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subdued Saxony, and at twenty-seven he was conducting his victorious troops into the heart of Russia, when a severe wound
a prevented his taking command in person, and resulted in his overthrow and subsequent treacherous captivity in Turkey.
Lafayette was major-general in the American army at the age of eighteen; was but twenty when he was wounded at the battle of Brandywine; but twenty-two when he raised supplies for his army, on his own credit, at Baltimore; and but twentythree when raised to the office of commander-in-chief of the National Guards of France.
Napoleon Bonaparte commenced his military career as an officer of artillery at the siege of Toulon. His splendid campaign in Italy was performed at the age of twenty-seven. During the next year, when he was about twenty-eight, he gained battle after battle over the Austrians in Italy, conquered Mantua, carried the war into Austria, ravaged the Tyrol, concluded an advantageous peace, took possession of Milan and the Venetian Republic, revolutionized Genoa, and formed the Cisalpine Republic. At the age of twenty-nine, he received the command of the army against Egypt, scattered the clouds of Mameluke cavalry, mastered Alexandria, Aboukir, and Cairo, and wrested the land of the Pharaohs and Ptolemies from the proud descendants of the prophet. At the age of thirty he fell among the Parisians like a thunderbolt, overthrew the directorial government, dispersed the Council of Five Hundred, and was proclaimed first consul. At the age of thirty-one he crossed the Alps with an army, and destroyed the Austrians by a blow at Marengo. At the age of thirty-two he established the Code of Napoleon; in the same year he was elected consul for life by the people, and at the age of thirty-three he was declared Emperor of the French nation.
William Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham, was but twentyseven years of age when, as a member of Parliament, he waged the war of a giant against the corruptions of Sir Robert Walpole.
The younger Pitt was scarcely twenty years of age when, with masterly power, he grappled with the veterans in Parliament in favour of America. At twenty-two he was called to the high and responsible trust of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was his age when he came forth in his might on the affairs of the East Indies. At twenty-nine, during the first insanity of George III., he rallied around the Prince of Wales.
Edmund Burke, at the age of nineteen, planned a refutation of the metaphysical theories of Berkeley and Hume. At twenty he was in the Temple, the admiration of its inmates for the brilliancy of his genius and the variety of his acquisitions. At twenty-six he published his celebrated satire entitled "A Vindication of Natural Society.” The same year he published his "Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful," --so much admired for its spirit of philosophical investigation and the elegance of its language. At twenty-five he was First Lord of the Treasury.
George Washington was only twenty-seven years of age when he covered the retreat of the British troops at Braddock's defeat, and the same year was appointed commander-in-chief of all the Virginia forces.
General Joseph Warren was only twenty-nine years of age when, in defiance of the British soldiers stationed at the door of the church, he pronounced the celebrated oration which aroused the spirit of liberty and patriotism that terminated in the achievement of independence. At thirty-four he gloriously fell, gallantly fighting for the cause of freedom, on Bunker Hill.
Alexander Hamilton was a lieutenant-colonel in the army of the American Revolution and aide-de-camp to Washington at the age of twenty. At the age of twenty-five he was a member of Congress from New York; at thirty he was one of the ablest members of the Convention that formed the Constitution of the United States. At thirty-one he was a member of the New York Convention, and joint author of the great work entitled the “Federalist.” At thirty-two he was Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and arranged the financial branch of the government upon so perfect a plan that no great improvement has ever been made upon it by his successors.
Thomas Haywood, of North Carolina, was but thirty years of age when he signed the glorious record of a nation's birth, the Declaration of Independence. Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts, Benjamin Rush and James Wilson, of Pennsylvania, were but thirty-one years of age; Matthew Thornton, of New Hampshire, thirty-one ; Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Arthur Middleton, of South Carolina, and Thomas Stone, of Maryland, thirty-three; and William Hooper, of North Carolina, thirty-four.
John Jay, at twenty-nine years of age, was a member of the Revolutionary Congress, and, being associated with Lee and Livingston on the committee for drafting an address to the people of Great Britain, drew up that paper himself, which was considered one of the most eloquent productions of the time. At thirty-two he penned the Constitution of New York, and in the same year was appointed chief-justice of the State. At thirty-four he was appointed minister to Spain.
At the age of twenty-six, Thomas Jefferson was a leading member of the Colonial Legislature of Virginia. At thirty he was a member of the Virginia Convention; at thirty-two a member of Congress; at thirty-three he drafted the Declaration of Independence.
Milton, at the age of twenty-three, had written his finest miscellaneous poems, including his "L'Allegro," "Penseroso," "Comus," and the most beautiful of his monodies.
Lord Byron, at the age of twenty, published his celebrated satire upon the "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers;" at twenty-three, the first two cantos of “Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.” Indeed, all the poetic treasures of his genius were poured forth in their richest profusion before he was thirtyfour years old; and he died at thirty-seven.
Mozart, the great German musician, completed all his noblest compositions before he was thirty-four years old, and he died at thirty-six.
Pope wrote his published poems by the time he was nineteen years old; at twenty his "Essay on Criticism;" at twenty-one the "Rape of the Lock;" and at twenty-five his great work,the translation of the Iliad.
Dr. Dwight's “Conquest of Canaan" was commenced at the age of sixteen and finished at twenty-two. At the latter age he composed his celebrated Dissertation on the history, eloquence, and poetry of the Bible, which was immediately published, and republished in Europe.
This list might be indefinitely multiplied by a reference to poets, reformers, divines, and missionaries, most of whom began early to develop and work out their misison for humanity, and, having done so, passed to their rest and recompense.
We append the following article, which has just appeared in the Richmond Central Presbyterian, both as a very just delineation of these Associations and as presenting in the one at Richmond a good model to others:
THE PLACE FOR YOUNG MEN. One of the noblest Institutions in this city is the Young Men’s Christian Association. The pious ingenuity of the good has never devised an organization better fitted to accomplish two great and important ends, viz. : the social, intellectual, and moral improvement of its own members, and the temporal and spiritual welfare of those not connected with it, yet in whose behalf this organization exerts its influence.
There is such variety in its plans and in its means of usefulness that it is practically the ally of nearly every good enterprise known to society and to the church.
There is so much symmetry in its constitution, and such is the practical working of its different departments of labour, that it is capable of becoming the auxiliary to more objects of philanthropy and religion than any other society of which we have any knowledge. It has its committees for seeking out and relieving the destitute, for visiting the inmates of poorhouses and hospitals, for making the acquaintance of young men on their first arrival in the city, for the purpose of aiding them in finding employment and for the purpose of surrounding them with moral and religious influences; it furnishes teachers to Sabbath schools, it conducts strangers to the house of God; in a word, responsive to every call of benevolence and Christian zeal, this Society comes forward in all the alacrity and ardour of its youthful vigor, with the offer of its warm heart and strong arm, feeling honoured in having its services accepted, and delighting to render its efficient aid.
Such are its relations to society at large; such its external work.
As to its inner life, we feel assured that, had the Young Men's Christian Association no other object than the improvement of its own members, this alone would render it worthy of the sympathy and support of every youth of generous feelings and honourable principles; for such is the nature of its organization that it calls into play and develops the finest social qualities of our nature; it throws young men together in such a way as to excite the kindest interest in each other, to soften and break down prejudices, and to awaken sentiments of mutual esteem and friendship.
Unlike other associations among young men which sometimes lead to rivalries and discord, -to the encouragement of coarse and vulgar manners, to the indulgence of a taste for low and degrading pleasures, and to the formation perhaps of dissipated habits,—the intercourse which results from this association is all elevating, pure, and refining. It tends to repress whatever is rude, selfish, and sensual, and to give development to all that is disinterested, generous, and manly; for around all of its meetings, even those which are merely literary and most unreservedly social, there is thrown the gentle and sweetly-constraining influence of our common Christianity; and in all the genial flow of youthful spirits, in all the collision of mind with mind, while there is every thing in the ardour and spirit and glow of the intercourse to make it plain that it is a young men's association, still, it is never forgotten that it is a young men's Christian association.
For the entertainment and profit of its members it has established a library and reading-room; it has its meetings for friendly intercourse, its rhetorical society for literary exercises and forensic discussions, its meetings for business and its meetings for prayer; and, in addition to these means of mental and spirtual improvement, it has formed another circle for the study of the Holy Scriptures. On every Thursday night the Hall of the Association is thrown open to all who are willing to attend informal lectures and examinations on portions of Scripture selected for the occasion. This class is under the direction of one of the pastors of the city; and any young man who desires to become a member of it is at liberty to do so, whether he is a member of any church or not, and whether he is a member of the Association or not.