A young man's motto.
, of Nassau
, second son of william the Silent, Prince
, found himself at seventeen years of age fatherless and poor, with a mother and ten younger brothers and sisters looking to him as the only one fitted to take the place of him who was gone.
His father had fallen by the dagger of the assassin, his eldest brother was a prisoner in Spain
, and the family fortunes were at the lowest h. The Prince
had devoted everything to his country, and in the stormy times in which he lived had parcelled and lost his wealth.
After his xth, as the his cairn tells us, "carpets, tap tries. LI n, may even his silver spoons, and the clothes of his wardrobe, were disposed of at public suction for the benefit of his creditors.
It was a hard time for young Maurice
, the more respectfully as the Netherlands Republic
, then in the several siress of its struggle with the Philip, was looking to him as his father mate successor in its councils and at the head of its armies.
But his brave young heart did not fail him. Be put his shoulder under the burden with a resalute and u ching spirit.
As they symbol of both his purpose and his hope, he took for his device "a fallen oak, with a young sapling springing form the root," and for his motto the words "des " "The twig shall yet become a " And it did. There are few names, belonging even to the glorious days of Elizabeth of England
, more justly honored than this.
The motto of Prince Maurice stems one peculiarly appropriate for every young man to bear on his shield in the battle of life.
It is at once a modest confession and a resolute challenge.
The "twig" is not a "re," but it has a tree's destiny.
Its claim is not so much in what it is, as what it is resolved to become.
If it has not present strength, it has purpose, and we all know that purpose wins more than half the battles in this world.
Had the man who said that "Providence
is always with the strongest battalions," said it was rather with those which follow the right banner to the field, he would have been much nearer the truth.
It is motive to which God always looks, and it is the life that has a right motive at the heart of it, which he crowns with favor and success.
From all this at appears that a manly spirit is at the furthermost possible remove from either vaulty or presumption.
The truest bravery is most modest; and as it shrinks from no proper responsibility, and no danger that stands in the way of duty, so it never goes to seek either.
It bides its time; it is willing to remain a twig till it becomes a tree does not, in the greenness and weakness of its sapling state, put on irs as it were already full grown, nor claim equality with the trees of the wood before it has, like them, its own strong arm with which to battle with the blast.
Yet a remembers the root from which its sprang, and "he fallen oak" at its side is a perpetual reminder that it has a destiny to win and a work to do.