Page:The Lull before Dorking.djvu/21

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15
THE LULL BEFORE DORKING.

of necessity removed from his county. But under strict surveillance, he would, in some cases, for the first time learn to feel and understand the dignity of labour and the need of discipline. What a revolution in the status of officers and men it would come to be, if, instead of a huge sink of idleness, dissipation and uselessness, the army were to become one great industrial school, a national university, an atmosphere of efficiency and work, and the country were delivered once and for ever, from the disgrace of panic, and the no longer imaginary danger of national extinction!

But if, on the other hand, the money-bags of Bobus are to outweigh the intelligence of the nation, and the opinions of the best military men are to be shelved, disregarded, and disbelieved, the only rejoinder left for them as men of common sense and dignity would be this: "If you are determined to be a mere workshop, dominated by shopkeepers, all we can further advise is, that you send over the water there to some German contractor, who has made this thing, War, a study and a business—some Von Roon or Von Moltke, and contract with him to do the defence of this country at so much per yard, or per man, or per pound, as you may think will be your best mode of bargain;—we, as Englishmen and Officers, wash our hands of you altogether!"

Chiswick Press:—imprinted by Whittingham and Wilkins,
Tooks Corrt, Chancery Lane.