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the mule of a canal boat, or the son of the washerwoman may become president, as well as the son of the millionaire railroad king; but in many other ways men are not equal. The very fact that in the United States success is open to all, that all others have a chance with one in the struggle for preferment, makes the necessity so much the greater that advantage should be taken of all possible legitimate aids to success.
One of the most valuable things which may be acquired by undergoing a well-conducted course of military training, is the habit of system, the learning to perform one's duties according to some prescribed rules, in a systematic manner. It includes punctuality, precision, neatness, attention to details, order and thoroughness, systemization — "red tape" if you prefer to call it so, but it is valuable under any name and in every occupation.
No matter what profession one follows, such habits are an advantage. The successful business man of today is he who carries on his business with system. The man with slipshod habits goes under, or wearily drags along. Modern business houses of any size are divided up into departments, each of which is under the control of a chief, with employees under and managers above him. A strict account of lates and absences is kept and fines are imposed for them. Property in charge and money received or paid out must be accurately accounted for.
Manufacturing establishments are managed in a similar way. The division of duties and the assignment of the hierarchy of control are certainly anolagous to that of a military body. Property responsibility, the keeping and auditing of accounts and the exactions of discipline are much more rigorous than the casual observer would think. A young man connecting himself with a railroad will soon find with what an almost military system it is conducted. The lawyer, in his practice and in the courtroom, is bound by laws, usages and customs. He must conduct his cases according to a certain system, and must be punctual, prompt and courteous. The doctor and the clergyman are perhaps less bound in this way, but who can deny that habits of system would be beneficial in their professions also ?
Military instruction is certainly of practical value. Though it might not be of direct use in a profession, its effects would be felt in any. It promotes manliness and tends to make law-respecting and law-abiding citizens. It encourages patriotism, and impresses upon young men the idea of the responsibility of their citizenship. This is an important consideration, when we observe the growth of lawless tendencies in the United States in recent years, the enormous emigration of foreigners and the in-, crease in mob violence and anarchistic ideas. It is of the utmost importance that the rising generation should be made law-abiding and patriotic, and that respect for authority should be fostered.
2d. The small size of the regular army requires that some means be taken to diffuse military instruction among the people. It is the duty of all young men, as citizens of the United States, to prepare themselves to defend their country in time of war. The regular army can be regarded in time of peace as only a police force,a training school — and in time of war as a nucleus for a larger army. If war should occur, it would be necessary to raise a large army, — possibly 1,000,000 men. They could, probably, be promptly and without difficulty obtained, but they would be entirely without training or discipline. Especially would it be difficult to obtain commissioned officers for so large an army. About 40,000 of them would be required, and the duties and knowledge required of a commissioned officer are so varied and so exacting that the position could not be filled by every man who might come forward. Men of education are required, men who will compel and hold the respect of those whom they command. For this reason, the graduates of colleges are good material, and, if they have had three or four years of the proper kind of military instruction, it would be of great advantage to them at the outset in obtaining commissions.
Since all able-bodied men are liable to be compelled to serve in case of war, how much better it would be to be prepared to serve as an officer! The position is infinitely preferable in every way. In the matter of pay alone, not to speak of the difference in duties, it would be more than worth the little time spent in receiving such instruction while at college. The pay of a private soldier is $13 per month and allowances; that of a captain is $150 or over. To many a young man it would mean just that difference, should war occur.
But is the United States liable to become involved in war? Cannot war in the future be avoided by arbitration? In answer, we have but to examine the record of the United States in this regard.
Including the French and Indian war, the United States has, in a little over 125 years, been engaged in five wars age of one about every 25 years. History repeats itself. The millenium has not yet arrived, and there is no reason why this country should be more free from war in the future than it has been in the past. There is, to be sure, more of a tendency toward arbitration, but, on the other hand, the possible causes for war are increasing. The United States has, during the first century of her existence, been fully occupied in developing herself, and has had comparatively little concern for other nations, and a small export trade. She has now reached the stage, however, where she seeks foreign markets for her manufactures and productions, and she is thus coming into collision with other nations already in those markets. The behavior of England and Germany, in regard to the recent reciprocity treaties and during the Chilian difficulty, show their feeling in regard to this matter. To uphold the Monroe doctrine has already placed the United States in opposition to foreign powers, and is liable to do so again at any time. The government cannot recede from the position it has assumed and held so long in this regard, and other nations may, at any time, attempt to transgress the principle. The United States will probably have the pride and dignity to stand by this well-established claim, and uphold it, if necessary, by force of arms. The Nicaragua canal, when completed, is liable to be a fruitful source of international discussion and possibly of war. The commerce of the world will pass through it, and it may require all the stamina and power of the United States to maintain her rights in regard to it. The entire military and naval power of England would be invoked to retain control of the Suez canal, and in a similar manner the United States might become involved.
The Behring Sea controversy and the New Foundland Fisheries have, in the last few years, been a subject for lively discussion. Other, perhaps, more difficult questions are liable, at any time, to arise unexpectedly. The Chilian imbroglio is an example of how easily and quickly such complications may arise ; and, if Chili had been a more powerful nation, it might not have been so quickly settled.
Arbitration will doubtless be employed more often in the future than it has been in the past, but we cannot afford to rely on arbitration alone. Arbitration cannot always be satisfactory unless a nation is prepared to enforce her demands. If the rights or dignity of the United States are violated, and the offending nation will not apologize or offer reparation, national honor must be vindicated ; or, if other nations make demands which the dignity of the United States will not allow her to admit, arbitration will not, in every case, be sufficient to avert war.
In the last 100 years, in addition to cases where war has been declared, there have been perhaps a dozen times when the United States has been on the verge of war. And, while in these cases it was averted, such complications are bound to arise, and must, in some cases, inevitably be settled only by war. The history of Great Britain shows that whenever it has been to her interest to make war she has done so, regardless of treaties or morals. The acquisition of India and the Chinese opium war may be cited as examples of her policy. England, though most nearly related to us of all nations, has always shown herself to be jealous of our growing power and prosperity, and generally unfavorably disposed towards us. Canada is probably eventually destined to become part of the United States. Will the annexation be accomplished without war?
Future wars will be short, sharp and decisive. Improvements in means of communication and transportation would soon bring an enemy to our doors; and the no less important improvements in the implements of war would make the struggle sanguinary and short. There has been a greater improvement in the weapons of war in the last 25 years than in the preceding 200. The range of the infantry rifle has been increased to over two miles, with aimed fire comparatively accurate at one mile, and a rapidity such that 15 or 20 aimed shots can be fired in one minute, if necessary. The power of field guns is such that their fire is deadly at over two miles, and their rapidity and accuracy increased in a like ratio, and their extreme range over five miles.
Guns which can throw a projectile weighing one ton to a distance of more than 12 miles, and which, at close range, will pierce 33 inches of solid steel plate, are now an actual reality.
There would be little time for preparation. Ten days or less, after the declaration of war, would probably find an armed fleet knocking for admission and tribute at the entrance to one of our sea coast cities, and, in spite of our millions of money and men
available, we might be obliged, by lack of preparation, to buy an ignominious peace.
No can deny that the immense resources of the United States would give her victory in a protracted struggle with any nation in the world, but what we have to fear is a sudden blow in our present unprepared condition.
“In time of peace prepare for war” is especially applicable in regard to the education of the young men who are to defend our country. Those young men should be taught that the country relies on them for defense; that "the citizen soldier is the true safeguard of the liberties of the republic.”
THE ENGLISH GERUND.
PROF. JOHN W. WILKINSON, COLUMBIA, MO. Perhaps there is no subject in the domain of English grammar so little understood as the gerund. A great majority of our texts omit all mention of this most difficult subject and leave the student to grope in darkness. It is a matter that has been handled delicately by even the best of writers. Many grammarians seem to shrink from the responsibility of expressing themselves in regard to the gerund for fear of provoking adverse criticism. Hence, it is not surprising that those who have had the hardihood to speak of the gerund have taken little or no pains to make themselves understood. Longman says a gerund may be called a verbal noun, and the statement may be true [?] as far as it goes.
But at this point a difficulty arises. The unsuspecting student, not infrequently, may assume that all verbal nouns are gerunds. Such a delusion ! “A gerund may be called a verbal noun.” How clear and intelligible must this be to the anxious student! Meiklejohn tells us that the gerund is a noun formed from a verb by the addition of “ing." But this statement lacks clearness. There is another form of the gerund besides the one in “ing,” as we shall see presently. In Swinton's English Grammar we find these bewildering statements : “The infinitive is a verbal noun." “ The infinitive in ‘ing' is called the gerund." From the same author we derive this interesting information: “An old mode of forming the progressive passive is illustrated in the phrases, “The house is building,' • The book is printing.”