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[358] descendants of those subjects of George the Third who used to maintain that Napoleon Bonaparte was deficient in the quality of personal courage. A prejudice of this kind is as much proof against reason as the diseased fancy of a hypochondriac who believes that his legs are made of glass, or that he is followed everywhere by a blue dog. “You must have observed,” said Mr. Grenville, in a letter to Mr. Pitt, “that of all impressions the most difficult to be removed are those which have no reason to support them; because against them no reason can be applied.”

But there are other persons, more reasonable, more discriminating, who, while they allow General McClellan to be an accomplished and meritorious officer, capable of doing excellent service in a subordinate sphere, hold also the opinion that when at the head of an army his good qualities are neutralized by his slowness, his over-cautiousness, his want of dash, his inability to take advantage of the sudden opportunities which the fortune of war presents. The force of this objection is in some measure neutralized by the fact that it is so common in military history. The popular mind is always eager for results in war, and ignorant of the conditions essential to success. Without citing any further examples, Washington and Wellington,1

1 “This spirit of faction, however, was not confined to one side. There was a ministerial person at this time, who, in his dread of the opposition, wrote to Lord Wellington complaining of his inaction, and calling upon him to do something that would excite a public sensation; any thing, provided blood was spilt. A calm but severe rebuke, and the cessation of all friendly intercourse with the writer, discovered the general's abhorrence of this detestable policy.” --Napier.

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