Ohio History Journal

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The quality of bravery is capable of varied definitions. The

brave endurance of outward conditions, not subject to improve-

ment, or of pain, not subject to amelioration; the brave advance

into the decreptitude of years without loss of vital interests or

active optimism; the bravery of

those pronounced incurable and

who know themselves likely to die

violent, painful or  loathsome

deaths; the fortitude of others,

who await terrible physical ordeals

or calmly face living problems

worse than death,-these are all

familiar examples. Hourly we are

made aware of the sublimity of

souls close about us and learn that

it is in pain the strong chain is forged, whereby we are united,

alike, to God and to our fellows. Below, the links are called

sympathy, helpfulness, altruism, and, drawing us upward, be-

come aspiration, alikeness, and divine coexistence.

But in contradistinction, bravery is seen in another and dif-

ferent set of manifestations, unpremeditated, active, of one's

own volition, choice and seeking. This is shown by the mere

bystander who throws himself before a train, or into the sea, to

save a child, a woman, a youth whom he has never before seen;

again, in the thousand instances of soldierly daring; the storm-

ing of Missionary Ridge, in the example of Von Winkleried, of

Hobson and his companions, of Custer or the ancient Aztec


To analyze the promptings of the spirit within us, which

makes us endure, or which makes us dare, is the province of the

psychologist and it is a province, the laws of which are not likely

to be reduced to a science. When these two forms, elective