Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: The uses of fame
 Chapter II: The great thinkers
 Chapter III: The great thinker...
 Chapter IV: The great thinkers
 Chapter V: Heroes
 Chapter VI: The rulers of...
 Chapter VII: The rulers of...
 Chapter VIII: The rulers of mankind...
 Chapter IX: Leaders of men
 Chapter X: Votaries of science...
 Chapter XI: Votaries of science...
 Chapter XII: Votaries of science...
 Chapter XIII: The ploughers of...
 Chapter XIV: The ploughers of the...
 Chapter XV: The ploughers of the...
 Chapter XVI: The ploughers of the...
 Chapter XVII: Pioneers of...
 Chapter XVIII: Great workers
 Chapter XIX: Lovers of nature
 Chapter XX: Lovers of nature -...
 Chapter XXI: The searchers of the...
 Chapter XXII: The searchers of...
 Chapter XXIII: The watchers on...
 Chapter XXIV: John Smeaton - a...
 Chapter XXV: Patriots
 Chapter XXVI: Patriots
 Chapter XXVII: Benefactors of their...
 Chapter XXVIII: Benefactors
 Chapter XXIX: Benefactors
 Chapter XXX: Thinkers and...
 Chapter XXXI: Thinkers and...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Footsteps to fame : a book to open other books
Title: Footsteps to fame
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028260/00001
 Material Information
Title: Footsteps to fame a book to open other books
Physical Description: viii, 310, 4 p., 9 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Friswell, J. Hain ( James Hain ), 1825-1878
Houghton, Arthur Boyd, 1836-1875 ( Illustrator )
Groombridge and Sons ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
Publisher: Groombridge and Sons
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1875
Edition: New ed. illustrated
Subject: Kings and rulers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Scholars -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Scientists -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Reformers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Biographies -- 1875   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1875   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre: Biographies   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
collective biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Hain Friswell.
General Note: Illustrations engraved by Dalziel after A. Houghton; and frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028260
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002230008
notis - ALH0349
oclc - 60884075

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Chapter I: The uses of fame
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Chapter II: The great thinkers
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 8a
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Chapter III: The great thinkers
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Chapter IV: The great thinkers
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Chapter V: Heroes
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 48a
    Chapter VI: The rulers of mankind
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Chapter VII: The rulers of mankind
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    Chapter VIII: The rulers of mankind - soldiers
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Chapter IX: Leaders of men
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Chapter X: Votaries of science - Humboldt
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 80a
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
    Chapter XI: Votaries of science - Humboldt, continued
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Chapter XII: Votaries of science - Humboldt, concluded
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Chapter XIII: The ploughers of the deep
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Chapter XIV: The ploughers of the deep
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    Chapter XV: The ploughers of the deep - sailors great in fight
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 128a
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    Chapter XVI: The ploughers of the deep - the sunken treasure
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    Chapter XVII: Pioneers of science
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Chapter XVIII: Great workers
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
    Chapter XIX: Lovers of nature
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
    Chapter XX: Lovers of nature - Audubon
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 176a
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
    Chapter XXI: The searchers of the skies
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 192a
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
    Chapter XXII: The searchers of the skies
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
    Chapter XXIII: The watchers on the shore
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
    Chapter XXIV: John Smeaton - a life among the lighthouses
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 224a
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
    Chapter XXV: Patriots
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
    Chapter XXVI: Patriots
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
    Chapter XXVII: Benefactors of their kind
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
    Chapter XXVIII: Benefactors
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 272a
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
    Chapter XXIX: Benefactors
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
    Chapter XXX: Thinkers and workers
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
    Chapter XXXI: Thinkers and workers
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
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        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text




aok for @pen @t|r r aoohs.




Ilefo bhiti ^lln rnstrat.

Good are some books also to open other books."
Asci im.
-" Comfort is, that great men, taken up in any way, are
profitable company." THoMAs CARLYLE.






IT is hardly necessary to write

a preface to a work

the very title of which will explain its nature as well

as a dozen


Nevertheless, something must

be said.
The work is an endeavour to interest those for


it is intended, or those who should

over it, in the biographies




of those men

whom the world will not willingly let die.
no work of this kind can be called perfect,


of the lives omitted




illustrate the noblest way to attain Fame as well,
or nearly so, as those chronicled. He may at least

say that the particulars gathered from many


are put forward clearly and honestly, and the salient


of each life are taken up to illustrate the

object in view.

Sometimes many lives are glanced

over in a chapter, sometimes two or three chapters

have been devoted to a life;

thus in a gallery

portraits we find

a full


a kit-cat, a half-



or a sketch,

but the whole


a fair idea

of the


of a crowd

of men who

achieved Fame in various branches

of life, but each

same hard work

Such reading

and honest

will be found more vivid

and inte-


than the drier study

of political,


military biography,

just as a landscape which offers

every variety of scenery is more charming than


the monotony of which forces us into a study of one

particular feature.

Thus it may be useful to open

other books," and the reader may go rapidly through

a young

grand tour before

gentleman used to run through the

settling down to the continued

study of his own country.
That this tour may be pleasant, that something

may be gleaned,

the mind opened, and perhaps the

heart improved, is the wish, as it will be the reward,
of the writer.


by the



it, as


III.-THE GREAT THINKERS (continued) 15
IV.-THE GREAT THINKERS (concluded) 24











XXVI.-PATRIOTs (continued) .246


XXIX.-BENEFACTORS (continued) 280








The Uses of Fame-What it is and what it is not-Cromwell-
Washington-Wellington-What the Love of Fame has done-
Those who have fertilized the land and ploughed the deep
-The Conqueror, the Orator-Nelson and his Promise-
Dr. Johnson and Goldsmith-Swift and Wolfe-The Great
Twamley and Coleridge-Landor-Is Fame worth Gaining ?-
Sir Thomas Browne-Fame soon Forgotten-Who built the
Pyramids ?-Wherein does Fame lie ?-The Old and the Young
-Fame must be of the right sort.

SHAKESPERE says that we all hunt after Fame. And
the assertion is true enough. So true, that Milton
denominates fame "the last sickness of great
minds;" although he has not told us that we shall
hardly find one great mind without this sickness.
That which Homer and Milton prized, which Wel-
lington esteemed, and Bonaparte idolized, must be
a passion which raises men above others. It makes
men stronger than others. It subsists long after
other passions have died out. It has played a
greater part in the world than any other passion.
Kingdoms have been founded, monarchies have


been ruined; cities have been destroyed, and conti-
nents bathed in blood. For it the greatest cruelties
have been committed, and men have been content
to fill the posthorns of Europe, or of the world, with
the most odious adjectives coupled to their names
rather than not be famous. These are its disad-
vantages, these its hateful qualities, these the curses
which follow it; it is well to put them first; but it
carries blessings also.
For the sake of Fame towns have been built and
continents explored; gallant deeds have been done,
seas crossed and kingdoms discovered; forests have
been levelled, roads built, wildernesses have been
made into gardens. The earth has been searched
to its farthest ends; men have gone forth alone
into the frozen deep; or have panted at the line,
and braved the fevered deaths of the torrid zone.
Not only have they gone to and fro on the earth,
but they have dug into the earth and ransacked its
treasures, worked at its metals, weighed its com-
ponent parts, and have measured, so to speak, the
handiwork of God. They have reared temples,
and lifted stone upon stone till the edifices have
grown to miracles of beauty; and art, the handmaid
of labour, has charmed those who have watched her
works. Down into great sea have they gone, wan-
dering to and fro upon its bosom; lightning and
storm, thunder and hurricane, deadly quicksand and
sunken rock have not daunted them. They have
undergone all, dared all, conquered all, for love of
Fame. They have overcome every impediment of


Nature; the lame have walked; the almost dumb
have grown eloquent through this love; the orator
has preached to the seashore, thinking that its
roaring surges might well typify the sea of human
heads, the brains of which he hoped to move.
Failure after failure has been as nothing. "You
may laugh now," says Disraeli, as he concludes his
first speech; but you shall hear me some day."
" Left me out of the Gazette!" cries Nelson; never
mind, I will some day have a Gazette to myself."
"Perhaps," whispers dear, good, kindly Goldsmith to
Doctor Johnson, as they are reading the names on
the tablets in Poets' Corner; "perhaps"-and he puts
it in a Latin quotation, as the still modester way-
" perhaps, some day, we shall be found here." "I
have built up a monument which is more lasting
than brass," writes Horace. Ay," says Will
Shakespere, "not marble, nor the brazen monu-
ments of kings, shall outlive my powerful verse."
" They will speak of me in England," said Wolfe.
"What do they say of me in Ireland ?" writes the
great fearless Dean of St. Patrick's, that man of
giant brain and heart. My system of philosophy,"
said Coleridge, "will be the founder of many sys-
tems." "Do you not know me, sir?" cries an
upstart ironmonger in an inn to the very same Cole-
ridge; "I am the great Twamley, I invented the
floodgate iron !"*
An instrument which, by being formed like a box and having a
red-hot slab of iron inserted, ironed shirt fronts without the danger
of soiling them.


We are all great Twamleys in our way. We
all love Fame, we all want to be known. If we are
big and strong we despise the raw and hurried
ravings of the crowd, and fancy we can wait; they
will pass by, we shall endure. The windfalls are
not worth keeping, the worst fruit ripens first.
" Let you and I," writes Landor in his imaginary
conversations to Southey; "let you and I stand
aside till this crowd hath passed, we can afford to
wait." So the living crowd passes-the Twamleys,
the Cottles, the Pasquins, the little great men of the
day-they fall through the sieve of Time, the big
ones remain, for them Fame exists.
Well, is it worth the having? Mighty armies,
great commanders still marching to and fro over
the world, make a great noise. There is much
blowing of trumpets, much noising, many drums
are beaten: we are deafened somewhat with Fame.
Is it worth the gathering?
Boldly, yes! Fame is worth gaining.
But only one Fame of course. There are a thou-
sand ways of reaching the fruit-there isthe wicked
way and the good way; the straight way; the
crooked way; the half-and-half zigzag way, when
a man runs straight one minute and takes a short,
cut the next-but only one way is worth taking,
only one Fame worth having. He who built the
temple of Ephesus is unknown; he who fired it has
left his name to be mocked at. He who planned
the Pyramids has left no record; "they, doting in
their antiquity," cries Sir Thomas Browne, "have


forgotten the name of their founder ;" but the dried
mummy dust within it has left his name in a language
silent now, but which made a great noise once, and
in which much people prayed and cursed in, written
on the edge of his garment. We are beyond such
Fame as that. In the crowding dust of centuries
our footmarks will be soon filled up, but the better
and purer part of Fame we can leave.
It is everywhere; in the acclamations of a vil-
lage school, in the whispers of a home circle, in the
applause of an empire; in the grateful praise of a
Continent. It exalts; its want depresses. To be
known to have done good; to have wished to have
been good; to have benefited mankind even in one
little way, even in inventing a floodgate iron for in-
stance, is Fame, and is worth having. The man,"
writes Swift, who makes two blades of corn grow
where one only grew before is a benefactor to his
kind." A benefactor, a doer of good! if that be
written after any name, truly that name is famous;
there are thousands such. It is well to read of such
men. The world ought to know of them, longs to
know of them; the old revere, the young will
emulate them. They, too, will have a Gazette one
day to themselves-thus are great men generated.
We have mental as well as corporeal parents; we
are sons of men, also we are sons of Fame. But it
must be of the right sort.




Think before you Act-The Value of Silence-The King and the
Philosopher-The latter rules us from his Grave-Fresh Be-
ginnings-The Greatness of a Nation Dependent on Individuals
-The Chinese-The Dead-level-Self-conceit and its Dangers
-The one great Thinker of China, Confucius-His Birth won-
derful, of course-Contemporary of Pythagoras-His wonderful
Pedigree-A very old Family-Foolish Stories about him-
The Boy and his Grandfather-His Marriage-Fonder of
Philosophy than of his Wife-His Enemies and his Sorrows-
Laou-tze his Opponent-His Challenge-The King and the
Sage-Plots against the Philosopher-He is conquered and ex-
pelled-The Triumph of Vice.

"SILENCE," says a great German proverb, "is
the great worker. Speech is silver; silence is
golden." To work well, one should first think well.
Now, all men do not think. It may be very humi-
liating to own it, but it is, nevertheless, a fact, not
ten men in one hundred are thinkers. A great
thinker, if he but think rightly, will be a great man;
and it is by perusing the golden thoughts of others
that men become great themselves. The thinkers
teach other men to think; we may safely aver that,
perhaps, to them we owe all the blessings of civi-
lization and progress; certainly, also, to the coming
thinkers, our sons and grandsons will owe all their


security. Everything lies in the first step. Things
wrong begun make strong themselves by wrong.
And it is to be observed that the great thinkers ob-
tain a more enduring fame than, perhaps, any others,
for they first set people in the right way. Kings
and great captains may live and flourish, and lord it
over the despised philosopher, but the justice of
ages makes all these odds even; the king is forgotten,
but the life of a philosopher remains a standing
beacon unto all, to which intellect, in its first fresh
youth, turns; which true imagination worships, un-
palled reverence bends down, and unstained honour
regards as its example.
There have been great thinkers in almost all
countries, just as every little place has its heroes.
But when the thinkers are below the standard, then
the nation dwindles, the people are less free, the
citizens less happy, their history is less brilliant,
and the future of that nation will probably be in-
glorious. There is much in first beginnings; both
nations and men should look well to them; it very
seldom happens that a man negatives the promise
either for good or evil which he has given as a boy;
and a people will have to pass through long years of
ignorance and subjection if the great men be not
forthcoming. If History teaches us anything, she
teaches us this, that the greatness of any people de-
pends entirely upon the degree of virtue and mag-
nanimity shown by individuals. When a people
arrives at a plain dead level of thought or action,
then farewell to that people.


No nation has exhibited, so far as we are able to
judge, so much of the dead level system" as the
Chinese. It is a puzzle to western nations. Not so
vicious as is represented; full of the home-bred
and valuable virtues of industry and sobriety; rich
in population, in agriculture, in mineral wealth;
abounding in everything that can make life desir-
able, it yet presents to us the anomaly of a cultivated
nation full of barbarians ; industrious, yet slothful;
virtuous, but full of vice; pitiful and merciful, yet
teeming with deadly cruelty; magnanimous, yet
cowardly; wise, yet abounding in ignorance; prayer-
ful, but given up to a most degrading idolatry. The
plain reason for these facts seems to be that at an
early period they had cultivated themselves to a cer-
tain degree, and that then, puffed up with pride, they
shut themselves up in their own conceit, fancied
that they knew everything, walled themselves round,
not only with that great material wall, which is one
of the wonders of the world, but also with that
boundary far more difficult to surmount, self-conceit.
Their situation forbad them to be in fear of conquest
or reverse; and at a very early period they grew
peaceful, ripe, and rotten. No existing people pre-
sents so sad a spectacle as they.
Yet China has produced its great men, and there
is one who, as far as mere fame is considered, has
received far more praise than any other man in the
world. This is Confucius, the great philosopher of
China, who stands towering far above the heads of
his countrymen, who has been reverenced almost as

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a god by the millions of the inhabitants of China for
nearly three thousand years; of none else of mortals
can this be said.
KOONG-FOO-TSE, or, as the Jesuit missionaries,
who first carried his fame to Europe, Latinized it,
Confucius, was born 551 years before Christ, and
was a contemporary with Pythagoras, who died at
the age of eighty, B.C. 506. Anacreon and JEschylus
may be classed with that great philosopher as his
contemporaries, or nearly so.
It is usual for poetic writers-and, in the early
ages, the poet and the priest were synonymous-to
surround the object of their eulogy with some won-
derful attributes. Nothing can be more injurious
or false, nothing is more common. This Confucius,
to wit, was undoubtedly a great man; he loved
wisdom, and he taught it. He is not only the lite-
rary man of his country, but he is the prophet also.
His book is to the Chinese what the Bible is to us.
But it does seem to us absurd, even for a benighted
people, to believe that when he was born music filled
the air; that an inscription (of course, in Chinese
characters) appeared on his breast-" The maker
of a rule for settling the world ;" or that two
dragons made sundry gyrations round the house,
and five celestial visitants entered it, to announce to
its inhabitants the happy occurrence. Nor should
we any more believe that his pedigree could be
traced back two thousand years before the Chris-
tian era, and that his blood proceeded from the
loins of a monarch, Hoang-hi. It is enough for



us that a man should be great, without rendering
all his family great as well. When we admire a fine
oak-tree, we do not care to insist that the acorn
from which it sprung was also dropped from a tree
of enormous girth, and so on backwards to the com-
mencement of the world.
Other portions of his biography present us with
the same unnatural and foolish traits with which our
modern biographers delight in. It seems to be in-
cumbent upon them to assert that the object of their
praise should be different from all others who have
lived before or after him. Thus Confucius is said
never to have smiled or to have played like other
children. He was remarkably grave and serious
in all he did. He endeavoured, in all his actions,
to imitate his grandfather; upon one occasion he
even ventured to reprove the old gentleman for a
melancholy fit, during which he sighed frequently
and deeply.
May I presume," the precocious boy is made
to say, "' to inquire the reason of your grief? Do
you fear that I, your descendant, may discredit your
memory by failing to imitate your virtues ?"
"From whom," said the astonished old gentle-
man, do you learn to speak in such a manner ?"
"From yourself, sir," returned the sucking
philosopher. I have often heard you say that a
son who does not imitate the maxims of his fore-
fathers is unworthy to bear their name."
The maxim is good, if the story be false, and it
certainly does inculcate that profound respect for


age and for parents which the Chinese to this day
Continued study, frequent seclusion, especial
veneration for the age, and an immense industry,
seem to have distinguished the early years of the
philosopher. He married early, at the age of nine-
teen, but at the age of twenty-three, four years
afterward, he divorced his wife, that he might the
better attend to his studies. He was made a man-
darin and superintendent of the agriculture of the
province. About the same time that he divorced
his wife, his mother died, and he retreated from
public life and duties, to seclude himself for three
years, and to study philosophy. He determined to
revive amongst his countrymen respect for law, mo-
rality, and public worship. He began also to com-
pose a book of maxims, of which we shall presently
quote a few, which, being interwoven into the lan-
guage, have contributed to spread his name and
fame wherever the Chinese language is known and
His greatest contemporary amongst his own
countrymen, was LAOU-TZE (born B. c. 604), who en-
joyed a great reputation as a teacher of philosophy.
This man's doctrines were ascetic and peculiar, and
moreover very mystical. A meeting between him
and Confucius took place when the formerwas eighty,
seven years old, and the latter thirty-five. The
younger and the wiser man reproached the elder
with his vanity and worldly-mindedness. "He who
is truly wise," said Confucius, "makes no parade



of his virtue; he does not proclaim to all the world
that he is a sage. This is all I have to say to you,
make the best of it you can."
We cannot here enter into any further particulars
of this sage's life. His followers considered that he
had been completely annihilated by Confucius; the
reputation of the latter extended far and wide; he
was attended by many of the first nobles as disci-
ples and scholars. He had been made a magistrate
of Loo, but he gave up this employment and devoted
his time to study and to travel.
He proceeded to the state of TZE, where the
King received him with great honour; nay, laid
down all his pomp and magnificent state, and would
insist upon the wise man taking precedence of him.
A sage," the monarch is reported to have said,
is higher, far higher, than a king," and of this
saying, who shall question the wisdom ? Nor was the
King any longer satisfied with offering the great phi-
losopher an inferior post; he made him governor of
the people in the capital, and the result justified the
act. Invested with a dignity, Sze-kaon,which placed
him far above all magistrates, and second only to the
King, Confucius commenced his career with an ex-
hibition of daring and severity which is more often
required than it is practised. He who taught virtue
to the lowest, would not tolerate vice in high places.
He publicly executed one of the chief magistrates,
whose villainies had been the cause of half the
miseries of the province. The minister, whose
daring act terrified the King and his own followers,

conducted the execution, which was invested with
all the terrors of the law, in person; and after it
was over, to strike terror into the hearts of the
guilty followers of the man, ordered the exposure of
the body for three days.
The example was beneficial, but as it always
happens, the suddenness of conversion of the people
of Loo foretold that it would not be lasting, nor was
it. A rival King of Tze set a snare for the monarch
which he was not able to withstand, and overcame
him by female art. He trained up a bevy of eighty
of the most beautiful young women whom he could
find in his dominions, and when they were fully ac-
complished in every seductive art, in music, singing
and dancing, he sent them forward against the moral
and refined court of Loo.
The result was deplorable. Neither the King
nor his courtiers were able to withstand the seduc-
tions of this formidable though beautiful band; the
Confucian principles were forgotten; truth, tem-
perance, and chastity were forgotten; and from prac.,
tising a grave austerity in manners and morals, the
court was suddenly changed into one which wallowed
in sensuality and pleasure. The King and his court
forgot all the teachings of the philosopher; morality
and honesty were driven from the merchants; the
city grew full of roguery, and shopkeepers who had,
during the prevalence of philosophic doctrine, given
just weights and measures, again commenced that
cunning and tortuous policy of cheating and thiev-
ing, which is said still to render the Chinese trades-



man peculiarly infamous. In the midst of this storm
of wickedness, Confucius was driven from the scene
of his triumphs, and went again out into the world
to seek another people less weak and vacillating
than his countrymen at Loo. It is greatly to his
praise that, although tempted in every way, the
philosopher yielded neither to blandishment or
threat, but set an example to the fallen and the
falling, by still practising the virtues which he
taught, and proving, that if he could not quell the
storm of immorality, he, at least, was not to be
overcome by it.




The Story of Confucius continued- How the King answered him-
The Tradesman and the Sage-Confucius in Prison-His
banishment-His own Death and his last Words-His Wisdom
and his Maxims-How the King Mourns-The Golden Rule
of Confucius-His Works and the Truth he taught-The
hard Student-The Honour done to his Country by his
Life-Immense and enduring Fame-Pope's Distich upon him.

ONCE again, stricken in years and disappointed in
his righteous ambition, we must follow the philoso-
pher in his exile. He tried state after state, but
the people wanted none of his teaching. "Let us
alone," they said, "we are well enough now, why
should we be better than our neighbours ?"
I am old," said a monarch, I do not love
change, I shall soon leave the world, and then my
successor can do just as he chooses."
Do not teach us to be too honest," sneered the
trader, we are well enough as we are. If others
cheat us, we cheat them, and so things right them-
selves at last."
To this the sage answered with a sigh, and wan-
dered on his way. His faithful disciples attended
him, but were often driven away, and more than
once with the point of the sword. Once or twice


he was thrown into prison, more than once he was
in absolute want of food. He was sixty and six
years old, and in the midst of his wanderings heard
of the death of his wife. He regarded it as a
warning that he should soon follow her, and like a
true philosopher consoled himself with the idea,
that, after all, his banishment was but a temporary
hardship. The wise man," he said, "is every-
where at home-the whole earth is his."*
At length he perceived that he had fallen upon
troublous times; and that, indeed, his philosophy
was no longer any delight to the multitude. He
retired, therefore, to Loo, to await the great teacher,
death, and to prepare and finish his compilation of
those truths which he trusted might live after his
death, and benefit his countrymen whilst he was
rotting in the grave. He was not disappointed in
this. His works, as we have before said, have been
transmitted to posterity as the sacred books of
China-of, in fact, a third of the human race.
When he reached the age of seventy-five, his
favourite disciple died. It was on this man that
the sage's hopes chiefly rested, and he was much
distressed at his death, and regarded it as the ex-
tinguishment of all his hopes. He exclaimed that
" Heaven had destroyed him;" and, from what we
can gather, did not for a moment dream of that
glorious Fame which awaited him. A few days
This most beautiful sentiment has been frequently repeated by
the poets, by none more beautifully than by our Shakespere in his
Richard II., at the banishment of Bolingbroke.


before his death, he foretold the exact moment of
it, and clung to life with a fondness and pertinacity
which says little for his philosophy. Moving about
and leaning on his staff, he muttered these lines:-

The mountain is crumbling,
The house beaming is breaking,
The sage is withering like a flower."

Soon afterwards he sank into a state of lethargy, in
which he remained seven days, and then yielded his
life to the God who gave it, in the year 479 B. c.
As our readers will no doubt soon afterwards
see is the case with other sages, no sooner was
Confucius dead than all the people began to vene-
rate him. It is not only characteristic of men, but
also of nations, that they do not understand the
treasure's worth, till time has stolen the slighted
gift away;" and we must not be surprised, in the
course of this work, to find the man who died a
beggar venerated as a prophet. So it was with
Confucius. His disciples buried him in a piece of
ground purchased some time previously by the
philosopher himself. They raised three mounds of
earth, and planted a tree, which it is said all remain
to this day. The chief of his disciples took up his
abode near the place, and remained there for six
years; the people went in procession to the tomb,
and the King of Loo, when he heard of his death,
burst into a passion of repentant tears. "Heaven
is displeased with me," he cried, since he has
robbed me of the most precious treasure of my


kingdom;" but, as his majesty might possibly have
known, it is much easier to mourn over a dead
philosopher than to keep his precepts when he is
living. With the common people a more generous
and sincere feeling prevailed. His disciples taught
near his tomb, and such crowds came with their
families to the place, that a village arose, which has
since grown into a city of the third order, called
Such feelings as were expressed by the Chinese
grow stronger in time; and as the years go by,
certain fictions begin to be wrapped round the small
portions of truth which are handed down by tradi-
tion. Confucius died a sage of the first order; he
has long since been venerated as a divine, or, at
least, divinely inspired man; the King, in the Han
dynasty, bestowed upon him the name of the sove-
reign teacher; the Chinese dynasty which succeeded,
have given him the title of the most holy teacher
of all times." It is said that his descendants exist
through sixty-eight generations to the present day.
In every city, down to those of the third order,
there is seen a temple dedicated to him; others say
that only tablets are dedicated to his name in these
places, but we believe that throughout China there
are more than 1500 temples devoted to him, on
whose altars 62,000 victims (animals) are sacrificed
every year.
It is impossible, perhaps, for us to judge cor-
rectly of the character of this great man. From his
writings he would seem to have been exceedingly


modest, pious, and wise. I teach you nothing,"
said he, but that which you have inherent in you."
His teaching was, therefore, very simple and easily
understood by all men. His golden rule is that
which is, or rather should be, our own; and which
was reproduced in the teachings of our Saviour, five
hundred years afterwards: "Do unto others as you
would they should do unto you." Curiously, the
national mind seems to have rested where Confucius
left it. It has gone backwards rather than forwards,
he has been the one pre-eminently great man of
the nation, and it seems incapable of producing any
other. His books consist of nine, the "Four
Books," and five canonical works. In the course
of regular education, the first are studied and com-
mitted to memory, and the others are subsequently
digested. Thus Confucius has entered into the
national mind, as none of the higher grades of
society are considered to be educated without having
undergone this probationary state; his original
works are of very moderate bulk, for, like all great
teachers, he saw the necessity of condensing his
thoughts as much as possible, and was as well aware
as any modern European of the fact that a great book
is a great evil. Numerous commentators have, how-
ever, overloaded the text, and his students are re-
quired not only to know what Confucius wrote, but
also what his critics thought that he meant.
Some of his aphorisms are full of wisdom, and
are very terse and compact. "A prince," he says,
"can never cease to correct himself, in order to




to perfection.

Resolution is

greatest element of action.

The perfect and true,


from all mixture,

is the law of

"He who is continually tending towards per-
fection, who chooses the good and attaches him-

self strongly to

it for fear of



is the

"He who knows how to blush for his weakness

in the practice of his
the strength of min

duties, is very near acquiring

d necessary for


He who shall truly follow the rule of persever-
ance, however ignorant he may be, will necessarily
become enlightened; however feeble he may be, he
will of necessity become strong."

" Make yourself,"

said the philosopher,

" com-

pletely master of what you have learned, and


always learning, and you will become the instructor
of men."

On being

asked who was the superior man, he

answered, He is a man who

firsts puts his words

into practice, and then speaks conformably with his

equal fR

The superior man is he who entertains


of benevolence towards ail

men of

whatever rank, rich or poor, and has no egotism or


The vulgar man is he who has none but
of egotism, without any benevolent dis-

position towards all men."
To a governor, he said, "You are to listen much,
so as to diminish your doubts, speak seldom and be






attentive to what you say, so as to say nothing
superfluous, then you will rarely commit faults.
Watch attentively over your actions and then you
will rarely have cause to repent."
"Riches and honour," said Confucius, "are the
objects of human desire; if they cannot be obtained
by honest and right means they must be renounced."
But in the parallel to this on poverty, the philoso-
pher shows us how inferior he is to the teaching of
Christianity, one law of which, as we have seen, he
had anticipated. "Poverty," he adds, and a
humble and common condition are objects of human
hatred and contempt; but if you cannot escape
therefrom by honest and right means you must
remain in them." But at the same time, he saw
plainly enough to what end an over devotion
towards money tended. Apply yourself," said he,
"solely to gains and profits, and your actions will
make you base, and gain you many enemies."
He found out at an early period how far men
were to be trusted, and this chronicles his experi-
ence: "At the commencement of my relations
with men I listened to their words, and thought
that their actions would be in conformity with them.
Now, in my dealings with men, I listen indeed to
their words, but I look to their actions."
Confucius was through life a hard student. To
converse with books he found was far better than to
talk with men. If it were granted to me," said
he, "to add to my life, I would ask fifty years to
study the Y-King, that I might free myself from



great faults." He was an advocate for teaching all
men. "Provide," he said, "instruction for all, without
distinction of rank." He even allowed there were
pleasures in being perfectly poor, and at the same
time independent and virtuous; and we must re-
member that Chinese poverty far exceeds any kind
of poverty that we can realize here : To feed upon
a little rice, to drink water, and to have nothing
but one's bent arm to lean upon, has its own satis-
faction. It is better than to acquire riches by unfair
means." Lastly, we shall quote his aphorism which
teaches one how to be virtuous: He who has an
unalterable faith in truth, and is passionately fond
of study, preserves to his death the principles of
virtue, which are the consequences of this faith and
The few extracts we have given, and the assur-
ance that the great body of his works, his speech,
and his every action inculcated the same virtues,
will show that Confucius was not unworthy of the
Fame which he achieved. He has done more honour
to his native country than all its nobles and great
generals; he is known beyond its limits; he has
conferred a Fame upon the land which gave him
birth. More than this, he has moulded the thoughts
of his countrymen for ages. Nor is it his fault
that, instead of endeavouring to surpass and excel
him, they have stood at the same level for genera-
tions. The Eastern mind does not seem to be pro-
gressive, but we may conclude, with another author,
that the fault is not to be laid to Confucius; he did


but lay a foundation:
plete the edifice. His

it was for other men to com-
Spart of the construction was

nobly planned and executed; the failure was on the

part of his successors."

We feel no hesitation

allotting to Confucius the high niche in the Temple
of Fame allotted him by Pope:-

Superior and alone Confucius stood,
Who taught that noble science-to be good."






Pythagoras-The Story of his Life-Its Legendary Magnificence-
Fable and Reality-His immense Love of Knowledge-He
visits Delos and Ministers at Delphi-His Life in Egypt-His
only Art-What Life is-True Glory-The Wife of Pytha-
goras also a Philosopher-The Invention of Music-Dr. Bur-
ney's Opinion-The Mysterious Precepts of the Sage-His
wise and great Maxims-Plato-His Fame, and that of our
own Bacon-His Birth and Teachers-How long should we

WE have already seen that a contemporary of this
great Chinese philosopher was PYTHAGORAS, a Greek
sage, who endeavoured not only to make his coun-
trymen think more wisely but also to make them
act better. The origin of that straining after excel-
lence and knowledge, which modern nations have
consented to call philosophy, is claimed by many,
and can be assigned to none. No man is wholly
original; were we only able we might doubtless trace
backwards the line of teachers from one to another
till we reached the first man of all. But there is little
doubt but that these systems came from the East, and
travelled westward. Knowledge, the true sun of
the soul, rose like the real Phoebus Apollo, and in
the same quarter.



Pythagoras, certainly not the first of Grecian
philosophers, either by priority of time or by force
of genius, is yet a most famous man. There is a
kind of halo surrounding him, a mysterious glory
which he has won for himself amongst his admirers
by his genius, no less than by his assumption. He
lived at least a century before the great geome-
trician Euclid, dying, according to the most reliable
authorities, in the year 506 B.C., and in the eightieth
year of his age. "His life," says a modern writer,*
"'is so enshrouded in the dim magnificence of
legends, that all attempts to extricate it are hope-
less." But that very magnificence proves the great-
ness of the man.
In fixing the date of his birth, we are met at
the outset with an insuperable difficulty. The
authorities fluctuate between the 43rd and 63rd,
or 64th Olympiad, or within the limits of eighty-
four years. "Fable assigns him the place of a
saint; a worker of miracles, a teacher of more
than human wisdom. His very birth was marvel-
lous; by some he is said to be the son of Hermes,
by others of Apollo; in proof of the latter he is said
to have exhibited a golden thigh. With a word he
tamed the Damican bear which was laying waste
the country; with a whisper he restrained an ox
from devouring beans. He was heard to lecture at
different places, such as Metaporitum and Tauro-
menium, on the same day and at the same hour.
When he crossed the river, the river-god saluted
G. H. Lewes. "Biographical History of Philosophy."


him with Hail! Pythagoras!' and to him the
harmony of the spheres was audible music."*
The man around whom such a mass of brilliant
fable is collected could have been no ordinary man.
Probably the doctrines of Pythagoras, and the frag-
ments of his teachings which have descended to us,
do not by even a tenth or a hundredth part reveal
to us what he really was. When all was dark, or
at least a dim twilight, around him, he shone to his
countrymen as if he reflected the perfect light of
knowledge. He sought to know all he could within
the limits of the knowable. He travelled seeking
that knowledge and information when he could not
find it at home. He went into Egypt and explored
the vast mysteries of those wondrous people. He
was taught at the Pyramids, and listened to the
music of Memnon, and gazed upon the face of the
Sphynx, yet fresh and beautiful from the hands of
its sculptors. He visited also Delos, bowed down
before the religion of his country, and affected to
receive instructions from the pious ministrants of
Delphi. We may well conclude that this man was
at the head and front of his countrymen. When-
ever," says a writer, you find romantic or mira-
culous deeds attributed to any man, be certain that
that man was great enough to sustain the weight
of this crown of fabulous glory."
After spending twenty-two years in Egypt,
submitting himself humbly to the teaching of the
priests, and undergoing various and severe dis-
G. H. Lewes. Biographical History of Philosophy."


cipline, he returned perfect master of their science.
At Peloponnesus, he was asked by Leontius, what
was his art ?"
I have no art," he answered, "I am a philo-
Leontius had never heard the name before, and
asked what it meant.
"This life," said the sage, "may be compared
to the Olympic games; for as in this assembly some
seek glory and crowns; some by the purchase or
sale of merchandise seek gain; and others, more
noble than either, go there neither for gain nor for
applause, but solely to enjoy this wonderful spec-
tacle, and to see what passes, we in the same manner
quit our country, which is heaven, and come into this
world, which is an assembly where many work for
profit, many for gain, and where there are but few
who, despising avarice and vanity, study Nature. It
is these last whom I call philosophers; for as there
is nothing more noble than to be a spectator without
any personal interest, so in this life the contempla-
tion and knowledge of Nature are infinitely more
honourable than any other occupation."
In his estimation of woman, Pythagoras is widely
and honourably distinguished from all his contem-
poraries, and from many of his followers. Plato
excluded them from his Republic, but Pythagoras
lectured to them and taught them. His wife was a
philosopher, and taught the women of her time.
There were no finishing academies then. Neither
male nor female were, during their early years,


crammed with a little false learning, and were then
sent into the great world with an assurance that
they had finished" their education. Women
were content to learn for years and years; and the
wife of Pythagoras assembled round her a class of
thirty, to whom she taught the doctrines of her hus-
band's philosophy, amongst others that of his grand
secret, the Beginning of all things, and their origin
in the All-mysterious One (apKic).
It is said that Pythagoras was the inventor of
the musical chords. One day as he stood at a black-
smith's shop he noticed that the hammers of dif-
ferent weights gave out various sounds. He began
to consider why this was so, and going home, after
much thought, constructed the first rude scale of
the gamut. He took the exact weights of the ham-
mers and suspended four strings of equal length,
and striking the strings found the sounds to cor-
respond with those of the blacksmith's shop.*
Dr. Burney, in his History of Music," ridicules
this story, and says that upon examination it will
be found that hammers of different sizes will no
more produce different tones upon the same anvil
than bows or clappers of different size will from the
same string or bell, and he is undoubtedly right;
but we may not any more for that cast away the
story. By the fall of a blacksmith's hammer,
Pythagoras might undoubtedly have been led to
consider the different tones and measures of sound,
and upon once observing them have managed to
SG-. H. Lewes. "Biographical History of Philosophy."



construct an instrument which gave expression to
them. The observation of any thing is, after all,
the chief step in an invention: Watt observes that
steam will move the lid of a tea-kettle, and forth-
with begins to think, and to invent Galileo observes
in the cathedral the swinging of a lamp, he begins
to think, and the pendulum which so accurately
measures time is the result of his thought.
The Fame which has been allotted to Pythagoras
is mixed up with much that is mysterious. He had,
it is said, a golden thigh; he remembered a prior
existence. He knew everything; his pupils so vene-
rated him that they spoke not nor sat down in his
presence, but stood and listened to his words.
Some of these golden sentences, as they were called,
have come down to us; some even are the origin of
our own common and curious superstitions; for
Pythagoras was mysterious in his sayings, as in his
birth and death, and some of them he might have
heard from the Egyptians and Asiatics with whom
he had lived. On going a journey," he tells us,
" go not back; the furies return with you." Sleep
not at noon "-a wise precept; Solomon has told
us the result of sluggishness. Another of his mys.
terious precepts was that his pupils should abstain
from beans-a dogma rather dietetic than moral,
but beans were with the Egyptians indicative of the
first origin of life. There are, however, one or two
precepts which will always be of value. "Engrave
not the image of God on a ring," i.e., abstain from
image worship and a too familiar representation of


the deity. Quit not your post save at the com-
mand of your general," and lastly, and above all
things govern your tongue." The last sentence
deserves to be written in gold. The life of Pytha-
goras is useful to our purpose, as it is to the world,
not for its results, but for its example. In it he
showed that there was one man at least in Greece
far above a senseless ambition for power; far above
the greed of wealth; far above the love of glory
and of arms, but who was willing to devote his life
in the exercise of wisdom and the seeking of know-
ledge, and he has proved to us that that object was
successfully attained. He not only acquired know-
ledge himself, but he implanted a love of it in his
fellow-men; he raised the minds of his countrymen
to a great height, and, when he died, left a fame a
thousand times greater than the richest or most
powerful of his fellow-citizens, and a hundred times
more enduring than that of any king or conqueror
who has ever lived.
Great also is the fame of one of his successors of
Plato. Of all philosophers, wisdom lovers, he per-
haps is the greatest. Only our own Lord Bacon
divides the palm with him.
"Plato the wise and wide-browed Verulam,
The chief of those who think."
But before we speak of him we must narrate some-
thing of the life of his master, SOCRATES.
This philosopher bears the most celebrated name
in the history of all who have attempted to make
their fellow-men wiser and better, and by the aid of



his genius alone seems to have reached the highest
pinnacle allotted to unrevealed teachers. Born
in the year 469 B.c., of poor parents-his father
was a statuary-he gave himself up at an early
period to serve the State, and seems to have
always entertained a very wholesome contempt for
mere riches. He devoted the whole of his time to
the study of philosophy, and after practising for
some time as a sculptor, abandoned that business so
as to be more free to pursue knowledge. Prodicus
the sophist, Theodorus the geometrician, and Damo
the master of music were his instructors; nor did
he neglect the teaching of Aspasia, a woman cele-
brated no less for her beauty than her mind.
Called upon to serve as a soldier in the long
struggle between Athens and Sparta, Socrates dis-
tinguished himself alike by his valour, his modesty,
and his love of duty. He made himself conspicuous
at the siege of Potidoea. He wore, during the
severity of a Thracian winter, the scantiest clothing,
he walked barefoot on the ice, and murmured not
at the cold. Seeing Alcibiades thrown down and
wounded, he saved both him and his arms, and
begged the judges who wished to reward him to
give the prize of valour to the man he had saved.
Years passed, and Socrates again served against
the Boeotians, and finding Xenophon lying wounded
on the field of battle, bore him on his shoulders to
a place of safety.
When he had arrived at the mature age of sixty
he was elected one of the Five Hundred of the


Senate, and then, as bold as he had been in the field,
ever lifted his voice in the cause of the freedom of
his fellow-men. Finding that the youth of Athens
spent most of their time in vain speculations, he
taught them to seek truth only, and by his superior
knowledge and wisdom exposed the selfishness and
folly of vain pretenders to philosophy. He insti-
tuted a peculiar way of teaching, which to this day
is known as the Socratic method. He propounded
a series of questions to those with whom he dis-
puted, in order to lead them to some unforeseen
conclusions. He first gained the assent of his re-
spondents to some obvious truths, and then obliged
them to admit others, in consequence of their rela-
tion or resemblance to those which he had proposed."
He generally conducted his respondents with much
art and address to the very point which he wished
to establish, and then, by force of analogy, pushed
them on to the admittance of his own assertion.
He was much followed, and never seems to have
omitted an opportunity of learning much himself by
questioning others. He talked with every one, no
matter how low in life they were, nor how apparently
ignorant; his theory being that every man knew
something better than he did.
Socrates in these questioning never betrayed any
conceit, arrogance, or moroseness. He talked with
the labourer, the potter, the tanner, the cutler, the
smith, or mendicant trader. From each he gathered
something. At the same time, whilst acquiring
so much, he continually repeated one saying which



accurately enough, now as then, marks out the
bounds of mere human knowledge. He professed
to know only this, namely, "that he knew no-
thing." He constantly instilled into his hearers
the fact that truth, and truth alone, was valuable,
and inculcated as constantly cheerfulness, constancy
in all kinds of fortune, modesty, and humility.
In a short time the teaching of this great phi-
losopher who "knew nothing" prevailed not only
in Athens, but also in many parts of Greece, but
his contempt for ignorance and philosophic pride
and stupidity had raised up many enemies. He had,
although by no means a contemner of the popular
religion, taught that there was one God, one Supreme
Being, the Maker and supporter of the universe.
He had also as constantly spoken of a certain inward
monitor which checked him when he was about to
commit a wrong, and which comforted and upheld
him when he did that which was right. He doubt-
lessly alluded to his conscience, but his enemies
asserted that he was accompanied by a demon or
familiar spirit, and that he was a dangerous fellow,
who wished to subvert the religion of the State.
For this he was tried and condemned to death.
The trial and the death-scene of Socrates are
amongst the most famous incidents in all history.
The courage of the poor, ugly, and powerless, but
wise philosopher; the constancy with which he bore
his trial; his arguments with his judges; his proud
determination not to be pardoned; his declaration
that he should rather be rewarded as he had always



taught virtue; his refusal to escape from prison,
and his quiet fortitude and cheerfulness during the
thirty days which intervened between his condem-
nation and his death, form the chief portion of
one of the most celebrated books in the world,
written by his disciple Plato. He was condemned
to die by poison; and surrounded by his sorrowing
friends and scholars, himself the only composed and
cheerful actor in the group, he discoursed upon
virtue and knowledge, and the delights of philo-
sophy, even with the cup of hemlock at his lips, and
after he had drank it, whilst the slow death was
gradually creeping over him.
These scenes in the life of the' greatest philo-
sopher of all time we cannot produce here. They
will be ever honoured and ever fresh, and will be
read with delight and admiration by all who love
virtue and admire courage as long as courage and
virtue endure.
Plato, the chief of the scholars of Socrates, has
been his historian. He was of noble descent, nor
less noble of form. His very name, Plato, signifies
the broad-browed one, his father's name being
Aristo. His origin is traced back as far on his
father's side as Codrus, on that of his mother as
Solon. Reading and knowledge were the favourite
pursuits of the young Aristocles, and he determined
to devote his life to these pursuits. He devoted
himself in his early years to poetry, but comparing
some of his own heroic verses with those of Homer,
he was so struck with the difference that he con-

signed them to the flames. He next tried lyric
poetry, but, chancing to hear Socrates, he deter-
mined to abandon all his previous studies, and set
himself to learn under this great master.
How he progressed all the world knows. From
the smallest book to the greatest, we can trace the
influence of Plato's mind, and of the teaching of
Socrates. His works are still the inspiration of
numberless scholars, and have been the source of
wondrous benefits to the human race. Without
philosophers we should be nothing; it was primarily
owing to the teaching of Plato, of Socrates, and
his fellows, that the world awoke from its barbarism
to the facts that there were other than mere animal
pleasures, and that brute force was after all not the
greatest nor best influence in creation.
After the death of Socrates his pupil wrote his
defence, which was named "An Apology for the Life
of Socrates," a word since adopted for the defence
of the revealed religion. He commenced his travels,
going into Egypt and Asia, and becoming thence
acquainted, it is supposed, with the Hebrew scheme
of religion. He rested for some time in Sicily, at
the court of Dionysius, the tyrant, and at last, full
of the wisdom which time had instilled and industry
had gathered, he returned to Athens. Here he
taught others his peculiar philosophy, and died in
the seventy-ninth or eighty-first year of his age, of
mere natural decay or exhaustion, still occupied in
the contemplation of philosophy.
The life passed in the acquirement of simple


wisdom, and which turns
from the general pursuit

quietly and

calmly away

of worldly honours and

riches, is always grateful to contemplate.

We shall

not here be able to follow out the lives of any other
ancient philosopher, but we may say this, that these

lives have had in them all one end, that of

the sub-


of the passions
In this pursuit

and the cultivation of the

many of the

seem to have been eminently


Poverty, low

estate, want, continual labour, seem to have never

afflicted them.
all the vanities

Diogenes, who set himself to despise
of life, and who could beg of the

greatest monarch in the world only one favour,
" that he would step aside out of his sunshine," has

achieved a reputation


and conquer

quite equal to that of the
)r. Alexander himself said

that were he not Alexander he would be Diogenes;

it is very doubtful now whether of the



joyed by the two, every wise man would not take
that which posterity has allotted to the ragged
Some of the anecdotes told of Plato will serve
to point out how much he had taught himself, and
how thoroughly the wisest man in Greece, nay, if not

of the whole world, had subjected his


actions to his

He was one day about to strike a slave, but

perceiving that his mind was irritated, he kept him-
self in the same posture with his arm still raised.
"What are you doing, Plato ?" said a disciple.

I am punishing
answer. ,

a passionate man," was the



They are spreading," cried one to him, very
evil reports of you at Athens." The philosopher
smiled. Let them do so; I will live so that no
one shall believe them."
You are growing old, Plato; the time draws
nigh when your soul must visit the dark abode.
Why trouble yourself with philosophy; how long
will you teach, how long will you be a scholar?"
As long," said Plato, as I am not ashamed
to grow wiser and better."




What is a Hero ?-The Desire to be Known-Notoriety not Fame-
Enduring Fame not quickly achieved-The Philosophic Maxims
-John Hunter's rule-Reynolds and Genius-Flaxman-Lady
Jane Grey's love of Study-Dr. Whewell-The Warriors-
Alexander-His Master, Aristotle-Alexander invades Persia-
The Treatment of Darius-Arbela-The Genius of Alexander
-His friend, Hephoestion-His Death at Babylon.

Is fame worth having ? What is a hero ?
These are two questions which will, at one time
or another, be always asked by those who aspire
to be known, and who wish to leave the world
somewhat better than they found it. The answers
are, perhaps, easy enough. The aspiration for fame
is placed in every one's breast, and burns more
strongly in that of the youth than in that of the
man. It is in youth that the strong desire of being
known and praised by our fellow-creatures is first
born. It may be a guilty passion, or a holy inspi-
ration, just as one takes it. Notoriety is not true
fame. We may be known all over the world, and
yet not celebrated for a good work or for a fine
thought. To be celebrated because we are rich, or
are the sons of great men, or have a position which
brings our name before the world, is but a poor



notoriety, and possesses no satisfaction after all.
To be a prince or a great landholder, to be the
observed of all observers, simply by the accident of
birth, is rather detrimental than otherwise. To be
rightly known and appreciated, something must
have been done and achieved which will bring to
one's own bosom at once consolation and reward:
consolation for past labours and for the quickly
flying hours; reward for devotion and continued
All men whose fame is worth having have been
continuous workers for a good end. Fame to en-
dure cannot have been suddenly achieved. Great
men are great workers. It is continuous plodding,
a continued onward progress, now slow, now fast,
but still progress in any art or science, which alone
can bring that fame which is worth having. All
great men, therefore, are heroes; not the heroes of
novels, who possess good looks, youth, talents, for-
tune, abilities, and showy accomplishments, but
the quiet heroes of humble life and of every-day
humanity, who find out very soon that to acquire
a name, one must pay the price of devotion and
We have seen that the early thinkers never
turned back from their brain work and inquiries.
Plato would still work, so long as he was "not
ashamed to grow wiser and better." Confucius
would be ever up and doing; if he did not succeed
one day he would another. Socrates worked and
thought, and taught, thought, and worked, till he
0 j -



had achieved the summit of human knowledge, the
possession of true humiity-all that he knew was,
that he knew nothing; so it was with the great
heroes of old time, with Aristotle, Lycurgus, De-
mocritus, Anaxagoras; we shall find that those of
the modern school found the only royal road to
fame and knowledge was the same.
First think what you would be doing, choose
your path in life, choose it carefully and well, if not
called to it by any inward impulse, and then work
steadily towards it, in due time you will be sure to
achieve it. My rule is," said John Hunter, de-
liberately to consider before I commence, whether
the thing be practicable. If it be not practicable, I
do not attempt it. If it be practicable, I can accom-
plish it, if I give sufficient pains to it; and having
begun, I never stop till the thing is done. To this
rule I owe all my success." We shall see that not
only John Hunter owed all his success to this
greatest rule, but that many hundreds of other great
men owed their success to it, and to nothing else.
This hard work, which leads to Fame, a very
great many people have declared is Genius itself.
Sir Joshua Reynolds thought that "that excellence
of art, which is expressed by genius, taste, or the
gift of Heaven," was nothing more nor less than a
genius for hard work. One who has bent over his
desk as many hours as, perhaps, any man of his
age, Charles Dickens, says, that the first rung to
the ladder to fame is nothing less than hard work.
Those who would excel, writes Sir Joshua again,



{" must go to their work, willing or unwilling, morn-
ing, noon, or night they will find it no play, but
very hard labour." The motto of Michael Angelo,
one of the hardest of workers, was, Still I am learn-
ing !" "We are never," said Flaxman, "too old
to be up and doing, too young to learn what is
useful, nor too old to grow wise and good." The
history of the life of many a man of genius is but a
life of long toil, and that toil persevered in only by
a life of long study, against his own natural indo-
lence and dislike of work.
For we must remember that it is a common
mistake to suppose that great workers always like
their work. They have their fatigue, their fits of
lassitude, their disinclination to work, or even to
think, like other men. It is not always a pleasure,
as indeed it was to Lady Jane Grey, to be always
Musing with Plato when the horn was blown,
And all in green array were chasing down the sun."

Many a sunny hour and sunny day must be spent in
dull plodding labour and in arduous study, and the
student would, no doubt, like, as well as others, to
be out in the fields or the woods, gaining health and
strength in every breeze, as well as his friends and
neighbours. Flaxman, teaching himself to draw be-
hind his father's counter, must have looked often
wistfully into the street, and must have sighed for
the healthful play of his robust companions. Doctor
Whewell, sitting up night after night, when about
to undergo examination for his first degree, must


have often taken the wet towel from his throbbing

brains, and sighed

for the noisy exercise

of the

undergraduates of his college.

taught himself Latin

and Greek

Kirke White, who
whilst on errands

his father, must have desired to play at marbles

or to
of the

loiter in

the sun, like any

other butcher

In Holman Hunt's fine picture of the finding


in the Temple, the



as he turns away from his mother, is seen to draw

tighter the leather girdle at his waist.

He would

be about his Father's business ; he must gird himself
for the journey, and, so it seems to us, that, in this
one little action, the painter has read us all a lesson.

Turning, for some period

and with some pur-

pose, from those ancients who were great in thought,

we will contemplate, for the

sake of the contrast,

those who were great in war, and who made the

world echo with their names.

We do so advisedly,

for to the younger part of mankind there is perhaps
nothing in the world so enticing as military renown.
We have not yet entered upon the millennium, we are
not all of us even reasonable beings, and still among
us starts up to astonish and confound us the military
dictator, who would rule the world with his sword,
and whose conscience is not too tender to prevent

him wading


slaughter to a throne.


fame of these men is not generally beautiful to con-
template, but it is useful to look at, and they, too,
are useful in their generation. War, direful as it
often is, shocking in its detail, and appalling in the
gross, is not the unmitigated evil which too many




amongst us have sought to make out. If an evil, it
is yet a necessary evil, and the curse which attends
it is mitigated to our minds, if we remember that it
does often bring blessings in its train.
Of all conquerors or kings, perhaps the fame of
Alexander is the most brilliant. He is known as
the conqueror of the whole world, and as one who
wept because he could not subdue more. He had
the world of himself left, but he did not attempt to
cast that province under subjection to him. He
was content with the glitter and pomp of barbaric
strife, and not for that greater triumph which Plato
and Socrates learnt at home.
Alexander, the third of that name, and univer-
sally called the Great, was the son of Philip, king
of Macedon, and was born in the year 356 B.c. At
the age of fourteen he was placed under the tuition
of the great and wise Aristotle. The master was
worthy of the scholar, and the scholar of the master.
Alexander possessed great talents, and an indomit-
able courage and perseverance. The philosopher
taught him the art of government, and knowing
that his kingdom was surrounded by dangerous and
ambitious neighbours, instructed him especially in
the art of war. The book from which Alexander
drew the greatest amount of military knowledge, and
also a fiery enthusiasm, which was more than worth
it all, was a copy of the "Iliad of Homer," which
Aristotle had prepared and "edited" himself.
From Homer he drew his maxims; and the heroes
of the poet determined to imitate.


The Persians, at that time the greatest and the
richest nation in the world, celebrated for arms, for
munitions of war, and for the most enormous armies
which have ever been drawn together, threatened
Greece, and it was fortunate for the latter power that,
in Alexander, she found a leader who could com-
bine her differently organized states, and who could
worthily lead her armies against so overwhelming a
power. After taking his first lessons of war at the
battle of Cheronea, B.C. 338, where he overcame the
sacred band of the Thebans, and performed won-
drous feats of valour, he saved his father's life in
another battle, and upon the assassination of the
latter he succeeded to the throne of Macedon, and
to the post of captain-general of the Greeks.
In the twenty-second year of his age, Alexander
determined to anticipate the invasion of the Persians
and to destroy their power. Leaving a lieutenant
in Greece, he crossed the Hellespont, passed on to
the plains of Troy, where he visited the tomb of his
model hero, Achilles, and met the Persians upon the
banks of the Granicus. The battle which ensued
will be ever celebrated throughout the world as one
of the most important and decisive which are re-
corded. Twenty thousand Persian cavalry and an
equal number of Greek mercenaries were opposed to
him. Alexander, at the head of his troops, crossed
the stream and began the attack, and after a severe
contest totally routed the Persian army, with only a
very small loss upon his own side. By this victory
he freed the Greek cities in Asia Minor, and scat-



tered terror amidst the hitherto unconquered armies
of Darius. Pressing forward he met and overthrew,
at the battle of Issus, a yet larger army, commanded
by Darius in person, who, besides an immense array
of Persians, had a body of thirty thousand Greeks
to support him. The treasures and the family of
Darius fell into the hands of the conqueror, who
astonished them by his clemency, restoring them
their treasures, sparing their lives, and loading them
with presents and courtesies. The monarch who
had fled sent a letter to the conqueror proposing
peace; Alexander answered that if Darius would
meet him he would not only restore his children
and wives but also his empire, but the advisers of
Darius kept him from this interview with his gener-
ous conqueror.
Inflated with victory, the Grecian army passed
onward. The whole of Asia was virtually at the
feet of Alexander. He took town after town, and
numberless treasures fell into his hands. He
rewarded his army from the spoils. He overthrew
Tyre, marched through Palestine, and was prevented
from entering Jerusalem and sacking that city by
the courage and entreaties of the high priest of the
Jews, who came forward to meet him clothed in the
sacred garments of his rank. He took Gaza, which
opposed him, put its inhabitants to the sword, and
passed into Egypt, which country, wearied of the
Persian yoke, received him as a deliverer. Puffed
up with pride he led his army across the Libyan
deserts to the shrine of Jupiter Ammon, where he


was, it is said, acknowledged as a demi-god,

the son

of Jupiter!
At the return of


he found

that Darius

had again raised an army against him more numerous

than before.

One million

of infantry and

hundred thousand cavalry disputed with that hero,
at the battle of Arbela, the mastery of the world.

But Alexander was not doubtful

head of his cavalry he

of victory; at the

charged into the centre of

the Persian ranks, and after some obstinate fighting

overthrew the immense but ill-disciplined


captured the treasures and tents of Darius, who,
again narrowly escaping, fled in dismay, only to be
treacherously murdered by one of his own satraps,


He had taken refuge with this

man in




Bessus murdered

sovereign because he was an impediment

in his

flight, and it was on the frontiers of Bactriana that
Alexander, in pursuit of his enemy, found a man

stretched upon a chariot
It was the unhappy Darii

dying from many wounds.
us. The generous nature

of Alexander was overcome, and the victor wept hot
tears over the dead body of him he had conquered.
Courage, temperance, continued activity, and an
eagerness to meet every difficulty, had made Alex-

ander the great conqueror he was.

He owed much

of his greatness to his own genius, but more to
those lessons of philosophy and to that true know-

ledge which

Aristotle had instilled.

He had

reached the pinnacle of glory.

contend with.

He had no enemy to

all its satrapies and de-





Persia and



pendencies lay at his feet. Greece resounded with
his praises. Poets, musicians, painters, whom he
carried in his train, celebrated his victories with
their arts. He had caused himself to be proclaimed
king of Asia; Egypt, and it may be said the north
of Africa, lay at his feet. In Europe he was chief
of Greece, then the only power existing; nothing
could withstand him. In the winter he marched to
Mount Caucasus, and discovered the Caspian Sea,
hitherto unknown to the Greeks. He had, as it
were, added new regions to the world. He even
formed a plan of conquering India, a rich country
teeming with population, of which even his new
subjects had scarcely heard.
He passed the Indus, and was aided by the king
of the tract of country beyond this river with one
hundred and thirty elephants. He overthrew all
opposed to him, and, it is said, established seventy
Greek colonies, one of which he called Bucephala,
after his horse, one which he had tamed in his
youth, and which was killed on the banks of the
Hydaspes. He continued down the course of the
Indus in his victorious career, sent forward his fleet
to enter the Indian Ocean, under the command of
his admiral Nearchus. This admiral he ordered to
sail to the Persian Gulf, he himself determining to
return through the deserts to Babylon. Through
these immense deserts, destitute of water and food,
the conqueror marched, losing three-fourths of his
victorious army, who perished in the sands.
Before this, his pride had burst forth in many



He had lost all control of


become direful

and vain-glorious, and had


drunken, his

old and attached friend, one of

his chief generals, Clitus, who had dared to recall
him to himself, and had reminded him that he was
mortal; at Babylon, his friend Hephastion had died,

and the grief of Alexander for

his loss was very


He marched

to Ecbatana, quelled several

mutinies, and in his thirty-second year returned to


Here he gave himself up to every kind of

debauchery and vice, and fulfilled the sayings of the

soothsayers, that that great city should be fatal


him. He received ambassadors, engaged in mighty
plans for the future, and falling sick at a banquet

suddenly died of fever,

in the midst

of unfinished

plans for securing the greatest empire which the


had yet seen.

He had reigned twelve years

and eight month
being asked who
worthiest." Wit]

He pointed out no heir,

should succeed him, he said,

h such a legacy it is no wonder

that his empire became the scene of continuous and
devastating wars.





~ __~~_ ----_----- ___
8~(r ;.

-- -_-- 2 :---

7 .. ::_-- __ --- ---i-- ...

2 .._--C -.---- -
.- .. .. -



,,: =113P-







The Successors of Alexander compared with Patriotic Rulers-
King Alfred; his intense love of his People-Oliver Cromwell;
a Ruler for the People as well as of the People-The Truth-
teller-Wellington's Love of Truth-General Blucher in-
fluenced by it-Washington-Louis XIV. on Punctuality-
Pope upon Fame-Washington Refuses the Presidency-The
truly Great Man-Low Origin of many Great Men.

WE have paused for a long time upon the career of
Alexander, since that career illustrates in a remark-
able manner all others. The generals of Alexander,
like those of Napoleon, each carried out in his own
bosom the ambition of his master; each sacrificed
himself, one with more success than another, at the
altar of Fame.
It is delightful to turn from such men to the
life of our own Alfred, or of Cromwell and Wash-
ington, of Marlborough and Wellington.
Alfred, our greatest English king, and one to
whom we perhaps owe more than any one else,
seems early in life to have set one plan of duty
before him, and to have carried it out. Like Titus,
he counted that day lost in which he had not done a
good action. The happiness of his people was his


cfief aim; he thought very little of himself, attended
carefully to little things, and whilst ruling a nation,
and letting the discordant elements of several peo-
ples settle down into one whole mass, and "fuse
into a general self," he could yet turn aside to learn
music and painting, and to invent a water-clock.
Nothing was too small for him, nothing too great.
His ambition was satisfied not with an empty con-
quest of many peoples, but with making one people
happy. His fame is worthy of such a man; he is
the only king whom we call great. We date our
happiness and grandeur from him. We talk of those
good old days, far enough back now, when the good
and wise king made equal laws for the rich and
poor, and we paint the scene, when hard pressed by
the Danes, and unwilling to sacrifice any one of his
followers, he himself put on the garb of a minstrel,
and penetrated into the Danish camp to bring home
news of the marauders.
Cromwell, whose character has been misrepre-
sented and very much misunderstood, is a character
of true English growth, and one of whom English-
men will one day grow more proud than they are
at present. The histories of other countries should
at least teach us something of our own. Borne up-
wards on the revolutionary course of events, raised
to the chief seat in the kingdom, with the crown
in his reach and the sceptre thrust into his
hand, Cromwell did not, as Alexander or Napoleon,
achieve greatness only for himself. He did not put
the crown upon his own head-and he undoubtedly



had the power-but he became the protector of the
English constitution, and under him peace flourished,
and the kingdom progressed in such a manner as it
never had done before. He was eminently just.
The judges of England before his time were the
partizans of power; they became under him, and
with few exceptions since him, the exponents of
justice, the mouthpieces of truth.
But his entire devotion to the cause of the king-
dom and of religion has been much misrepresented
by those who had little or no religion themselves.
Yet abroad he was looked to as the protector of the
weak against the tyrannical, and his strong arm alone
protected the Waldenses and Albigenses from the
persecutions of the Pope and of Spain.
Whilst holding the troublous reins of power,
planning a victory, or determining on a sudden on-
slaught of the enemy, this great man bent his mind
to little things, and in the remains of his letters he
continually writes, just as did the great Wellington,
of the boots or saddles of his troopers, of the
bread with which they are fed, of the provender
of their horses. In every instance he either orders
hard cash to be paid, or when that is wanting, he
engages his own word and his own bond. He
never broke his word. What he said he would do,
that he did, and in this case he was like Alfred,
and Wellington, and all great men.
Alfred was called pre-eminently the truth-teller.
Wellington, when he had passed his word for a
thing, never went from it. If it was in human



compass, he did it. His men saw the importance of
truth, and copied the great master in adhering to it.
"I must do it," said one; "what will the Duke
say if I do not ?"
So also Blucher, when the Duke rode over before
the Battle of Waterloo, and engaged him to come
up at a certain time, promised, and the Duke was
satisfied that he would perform his word. But in
the meantime rain had fallen, the army of Blucher
had been in part driven back, the roads were im-
passable for cannon or for an army.
Blucher rode up to his men; they could hear
the cannon of Waterloo, but were yet afar off. "We
cannot go any further, General," they said, "our
men are sinking from fatigue."
You must go on," cried old Marshal Forwards,
as the Germans fondly call him. "You must go
on; I have given my word to the Duke, and I
will keep it." And so it was that the Prussians
did come up to complete the defeat of the French,
and old Blucher met and kissed the cheek of the
Conqueror on those bloody plains of Waterloo.
Washington, who has earned the name of the
father of his country, was a very precise, truth-
telling man, and owed all his successes in life to
these qualities. "Punctuality," said Louis XIV.,
" is the politeness of kings." Punctuality is truth,
and truth alone binds society together," said Wash-
ington. "What I say I will do, that I will do," he
repeated, and he kept his word.
The secretary of the great General was one day


much behind his time, and he laid the blame upon
his watch. "Then," returned Washington, "you
must get another watch or I another secretary."
So also the great man was simple and earnest, and
not afraid of looking into small details when he was
President. He checked his own accounts, paid his
own bills, and would, if necessary, object to the ex-
pense of the smallest articles. He was great upon
trifles, for he knew their value.
But the chief value of the lives of these men to
us, is the proper estimate which they took of Fame.
To them the great noise of their name in this
world was nothing, if not accompanied by the
approving noise of their own conscience. That
was, indeed, something not to be done without, and
not easily set aside. Pope has represented Cromwell
as one who cared only for ambition. In telling us
what greatness is worth, he cries out:-

If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shined,
The brightest, wisest, meanest of mankind;
Or ravished by the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell damned to everlasting Fame."

But we must remember that Pope was not in a
position to judge, and that he was surrounded by
the prejudices of his time. Cromwell refused the
crown, there is no denying that. He also conti-
nually referred to the blessings of quiet, and would,
when troubled with state, "e'en go pray"-he would,
he said, seek the Lord;" and his enemies, without
any proof, have called this hypocrisy.



Charles II., who was ready to sacrifice

his prejudices to his own advancement, applied for
the hand of his daughter, many another man would

have been ravished at the prospect.
was not ambitious, and declared that

But Cromwell
" Charles was

not good enough for his daughter; he did not wish
to make her great, he wanted to make her happy."
This was a proper reply, but not that of an ambi-
tious man. Neither did he on his deathbed consoli-

date his power.

He might have associated his son

Henry, who was a very capable man, with him in
governing, and have left him the kingdom, but he
did not so. Where God chooses," said he, when

dying, there let the kingdom rest."
So also Washington, when elected to the Presi-
dent's chair for a third time, refused the honour, and

retired to Mount Vernon to cultivate his fields


his little estate, and to be satisfied with the rural
pleasures which surrounded him ; like Cincinnatus at

his Sabine

farm, who, when

the delegates waited

upon him to make him
found simplvy puiding


dictator of his country, was


.of a con,0 -
of a countryman,

is plough, dressed in


equally ready to serve his

country as to plough his own field, and to return
again to his simple life when he had done his duty
to his country.

It must be remembered that

, after all, power is

not greatness any more than riches are happiness.

A man may be like

Dionysius the tyrant, a very

powerful man, but a very little one, and an essen-

tially miserable one.

The tyrant Cesler is infinitely



a smaller man in fame than the peasant William
Tell, although Gesler was surrounded by his guards,
and dressed up in all the panoply of power.
But apart from true greatness, one must possess
activity and constant industry to achieve any kind of
superiority in the world, if originally in humble cir-
cumstances; and it must be remembered. that most
of the famous men in the world have arisen from




Bonaparte and his Extraordinary Career-His Success the Fruit
chiefly of his Virtues-His Energy-Richelieu's Dictum-The
Dictionary of Fools-The Direct Purpose of Napoleon-Fortune
and G-ood Luck-The Star of Destiny-An Idea of Crime-
Promptness-The Hereditary Asses-Nothing too small for an

THE family of a Corsican attorney was not likely, in
the ordinary manner of the world, to produce one
who should dictate to kings and emperors, who
should overthrow armies and become the most pro-
minent man in all the world. Yet it did do so.
But the individual of that family who achieved all
this greatness, was as different from the other mem-
bers as he was from the rest of the world.
In following the footsteps of Napoleon Bona-
parte in the path to Fame, we shall find all the
characteristics of a great man, if mixed with the
meannesses of a very little one. He was active,
brave, vigorous, quick of thought, and untiring in
action. He was, indeed, unscrupulous, dishonest,
treacherous, and a word-breaker when it suited him;
but he had made Ambition his mistress, and Con-
science was turned out of doors.
Yet it would be very false and untrue, if any



one were for a moment to place down the successes

of Napoleon to his

were the fruit

of his

vices. I

Iis success and


No man, unless in a

very vicious state, rises by his

bad qualities;

indeed, at last crop out and overpower the
and then the man falls.


The energy of

wished to erase the word

Napoleon was immense.




" There is

cried Napoleon.

and in this he imitated

no such word

as fail,"


said that great

"I do not know what 'I can't' means,"

" Try.'

and to try well is to succeed."


Why of course you will;

He admired, also,

The man whose will was iron,

manner was gentle,
What he loved most, h

and whose

he said, could do anything.
e said, was, the steel hand in

the silk glove," that was the grasp for him.


was a word only for idealogues, dreary dreamers, and


fit only, indeed, for the dictionary of fools.

When the mountains which guarded Italy from him

stood towering before him,

shutting out his

clad soldiers and his heavy artillery, he said,

"There shall be no Alps,"



and he rushed across


and overthrew

his enemy on the plains

Italy, almost before he knew with whom he fought.
When the time came to work, Napoleon could

do almost anything.

He could ride on for days with-

out sleeping, or he would sleep in the saddle as he


He was proud of his strength; he cultivated

not only his body, but

his mind.

He would,

tour de force, walk up and down the room and ex-


as a



four secretaries,

dictating to them at once.

He despised,

or pretended to despise, men who

could not do as much as he could.

He was com-

pact, instant, selfish, prudent, and of a perception


did not suffer itself to be baulked or misled

by any pretences of others.

" My hand

of iron,"

said he, "was not at the extremity of my arm, it
was connected with my head."
There was also a directness of purpose with this
great man which never flinched nor turned aside.
He won the majority of his battles by perceiving at
once the weak point of the enemy, and then crowd-

ing all his soldiers to that point.

He did not spare

himself, and he was perfectly regardless of others.
He saw that men respected fortune and good

luck, and he always talked


peculiarly for


of them as if they were
He placed his foot upon

the neck of the follies of mankind, and rose into the
saddle by them. His favourite rhetoric was in allu-
sion to his star." He persuaded others, and almost
himself, that he was different from other men, and

had a quite

diverse destiny to others.

himself the "child of


He called

He did not, like

Cromwell, bend down his knees in humble adoration
of the Lord, but he contemptuously told the priests

to go


very much alike

and said "that all religions were
/." He was ready to pray with the

Pope, or with the dervish of the desert
He did not believe in the possibility of his com-

mitting crime. "i
not commit crimes.

VIen of my stamp," said he,

Nothing has been more simple


" do


than my elevation: 'tis in vain to ascribe it to in-
trigue or crime; it was owing to the peculiarity of
the times, and to the reputation of my having fought
well against the enemies of my country. I have
always marched with the opinions of great masses,
and with events, of what use then would crimes be
to me ?"
He was ever for instant action. Promptness,
he said, won the day. At Montebello he ordered
Kellerman to begin the attack with eight hundred
horse; and with these he separated six thousand
Hungarian grenadiers before the eyes of the Aus-
trian cavalry. This cavalry wanted but one quarter
of an hour to join the main army; but, as he ob-
served, he always found that it is these quarters
of an hour that decide the fate of a battle."
He did not believe in birth. He himself had
been born of a private family, and yet knew how
great he was. He looked contemptuously at the
exiled Bourbons, with their long line of hereditary
greatnesses, and spoke of them with disdain, as
"hereditary asses." He said, what was very true
of them, that in their exile "they had learned
nothing, and had forgotten nothing." He was
simple and inexpensive himself, and when his Em-
press had accumulated great debts he looked at
every item, detected errors and checked over-.
charges. "A tradesman's bill," he said, "was not
too small a thing for an Emperor. "





Clusters of Great Men-Human Imitativeness-Generals from
Mud-Augereau-Sergeant Bernadotte, King of Sweden-His
Address to the Swedes-The Duke of Istria-Dessaix-
Gouviore St. Cyr-Private Junot and the Cannon Ball-Kleber
-The Duke de Montebello and his Old Clothes-The Son of
an Innkeeper on a Throne-The Indefatigable-Soult and his

IT has been remarked that great men are like black-
berries, and grow in clusters. Now we have a
congeries of great philosophers, now of great kings
and governors, now of great astronomers, and now
of great generals. The age of Napoleon was the
age of great generals. Perhaps the true cause of
this is to be found in the fact, that all men are imi-
tative, and, therefore, great men produce great men.
Nor does their effect cease during their lifetime.
Napoleon the First was always fond of reading
Cesar's Commentaries, and of consulting the few
anecdotes of the life of Cromwell. He believed the
latter to have been the greatest man that England
had ever produced, but too conscientious to do
much good. So again, as we shall see, Napoleon III.
has imitated throughout his life his uncle : one is the
Napoleon of war; the other that of peace.



Great men produce, we repeat, great men.
Napoleon made those around him great generals; or,
as he said, as he took all men from the lowest ranks,
he made his generals of mud; and this was true
of the large majority. He had determined only to
use those who were worthy. He selected the men
most fitted for his work. He was wise in so doing.
But it will be observed that all these men owed
their elevation to themselves no less than to their
chief. They may be styled self-made men. Marshal
Augereau, Duke of Castiglione, was the son of a
poor fruiterer, and born in the fauxbourgs of Paris,
in 1757. He entered the Neapolitan service, and
worked well. He knew his business, but his low
birth was his greatest bar. In 1792, he was ordered,
with all other Frenchmen, to quit the Neapolitan
territory, for the excesses of the French revolution
had made them odious to the world. The Neapo-
litan common soldier, who had taught himself
fencing, and had mastered in some degree the
science of languages, returned disconsolate to
France, and entered the ranks of the Republican
army, in the middle of life, being then aged thirty-
five years. He had now, however, different masters
to serve. His ability and bravery were noticed, and
in two years he had risen to be a brigadier-general;
in two more he was a general of division. But his
military merits were equal to his fortune.
Bernadotte, a great man, and one of the best
of those brilliant generals whom Napoleon had
called up, was not indeed raised from mud,


but was originally brought up as a barrister. In
his sixteenth year he entered in the army, but
in nine years he had only passed from the rank
of a private to that of a sergeant. Under
General Custines he was given a division, and
under Kleber made general of brigade. Bernadotte
was a nobleman in character. He never descended
to flatter; he was true to himself, and therefore
true to his friend. He married the sister of the
wife of Joseph Bonaparte, and Napoleon bore
testimony to his high character, when he said,
"Bernadotte has a Roman heart and a French
head." Napoleon, when he assumed his imperial
dignity, made him marshal of France. He fought
like a lion to serve his master at Wagram and else-
where, and was so well known and honoured, that
when at the death of the crown prince, in 1810,
it was determined to elect one, Bernadotte, then
Prince of Ponte-Corro, was elected out of several
candidates, amongst whom were the King of
The choice was not unpleasing to Europe. The
common soldier and ex-sergeant was a great com-
mander. He was, too, a faithful and a good man.
He was determined to be true to the people who
had elected him, and he demanded from the emperor
letters patent to emancipate him from his French
"You will promise, marshal," said tne emperor,
"never to bear arms against France."
"I will do no such thing," answered Bernadotte,


indignantly, my first duty lies to my people; I can
never make Sweden a vassal of any other state."
Go !" answered his chief, sorrowfully. Go!
since you will not promise, our destinies are about
to be accomplished!"
The ex-sergeant assumed the name of Charles
John. He had promised to serve the Swedes faith-
fully, and he did so, even to breaking with Napo-
leon, who boasted that he would make the crown
prince of Sweden "finish his course of the Swedish
language at Vincennes." This threat caused a
serious difference between them, and when need
came, Bernadotte armed against his native country,
and in defence of that which had elected him.
With Swedish, Russian, and the Prussian troops his
army amounted to more than 100,000 men. He
fought at Leipsic in three terrific struggles, and
after the defeat and abdication of Napoleon, he
entered Paris at the head of a portion of the allied
His government, for the old king was too ex-
hausted to be of any assistance, and all devolved
upon Bernadotte, was mild and firm, and on the 18th
of May, 1818, he was crowned King of Sweden, as
Charles XIV., and on September following, King of
Norway. His address to his inhabitants is too
simple and true to be omitted:-
"When I came among you, I brought nothing
beyond my sword and my actions as my title and
guarantees. If I could have brought you a long
list of ancestors, from Charles Martel downwards, I



should have valued them only for your sakes.


my part, I am satisfied with the remembrance of the
services I have performed, and with the glory which

has exalted me.

My claims in other respects rest

on my adoption by the king, and on the unanimous



a free people.

On these I

found my

rightful pretensions; and so long as honour and
justice are esteemed upon earth my rights will be
accounted more legitimate than if I were descended

from Odin.

History informs us that no prince ever

mounted a foreign throne but by election or by con-


I have not opened

my way to the Swedish

throne by the latter; I have been invited to

it by

and this

It would not be just t(
Bernadotte unless we adde
still persevered in his justii

my best and proudest

) conclude this notice of
,d, that till his death he
ce and his integrity, was

the patron of every thing which could promote the

happiness of his people, and died as
a blessing to the throne to which

he had lived,


had been

Marshal Bessieres, Duke of Istria, was another in-
stance of one who had risen from nothing, entirely by
his own valour and abilities. But at Jena, Eylau,
Friedland, Herlsberg, and other battles, he exhibited

rare talents;
bravery. Hi,

field of Lutzen.
had indeed a noble


any benefit



3 death was that of a

soldier, on the

Dessaix, another great soldier,
birth, but the Revolution swept
vhich might have accrued from

the former;



it, and he arose from sheer merit.

He was so good,

truthful, and mild, that in Upper Egypt, where he

held command, he earned the title of the

" Just


" Tell

he fell, he sent a message to
the first consul that I die with

regret; I have not lived long enough for glory."
Of all generals I ever had," said Napoleon, at

St. Helen

" Dessaix

and Kleber had the greatest

Their loss was irreparable to France."


he added,

" Dessaix

thought only

glory, he lived on glory. Luxury and even com-
fort he despised. He preferred sleeping under a

gun in the open air, with
him, to the softest couch.

The long

his cloak wrapped about
Money he totally dis-

list of Napoleon's marshals,


them men who had


from mud,"

again to

use the words of their chief, we cannot make com-

plete; but we may add th
designed not for a soldier

at Gouvoin
but a paint

St. Cyr was
;er, and had

travelled through Italy to perfect himself in his art.

He threw away the brush and mall-stick
sword, and rose to be Marshal of France.
raised by Louis XVIII. to the chamber o

and held the portfolio

of Minister at War.

for the
He was
f peers,

another marshal, and Duke

of Abrantes, was the

son of a peasant, and quarrelled with

his father,


it is said,

he had even pilfered from,

entered the ranks.

Luckily he could read and write

well, and also had not neglected other parts of his


He had great presence of mind.








the siege of Toulon, Bonaparte wanted some one
to write a despatch, and Junot stepped from the
ranks and volunteered. He had scarcely finished
when a shot struck the wall close to his side, and
covered the letter with dust. That is lucky, sir,"
said Junot, shaking the paper, "I was in want of
sand to dry my writing."
"You are a brave fellow," said Bonaparte;
"how can I serve you?" Give me promotion,"
was the answer, "and I will not disgrace it." He
was immediately made sergeant, then was given a
commission, and was soon afterwards made aide-
de-camp to his benefactor.
Kleber, the ablest of all the Emperor's generals,
was born at Strasburg, and was an architect. See-
ing some Bavarians insulted by his townsmen, he
took their part, and beat four of his assailants.
The grateful Bavarians extolled his prowess, and
begged him to become a soldier, offering him an
admission to the school at Munich. Upon this in-
cident his life turned. He accepted the proposal,
and became one of the most distinguished of the
pupils, but, in 1783, he had only attained the rank
of lieutenant, and left the army in disgust, and
once more worked as an architect. The Revolution
again threw him in the ranks of the army, and he
served with glory till his assassination by a fanatic,
at Cairo.
Laison, Governor of St. Cloud, was of so obscure
a birth, that it is difficult to say whom his parents
were, but he was a brave and good soldier. Lannes,

whose parents were of the poorest, was brought up
as a mechanic, he rose to be Marshal of France, and
Duke de Montebello. A very pleasing trait in this
man was, that he never forgot his origin. There is
a story told of more than one of our city magnates,
that they had preserved the porter's knot which
they carried before industry and tact had made
them rich. The Duke had, m his mansion at Com-
baut, a large chest, twenty feet long, the contents
of which his guests were anxious to see. One day
the duchess opened it in the presence of a friend,
and showed its contents; it contained all the old
clothes which she and her husband had worn since
their marriage. The oldest were coarse, plain habits,
the last those of ducal rank.
My husband and I," said the duchess, take
a pleasure in preserving these; there is no harm in
looking on them from time to time:-people should
never forget what their history has been."
MacDonald, another marshal, was the son of a
poor Scotch refugee. Massena was an orphan, who
was brought up to the sea, and who, running away
from that, became a private soldier. He became
also, before he died, Duke of Rivoli, and Prince of
Essling. Moreau was a law student. He died a
general. Murat, Marshal of France, Grand Duke
of Berg and Cleves, and King of Naples, was the son
of a little innkeeper, who had once been steward to
the Talleyrands. Ney, a marshal, a duke, and c
Prince of Elchingen, whose name, like that of Mu-
rat and Napoleon, will live long in history, was the


son of a poor tradesman.
he was employed as clerk

At thirteen years of age
to a poor notary. But

his energy was so great when he entered the army
that he became known by the surname of the In-


In three or four years he had

the way up to the command of a


energy, his dash, courage, and utter devotion to the

war, also earned him the
the Brave." It was to Ne

title of the

"Bravest of

1y's calmness, continually

sustained courage, and endurance, that the remnant

of the French army owed its existence after


fatal retreat from Moscow. The
Soult was also obscure, but his

origin of Marshal


abundant than those of the others of that

group which surrounded
to the highest post. H

no less

the Emperor, raised

e was the only one of Na-

poleon's generals who was deemed fitted to
with Wellington, and he certainly did more

others in opposing him.
Marshal lived to very gr

honoured guest of



back, and few

Le I

As is well known, the old
-eat age, and became the
Duke of Wellington some
reign generals were such

favourites with

the English


Soult had a

vice not


found, however, in

He was, indeed,

the breast of a

indefatigable in war, but

he was also so in accumulating money and valu-


He died enormously rich,

he had

" borrowed"


and the pictures,
Spain, were sold

by public

auction, and the best purchased by the

F'rench for their galleries.








The Bonaparte Family-The Death of Napoleon-The Birth of his
Nephew-Determination to Succeed and to Perish-The Nature
of Princes-The Exile-Belief in Destiny-" Political Reveries"
-Continued Work-Strasburg and Boulogne-Napoleonic
Ideas-The Hour and the Man-The Burial of the Old Napo-
leon-President and Emperor-The Power and Importance
of France.

THAT which we have said of the reproductiveness of
genius is especially true of the Bonaparte family,
which now and for a long time past has filled the
minds, as well as the newspapers, of Europe. Napo-
leon the First abdicated his throne, and was thrown
into confinement, and died like a chained eagle or a
caged rat, on a lonely island in the Atlantic, but he
left behind him a memory, and he lived in the hearts
of thousands of his faithful adherents and admirers.*
He moreover left behind him an extraordinary being,
man he was scarcely then, who was determined to
equal him in his love for power and glory.
The career of this man on the road to fame and
success is an extraordinary one. It has that about
Napoleon Bonaparte died on the 5th of May, 1821. Louis
Napoleon was born at the Tuileries, the 20th of April, 1808, and his
birth was announced by salutes of cannon, both in Holland and


it which no good man can approve; but we have
here nothing to do with the political portion of his
life, we have only to point out a consistent, or rather
a persistent endeavour, which was crowned with
success, and which, so far as we can judge, has
benefited the French nation. Men in the ordinary
stations of life have been frequently called to judge
princes, and they pronounce judgment fluently
enough. But princedom seems to alter the nature
of man. The doctrine of the Roman Church is,
"once a priest always a priest." It seems essen-
tially true also of princes. We have instances of
kings and emperors who have laid down the sceptre
and have retired into private life, but scarcely an
instance of a prince who has quietly resigned his
claim to the throne, and has resided amongst the
people till his race had become again amalgamated
with theirs. When a prince, on the other hand,
,does according to. the custom and tradition of the
race, the misery which he occasions is incalculable.
How many thousands of lives were sacrificed for the
pretenders in our own country, from Perkin War-
beck, who by some is held to have been the true
prince, to Charles Edward and the other vicious
descendants of the Stewarts ? So again with the
Don Miguels and Don Carlos of modern history,
with the pretenders to the thrones of Brazil and
Mexico. The designs of the Almighty are inscrut-
able; but if human life is to be held at any value it
would seem to be the most merciful way to at once
adopt the manners of Robespierre, and to put an end


to the race which will surely prove so noxious to the
country. But we must not borrow a leaf from the
book of princes, and do evil that good may ensue.
The evil is certain, the good problematical.
When Louis Napoleon grew old enough to reflect,
he found himself with the bare title of prince, and
exiled from his country. He had, indeed, an ample
fortune for a private individual, but M. Louis Bona-
parte had determined not to be private. Secret,
capable, and with a burning ambition, restless, and
full of invention, and with a busy, clever brain, if
not actually possessing genius, the young man was
already a dreamer, and believed in his fate.
His uncle had taught him to trust to his destiny.
He implored Louis Philippe to allow him to serve,
even as a common soldier, in the ranks of the
French army. He was ready to swear allegiance.
The heir of Napoleon was dead, but an elder brother
barred the claim of Louis, and, moreover, a dozen
proclamations and acts of the Senate prohibited the
Bonaparte family from ever ascending the throne.
Louis Napoleon could remember all this, and deter-
mined to outlive it.
His petition was answered by a renewal of the
decree of his banishment. But he still fed his hopes.
In 1831 he and his brother both took part in the
Revolution at Rome; in the same year his elder
brother died, and Louis in disguise travelled through
Italy and France to England, to see his mother,
Hortense, from whom he again heard prophecies of
his future greatness.


He then returned to the Castle of Ahrenenberg

to dream and to publish.

He continually kept the

of Napoleon before the world.

the benefit of his Political Reveries,"

He gave it
in which he

had suggested a method of making everybody happy,
and France especially so; but he said France could
only be regenerated by a descendant of Napoleon,
who understood how to combine the emperor and

the republican.

who was to be the man.
Busy he always was.

There could not be a doubt as to

The old Napoleon was

man of action, his nephew was no less so.

interviews with many partizans-he kept up
hopes of his party, he spread his name quietly,

surely, all over France.

He wrote works, and of

some merit, but they were of the kinds most appre-


in France, that is




military or


In 1832 it

was believed by those who knew the

of parties

in France,

quite ready to acknowledge 1

We need not say who had prepared

the people, nor who had kept

kept alive it was. We need not recall the fact that
the French had a constitutional king, and were well
and gently governed. We have only to refer to the
continued industry and perseverance of the Prince,
an industry and perseverance which in the cause of
the people would have been heroic.
But from 1832 to 1836 Louis Napoleon kept his


in the background.

In that year it



He had



come forward.

that the people were
the Prince, did he but

alive this





determined that an attempt should be made to re-


the throne, and it was done by

corruption amongst the royalist soldiers
Louis Napoleon presented himself, and



of France.
whole regi-

ments forgot their oaths of allegiance and followed
him. He was leading men on to an almost secure
victory, when the presence of mind of one general

suggested that


the Prince was an impostor, and,

to his own astonishment, the tables were
and the adventurous Prince was made a


The King

of the French acted with

common lenity; banishment and imprisonment were

awarded to one who had not scrupled for


his own

to take a step which would assuredly

have plunged the whole kingdom in bloodshed.
Outliving this banishment, and breaking J

his bonds, Louis

Napoleon never abandoned


early dream.

After a residence in


which state protected him, he took up his residence

in London

(1838), and in

1839 published his work,

now most celebrated,




which was intended to revolutionize French society.

In two more years, 1840, he again attempted


regain that throne which he appears fully to have

believed his own.

Hiring a small English steamer,

and accompanied only by a few friends and a tame
eagle, he absolutely invaded Boulogne-an attempt
which, if successful, would have again plunged
France into civil war; he landed, but was promptly
beaten back, one of his followers killed, and himself

and others made prisoners.

His culpable ambition




had caused at least one death and much misery, but
in prison or out of it he never abandoned his plans.

Six years of
closely to them.
A second es
the guest of E

confinement made him cling more

cape from prison



but his idea h

him again
ad grown


Plotter he may be called, but his industry

has been wonderful.

He seems to have been an

embodiment of all working power,
justice to him to believe that he had

his destiny, and believed
necessity to France.

and it is but

a firm

that Napoleonism

faith in

was a

Time alone

can prove

whether or not he


in his attempts



But they at

least were incessant, and at last successful; though,
indeed, here comes in one of those changes in the



are almost .doubtful

in their


It is questionable whether the French Revolution
of 1848 was owing solely to Providence or to man.

It would be
it would be

the wants
any other

hard to say that one man caused it;

difficult to prove

of the

that it

people, or that it

It could not have been




was a political
successful with

than the French; and they

been for years saturated with Napoleonism. I
Philippe gave an impulse, a fresh and vigorous
to this feeling, in allowing the body of the


Emperor to have
and brought to Pai

been begged from



The whole of France turned,

as they read the account of that splendid and sacri-


rite, with admiring

and respectful eyes






the nephew. He himself was not idle. The per-
petual worker, like a successful tradesman in his
business, he was ready at hand when wanted, and
the army knew it.
The successful issue of intrigue in the case of
the Spanish marriages, took away from Louis
Philippe the moral support of England. When,
therefore, his government fell by a sudden gust of
temper, there was none to help him. The vessel of
the state was never righted; and when another and
more popular ruler was looked for, one, too, who
better understood the weaknesses and follies of the
French people than the poets, literateurs, and philo-
sophers who held the reins, the previous work of
M. Louis Bonaparte told, and he was elected by an
overwhelming majority. This was very natural.
Some people have asserted that he used trickery at
the electoral urns; the tricks he employed were his
hard work and incessant determination many years
before. The elected of France," acted like many
a great man before him when he had the ball at his
feet. He had waited a long, long time for the oppor-
tunity; he was no longer young; his illusions, if
any, had passed away; he knew he was not loved
in Europe, he determined to make himself feared;
he at last has done so.
Step by step he rose. He is one of those who
have waded through slaughter to a throne; but there
is not a shadow of a doubt but that under him the
political influence of France has wonderfully in-
creased, and that the spirit of the French nation


bounds higher than before.

No one can have visited

the country without seeing at once how incessant the

labour of the Emperor must have been.

The capital

has been renovated; it is a new Paris that the spec-

tator sees, not an old one.

So, also, with almost

every other important town;

army, with the navy, with

so, also,

the forts,

with the

with the corn-




is by

far the most


sovereign in Europe; his word with many is law, to

all it is a serious matter.

He has taken occasion

by the hand, looked out for the wants of the age,
the requirements of his people, and has gone forth

to meet them.

He is the most important sovereign

because he is the most industrious. He is an incessant


He is busied with every scheme, and by

himself or his agents, important in every quarter of

the globe;

in Russia, China, Syria, Belgium, Spain,

Austria, Italy, Africa, Egypt, Arabia, Polynesia-in
each and all of these his busy mind, acting upon
his agents, and reacted on by them, has made him

He is the

He has the widest fame of any man living.

beau-ideal of a working monarch.


French wanted to be governed, and he has governed

But, in

for his crimes.
shed like water,
Napoleon III. b

saying this, we offer no apology
In politics or in war, blood has been
but there can be but little doubt of

being a

great, a famous, and in


worldly sense, a wise man; whether for the eventual
happiness of mankind, remains to be seen.






A Change of Subject-The Soldier of Science-Humboldt-The First
Impulse-George Forster-Scientific Work-The Project of
Life-An Expedition for Conquest of Man, and one for that
of Science-Humboldt's Voyage-Savage Nature-Pursuit of
Science-Works of Humboldt-Sojourn in Paris.

IT is well to be reminded, whilst reading of personal
ambition, and in the midst, perhaps, of the re-
joicings for victory in one nation and the meanings
of defeat in another, or of the cries and excitement
which revolution and reformation of kingdoms in-
evitably bring, that the great march of science
still continues across the noise of smoke and wail-
ing, that the passage of knowledge is uninterrupted
either by blockade, fight, or siege. Nothing will
do this for us more thoroughly than by turning from
the political intrigue in the last chapter to the lives
of great and wise men, of the soldiers of science, of
the pioneers of progress, of the true apostles of
peace. By them we shall be reminded "that we
may make our lives sublime," and, to continue the
"Departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of Time."
Footprints which will be assurances to those who


follow, that great men have been before them who
have turned from the hurry, bustle, noise, and
smoke of glory; the over-excitement and madden-
ing rush for gold, and scramble for honours; the
chicanery of place, to that quieter, calmer, better
path of daily labour and daily worship, of patient
investigation and pure thought, which rises like
calm incense in an evening sky towards the throne
of the All-Knower; which abounds in love to our
brothers, since it abounds in benefits conferred on
them; which eases and soothes men's minds dis-
turbed by angry passions, and is in its intensity a
kind of noble faith even in Pagan philosopher,
since, by it he venerates and worships the Creator
in his works, and looks through Nature up to
Nature's God.
There is no example which will better illustrate
the foregoing than that of Frederick Henry Alex-
ander, Baron Humboldt, known since his elevation
to the peerage of humanity simply by the last
name. Humboldt's mother, a woman of great in-
tellectual endowments and some beauty, was the
widow of Baron Holwede when she attracted the
attention and love of Major Humboldt, an aide-de-
camp to the Duke of Brunswick, during the seven
years' war. She did not long remain a widow.
She entrusted herself, her fortune, and one son by
her first marriage, to the aide-de-camp, and on the
22nd of June, 1767, at Potsdam, gave birth to
Charles William Humboldt, and at the chateau of
Tegee, near Berlin, on the 14th of September, 1769,


to the subject of this chapter. The elder brother,
Charles, grew up to be one of the finest wits in
Germany; he was a poet, critic, philologist, states-
man. His brother was, after his kind, a statesman,
too, one who interpreted the laws of Nature, and,
after living a very long life, full of honour and re-
nown, has died, leaving behind him the name of the
greatest naturalist and savant of his country.
The two boys were but young when they lost
their father, and their education and introduction
to the world was therefore left entirely to Madame
Humboldt. This lady had entrusted one Joachim
Campe in the education of her eldest son. The
master was then well known as the author of The
Young Crusoe;" now he is forgotten, save when
connected with his pupils, for it is the property of
great men to render all around them celebrated.
Various was the instruction given to the young
Humboldts. Besides Campe, Christian Kemth
should be mentioned amongst Humboldt's teachers.
From their father's chateau the two boys went to
Berlin, Frankfort-on-the-Oder, and, lastly, to Got-
It was at the last place, whilst his brother was
writing poetry, and was filled with all the enthu-
siasm the ardent spirits of the time felt for the great
event of the time, the French Revolution, an event
which, by the way, disappointed and horrified all its
admirers, that Alexander happily met a gentleman.
of some notoriety, who had been round the world
with Captain Cook. The glowing narration of the



beauties of Nature, which Humboldt heard from the
mouth of this man, George Forster, fired him with
the first desire to become a naturalist. He had

made a debut
something vei

in literature.

ry scientific,




e out with


the result



He wrote


lutely "On the Textile Fabrics

of the


about which he could have known nothing.


forward he was to abandon "textile fabrics,"


to inquire not how Penelope's petticoat was spun,

but how God made his

had clothed the

earth, and

plains with verdure

in what way


and the forests

with leaves.

To this George




credit for much

It is a great thing

to a youthful

to have


in truth,

the world

of Humboldt's

given the

Man or


first impulse

book which does

cannot be too highly estimated.
soe" has filled our navy, rende

famous, has
which other

Robinson Cru-
red our merchants

given a seaward impulse to the


seek in vain to possess

old George Forster, gossiping over
of Bavarian beer about his voyage


his modest
with the q-


Captain Cook, sets that in a flame which eighty years

cannot quench,
fire on a high 1

and which in its progress, like a great
hill, casts its reflection far and wide.

With George Forster, Humboldt made

scientific tour.



mineral productions

actuated by

a strange

He travelled
ig the earth,


his first
and to

its strata, and

of each country.


to go


He was also
to the New


.I .~ --
------ --
-~_ I-- -~ _,F-- '-~--------5---`--I-~---
-T ---- --I)
--`-. -1~------- ------1--

----------- ---------------
-~_I__ ---I-__
----i _--- -
------- L_

\ ---- ------- -`~

\ \\'~
\\ `i: -;~,x\.t


.- N

\ '"






1/1 // J
/ ~1 1,,'

s \




World, and to observe the life of a savage, to mark
how far it differed from that of civilized man; but
that desire was not yet to be gratified. With the
advice and assistance of Forster, he published his
first scientific work on the Basalts of the Rhine"
(Uber des Basalts ans Rhein), in 1790, when he had
scarcely passed his twenty-first year. He had
already become known for his ardent desire of
knowledge, for his love of experiment and deep
fervour in tracking a truth, so far as one can, to
its fountain head. Indeed, this, more than family
influence, procured him his first employment, that of
inspector of mines in the provinces of Beyreuth and
Anspach. Holding this office, he was ever at work,
and issued his second work, on the Fossil Flora of
Friberg" (Flora subterranean Fribergensis, etc.). He
told us what shapes flowers had before the flood,
how they bloomed and fructified; he gave us their
forms, and the thickness of their fibre, and by in-
duction showed us what soil they loved, and what
brilliant colours they gladdened the young world
with. Working still on, in a few more years he had
advanced his studies from the dumb stone world, or
fossil vegetable life, to that more wondrous organism
around and about him, experimented on the nervous
system of men and animals, and published his third
work, Uber die gereizte nerveuse et musculaire."
The world began now to talk of this young savant,
this devourer of books, this perpetual worker and
thinker, who seemed determined to master the
whole circle of knowledge.


It was late in the year 1796 that Humboldt lost

his mother, his best and truest friend.

had always submitted;

To her


by her, famous and great as

he was, he had ever been controlled.

Her life alone


him to

the Old


for he had long

desired to experimentalize in the New.

Freed by



this dear tie, he

eagerly flew to Paris,

bought all the

scientific instruments which he

he should need, disposed


of his estates in Prussia,

and obtained permission from the French to join

the Baudin
survey Sout

scientific expedition then fitting


out to

But the French govern-

ment were not quick enough for

his hunger for


The expedition



time to time, he determined to wait no longer, and,
in company with a young savant named Bonpland,
Humboldt set out for Spain.
The pandecs of that country were by no means

uncourteous to the two young savants. Might
these two mineralogists discover a new Potosi ?


better still, a
diamond mine.
folks are fond


so th

gold mine; or, indeed, it may be a

Kings of Spain and other great
of diamonds and gold, and material
ey would put forth their hand to

welcome the young philosophers.
Spain was pleased that young I


His Majesty of
mboldt should

scientifically overrun his American possessions, so

be it;

he is everywhere well received.

In the meantime,

whilst the preliminaries

being settled, the two philosophers meet with an
English nobleman, a savant too, not too often met









amongst our peerage at that time. This was Lord
Bristol, and at his behest, and with his aid, Bonpland

and Humboldt, leaving things to be arranged



in Spain, prepared to run over and explore

the wonders of


and a field of wonders

Egypt-a field for any one,
too. This was denied him


Bonaparte, hated




his by no means scientific expedition to

Napoleon hated


scientific men want in Lower Egypt ?
questioned the right of the pen, brute

what could
The sword
force was in

the ascendant; Lord Bristol was arrested at Milan,
and Napoleon went to Egypt; whilst the savant
stayed at home, or rather in Spain, during the year
In May, 1799, however, Humboldt managed, in
the Spanish frigate "Pizarro," to avoid the English
who were blockading the Spanish ports, but whose
ships a storm had scattered, and to set sail for
South America. He touched at Teneriffe, and

ascended the celebrated


Hereby he estab-

lished the Plutonian theory of the earth's formation
in distinction to the Neptunian,

An epidemic,


broke out on board

"Pizarro," forced the captain to land his passengers
at Cumana, on the north-east coast of Venezuela,
and here all Humboldt's longings and aspirations
were satisfied. He employed eighteen months in
collecting specimens, and exploring the country, and
in a frail chance explored the Orinoco, penetrated to

its source, and found

with the Rio


its junction


Negro and the Amazon. Here his soul drank in
that which he had so long longed for, and his eyes
were feasted on immeasurable space. Here, says
he, "you find a plain, bare indeed of any tree, but
covered with rare herbs. Not a hill, not a rock,
rises like an islet in this boundless space, this sea of
land. Only some fragments of vast heaps of alluvial
soil surge up, thinly scattered in a space of two
hundred square leagues, and appear slightly higher
than the surrounding plain. In the midst
of this grand and wild Nature a diverse and savage
people lives, separated each from each by a strange
diversity of tongue. Some, like the Ottomacs and
the Taurodos, are wanderers, living on grubs, ants,
gums, and earth; others are more cultivated, and
possess intelligence and gentle manners. The vast
space between the Cassignaire and the Atababo are
peopled not by men, but by tapirs and apes formed
into societies. Figures and characters cut upon the
rocks testify that formerly civilization had advanced
here. In the interior of the steppes, the tiger and
the crocodile make war upon the horse and the bull;
upon its woody boundaries man perpetually seeks to
slay man; some aliens of Nature drink the blood of
their enemies; others, apparently without arms, are
yet prepared for murder, and slay with the poisoned
nail of their thumb; the weakest tribes, creeping
along the sandy shore, efface with their hands the
traces of their timid footsteps. Thus, in the most
abject barbarism, as in the deceptive glitter of
refined civilization, man ever creates for himself a


life of misery.

The traveller who overruns all space,

no less than the historian who interrogates all ages,

has ever before him the
of human discord."

sad and



Sad, indeed, is the reflection; sad, but true.


is for the good, the tender, the truly brave, and the

kind, to knit up this ravelled garment of life.


might he, after observing the littleness and vileness
of man, turn again to Nature, to that vast expanse,
C wherein you grow almost accustomed to regard

men as

something unimportant in the order of

Nature," but Humboldt loved man as well as Nature,
and for him treasured up knowledge, no less than for
himself. Geology, ethnography, and geography
were the especial objects of Humboldt's travels; to

these were also added natural history.

After re-


to Cumana with

his friend

admirable collection, they

reached Quito in January, 1802.

Bonpland, and

again set out and
Five months were

devoted to Quito, and to the exploration of


valleys and the

chain of snow-capped

mountains which surround it.

He ascended, on the

23rd of June,


Chimborazo, the


which is 21,420 feet above the sea.*

In his

scribed th

" Cosmos," Humboldt has beautifully de-
3 glorious sensation of looking out from

There is a school rhyme about this :-
Chimborazo was formerly thought to be
The highest mountain which ever man did see," etc., etc.
We need scarcely remind our readers that the Eastern Hemisphere
boasts the highest mountain-the Everest, a peak of the Himalaya.





the high mountain

over the plains beneath him,

and has told us that, to his latest day, the


he then had will

never be


He was

right; many years afterwards he used to sit
evening of the day, meditating upon the

in the

plains of South America, upon the golden prairies
and mountain heights of lands he had visited half a
century before-of scenes as far removed in space
as they were in time.

Humboldt's courage

in the pursuit of


was immense.



Bonpland and a guide,

he passed whole nights

in those frozen mountain

peaks, where a few steps might have been destruc-
tion, and where the very elements were at war with

him. He ascended to so great a height

rarefied atmosphere so affected

gushed out from

that the

him, that the blood

his nose and eyes; but even then

the soldier of science did not turn back, he went on

until his senses reeled and
highest summit.
But it was now time for

with spoi
classify th

he had reached


him to rest from his

The soldier of science had returned laden
Is. It was necessary to arrange and



and Humboldt

and Bonpland

determined to return to Europe.

This they

previously visiting

the United

States, and being

received with acclamation by the people, and great
friendship by Jefferson, who was then president.
In 1804, they set foot in Bordeaux, after an absence
of five years from Europe.
The result of this voyage forms the monument




-the greatest, most complete, a
to Humboldt and his companion.

throughout a series of



nd last monument
It was published
t it is too vast and

too expensive a work for any one but the rich savant,

or the public library. The i
will show the reader what

mere names of the books
the labour must have

been to obtain such a result:-

1st Part.-


" Travels in the Equinoctial Regions
"orld." Paris, 1807-25, 3 vols. in

2nd Part.-" View of

the Cordilleras

and the

Indigenous Tribes

of America,

with their





In folio,

with sixty-nine


nations on South America."

2 vols.


4th Part.-"

V Political Essay on the Kingdom

of New Spain." Under this title he gives his views
of the policy, agriculture, mineral wealth, social and

monetary economy, civil

and military transactions

of this kingdom.


an Atlas.



5th Part.-" Astronomical

Trigonometrical and

2 vols. in 4to.



Barometrical Measurements."


6th.-" General

and Physical


South America."



8th.-" A


Essay on

the Island

The very titles of these works will


of the


3rd Part.-" Zoological and Anatomical

7th.-Essay on the Geography of Plants."





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