“With all things round about
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.”
Let her develop onwards—
“A spirit, yet a woman too,
With household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty.
A countenance in which shall meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright and good
For human nature’s daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
But let her highest and her final development be that which not nature, but self-education alone can bring—that which makes her once and for ever—
“A being breathing thoughtful
A traveller betwixt life and death.
With reason firm, with temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength and skill.
A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort and command.
And yet a spirit still and bright
With something of an angel light.”
Gentlemen:—When I accepted the honour of lecturing here, I took for granted that so select an audience would expect from me not mere amusement, but somewhat of instruction; or, if that be too ambitious a word for me to use, at least some fresh hint—if I were able to give one—as to how they should fulfil the ideal of military men in such an age as this.
To touch on military matters, even had I been conversant with them, seemed to me an impertinence. I am bound to take for granted that every man knows his own business best; and I incline more and more to the opinion that military men should be left to work out the problems of their art for themselves, without the advice or criticism of civilians. But I hold—and I am sure that you will agree with me—that if the soldier is to be thus trusted by the nation, and left to himself to do his own work his own way, he must be educated in all practical matters as highly as the average of educated civilians. He must know all that they know, and his own art beside. Just as a clergyman, being a man plus a priest, is bound to be a man, and a good man, over and above his priesthood, so is the soldier bound to be a civilian, and a highly-educated civilian, plus his soldierly qualities and acquirements.
It seemed to me, therefore, that I might, without impertinence, ask you to consider a branch of knowledge which is becoming yearly more and more important in the eyes of well-educated civilians; of which, therefore, the soldier ought at least to know something, in order to put him on a par with the general intelligence of the nation. I do not say that he is to devote much time to it, or to follow it up into specialities: but that he ought to be well grounded in its principles and methods; that he ought to be aware of its importance and its usefulness; that so, if he comes into contact—as he will more and more—with scientific men, he may understand them, respect them, befriend them, and be befriended by them in turn; and how desirable this last result is, I shall tell you hereafter.