The Lives of James Madison and James Monroe: Fourth and Fifth Presidents of the United States

By John Quincy Adams | Go to book overview

LIFE OF JAMES MADISON.*

WHEN the imperial despot of Persia surveyed the myriads of his vassals, whom he had assembled for the invasion and conquest of Greece, we are told by the father of profane history, that the monarch's heart, at first, distended with pride, but immediately afterwards sunk within him, and turned to tears of anguish at the thought, that within one hundred years from that day, not one of all the countless numbers of his host would remain in the land of the living.

The brevity of human life had afforded a melancholy contemplation to wiser and better men than Xerxes, in ages long before that of his own existence. It is still the subject of philosophical reflection or of Christian resignation, to the living man of the present age. It will continue such, so long as the race of man shall exist upon earth.

____________________
*
Written in 1836, at the request of the two houses of Congress.
Herodotus.

-9-

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The Lives of James Madison and James Monroe: Fourth and Fifth Presidents of the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Preface. vii
  • Life of James Madison. 9
  • Madison's Administration. 105
  • Life of James Monroe, 195
  • Monroe's Administration. 297
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