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been thus taught practically what they could never be brought to know in any other way. Take the men as a body, it must be avowed that they are decidedly practical in their notions. Be they good, bad, or indifferent personally, they can at least understand the presentment of good, when demonstrably set before them. A Boanerges may preach himself hoarse without affecting their stolid inaccessibility to theoretical appeals. But once get the length of setting excellence practically before them-show them a comrade really acting in recognition of the dignity of our common nature, and you may spare yourself the trouble of speak ing. They will for themselves draw the moral, and make the application; and anon you shall see attempts, lame, perhaps, but sincere, at imitation. This tendency to act by example on the men may be taken as one of the best features of our system. We steer clear of the absurdity of selecting officers exclusively from the class of nobles, and so bringing men to act together regimentally, on different sides of an impassable barrier. Neither do we encourage the advances of the oi oo to the distinction of military rank—in deference to the old adage that "familiarity breeds contempt." Our officers are, in the long run, simply gentlemen, having community of feelings and interests with the men, and (army rank out of the question) resting their claims to respect on a real superiority. They have thus necessarily an immense power to begin with, and it is only by the most culpable conduct on their part that this influence can be lost.
Happily it would not be difficult to designate instances in which this moral responsibility has been recognised, and where the most excellent effects have, in consequence, been made apparent. Our hope is, that, in spite of all defects, the entire British army is strongly infused with the spirit of such a recognition. We certainly have now and then judicial revelations made to us, that go to prove the existence of much that is reprehensible in the domestic history of regiments. But we would take these manifestations rather as tokens of the force and nature of the evil against which we must strive, than as serving
to indicate a condition widely prevalent. We, at all events, have plenty of counter-exhibitions before usenough to let us understand how great is the moral power exerted by even a single officer in a regiment-how irresistible would be that of a general combination of officers.
Now, we apprehend that our part, as a wise nation, is to do our best to bring about such a combination. To the extent of that endeavour we all may, without undue presumption, venture to meddle with military subjects. The line of demarcation beyond which the civilian's interference with the soldier becomes mischievous is sufficiently distinct. The army is necessarily an imperium in imperio, and can brook no tampering with its internal rule. Its decisions may be wrong in particular instances; but the choice is between the submitting to this liability and the giving up of a standing army. A soldier enters voluntarily into this regimen, and must abide the consequences. He cuts himself off from the appeal to the people: "Lasciale ogni speranza" is written over the door of his barrack-room; where by speranza you will be good enough to understand all idea of radical sympathisings, and ad captandum proceedings generally. He has no longer to deal with abstract ideas of right and wrong, but has entered on a system of purely conventional and exceptional enactments. It must be enough for him that he is secured against caprice, and has to regulate his conduct by precise laws, settled beforehand, and open to his inspection.
But these considerations only enhance the importance of our setting ourselves to do what we can within the scope permissible. The very fact of our feeling that there is a point at which we must leave so large a body of our fellow-countrymen, beyond which, in their corporate capacity, they are to cease to be subject to civic control, seems to afford excellent reason why we should do all we can for them up to this point of relinquishment.
Now, this amounts to saying that we must give all diligence to the work of educating our officers. As for the men, the work of their training is in
other hands, and we can act on them only indirectly. We have no hold on them previously to their enlistment; and, besides, the necessities of the service will not brook too great a nicety in the work of selection. But the officer is fairly open to probationary treatment. Commissions are not so plentiful but that a young man has generally a long time to wait after he has been entered on the commander-in-chief's list. Such is the ambition to serve her Majesty, that candidates in plenty would be producible, ready to undergo any test of efficiency, and submit to any course of training that the authorities might prescribe. Of the education of the officer it may truly be said that it is in our hands. On ourselves may be said, humanly speaking, to depend the character of the army, since we can regulate the issue of men from whom the army is to receive its moral impress.
Here we have indicated the legitimate channel for the public anxiety on military matters. To meddle with these matters in one way or another, is a chronic whim of our dear Publicunfortunately the fancy has been to do so on any but the right point. Every pot-house in the country, every railway carriage freighted with its comfortable citizens returning to suburban dinner and domestic felicity, has had its batch of orators on the merits of our generals and admirals. Now times will be looking up when such gentlemen are brought to understand that military detail is beyond their reach, and that the wisest thing they can do is to leave the actual operators to blow up Cronstadt and Sebastopol at their own discretion. It will be enough for us civilians to digest their achievements when presented
to us as facts.
But any man of kindly feeling, reasonable judgment, and moderate education, may form his own opinion concerning the duties which we owe to the army. The question touching the education of the officer is general, and perfectly clear of professional technicalities. A man need not be able to command a battery, or trace the profile of a fortification, in order to be able to say what is the sort of youth who ought to be turned over to
the military executive. It is what is to be settled on general principles, and by verdict of common sense.
There is a rubbish-heap against which we shall break our shins before we have made two steps in the way of inquiry, if we do not shovel it out of the way in the first instance; so we will dispose of it at once. It is the doctrine concerning speciality of education, that passes current just now with a good many utilitarians. They teach, that is to say, that the time is too short, and the struggle of human society too vehement, to admit of much probationary training of any kind. The only plan (according to them) of training a youth for worldly experi ence, is to go in for the prizes of life at once. Set before him, they say, the professional objects which are to occupy him, and train him up at once to their pursuit: he will then have been usefully educated, and will have some chance of making his way in the world. To hold this language is to repudiate the idea of education altogether; for such training involves no culture of the powers of the mind themselves, nor anything much beyond the category of encouragement afforded to particular instincts.
You can no
May we venture to remind these philosophers of the famous goose and her golden eggs. The luckless wight who could not await the tedious process of oviparation, lost eggs and goose; and all through his greediness. Even such is the hap of ultra-utilita rianism of education. more hurry on the effects of mental operation than you can the process of egg-laying, though your witless attempts may cause the death of your poor goose. To set a young man at once to study such subjects only as have an immediate bearing on his ultimate professional destination, is to do all you can to impoverish him as an intellectual being, and even to lower his rate as a professional man. To cram a man with knowledge is not to utilise to the utmost his capacity. There is a certain cultivatory process which must come before the invigora tion of the powers of intellectual digestion-those powers whose exercise is necessary before knowledge can be converted into wisdom.
Thus we repudiate the idea that,
because a youth is intended for the army, he is from his boyhood to be educated with a view to that speciality. We do not want to see our embryo Wellingtons collected together in one school, and our prospective lawyers and parsons in another, as though they had not a common mental process to undergo, and common sympathies to cultivate. In good truth, the whole work of what is properly to be termed education, is common to them all, and they diverge from a common path only when they come to the application of faculties whose vigour and accuracy are consequences of education past.
Many a long-headed man there is who will say, that to demand any lengthened term of preliminary treatment is to ask an impossibility, and that, if nothing short of this is to be styled education, the multitudes must remain uneducated. Undoubtedly they must so remain, and no harm come of it either, if only they be cognisant of the fact, and do not mistake the range of their powers. There is no bar to their acquisition of knowledge; and in arts and many sciences they may become adepts by mere force of natural genius. But this will be in spite of irregularity of education-in spite of defects which must be expected to characterise the action of their reasoning powers, and to affect the value of their general judgments. This is a consideration which we cordially recommend to all university reformers -to those who lament the time given to mental exercitations, and desire to set students to what they term matters of practical utility-who would have lectures confined to smatterings of science, as immediately applicable to the arts, and reduce to a minimum the exhibition of classics, mental philosophy, and speculative mathematics. The method which they blame cannot be for all; but it is not the less an immense advantage to those who are privileged to be subject to it. It puts between them and others all the difference that there is between regularity and irregularity of education. It is essential to the well-being of the country that we have amongst us a class of men so educated; and these are they who, reasoning rightly, and on a sound foundation, must be looked
to for the office of saving us from false conclusions on a large scale. This is a confidence which can never be safely reposed in the cleverest of the empirics.
And now as to the soldier. We do not hold that, because he demands the most careful training, he is therefore from boyhood to be treated regimentally. On the contrary, and in accordance with the general rule we have enunciated, he should be educated, like all other English gentlemen, on perfectly general principles. A time is before him when he will have his chief occupation about a speciality, but it has not arrived yet. He must meanwhile get up his τύπτω, TÚTEIS, like other boys, and find his way over the Pons Asinorum by the ordinary route. The age at which they may be properly separated, according to professional groupings, may be taken to be somewhere about the time when young men go to the university. At that stage, the nature of the case begets the separation, and the different classes of men do in fact enter upon their several specialities. But before that, the aspirant for military service should be kept in the position most favourable to the development of his sympathies with the community-i.e. he should be brought up with co-equals who might be looking forward to different professional destinations.
Can it be said that any one stands more in need than does the soldier of sound knowledge of human nature, and of disciplined habits of thinking? Take him in peace or in war, and think whether there be any profession of which we can predicate that it is more universal in its acquirements. The poet is pretty extensive in his demands; and Cicero and friend Warren have clearly convinced us that orators and lawyers are not much more common than Phoenixes. There have been also authorities who have enlarged on the nature of the requisitions made on the soldier. Let any one consider these, and say whether any position of earthly trust to which man can be called, is to be regarded as involving heavier demands on the moral and intellectual attributes of our nature, taken in their combination.
We all know, of course, that the muster-rolls, legal and military, present abundance of names which fall far enough short of the beau ideal. There is, however, a wide difference between the possible consequences of incapacity in the two cases. Stick the Nisi Prius benches as full as you please of blockheads, and you do no great harm. No one supposes that you thereby imperil the dignity of the bar, or the safety of the nation. The inefficient man will never rise to the post of Lord Chancellor, but continue to vegetate quietly on the benches, to the end of the chapter. But your stupid or unsympathetic ensign becomes in due course a captain, and anon a general. He has friends at the Horse Guards, or has been accidentally distinguished, or has the prestige of long services. He is named to a command, and national interests are committed to his keeping. Let us suppose him even to escape this prominence. He will at least, if he lives, and sticks to the service, rise to the highest regimental rank. Should he remain in the army no longer than while he is a subaltern, he would still be liable to be placed in command of a detachment. This might be in time of peace, and yet involve heavier responsibilities than are at all likely to fall to the lot of other non-military young men of like condition. The isolation of such a party-say in one of the small West India islands, or at a Cape outpostmay come to approach nearly to that of a ship's crew on a long voyage. The number of men composing the party will be dependent on the officer for discipline and social organisation, and from him to a great extent derive their habits of thinking. This would be a great matter did it affect only a single detachment or regiment. We duly estimate its importance, then, only when we take the aggregateof detachments, and consider that the entire army is, in due course, liable to come under the influence of such experience. No man open to such demands of duty can be said to have light responsibilities.
When we come to examine what is really being done by the country in the way of military education, we shall see that, so far as the scientific
corps are concerned, she stands clear of all imputation of carelessness. Be her course of treatment judicious or otherwise, there is at least enough of it in the case of the Artillery and Engineers. But with regard to the army at large, so much cannot with justice be averred. It is only lately that the examination for the line has been instituted; and even at present the rate of qualification is so low that the examination can be regarded as nothing more than a security against the grossest ignorance on the part of the officer. As a test of preliminary training it is quite worthless, and, of course, has no tendency to provide anything in the way of moral institutions. There is certainly the Royal Military College of Sandhurst; but as it is at the option of candidates to dispense with its advantages, and as, in fact, comparatively a small number of officers do pass through it, we will for the moment pass it over.
Two corps we have for which the pursuit of a particular course of edu cation is rendered compulsory, and into which no officer enters who has not been for that purpose expressly trained under Government regulations. These are our Artillery and Engineers. They both fall very much within the same category. Up to the point of actual entry into the respective regiments-that is to say, during the whole course of preliminary training-they constitute one body, and are subject to exactly the same influences. After that, they diverge into somewhat different paths; but it is needless to trouble ourselves with both. The particular duties of the engineer are well known to be of a nature calculated in themselves to involve a continuance of intellectual training. In speaking of the Artillery, we shall be, to all practical intent, taking the general case.
The candidate for this service is taken up at a very early age. Before he is well clear of the nursery he is separated from his co-evals. systematic beginning is with the Ordnance School at Carshalton, into which pupils are admitted at the age of eleven years. He becomes eligible for removal thence to Woolwich at the age of fourteen and a half, that he may
enter on his cadetship. The maximum duration of this second stage is four years. He then, if duly qualified, enters the practical class at the Royal Arsenal, where, according to the due course of things, he remains twelve months. He is then eligible for promotion into the regiment, but does not abruptly emerge from the state of pupilage. A captain of the regiment is appointed to the especial charge of the newly-joined officers, having the direction of their studies, and to a great extent the control of their movements. With him they go through a course of reading and fieldpractice, by way of supplement to their academical course-remaining under his command till by him reported qualified to enter on the discharge of their duties at large. At this point the work of compulsory education ceases, but they are not to be considered as entirely dismissed to their own devices. A considerable force of moral suasion still continues to be put forth by the authorities, having for object the improvement of the officers in science and general acquirements.
This opens another chapter in their history of ways and means, and brings us to speak of that very valuable establishment, the R. A. Institution. There has long existed an association within the regiment bearing this name, and professedly devoted to the advancement of science; but it appears to have fallen into complete neglect. The internal economy of the place was such as scarcely to contemplate any extended usefulness, or to place any really valuable advantages before young officers. It, however, forcibly struck some of the more considerate heads that the means which were here being wasted, because supplied in too niggardly measure, might be turned to good account. The question of a reform in the department was mooted; and after the usual amount of troublous opposition attendant on movements for good, the efforts at amelioration issued in the founding of the existing Royal Artillery Institution. For the moment it is sufficient to name it among the educational means of the regiment, postponing particular description.
The Royal Ordnance School of Carshalton was founded a few years ago by the then Master-General, with the view of obviating certain educational defects that beset candidates for commissions. It was thought that an advantage would be secured by bringing under Government inspection the course of a candidate's training. More particularly, it was supposed that what is technically termed cramming would thus be put out of the question.
Now, that the foregoing state of things was objectionable is likely enough; but we may fairly question whether the objection has been obviated by the Government remedy. The requisitions for entrance into the cadet company remain unchanged, and the period for admission is fixed even earlier in the day than formerly. Before it can be reasonably maintained that an evil has been radically obviated, it must be shown that the principle on which the evil proceeded has been repudiated. Now, in the present case, it can hardly be said that the change has been of such character. The evil was, that a number of children were, at an unduly early period of life, separated from ordinary companionship, and debarred of general education. They were brought up as members of a military clique; accustomed to associate pretty well exclusively-so far as school life was concerned, quite exclusively with lads who were looking forward to the same profession as themselves, and preoccupied with the same set of ideas. There was in such an association much to contract the range of their sympathies, and even of their intellect. The natural tendency besetting them to make the passing of an examination the end of acquiring knowledge, must have been strengthened by association so exclusive with others under the dominance of the same idea. Now, in which of these respects has any mitigation taken place, in virtue of the transfer of the youths to a Government school? Rather, has not the evil been enhanced, since now the collection is absolutely exclusive, and the lads are brought at once under military rule?
Bearing in mind that this proviso