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[475] life-like book. But I fear it will produce no permanent effect on the French national character, or on the military tastes that seem to have become a part of it. French men and women, in every village of their country, have seen similar cases of heart-rending misery, and heard tales of them repeated from the time they introduced the heathenish Roman conscription, above sixty years ago, and, what is worse, they have been proud of such cases, and taught the victims to be proud of them. Nothing, it seems to me, tends more to make war savage than this cruel, forced service, which the soldier who survives it yet claims at last as his great glory, because he cannot afford to suffer so much and get no honor for it. It is a splendid sort of barbarism that is thus promoted, but it is barbarism, after all; for it tends more and more to make the military character predominate over the civil.

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