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wind spread the fire over the whole city. During five days nothing was to be seen but an ocean of flame, which at length began to encompass the Kremlin and compelled Napoleon to retreat, the order for which was given October 19th, 1812. (See Appendix, page 215.)
Moses, (b. C. 1571-1451.) During the time of the oppression of the Israelites by their taskmasters the Egyptians, Moses was born among them. He was educated by a royal princess, who commanded the child to be educated in all the learning of Egypt. Happening to see one of his nation ill treated, he felt the injustice and slew the oppressor. After this act he fled, and followed for many years the occupation of herdsman on Mount Sinai. This wanderer, who had taken refuge in the wilderness, who fed the flocks of a foreigner, his laws, his history, and his name are now, after more than
4,000 years, the object of veneration among all the nations, from the Tagus to Hindostan, and from the frozen seas of Scandinavia to the country of frankincense. By the help of God alone, he forced the Egyptian king to release Israel from his dominion, and to suffer them to depart out of Egypt. Moses, in order to educate his people for freedom, made a long halt in a country where Israel might be entirely free from the contagious influence of foreign manners. A sandy desert stretches from the borders of Egypt toward the mouth of the Euphrates. Where the two arms of the Arabian Gulf extend into the land, a lofty mountain rises — Mount Sinai. Its highest summit is a granite rock, 22 feet wide and 12 feet long. From this height, amidst thunders, which resounded with unwonted terrors through the hollow clefts, Israel received her law.
Napoleon Bonaparte, (1769-1821,) Emperor of the French, King of Italy, etc., was born in Ajaccio, in the island of Corsica, August 15th, 1769. He was educated at the military school of Brienne, and entered the army as a second lieutenant of artillery, in 1785. In 1793, during the Reign of Terror, he was actively employed at the siege of Toulon, on which occasion the convention gave him the command of the artillery; and by his courage and exertions the city was recovered from the English and royalists. He was now appointed to the command of the army of Italy, and, on the 10th of May following, he gained the battle of Lodi. The subjugation of the various Italian States, and his repeated success over the Austrians, ended in a peace when he was within 30 miles of Vienna. Thus disengaged, a new theatre for the display of his genius presented itself. With a large
, fleet, and 40,000 troops on board the transports, he set sail for the intended conquest of Egypt, in May, 1798. On his way thither he took Malta; and on the 22d of September, we find him celebrating the battle of the Pyramids at Cairo. He returned to France, in October, 1799; hastened to Paris, overthrew the directorial government; and was raised to the supreme power by the title of First Consul. He now led a powerful army over the Alps; fought the celebrated battle of Marengo, in June, 1800; and once
more became master of the whole of Italy. A peace with Austria followed these successes; and, soon after, a brief and hollow peace with England. On the 20th of May, 1804, he was raised to the imperial dignity; and in December was crowned, with his empress Josephine, by Pope Pius VII. He now seriously meditated the invasion of England, assembled a numerous flotilla, and collected 200,000 troops in the neighborhood of Boulogne; but Austria and Russia appearing in arms against him, and the battle of Trafalgar having nearly annihilated the French navy, he abandoned the design, and marched his troops to the banks of the Danube. On the 11th of November, 1805, the French army entered Vienna; the memorable battle of Austerlitz took place on the 2d of December, and the humiliating treaty of Presburg followed. The year 1806 may be regarded as the era of king-making. New dynasties were created by him, and princes promoted or transferred according to his will: the crown of Naples he bestowed on his brother Joseph, that of Holland on Louis, and Westphalia on Jerome; while the confederation of the Rhine was called into existence to give stability to his extended dominion. Prussia again declared war; but the disastrous battle of Jena annihilated her hopes, and both she and Russia were glad to make peace with the French emperor in 1807. NapoIcon now turned his eye on Spain, procuring the abdication of Charles IV., and the resignation of Ferdinand, while he sent 80,000 men into that country, seized all the strong places, and obtained possession of the capital; but this proved one of the main causes which led to his downfall. In 1809, while his armies were occupied in the Peninsula, Austria again ventured to try her strength with France. Napoleon thereupon left Paris, and at the head of his troops once more entered the Austrian capital, gained the decisive victory of Wagram, and soon concluded a peace; one of the secret conditions of which was that he should have his marriage with Josephine dissolved, and unite himself to the daughter of the emperor, Francis II. His former marriage was accordingly annulled; and he espoused the archduchess Maria Louisa in April, 1810. Dissatisfied with the conduct of Russia, Napoleon now put himself at the head of an invading army, prodigious in number, and admirably appointed, and marched with his numerous allies toward the enemy's frontiers, gained several battles, and at length reached Moscow, (see this,) where he hoped to establish his winter quarters, but which he found in flames. A retreat was unavoidable; and now was presented to the eye a succession of the most appalling scenes recorded in modern history — a brave and devoted army encountering all the horrors of famine in a climate so insupportably cold that their freezing bodies strewed the roads, while an exasperated phalanx of Cossacks hung upon the rear of the main army, hewing down without remorse the enfeebled and wretched fugitives. Napoleon returned to Paris, called out a new army of 350,000 men, and marched at their head to meet the combined Russian and Prussian forces. Victory still for a time hovered over his banners; but Austria having joined the coalition, the great battle of Leipsie, in which he lost half of his army, was decisive as to the war in Germany. Napoleon, however, again returned to Paris, and demanded another levy of 300,000 men. The levy was granted, and the new campaign (1814) was attended with various success; till the overwhelming number of his enemies, who crossed the French frontiers at different points, at length compelled him to abdicate, and accept the sovereignty of the isle of Elba, with the title of ex-emperor, and a pension of 2,000,000 livres. From this place he found means to escape, secretly embarking on the night of the 25th of February, 1815, accompanied by about 1,200 men: he landed at Frejus on the 1st of March, speedily reached Paris, and ex
pelled Louis XVIII. from the kingdom. But the confederated armies were now in motion; and though he marched against them with a large army, the ever-memorable battle of Waterloo put an end to his career. He withdrew from the army, and proceeded to the coast, with the intention of embarking for America; but, fearful of being captured by the British cruisers, he surrendered on the 15th of July to Captain Maitland, and went on board the Bellerophon. By the joint determination of the allies he was sent to the isle of St. Helena, where he died, on the 5th of May, 1821, of cancer in the stomach. In 1840, in accordance with the request of the French government, the remains of the exile were brought over to France, and with great ceremony laid in the Hotel des Invalides.
National Covenant, (1638.) Scotland had risen in mass to declare against the Episcopal Service-Book, and the tyranny which was forcing it on the nation. To give union and strength to their resistance, a decisive and memorable thing was done. This measure was the signing of the Covenant. If Englishmen look back with reverence to their Magna Charta, with reverence as great does every Scotchman look back to the National Covenant. It saved Scotland from absolute despotism. It was the impressive commencement of a struggle which, enduring through blood and tears for half a century, had its triumphant issue in securing the liberties of Britain. This memorable bond was first signed at Edinburgh, 1st of March, 1638. By it the covenanters swore to resist innovations in religion, and to stand.by each other with their lives and fortunes in the defence of their king, their religion, and their laws. The consequence of this association, which was eagerly subscribed by all orders and ranks, was exceedingly alarming: the petitioners no longer confined their demands to religious matters, but required an independent assembly and a parliament.
Nebuchadnezzar. See Appendix, page 171.
Nelson, Horatio, (1758-1805,) England's greatest naval hero. For his share in the glorious victory of St. Vincent, Nelson was appointed to command the inner squadron at the blockade of Cadiz. In 1798 he was sent up the Mediterranean, to watch the progress of the armament at Toulon, destined for the conveyance of Napoleon and his army to Egypt. Notwithstanding the strictest vigilance, this fleet found means to escape, but was followed by Nelson, and traced to the bay of Aboukir. Here he commenced an immediate attack, and by a manoeuvre of equal boldness and ability, sailed between the enemy and the land, though exposed to a double fire. The result was a victory so glorious and decisive that nearly all the French vessels were taken or destroyed. Fresh laurels were gained by him in 1801, when he forced an entrance into the Baltic. In March, 1803, he sailed for the Mediterranean. Notwithstanding all his vigilance, the French fleet escaped from Toulon, and was joined by that of Cadiz; of which being apprised, he pursued them to the West Indies with a far inferior force. The combined squadrons returned without effecting anything, and re-entered Cadiz. The French and the Spaniards ventured out with a number of troops on board, October 19th, 1805, and on the 21st, about noon, the action began off Cape Trafalgar. In the middle of the engagement a musket-ball struck Nelson. He lived just long enough to be acquainted with the number of ships that had been captured, and his last words were, "I have done my duty: I praise God for it." The signal which he hoisted on commencing this action was—"England expects that every man will do his duty 1" There is a popular Life of Nelson by Southey.
Nero, Lucius Domitius, (37-68,) Roman Emperor, was the son of Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus, and of Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus. At the commencement of his reign his conduct excited great hopes in the Romans: he appeared just, liberal, affable, and polished; but this was a mask which soon fell off. He caused his mother to be assassinated, and vindicated the unnatural act to the senate on the ground that Agrippina had plotted against him. She had stood in the way of his marrying the profligate Poppaea Sabina, then the wife of his general Otho. But after the murder of Agrippina, he divorced his wife, had her put to death, and married Poppwa. In 64, Rome was burnt, and popular suspicion pointed to Nero as the author of the conflagration. He charged the Christians with it, and commenced a dreadful persecution of them. His cruelties, extravagance, and debauchery at length roused the public resentment. Piso formed a conspiracy against the tyrant in 65, but it was discovered and defeated. A new conspiracy, headed by Galba, proved successful; and Nero, abandoned by his flatterers, put an end to his existence, A. D. 68.
Nestorius, the celebrated Patriarch of Constantinople, from whom originated the sect of Nestorians, was born in Syria. He was brought up in a convent, became a presbyter of the church at Antioch, and was distinguished for his austere life and fervid oratory. Theodosius nominated him, in 428, to the see of Constantinople, in which station he displayed great zeal against the Arians. He at length fell under censure himself, and was finally condemned in the council of Ephesus, in 431, deprived of his see, and banished. He died before 451, but his followers continue to be numerous in the East, and are organized under a patriarch.
New Amsterdam, (founded 1614 A. D.; since 1664, New York.) In 1610, aud the following years, a number of trading vessels were sent out by Dutch merchants to the mouth of the Hudson. Valuable furs were obtained from the Indians, and the traffic proved highly profitable. Some huts were soon erected on the lower part of Manhattan Island, and in 1614 a fort was built for their defence. The settlement was called New Amsterdam, and the name of New Netherlands was given to the surrounding region. Peter Minuit sailed, in January, 1626, for New Netherlands, as its director-general. He arrived there on the 4th of May. Hitherto the Dutch had no title to ownership of the land: Minuit succeeded at once in purchasing the island of Manhattan from its native proprietors. The price paid was sixty guilders (about 24 dollars) for more than twenty thousand acres. The southern point was selected for " a battery," and lines were drawn for a fort, which took the name of New Amsterdam.
Newton, Sir Isaac, (1642-1727,) the most distinguished natural philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer of modern times. At the age of 22, Newton took his degree of bachelor of arts, aud about the same time he applied himself to the grinding of object-glasses for telescopes; and having procured a glass prism in order to investigate the phenomena of colors discovered by Grimaldi, the result of his observations was his new theory of light and colors. It was not long after that he made his grand discovery of the law of gravitation; but it was not till 1687 that the Newtonian system was first published in his great work, the " Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica." In 1696 he was made warden of the Mint, and afterward master, which place he held with the greatest honor till his death. He enjoyed his faculties to the close of his long life. His temper, also, was remarkably even, and he had the humility which always accompanies true greatness. Newton spent much of his time in studying and elucidating the Scriptures. When his friends expressed their admiration of his discoveries, he said, "To myself I seem to have been as a child playing on the sea-shore, while the immense ocean of truth lay unexplored before me." The following is Pope's well-known epitaph on this prince of philosophers:
"Nature and all her works lay hid in night:
The fullest account of Newton is to be found in Sir D. Brewster's "Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton," published in 1856.
Nile. See Appendix.
Nimwegen, Peace of, (1678 A.d.,) which marks the culminating point of the glory of Louis XIV. In order to avenge himself on the Dutch for the share which they had taken in the formation of the triple alliance, and at the same time to extort from them a reversal of the decree by which the importation of French merchandise into Holland was prohibited, Louis gained over their allies, the English and Swedes, invaded Holland, and was only restrained from conquering the whole country by the opening of the sluices and the consequent submersion of the land. Assistance was promised to the Dutch republic by the great elector, William of Brandenburg, who concluded an alliance with the emperor, and subsequently with Spain; so that France was compelled to maintain a war on three of her frontiers at once. (See Appendix, page 204.) Louis XIV. was now forced to act on the defensive; and a long series of disasters compelled him to conclude a treaty. A congress assembled at Nimwegen, (a town of the Netherlands, on the left bank of the Waal,) at which peace was signed on the 10th of August, 1678. Holland recovered all that had been taken from her during the war; Spain abandoned the Franche-Comte, and many places in the Low Countries; the right of France to the possession of Alsace was confirmed. The young duke of Lorraine refused to be subject to Louis XIV., and rejected the conditions on which he might have been re-established in his states, which remained in the occupation of the French. To the advantages secured by the peace of Nimwegen, Louis added others, not less im
portant, hut which he had obtained by fraud and violence. It was said in the treaty that the countries ceded should be accompanied by all their dependencies. The negotiators had supposed that these cessions would be settled by mutual agreement; but Louis XIV. assumed that he had a right to settle them in his own way, and accordingly he established a sovereign chamber at Besanqon, and two equally sovereign councils, the one at Breisach, the other at Metz, which were empowered to decide without appeal respecting all cessions to his crown. Many princes by this arbitrary measure were deprived of a portion of their domains.
Normans in France. (920 A. D.) The men of the north, called Danes in England, and Normans in Gaul, had remained pagans, and were still proud, even in the ninth century, of their title as sons of Odin. Their natural ferocity was kept up and incessantly excited by a continual life of brigandage. A law of the country, which was maintained wherever this people founded establishments, tended to perpetuate on the coasts of Denmark and Norway the existence of this race of pirates. It was one of the principal causes of the frightful evils which they inflicted from the 9th to the 11th century on European nations; and to it must be referred the first origin of the empires which these peoples founded. This law, which is still in force in England, gave to the eldest son alone in Denmark and Norway the patrimony of the family. It affected the families of the kings as well as those of the subjects. The eldest son of the chief or king alone inherited his father's sceptre and'estates. His brothers, though recognized as kings by the customs of the northern nations, had the ocean as their kingdom, on which they sought their fortune; hence the name of sea-kings which was given to them, and which collected under their banner a multitude of men who, like themselves, had no other patrimony beyond their sword. One of these chiefs, who was famous for his audacity and ferocity, the pirate Hastings, spread desolation and terror on the whole country between the Seine and the Loire. Charles the Bald had intrusted the defence of this territory to a celebrated warrior, Robert the Strong, who was already count of Paris and the glorious founder of the dynasty of Capet. Robert, whom the chronicles of the time called the Maccabaeus of France, was killed, and nothing arrested the devastating torrent from that moment. In 912, the territory afterward called Normandy was ceded by Charles the Simple to
0 'Connell, Daniel, (1775-1846,; the great Irish " Agitator." He intended to enter the Church, but after the repeal of the act which prohibited Roman Catholics from practising at the bar, he became a lawyer, and soon acquired a large practice. In 1809 he became connected with the associations which had the emancipation of the Catholics for their object, and the eloquence and zeal which he displayed in this cause made him the idol of his Catholic, and the dread of his Protestant countrymen. Several years elapsed before his efforts for the enfranchisement of the Irish Catholics were followed by any adequate result. But in 1823 he founded a new Catholic Association, which soon extended over the whole of Ireland, and from that period down to his decease his personal history is identified with that of Ireland. In 1828, O'Connell resolved, notwithstanding that existing disabilities precluded all hopes of legal success, to become a candidate for a seat in parliament; he was nominated for the county of Clare, and he was returned by a large majority. He presented himself at the table of the House of Commons, and expressed his willingness to take the oath of allegiance; but refusing the other oaths, he was ordered to withdraw. Agitation throughout every pnrt of Ireland then assumed so formidable a character that the ministers apprehended a civil war, to avert which the Roman Catholic Relief Bill was introduced and carried, which enabled O'Connell to take his seat in the house. In the following year a repeal of the union was demanded by every parish and hamlet in Ireland; and in 1843 "monster meetings" were held on the royal Hill of Tara, on the Curragh of Kildare, the Rath of Mullaghmast, and other renowned localities; the government interfered, and prosecutions were commenced. O'Connell was sentenced to pay a fine of £2,000 and to be imprisoned for a year. This
judgment was reversed by the House of Lords; but the prosecution had answered its purpose: O'Connell's credit as a politician was impaired. He retired from the arena of strife, and commenced a pilgrimage, in 1847, to Rome j but he had proceeded no farther than Genoa when he expired, May 15th, in his 72d year. By his great abilities, marvellous activity and energy, and extraordinary eloquence, and by long service on behalf of his Roman Catholic countrymen, he obtained an almost superhuman power over the Irish people. But he was careless as to the means he used for accomplishing his ends. The last years of his life were frittered away in the pursuit of an impracticable object; and his last moments were embittered by the spectacle of his country torn by dissensions which he had mainly fostered, and groaning under pestilence and famine.
Odenathui. In the midst of a valley open to the southward, at the distance of a day's journey from the Euphrates, and among groves of palmtrees, watered by limpid streams, Solomon, the king of Judah, had built Tadmor in the wilderness: it was called by the Greeks Palmyra, and became by its situation almost independent, though it acknowledged the sovereignty of Rome. Odenathus and his consort Zenobia made Palmyra the capital of a kingdom: they reigned over Syria and Mesopotamia, and rendered themselves formidable to the Persian monarch, while Firmus, their ally, had acquired possession of Egypt. The sciences and the fine arts made Palmyra their favorite abode. The emperor Aurelian conquered the princess Zenobia, but displayed his clemency toward the people of Palmyra. The latter, unaccustomed to submission, made a premature attempt against the weak garrison which he had perhaps left among them as a test of their