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as regards this stage of my career

by klaksjuh 2 年前

Is thentravel newsletter the Victoria Cross an error? To say so would be anoutrage in this age of militarism. And what would all theQueens of Beauty think, from Sir Wilfred Ivanhoe's days toours, if mighty warriors ceased to poke each other in theribs, and send one another's souls untimely to the 'viewlessshades,' for the sake of their 'doux yeux?' Ah! who knowshow many a mutilation, how many a life, has been the price ofthat requital? Ye gentle creatures who swoon at the sight ofblood, is it not the hero who lets most of it that finds mostfavour in your eyes? Possibly it may be to the heroes ofmoral courage that some distant age will award its choicestdecorations. As it is, the courage that seeks the rewards ofFame seems to me about on a par with the virtue that investsin Heaven.
Though an anachronism , Icannot resist a little episode which pleasantly illustratesmoral courage, or chivalry at least, combined with physicalbravery.
In December, 1899, I was a passenger on board a NorddeutscherLloyd hem tags on my way to Ceylon. The steamer was crowded withGermans; there were comparatively few English. Things hadbeen going very badly with us in the Transvaal, and thetelegrams both at Port Said and at Suez supplemented theprevious ill-news. At the latter place we heard of thecatastrophe at Magersfontein, of poor Wauchope's death, andof the disaster to the Highland Light Infantry. The momentit became known the Germans threw their caps into the air,and yelled as if it were they who had defeated us.
Amongst the steerage passengers was a Major - in the Englisharmy - returning from leave to rejoin his regiment atColombo. If one might judge by his choice of a second-classfare, and by his much worn apparel, he was what one wouldcall a professional soldier. He was a tall, powerfully-built, handsome man, with a weather-beaten determined face,and keen eye. I was so taken with his looks that I oftenwent to the fore part of the ship on the chance of getting aword with him. But he was either shy or proud, certainlyreserved; and always addressed me as 'Sir,' which was notencouraging.
That same evening, after dinner in the steerage cabin dermes, aGerman got up and, beginning with some offensive allusions tothe British army, proposed the health of General Cronje andthe heroic Boers. This was received with deafening 'Hochs.'

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