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goes this length, and every length, or it cannot be proved to exist at all; for if an accountableness is to take place at some point, and the man's own judgement is to decide where, he will be compelled to begin his examination, and therefore to acknowledge his accountableness, at the very first moral question that can be put concerning his employment.
The young soldier from Mr. E.'s school is not to be eagerly set on duelling; but neither is he in all cases to decline that honourable practice. "The best character,' he says, “a young man can establish on going into the army, is that of being determined to fight in a proper cause, but averse to quarrel for trifles.' He strongly recommends fencing as a part of . an officer's education.
It might again revive the custom among gentlemen, of fighting duels with swords instead of pistols : a custom, which would at least diminish the number of duellists, by confining them to a certain class in society. Gentlemen would then be in some measure protected from the insolence of uneducated temerity, and every ill-bred upstart would not find himself upon a footing with his superior because he can fire a pistol, or dares to stand a shot. If any distinction of ranks is to be supported, if any idea of subordination is to be maintained in a country, and what dation can exist without these, education must mark the boundaries, and maintain the privileges of the different orders. The honour and the life of an officer and a senator, and that of a mere idle man of the town, ought not to be put on the same level, nor should their differences be adjusted by one and the same appeal to the trigger.' p. 152.
This expedient for preserving so valuable a privilege to the better sort, for keeping duels a strictly genteel amusement, would prove ineffectual; for these idle men of the town' would, in spite of their description, be soon stimulated to qualify themselves in the art, on which they found their equality with the officers and senators' was to depend; and some of them, of the true bravo species, would soon acquire the power to overawe their pretended superiors. Mr. Edgeworth might know that some of these men of the town practise shooting at a mark, expressly in preparation for
affairs of honour,' with as much assiduity as would finish them in the use of the sword. Under the appearance of idle men of the town, there will always, in the metropolis, be a class of keen desperate adventurers by profession, who regard what Mr. E. may call their superiors,' as their game; and so long as gentlemen of the senatorian, or whatever other dignified sort, choose, in defiance of morality and law, to maintain the practice of ' appeal to either the "triggers or the sword, they will deservedly be at the mercy of the more unerring pistóls or swords of these formidable men. As to the supposed higher value of the “honour and the life of the
officer or the senator,' surely the man is the best judge him. self what the one or the other is worth ; he is not obliged to appraise them in a pistolling match with every ill-bred upstart, or idle man of the town, and, if he chooses to do it, it is of course because he judges they are things fit for such a traffic. And truly, whatever price they might have borne before, he cannot well estimate them too meanly by the time that he has measured his ground with his worthless antagonist, since community in crime. is the grand equalizer in degradation. By the time he has consented to place him, self in that situation, his “honour,' at any rate, is hardly worth the trouble of a preference of one weapon to another, and his life is worth--mentioning in to-morrow's news
paper as a thing that went out in a geutlemanly style. In -. the name, then, of that liberty, so much favoured by the
government and tribunals of this Christian country, of vioJating in this point morality and law, let not the man be forced to take the pains of learning an additional art in order to dispose of his couple of trifles • honour and life,' which can be disposed of with less trouble in the mode now in fashion.
The reader will be somewhat surprised to find, that this determination to fight duels on all proper occasions, is to coalesce, in the young soldier's mind, with a religion which it shall be worth bis while to maintain with an equal constancy of determination. We are not certain, even, whether the same weapons are not, in the last resort, to be employed ; since all interference with his religious sentiments, whether by ridicule or remonstrance,' is represented as such an infringement of his rights and his independence,' as we should suppose he will be bound to resent with lead or steel.
• As a young officer will early mix with varieties of dissipated com. pany, his religious principles should not trust for their defence to any of chose outworks which wit can demolish; he should not be early taught to be scrupulous or strict in the observance of trilling forms; his important duties, and his belief in the essential tenets of his religion, should not rest upon these slight foundations, lest, if they be overthrown, the whole superstructure should fall. When his young companions perceive that he is not precise or punctilious, but sincere and firm in his belief ; when they see that he avoids all controversy with others, and considers alt interference with his own religious sentiments, whether by ridicule or remonstrance, as an infringement of his rights and his independence ; he will not only be left unmolested in his tenets, but he will command general respect. It is of the utmost importance that the early religious impressions made on the mind of a soldier should not be of a gloomy or dispiriting sort; they should be connected with hope, not with fear, or they will tend to make him cowardly instead of brave. Those who be lieve that they are secure of happiness hereafter, if to the best of their
power they live and die doing their duty, will certainly meet danger, and if necessary, death, with more courage than they can ever do who are oppressed and intimidated by superstitious doubts and horrors, terrors which degrade man, and which are inconsistent with all ideas of the goodness and benefiçence of God. p. 143.
It should seem to be conveyed, in this piece of instruction, that it is in some certain degree at the option of religious teachers what they shall inculcate as religion; and that there, fore, in their religious instructions to their military pupils, they can considerably accommodate to the purpose of pro dueing bravery. We may also learn, that a religion which involves terrors' needs not be believed by any of us, soldiers, authors, or critics, any testimony to the contrary in the Bible notwithstanding. As to the phrase if they live and die doing their duty,' nothing can be more indefinite, or even equivocal; for, according to our author, a military man may die doing his duty though he dies in a duel, or, as far as we see, if he dies in the act of sacking a harmless town, which some atrocious tyrant, or tyrant's tool, has sworn to annihilate.
After so much more than enough on the moral complexion of this long essay on military education, there needs but very few words on its other qualities. In common with the others, it has a certain defect, very sensibly felt by a reader of in different memory; that of not prominently marking the ser veral stages and topics in the scheme. But this perhaps could not have been remedied by any other means, than a formal division into a number of sections with distinct titles and arguments. The multifarious assemblage of precepts and illustrations includes, we should suppose, almost all the expedients most conducive to excite the spirit and finish the accomplishments of a soldier. Many directions are given for preparing the young hero, from bis infancy, for the toils and privations of his future service. i s .' .' A boy who is to be brought up for a military life must from his cradle be inured to the vicissitudes of the seasons. Let his head be accustomed to the sun, his feet to the snow. Let him be habituated to variety of clothing. Let his hours of sleeping and waking be frequently varied. Give him the useful power of sleeping in the day-time whenever he is tired, and of wakening to the full use of all his faculties at the first summons. His 'meals should be at irregular hours, and should be quickly dispatched. Let his diet be plain and nourishing, not delicate or highly seasoned. Accustom his taste to milk instead of tea. p. 110.
The discipline of stripes must never be applied to him, of whatever perversity or mischief he may be guilty. , Every thing must be done by an appeal to his pride, which passion
is to be promoted and stimulated in every possible way, as the sovereign virtue of the military character; nor is any prescription given for transmuting it into the opposite Christian virtue just at the extreme moment when he is finally laying down his arms, if he should then be apprehensive that this military character may be an uncouth garb in which to appear in the other world. The proper discipline for creating courage is pointed out; amusements bearing some relation to the operations of war are suggested ; it is advised that the boy be induced to employ himself sometimes in familiar practical mechanics; be early made master of the terms and elements of mathematics ; be carefully trained to an accurate use of his eyes, in order to judge of distances and relative magnitudes; be taught drawing ; learn some of the modern languages, but not expend much of his time on Latin and Greek. He is to be made conversant with the lives of warriors, and even the stories of chivalry. But the book of mightiest inspiration is the Iliad, of which it was indispensably necessary to mention yet once more, that it sent
Macedonia's madman and the Swede' to draw glorious lines of blood and devastation across certain portions of the surface of the earth, beckoned on by the Homeric ghost of Achilles. The character of this amiable hero has been fated,' it seems, like those of the Christian apostles and martyrs, to meet with detractors among the base-minded moderns.
Some modern writers have been pleased to call Achilles a mad bụtcher, wading in carnage ; but all our love for the arts of peace, and all our respect for that humane philosophy which proscribes war, cannot induce us to join in such brutal abuse, such unseemly degradation of the greatest military hero upon poetic record;' and there follows a portion of useful composition on the "heroic beauties in his character;' in answer to all which it is sufficient to ask, But was be vot, after all, ' a mad butcher wading in carnage?? There are many excellent observations on an officer's conduct in war, on the proper combination, while he is a subaltern, of subordination with independence of character, on presence of mind, on the mode of attaching soldiers, and inspiring them with confidence, and on that vigour of good seose which, disdaining to be confined to the principles of any school of war, can adapt every operation pointedly to the immediate state of the circumstances. The whole essay is enlivered by numerous historical examples, selected in general with great judgement and felicity.
The remaining Essays are on the education for the Medical Profession, for the duties of Country Gentlemen, for the profession of the Law, and for Public Life, with a short con
cluding chapter on the education of a Prince. They involve such a multiplicity of particulars, as to be beyond the power of analysis, had we any room left to attempt it. Nor is there any bold novelty of general principles that can be stated as pervading the whole mass; unless, indeed, we may cite, as a novelty, the author's detestation of the political profligacy and low intrigues of what are called public men. This appears in many parts of the book, and is conspicuously displayed in the Essay on the education of men intended for Public Life. And it is quite time it should be displayed byt every honest man, since the public mind habitually leans to a forgetfulness or a tolerance of those vices of public men, to which the public interests are made a sacrifice. Thus far is well; but when our author proceeds confidently to remedy all these evils by means of the inculcation of pride, honour, and magnanimity (which is only another name for pride, when it is found in such company), we cannot help wondering through what preternatual splitting of his faculties into a very intelligent part and a very whimsical one, it has happened that the same individual has been in many directions an excellent observer and thinker, but in others a deplorable visionary. How justly the thorough-politicians will laugh at such passages as the following.
Begin by training the boy' (the young statesman) to dare to tell the truth. Use every motive of shame and praise to inspire him with this courage. Make him despise the cowardice, of deceit and cunning. Teach him to scorn to tell a lie. Explain to him the nature of a promise : explain it to him with some solemnity. Tell him that a gentlea' man, a man of honour, never, for any consideration, breaks his word.''
The misfortunes that have befallen the countries of Europe must be attributed to the errors of their rulers, to their want of judgement, to their party struggles, or their want of integrity. To prevent such disasters in future, one obvious remedy is, to train up statesmen who shall not be liable to such error, and who shall be superior to temptation.'
• It is extraordinary that the rarity of honesty in statesmen has not raised its value, and brought it into request. In fact, the public are y deceived by false professions of disinterestedness; while behind the scenes, the political actors laugh at the characters they play on the stage, and amongst one another avow political profligacy, and seem to consider the avowal as a sort of gentlemanlike frankness, a pledge of good faith, which is accepted, and almost required; whilst any preten. sions to integrity and patriotism, beyond steady adherence to a party, are considered as the fights of political Quixotes, or the artifices of knaves and hypocrites. The specious motives they profess, and the parliamen. tary harangues they make, are merely to enhance their price. It should however be observed' (to the young statesman, we presume) that these base principles, and mean arts can raise a man in public life only to a certain point ; with the assistance of these, he may rank with the come