said he, pointing to a recess, or small chapel, hung
with dark purple velvet and lighted by one glimmering
lamp. I approached the iron railing and, there
before me, almost within arm’s length, in the
marble coffin covered by his gray riding coat of Marengo,
lay all that was mortal of the great Emperor.
At his feet was a small urn containing his heart,
and upon it lay his sword and the military cap worn
at the battle of Eylau. Beside the coffin was
gathered a group of tattered banners captured by him
in many a victorious fight. Three gray-haired
veterans, whose breasts were covered with medals, were
pacing slowly on guard in front of the alcove.
I said to them in French: “Were you at
Austerlitz?” “Oui, oui,” they said.
“Were you at Jena?” “Oui, oui.”
“At Wagram?” “Oui, oui,” they
replied. I lingered long at the spot, listening
to the inspiring strains of the soldiery without,
and recalling to my mind the stirring days when the
lifeless clay beside me was dashing forward at the
head of those very troops through the passes of the
Alps and over the bridge at Lodi. It seemed to
me as a dream, and I could scarcely realize that I
stood within a few feet of the actual body of that
colossal wonder-worker whose extraordinary combination
of military and civil genius surpassed that of any
other man in modern history. And yet, when all
shall be summoned at last before the Great Tribunal,
a Wilberforce, a Shaftesbury, or an Abraham Lincoln
will never desire to change places with him.
HYMN-WRITERS I HAVE KNOWN
Hymnology has always been a favorite study with me,
and it has been my privilege to be acquainted with
several of the most eminent hymn-writers within the
last sixty or seventy years. It is a remarkable
fact that among the distinguished English-speaking
poets, Cowper and Montgomery are the only ones who
have been successful in producing many popular hymns;
while the greatest hymns have been the compositions
either of ministers of the Gospel, like Watts, Wesley,
Toplady, Doddridge, Newman, Lyte, Bonar and Ray Palmer,
or by godly women, like Charlotte Elliott, Mrs. Sarah
F. Adams, Miss Havergal and Mrs. Prentiss. During
my visit to Great Britain in the summer of 1842, I
spent a few weeks at Sheffield as the guest of Mr.
Edward Vickers, the ex-Mayor of the city. His
near neighbor was the venerable James Montgomery,
whose pupil he had been during the short time that
the poet conducted a school. Mr. Vickers took
me to visit the poet at his residence at The Mount.
A short, brisk, cheery old man, then seventy-one,
came into the room with a spry step. He wore
a suit of black, with old-fashioned dress ruffles,
and a high cravat that looked as if it choked him.
His complexion was fresh, and snowy hair crowned a
noble forehead. He had never married, but resided
with a relative. We chatted about America, and