previous next

[163] rightly yearns for Peace, but wrongly refuses to estimate fairly the greatness that is born of the profession of arms alone. A quarter of a century ago, as the majestic figures of our great generals emerged from the smoke of battle, and moved out from the soldier life, from camp and march and field, into the unromantic walks of our selfish, scheming business world, men marvelled at them as anomalies and demanded ‘whence have mere soldiers these characteristics; this purity and consecration, this majesty and strength?’ Those of us who have to some degree lived and loved the life of the soldier make answer, ‘These men were cast in this mould; they are not anomalies, but the lofty yet normal outcome of a grand system of physical and mental and moral training.’ What, then, is the training and what are the formative elements of this life?

Essential character of the soldier life.

We answer: The essental character of the soldier life is ‘service’— its all pervading law is ‘duty.’ Its first lesson is obedience questioning—its last lesson command unquestioned. Its daily discipline Accountability unceasing-its final burden Responsi-Bility unmeasured. Its every-day experience hardships, perils, Crises unparalleled—its compensation fixed pay. Its inspiration promotion from above.

Here is the mould. Does it not prefigure the man we mourn and honor to-night? His purity, his loyalty, his directness, his robustness, his majestic simplicity, his devotion to duty, his heroism? Yes! God made him in body, mind, and soul a youth capable of responding to this noble training and absorbing these lofty influences; but they made him the man and the hero he was.

Thus was he soldier-trained to a great character and a grand career, to a majestic manhood and a mightyl ife; but his spirit soared even higer, because he was also God-created high-souled, and broadminded. It is noteworthy how his soldier-training and his soldier spirit entered into, inspiring or modifying, his almost every act and utterance, and yet how his personal elevation and breadth bore him up and away above and beyond the mere soldier.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: