THE ARMY - - - - - -
THE possession of a powerful and well-disciplined Army is a sign of great excellence in a nation, not only because the Army is a necessary stand-by in our relations with other countries, but also because a noble people with a glorious past will be able to use its Army as a bloodless weapon for long periods together. The Army will also be a popular school for manly virtue in an age when business and pleasure often cause higher things to be forgotten. Of course, it must be admitted that there are certain highly-strung and artistic natures which cannot endure the burden of military discipline. People of this kind often cause others to hold quite erroneous views on universal service. But in dealing with these great questions one must not take abnormal persons as a standard, but rather bear in mind the old adage, Mens sana in corpore sano. This physical strength has particular significance in periods such as ours. One of the shortcomings of English culture lies in the fact that the English have no universal military service. This fault is in some measure atoned for on the one hand by the
extraordinary development of the Fleet, and on the other by the never-ending little wars in countless colonies which occupy and keep alive the virile forces of the nation. The fact that great physical activity is still to be observed in England is partly due to the constant wars with the colonies. But a closer view will reveal a very serious want. The lack of chivalry in the English character, which presents so striking a contrast with the naive loyalty of the Germans, has some connection with the English practice of seeking physical exercise in boxing, swimming, and rowing, rather than in the use of noble arms. Such exercises are no doubt useful; but no one can fail to observe that this whole system of athletics tends to further brutalise the mind of the athlete, and to set before men the superficial ideal of being always able to carry off the first prize.