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“ How he kept himself from being involved in quarrels?” He answered, “ By letting the angry person always have the quarrel to himself.” This saying secms to have had some influence on some of the inhabitants of that town; for, when a quarrel has been likely to ensue, they have said,
Come, let us remember old Mr. Clark, and leave the angry man to quarrel by himself.” If this maxim were followed, it would be a vast saving of expence, of comfort, and of honour, to thousands of the human race.
FORTITUDE, ÎNTREPIDITY, CONTEMPT
OF DEATH, &c. WHAT vast extremes characterise the mind of man! While some tremble at the shaking of a leat, and die in the very thought of danger, others possess not only strength of mind sufficient to bear the difficulties of life, but shrink not at the very approach of death itself.
Anaxarchus, the philosopher, having sharply reproved Nicroceon, and being by him ordered to be beaten to death with iron mallets, said, “ Strike, strike on : thou mayest break in pieces this vessel of Anaxarchus, but Anaxarchus himself thou canst not touch.” So Socrates is report. ed to have cried out, when persecuted, “ Amyntas and Meletus,” said he, “ can kill me, but they cannot hurt me.”
When a handful of Spartans undertook to defend the pass of Thermopylæ against the whole army of Persia, so prodigious, it was reported, were the multitude of the Persians, that the very flight of their arrows, would intercept the shining
of the sun. " Then,” said Dieneces, one of the Spartan leaders, " we shall have the advantage of fighting in the shade.”
Just before the battle of Agincourt, news was brought to King Henry's camp, that the French were exceedingly numerous; that they would bring into the field more than six times the num. ber of the English troops : to which the brave captain Gam immediately replied, “ Is it so ? then there are enough to be cut in pieces, enough to be taken prisoners, and enough to run away.”
Sir Thomas Moore, some time Lord Chancel. lor of England, fell into disgrace with his sovereign, and was committed to the Tower: on which occasion, the Lieutenant of the Tower, made an apology for the diet, lodging, and accommodations, as unsuitable to the dignity of so great a man. “ No apology, Sir,” replies the courtly prisoner: " don't misestion but I shall like your accom. modations very well; and, if you once hear me complain, I give you free leave to turn me out of doors."
Sir John Lisle, a royalist in the civil wars, was sentenced to death, after being taken prisoner at the siege of Colchester. This brave man, having tendoriy embraced the corpse of Sir Charles Lucas, his departed friend, immediately presented himself to the soldiers who stood ready for his execution. Thinking that they stood at too great a distance, he desired them to come nearer. One of them said, “I warrant you, Sir, we shall hit you.” He replied, with a smile, “ Friends, I have been nearer you when you have missed me.”
When Sir Walter Raleigh was brought upon the scaffold to suffer death, he vindicated his conduct in a most eloquent and pathetic speech, and
Richare of Chalus; Hul surgeon, e Alesh in sus
then, feeling the edge of the fatal instrument of death, observed, with a smile, “ It is a sharp me. dicine, but a sure remedy for all woes.” Being asked which way he would lay himself on the block, he replied, “ So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lies."
Pierre Du Terrail, Chevalier De Bayard, being mortally wounded in retreating from the Imperi. alists, he placed himself under a tree, his face towards the enemy, saying, “ As in life I always faced the enemy, so I would not in death turn nay back upon them.”
Richard I, King of England, having invested : the castle of Chalus, was shot in the shoulder with an arrow : an unskilful surgeon, endeavouring to extract the weapon, mangled the flesh in such a manner, that a gangrene ensued. The castle being taken, and perceiving he should not live, he ordered Bertram De Gourdon, who had shot the arrow, to be brought to his presence. Bertram being come, “What harm,” said the king, “ did I ever do thee, that thou should'st kill me ?” The other replied, with great magnanimity and courage, “ You killed with your own hand my father and two of my brothers, and you likewise designed to have killed me. You may now satiate your revenge. I should cheerfully suffer all the torments that can be inflicted, were I sure of having delivered the world of a tyrant who filled it with blood and carnage.” This bold and spirited answer struck Richard with remorse. He ordered the prisoner to be presented with one hundred shillings, and set at liberty ; but one of the king's friends, like a true ruffian, ordered him to be flayed alive.
The following modern instance is extracted from
a late French work, entitled Ecole Historique et Morale du Soldat, &c. A mine underneath one of the outworks of a citadel was entrusted to the charge of a sergeant and a few soldiers of the Piedmontese guards. Several companies of the enemies troops had made themselves masters of this work, and the loss of the place would probably soon have followed, had they maintained their post in it. The mine was charged, and a single spark would blow them all into the air. The sergeant, with the greatest coolness, ordered the soldiers to retire, desiring them to request the king to take care of his wife and children ; struck fire, set a match to the train, and sacrificed himself for his country.
Anne De Montmorency, a peer, marshal, and constable of France, being wounded at the battle of St. Dennis, a cordelier attempting to prepare him for death when he was covered with blood and wounds, he replied, in a firm and steady voice, " Do you think that a man who has lived nearly eighty years with honour has not learned to die for a quarter of an hour?”.
But of all the instances of fortitude and contempt of death, none are to be compared with those who have suffered in the cause of Christianity; for such is the peculiar excellency of the system, that its true adherents have not only thought it their họ. nour to live under its influence, but their privilege to die for its defence. Martyrs, indeed, have been found in almost every cause ; but none have ever been so signally supported, or have died so nobly, as the martyrs of Christ. Some instances, perhaps, are found of their courting
it, when they might have avoided it; but, in · general, they have been men whose lives bore striking testimonies in favour of that truth which they sealed by their deaths. “ Blessed are they," says our Lord, “who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for their's is the kingdom of hea. ven.” They preferred truth to ease, liberty of conscience to hypocrisy, and the glory of their Master before the honour of man. They chose rather to suffer affliction than to enjoy the plea, sures of sin, which were but for a season; esteeming the reproaches of Christ greater than the treasures of the world. Happy they, of whom the world was not worthy. Peace be with all them who are not ashamed to live nor afraid to die in the defence of Christianity.
. We shall here select a few instances of Christian fortitude in the hour of death.
John Huss, when the chain was put about hini at the stake, said, with a smiling countenance, “ My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake; and why should I be afraid of this old rusty one?” When the fag, gots were piled up to his very neck, the Duke of Bavaria was officious enough to desire him to abjure. “No,” said Huss, “I never preached any doctrine of an evil tendency; and what I taught with my lips I now seal with my blood.” He said to the executioner, “ Are you going to burn a goose? In one century you will have a swan you can neither roast nor boil.” If he were prophetic, he must have meant Luther, who had a swan for his arms. The flames were then applied to the faggots, when the martyr sung a hymn with so loud and cheerful a voice, that he was heard through all the cracklings of the con. bustibles and the noise of the multitude. At last, his voice was short after he had uttered, VOL. III. .