing naked in
barns; the people of one county could not understand the speech of the
inhabitants of the next county; "the disputes about tithes and
boundaries were usually settled by bands of armed men, and the records
of the Star-Chamber swarm with such cases." Education was at a low ebb.
"In one year, 1570 (Bacon was then nine years of age), the scholars of
Trinity College, Cambridge, consumed 2,250 barrels of beer." Many of the
graduates became beggars; and so extensive was this evil that
Parliament, by an act of 14th Elizabeth, declared that "all scholars of
the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge that go about begging, not being
authorized under the seal of the said universities," are declared
"vagabonds" and punished as such. But even this was an improvement on
Henry VIII.'s time when three hundred men were hanged in London for
soliciting alms.

The only illuminated spot in all this darkness was the Court in London.
Here they talked something which we would to-day call English; here they
caught, through France and Italy, a reflected light from the dying
glories of the ancient Roman civilization; here the travelled wealthy,
"the picked men of countries," brought home some of the culture of more
refined races. Bacon says:

  "Courts are but only superficial schools
     To dandle fools;
   The rural parts are turned into a den
     Of savage men;
   And where's the city, from foul vice so free,
     But may be termed the worst of all the three?"

In this curious, primitive, rude, ensmalled age, grew up the great man
who was to do so much to change it all.

From his early years he manifested that vastly active intellect "which
knew no rest save in motion." He studied, as a child, the nature of
echoes in a tunnel. At fifteen years of age (so his chaplain Rawley and
his biographer Spedding assure us), he had realized the shallowness of
the Aristotelian philosophy and had thought out those principles which
have since revolutionized human society. There are reasons to believe
that he was the child of fifteen, referred to by the Rosicrucians, who
planned the foundation of their society, and, at that early age, wrote
the "Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz," first published in

At about twelve years of age he went to Cambridge--to Trinity
College--rooming with his brother Anthony, who was two years his senior.
In June, 1576, he left the university and became an _ancient_ of the
Gray's Inn law-society. On September 25, 1576, he accompanied Sir Amias
Paulet, the English ambassador, to France. Here he witnessed the sixth
civil war of the French people. He followed the court through several of
the French provinces; he resided for three months at Poitiers. About
February 17, 1579, he dreamed that his father's house in the country was
all covered over with black mortar. At the same time his father was
taken sick and died in three days thereafter. He returned home on March
20, 1579, to find himself poor. As he said, he could not "live to
study," but had "to study to live." He became a practising lawyer, but
he did not like the profession. He feared "the bar would be his bier;"
it absorbed time which he thought should be dedicated to better ends. We
think we find the expression of his heart in the lines of the so-called
Shakespeare Sonnet:

  "O, for my sake, do thou with fortune chide,
   The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
   That did not better for my life provide,
   Than public means, which public manners breeds."

His pecuniary embarrassments were numerous, and continuous. Falstaff
doubtless expresses a thought which often recurred to him: "I can get no
remedy against this consumption of the purse; borrowing only lingers and
lingers it out, but the disease is incurable." More than once he was
thrown into a "sponging-house" for debt. His brother Anthony loaned him
money repeatedly. In 1592 a "hard Jew or Lombard" put him in confinement
for a debt on a bond. Anthony mortgaged his property to pay his debts.
In 1594 Malone believes the play of "The Merchant of Venice" was in
existence, in which Bassanio, being in debt to a hard Jew, his friend,
Antonius, mortgages his own flesh to help him out of his troubles; and
the Jew money-lender is sent down through all the ages the terrible type
and exemplar of the merciless usurer. Bacon continues a "briefless
barrister," with much time at his disposal. He helps in the composition
of the play called "The Misfortunes of Arthur." He writes a Sonnet to
the Queen. About this time, 1592, the Shakespeare plays begin to appear.
Bacon assists in the preparation of several "masks" and "revels," gotten
up by Gray's Inn. "The Comedy of Errors" first appears in the hall of
that society, which still stands in London. The "Venus and Adonis" and
"Lucrece" appear, dedicated to Bacon's intimate friend, Lord
Southampton; and that nobleman in 1594 contributes a large sum to the
construction of the _Globe_ play-house, Bacon having observed that the
stage is a powerful instrumentality to "play on the minds" of the
people; and on this stage a series of historical plays are put forth,
everyone of which represents kings as monsters or imbeciles.

The Shakespeare plays continue to be poured forth, and Bacon suffers
from a siege of "Jews and duns." He describes himself "as poor and sick,
working for bread." "I am purposed," he says, "not to follow the
practice of the law." "It is easier," says Mr. Spedding, Bacon's
biographer, "to understand why Bacon was resolved not to devote his life
to the ordinary practice of a lawyer, than what plan he had to clear
himself of the difficulties which were now accumulating upon him, and to
obtain the means of living and working. What course he betook himself to
at the crisis at which we have now arrived, I cannot possibly say." We
have here the time, the opportunity, the incentive, and the necessity
for the composition of the Shakespeare plays; part of the fruits of the
representation of which made Shakespeare very wealthy.

In January, 1597, the first acknowledged work of Bacon--his
"Essays"--was published. They were ten in number. Bacon said of them he
hoped they would be "like the late new half-pence, which, though the
pieces are small, the silver is good."

Until he was forty-four years of age, Bacon was kept poor and out of
office by his uncle Burleigh, and his cousin Cecil; during the life-time
of Queen Elizabeth he was steadily passed over and suppressed; and even
during the first years of the reign of King James I., the influence of
Cecil, then the Earl of Salisbury, was sufficient to keep him out of
office. In 1605, Bacon published his first great philosophical work,
"The Advancement of Learning;" in 1607, he became Solicitor-General; and
in 1612, Attorney-General, and member of the Privy Council. He was then
fifty-one years of age, and Shakespeare forty-eight. After the
appointment of Bacon as Attorney-General, no more of the Shakespeare
plays appeared; the "Tempest," which is evidently the last of the
series, for in it Prospero declares--

                   "I'll break my staff,
  Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
  And deeper than did ever plummet sound,
  I'll drown my book;"

is set down by the commentators, as written between 1609 and 1611. At
that time Shakespeare was forty-five or forty-seven years of age, and
lived for five or seven years thereafter in utter intellectual idleness,
in Stratford.

In 1609 Bacon published "The Wisdom of the Ancients," a prose work of
great poetical beauty. His professional practice was large and his
income princely. In 1617 he succeeded Ellesmere, the Lord Chancellor,
with the title of lord-keeper. In January, 1618, he was created lord
high chancellor, and the same year was raised to the peerage as Baron of
Verulam; and in 1621 he was made Viscount St. Albans. The "Novum
Organum," his great life-work, was printed in October, 1620. His
extraordinary industry is revealed in the fact that it had been copied
and revised twelve times before it took its present shape. The new
philosophy meant the study of nature and the acquisition of the
knowledge of things. In this search the "most common," "base, illiberal
and filthy matters," are not to be overlooked. We find in the plays the
same novel philosophy:

               "Some kinds of baseness
  Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters
  Point to rich ends." (Tempest, iii. 1.)

"Bacon's leading thought was the good of humanity. He held that study,
instead of employing itself in wearisome and sterile speculations,
should be engaged in mastering the secrets of nature and life, and in
applying them to human use. His method, in the attainment of this end,
was rigid and pure observation, aided by experiment and fructified by
induction.... He clearly invented a thermometer; he instituted ingenious
experiments on the compressibility of bodies, and on the density and
weight of air; he suggested chemical processes; he suggested the law of
universal gravitation, afterward demonstrated by Newton; he foresaw the
true explication of the tides, and the cause of colors." ["American
Cyclopedia." Vol. II., p. 204.]

This great work, the "Novum Organum," as often happens, was received by
the majority of readers of his time with laughter and ridicule. Coke
wrote on the title-page of a presentation copy:

  "It deserveth not to be read in schools,
   But to be freighted in the ship of fools."

The ill-fortune which had so shrouded Bacon's struggling youth, and
which had given way to such a magnificent sun-burst of splendid
prosperity, was again massing its clouds and determined to cover his
old age with shame, gloom and sorrow. He had been Lord Chancellor but
three years, when, on March 15, 1621, a committee of the House of
Commons reported two cases of bribery or corruption against him.
Twenty-two other cases were also soon after presented. The House of
Lords proceeded to investigate these charges, and Bacon defended
himself. It was shown that fourteen of the twenty-four cases were
presents given long after the suits were terminated; three more were
sums of money loaned in the ordinary course of business; another case
was an arbitration where compensation was due him; in another case the
gift was sent back; another present, a piece of furniture, had never
been accepted; another case was a New Year's gift, and in other cases
the money was openly paid to the officers of his court. "Thus," says
Hepworth Dixon, "after the most rigid scrutiny into his official acts,
and into the official acts of his servants, not a single fee or
remembrance, traced to the chancellor, can, by any fair construction, be
called a bribe. Not one appears to have been given on a promise; not one
appears to have been given in secret; not one is alleged to have
corrupted justice."

It must be remembered that the salaries of all the high officers of the
government were at that time paid in gifts and fees. Thus the king gave
the lord chancellor but £81 6_s._ 8_d._ a year, while the place was
worth £10,000 to £15,000; worth in our money to-day $125,000. "The
judges had enough to buy their gloves and robes, not more." The lord
chancellor had to maintain a huge retinue: "his court, his household,
and his followers, gentlemen of quality, sons of peers and prelates;
magistrates, deputy lieutenants of counties, knights of the shire, have
all to live on fees and presents." It is still true that in England the
law will not help a barrister or a physician to recover a fee; their
compensation is, in theory, at least, supposed to be a gratuity for
those they serve.

But it may be urged that Bacon plead guilty to corruption and bribery.
He did nothing of the kind. He acknowledged that he "partook of the
abuses of the times," and that the existing customs should be reformed;
but he solemnly declared to Buckingham, May 31, 1621: "I have been a
trusty and honest and Christ-loving friend to your lordship and the
justest chancellor that hath been in the five charges since my father's
time." Again, he said: "I had no bribe or reward in my eye or thought
when I pronounced any sentence or order.... I take myself to be as
innocent as any babe born on St. Innocent's day in my heart." All
attempts to subsequently reverse his decrees failed, although his
enemies were in possession of power. But King James urged him to make no
defence, "to trust his honor and his safety to the crown.... He pleads
guilty to carelessness, not to crime." He desired to live to finish up
his philosophical works. To resist the king's wishes was to leave
himself at the mercy of his life-long enemy, Coke; he yielded. The king
remitted his fine of £40,000 and released him from the Tower. Bacon goes
back to his books and writes in cipher: "I was the justest judge that
was in England these fifty years; but it was the justest censure that
was in Parliament these two hundred years." He meant thereby, that while
personally innocent of corruption, the sentence would end gift-giving
to judges. His formal confession to Parliament is a justification of
every act complained of, for he relieves it, while acknowledging it, of
those details which imply bribery.

He devoted the last five years of his life to putting forth the greatest
works ever published by man; including the first complete edition of the
so-called Shakespeare plays. Fortunate is it for the world that he was
driven from the task of settling petty squabbles about the trash of the
time, listening to "weary lawyers with endless tongues;" adjudicating
questions of pounds, shillings, and pence between litigants whose very
names have disappeared; and was shipwrecked by the stress of the great
storm that struck him, like _Prospero_, on an island of solicitude, with
books that "he prized above his dukedom," to perform labors in which all
mankind will be interested even to the consummation of civilization on

His patience, his gentleness, his forbearance were saint-like; still in
his right hand he carried "gentle peace to silence envious tongues." His
appearance, we are told, struck all men who beheld him with a great
sense of awe. Those who were most closely associated with him loved him
most dearly. His purposes were Godlike. They were "the glory of the
Creator and the relief of man's estate." Macaulay says of Bacon's
experimental philosophy:

"It has lengthened life; it has mitigated pain; it has extinguished
diseases; it has increased the fertility of the soil; it has given new
securities to the mariner; it has furnished new arms to the warrior; it
has spanned great rivers and estuaries with bridges of form unknown to
our fathers; it has guided the thunderbolt innocuously from heaven to
earth; it has lighted up the night with the splendor of the day; it has
extended the range of the human vision; it has multiplied the power of
human muscle; it has accelerated motion; it has annihilated distance; it
has facilitated intercourse, correspondence, all friendly offices, all
despatch of business; it has enabled men to descend to the depths of the
sea; to soar into the air; to penetrate securely into the noxious
recesses of the earth; to traverse the land with cars which whirl along
without horses; and the ocean with ships which sail against the wind."

In other words, the brain of this tremendous, this incomprehensible,
this complex man, lies at the base of all our literature and of all our
modern progress and civilization. The world is hardly big enough for his
fame, and the praises of mankind cannot fill the measure of his

[Signature of the author.]



[Illustration: Galileo-Galilei. [TN]]

The great Tuscan astronomer is best known as the first telescopic
observer, the fortunate discoverer of the Medicean stars (so Jupiter's
satellites were first named); and what discovery more fitted to
immortalize its author than one which revealed new worlds and thus gave
additional force to the lesson, that the universe, of which we form so
small a part, was not created only for our use or pleasure? Those,
however, who consider Galileo only as a fortunate observer, form a very
inadequate estimate of one of the most meritorious and successful of
those great men who have bestowed their time for the advantage of
mankind in tracing out the hidden things of nature. Galileo-Galilei was
born at Pisa, February 15, 1564. In childhood he displayed considerable
mechanical ingenuity, with a decided taste for the accomplishments of
music and painting. His father formed a just estimate of his talents,
and at some inconvenience entered him, when nineteen years old, at the
university of his native town, intending that he should pursue the
medical profession. Galileo was then entirely ignorant of mathematics;
and he was led to the study of geometry by a desire thoroughly to
understand the principles of his favorite arts. This new pursuit proved
so congenial to his taste, that from thenceforward his medical books
were entirely neglected. The elder Galilei, a man of liberal
acquirements and enlarged mind, did not require the devotion of his
son's life to a distasteful pursuit. Fortunately the young man's talents
attracted notice, and in 1589 he was appointed mathematical lecturer in
the University of Pisa. There is reason to believe that, at an early
period of his studentship, he embraced, upon inquiry and conviction, the
doctrines of Copernicus, of which through life he was an ardent

Galileo and his colleagues did not long remain on good terms. The latter
were content with the superstructure which _à priori_ reasoners had
raised upon Aristotle, and were by no means desirous of the trouble of
learning more. Galileo chose to investigate physical truths for himself;
he engaged in experiments to determine the truth of some of Aristotle's
positions, and when he found him in the wrong, he said so, and so taught
his pupils. This made the "paper philosophers," as he calls them, very
angry. He repeated his experiments in their presence, but they set
aside the evidence of their senses and quoted Aristotle as much as
before. The enmity arising from these disputes rendered his situation so
unpleasant, that in 1592, at the invitation of the Venetian
commonwealth, he gladly accepted the professorship of mathematics at
Padua. The period of his appointment being only six years, he was
re-elected in 1598, and again in 1606, each time with an increase of
salary; a strong proof of the esteem in which he was held, even before
those astronomical discoveries which have immortalized his name. His
lectures at this period were so fully attended that he was sometimes
obliged to adjourn them to the open air. In 1609 he received an
invitation to return to his original situation at Pisa. This produced a
letter, still extant, from which we quote a catalogue of the
undertakings on which he was already employed. "The works which I have
to finish are principally two books on the 'System or Structure of the
Universe,' an immense work, full of philosophy, astronomy, and geometry;
three books on 'Local Motion,' a science entirely new, no one, either
ancient or modern, having discovered any of the very many admirable
accidents which I demonstrate in natural and violent motions, so that I
may, with very great reason, call it a new science, and invented by me
from its very first principles; three books of mechanics, two on the
demonstration of principles and one of problems; and although others
have treated this same matter, yet all that has been hitherto written,
neither in quantity nor otherwise, is the quarter of what I am writing
on it. I have also different treatises on natural subjects--on Sound and
Speech, on Light and Colors, on the Tides, on the Composition of
Continuous Quantity, on the Motions of Animals, and others besides. I
have also an idea of writing some books relating to the military art,
giving not only a model of a soldier, but teaching with very exact rules
everything which it is his duty to know, that depends upon mathematics,
as the knowledge of castrametation, drawing up of battalions,
fortification, assaults, planning, surveying, the knowledge of
artillery, the use of instruments, etc." Out of this comprehensive list,
the treatises on the universe, on motion and mechanics, on tides, on
fortification, or other works upon the same subjects, have been made
known to the world. Many, however, of Galileo's manuscripts, through
fear of the Inquisition, were destroyed, or concealed and lost, after
the author's death.

In the same year, 1609, Galileo heard the report that a spectacle-maker
of Middleburg, in Holland, had made an instrument by which distant
objects appeared nearer. He tasked his ingenuity to discover the
construction, and soon succeeded in manufacturing a telescope. His
telescope, however, seems to have been made on a different construction
from that of the Dutch optician. It consisted of a convex and concave
glass, distant from each other by the difference of their focal lengths,
like a modern opera-glass; while there is reason to believe that the
other was made up of two convex lenses, distant by the sum of their
focal lengths, the common construction of the astronomical telescope.
Galileo's attention naturally was first turned to the moon. He
discovered that her surface, instead of being smooth and perfectly
spherical, was rough with mountains and apparently varied like the
earth, by land and water. He next applied to Jupiter, and was struck by
the appearance of three small stars, almost in a straight line and close
to him. At first he did not suspect the nature of these bodies; but
careful observation soon convinced him that these three, together with a
fourth, which was at first invisible, were in reality four moons
revolving round their primary planet. These he named the Medicean stars.
They have long ceased to be known by that name; but so highly prized was
the distinction thus conferred upon the ducal house of Florence, that
Galileo received an intimation that he would "do a thing just and proper
in itself, and at the same time render himself and his family rich and
powerful forever," if he "named the next star which he should discover
after the name of the great star of France, as well as the most
brilliant of all the earth," Henry IV. These discoveries were made known
in 1610, in a work entitled "Nuncius Sidereus," the Newsman of the
Stars; in which Galileo further announced that he had seen many stars
invisible to the naked eye, and ascertained that the nebulæ scattered
through the heavens consist of assemblages of innumerable small stars.
The ignorant and unprejudiced were struck with admiration; indeed,
curiosity had been raised so high before the publication of this book,
as materially to interfere with the convenience of those who possessed
telescopes. Galileo was employed a month in exhibiting his own to the
principal persons in Venice; and our unfortunate astronomer was
surrounded by a crowd who kept him in durance for several hours, while
they passed his glass from one to another. He left Venice the next
morning, to pursue his inquiries in some less inquisitive place. But the
great bulk of the philosophers of the day were far from joining in the
general feeling. They raised an outcry against the impudent fictions of
Galileo, and one, a professor of Padua, refused repeatedly to look
through the telescope, lest he should be compelled to admit that which
he had pre-determined to deny.

It was not long before Galileo had new and equally important matter to
announce. He observed a remarkable appearance in Saturn, as if it were
composed of three stars touching each other; his telescope was not
sufficiently powerful to resolve them into Saturn and his ring. Within a
month he ascertained that Venus exhibits phases like those of the
moon--a discovery of great importance in confirming the Copernican
system. The same phenomenon he afterward detected in Mars. We close the
list with the discovery of the revolution of the sun round his axis, in
the space of about a lunar month, derived from careful observation of
the spots on his surface.

About this time (1610-1611) Galileo took up his abode in Tuscany, upon
the invitation of the grand duke, who offered to him his original
situation at Pisa, with a liberal salary, exemption from the necessity
of residence, and complete leisure to pursue his studies. In 1612 he
published a discourse on "Floating Bodies," in which he investigates the
theory of buoyancy, and refutes, by a series of beautiful and conclusive
experiments, the opinion that the floating or sinking of bodies depends
on their shape.

Neither Copernicus nor his immediate followers suffered inconvenience or
restraint on account of their astronomical doctrines; nor had Galileo,
until this period of his life, incurred ecclesiastical censure for
anything which he had said or written. But the Inquisition now took up
the matter as heretical and contrary to the express words of Scripture;
and in 1616, Copernicus's work, "De Revolutionibus," Kepler's "Epitome,"
and some of Galileo's own letters, were placed on the list of prohibited
books; and he himself, being then in Rome, received formal notice not to
teach that the earth revolves round the sun. He returned to Florence
full of indignation; and considering his hasty temper, love of truth,
and full belief of the condemned theory, it is rather wonderful that he
kept silence so long, than that he incurred at last the censures of the
hierarchy. He did, however, restrain himself from any open advocacy of
the heretical doctrines, even in composing his great work, the "Dialogue
on the Ptolemaic and Copernican Systems." This was completed in 1630,
but not printed till 1632, under license from officers of the church,
both at Rome and Florence. It is a dialogue between Simplicio, an
Aristotelian, Salviati, who represents the author, and Sagredo, a half
convert to Salviati's opinions. It professes "indeterminately to propose
the philosophical arguments, as well on one side as on the other;" but
the neutrality is but ill kept up, and was probably assumed, not with
any hope that the court of Rome would be blinded as to the real tendency
of the book, but merely that it would accept this nominal submission as
a sufficient homage to its authority. If this were so, the author was
disappointed; the Inquisition took cognizance of the matter, and
summoned him to Rome to undergo a personal examination. Age and
infirmity were in vain pleaded as excuses; still, through the urgent and
indignant remonstrances of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, he was treated
with a consideration rarely shown by that stern tribunal. He was allowed
to remain at the Florentine ambassador's palace, with the exception of a
short period, from his arrival in February, until the passing of
sentence, June 21, 1633. He was then condemned, in the presence of the
Inquisitors, to curse and abjure the "false doctrines," which his life
had been spent in proving, to be confined in the prison of the Holy
Office during pleasure, and to recite the seven penitential psalms once
a week during three years. The sentence and the abjuration are given at
full length in the "Life of Galileo," in the "Library of Useful
Knowledge." "It is said," continues the biographer, "that Galileo, as he
rose from his knees, stamped on the ground, and whispered to one of his
friends, '_e pur si muove_,' it does move though."

[Illustration: Galileo before the Inquisition.]

Galileo's imprisonment was not long or rigorous, for after four days he
was reconducted to the Florentine ambassador's palace; but he was still
kept under strict surveillance. In July he was sent to Sienna, where he
remained five months in strict seclusion. He obtained permission in
December to return to his villa at Arcetri, near Florence: but there, as
at Sienna, he was confined to his own premises, and strictly forbidden
to receive his friends. It is painful to contemplate the variety of
evils which overcast the evening of this great man's life. In addition
to a distressing chronic complaint, contracted in youth, he was now
suffering under a painful infirmity which by some is said to have been
produced by torture, applied in the prisons of the Inquisition to
extort a recantation. But the arguments brought forward to show that the
Inquisitors did resort to this extremity do not amount to anything like
direct proof. In April, 1634, Galileo's afflictions were increased by
the death of a favorite, intelligent, and attached daughter. He consoled
his solitude, and lightened the hours of sickness, by continuing the
observations which he was now forbidden to publish to the world; and the
last of his long train of discoveries was the phenomenon known by the
name of the moon's libration. In the course of 1636-37 he lost
successively the sight of both his eyes. He mentions this calamity in a
tone of pious submission, mingled with a not unpleasing pride. "Alas,
your dear friend and servant Galileo has become totally and irreparably
blind; so that this heaven, this earth, this universe, which with
wonderful observations I had enlarged a hundred thousand times beyond
the belief of by-gone ages, henceforward for me is shrunk into the
narrow space which I myself fill in it. So it pleases God: it shall
therefore please me also." In 1638 he obtained leave to visit Florence,
still under the same restrictions as to society; but at the end of a few
months he was remanded to Arcetri, which he never again quitted. From
that time, however, the strictness of his confinement was relaxed, and
he was allowed to receive the friends who crowded round him, as well as
the many distinguished foreigners who eagerly visited him. Among these
we must not forget Milton, whose poems contain several allusions to the
celestial wonders observed and published by the Tuscan astronomer.
Though blind and nearly deaf, Galileo retained to the last his
intellectual powers; and his friend and pupil, the celebrated
Torricelli, was employed in arranging his thoughts on the nature of
percussion, when he was attacked by his last illness. He died January 8,
1642, aged seventy-eight.

It was disputed whether, as a prisoner of the Inquisition, Galileo had a
right to burial in consecrated ground. The point was conceded; but Pope
Urban VIII. himself interfered to prevent the erection of a monument to
him in the church of Santa Croce, in Florence, for which a large sum had
been subscribed. A splendid monument now covers the spot in which his
remains repose with those of his friend and pupil, the eminent
mathematician Viviani.

For an account of Galileo's application of the pendulum to the
mensuration of time; his invention of the thermometer, though in an
inaccurate and inconvenient form; his methods of discovering the
longitude, and a variety of other points well worth attention, we must
refer to the Life of Galileo already quoted. The numerous extracts from
Galileo's works convey a lively notion of the author's character, and
are distinguished by a peculiar tone of quaint humor. In conclusion, we
quote the estimate of Galileo's character, from the same masterly
memoir. "The numberless inventions of his acute industry; the use of the
telescope, and the brilliant discoveries to which it led; the patient
investigation of the laws of weight and motion, must all be looked upon
as forming but a part of his real merits, as merely particular
demonstrations of the spirit in which he everywhere withstood the
despotism of ignorance, and appealed boldly from traditional opinions to
the judgment of reason and common sense. He claimed and bequeathed to
us the right of exercising our faculties in examining the beautiful
creation which surrounds us. Idolized by his friends, he deserved their
affection by numberless acts of kindness; by his good humor, his
affability, and by the benevolent generosity with which he devoted
himself, and a great part of his limited income, to advance their
talents and fortunes. If an intense desire of being useful is everywhere
worthy of honor; if its value is immeasurably increased when united to
genius of the highest order; if we feel for one, who, notwithstanding
such titles to regard, is harassed by cruel persecution, then none
deserve our sympathy, our admiration, and our gratitude, more than



[Illustration: Richelieu. [TN]]

Armand Jean Du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu, the future cardinal, was the
third son of François Du Plessis, Grand Provost of the French Court, and
was born on September 5, 1585, at Paris, say his biographers, Aubery and
Leclerc; while tradition claims this honor for the family château in
Poitou. He received the elements of education at home from the Prior of
St. Florent, but soon quitted the paternal mansion, first for the
College of Navarre, subsequently for that of Lisieux. From thence he
removed to a military academy, being intended for the profession of
arms. But on his brother, who was Bishop of Luçon, resolving to quit the
world for the cloister, young Armand was advised to abandon the sword
for the gown, in order that he might succeed to his brother's bishopric.

He adopted the advice, entered with zeal into the study of theology, and
soon qualified himself to pass creditably through the exercises
necessary to obtain the degree of doctor in theology. He already wore
the insignia of his bishopric, but the Pope's sanction was still
wanting, and was withheld on account of the extreme youth of the
expectant. Resolved to overcome this difficulty, he set off to Rome,
addressed the pontiff in a Latin oration, and gave such proofs of talent
and acquirements above his age, that he was consecrated at Rome on the
Easter of 1607, being as yet but twenty-two years of age.

This position attained, Richelieu endeavored to make the utmost
advantage of it. He acquired the good-will of his diocese by rigid
attention to the affairs that fell under his jurisdiction; while in
frequent visits to the capital, he sought to acquire reputation by
preaching. In the Estates General of 1614, he was chosen deputy by his
diocese, and was afterward selected by the clergy of the States to
present their _cahier_ or vote of grievances to the monarch. It was an
opportunity not to be thrown away by the ambition of Richelieu, who
instantly put himself forward as the champion of the queen-mother
against the cabal of the high noblesse. He at the same time pointed out
where she might find auxiliaries, by complaining that ecclesiastics had
no longer a place in the public administration, and were thus degraded
from their ancient and legitimate share of influence. Richelieu was
rewarded with the place of almoner to the queen; and he was soon
admitted to her confidence as well as to that of her favorite, the
Maréchal D'Ancre.

In 1616 he was appointed secretary of state; but aware by what slender
tenure the office was held, he refused to give up his bishopric. This
excited not only the animadversions of the public, but the anger of the
favorite. Richelieu offered to give up his secretaryship, but the queen
could not dispense with his talents. The assassination of the favorite,
however, soon overthrew the influence of the queen herself. Still
Richelieu remained attached to her, and followed her to Blois; but the
triumphant party, dreading his talents for intrigue, ordered him to quit
the queen and repair to one of his priories in Anjou. He was
subsequently commanded to retire to his bishopric, and at last exiled to
Avignon. Here he sought to avert suspicion by affecting to devote
himself once more to theological pursuits. During this period he
published one or two polemical tracts, the mediocrity of which proves
either that his genius lay not in this path, or, as is probable, that
his interest and thoughts were elsewhere.

The escape of the queen-mother from her place of confinement, excited
the fears of her enemies and the hopes of Richelieu. He wrote instantly
to court, to proffer his services toward bringing about an
accommodation. In the difficulty of the moment, the king and his
favorite accepted the offer. Richelieu was released from exile, and
allowed to join the queen at Angoulême, where he certainly labored to
bring about a reconciliation. There were long and bitter struggles, but
an agreement was finally concluded, and it was found that Richelieu, the
negotiator, had himself reaped all the benefits. He received the
cardinal's hat from the king's hand at Lyons, toward the close of the
year 1622.

Not content with this advancement of her counsellor, Mary de Medici
continued to press the king to admit Richelieu to his cabinet. Louis
long resisted her solicitations, such was his instinctive dread of the
man destined to rule him. Nor was it until 1624, after the lapse of
sixteen months, and when embarrassed with difficult state questions,
which no one then in office was capable of managing, that the royal will
was declared admitting Richelieu to the council. Even this grace was
accompanied by the drawback that the cardinal was allowed to give merely
his opinion, not his vote.

Once, however, seated at the council table, the colleagues of the
cardinal shrunk before him into ciphers. He boldly avowed his
determination to adopt the policy and resume the scheme of Henry IV.,
for the humiliation of the House of Austria. His anchor of safety was in
the confidence reposed in him by Louis XIII. This prince, although of
most feeble will, was not without the just pride of a monarch; he could
not but perceive that his former ministers or favorites were but the
instruments or slaves of the noblesse, who consulted but their own
interests, and provided but for the difficulties of the moment.
Richelieu, on the contrary, though eager for power, sought it as an
instrument to great ends, to the consolidation of the monarchy, and to
its ascendancy in Europe. He was in the habit of unfolding these high
views to Louis, who, though himself incapable of putting them into
effect, nevertheless had the spirit to admire and approve them.
Richelieu proposed to render his reign illustrious abroad, and at home
to convert the chief of a turbulent aristocracy into a real monarch. It
forms indeed the noblest part of this great statesman's character, that
he won upon the royal mind, not by vulgar flattery, but by exciting
within it a love of glory and of greatness to which, at the same time,
he pointed the way.

Accordingly, through all the plots formed against him, Louis XIII.
remained firmly attached to Richelieu, sacrificing to this minister's
pre-eminence his nobility, his brother Gaston, Duke of Orleans, his
queen, and finally the queen-mother herself, when she too became jealous
of the man whom she had raised.

If Richelieu thus imprudently indulged his passion or his pique, he
redeemed the error by activity and exertion unusual to the age. He at
once formed the project of attacking the Huguenots in their chief
stronghold of La Rochelle. Buckingham, the English minister, could not
fail to attempt the relief of this sea-port, and the cardinal
anticipated the triumph of personally defeating a rival. He accordingly
himself proceeded to preside over the operations of the siege. To render
the blockade effectual, it was requisite to stop up the port. The
military officers whom he employed could suggest no means of doing this.
Richelieu took counsel of his classic reading, and having learned from
Quintus Curtius how Alexander the Great reduced Tyre, by carrying out a
mole against it through the sea, he was encouraged to undertake a
similar work. The great mound was accordingly commenced, and well-nigh
finished, when a storm arose and destroyed it in a single night. But
Richelieu was only rendered more obstinate: he recommenced the mole, and
was seen with the volume of Alexander's History in his hand, encouraging
the workmen and overruling the objections of the tacticians of the army.
The second attempt succeeded, the harbor was blocked up, and the
promised aid of England rendered fruitless. The cardinal triumphed, for
La Rochelle surrendered. In his treatment of the vanquished, Richelieu
showed a moderation seldom observable in his conduct. He was lenient,
and even tolerant, toward the Huguenots, content with having humbled the
pride of his rival, Buckingham.

La Rochelle was no sooner taken, and Richelieu rewarded by the title of
prime minister than he resumed those projects of humbling the House of
Austria, in which he had previously been interrupted. A quarrel about
the succession to Mantua afforded him a pretext to interfere; and he did
so, after his fashion, not by mere negotiations, but by an army. This
expedition proved a source of quarrel between him and the queen-mother,
Mary de Medici, who hitherto had been his firm and efficient friend.

The voice of the conqueror of La Rochelle triumphed in council, and his
project in the field. The French were victorious in Italy, and the
minister equally so over the mind of the monarch.

But Mary de Medici could not forgive, and she now openly showed her
hatred of Richelieu, and exerted herself to the utmost to injure him
with the king. Though daily defeating her intrigues, the cardinal
dreaded her perseverance, and resolved to drag the king with him to
another Italian campaign. Louis obeyed, and the court set out for the
south, the queen-mother herself accompanying it. Richelieu, however, did
not tarry for the slow motions of the monarch. He flew to the army, took
upon him the command, and displayed all the abilities of a great general
in out-manoeuvring and worsting the generals and armies of Savoy. In the
meantime Louis fell dangerously ill at Lyons. His mother, an
affectionate attendant on his sick-couch, resumed her former empire over
him. At one moment his imminent death seemed to threaten the cardinal
with ruin. Louis recovered, however, and his first act was to compel a
reconciliation, in form at least, between the cardinal and the

The king's illness, although not so immediately fatal to Richelieu as
his enemies had hoped, was still attended with serious consequences to
him. The French army met with ill success through the treachery of the
general, Marillac, who was secretly attached to the queen's party, and
the failure was attributed to Richelieu.

Mary de Medici renewed her solicitations to her son, that he would
dismiss his minister. Louis, it appears, made a promise to that effect;
a reluctant promise, given to get rid of her importunity. Mary
calculated too securely upon his keeping it; she broke forth in bitter
contumely against Richelieu; deprived him of his superintendence over
her household, and treated Madame de Combalet, the cardinal's niece, who
had sunk on her knees to entreat her to moderate her anger almost with
insult. The king was present, and seemed to sanction her violence so
that Richelieu withdrew to make his preparations for exile. Louis,
dissatisfied and irresolute, retired to Versailles; while Mary remained
triumphant at the Luxembourg, receiving the congratulations of her
party. Richelieu, in the meantime, ere taking his departure, repaired to
Versailles, and, once there, resumed the ascendant over the monarch. The
tidings of this was a thunder-stroke to Mary and her party, who became
instantly the victims of the cardinal's revenge. Marillac was beheaded,
and Mary de Medici, herself at length completely vanquished by her
rival, was driven out of France to spend the rest of her days in exile.

The trial of Marillac had roused the spirit and indignation even of
those nobles who had previously respected, and bowed to, the minister of
the royal choice. Richelieu not only threatened their order with the
scaffold, but his measures of administration were directed to deprive
them of their ancient privileges, and means of wealth and domination.
One of these was the right of governors of provinces to raise the
revenue within their jurisdiction, and to employ or divert no small
portion of it to their use. Richelieu, to remedy this, transferred the
office of collecting the revenue to new officers, called the _Elect_. He
tried this in Languedoc, then governed by the Duc de Montmorenci, a
noble of the first rank, whose example, consequently, would have weight,
and who had always proved himself obedient and loyal. Moved, however, by
his private wrongs, as well as that of his order, he now joined the
party of the nobles and the king's brother, Gaston, Duke of Orleans.
That weak prince, after forming an alliance with the Duke of Lorraine,
had raised an army. Richelieu lost not a moment in despatching a force
which reduced Lorraine, and humbled its hitherto independent duke almost
to the rank of a subject. Gaston then marched his army to Languedoc and
joined Montmorenci. The Maréchal de Brezé, Richelieu's brother-in-law,
led the loyal troops against them, defeated Gaston at Castelnaudari, and
took Montmorenci prisoner. This noble had been the friend and supporter
of Richelieu, who even called him his son; yet the cardinal's cruel
policy determined that he should die. There was difficulty in proving
before the judges that he had actually borne arms against the king. "The
smoke and dust," said St. Reuil, the witness, "rendered it impossible to
recognize any combatant distinctly. But when I saw one advance alone,
and cut his way through five ranks of gens-d'armes, I knew that it must
be Montmorenci."

This gallant descendant of five constables of France perished on the
scaffold at Toulouse. Richelieu deemed the example necessary to strike
terror into the nobility. And he immediately took advantage of that
terror, by removing all the governors of provinces, and replacing them
throughout with officers personally attached to his interests.

Having thus made, as it were, a clear stage for the fulfilment of his
great political schemes, Richelieu turned his exertions to his original
plan of humbling the House of Austria, and extending the territories of
France at its expense. He formed an alliance with the great Gustavus
Adolphus, who then victoriously supported the cause of religious liberty
in Germany. Richelieu drew more advantage from the death than from the
victories of his ally; since, as the price of his renewing his alliance
with the Swedes, he acquired the possession of Philipsburg, and opened
the way toward completing that darling project of France and every
French statesman, the acquisition of the Rhine as a frontier.

The French having manifested their design to get possession of Trèves,
the Spaniards anticipated them; and open war ensued betwixt the two
monarchies. Richelieu in his wars was one of those scientific combatants
who seek to weary out an enemy, and who husband their strength in order
not to crush at once, but to ruin in the end. Such, at least, were the
tactics by which he came triumphant out of the struggle with Spain. He
made no conquests at first, gained no striking victories; but he
compensated for his apparent want of success by perseverance, by taking
advantage of defeat to improve the army, and by laboring to transfer to
the crown the financial and other resources which had been previously
absorbed by the aristocracy. Thus the war, though little brilliant at
first, produced at last these very important results. Arras in the
north, Turin in the south, Alsace in the east, fell into the hands of
the French; Roussillon was annexed to the monarchy; and Catalonia
revolted from Spain. Richelieu might boast that he had achieved the
great purposes of Henry IV., not so gloriously indeed as that heroic
prince might have done, but no less effectually. This was effected not
so much by arms as by administration. The foundation was laid for that
martial pre-eminence which Louis XIV. long enjoyed; and which he might
have retained, had the virtue of moderation been known to him.

It was not without incurring great personal perils, with proportionate
address and good fortune, that Cardinal Richelieu arrived at such great
results. Constant plots were formed against him, the most remarkable of
which was that of Cinq-Mars, a young nobleman selected to be the king's
favorite, on account of his presumed frivolity. But he was capable of
deep thoughts and passions; and wearied by the solitude in which the
monarch lived, and to which he was reduced by the minister's monopoly of
all power, he dared to plot the cardinal's overthrow. This bold attempt
was sanctioned by the king himself, who at intervals complained of the
yoke put upon him.

Great interests were at stake, for Richelieu, reckoning upon the
monarch's weak health, meditated procuring the regency for himself. The
Queen, Anne of Austria, aware of this intention, approved of the project
of Cinq-Mars, which, of course, implied the assassination of the
cardinal. No other mode of defying his power and talent could have been
contemplated. But Richelieu was on the watch. The court was then in the
south of France, engaged in the conquest of Roussillon, a situation
favorable for the relation of the conspirators with Spain. The minister
surprised one of the emissaries, had the fortune to seize a treaty
concluded between them and the enemies of France; and with this flagrant
proof of their treason, he repaired to Louis, and forced from him an
order for their arrest. It was tantamount to their condemnation.
Cinq-Mars and his friends perished on the scaffold; Anne of Austria was
again humbled; and every enemy of the cardinal shrunk in awe and
submission before his ascendancy. Among them was the king himself, whom
Richelieu looked upon as an equal in dignity, an inferior in mind and in
power. The guards of the cardinal were as numerous as the monarch's, and
independent of any authority save that of their immediate master. A
treaty was even drawn up between king and minister, as between two
potentates. But the power and the pride of Richelieu reached at once
their height and their termination. A mortal illness seized him in the
latter days of 1642, a few months after the execution of Cinq-Mars. No
abatement of his pride marked his last moments. He summoned the monarch
like a servant to his couch, instructed him what policy to follow and
appointed the minister who was to be his own successor.

Such was the career of this supereminent statesman, who, although in the
position of Damocles all his life, with the sword of the assassin
suspended over his head, surrounded with enemies, and with insecure and
treacherous support even from the monarch whom he served, still not
only maintained his own station, but possessed time and zeal to frame
and execute gigantic projects for the advancement of his country and of
his age. It makes no small part of Henry IV.'s glory that he conceived a
plan for diminishing the power of the House of Austria. Richelieu,
without either the security or the advantages of the king and the
warrior, achieved it. Not only this, but he dared to enter upon the war
at the very same time when he was humbling that aristocracy which had
hitherto composed the martial force of the country.

The effects of his domestic policy were indeed more durable than those
of what he most prided himself upon, his foreign policy. He it was, in
fact, who founded the French monarchy, such as it existed until near the
end of the eighteenth century--a grand, indeed, rather than a happy
result. He was a man of penetrating and commanding intellect, who
visibly influenced the fortunes of Europe to an extent which few princes
or ministers have equalled. Unscrupulous in his purposes, he was no less
so in the means by which he effected them. But so long as men are
honored, not for their moral excellences, but for the great things which
they have done for themselves, or their country, the name of Richelieu
will be recollected with respect, as that of one of the most successful
statesmen that ever lived.

As a patron of letters and of the arts, Richelieu has acquired a
reputation almost rivalling that of his statesmanship. His first and
earliest success in life had been as a scholar supporting his theses;
and, as it is continually observed that great men form very erroneous
judgments of their own excellences, he ever prided himself especially in
his powers as a penman.

[Illustration: A Concert At Richelieu's Palace.]




         [Footnote 15: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Seal of Massachusetts. [TN]]

Greatness is not allied to rank alone, nor is heroism to blood. The
noblest of the Pilgrims of Plymouth was sprung from the people. For
generations the little farming village of Austerfield, a royal manor of
the West Riding of Yorkshire close to the Nottingham line, had known the
family of Bradfurth or Bradford as a race of tenant-yeomen who, besides
tilling the lands of the Mortons, possessed also a freehold of their
own. But no man or woman of the Bradford name had given it prominence or
worth until, on March 19, 1589, William Bradford was born in that
low-roofed farm-house on the great plain of York. Puritan writers speak
of Austerfield as a "profane and irreligious" village in which was to
be found "no bible and a careless priest." Whatever the facts, the
environments, undoubtedly, were not such as would suggest the making of
a leader or the development of a religious nature. But we are assured
that, before the age of twelve, the boy William Bradford, brought up in
that Austerfield farm-house "in the innocent trade of husbandry,"
displayed alike a thoughtful temperament and "a pious mind." At sixteen
he fell, in some unknown way, under the influence of one of the
much-maligned Puritan preachers of Scrooby, a Nottinghamshire village
but a few miles from Austerfield. As a result he gave up his
farming-life, left his Austerfield home, and in the face of bitter
opposition, distrust, censure, and persecution, joined the Puritan
church and settlement at Scrooby, established there by William Brewster,
the postmaster of Scrooby and a prominent leader in the new sect of
dissenters from the English church, known first as separatists and,
later, because of their frequent changes and wanderings, as Pilgrims.

From his earliest association with this feeble and despised communion,
William Bradford was zealous in his readiness to stand boldly for his
faith, whatever the risk involved. He was one of the first to appreciate
the real meaning of the struggle; he saw that dissent implied not alone
a religious opposition, but a political defiance as well, and that its
followers, braving the will of England's royal bigot, James Stuart, and
denying his assumption of the divine right of kings, would ere long do
open battle in the cause of the people against despotism, and stand for
that deeper question of liberty which the Pilgrims of Scrooby and Leyden
first fully grasped.

Bradford was one of that venturesome company which, in 1607, embarking
at Boston, in Lincolnshire, sought to flee from English tyranny, and
find a home in Holland. They were betrayed, turned back, and imprisoned.
The next year this young eighteen-year old enthusiast escaped from his
jailers, and made his way to Amsterdam. Here he apprenticed himself to a
silk-weaver, and became an efficient member of the association of
English exiles in Holland.

Upon his coming of age in 1610, he sold off the Austerfield lands that
had descended to him upon the death of his father, and entered upon an
unsuccessful business investment in Amsterdam. This failing, he joined
himself to the Pilgrim colony that Brewster and Robinson, the Pilgrim
preachers, had established at Leyden.

When those far-seeing reformers awoke to the fact that an
English-speaking community in Holland must, in time, become Dutch in
manners, speech, and life, and looked across the western ocean with the
dream of founding a religious republic of English-speaking folk in the
New World, Bradford was one of the most earnest in adopting and carrying
out their views, and was one of that famous company which, on September
16, 1620, sailed from Plymouth in England, to cast anchor, three months
later, in the harbor of the new Plymouth in New England.

It has been said that if William Brewster was the Aaron of the Plymouth
enterprise, William Bradford was its Moses. Certainly he was, almost
from its inception, its leader and deliverer. It was his brain that
conceived and his hand that executed that memorable compact which the
forty-one earnest men signed in the cabin of the Mayflower, as she rode
at anchor in Provincetown harbor--"the first instrument of civil
government ever subscribed as the act of the whole people." It was into
his hands, when Carver, the first governor, died of sunstroke in the
spring of 1621, that the colonists gave the guidance of their affairs,
electing him governor of the Plymouth colony on April 21, 1621--"the
first American citizen of English race who bore rule by the free choice
of his brethren." More than this, we may look upon William Bradford, so
says Mr. Doyle, the English historian of the Puritan colonies, "as
heading that bead-roll of worthies that, from his day, America has never
wanted--men who, with no early training in political life, and lacking
much that the Old World has deemed needful in her rulers, have yet, by
inborn strength of mind and lofty public spirit, shown themselves in all
things worthy of high office."

Certainly William Bradford showed himself worthy the trust and
confidence of his fellows. For nearly forty years he filled the office
of governor of the Plymouth colony. His hand guided it through the
perils of its early years, his brain planned that systematic development
of its slender resources that made it the one successful episode in
America's beginnings. His treatment of the Indians was always firm but
friendly; his dealings with the grasping "London adventurers," whose
greed would have seriously crippled the colony had it not been for his
restraining hand, were courteous but convincing; it was Bradford who led
the colony from the unsatisfactory communism of its first years to the
system of individual property that, from 1623, held sway, and turned an
uncertain venture into a career of industrial prosperity. Always
tolerant, never injudicious, and alike pure-minded, liberty-loving,
courageous, and wise, no hand could have better guided than did his, or
have more systematically shaped, the destinies of the infant State. The
testimony of contemporaries and the judgment of historians unite in
crediting to William Bradford that rare combination of intelligence and
industry, of judicial and executive ability, by which a small and
obscure band of persecuted fugitives laid in an unexplored wilderness
the foundations of a great and prosperous commonwealth.

His methods were as simple as was his own noble nature. Each advance was
the outgrowth of his own observation and the colony's necessities, and
while the corner-stone of the community was religion, he stood himself
for religious liberty, and never permitted the zeal of his associates to
degenerate into intolerance and persecution. While other of the early
American colonies were narrow, bigoted, and vindictive, it is to the
credit of the Pilgrim colony of Plymouth that the cargo of the Mayflower
contained no seeds of persecution, and throughout the long
administration of Governor William Bradford the colony he guided had, in
his time at least, a clear comprehension of the meaning of religious and
political freedom, and did not descend into the harrying of so-called
heretics, the scourging of Quakers, nor the burning of witches. Whatever
intolerance of this sort may, at a later day, have stained the records
of the colony, was of foreign growth and contrary to the heritage of
charity left by William Bradford.

[Illustration: A Puritan Christmas.]

This willingness to serve, to spend and be spent, is apparent throughout
the whole story of Bradford's life. It displayed itself in the boyish
spirit of renunciation that led him to join the Scrooby society, and
held him loyal to his association even through imprisonment and
persecution, through exile, flight, and emigration. Again and again
through his long service as governor of the Plymouth colony, he wished
to lay aside the burden, but always yielded to the wishes of his
comrades. Elected by the suffrages of his associates, he himself
restricted his own authority by the formation, in 1624, of the
governor's council of five members, increased in 1633 to seven, in which
the only privilege held by the governor was a double vote. In 1624 he
with seven of his associates assumed, what was for that day and the
uncertainties involved, a great risk, and bought out the "London
Adventurers" who had so feebly backed the colonists. In 1629 he obtained
a patent that conferred upon himself, his associates, and assigns the
title to the whole Plymouth tract, and in 1640 he conveyed this valuable
title to the colony, reserving only his personal proportion as a

It was this unselfishness of disposition, this loyalty to
duty--accepting honors as trusts and burdens as obligations--this union
of justice and faith that made William Bradford great and kept him

"With malice toward none, with charity for all," even as had that great
American of two centuries later, Bradford could keep the even tenor of
his way in the midst of obstacles and discouragements. Unmoved by the
ingratitude of Weston, the insolence of Morton, the treachery of Oldham
and Lyford, and the selfishness of Allerton; calm amid the controversies
brought about by the arrogance of the greater colony of Massachusetts
Bay, the encroachments of the French in Maine, and of the Dutch on the
Connecticut, he could yet, when occasion demanded, display that stern
justice that meted out the extreme penalty of the law to offenders, and
condemned to death Billington, the first murderer in the colony, and
Peach, the assassin of a defenceless Indian.

William Bradford is one of the most interesting figures in the history
of New England. He is the noblest of the Puritans--a type of their best
element, an exponent of their highest effort, a pioneer in their
struggle for liberty for justice, and for law. The boy who could brave
opposition and contumely for conscience's sake, could also be of
gentlest manners and serenest mood when called to lead and govern those
who put their trust in him; the same native courage and independence
that held him loyal to his convictions in his early years made him, when
responsibilities multiplied and burdens were laid upon him, the very
staff and hope of the Pilgrim colony of Plymouth.

He combined with executive ability other notable gifts. Though bred to
the soil in an age when the farmer was a drudge and had no ambition
beyond his crops, he yet, when opportunity offered, applied himself to
study with such good results that he was learned in Latin, Greek, and
Hebrew, and conversed in French and Dutch. He was acquainted with the
history and philosophy of his day, was deeply versed in theology, and
even attempted poetry. He wrote much and well. His most important
production was his "History of the Plymouth Plantations"--a detailed
chronicle of the history of the Pilgrims from 1608 to 1646. Carried away
from the old South Church by British soldiers, it was completely lost,
until almost providentially discovered, though partially destroyed, in
the shop of a Halifax grocer, and to-day it tells us almost all that we
know of the Plymouth settlers, from the day when they left Lincolnshire
till they became a prosperous commonwealth in America.

Of this important contribution to American history, Mr. Doyle, the
English historian, says: "Gratitude is quickened when we compare the
simple, vigorous, and picturesque chronicle set before us by Bradford,
with the tedious and pedantic writings from which so much of the later
history of New England has to be extracted.... His work is in the true
sense scholarly. The language is like the language of Bunyan, that of a
man who trained himself not merely to speak but to think in the words of
Scripture. Every expression is simple and effective, never far-fetched,
never mean nor common. The substance is worthy of the style. Faults no
doubt there are ... yet with all its defects Bradford's writings still
remain the worthy first-fruits of Puritan literature in its new home.
They are the work of a wise and good man, who tells with a right
understanding the great things that he and his brethren have done."

The wise governor was loyal to his colony to the last. He resisted the
ambition to take larger holdings of land and become great estate owners
that influenced Standish and Brewster, Alden and Winslow, and other of
his Mayflower companions, drawing them away from Plymouth to the broader
acres at Duxbury and Scituate and Marshfield. The governor deplored this
withdrawal as a desertion on the part of his old friends, and a menace
to the welfare of the colony. He lived on in Plymouth, where his home on
Leyden Street, still standing, gradually outgrew its early primitive
dimensions as became the house of the governor of Plymouth. Here he died
on May 9, 1657, "lamented by all the colonists of New England as a
common blessing and father to them all," and the only special memorial
that tangibly recalls his fame is the unpretentious obelisk on Burial

As Miles Standish and John Alden had a romance in their lives that has
made them historic, so this Puritan governor of Plymouth had his. His
first wife, gentle Dorothy May, was drowned in Cape Cod harbor while her
husband was away exploring the new-found coast. He had married her in
Leyden in 1613 and less than three years after her death, on August 14,
1623, he married Mistress Alice Carpenter Southworth, who in earlier
days, it is alleged, had been young William Bradford's "dearest love."
She came across the sea--at his call--a widow, to marry the widowed
governor of Plymouth and thus complete the unwritten romance begun in
his earlier years.

A self-made man, a scholar of repute, a writer of renown, an upright and
fearless magistrate, a model citizen, a courageous leader, gentle, just
and generous, practical and wise, William Bradford stands in history as
the essence and exponent of what was best in the Puritanism of his day,
the architect and builder of a God-fearing, independent, and progressive
community that, throughout the ages, remains the most notable because
the most typical of the foundation-stones that underlie the mighty
structure of the Republic of the United States of America.

[Signature of the author.]




[Illustration: Charles I. [TN]]

Charles I. was born at Dunfermline, November 19, 1600, was a sickly
child, unable to speak till his fifth year, and so weak in the ankles
that till his seventh he had to crawl upon his hands and knees. Except
for a stammer, he outgrew both defects, and became a skilled tilter and
marksman, as well as an accomplished scholar and a diligent student of
theology. He was created Duke of Albany at his baptism, Duke of York in
1605, and Prince of Wales in 1616, four years after the death of his
dear brother, Prince Henry, had left him heir to the crown of three
kingdoms. A Spanish match had been mooted as early as 1614; but it was
not till February 17, 1623, that, with Buckingham, his inseparable
friend, Charles started on the romantic incognito journey to Madrid, its
objects to win the hand of the Infanta, and to procure the restitution
of the Palatinate to his brother-in-law, Frederick. Both he and his
father swore to all possible concessions to the Catholics, but nothing
short of his own conversion would have satisfied the Spanish and papal
courts; and on October 5th he landed again in England, eager for rupture
with Spain.

The nation's joy was speedily dashed by his betrothal to the French
princess, Henrietta Maria (1609-69); for the marriage articles pledged
him, in violation of solemn engagements to Parliament, to permit her and
all her domestics the free exercise of the Catholic religion, and to
give her the up-bringing of their children till the age of thirteen.

On March 27, 1625, Charles succeeded his father, James I.; on June 13th
he welcomed his little bright-eyed queen at Dover, having married her by
proxy six weeks earlier. Barely a twelvemonth was over when he packed
off her troublesome retinue to France--a bishop and 29 priests, with 410
more male and female attendants. Thenceforth their domestic life was a
happy one; and during the twelve years following the murder of
Buckingham (1592-1628), in whose hands he had been a mere tool, Charles
gradually came to yield himself up to her unwise influence--not wholly
indeed, but more than to that of Stafford even, or Laud. Little
meddlesome Laud, made archbishop in 1633, proceeded to war against the
dominant Puritanism, to preach passive obedience, and uphold the divine
right of kings; while great Stafford, from championing the Petition of
Right (1628), passed over to the king's service, and entered on that
policy of "Thorough" whose aim was to make his master absolute. Three
Parliaments were summoned and dissolved in the first four years of the
reign; then for eleven years Charles ruled with but one, in its stead,
with subservient judges, and the courts of Star Chamber and High
Commission. In 1627 he had blundered into an inglorious French war; but
with France he concluded peace in 1629, with Spain in 1630. Peace,
economy, and arbitrary taxation were to solve the great problem of his
policy, how to get money, yet not account for it. Not that Charles cared
for money in itself, or had far-reaching projects of tyranny (he failed
to enter into Stafford's scheme); but he had inherited a boundless
egoism, and content with his own petty self, had little sympathy with
the dead heroism of the Tudor age, none at all with the nascent ardor of
democracy. The extension of the ship-tax to the inland counties was met
by Hampden's passive resistance (1637); Laud's attempt to Anglicize the
Scottish Church, by the active resistance of the whole northern nation.
Once more Charles had to call a Parliament; two met in 1640--the Short
Parliament, which lasted but three weeks, and the Long, which outlasted

It met to pronounce Stafford's doom; and his plot with the army
detected, Charles basely sacrificed his loyal servitor, his own kingly
word, to fears for the queen's safety; no act weighed heavier on him
afterward. The same signature that sent Stafford to the block gave
assent to a second bill, by which the existing Parliament might not be
dissolved without its own consent. That pledge, as extorted by force,
Charles purposed to disregard; and during his visit to Edinburgh, in the
autumn of 1641, he trusted by lavish concessions to bring over the Scots
to his side. Instead, he got entangled in dark suspicions of plotting
the murder of the covenanting lords, of connivance even in the Ulster
massacre. Still, his return to London was welcomed with some enthusiasm,
and a party was forming in the Commons itself, of men who revolted from
the sweeping changes that menaced both church and state. Pym's "Grand
Remonstrance" justified their fears, and Charles seemed to justify the
"Grand Remonstrance" by his attempt to arrest the five members (January
4, 1642); but that ill-stricken blow was dictated by the knowledge of an
impending impeachment of the queen herself. On August 22d he raised the
royal standard at Nottingham; and the four years civil war commenced, in
which, as at Naseby, he showed no lack of physical courage, and which
resulted at Naseby in the utter annihilation of his cause (June 14,

No need here to track him through plot and counterplot with Catholics,
Presbyterians, and Sectaries, with the Scots and the Irish, with the
Parliament and the Army; enough that, quitting his last refuge, Oxford,
he surrendered himself on May 5, 1646, to the Scots at Newark, and by
them, in the following January, was handed over to the Parliament. His
four months captivity at Holmby House, near Northampton; his seizure on
June 3d by Cornet Joyce; the three months at Hampton Court; the fight on
November 11th; the fresh captivity at Carisbrooke Castle, in the Isle of
Wight--these lead up to the trial at Westminster of the tyrant, traitor,
and murderer, Charles Stuart. He had drawn the sword, and by the sword
he perished, for it was the Army, not Parliament, that stood at the back
of the judges. Charles faced them bravely and with dignity. Thrice he
refused to plead, denying the competence of such a court: and his
refusal being treated as a confession, on the third day fifty-five out
of seventy-one judges--sixty-four more never were present--affixed their
names and seals to his death-warrant; four days later, sentence was

No need here to tell the well-known story of his meekness toward his
persecutors, of the pathetic parting from two of his younger children,
of his preparation for a holy death; or how, on the morning of January
30, 1649, he passed to that death on the scaffold in front of Whitehall,
with a courage worthy of a very martyr. On the snowy 7th of February
they bore the "white king" to his grave at Windsor in Henry VIII.'s
vault; in 1813 the Prince Regent had his leaden coffin opened. Six
children survived him--Charles and James, his successors; Mary, Princess
of Orange (1631-60); Elizabeth (1635-50); Henry, Duke of Gloucester
(1639-60); and Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans (1644-70), the last born
ten weeks after Charles's final parting from his queen. At the
Restoration Charles II. appointed, on his sole authority, a form of
prayer, with fasting, for the day of the martyrdom of the Blessed King
Charles I., to be annexed to the Common Prayer Book, with the other
state services; it kept its place there till 1859.

A far stronger man than Charles might scarcely have extricated himself
from the difficulties that beset him; true, those difficulties were
largely of his own creating. But was he right in abandoning Stafford?
should he also have sacrificed wife, faith, and crown? If yes, then was
he wholly in the wrong; if no, he was partly--for once at least--in the
right. Vices, other than duplicity, he had none, as we use the word. He
was vague, vacillating, obstinate, unable to lead or to be led;
superstitious, heedful of omens; unsympathetic and reserved where he did
not love; intolerant of opposition to his will. But he was a good
husband, a good father, a good churchman--no man so good was ever so
bad a king; no man so fallible believed so honestly in his
infallibility. For Charles was honest to his own convictions. His very
duplicity was due sometimes to schooling in "kingcraft," but oftener to
inability to see two sides of a question. Now he saw one, and now the
other, but never both sides at once; and, just as he saw, so he spoke.
Milton's charges against him of "all manner of lewdness" rank with
Milton's charge that he poisoned his father. Indeed, as a pattern of
culture and purity, few princes are worthy to be named beside him.

His children all loved and respected him. His little daughter Elizabeth,
held as a prisoner by his foes, wrote of him with such womanly sympathy
and admiration as even now brings tears to our eyes. His last letter of
advice to his son Charles is a model hardly to be improved on. Parts of
it read as follows:

"I had rather you should be Charles _le bon_, than _le grand_, good,
than great; I hope God hath designed you to be both; having so early put
you into that exercise of His graces and gifts bestowed upon you, which
may best weed out all vicious inclinations, and dispose you to those
princely endowments and employments which will most gain the love, and
intend the welfare of those over whom God shall place you.

"With God, I would have you begin and end, who is King of kings, the
sovereign disposer of the kingdoms of the world, who pulleth down one
and setteth up another.

"The best government and highest sovereignty you can attain to, is to be
subject to Him, that the sceptre of His word and spirit may rule in your

"The true glory of princes consists in advancing God's glory, in the
maintenance of true religion and the church's good; also in the
dispensation of civil power with justice and honor to the public peace.

"Piety will make you prosperous, at least it will keep you from becoming
miserable; nor is he much a loser that loseth all, yet saveth his own
soul at last.

"To which centre of true happiness, God (I trust) hath and will
graciously direct all these black lines of affliction which He hath been
pleased to draw on me, and by which He hath (I hope) drawn me nearer to
Himself. You have already tasted of that cup whereof I have liberally
drunk; which I look upon as God's physic, having that in healthfulness
which it wants in pleasure.

"Take heed that outward circumstances and formalities of religion devour
not all, or the best, encouragements of learning, industry, and piety;
but with an equal eye and impartial hand distribute favors and rewards
to all men, as you find them for their real goodness both in abilities
and fidelity, worthy and capable of them.

"And if neither I nor you be ever restored to our right, but God, in His
severest justice, will punish my subjects with continuance in their sin,
and suffer them to be deluded with the prosperity of their wickedness, I
hope God will give me and you that grace which will teach and enable us
to want, as well as to wear, a crown, which is not worth taking up or
enjoying upon sordid, dishonorable and irreligious terms.

"Keep you to true principles of piety, virtue, and honor; you shall
never want a kingdom.

"A principal point of your honor will consist in your deferring all
respect, love, and protection to your mother, my wife, who hath many
ways deserved well of me, and chiefly in this, that having been a means
to bless me with so many hopeful children (all which, with their mother,
I recommend to your love and care), she hath been content with
incomparable magnanimity and patience to suffer both for and with me and

"Farewell, till we meet, if not on earth, yet in heaven."

[Illustration: Princess Elizabeth in Prison.]

But Charles was predestined to sorrow. "A tragic face!" said the
sculptor Bernini, as he looked on the triple portrait by Vandyke.
Already the shadow of a violent death overclouded those fine, weak


Extracts from "The History of England," by THOMAS B. MACAULAY


[Illustration: An arrest. [TN]]

And now a new and alarming class of symptoms began to appear in the
distempered body politic. There had been, from the first, in the
Parliamentary party, some men whose minds were set on objects from which
the majority of that party would have shrunk with horror. These men
were, in religion, Independents. They conceived that every Christian
congregation had, under Christ, supreme jurisdiction in things
spiritual; that appeals to provincial and national synods were scarcely
less unscriptural than appeals to the Court of Arches or to the Vatican;
and that popery, prelacy, and Presbyterianism were merely three forms of
one great apostasy. In politics they were, to use the phrase of their
time, Root and Branch men, or, to use the kindred phrase of our own
time, Radicals. Not content with limiting the power of the monarch, they
were desirous to erect a commonwealth on the ruins of the old English
polity. At first they had been inconsiderable both in numbers and in
weight; but, before the war had lasted two years, they became, not
indeed the largest, but the most powerful faction in the country. Some
of the old Parliamentary leaders had been removed by death, and others
had forfeited the public confidence. Pym had been borne, with princely
honors, to a grave among the Plantagenets. Hampden had fallen, as became
him, while vainly endeavoring, by his heroic example, to inspire his
followers with courage to face the fiery cavalry of Rupert. Bedford had
been untrue to the cause. Northumberland was known to be lukewarm. Essex
and his lieutenants had shown little vigor and ability in the conduct of
military operations. At such a conjuncture it was, that the Independent
party, ardent, resolute, and uncompromising, began to raise its head
both in the camp and in the Parliament.

The soul of that party was Oliver Cromwell. Bred to peaceful
occupations, he had, at more than forty years of age, accepted a
commission in the Parliamentary army. No sooner had he become a soldier,
than he discerned, with the keen glance of genius, what Essex and men
like Essex, with all their experience, were unable to perceive. He saw
precisely where the strength of the Royalists lay, and by what means
alone that strength could be overpowered. He saw that it was necessary
to reconstruct the army of the Parliament. He saw, also, that there were
abundant and excellent materials for the purpose; materials less showy,
indeed, but more solid, than those of which the gallant squadrons of the
king were composed. It was necessary to look for recruits who were not
mere mercenaries; for recruits of decent station and grave character,
fearing God and zealous for public liberty. With such men he filled his
own regiment, and, while he subjected them to a discipline more rigid
than had ever before been known in England, he administered to their
intellectual and moral nature stimulants of fearful potency.

The events of the year 1644 fully proved the superiority of his
abilities. In the south, where Essex held the command, the Parliamentary
forces underwent a succession of shameful disasters, but in the north
the victory of Marston Moor fully compensated for all that had been lost
elsewhere. That victory was not a more serious blow to the Royalists
than to the party which had hitherto been dominant at Westminster; for
it was notorious that the day, disgracefully lost by the Presbyterians,
had been retrieved by the energy of Cromwell, and by the steady valor of
the warriors whom he had trained.

These events produced the Self-denying Ordinance and the new model of
the army. Under decorous pretexts, and with every mark of respect, Essex
and most of those who had held high posts under him were removed, and
the conduct of the war was intrusted to very different hands. Fairfax, a
brave soldier, but of mean understanding and irresolute temper, was the
nominal lord-general of the forces, but Cromwell was their real head.

Cromwell made haste to organize the whole army on the same principles on
which he had organized his own regiment. As soon as this process was
complete, the event of the war was decided. The Cavaliers had now to
encounter natural courage equal to their own, enthusiasm stronger than
their own, and discipline such as was utterly wanting to them. It soon
became a proverb that the soldiers of Fairfax and Cromwell were men of a
different breed from the soldiers of Essex. At Naseby took place the
first great encounter between the Royalists and the remodelled army of
the Houses. The victory of the Roundheads was complete and decisive. It
was followed by other triumphs in rapid succession. In a few months the
authority of the Parliament was fully established over the whole
kingdom. Charles fled to the Scots, and was by them, in a manner which
did not much exalt their national character, delivered up to his English

But while the Houses were employing their authority thus, it suddenly
passed out of their hands. It had been obtained by calling into
existence a power which could not be controlled. In the summer of 1647,
about twelve months after the last fortress of the Cavaliers had
submitted to the Parliament, the Parliament was compelled to submit to
its own soldiers.

Thirteen years followed, during which England was, under various names
and forms, really governed by the sword. Never before that time, or
since that time, was the civil power in our country subjected to
military dictation.

To keep down the English people was no light task even for that army. No
sooner was the first pressure of military tyranny felt, than the nation,
unbroken to such servitude, began to struggle fiercely. Insurrections
broke out even in those counties which, during the recent war, had been
the most submissive to the Parliament. Indeed, the Parliament itself
abhorred its old defenders more than its old enemies, and was desirous
to come to terms of accommodation with Charles at the expense of the
troops. In Scotland, at the same time, a coalition was formed between
the Royalists and a large body of Presbyterians, who regarded the
doctrines of the Independents with detestation. At length the storm
burst. There were risings in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, Wales. The
fleet in the Thames suddenly hoisted the royal colors, stood out to sea,
and menaced the southern coast. A great Scottish force crossed the
frontier and advanced into Lancashire. It might well be suspected that
these movements were contemplated with secret complacency by a majority
both of the Lords and of the Commons.

But the yoke of the army was not to be so shaken off. While Fairfax
suppressed the risings in the neighborhood of the capital, Oliver routed
the Welsh insurgents, and, leaving their castles in ruins, marched
against the Scots. His troops were few when compared with the invaders;
but he was little in the habit of counting his enemies. The Scottish
army was utterly destroyed. A change in the Scottish government
followed. An administration, hostile to the king, was formed at
Edinburgh; and Cromwell, more than ever the darling of his soldiers,
returned in triumph to London.

       *       *       *       *       *

England had already ceased to struggle; but the two other kingdoms which
had been governed by the Stuarts were hostile to the new republic. The
Independent party was equally odious to the Roman Catholics of Ireland
and to the Presbyterians of Scotland. Both these countries, lately in
rebellion against Charles I., now acknowledged the authority of Charles

But everything yielded to the vigor and ability of Cromwell. In a few
months he subjugated Ireland as Ireland had never been subjugated
during the five centuries of slaughter which had elapsed since the
landing of the first Norman settlers. He resolved to put an end to that
conflict of races and religions which had so long distracted the island,
by making the English and Protestant population decidedly predominant.
For this end he gave the rein to the fierce enthusiasm of his followers,
waged war resembling that which Israel waged on the Canaanites, smote
the idolaters with the edge of the sword, so that great cities were left
without inhabitants, drove many thousands to the Continent, shipped off
many thousands to the West Indies, and supplied the void thus made, by
pouring in numerous colonists of the Anglo-Saxon blood and of the
Calvinistic faith. Strange to say, under that iron rule the conquered
country began to wear an outward face of prosperity. Districts which had
recently been as wild as those where the first white settlers of
Connecticut were contending with the red men, were in a few years
transformed into the likeness of Kent and Norfolk. New buildings, roads,
and plantations were everywhere seen. The rent of estates rose fast; and
soon the English land-owners began to complain that they were met in
every market by the products of Ireland, and to clamor for protecting

From Ireland the victorious chief, who was now in name, as he had long
been in reality, lord-general of the armies of the commonwealth, turned
to Scotland. The young king was there. He had consented to profess
himself a Presbyterian, and to subscribe the Covenant; and, in return
for these concessions, the austere Puritans who bore sway at Edinburgh
had permitted him to hold, under their inspection and control, a solemn
and melancholy court in the long-deserted halls of Holyrood. This mock
royalty was of short duration. In two great battles Cromwell annihilated
the military force of Scotland. Charles fled for his life, and, with
extreme difficulty, escaped the fate of his father. The ancient kingdom
of the Stuarts was reduced, for the first time, to profound submission.
Of that independence, so manfully defended against the mightiest and
ablest of the Plantagenets, no vestige was left. The English Parliament
made laws for Scotland. The English judges held assizes in Scotland.
Even that stubborn Church, which has held its own against so many
governments, scarce dared to utter an audible murmur.

Thus far there had been at least the semblance of harmony between the
warriors who subjugated Ireland and Scotland, and the politicians who
sat at Westminster; but the alliance which had been cemented by danger
was dissolved by victory. The Parliament forgot that it was but the
creature of the Army. The Army was less disposed than ever to submit to
the dictation of the Parliament. Indeed, the few members who made up
what was contemptuously called the Rump of the House of Commons, had no
more claim than the military chiefs to be esteemed the representatives
of the nation. The dispute was soon brought to a decisive issue.
Cromwell filled the house with armed men. The speaker was pulled out of
his chair, the mace taken from the table, the room cleared, and the door
locked. The nation, which loved neither of the contending parties, but
which was forced, in its own despite, to respect the capacity and
resolution of the general, looked on with patience, if not with

King, Lords, and Commons had now, in turn, been vanquished and
destroyed, and Cromwell seemed to be left the sole heir of the powers of
all three. Yet were certain limitations still imposed on him by the very
army to which he owed his immense authority. That singular body of men
was, for the most part, composed of zealous republicans. In the act of
enslaving their country, they had deceived themselves into the belief
that they were emancipating her. The book which they most venerated
furnished them with a precedent which was frequently in their mouths. It
was true that the ignorant and ungrateful nation murmured against its
deliverers; even so had another chosen nation murmured against the
leader who brought it, by painful and dreary paths, from the house of
bondage to the land flowing with milk and honey. Yet had that leader
rescued his brethren in spite of themselves; nor had he shrunk from
making terrible examples of those who contemned the proffered freedom,
and pined for the flesh-pots, the task-masters, and the idolatries of
Egypt. The object of the warlike saints who surrounded Cromwell was the
settlement of a free and pious commonwealth. For that end they were
ready to employ, without scruple, any means, however violent and
lawless. It was not impossible, therefore, to establish by their aid a
monarchy absolute in effect; but it was probable that their aid would be
at once withdrawn from a ruler who, even under strict constitutional
restraints, should venture to assume the regal name and dignity.

The sentiments of Cromwell were widely different. He was not what he had
been; nor would it be just to consider the change which his views had
undergone as the effect merely of selfish ambition. When he came up to
the Long Parliament, he brought with him from his rural retreat little
knowledge of books, no experience of great affairs, and a temper galled
by the long tyranny of the government and of the hierarchy. He had,
during the thirteen years which followed, gone through a political
education of no common kind. He had been a chief actor in a succession
of revolutions. He had been long the soul, and at last the head, of a
party. He had commanded armies, won battles, negotiated treaties,
subdued, pacified, and regulated kingdoms. It would have been strange
indeed if his notions had been still the same as in the days when his
mind was principally occupied by his fields and his religion, and when
the greatest events which diversified the course of his life were a
cattle-fair, or a prayer-meeting at Huntingdon. He saw that some schemes
of innovation for which he had once been zealous, whether good or bad in
themselves, were opposed to the general feeling of the country, and
that, if he persevered in those schemes, he had nothing before him but
constant troubles, which must be suppressed by the constant use of the
sword. He therefore wished to restore, in all essentials, that ancient
constitution which the majority of the people had always loved, and for
which they now pined. The course afterward taken by Monk was not taken
by Cromwell. The memory of one terrible day separated the great regicide
forever from the house of Stuart. What remained was that he should mount
the ancient English throne, and reign according to the ancient English
polity. If he could effect this, he might hope that the wounds of the
lacerated state would heal fast. Great numbers of honest and quiet men
would speedily rally round him. Those Royalists, whose attachment was
rather to institutions than to persons, to the kingly office than to
King Charles I. or King Charles II., would soon kiss the hand of King
Oliver. The peers, who now remained sullenly at their country houses,
and refused to take any part in public affairs, would, when summoned to
their House by the writ of a king in possession, gladly resume their
ancient functions. Northumberland and Bedford, Manchester and Pembroke,
would be proud to bear the crown and the spurs, the sceptre and the
globe, before the restorer of aristocracy. A sentiment of loyalty would
gradually bind the people to the new dynasty, the royal dignity might
descend with general acquiescence to his posterity.

The ablest Royalists were of opinion that these views were correct, and
that, if Cromwell had been permitted to follow his own judgment, the
exiled line would never have been restored. But his plan was directly
opposed to the feelings of the only class which he dared not offend. The
name of king was hateful to the soldiers. Some of them were, indeed,
unwilling to see the administration in the hands of any single person.
The great majority, however, were disposed to support their general, as
elective first magistrate of a commonwealth, against all factions which
might resist his authority; but they would not consent that he should
assume the regal title, or that the dignity, which was the just reward
of his personal merit, should be declared hereditary in his family.[16]
All that was left to him was to give to the new republic a constitution
as like the constitution of the old monarchy as the army would bear.
That his elevation to power might not seem to be his own mere act, he
convoked a council, composed partly of persons on whose support he could
depend, and partly of persons whose opposition he might safely defy.
This assembly, which he called a Parliament, and which the populace
nicknamed, from one of the most conspicuous members, Barebones's
Parliament, after exposing itself during a short time to the public
contempt, surrendered back to the general the powers which it had
received from him, and left him at liberty to frame a plan of

         [Footnote 16: It is said that it was largely by the warnings
         and entreaties of his daughter, Elizabeth Claypole, whom he
         tenderly loved, that Cromwell was persuaded not to claim the

How Oliver's Parliaments were constituted, however, was practically of
little moment; for he possessed the means of conducting the
administration without their support, and in defiance of their
opposition. His wish seems to have been to govern constitutionally, and
to substitute the empire of the laws for that of the sword; but he soon
found that, hated as he was both by Royalists and Presbyterians, he
could be safe only by being absolute. The first House of Commons which
the people elected by his command questioned his authority, and was
dissolved without having passed a single act. His second House of
Commons, though it recognized him as Protector, and would gladly have
made him king, obstinately refused to acknowledge his new lords. He had
no course left but to dissolve the Parliament. "God," he exclaimed,
at parting, "be judge between you and me!"

[Illustration: Cromwell's daughter entreats him to refuse the crown.]

Yet was the energy of the Protector's administration in nowise relaxed
by these dissensions. Those soldiers who would not suffer him to assume
the kingly title stood by him when he ventured on acts of power as high
as any English king has ever attempted. The government, therefore,
though in form a republic, was in truth a despotism, moderated only by
the wisdom, the sober-mindedness, and the magnanimity of the despot. The
country was divided into military districts; these districts were placed
under the command of major-generals. Every insurrectionary movement was
promptly put down and punished. The fear inspired by the power of the
sword in so strong, steady, and expert a hand, quelled the spirit both
of Cavaliers and Levellers. The loyal gentry declared that they were
still as ready as ever to risk their lives for the old government and
the old dynasty, if there were the slightest hope of success; but to
rush at the head of their serving-men and tenants on the pikes of
brigades victorious in a hundred battles and sieges, would be a frantic
waste of innocent and honorable blood. Both Royalists and Republicans,
having no hope in open resistance, began to revolve dark schemes of
assassination; but the Protector's intelligence was good; his vigilance
was unremitting; and, whenever he moved beyond the walls of his palace,
the drawn swords and cuirasses of his trusty body-guards encompassed him
thick on every side.

Had he been a cruel, licentious, and rapacious prince, the nation might
have found courage in despair, and might have made a convulsive effort
to free itself from military domination; but the grievances which the
country suffered, though such as excited serious discontent, were by no
means such as impel great masses of men to stake their lives, their
fortunes, and the welfare of their families against fearful odds. The
taxation, though heavier than it had been under the Stuarts, was not
heavy when compared with that of the neighboring states and with the
resources of England. Property was secure. Even the Cavalier, who
refrained from giving disturbance to the new settlement, enjoyed in
peace whatever the civil troubles had left him. The laws were violated
only in cases where the safety of the Protector's person and government
were concerned. Justice was administered between man and man with an
exactness and purity not before known. Under no English government since
the Reformation had there been so little religious persecution. The
unfortunate Roman Catholics, indeed, were held to be scarcely within the
pale of Christian charity; but the clergy of the fallen Anglican Church
were suffered to celebrate their worship on condition that they would
abstain from preaching about politics. Even the Jews, whose public
worship had, ever since the thirteenth century, been interdicted, were,
in spite of the strong opposition of jealous traders and fanatical
theologians, permitted to build a synagogue in London.

The Protector's foreign policy at the same time extorted the ungracious
approbation of those who most detested him. The Cavaliers could scarcely
refrain from wishing that one who had done so much to raise the fame of
the nation had been a legitimate king; and the Republicans were forced
to own that the tyrant suffered none but himself to wrong his country,
and that, if he had robbed her of liberty, he had at least given her
glory in exchange. After half a century, during which England had been
of scarcely more weight in European politics than Venice or Saxony, she
at once became the most formidable power in the world, dictated terms of
peace to the United Provinces, avenged the common injuries of
Christendom on the pirates of Barbary, vanquished the Spaniards by land
and sea, seized one of the finest West India islands, and acquired on
the Flemish coast a fortress which consoled the national pride for the
loss of Calais. She was supreme on the ocean. She was the head of the
Protestant interest. All the Reformed churches scattered over Roman
Catholic kingdoms acknowledged Cromwell as their guardian. The Huguenots
of Languedoc, the shepherds who, in the hamlets of the Alps, professed a
Protestantism older than that of Augsburg, were secured from oppression
by the mere terror of that great name. The Pope himself was forced to
preach humanity and moderation to popish princes; for a voice which
seldom threatened in vain had declared that, unless favor were shown to
the people of God, the English guns should be heard in the Castle of St.
Angelo. In truth, there was nothing which Cromwell had, for his own sake
and that of his family, so much reason to desire as a general religious
war in Europe. In such a war he must have been the captain of the
Protestant armies. The heart of England would have been with him. His
victories would have been hailed with a unanimous enthusiasm unknown in
the country since the rout of the Armada, and would have effaced the
stain which one act, condemned by the general voice of the nation, has
left on his splendid fame. Unhappily for him, he had no opportunity of
displaying his admirable military talents except against the inhabitants
of the British Isles.

While he lived his power stood firm, an object of mingled aversion,
admiration, and dread to his subjects. Few indeed loved his government;
but those who hated it most, hated it less than they feared it. Had it
been a worse government, it might, perhaps, have been overthrown in
spite of all its strength. Had it been a weaker government, it would
certainly have been overthrown in spite of all its merits. But it had
moderation enough to abstain from those oppressions which drive men mad;
and it had a force and energy which none but men driven mad by
oppression would venture to encounter.

It has often been affirmed, but apparently with little reason, that
Oliver died at a time fortunate for his renown, and that, if his life
had been prolonged, it would probably have closed amid disgraces and
disasters. It is certain that he was, to the last, honored by his
soldiers, obeyed by the whole population of the British Islands, and
dreaded by all foreign powers; that he was laid among the ancient
sovereigns of England with funeral pomp such as London had never before
seen, and that he was succeeded by his son Richard as quietly as any
king had ever been succeeded by any Prince of Wales.



[Illustration: Frederick. [TN]]

Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg surnamed the Great Elector,
was the son of the Elector George William. In the distracted state of
Germany, during the Thirty Years' War, and the necessary absence of his
father with the army, the young prince saw but little of the splendor
and indulgences of a court, passing the first years of his life in
retirement with his tutors, who were men of learning and experience, and
with his mother, first at the castle of Litzlingen, in the forests of
the Altmark, and afterward at Custrin. The adventures and the singular
fortunes of the family of his mother (who was sister of Frederick, King
of Bohemia, husband of the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I. of
England), the cruel and barbarous manner in which the war was carried
on, and the dangers to which he and his family were exposed, necessarily
made a deep impression on his mind. At the age of fifteen he was sent to
the University at Leyden, where he especially devoted himself to the
classics and to history. Of modern languages he was a proficient in
French, Dutch, and Polish. He was afterward in the camp of Frederick
Henry, Prince of Orange, during the siege of Breda, and was much noticed
by the prince for his amiable manners and exemplary conduct, as well as
for his sound understanding. About this time a widely known society of
young persons of both sexes (called Media Nocte) endeavored to draw the
prince into its circle at The Hague; but his friend and tutor, the Baron
Schulenberg, making him aware of the immoral nature of the society, the
prince abruptly left one of their convivial meetings, and resolved
immediately to quit The Hague. The Prince of Orange was much surprised
at this self-command, and when the prince arrived in the camp before
Breda, said to him, "Cousin, your flight is a greater proof of heroism
than if I took Breda; he who so early knows how to command himself will
always succeed in great deeds." These words, as he himself owned, made a
deep impression on him.

His father dying in 1640, the young prince found his dominions reduced
to a most deplorable condition by war and bad government. The exactions
of Wallenstein in Altmark alone were estimated at twenty millions of
gold florins; and in a memorial of the magistrate of Prenzlau, it is
stated that the inhabitants are reduced to such dreadful extremities
that they not only eat dogs, cats, and even carrion, but that, both in
the town and country, they attack and kill each other for food. He
commenced his government with a degree of prudence and wisdom rarely
found in so young a sovereign. His first care was to correct many crying
abuses and to restore order in the finances. His attention was then
directed to foreign affairs. In 1642 he received the investiture of
Prussia from the King of Poland; in 1643 he concluded a peace with the
Swedes, on condition of their evacuating the greater part of his
dominions. At the peace of Munster he was not able to enforce his claims
to Pomerania and Silesia, but obtained Magdeburg, Wallenstadt, Minden,
and part of Pomerania.

It is highly to his credit that it was chiefly owing to him, that the
principle of equal rights and privileges for the two great divisions of
the Protestant Church was admitted in that famous treaty. Charles
Gustavus, King of Sweden, appearing emulous of rivalling Gustavus
Adolphus, the elector concluded an alliance with Holland, and sought the
friendship of Cromwell and Louis XIV. He was, however, obliged to make
in 1655 a treaty with the Swedes, in consequence of which he joined in
the invasion of Poland, and greatly contributed to the victory at
Warsaw. Austria, Holland, and Poland vehemently protested against this
alliance with Sweden. Cromwell, however, who believed the Protestant
cause to be in danger from the King of Poland, sent William Jepson as
his ambassador to the elector, whom in letters he compliments in the
highest terms for his service to the Protestant religion. But Russia and
Austria declaring in favor of Poland, he, by the mediation of Austria,
concluded a convention with Poland at Wehlau, by one of the stipulations
of which he obtained the entire sovereignty of Prussia, and in 1678
completed the conquest of all Pomerania by the taking of Griefswald and
Stralsund. The death of Charles Gustavus freed him from an adversary who
would probably have endeavored to prevent the execution of this treaty,
which was confirmed by the treaty of Oliva. Frederick, now at peace with
his neighbors, directed all his attention to promote the welfare of his
subjects by favoring all internal improvements; the ruined towns and
villages were rebuilt, new roads made, waste lands cultivated, commerce
encouraged, and many useful establishments founded.

[Illustration: The Great Elector withdraws from the association of the
Dutch nobility.]

In 1672, however, Holland being threatened by Louis XIV., he concluded a
treaty with the republic, engaging to furnish 20,000 men for its
defence. He also contributed to induce the emperor: Denmark, Hesse
Cassel, and several German princes to join him against France. But
though his advance into Westphalia induced the French to quit Holland,
the campaign was rendered unsuccessful by the slowness of the Austrian
general, and he was forced to abandon Westphalia to the enemy. The
Austrians leaving him, and the Dutch neglecting to send him subsidies,
he was obliged to make a convention with France in 1673. The French were
to evacuate Westphalia and pay him 800,000 livres, he promising to
withdraw from his alliance with Holland, and not to support the enemies
of France; yet he reserved to himself the right of assisting the German
emperor in case of attack. This happened in 1674, when he invaded Alsace
with 16,000 men, and joined the Imperial army; but the Austrian general,
Bournonville, avoided a battle, contrary to the advice of Frederick, and
Turenne receiving reinforcements obliged the Germans to quit Alsace.
In order to free themselves from Frederick, the French instigated the
Swedes to invade Pomerania and Altmark, which they attacked in December,
1674, with 16,000 men. Frederick hastened to his dominions, and
proceeding with great rapidity and secrecy at the head of only 5,000
men, he totally defeated 11,000 Swedes at Fehrbellin in 1675, and freed
his dominions from the enemy. Following up his successes, he took
Stettin. In January, 1679, he crossed the Frische Haff and the Gulf of
Courland with his army on sledges over the ice, and surprising the
Swedes in their winter quarters, compelled them to quit Prussia. He did
not reap any real advantage from his success, for Louis XIV. insisted
that he should make peace with Sweden and give up all his conquests; and
on his refusal, sent an army of 30,000 men to lay waste the duchy of
Cleves, and city of Minden, so that he was forced to conclude the treaty
of St. Germain, by which he restored all his conquests to Sweden; the
French withdrew from his Westphalian dominions, and paid him 300,000

After this, we do not find Frederick again in the field. He was indeed
engaged in various negotiations; was involved in disputes with France on
account of its seizure of Strasbourg and Luxembourg; and in consequence
of his reception of 20,000 French Protestants, who left their country on
the repeal of the edict of Nantes. Frederick, who had previously
obtained from his ambassador, von Spanheim, notice of the intended
measure, had made preparations to receive the fugitives, and sent funds
to his agents at Frankfort, Amsterdam, and Hamburg, for their
assistance. In like manner he protected the proscribed Waldenses. Having
in vain interceded for them in a very affecting letter to the Duke of
Savoy, he offered to receive 2,000 of them into his dominions. He sent
8,000 men, in 1686, to assist the emperor against the Turks; having in
the year preceding renewed his alliance with Holland, when Prince
William of Orange was preparing for his expedition to England, Frederick
assisted him with several regiments and Marshal von Schomberg, who
became so great a favorite with William, and was eventually killed at
the battle of the Boyne. As another proof of Frederick's enterprising
spirit, it deserves to be noticed that Spain neglecting to pay him the
arrears of a subsidy promised him for his co-operation against France,
he resolved to commence a war by sea against that power; he fitted out
eight frigates which had been employed against Sweden, and sent them in
1680 to capture Spanish ships, and they actually took some rich

We have not space, nor is it necessary, to detail the proceedings of
this great prince in consolidating the prosperity of his dominions and
the welfare of his subjects. He died in April, 1688, leaving to his son
a much enlarged and highly cultivated territory, a well-filled treasury,
and an army of 30,000 excellent troops. He was twice married: first, in
1647, to Louisa Henrietta, Princess of Orange, an amiable and
accomplished person, author of the celebrated German hymn "Jesus meine
Zuversicht." She died in 1667. In the following year Frederick married
Dorothea, Duchess Dowager of Brunswick Lüneberg; but though an excellent
and virtuous princess, she was not liked by the people, chiefly because
she was on ill terms with her step-children, especially the
crown-prince. The character of Frederick, both in public and private
life, has always been highly esteemed. He was kind, generous, fond of
society, and, though rather quick in his temper, extremely placable. He
was the real founder of the Prussian monarchy; and as a sovereign he
appears to have justly merited the surname of the Great Elector.




         [Footnote 17: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]

[Illustration: Louis XIV. [TN]]

On September 16, 1638, Paris was in a state of intense excitement and
rejoicing. The booming of cannon resounded through the city, the people
gave thanks in their churches, all the palaces of the nobility were
illuminated, and so brilliant were the bonfires and torches in the
evening that one could see to read on both sides of the Seine. The poor
were feasted as never before, and there was no limit to the enthusiasm.

The occasion of this unbounded rejoicing was the birth of an heir to the
throne of France. Louis XIII., the son of Henry IV., the first of the
Bourbons, was king. He had married the daughter of Philip III. of Spain,
who was called Anne of Austria, after her mother. She was one of the
most beautiful women of her time; but for twenty-two years she had lived
nearly in a state of separation from her husband, and no living heir to
the throne had been born. The king and the queen were not harmonious;
and after the lapse of this long period, the birth of a son was regarded
as an extraordinary, if not a miraculous event, especially by the devout
people of the nation, who called the child the "God-given."

Louis XIII. was personally a brave man, and had some good qualities; but
as a ruler he was weak and incapable of governing his kingdom. He
admitted Cardinal Richelieu to his cabinet, and the astute politician
became his prime-minister, and was the actual ruler of France. The king
fully appreciated the vast abilities of his great minister, even while
he feared, if he did not hate him, and became but a pliant tool in the
hands of the greatest statesman of his time.

It is said that Richelieu was fascinated by the beauty and grace of Anne
of Austria, and that she made a bitter enemy of the minister by
repelling his courtesies. Be this as it may, they were never friends,
except so far as the relations of state compelled them to be such. He
died in 1642, naming Cardinal Mazarin as his successor. Before his death
he had built up the power of France, and won for her an influential
position among the governments of Europe. But he had repressed
constitutional liberty, and severely burdened the people with taxation
to carry on the wars he advocated.

Two years after the birth of the Dauphin, as the heir to the throne was
then called, another son was born to the king, the Duke of Anjou, who
afterward became the Duke of Orleans. The brother of the king is called
"Monsieur" in France, by courtesy; and he is so designated in various
works of the time. Louis XIII. died when his two sons were respectively
five and three years old, naming the queen as regent during the minority
of the young king. Richelieu had died the year before, and Mazarin had
been installed in his place.

The Palais-Royal, which claims the attention of every visitor in Paris
at the present time, was built by Richelieu for his own residence, and
was called the Palais-Cardinal. At his death he bequeathed it to the
king, and it became the residence of Anne of Austria and her two
children. The official in charge of the palaces represented that it was
not proper for the king to live in the mansion of a subject, and the
inscription bearing the former name was removed, and that of the present
day was substituted for it; which seemed to many to be an act of
ingratitude to the statesman who had presented it to the crown. The
chamber which had been occupied by Richelieu was given to Louis, then
only five years old. It was a small apartment, for the cardinal built
more for effect upon the world than for his own personal comfort; but it
was conveniently located for the proper care of the young king, for
whose sake alone the name of the palace had been changed.

The Palais-Royal, as enlarged and beautified from time to time by its
first occupant, who was ambitious to be more magnificently lodged than
the nominal sovereign at the Louvre, was the most splendid royal
residence of the time. Corneille, the greatest tragic poet of France,
said of it in one of his poems, that "the entire universe cannot present
the equal of the magnificent exterior of the Palais-Cardinal;" though,
as the stranger looks upon it to-day, the praise of the French
Shakespeare seems to be extravagant.

The apartments of the queen-regent were vastly more extensive and
elegant than those of his little majesty, and she caused a great deal of
money and good taste to be expended in their further ornamentation.
Cardinal Mazarin also went to reside with the royal family in this
luxurious palace, and his rooms looked out upon the Rue des Bons Enfants
(the street of the Good Children), though the name was hardly applicable
to those who dwelt in the place. Louis was provided with the
surroundings of royalty on a small scale, such as valets, and young
nobles as children of honor, even while the young king was pinched in
his personal comforts and luxuries. Until he was seven years old Louis
was mostly in the hands of the feminine portion of the household, like
other children. At this age the governor appointed to take charge of
him, the sub-governor, the preceptor, and the valets, entered upon their
special functions; the king was practically emancipated from the

Laporte, a valet who had long been on duty in the royal family, and had
served a term in the Bastille for his fidelity, desired to read to the
king, when he went to bed, something besides fairy tales; if his
juvenile majesty went to sleep the reading would be lost; if not,
something instructive would be retained in his memory. He read the
history of France, and his charge was interested in it. Permission had
been obtained of the preceptor, but Mazarin did not approve of the
reading. One evening, to escape from the crowd, the cardinal passed
through the room during the reading. Louis closed his eyes and pretended
to be asleep. He had already taken a strong aversion to the minister,
like the greater portion of the people in general.

On one occasion he called the cardinal "the Grand Turk," and the remark
was reported to his mother, who sent for him and scolded him severely
for it. The queen-regent did not share the general dislike of the
minister, for they were on the most intimate terms of friendship. It was
not a matter of record, but it was believed by many, that Mazarin had
been privately married to Anne of Austria. The minister had brought his
relatives to Paris, where he was in a situation to advance their
fortunes. One of his youngest nephews had been appointed an _enfant
d'honneur_ of the king, who did not confine his dislike to the minister,
but extended it to his family. Two of these were designated to remain
with his majesty when he went to bed, and Laporte had been instructed by
the queen to give each of them a stand with two candles in it, as an
emblem of office and a token of honor. The king had the selection, and
he forbade Laporte to give it to the young Mazarin.

The minister was one of the most adroit and cunning diplomats of his
time, or any time. He was an Italian by birth, and had been in the
military and diplomatic service of the Pope, in which capacity he had
been recognized as a man of transcendent abilities by Richelieu, who had
retained him in France, where he became a naturalized Frenchman. He was
the most obsequious of courtiers, and he made himself indispensable to
the queen, who nominally wielded the executive power of the government.
He filled one of the most difficult political positions imaginable, and
did it with consummate skill, though he very nearly sacrificed himself
to the indignation of the people and the nobility in the accomplishment
of his purposes.

Richelieu had deprived the representatives of the people of many of
their powers and liberties, and the Parliament had attempted to recover
them under Mazarin. He caused their leaders to be arrested, which
initiated the war of the Fronde, consisting more of a series of riots
than of organized warfare. This disturbance compelled the court to
retire to St. Germain, where Louis was born. The young king was conveyed
there under the protection of the Royal Guard, which forms an exciting
scene in the series of Dumas, Père, "Les Trois Mousquetaires." Though
humiliated and banished, Mazarin triumphed in the end. He had the
hardihood to arrest the Great Condé, who had made the rebellion a
success at one time. The minister was driven from the seat of his power
into exile; but diplomacy accomplished what soldiers could not, and
after an absence of a year he returned, and established himself so
securely that he held his office to the day of his death.

Under Mazarin's direction and skilful intriguing at home and abroad, the
influence of France was largely increased beyond her own borders, and
the way was paved for triumphs to be achieved after he had himself
passed away. In the family, as it were, of such a statesman and such an
intriguer, were passed the earliest years of the life of Louis XIV. As
the skilful diplomat had overcome the people and the nobility, changing
them from the bitterest foes to at least the semblance of friends, so
the hatred of the young king was buried under his respect for the vast
ability of the minister.

Louis was brought up in the midst of political storms and in the turmoil
of civil war. Mazarin was avaricious, and carried his economical notions
in household matters to a ridiculous extent, limiting the young king's
wardrobe, furniture, garments for underwear and bed use, so that some of
the latter did not half cover the limbs of the growing boy, and he was
compelled to sleep on a bed covered with ragged sheets. He was a bright
boy, and being a king, he realized that he was not supported in the
style that became his exalted condition. He was inclined to military
recreations and to athletic exercises. He came very early to an
understanding of what was necessary to support his character as the
ruler of a great nation, and as a boy he cultivated the graces of social
life, and was always a gentleman. He was a good horseman, and delighted
in this exercise.

The civil war had "hunted him from pillar to post," and it was not till
he was a dozen years old that he was permanently settled down in Paris.
All these events of his early life had left a powerful impression upon
his mind. It was the custom for the children of honor and the king to
exchange little presents among themselves. One of these gifts to the
juvenile monarch was a golden cannon drawn by a flea, which seemed to
indicate a knowledge of his tastes. Another present was a case of
surgical instruments, containing all the implements, but weighing only a
few grains; and doubtless it suggested the horrors of the battle-field.
Another present was a miniature sword of agate, ornamented with gold and
rubies. These were all given to him by the same young noble; in return
for them Louis was willing to lend the giver the cross-bow of which he
made use himself.

"Kings give what they lend, sire," interposed a governess; and then
Louis presented it to him, wishing it was something more valuable; for
his pocket-money evidently did not permit him to indulge in such
expensive gifts as those he had received; but such as they were, he gave
them with his whole heart. The recipient of the gift kept it, and
regarded it as vastly more valuable than if it had been covered with
gold and diamonds from another.

September 7, 1651, was a memorable day in the annals of France, and if
it was not marked by the popular rejoicings which had greeted the birth
of the king, it was because the people were worn out by the war of the
Frondeurs. The grand master of ceremonies had notified the Parliament
that Louis XIV. would take the "seat of justice," the place of the
monarch in this body on solemn and important occasions, on that day, for
the purpose of declaring his majority, and assuming the government.
There was a great deal of simple fiction in the formalities, for his
majesty was only a boy of fourteen, with far less education than is
usually obtained by one of that age at the present time, and was
incapable of ruling over a great nation.

There was even some fiction in regard to his age, for though he had
entered his fourteenth year, he was hardly thirteen years old. If a boy
of that age were transferred from his place in school to the presidency
of the United States to-day, the cases would be parallel. The education
of the juvenile king had been neglected, perhaps intentionally, by
Mazarin for his cunning purposes, and though he had been instructed in
all the forms and ceremonials of the court, he was deficient in his
knowledge of the solid branches of learning, even for one in his sphere
at that age. But the government, so far as he was concerned, was all a
fiction. It was to be carried on in his name in the future as it had
been in the name of his mother, the queen-regent, before, though neither
of them was the actual ruler. Mazarin was more than "the power behind
the throne;" he was practically the throne itself.

At seven o'clock in the morning, six heralds, clothed in crimson velvet
covered with _fleurs de lis_, the royal emblem of France, mounted on
elegantly caparisoned horses, led the court to the palace where the
Parliament assembled. The king's trumpeters came next to the heralds,
and they were followed by the governors of provinces, two hundred of the
nobility, and the officers of the royal household, escorted and flanked
by several companies of light horsemen. Pages and valets had been
dressed in new liveries, and the spectacle was as magnificent as the
occasion required.

Then came the boy-king, as a chronicler of the period describes him,
"with his august countenance beaming with a gentle dignity truly royal,
and with his natural politeness, calling forth from the assembled
multitude that lined the streets redoubled good wishes for his health
and prosperity." The youth who played the principal part in this great
ceremonial was dressed in elegant garments, so covered with gold
embroideries that the color and material could hardly be discerned. He
was mounted on a beautiful and high-spirited horse, which pranced and
curvetted as if aware that he bore a king; and Louis managed him so
skilfully and gracefully that he won the admiration of the spectators.

The king was received at the entrance of the palace chapel, where the
court attended divine service, by the Bishop of Bayeux, who made an
address to him, to which he listened, apparently in a thoughtful mood,
and then ushered him into the chapel, where he heard low mass. Then he
took his place in the hall of parliament. The minutest particulars of
the scene that surrounded him when he took his seat are given in the
memoirs of some who were present. Seated, and with his head covered,
which was alone his privilege, the young king addressed the assembled
representatives of the people:

"Gentlemen, I have come before my Parliament to inform you that, in
obedience to the law of my kingdom, I desire to take upon myself the
government of my country; and with the blessing of God, I trust that it
will be conducted with justice and piety. My chancellor will state to
you more particularly my intentions."

The official indicated returned to his place and eloquently enlarged
upon the address of his majesty in a long discourse. The queen-mother
then spoke to him, telling him that she had taken charge of his
education and of the government in accordance with the expressed wish of
the late king, her honored lord, and in obedience to the law she passed
over to him the government of the kingdom, and hoped that the grace of
God, with his own power and prudence, would render his reign a happy
one. The king thanked her for the care she had given to his education
and the government of the kingdom, and begged her to continue to give
him her good counsels, saying that she should be his chief adviser.

His brother, the Duke of Anjou, then approached him, kneeled, kissed his
hand, and protested his fidelity. The Duke of Orleans then followed the
example of his nephew, as did a multitude of princes, dukes, marshals,
ecclesiastics, and all the officers of state. The royal party returned
to the Palais-Royal amidst the unanimous acclamations of the multitude,
and the cries of "Vive le roi" continued all night, with bonfires and
illuminations. The boy of fourteen was now actually the king, so far as
forms could make him so, though he was to remain not much more than a
cipher for several years to come.

The war of the Fronde lasted about eight years, and was carried on in
the interest of the people against the court, which had overburdened
them with taxes. The word "_fronde_" means a sling, and was applied to
those who criticised the government then and in later years. The
Parliament refused to impose the taxes required by the regent, which
meant Mazarin, and some of its members were arrested and imprisoned.
Some of the most distinguished nobles in France were implicated with the
opposition, including the great Condé, the king's uncle. Mazarin's
politic yielding, which alone saved him from destruction, assisted in
restoring peace. Condé was in arms against the government, but he was
defeated by Turenne. The people and the nobles were tired of the strife,
and a general amnesty was proclaimed in 1653.

Though Louis was well instructed in his religious duties, was entirely
familiar with court etiquette, and knew enough about military affairs to
enable him to review his troops, he knew little or nothing about the
politics of his kingdom, for he had been purposely kept in ignorance of
affairs of state. But he manifested a sound judgment and considerable
discernment even at this early age. He accompanied Turenne in a campaign
against Condé, and was present at the siege of Arras, which put an end
to the Fronde contests. Some of the Frondeurs had injudiciously called
in the aid of Spain to their cause, and that brought on war between the
two nations. Peace was made in 1659, and one of the articles of the
treaty stipulated the marriage of Louis XIV. and Marie Therese,
daughter of Philip IV. of Spain, and they were married a year later.
This princess was good-natured and beautiful, but this was about all
that could be said of her, for she was rather weak in intellect, and was
not such a queen as "Louis the Great" needed. His majesty was not
attached to her, though he invariably treated her with the most
ceremonious respect, and extended to her the utmost kindness and

Though the king had a certain respect for the proprieties of his
position, he lived in a period of the greatest immorality and license,
while he attended strictly to his formal religious duties. Judged by any
standard of the morals of more modern times, the verdict of average
citizens would be against him. He was surrounded by dissolute men, and
some, who ought to have protected him from the assaults of vice, placed
him in its way. He was no worse in this respect than even Richelieu and
Mazarin, not to mention his mother and many of the most noted men of his
time. This is not the place to detail the king's gallantries, for they
would fill a volume.

When Louis was twenty-three years of age, Cardinal Mazarin died, having
ruled the nation for eighteen years; but ten of them were after the king
had come to his majority, and the minister had discovered that he had a
will of his own, incompetent as he then was to hold the reins of
government. Louis went to see him in his final hours, and asked him for
his last counsels. "Sire," replied the dying cardinal, "see that you
respect yourself, and others will respect you; never have another first
minister; employ Colbert in all things in which you need the services of
an intelligent and devoted man." And the king followed this advice, and
perhaps Mazarin gave it because he understood so well the inclination of

Mazarin died possessed of an immense fortune, which was not generally
believed to have been honestly acquired. He was a usurer, though he
could be very liberal when his policy demanded. On his death-bed his
confessor warned him that he was eternally lost if he did not restore
whatever wealth he had fraudulently accumulated; but the dying cardinal
declared that he had nothing which had not been bestowed upon him by the
bounty of the king. His fortune was estimated at fifty millions of
francs, or about ten millions of dollars, a vast sum for that time. He
gave the bulk of it to his nieces and nephews, with presents to members
of the royal family, and eighteen large diamonds to the crown, called
"the Mazarins."

Like Richelieu, he had built a palace on the Seine, which he gave to the
State, and the Palais Mazarin is now occupied by the French Academy.
This act and the creation of a dukedom were to perpetuate his name. He
was the owner of one of the original twenty-five Bibles printed by
Gutenberg, which is called by Mazarin's name, and was once sold for
about twenty thousand dollars.

[Illustration: Molière at breakfast with Louis XIV.]

After the death of the great minister, officials of the government
desired to know to whom they were to apply for instructions, and the
king promptly replied that they were to address themselves to him. Louis
had hitherto devoted himself almost wholly to the pleasures of his
dissolute age, and he astonished his people and the nations of Europe by
assuming in reality the entire control of the affairs of state, which he
retained to the end of his life. He proceeded at once to examine into
the finances of the nation, and appointed Colbert, as Mazarin had
advised, minister of this department. He succeeded Fouquet, a brilliant
man who had amassed enormous wealth by robbing the treasury. Louis was
firm and resolute in carrying out his will, and he caused the arrest of
the peculating minister immediately after a magnificent fête he had
given in honor of his sovereign. He was convicted and sentenced to
imprisonment for life.

Colbert did not disappoint the king, and the measures recommended by him
at once improved the finances, stimulated the commerce of the country,
established extensive manufactures, and filled the treasury. France was
in the highest degree prosperous as a nation. Louis was arbitrary and
absolute. His most notable saying, "_L'état c'est moi_" (I am the
State), was fully realized in his administration. He made war and made
peace at his own pleasure, and, as monarchs are measured, he was
entitled to the appellation of Louis le Grand, chiselled on the
triumphal arches of Paris to perpetuate his glory. In the later years of
his reign his wars made serious inroads upon the treasury, and they were
not always successful. The building of the immense and extravagant
palace of Versailles, with its surroundings, costing a billion francs,
was an act of folly often condemned, and was one of the burdens which
broke down the treasury of the nation. Colbert was dead, and the king,
with Louvois, his over-liberal minister, dissipated the resources he had

Marie Therese, the queen, died in 1683. He afterward married Madame de
Maintenon, then the widow of the lame and deformed poet Scarron, who had
rescued her from poverty. She had a powerful influence over the king,
which was unfortunate for him, for she was a bigot, though a better
woman than most of those who had been his intimates. Throughout his
reign Louis maintained the most severe system of court etiquette. He
regarded himself as the absolute owner of his realm, and the arbiter of
the existence of all his subjects. His habits were methodical. He rose
at eight, and was dressed by his valets in the presence of many
courtiers, after he had performed his devotions. He breakfasted at ten,
and dined alone at one, waited upon by the highest officers of the
court. His presence awed those who came before him.

He patronized and encouraged poets, authors, and artists; and Molière,
both author and actor, was a great favorite with him, and appears to
have been the only man of his profession who was ever admitted to the
honor of dining with the king. Though Louis was not known to make a joke
himself, he greatly enjoyed the witty conversation of Molière, who is
commemorated in Paris by a fountain and street named after him.

The last years of the reign of Louis XIV. are in strong contrast with
the glorious period of the zenith of his prosperity. Several bloody
defeats of his armies darkened the military splendor of his reign, the
treasury was well-nigh bankrupt, and his court for the speedy trial and
punishment of offenders, political or otherwise, had estranged the
people; but he remained arbitrary and absolute to the end. At the age of
seventy-seven he died, after intense suffering, in 1715. He died a great
king, but not a great man.

[Signature of the author.]



[Illustration: William Penn. [TN]]

William Penn was born in London, October 14, 1644. He was the son of a
naval officer of the same name, who served with distinction both in the
Protectorate and after the Restoration, and who was much esteemed by
Charles II. and the Duke of York. At the age of fifteen he was entered
as a gentleman-commoner at Christchurch, Oxford. He had not been long in
residence, when he received, from the preaching of Thomas Loe, his first
bias toward the doctrines of the Quakers; and in conjunction with some
fellow-students he began to withdraw from attendance on the Established
Church, and to hold private prayer-meetings. For this conduct Penn and
his friends were fined by the college for non-conformity: and the former
was soon involved in more serious censure by his ill-governed zeal, in
consequence of an order from the king that the ancient custom of wearing
surplices should be revived. This seemed to Penn an infringement of the
simplicity of Christian worship; whereupon he, with some friends, tore
the surplices from the backs of those students who appeared in them. For
this act of violence, totally inconsistent, it is to be observed, with
the principles of toleration which regulated his conduct in after life,
he and they were very justly expelled.

Admiral Penn, who, like most sailors, possessed a quick temper and high
notions of discipline and obedience, was little pleased with this event,
and still less satisfied with his son's grave demeanor, and avoidance of
the manners and ceremonies of polite life. Arguments failing, he had
recourse to blows, and as a last resource, he turned his son out of
doors; but soon relented so far as to equip him, in 1662, for a journey
to France, in hope that the gayety of that country would expel his
new-fashioned and, as he regarded them, fanatical notions. Paris,
however, soon became wearisome to William Penn, and he spent a
considerable time at Saumur, for the sake of the instruction and company
of Moses Amyrault, an eminent Protestant divine. Here he confirmed and
improved his religious impressions, and at the same time acquired, from
the insensible influence of those who surrounded him, an increased
polish and courtliness of demeanor, which greatly gratified the admiral
on his return home in 1664.

Admiral Penn went to sea in 1664, and remained two years on service.
During this time the external effects of his son's residence in France
had worn away, and he had returned to those grave habits, and that rule
of associating only with religious people, which had before given his
father so much displeasure. To try the effect of absence and change of
associates, Admiral Penn sent William to manage his estates in Ireland,
a duty which the latter performed with satisfaction both to himself and
his employer. But it chanced that, on a visit to Cork, he again attended
the preaching of Thomas Loe, by whose exhortations he was deeply
impressed. From this time he began to frequent the Quakers' meetings;
and in September, 1667, he was imprisoned, with others, under the
persecuting laws which then disgraced the statute-book. Upon application
to the higher authorities, he was soon released. Soon after the admiral
again turned him out of doors.

In 1668, he began to preach, and in the same year he published his first
work, "Truth Exalted, etc." We cannot here notice his very numerous
works, of which the titles run, for the most part, to an extraordinary
length; but "The Sandy Foundation Shaken," published in the same year,
claims notice as having led to his first public persecution. He was
detained in prison for seven months, and treated with much severity. In
1669 he had the satisfaction of being reconciled to his father. He was
one of the first sufferers by the passing of the Conventicle Act, in
1670. He was imprisoned in Newgate, and tried for preaching to a
seditious and riotous assembly in Gracechurch Street; and this trial is
remarkable and celebrated in criminal jurisprudence for the firmness
with which he defended himself, and still more for the admirable courage
and constancy with which the jury maintained the verdict of acquittal
which they pronounced.

In the same year died Sir William Penn, in perfect harmony with his son,
toward whom he in the end felt the most cordial regard and esteem, and
to whom he bequeathed an estate computed at £1,500 a year--a large sum
in that age. Toward the end of the year he was again imprisoned in
Newgate for six months, the statutable penalty for refusing to take the
oath of allegiance, which was maliciously tendered to him by a
magistrate. This appears to have been the last absolute persecution for
religion's sake which he endured. Though his poor brethren continued to
suffer imprisonment in the stocks, fines, and whipping, as the penalty
of their peaceable meetings for divine worship, the wealthy proprietor,
though he travelled largely, both in England and abroad, and labored
both in writing and in preaching, as the missionary of his sect, both
escaped injury, and acquired reputation and esteem by his
self-devotion. To the favor of the king and the Duke of York he had a
hereditary claim, which appears always to have been cheerfully
acknowledged; and an instance of the rising consideration in which he
was held appears in his being admitted to plead, before a committee of
the House of Commons, the request of the Quakers that their solemn
affirmation should be admitted in the place of an oath.

Penn married in 1672, and took up his abode at Rickmansworth, in
Hertfordshire. In 1677 we find him removed to Worminghurst, in Sussex,
which long continued to be his place of residence. His first engagement
in the plantation of America was in 1676, in consequence of being chosen
arbitrator in a dispute between two quakers who had become jointly
concerned in the colony of New Jersey.

In these transactions he had the opportunity of contemplating the
glorious results which might be hoped for from a colony founded with no
interested views, but on the principles of universal peace, toleration,
and liberty; and he felt an earnest desire to be the instrument in so
great a work, more especially as it held out a prospect of deliverance
to his persecuted Quaker brethren in England, by giving them a free and
happy asylum in a foreign land. Circumstances favored his wish. The
crown was indebted to him £16,000 for money advanced by the late admiral
for the naval service. Accordingly, Penn received, in 1681, a grant by
charter of that extensive province, named Pennsylvania by Charles
himself, in honor of the admiral.

He immediately drew up and published "Some Account of Pennsylvania,
etc.;" and then "Certain Conditions or Concessions, etc.," to be agreed
on between himself and those who wished to purchase land in the
province. These having been accepted by many persons, he proceeded to
frame the rough sketch of a constitution, on which he proposed to base
the charter of the province. The price fixed on land was forty
shillings, with the annual quit-rent of one shilling, for one hundred
acres; and it was provided that no one should, in word or deed, affront
or wrong any Indian without incurring the same penalty as if the offence
had been committed against a fellow-planter; that strict precautions
should be taken against fraud in the quality of goods sold to them; and
that all differences between the two nations should be adjudged by
twelve men, six of each. And he declares his intention "to leave myself
and my successors no power of doing mischief; that the will of one man
may not hinder the good of a whole country." It was this constitution,
substantially, which Burke, in his "Account of the European Settlements
in America," describes as "that noble charter of privileges, by which he
made them as free as any people in the world, and which has since drawn
such vast numbers of so many different persuasions and such various
countries to put themselves under the protection of his laws. He made
the most perfect freedom, both religious and civil, the basis of his
establishment; and this has done more toward the settling of the
province, and toward the settling of it in a strong and permanent
manner, than the wisest regulations could have done on any other plan."

In 1682 a number of settlers, principally Quakers, having been already
sent out, Penn himself embarked for Pennsylvania, leaving his wife and
children in England. On occasion of this parting, he addressed to them a
long and affectionate letter, which presents a very beautiful picture of
his domestic character, and affords a curious insight into the minute
regularity of his daily habits. He landed on the banks of the Delaware
in October, and forthwith summoned an assembly of the freemen of the
province, by whom the frame of government, as it had been promulgated in
England, was accepted. Penn's principles did not suffer him to consider
his title to the land as valid without the consent of the natural owners
of the soil. He had instructed persons to negotiate a treaty of sale
with the Indian nations before his own departure from England; and one
of his first acts was to hold that memorable assembly, to which the
history of the world offers none alike, at which this bargain was
ratified, and a strict league of amity established. We do not find
specified the exact date of this meeting, which took place under an
enormous elm-tree, near the site of Philadelphia, and of which a few
particulars only have been preserved by the uncertain record of
tradition. Well and faithfully was that treaty of friendship kept by the
wild denizens of the woods; "a friendship," says Proud, the historian of
Pennsylvania, "which for the space of more than seventy years was never
interrupted, or so long as the Quakers retained power in the

Penn remained in America until the middle of 1684. During this time much
was done toward bringing the colony into prosperity and order. Twenty
townships were established, containing upward of seven thousand
Europeans; magistrates were appointed; representatives, as prescribed by
the constitution, were chosen, and the necessary public business
transacted. In 1683 Penn undertook a journey of discovery into the
interior: and he has given an interesting account of the country in its
wild state, in a letter written home to the Society of Free Traders to
Pennsylvania. He held frequent conferences with the Indians, and
contracted treaties of friendship with nineteen distinct tribes. His
reasons for returning to England appear to have been twofold; partly the
desire to settle a dispute between himself and Lord Baltimore,
concerning the boundary of their provinces, but chiefly the hope of
being able, by his personal influence, to lighten the sufferings and
ameliorate the treatment of the Quakers in England. He reached England
in October, 1684. Charles II. died in February, 1685. But this was
rather favorable to Penn's credit at court; for beside that James
appears to have felt a sincere regard for him, he required for his own
church that toleration which Penn wished to see extended to all alike.
The same credit, and the natural and laudable affection and gratitude
toward the Stuart family which he never dissembled, caused much trouble
to him after the Revolution. He was continually suspected of plotting to
restore the exiled dynasty; was four times arrested, and as often
discharged in the total absence of all evidence against him. During the
years 1691, 1692, and part of 1693, he remained in London, living, to
avoid offence, in great seclusion; in the latter year he was heard in
his own defence before the king and council, and informed that he need
apprehend no molestation or injury.

The affairs of Pennsylvania fell into some confusion during Penn's long
absence. Even in the peaceable sect of Quakers there were ambitious,
bustling, and selfish men; and Penn was not satisfied with the conduct
either of the representative Assembly, or of those to whom he had
delegated his own powers. He changed the latter two or three times,
without effecting the restoration of harmony; and these troubles gave a
pretext for depriving him of his powers as governor, in 1693. The real
cause was probably the suspicion entertained of his treasonable
correspondence with James II. But he was reinstated in August, 1694, by
a royal order, in which it was complimentarily expressed that the
disorders complained of were produced entirely by his absence. Anxious
as he was to return, he did not find an opportunity till 1699; the
interval was chiefly employed in religious travel through England and
Ireland, and in the labor of controversial writing, from which he seldom
had a long respite. His course as a philanthropist on his return to
America is honorably marked by an endeavor to ameliorate the condition
of Negro slaves. The society of Quakers in Pennsylvania had already come
to a resolution, that the buying, selling, and holding men in slavery
was inconsistent with the tenets of the Christian religion; and
following up this honorable declaration, Penn had no difficulty in
obtaining for the negroes free admission into the regular meetings for
religious worship, and in procuring that other meetings should be holden
for their particular benefit. The Quakers, therefore, merit our respect
as the earliest, as well as some of the most zealous, emancipators.

The governor returned to England in 1701, to oppose a scheme agitated in
Parliament for abolishing the proprietary governments and placing the
colonies immediately under royal control; the bill, however, was dropped
before he arrived. He enjoyed Anne's favor, as he had that of her father
and uncle, and resided much in the neighborhood of the court, at
Kensington and Knightsbridge. In his religious labors he continued
constant, as heretofore. He was much harassed by a lawsuit, the result
of too much confidence in a dishonest steward; which being decided
against him, he was obliged for a time to reside within the Rules of the
Fleet Prison. This, and the expenses in which he had been involved by
Pennsylvania, reduced him to distress, and in 1709 he mortgaged the
province for £6,600. In 1712 he agreed to sell his rights to the
government for £12,000, but was rendered unable to complete the
transaction by three apoplectic fits, which followed each other in quick
succession. He survived, however, in a tranquil and happy state, though
with his bodily and mental vigor much broken, until July 30, 1718, on
which day he died at his seat at Rushcomb, in Berkshire, where he had
resided for some years.

His first wife died in 1693. He married a second time in 1696; and left
a family of children by both wives, to whom he bequeathed his landed
property in Europe and America. His rights of government he left in
trust to the Earls of Oxford and Powlett, to be disposed of; but no sale
being ever made, the government, with the title of Proprietaries,
devolved on the surviving sons of the second family.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 - A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more - than 200 of the most prominent personages in History" ***

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