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LESSON CXXVIII.

THE CHARACTER OF GREENE.

HEADLEY.

1. NEXT to Washington, Greene" was the ablest commander in the revolutionary army. In person he was above the middle height, and strongly made. He had a fine face, with a florid complexion, lit up by brilliant blue eyes. His natural expression was frank and benevolent, but in battle it assumed a sternness, which showed that beneath his easy and gentle manners was a strength of purpose not easily overcome. When highly excited, or absorbed in intense thought, he had a curious habit of rubbing violently his upper lip with his fore-finger.

2. Inured by exposure and toil, his frame possessed a wonderful power of endurance, rendered still greater by the indomitable will it enclosed. A self-made man, he rose from the ranks to major-geneial of the army, solely by his own genius and force. Ignorant at first of military tactics," he applied himself with such diligence to the subject, that he mastered them in less time than many employ on the rudiments; and the knowledge he obtained was not merely so many maxims and rules stowed away, but principles, out of which he wrought his own plans and system.

3. He had almost intuitive perception of character. He resembled Washington in this respect, and seemed to take the exact measure of every man who approached him. Many of his actions in the field were based upon this knowledge of his adversaries, and hence, though often inexplicable to others, perfectly clear and rational to himself.

4. Thus, in the southern campaign against Cornwallis his movements were sometimes considered rash in the extreme,

a Greene; Major General Nathaniel Greene was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, May 27th, 1742. b Tactics; the science and art of disposing military and naval forces in order of battle. • Cornwallis; the British commander.

by those who judged of them merely from the relative position and strength of the armies. But to him, who could judge more correctly from his knowledge of men's views and character, than from their transient movements, what course they would take, they appeared the wisest he could adopt.

5. A more fearless man never led an army; and his courage was not the result of sudden enthusiasm, or even of excitement, but of a well-balanced and strong character. He was never known to be thrown from his perfect self-possession by any danger, however sudden; and was just as calm and collected when his shattered army tossed in a perfect wreck around him, as in his tent at night. The roar of artillery, and the tumult of a fierce-fought battle, could not disturb the natural action of his mind; his thoughts were as clear, and his judgment was as correct, in the midst of a sudden and unexpected overthrow, as in planning a campaign."

6. This gave him tremendous power, and was the great reason that, though beaten, he could not be utterly routed. No matter how superior his antagonist, or how unexpected the panic of his troops, he was never, like Gates, driven à fugitive from the field. He possessed two qualities seldom found united; great caution, and yet great rapidity. His blow was carefully planned, and when it came it fell like falling lightning.

7. His mind was clear and comprehensive, and worked with ceaseless activity and energy. Nothing could escape his glance, and he seemed to forecast all the contingencies that did or could happer.. His fortitude was wonderful. All exposures, all privations, all embarrassments, toils and sufferings, he bore with a patience that filled his soldiers with astonishment and admiration. During his southern campaign he never took off his clothes, except to change them, for seven months; and sometimes would be in the saddle two days on a stretch, without a moment's repose.

The time an army is in the field.

S. His energy was equal to his endurance; for he not only bore everything bravely, but under difficulties that would have weighed an ordinary man to the earth, put forth almost superhuman exertions. No sooner was one obstacle surmounted than he attacked another; and no sooner was one danger escaped than he plunged into another, again to extricate himself, to the astonishment of all. Tireless as fate itself, he would neither take repose, nor allow it to his enemy. His whole career, while opposed to Cornwallis, is one of the most remarkable in the history of military men.

9. When he took command of the southern army, he found it to consist of a mere handful of destitute, undisciplined, and ragged troops; yet, with these, he entered the field against one of the best generals of the age, supported by an army of veteran soldiers. With his raw recruits around him, he immediately began the offensive; and before his powerful enemy had time to penetrate his plans, smote him terribly at Cowpens."

10. Having by this movement brought the whole English force against him, he was compelled to retreat, and by a series of skillful manœuvers and forced marches, completely foiled every attempt to reach him. Unable to cope with his adversary, he, nevertheless, refused to quit the field; retiring like the lion, slowly and resolutely. He kept his pursuer ever under his eye, so that he could not make a mistake without receiving a blow.

11. He stopped when his adversary stopped, and looked him boldly in the face, till he provoked him to burn his baggage, in order to convert his entire army into light troops, and thus facilitate his movements. But even then he would outmarch and out-maneuver him, penetrating and baffling every plan laid against him, and carrying out every one of his own.

12. He thus led his enemy through the entire state of North Carolina; and the moment he turned, followed him, and dealt him such a staggering blow at Guilford, that he was compelled

■ Cowpens; a place in Union District, S. C., remarkable in the revolutionary history for one of the most decisive pitched battles in the whole war.

to a precipitate flight. No sooner was Cornwallis beyond his reach, than he turned furiously on his posts in South Carolina, and carrying them one after another, brought the war to the doors of Charleston. His combinations, throughout the whole campaign, were admirable, and succeeded beyond the most sanguine expectations. He did not commit a single error, and every failure that befell him was the result of the most arrant cowardice on the part of some of his militia.

13. Years before, the English officer opposed to him in Jersey, wrote, saying, "Greene is dangerous as Washington; he is vigilant, enterprising, and full of resources." The Chevalier de la Luzerne, Knight of Malta, in speaking of his southern campaign, said: "Other generals subdue their enemy by the means which their country or sovereign furnishes them; but Greene appears to reduce his enemy by his own He commenced his campaign without either an army, provisions, or military stores. He has asked for nothing since; and yet, scarcely a post arrives from the South that does not bring intelligence of some new advantage gained over the foe. He conquers by magic. History furnishes no parallel to this."

means.

14. The resources of his mind were inexhaustible; there was no gulf out of which he could not find a way of escape, and no plan, if necessary, too hopeless for him to attempt. Without a dollar from government, and penniless himself, he nevertheless managed to keep an army in the field, and conquer with it. True, it was half-naked and half-starved; but by his wonderful power he succeeded in holding it together.

15. His soldiers loved him with devotion, and having seen him extricate himself so often from apparently inevitable ruin, they at length came to regard him as invincible. Sharing all their toils and dangers, and partaking of all their sufferings, he so wound himself into their affections, that they would go wherever he commanded. He made of raw militia all that ever can be made of them, in the short time he had them under his control.

16. His patriotism was of the purest kind, and Washington

spoke from correct knowledge when he said: "Could he but promote the interests of his country in the character of a corporal, he would exchange, without a murmur, his epaulets for the knot." His own reputation and life he regarded as nothing in the cause of freedom. Next to his country, he loved Washington; and no mean ambition, or envy of his great leader, ever sullied his noble character.

17. That affection was returned, and the two heroes moved side by side, as tried friends, through the revolutionary struggle. He was a man whose like is seldom seen; and placed in any country, opposed to any commander, would have stood first in the rank of military chieftains. In the heart of Europe with a veteran army under his command, he would have astonished the world.

LESSON CXXIX.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD TO THE OLD.

WEBSTER.

1. FEW topics are more inviting, or more fit for philosophical discussion, than the action and influence of the new world upon the old; or the contributions of America to Europe. Her obligations to Europe for science and art, laws, literature and manners, America acknowledges as she ought, with respect and gratitude.

2. And the people of the United States, descendants of the English stock, grateful for the treasures of knowledge derived from their English ancestors, acknowledge also, with thanks and filial regard, that among those ancestors, under the culture of Hampden and Sydney, and other assiduous friends, that seed of popular liberty germinated, which on our soil has shot up to its full height, until its branches overshadow all the land.

3. But America has not failed to make returns. If she has not canceled the obligation, or equaled it by others of like weight, she has, at least, made respectable advances, and some approaches toward equality. And she admits, that standing

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