ARCHITECTS OF CHARACTER
INTEGRITY BEFORE THE DUKE OF
Natan Eldon Tanner, illustrated with a story telling us that an English farmer who worked in his fields, seeing a group of hunters, worried that those riders would destroy their crops with the footsteps of their horses he therefore sent one of his young men who works as one of his workers, to close the door that gave access to the sown and to keep an eye out for such riders to open it for no reason.
This young man ran and had scarcely reached the gate, when the hunters arrived at him and ordered him to open it.
He refused to do so, stating that he had received orders from his master to close it and unwaveringly refused to open it despite threats and blackmail while the jockey hunters appeared one after the other.
Then one of the hunters came out in the middle of the others and said in command:
«My boy, don't you know me? I am the Duke of Wellington, one who is not accustomed to being disobeyed and I order you to open that door so that I and my friends can pass.
The boy took off his hat and before the man whom all England was pleased to honor, answered firmly:
I am sure that my lord, the Duke of Wellington, wouldn't want me to disobey the orders I've received, I must keep this door closed and not allow anyone to pass it except for my master's permission, just as your lordship would not like one of your soldiers to disobey your orders.
Greatly pleased the Duke of Wellington, he also took off his hat and speaking in front of his companions, told them:
«I honor the man and this young man, who do not allow themselves to be blackmailed or intimidated to do the wrong thing.
With an army of such soldiers, not only could I conquer France, but everyone».
The Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, was an Irish soldier who studied deeply the strategies of Napoleon used in his battles, just as a chess player studies his opponent's moves.
After many previous analyses and putting into practice ways to defeat the great French conqueror, he fought at the Battle of Waterloo, which put a definitive end to the Napoleonic empire, so all of Britain considers him one of his greatest heroes.
( Adapted from “The Boy who kept out Wellington,”
in moral stories for little folks,
Salt Lake City:
Juvenile Instructor Office, 1891,pp 112-113.)