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rapidity of thought in combining them. General Ziethen was perfectly right in his feeling, that, the reality would always offer some little circumstances different from what the king besought him to imagine in the proposed problem, and that by these circumstances his manner of acting should be determined. This feeling, however, need not have disinclined the general from considering the question on paper; for the exercise of his understanding in one set of circumstances would not prevent his using it in another situation : on the contrary, his faculties would have been strengthened by use, and his presence of mind could not have been diminished by increasing his confidence in his own understanding, that power on which a man is ultimately to depend in all difficulties.
" Philopoemen,” says Plutarch, “ was a man eminent for “ his sagacity and experience in choosing ground, and in “ leading armies ; to which he formed his mind by perpetual “ meditation, in times of peace as well as war. When in any “ occasional journey he came to a strait or difficult passage, if “ he was alone, he considered with himself, and if he was in “ company, he asked his friends, what it would be best to do, “ if in this place they had found an enemy, either in the front “ or in the rear, on the one side, or on the other. “It might “ “ happen,' says he, “ that the enemy to be opposed might 6 come on, drawn up in regular lines, or in a tumultuous “ • body, formed only by the nature of the place. He then “ considered a little what ground he should take ; what num“ ber of soldiers he should use, and what arms he should give “ them; where he should lodge his carriages, his baggage, and
6 the defenceless followers of his camp ; how many guards, 6 and of what kind, he should send to defend them; and 66 whether it would be better to press forward along the pass, “ or recover by retreat his former station : he would consider “ 'likewise where his camp could most commodiously be “ formed ; how much ground he should enclose within his “ trenches; where he should have the convenience of water, " and where he might find plenty of wood and forage ; and “ when he should break up his camp on the following day, “ through what road he could most safely pass, and in what “ form he should dispose his troops. With such thoughts “ and disquisitions he had from his early years so exercised “ his mind, that on these occasions nothing could happen, “ which he had not been already accustomed to considery.”
Those who begin with a prudent exercise of their judgment, increase in confidence in themselves as they advance in life. It has been observed, that marshal Turenne displayed every campaign, as he grew older, more boldness in his military enterprises. On the other hand, the habit of exercising the judgment is the best preservative against that temerity, which is often produced by accidental good fortune. Those who are conscious, that their success has arisen chiefly from their own prudence, continue to be prudent to secure their fame. It is said, that ten years of uninterrupted and almost unparallelled success never betrayed the duke of Marlborough into a single rash action.
y We find, that Sir Joshua Reynolds has quoted this very passage in his Discourses on Painting.
Comparatively speaking, few of the many young men brought up to the military profession, attain to the command of armies, and therefore it may seem superfluous to expatiate upon the means of forming the character of a great general; but in this free country, every man has a possibility of rising to the first rank in his profession: therefore when a preceptor perceives among his pupils any of superior talents, application, or energy, he should distinguish them not by that species of favour, which, as it creates jealousy, is in fact an injury, but by cultivating their minds most carefully. Young men of abilities have usually more ambition than others. This ambition should be directed to the highest objects ; and when their ardent imaginations are exalted with the idea of rising to eminence, the laborious, gradual means, by which alone they can attain their wishes, should be brought fully to their view, and they should be accurately informed what qualifications are necessary in every step of their ascent. This mode of alternately exciting ambition and industry, of raising the imagination to the view of all the possibilities of success, and of calling upon the judgment to estimate all the probabilities of failure, will form the character and the understanding. The difficulties, as well as the honours of high command, should be pointed out. Young soldiers must learn, that absolute obedience to their superiors in the army is their first and indispensable duty: their opinion of their own information, or ingenuity, must never interfere with the strictness of military discipline. They must obey before they can command. What they are obliged to do by their situation, they should be convinced, that it is their best policy to do in the manner, that may make them most agreeable to their superiors. This sub
ject preceptors may find practicably illustrated in the Memoirs of Henry de Campion ; an officer who, with great military talents, zeal for his profession, and almost every good quality, was disappointed in all his hopes, in his ardent ambition : and he attributes his failures and mortifications to the single fault of want of due deference to his superiors in age and station. It should be pointed out to youth, that only weak and little minds imagine that submission to just authority is allied to servility, or want of spirit. The perfection of conduct, as it has been said, is to know and maintain our own rights, and to acknowledge and respect the rights of others. By proper deference, and by alacrity in the service, a young solder will recommend himself at once to the esteem and favour of his commanding officers; and this will be the first and surest step toward his advancement. On the contrary, a captious, self-sufficient temper will create enemies among his superiors, who may retard his progress, and prevent his ever having an opportunity of employing advantageously, for himself or his country, those abilities, which he perhaps displayed prematurely and in an offensive manner. It is of consequence, therefore, that before he leaves the academy, he should have formed just ideas of what his conduct in these respects ought to be; he should be taught to fix in his own mind the boundaries between what is mean and what is honourable; and he should not wait till he goes into the world, to have his conduct decided for him, by the accidental notions of those, who may chance to be his companions; by men, who probably have not been so well educated as himself, who have no means of obtaining accurate information, who have never even reasoned for themselves, but repeat whatever opinions happen to be the fashion of the moment. Young men, upon their first entrance into the bustle of life, are often conscious of shameful ignorance, and hence are disposed to form an exalted opinion of those, who are their superiors in knowledge of the world ; but this knowledge of the world, as it is termed, is often an acquaintance with but a very contracted circle, and merely a knowledge of local manners, vices, and prejudices. Young men who are well informed, who have been used to reflect and to judge from general principles of the manner in which they ought to conduct themselves, will have too just a confidence in their own understandings, to be easily led away by self-sufficient but ignorant companions, and they will not be martyrs to false shame.
Young officers are often led into expenses, which they can ill afford, merely from the fear, that their companions should think them poor, avaricious, or unfashionable. They should, however, consider the opinion of their seniors, as well as of their equals in age; and they should be led to observe, that senior officers judge of the prudence of young men by the manner in which they manage their private affairs. Economy was the virtue, which first recommended Sully to the esteem of Henry the Fourth.
“ I regulated my domestic affairs,” says Sully, “ in such a “ manner, that the king of Navarre, who was always attentive 66 to the conduct of his officers, confessed to me afterwards, “ I owed the greatest part of that esteem, with which he ho“ noured me, to the prudent economy he observed in the dis