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enthusiastic attachment as did David, and who met with an adventure somewhat similar, showing the like nobleness of mind on the part of both leader and followers.
It was Alexander of Macedon, whose character as a man, with all its dark shades of violence, rage, and profanity, has a nobleness and sweetness that win our hearts, while his greatness rests on a far broader basis than that of his conquests, though they are unrivalled. No one else so gained the love of the conquered, had such wide and comprehensive views for the amelioration of the world, or rose so superior to the prejudice of race; nor have any ten years left so lasting a trace upon the history of the world as those of his career.
It is not, however, of his victories that we are here to speak, but of his return march from the banks of the Indus, in B. C. 326, when he had newly recovered from the severe wound which he had received under the fig-tree, within the mud wall of the city of the Malli. This expedition was as much the exploration of a discoverer as the journey of a conqueror : and, at the mouth of the Indus, he sent his ships to survey the coasts of the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, while he himself marched along the shore of the province, then called Gedrosia, and now Mekhran. It was a most dismal tract. Above towered mountains of reddish-brown bare stone, treeless and without verdure, the scanty grass produced in the summer being burnt up long before September, the month of his march; and all the slope below was equally desolate slopes of gravel. The few inhabitants were called by the Greeks fisheaters and turtle-eaters, because there was, apparently, nothing else to eat; and their huts were built of turtle-shells.
The recollections connected with the region were dismal. Semiramis and Cyrus were each said to
have lost an army there through hunger and thirst; and these foes, the most fatal foes of the invader, began to attack the Greek host. Nothing but the discipline and all-pervading influence of Alexander could have borne his army through. Speed was their sole chance ; and through the burning sun, over the arid rock, he stimulated their steps with his own high spirit of unshrinking endurance, till he had dragged them through one of the most rapid and extraordinary marches of his wonderful career. His own share in their privations was fully and freely taken ; and once when, like the rest, he was faint with heat and deadly thirst, a small quantity of water, won with great fatigue and difficulty, was brought to him, he esteemed it too precious to be applied to his own refreshment, but poured it forth as a libation, lest, he said, his warriors should thirst the more when they saw him drink alone ; and, no doubt, too, because he felt the exceeding value of that which was purchased by loyal love.
A like story is told of Rodolf of Hapsburg, the founder of the greatness of Austria, and one of the most open-hearted of men. A flagon of water was brought to him when his army was suffering from severe drought. “I cannot,” he said, “drink alone, nor can all share so small a quantity. I do not thirst for myself, but for my whole army.”,
Yet there have been thirsty lips that have made a still more trying renunciation. Our own Sir Philip Sidney, riding back, with the mortal hurt in his broken thigh, from the fight at Zutphen, and giving the draught from his own lips to the dying man whose necessities were greater than his own, has long been our proverb for the giver of that self-denying cup of water that shall by no means lose its reward.
A tradition of an act of somewhat the same character survived in a Slesvig family, now extinct. It
was during the wars that raged from 1652 to 1660, between Frederick III. of Denmark and Charles Gustavus of Sweden, that, after a battle, in which the victory had remained with the Danes, a stout burgher of Flensborg was about to refresh himself, ere retiring to have his wounds dressed, with a draught of beer from a wooden bottle, when an imploring cry from a wounded Swede, lying on the field, made him turn, and with the very words of Sidney, “Thy need is greater than mine,” he knelt down by the fallen enemy, to pour the liquor into his mouth. His requital was a pistol-shot in the shoulder from the treacherous Swede. “Rascal,” he cried, “I would have befriended you, and you would murder me in return ! Now will I punish you. I would have given you the whole bottle ; but now you shall have only half.” And drinking off half himself, he gave the rest to the Swede. The king, hearing the story, sent for the burgher, and asked him how he came to spare the life of such a rascal.
“ Sire,” said the honest burgher, “I could never kill a wounded enemy.”
“ Thou meritest to be a noble,” the king said, and created him one immediately, giving him as armorial bearings a wooden bottle pierced with an arrow ! The family only lately became extinct in the person of an old maiden lady.
HOW ONE MAN HAS SAVED A HOST.
B. C. 507.
"HERE have been times when the devotion of
one man has been the saving of an army. Such, according to old Roman story, was the feat of Horatius Cocles. It was in the year, B. C. 507, not long after the kings had been expelled from Rome, when
they were endeavoring to return by the aid of the Etruscans. Lars Porsena, one of the great Etruscan chieftains, had taken up the cause of the banished Tarquinius Superbus and his son Sextus, and gathered all his forces together, to advance upon the city of Rome. The great walls, of old Etrurian architecture, had probably already risen round the growing town, and all the people came flocking in from the country for shelter there; but the Tiber was the best defence, and it was only crossed by one wooden bridge, and the further side of that was guarded by a fort, called the Janiculum. But the vanguards of the overwhelming Etruscan army soon took the fort, and then, in the gallant words of Lord Macaulay's ballad,
“ Thus in all the Senate
There was no heart so bold,
When that ill news was told.
Up rose the Fathers all,
In haste they girded up their gowns,
And hied them to the wall.
“They held a council standing
Before the River Gate :
For musing or debate.
“The bridge must straight go down,
Naught else can save the town.'
“ Just then a scout came flying,
All wild with haste and fear ;
Lars Porsena is here.'
The Consul fixed his eye,
Rise fast along the sky.
“ But the Consul's brow was sad,
And the Consul's speech was low, And darkly looked he at the wall,
And darkly at the foe.
Before the bridge goes down ;
What hope to save the town?'
“Then out spoke brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate, 'To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late ; And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods ?
"" And for the tender mother
Who dandled him to rest,