Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

certain very important Change in his Faith, by a stranges whimsical Incitation, and also so very absurd, that I thought it much stronger, being taken the contrary Way: He called it a Miracle, I look upon it quite otherwise.

The Turkish Historians says That the Persuasion, rootThe common

ed in those of their Nation, of the fatal and Foundation of « unalterable Prescription of their Days, does the Courage of

« manifestly conduce to the giving them great the Turks.

• Assurance in Dangers ;' and I know a great Prince, who makes very successful Use of it ; whether it be, that he does really believe it, or that he makes it his Excuse for so wonderfully hazarding himself, provided Fortune be not too soon weary of her Favour to him.

There has not happened, in our Memory, a more adAfassination of mirable Effect of Resolution, than in those the Prince of two who conspired the Death of the Prince Orange. of Orange *. 'Tis to be wondered, how the fecond, that executed it, could ever be animated to an Attempt, wherein his Companion, who had done his utmost, had had so ill Success; and, after the same Method, and with the same Arms, to go and attack a Nobleman, armed with so fresh a Handle for Distruít, powerful in Followers, and of bodily Strength, in his own Hall, amidst his Guards, and in a City wholly at his Devotion. He, doubtless, imployed a very resolute Arm, and Courage inflamed with a furious Passion : A Dagger is surer for itriking home, but by reason that more Motion, and a stronger Arm is required, than with a Pistol, the Blow is more subject to be put by, or hindered. That this Man ran upon certain Death, I make no great Doubt ; for the Hopes any one could flatter him withal, could not find Place in any calm Mind, and the Conduct of his Exploit does sufficiently manifeft, that he had no Want of that, any more than Courage. The Motives of fo power' ful a Persuasion may be diverse, for our Fancy does what it will, both with itself and us.

The Execution that was done near Orleans,
The Duke of
Guise.

was nothing like this, there was in that more
of Chance than Vigour, the Wound was not

mortal, * The Founder of the Republic of Holland.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

mortal, if Fortune had not made it so; and to attempt to shoot on Horseback, and at a great Distance, and at one whose Body was in Motion by the moving of his Horse, was the Attempt of a Man who had rather miss his Blow, than fail of saving himself, as was apparent by what followed after; for he was so astonished and stupified with the Thought of so desperate an Execution, that he totally lost his Judgment, both to find his Way to escape, and how to govern his Tongue in his Answers. What needed he to have done more than to fly back to his Friends cross a River? 'Tis what I have done in less Dangers, and what I think of very little Hazard, how broad loever the River may be, provided your Horse have good going in, and that you see, on the other Side, good landing, according to the Stream. The other, (viz. the Prince of Orange's Affaflin) when they pronounced his dreadful Sentence : • I was prepared for this, said he, beforehand, and I will • make you wonder at my Patience.' '

The Afasins, a Nation dependant upon Phænicia, are reputed, amongst the Mahometans, a People A People who of great Devotion, and Purity of Manners. believe AfjalliThey hold, That the nearest Way to gain Para- nation the fudise, is to kill some one of a contrary Religion ;

reft Path to

Paradise. which is the Reason they have often been seen, being but one or two, without Arms, to run madly against powerful Enemies, at the Price of certain Death, and without any consideration of their own Danger. So was our Count Raimond, of Tripoli, assassinated (which Word is derived from their Name) in the Heart of his City, during our Enterprises of the Holy War; and likewise Conrade, Marquis of Montferrat, the Murderers going to their Exetion with great Pride and Glory, that they had performed so brave an Exploit.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

to come.

Amongst our other Controversies, that about Fate is Doctrine

crept in, and to tie Things to come, and tubich eftab

even our own Wills to a certain and inevita. lisbes the Ne

ble Neceflity, we are yet upon this Argument celsity of Things of Time past; · Since God foresees, that all

Things shall fo fall out, as doubtless he • does, it will then necessarily follow, that they must fo • fall out :' To which our Masters reply, · That the seeing

any Thing come to pass, as we do, and as God himself • also does, (for, all Things being present with him, he « rather sees, than foresees) is not to compel it to happen;

Nay, we see because Things do fall out, but Things • do not fall out because we see : The Events cause the • Knowledge, but the Knowledge does not cause thé' E

vents : That which we see happen, does happen ; but • it might have happened otherwise : And God, in the Canses of E Register of the Causes of Events, which he vents in the • has in his Prescience, has also those which Prescience of we call accidental and voluntary, which deAlmighty God. Fortuitous and

pend upon the Liberty he has given to our voluntary Determination, and knows that we shall do Causes. samiss, because we would do so.'

I have seen a great many Commanders encourage their Soldiers with this fatal Necessity; for, if our Life be limited to a certain Hour, neither the Enemies Shor, nor our own Boldness, nor our Flight and Cowardise, can either shorten or prolong it. This is easily said, but see who will put it in Practice ; and, if it be so that a strong and lively Faith draws along with it Actions of the fame, certainly this Faith we so much brag of, is very light in this Age of ours, unless the Contempt it has of Works, makes it disdain their Company. So it is, that to this very Purpose the "Sieur de Joinville, as credible a Witness as any other whatever, tells us of the Bedoins, a Nation amongst the Saracens, with whom the King Saint Lewis had to in the Holy Land, " That they, in their Religion, • did so firmly believe the Number of every Man's Days

to be, from all Eternity, prefixed, and set down by an • inevitable Predeftination, that they went Naked to the 3

« Wars, Joinville's Memoirs, ch. 30. p. 190. Vol. I.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Wars, excepting a Turkish Sword, and their Bodies one

ly covered with a white Linen Cloth : And for the : greatest Curse they could invent, when they were angry, • this was always in their Mouths, Cursed be thou, as he ! that always arms himself for fear of Death. This is a Testimony of Faith very much beyond ours. And of this fort is that also which two Friars of Flo

To what Proof rence gave in our Fathers Days ". Being en

two Friars of gaged in fome Controversy of Learning, they Florence were agreed each to undergo a fiery Trial, for the for submitting Verification of his Argument, in Presence of their different

Opinions. all the People, and in the public Square ; and all Things were already prepared, and just upon the Point of Execution, when it was interrupted by an unexpected Accident. - A young Turkish Lord, having performed a notable Exploit, in his own Person, in the Sight of

A young Turk, both Armies, that of Amurath, and that of that had a Hunniades, ready to join Battle, being asked Hare to teach by Amurath, who it was, that, in fo tender bim Courage. and unexperienced Years, (for it was bis firft Sally inte Arms) had inspired him with a so noble a Courage, re

plied, That his chief Tutor, for Valour, was a Hare : ? For being, said he, one Day a hunting, I found a Hare

ficting, and, though I had a Brace of excellent Grey• hounds with me, yet, methought, it would be best, for • Sureness, to make Use of my Bow, for she sat very fair. • I then let fly my Arrows, and shot forty that I had in

my Quiver, not only without hurting, but without

starting her from her Form: At last I Nipped my Dogs · after her, but to no more Purpose than I had thot : By ' which I understood, that she had been secured by her

Destiny; and that neither Darts nor Swords can wound • without the Permission of Fate, which we can neither • hasten, nor put back.' This Story may serve, by the way, to let us see how flexible our Reason is to all sorts of Images.

A Personage advanced in Years, Name, Dignity, and Learning, boasted to me, that he had been induced to a

certain * Memoirs of Philip de Comines, lib. vii. C. 19.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

certain very important Change in his Faith, by a strange; whimsical Incitation, and also so very absurd, that I thought it much stronger, being taken the contrary Way : He called it a Miracle, I look upon it quite otherwise.

The Turkish Historians say, “That the Persuasion, rootThe common

ed in those of their Nation, of the fatal and Foundation of • unalterable Prescription of their Days, does the Courage of " manifestly conduce to the giving them great the Turks.

* Allurance in Dangers ;' and I know a great Prince, who makes very successful Use of it ; whether it be, that he does really believe it, or that he makes it his Excuse for so wonderfully hazarding himself, provided Fortune be not too soon weary of her Favour to him.

There has not happened, in our Memory, a more adAfassination of mirable Effect of Resolution, than in those the Prince of two who conspired the Death of the Prince Orange. of Orange *. 'Tis to be wondered, how the fecond, that executed it, could ever be animated to an Attempt, wherein his Companion, who had done his utmost, had had so ill Success; and, after the fame Method, and with the same Arms, to go and attack a Nobleman, armed with so fresh a Handle for Distrust, powerful in Followers, and of bodily Strength, in his own Hall, amidst his Guards, and in a City wholly at his Devotion. He, doubtless, imployed a very resolute Arm, and Courage inflamed with a furious Passion : A Dagger is surer for striking home, but by reason that more Motion, and a stronger Arm is required, than with a Pistol, the Blow is more subject to be put by, or hindered. That this Man ran upon certain Death, I make no great Doubt ; for the Hopes any one could flatter him withal, could not find Place in any calm Mind, and the Conduct of his Exploit does sufficiently manifeft, that he had no Want of that, any more than Courage. The Motives of so power'ful a Perfuasion may be diverse, for our Fancy does what it will, both with itself and us.

The Execution that was done near Orleans,
The Duke of
Guise.

was nothing like this, there was in that more
of Chance than Vigour, the Wound was not

mortal, * The Founder of the Republic of Holland.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »