« PreviousContinue »
on works in India), and it Such course would ad. seldom results in serious waste. mittedly be difficult with our The home authorities, on the home organisation, centred as other hand, while treating this is in the hands of the civil their technical advisers with staff at the War Office, and å greater measure of confid- whose functions and duties are ence, so far as plans and probably a necessary corollary estimates are concerned, retain of the British Constitution, and under central control the prin. therefore beyond criticism. cipal machinery for execution. To criticise the Constitution No doubt in the complex condi- would be as preposterous as tion of trade in England it is to speak disrespectfully of the necessary that all Army con- equator. But it may perhaps tracts, whether for barracks be permitted, with deference or blankets, beef boots, and humility, to express an should be under some central opinion with regard to the office of control whose relations actions of some of the stateswith the civil market, and men who administer the trust with the Treasury, should be imposed on them by the rules continuous. Yet it unquestion of the Constitution. All the ably means less personal initi- mistakes associated with the ative for the officer on the policy of the Army Works spot, it weakens his self- Corps were repeated thirty reliance, and is pro tanto less years afterwards in connection valuable experience. As with the Suakin-Berber rail. result of the Indian system, way when the late Duke of many engineers who had been Devonshire was War Minister. occupied in time of peace in We learn from the recently building roads, bridges, forti- published life of Lord Halified posts, &o., in our Frontier burton that it was in spite of highlands, attracted round the advice of the chief techthem contractors who knew nical officer at the War Office and trusted the Englishmen, that a broad gauge railway, and who in their turn could complete even to the guards' be trusted to meet any emerg- watches,
sent out ency. Then in time of war Suakin. The work was the same contractors followed trusted to a firm of British railthe officers into the field, as way contractors, and British a matter of course, and the navvies at exorbitant rates of works went on as smoothly pay were sent out to make it. in war as in peace.
The work was a colossal failure. thus, to take one instance out The materials were eventually of many, that the road, nearly brought back to England and 200 miles long, from Peshawar were stored at Woolwich to Kabul was made through Arsenal. Yet, from what the difficult Afghan passes in the writer knows of the countries winter of 1879-80, & work to between the Nile and the which nothing in the Crimea Red Sea, and also on
on the presents any parallel.
North-West Frontier of India,
there was no diffioulty in the me, that we have any idea of the former comparable with some predisposing power which an imof those presented by the latter, have in begetting war. They con
mense series of preparations for war and at that time there were stantly familiarise ideas which, when Indian engineers of Frontier familiar, lose their horror, and they railway experience who were light an inward flame of excitement only too eager to tackle the of which, when it is habitually fed,
we lose the consciousness." work, and who, from their success elsewhere, would prob- The "shame and scandal" ably have succeeded.
here alluded to are the distrust This failure may be con- of France, and the imputation trasted with the brilliant suc- to her in 1859, especially in her cess of Lord Kitchener's railway naval policy, of making arrangefrom Halfa to Abu Hamed, ments to invade Great Britain. and with the equally successful Mr Herbert thought, as most railway work done in South of us think to-day, though not Africa and China, where all with reference to France, that the arrangements were worked the best way to avoid such a out by capable men on the catastrophe was “to make the spot.
attempt so dangerous as to be Ne sutor ultra crepidam. The almost impossible.” Mr Glad
. more talented and brilliant a stone regarded such an attitude statesman is, able by the majes- as shameful and scandalous. tic power of his oratory to sway Posterity has now forgotten an audience, and conscious of that there was any such danhis own lofty patriotism and ger to be apprehended, and it integrity of purpose, the more would hardly agree to-day that apt is he to suppose that his shame and scandal were to be judgment in all matters per- attributed to the Minister who taining to national defence is prepared for the worst. But beyond the reach of question. Posterity does remember the No one, not even his bitterest shame and scandal of sending political opponent, would deny an Army to the Crimea utterly to Mr Gladstone the possession unprovided with the necessaries of the above qualities, but in of winter warfare, and, without some most important questions “minutely apportioning the of Army polioy his ideas were blame," holds the Ministry of fundamentally at fault, as will which Mr Gladstone was a disbe seen from
from the following tinguished member responsible. extract from a letter written As regards the argument by him to Lord Herbert in about familiarity with the November 1859:
ideas of war begetting war,
we may say that it is at least "I cannot think we are sufficiently wanting in originality. The alive to the shame and scandal with same argument a century bewhich (not perhaps minutely appor- fore was used in the earlier tioning the blame) posterity, and that an early posterity, will look back
years of George II., though
upon the present state of things.
we hear little of it after Pitt Neither, I must own, does it seem to came into power. It was cerin vain.
tainly not a nation familiarised Further, and perhaps most by war that clamoured for the important change of all, the conflict with Russia in 1853. administration for our Citizen If the nation had realised the Army is now confided to local gravity of war, the serious authority in the County Assonecessity for administration, ciations. This system which and the bitter lessons of battle, in the days of Cromwell prowould it have urged a reluot- duced the finest fighting army ant Ministry to enter into a of Englishmen that campaign which now most Eng. existed— higher praise cannot lishmen believe to have been a
is one suited to huge mistake?
the genius of the nation, and A great deal of water has brings the subject of national flowed under Westminster defence into the closest rela Bridge since the days when tion with the busy working Lord Panmure and Mr Her- world of the country. It is bert were Secretaries of State for these local bodies to see The Volunteer movement was that land for training is then in its infancy. For long adequate, that buildings are it remained, as the regular forthcoming as may be reArmy was in the Crimean quisite, that food and transepoch, "a mere aggregate of port, medical aid, and munitions battalions," to use the Prince of war shall not be wanting to Consort's true description. To- the force whose sacred duty it day this force has been merged is to dcfend the homeland. into a Territorial force, which, And, if the lessons of the with all its limitations and Crimean War are not forimperfections, is at least a gotten, if the people of this properly constituted and or- country realise that war is not ganised host, animated by the a matter of prancing steeds, right spirit and moving in parade glitter, bands and banthe right direction.
ners, but a deadly struggle in It is true that the cost of the cold and heat, dust and dirt, Army has doubled in the last where human lives are as nothhalf century.
But, as the ing when national honour is at military correspondent of. The stake, when the moral qualities Times' has pointed out in the of the race are even more valuable series of essays published able than physical strength to by him under the title of fight; then, whatever may have 'Foundations of Reform,' the been the political gain or loss, national wealth has increased the lives of the thousands of in a far greater ratio, and thus our countrymen who died on the bill for national insurance the heights above Balaclava to-day is less, relatively, than will not have been laid down it was then.
1 See · Maga' for August 1906, “Land for Military Training : An Appeal and a Suggestion an appeal which the author ventures to think has not been quite in vain.
A MAN'S MAN.
BY IAN HAY, AUTHOR OF
"THE RIGHT STUFF.'
CHAPTER THIRTEEN. VARIUM ET MUTABILE.
HUGHIE continued during handle the bludgeon of the the next few weeks to study other. the character of the female Not that Miss Joan Gaymer sex exemplified by his
ran any such risk.
She was ward Miss Joan Gaymer, and indeed toute femme, and stood some facts in natural history secure from the prospect of were brought to his notice being cut off from her natural which had not hitherto 00- provender. Her chief danger curred to him.
was that of a surfeit. She In her relations with her possessed a more than usually male belongings a woman does healthy appetite for admiranot expect much. Certainly tion, and there not justice, nor reason, nor wanting a supply of personscommon - sense. That which chiefly of her own sex, be it she chiefly desires - so those said to proclaim the fact that
— who know inform us-is ad- in her case the line between miration and, if possible, kind- appetite and gluttony was very ness, though the latter is not finely drawn indeed. essential. The one thing she was some truth, it is to be cannot brook is neglect. At- feared, in the accusation, for tention of some kind she must Joan undoubtedly exhave. Satisfy her soul with hibiting symptoms at this time this, and she will remain all of a species of mental indigesyou desire her to remain tion what the French call toute femme - something for tête montée and the Americans lonely mankind to thank God “swelled head” – induced by for. Stint her, and there is a an undiluted diet of worship danger that she will drift into and homage. Appetite for this the ranks of that rather sort of thing grows with eatpathetic third sex, born of ing, and Joan, like her mother higher education and femin- before her, was beginning to ine superfluity, which to think too much of those who day stands apart from its supplied her with the meat her fellow - creatures and loudly soul loved and too little of proclaims its loathing for those who did not. the masculinity of man and those who did not were chiefly its contempt for the effem- those who had her welfare most inacy of woman, but which nearly at heart, she was deseems so far only to have cast prived for the time being of a away the rapier of the one good deal of the solid sustenwithout being able to lift or ance of real friendship.
She was a curious mixture her vagaries were
more freof worldly wisdom and naïveté, quently due to the influence of and was frankly interested in the moment than any desire to herself. She was undisguisedly pose. She would disappoint a anxious to know what people young man of a long-promised thought of her, and made no tête-à-tête on the river to go attempt to conceal her pleasure and play at shop in a plantawhen she found herself “a tion with the under-keeper's success. On the other hand, children. She would shed tears she presumed a great deal too over harrowing but unconvinomuch the patience and ing narratives of destitution at loyalty of her following. She the back door. She was kind was always captious, frequently to plain girls— which attracinconsiderate, and, like most tive girls sometimes are notyoung persons who have been and servants adored her, which respectably brought up, was is a good sign of any body. desperately anxious to be con- She was lavishly generous ; sidered rather wicked.
indeed, it was never safe for These facts the slow-moving her girl friends to express ad. brain of Hughie Marrable miration, however discreet, for absorbed one by one, and he anything belonging to her, for felt vaguely unhappy on the she had an embarrassing habit girl's acoount, though he could of tearing off articles of attire not find it in his heart to blame or adornment and saying "I'll her. Joey, he felt, was merely give it to you !” with the making full use of her oppor- eagerness and sincerity of a tunities. Within her small child. kingdom, and for her brief And her code of honour was term, she held authority as as strict as a schoolboy'sabsolute as that, say, of a than which no
can be Secretary of State, nor was said. A secret w98 safe with she fettered by any pedantio her. She had once promptly scruples, such as might have and permanently renounced the hampered the official in ques- friendship of a particular crony tion, about exercising the of her own, who boasted to her, same; and Hughie, who was giving names and details, of a something of an autoorat him- proposal of marriage which she self, could not but admit that had recently refused. his ward was acting very In short, Miss Joan Gaymer much, mutatis mutandis, as he strongly resembled the young would have done under similar lady who in times long past circumstances.
was a certain poetical gentleBut as time went on and his man's Only Joy. She sense of perspective adjusted sometimes forward, sometimes itself, he began to discover coy-sometimes, be it added, signs that beneath all her airs detestable—but she never failed and graces and foam and froth, to please—or rather, to attract, the old Joey endured. She which is better still. was a creature of impulse, and Mrs