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[319] he commanded, and to the eleven sovereign States banded and battling together for a separate national life.

There is no more graphic picture in the pages of Macauly than that of Warren Hastings, at the age of seven lying on the bank of a rivulet which flowed through the broad lands which were once the property of his ancestors, and there forming the resolve that all that domain should one day be his, and never abandoning his purpose through all the vicissitudes of his stormy life, until, as the ‘Hastings of Daylesford,’ he tasted a joy which his heart never knew in the command of the millions over whom he ruled in the Indian empire.

But stranger still was it to see a pensive, delicate orphan-child of the same age, the inheritor of a feeble constitution, yet with a will even more indomitable than that of Warren Hastings, renouncing his home with a relative, who, mistaking his disposition, had attempted to govern him by force, and alone and on foot performing a journey of eighteen miles to the house of another kinsman, where he suddenly presented himself, announcing his unalterable resolve never to return to his former home—a decision which no remonstrances or persuasions could induce him to revoke; and stranger still to see him, the year after, on a lonely island of the Mississippi river, in company with another child a few years his senior, maintaining himself by his own labor, until driven by malaria from the desolate spot where beneath the dreary forests and beside the angry floods of the father of waters he had displayed the self-reliance and hardihood of a man, at a period of life when children are ordinarily scarcely out of the nursery. This inflexibility of purpose and defiance of hardship and danger in the determination to succeed, was displayed in all his subsequent career—whether we see him at West Point, overcoming the disadvantages of a deficient preliminary education by a severity of application almost unparalleled, in accordance with the motto he inscribed in bold characters on a page in his commonplace book, ‘You may be whatever you resolve to be’—or whether we follow him through the Mexican campaign, winning his first laurels at Churubusco, and at Chapultepec, where he received his second promotion—or whether we accompany him to his quiet retreat in Lexington, where, after the termination of the Mexican war, he filled the post of Professor in the Military Institute, and there affording a new exhibition of his determination in overcoming obstacles more formidable than those encountered in the field, in the persistent discharge of every duty in spite of feeble health and threatened loss of sight.

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