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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 241 pages of information about Recollections of a Long Life.
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.

CHAPTER IV

HYMN-WRITERS I HAVE KNOWN

Montgomery—­Bonar—­Bowring—­Palmer and Others

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

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