hesitatingly, he added another and another. “Stop Mr. ——,” said General Lee, “one good reason should be sufficient to satisfy an honest mind,” with emphasis on the word “honest,” that spoke volumes. Another, an excellent student, now a distinguished lawyer in Tennessee, was once beguiled into an unexcused absence. The dreaded summons came. With his heart in his boots he entered General Lee's office. The General met him smiling: “Mr. M., I am glad to see you are better.” “ But General, I have not been sick.” “Then I am glad to see you have better news from home.” “But General, I have had no bad news.” “Ah,” said the General, “ I took it for granted that nothing less than sickness or distressing news from home could have kept you from your duty.” Mr. M. told me, in relating the incident, that he then felt as if he wished the earth would open and swallow him. To a recalcitrant student, who was contending for what he thought his rights as a man, I once heard General Lee say: “Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character” —in those very words. On rare occasions of disorder, actual or threatened, General Lee would post a manuscript address to students on the bulletin board. These were known among the boys as his “General orders.” They never failed of their effect. No student would have dared to violate General Lee's express wish or appeal—if one had done so the students themselves would have driven him from the college.
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