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It has long been a popular error to sum up the glory of a reign according to the amount of battles gained, in fact to forget the necessity, the too sad necessity of war, and look upon it as the greatest achievement of a monarch’s life. Alas! here ends the triumph of such records, — there is another and a better world, the future inheritance of the prince and the beggar, there the trumpet will not proclaim defeat or victory, nor the defeated shriek forth their dismal cry.
In that sphere, where all is peace and love, monarchs have no more power than the beggar, whose lowly petition could not reach his majestic earthly throne ; that impartial eye which surveyed the work he had created; that just voice which declared good that which was meant for the happiness of man ; that Almighty being who, for some wise purpose, allows one human being to possess higher power than another; the King of kings—will judge the monarch as His subject,—and how can the triumph of arms atone for sins of omission and commission.
The Augustine ages may be the boast of history, but how know we that those brilliant reigns may be worthy of the worldly praise we award to them? The motives of kings may appear traced on the pages of history; we take the words as we find them, but the heart of man is a sealed book, whose pages are revealed only to one Supreme Reader. The
illustrious Homer, vaunting the adventures of Ulysses, is not really more fabulous than those who sing the praises of monarchs for the deeds of war achieved in their reign. The laconic word Good prefixed to a monarch's name, is more comprehensive than the more generally understood adjective “Great."
The last words of Pericles sum up much of what a good monarch might exclaim, and the famed general and orator considered his conscience a higher praise than the eulogiums of the friends who surrounded his deathbed. “ You must not forget the most meritorious circumstance of my life,” he cried; “I never caused any one citizen to mourn on my account." And although his biographers deny this fact, by stating that the ravages of the Peloponnesian war caused the misery of thousands, yet the words used with justice are worthy of record. Romulus, brave Romulus, from thy time to ours, kings have continued to pride themselves upon that warlike fame which is the scourge of worlds. And yet, how different is that truer fame, which has religion, peace, and love, for its attributes! We would not seem fulsome, we would not utter one word for the sake of favour—but no regal favour being in this instance required, we will proudly affix Queen Victoria's beloved name, as that of a sovereign whose mild and gentle virtues speak to the heart and mind.
Many have been the feats of arms in India which our countrymen may boast of during this reign; but no ambitious schemes, no overturning quiet dominions, no displacing lawful monarchs, deteriorate from the real glory of victory. No glorious conqueror, a wanderer from the shores of his victories, has in this reign sought for mercy, and found