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John Paul Jones
Born among the peasantry of Scotland, John Paul, the son of an humble gardener, without encouragement and lacking in the advantage of even a meager education, but possessed of an indomitable spirit and a constant and passionate desire for fame, advanced, entirely through his own exertions, to an eminence among the naval heroes of the world which will forever keep his memory glorious among American...
From his earliest years Horatio Nelson was endowed with that daring spirit and love of adventure, which, put to the test in the service of his King and country, established his memory for all time as one of the most illustrious among the men who have filled the front rank in national contests. Courageous to the degree of rashness, of sound judgment, self possessed, confident, full of resources, he combined to an extraordinary degree all of the qualifications which made his career glorious, startled the world and changed the history of Europe.
Napoleon I
No character in the world's history has been more bitterly assailed than that of Napoleon, nor has any been accorded greater admiration or more fulsome praise. In the hands of some historians, even his best deeds and those incidents of his life which tend to show his noblest traits, have been unqualifiedly condemned and ascribed to sinister motives, while on the other hand the darkest chapters of...
Disraeli, who delivered the eulogium at the funeral services over the Duke of Wellington, pronounced him, 'the greatest man of a great age.' The British Nation, which owed him much, echoed the sentiment, for among all the great men of the Kingdom, it could boast of none, who in the combined capacity of warrior and statesman, was his equal. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, was the third son of...
Oliver Hazard Perry
When the gallant Decatur was informed of the untimely death of his friend and fellow officer, Commodore Perry, he solemnly remarked : 'The American Navy has lost its brightest ornament.' It was not the fate of this brave naval hero to fall gloriously in battle, defending the flag of his country, but the laurel was still fresh upon the young victor's brow, when, on his thirty-fourth birthday...
Von Moltke
Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke, one of the ablest military strategists of modern times, was born at Parchim, a little village in Mecklenburg, on October 26, 1800. Baron Fritz von Moltke, his father, belonged to one of the oldest families in the German Empire. His mother was the daughter of Financial Councilor Paschen, a wealthy merchant of Hamburg. As a child, Helmuth lived at Lübeck.
Giuseppe Garibaldi was a patriot. During his entire eventful career he proved himself a devoted lover of liberty, the enemy of oppression, a hater of tyranny, whether governmental, political, or religious. His enemies have made him out an atheist and a blasphemer. But Garibaldi, according to his own assertions, was net such. 'I believe in God,' he said...
Robert Edward Lee
Wolseley, the English general, regarded Robert E. Lee the greatest of American generals. Lee was neither an enthusiast or fanatic. He believed when he took up the sword in hostility against the Federal Government that he was doing his duty and he was willing to abide by the consequences, be what they might. He was a kind-hearted, dignified, and Christian gentleman.
William Tecumseh Sherman
No better brief summary, perhaps, of the character and true greatness of General Sherman, can be found than the message of President Harrison to Congress on the event of the venerable warrior's death. Harrison had served as an officer in Sherman's army in Georgia, and cherished the love and respect for Sherman that was shared by every loyal soldier who ever served under him.
Ulysses Simpson Grant
President Lincoln, when asked to name the greatest of American generals, unhesitatingly replied, 'U. S. Grant.' The calm determination which made Grant remain before Vicksburg for months without even mildly resenting the ridicule which was being heaped upon him, and the firm resolution that never failed to carry out a project once fixed upon, only partly explains the great success and remarkable...
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
As a warrior, General Thomas Jonathan Jackson, better known to fame as 'Stonewall' Jackson, has frequently been compared to Napoleon. In the characters of these two men as warriors, there is indeed a great similarity. The wonderful marches and the rapidity with which movements in strategy were carried out by Jack-son were never surpassed by Napoleon.
Some twenty-three hundred years ago a tale was written in the Hebrew language, picturing a feat of womanly courage so noble, so devoted, and so successful that it charmed the world. By its intrinsic beauty alone this tale eventually took the place of history and became a chapter in the sacred Scriptures.
For two thousand years Aspasia was looked upon by the learned with wonder and veneration. As men ask themselves if it could be possible that one man could conceive all the beautiful phrases of Shakespeare, so scholars, reading the encomiums of Socrates, Plato, Xenophon, Thucydides, concerning the Athenian woman, inquired one of another if there would probably appear among mankind a second Aspasia...
'Why, my sons, must I ever be called the daughter of Scipio rather than the mother of the Gracchi?' Such was the ambitious taunt by which the great and. illustrious dame urged her two sons onward toward two rebellions. When the Campanian lady paraded her many jewels before Cornelia, the haughty mother of the patriots replied, taking her little children by the hand...
The story of Cleopatra made such a noise in the ancient world, and was the cause of an astonishment so profound, that the authors of antiquity left very complete accounts, which the curiosity of succeeding generations, or some other good fortune, has preserved.
About the year A. D. 569 the wife of the beautiful youth Abdallah gave birth, at Mecca, to a child named Mohammed (the past participle of the verb hamad, meaning 'praised,' or most 'glorious'). While the child was in his cradle the father died, and the child's patrimony was five camels and an Ethiopian she-slave.
Joan Of Arc
The tragic chapter on which we enter is one that reflects eternal glory on womanhood and casts a profound shadow of disgrace on the age of chivalry. The drama that was played in history, now to be again recorded in these pages, was only possible in an era of dense superstition, remorseless warfare, and rigid ecclesiastical rule.
The great woman upon whose history we now enter lived but a little later in an age of rigid ecclesiastical rule than Joan of Arc. While Joan was upon the extreme confines of the Church Militant, where the flames of rebellion were soonest to burst forth, Isabella was at that center, was in that citadel, of Roman faith, which stands firm today.
Catherine De Medici
We shall indite the long and gloomy career of Catherine de' Medici upon these pages, not only because she made a great figure in history, but for the reason that she was Italian in her origin, and it is desirable, in making a record of women that shall be worthy of their sex, to touch on the people of many regions. She was at first an Italian woman, with little influence, in a strange land.
When the story of this great reigning woman is told it still remains that the most wonderful thing of all is left out. There lived among her subjects, as a play actor, probably unknown or at least little known by her, William Shakespeare, who bids fair to be hailed by a large part of the human race as its brightest intellectual ornament.
When the great and self-sacrificing Gustavus Adolphus fell mortally wounded on the field of Lützen, where he conducted a knightly war of defense against the Catholics, he left as heir to the throne of Sweden, Christina, a Princess only seven years old. This child was destined to arouse the interest and evoke the astonishment of the world.
Madame De Maintenon
We shall now proceed to relate the details of an episode in history which, it would seem, has not its like as an example of the power to be attained by the exercise of patience, skill, cajolery, hypocrisy, devotion, and state-craft. For thirty-two years an elderly woman, the daughter of a thief, the widow of a hunchback, absolutely ruled a capricious monarch, the chief sovereign in the world...
Mary The Mother Of Washington
When, in any part of the earth, men's thoughts turn to the ideal subject of equal human rights under the law, and. equal opportunities at birth, there rises, out of all the mists of democracy in the past, but one colossal figure George Washington cold, silent, immovable, yet a man the most generally admired of any the world has produced.
Maria Theresa
The indulgent or studious reader who has followed this volume from its beginning, as we have come down the ages and passed across the nations, is now advised that we have reached the career of a woman who, in many great regards, can be compared only with Isabella...
Catherine II
The woman on whose history we now enter is, excepting Cleopatra, the worst of characters. Neither was she a Russian. She was a German. Yet her long career gives us the best expression we can get of high life in Russia, and no amount of moral condemnation will obscure the final fact that she is regarded both in the books of the past and in the literature and conversation of our own times...
Marie Antoinette
Born with the Lisbon earthquake, when 6o,000 people perished; married with an attendant catastrophe on the main public square of Paris that cost the lives of 1,200 subjects and wounded 2,000 more; carted in a tumbril to the guillotine, and dying like a condemned felon on the spot where her nuptials were so awfully celebrated such is the biography of Marie Antoinette.
There was a heart so kind in the Famous Woman of whom we are now to speak that the world, viewing her life carefully, has called her 'La Bonne Joséphine' the Good Josephine. It sometimes happens that the attendance of the grateful poor at the funeral ceremonies of the benevolent is the only true measure of the good that the deceased did while living; and, by this measure, the Empress Josephine too...
We have now, in the pages of this volume, advanced into the Living Age. We have very rapidly scanned the biographies of the sublimely courageous, the good, the intellectual, the crafty, the commanding, the graceful, the capricious but always the Famous. At present, who is the most Famous Woman in the World?
We have had two women to thoroughly detest Cleopatra and Maintenon evil were the days that bore them. We have seen one lion-heart, Joan of Arc and have divested her portrayal of much literary rubbish in order to see her as she was, the bravest woman in our records. We have studied, as closely as space would permit, the careers of two really great women Isabella and Maria Theresa...
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