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Sent hither by your king's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I staid, Part we in friendship from your land, And, noble earl, receive my hand.” But Douglas round him drew his cloak, Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:“My manors, halls, and bowers, shall still, Be open, at my sovereign’s will, To each one whom he lists, howe'er Unmeet to be the owner's peer; My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation stone; — · The hand of Douglas is his own, And never shall in friendly grasp The hand of such as Marmion clasp." Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire, And shook his very frame for ire ; · And “ This to me!” he said ; “ An 't were not for thy hòary bēard, Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head !
Even in thy pitch of pride,
I tell thee, thou ’rt defied !
Lord Angus, thou hast lied !”
Angus was one of the titles of Douglas.
Fierce he broke forth : “And dar'st thou, then,
The Douglas in his hall ?
Let the portcullis fall.”
Sir WALTER SCOTT.
1. The history of the rise of the Netherland Republic is at the same time the biography of William the
Silent. That life was a noble Christian epic; inspired with one great purpose from its commencement to its close ; the stream flowing ever from one fountain with expanding fullness, but retaining all its original purity.
2. In person, William was above the middle height, perfectly well made and sinewy, but rather spare than stout. His eyes, hair, beard and complexion, were brown. His head was small, symmetrically shaped, combining the alertness and compactness character. istic of the soldier, with the capacious brow furrowed prematurely with the horizontal lines of thought, denoting the statesman and the sage. His physical appearance was, therefore, in harmony with his organization, which was of antique model.
3. Of his moral qualities, the most prominent was his piety. He was, more than any thing else, a religious man. From his trust in God, he ever derived support and consolation in his darkest hours. Implicitly rely. ing upon Almighty wisdom and goodness, he looked danger in the face with a constant smile, and endured incessant labors and trials with a serenity which seemed . more than human. While, however, his soul was full of piety, it was tolerant of error. No man ever felt more keenly than he that the reformer who becomes in his turn a bigot is doubly odious.
4. His firmness was al-lied' to his piety. His constancy in bearing the whole weight of a struggle as unequal as men have ever undertaken, was the theme of admiration, even to his enemies. The rock in the ocean,“ tranquil amid raging billows,” was the favorite emblem by which his friends expressed their sense of his firmness. A prince of high rank, and with royal rev'enues, he stripped himself of station, wealth, almost at times of the common necessaries of life, and became, in his country's cause, nearly a beggar as well as an outlaw. He lived and died, not for himself, but for
his country: “God pity this poor people !” were his dying words.
5. The suprěmacy of his political genius was entirely beyond question. He was the first statesman of the age. The quickness of his perception was only equaled by the caution which enabled him to mature the results of his observation. His knowledge of human nature was profound. He governed the passions and sentiments of a great nation as if they had been but the keys and chords of one vast instrument; and his hand rarely failed to evoke harmony, even out of the wildest storms. ..
6. He possessed a ready eloquence — sometimes impassioned, oftener argumentative, always rătional. His influence over his audience was unexampled in the annals of that country or age; yet he never condescended to flatter the people. He never followed the nation, but always led her in the path of duty and of honor, and was much more prone to rebuke the vices than to pander to the passions of his hearers. He never failed to administer ample chas'tisement, wherever it was due, to par'simony, to jealousy, to insubor. dination, to intolerance, to infidelity; nor feared to confront the states or the people, in their most angry hours, and to tell them the truth to their faces.
7. He had the rare quality of caution, a character. istic by which he was distinguished from his youth. At fifteen he was the confidential counselor, as at twenty-one he became the general-in-chief, to the most politic as well as the most warlike potentate of his age; and if he at times indulged in wiles which modern statesmanship, even while it practices, condemns, he ever held in his hand the clue of an honorable purpose to guide him through the tortuous labyrinth.
8. His enemies said that he was governed only by ambition - by a desire of personal advancement. They never attempted to deny his talents, his industry, his vast sacrifices of wealth and station; but they ridiculed the idea that he could have been inspired by any but unworthy motives. God alone knows the heart of man. He alone can unweave the tangled skein of human motives, and detect the hidden springs of human action; but as far as can be judged by a careful observation of undisputed facts, and by a diligent collation of public and private documents, it would seem that no man — not even Washington has ever been inspired by a purer pa'triotism.
9. Whether originally of a timid temperament or not, he was certainly possessed of perfect courage at
last. In siege and battle — in the deadly air of pesti·lential cities — in the long exhaustion of mind and body which comes from unduly protracted labor and anxiety — amid the countless conspiracies of assassins - he was daily exposed to death in every shape. Within two years, five different attempts against his life had been discovered. Rank and fortune were offered to any malefactor who would compass the murder. He had already been shot through the head, and almost mortally wounded.
10. Under such circumstances even a brave men might have seen a pitfall at every step, a dagger in every hand, and poison in every cup. On the con. trary, he was ever cheerful, and hardly took more precaution than usual. “God, in his mercy," said he, with unaffected simplicity, “will maintain my inne cence and my honor during my life and in future ages. As to my fortune and my life, I have dedicated both, long since, to His service. He will do therewith what pleases Him for His glory and my salvation."
11. William the Silent went through life bearing the load of a people's sorrows upon his shoulders with a smiling face. Their name was the last word upon his