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was on the whole a good man, yet he was certainly, on account of these deficiencies, feared rather than loved. We may wish that he had acted more in accordance with the beautiful lines which follow from our great poet, with which we will conclude the chapter,- and more in accordance too with the spirit of Him who said, “Be ye merciful, even as your Father which is in heaven is merciful." Had he so acted, we should not have been obliged to mourn over the massacre of Glencoe, as a stain on the memory of our sovereign William III.
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
A CHAPTER ON GREAT MEN.
Lives of great men all remind us
We may make our lives sublime;
Footprints on the sands of time ;-
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, may take heart again.-LONGFELLOW.
WILLIAM III left no children; when he died, therefore, Anne, the youngest daughter of James II., succeeded to the throne, according to the arrangements made at the time of the Revolution, Anne was an amiable woman, and a good queen. She had not indeed very brilliant qualities or talents; but though she did not attract the admiration, she gained the affections of her subjects.
A great part of this reign was taken up with a war against France. Louis XIV was still king of that country. He now rejoiced in the death of his enemy William III, thinking
that he should have little further to fear from the English, beaded as they were by a female sovereign. This however was far from being the case. Forces were soon collected against him from Germany and Holland, the allies of our own country, and preparations for war commenced. The command of the English army was given to the Duke of Marlborough, one of the most celebrated men who distinguished the times of Queen Anne. He had been a great favourite with William III, who used to say, that he had the coolest head and the warmest heart of any man he knew. Marlborough enjoyed a great deal of honour under Anne also ; and this was increased by the influence of his wife, to whom the Queen was much attached. The Duchess of Marlborough was a clever woman, but haughty and passionate, and she exercised a great deal too much power over the meek and gentle Anne.
I should tell you, that at this time there was a great deal of disputing between the two parties of whom you have already heard,—the Whigs and the Tories. They differed in opinion as to the expediency of this war with France. The Whigs wished to carry it on; but the Tories objected, on account of the expense it would bring upon the country. However, the Whigs prevailed, and so, as I said, the Duke of Marlborough and his army
were sent out. The Duke was joined by Prince Eugene of Savoy.
And now commenced a very brilliant course of victories over the French and their allies. Many cities were taken, many battles were gained; and Louis, after all his proud boast. ing, was so completely humbled, that he began even to beg for peace. The chief battle for you to remember in this reign was that of Blenheim. By that victory the English and their allies got possession of a very large territory in Germany; and Marlborough was rewarded for his bravery by his country; for he received a large estate, and a magnificent mansion was erected for him near Oxford, called Blenheim House.
But notwithstanding all this success, there were evils connected with these victories of a very serious kind. The country was becoming almost ruined by the heavy expenses which war always brings with it; and when, after a time, the Whig ministers were dismissed, and the Tories got into power, hostilities were terminated, Marlborough was recalled, and peace established by the Treaty of Utrecht. As this is an important event to be remembered in English History, you will do well to bear the date of it in your minds. It took place in the year 1713.
So ended the brilliant career of Marlbo.
rough. As a commander, his fame all through that long campaign was unsullied. It is said of him, that he always advanced, and never retreated ; and that on no occasion did he lose an advantage once gained over the enemy. But though he was such a great man as a soldier, there were some charges brought against him which must lessen our admiration of him as a man. The great fault in the character of Marlborough was avarice. Even when a child he shewed this. It is said that the first purchase he ever made was a box to hold his money. That money was hoarded and increased, and with it increased the natural avarice of the owner, until it formed the blemish of his after life. During the war with France, it was found that he had been guilty of taking bribes; and he was even accused of having prolonged hostilities, in order that he might enrich himself by the plunder of the foreign troops. These were indeed heavy charges; but they proved to be too true ; and Marlborough was in consequence deprived of all the honourable employments in which he had hitherto been engaged. The Duchess, having at last wearied out the Queen by the violence of her temper, was dismissed likewise.
And now, in accordance with our usual plan of gaining instruction from the different characters which, from time to time, come be