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A few striking instances in the history of a single individual, Napoleon Bonaparte, will be adduced to illustrate the position just advanced, viz., that men hate cruel actions and admire kind actions in others. Who, for instance, approves his treatment of Toussaint L'Ouverture? Toussaint was a pure African, and one of the leaders under whom the negroes arrayed themselves, after the whites had been expelled from the Island of St. Domingo. By his skill and political sagacity, he obtained the highest authority over the blacks. But in 1802, he was compelled to submit to the army sent to St. Domingo, by Bonaparte, under General Leclerc. The French, however, had not long regained possession of the colony, before Toussaint was accused, on the most trivial grounds, of encouraging a conspiracy, and with his family was conveyed to France. Nothing certain is known of the exact mode of his death-though it has been ascertained that he was confined in a cold, dark dungeon, full of damps and chills, where the unhappy man must have soon met death in his living grave, if indeed poison was not put in requisition. This conduct of Napoleon to the talented Toussaint, excited the indignation of the whole civilized world, and stands among
*Scott's Life of Napoleon, Phil. Ed., 284.
the worst acts of the "child of destiny"-it execrated by every individual who becomes acquainted with it. It gave inspiration to the pitying soul of Wordsworth, when he said
TOUSSAINT! the most unhappy man of men :--
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live and take comfort. Thou hast left behind,
There's not a breathing of the common wind
And Love, and Man's unconquerable mind."
Nor was this cruelty to Toussaint without its legitimate results. For the negroes, exasperated at the treachery used towards their chieftain, attacked the French in every direction. And they carried on the war with a cruelty which makes the blood run cold, and shocks even revenge itself.
But if this act of Bonaparte to Toussaint is execrated, another act of his, under different circumstances, excites the admiration of the heart. After the battle of Jena, in October, 1806, in which the army and power of Prussia were so completely annihilated by the French,
Napoleon obtained possession of a letter written by Prince Hatzfield, who, before its capture, was Governor of Berlin, in which he communicated to Prince Hohenloe some of the motions of the French army. Napoleon appointed a military commission to try him, and it was evident that his fate would be severe. Madame Hatzfield, not knowing that any charge had been preferred against her husband, threw herself at the feet of Napoleon, and demanded justice for him. The result of this interview is given in a letter addressed by Napoleon to the Empress Josephine; out of which the following is an extract. "But at least thou wilt see I have been very good to one, who showed herself a feeling, amiable woman-Madame Hatzfield. When I showed her her husband's letter, she replied to me, weeping bitterly, with heartfelt sensibility and naivete: Alas! it is but too surely his writing. When she read it, her accent went to my soul-her situation distressed me. I said, Well, then, Madame, throw that letter into the fire; I shall then no longer possess the means of punishing your husband.' She burnt the letter and was happy. Her husband is restored to tranquillity. Two hours later, and he would have been a lost man.' ."* In this instance we behold the exercise of kindness. And who
*Scott's Life of Napoleon, Phil. Ed. of 1839, p. 336.
does not admire it? and at once discover that it excites admiration for Napoleon, and serves to soften the judgment which posterity heaps upon his memory for his cruel treatment of Toussaint?
Not these instances only, but all others which are applicable to the subject, prove the fact that the world hates cruel actions and loves generous deeds. Nor is it less true that the exhibition of such high-souled and kind conduct, is the surest mode of overcoming enmity and repressing revengeful passions. There could not be a better illustration of this truth, than the common but expressive fable of the Wind and Sun. They were disputing, so runs the fable, one day, which possessed the most power. Unable to decide the question, they agreed to test it by seeing which could the most quickly divest a certain traveller of his cloak. The wind made the first trial. He called up his clouds and sent his cool airs abroad. The traveller, feeling chilly, brought his cloak more closely around him. The wind then drenched the traveller with rain, pelted him with hail, covered him with snow, and pinched him with cold; but though almost perishing, the traveller yielded not his cloak, but wrapped it more firmly about his body. So the wind gave up in despair. Then came the sun. He scattered the clouds by his glorious beams, and warmed the benumbed
limbs of the traveller with his cheering influence. Gently and gradually he increased his rays, until the grasp of the traveller upon his cloak was loosed. The sun still added to his power and advanced his brilliancy, until the cloak was thrown off, and the traveller sat down upon it, panting with heat. So retaliation may try all its forces to disarm human passion of revenge-but it will fail. But let the sun of love fall upon it, and it will be melted into contrition and sorrow.
In closing this department of the subject, let it be observed that one of the most ennobling characteristics of the law of kindness, is its universality. It is not circumscribed in its application-it is not confined to a few people-nor is its exercise favorable to a part and injurious to the rest. Like the dews of heaven, the roaming atmosphere, or the flowing light of the sun, it is fitted for all people, and will as readily warm the frozen heart of the Laplander in his eternal ice, with love divine, as it will cool the raging passions of the fevered son of the tropics. Parents amid their children, schoolmasters surrounded by their scholars, the governor, ruler, king, and emperor with their subjects, the overseer with his slaves, the head workman with his laborers, all will find it a power which will procure them more obedience than any