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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/350

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336
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Far from seeing in this address a display of egotism, you will, I believe, accept it as a fragment of the life of a brother who has felt the scars of the battle in which many of you are now engaged. Duty has been mentioned as my motive force. In Germany one heard this word much more frequently than the word glory. The philosophers of Germany were men of the loftiest moral tone. In fact, they were preachers of religion as much as expounders of philosophy. It would to a certain extent be true to say that from them the land takes its moral color; but it should be added that the German philosophers were themselves products of the German soil, probably deriving the basis of their moral qualities from a period anterior to their philosophy. I asked two Prussian officers whom I met in the summer of 1871, at Pontresina, how the German troops behaved when going into battle—did they cheer and encourage each other? The reply I received was: "Never in our experience has the cry, 'Wir müssen siegen'—we must conquer—been heard from German soldiers; but in a hundred instances we have heard them resolutely exclaim, 'Wir müssen unser Pflicht thun'—we must do our duty." It was a sense of duty rather than love of glory that strengthened those men and filled them with an invincible heroism. We in England have always liked the iron ring of the word "duty." It was Nelson's talisman at Trafalgar. It was the guiding star of Wellington. When in his days of freshness and of freedom our laureate wrote his immortal ode on the death of the Duke of Wellington, portions of which both he and others might well take to heart at the present moment, he poured into the praise of duty the full strength of his English brain:

"Not once or twice in our rough island story
The path of duty was the way to glory:
He that walks it, only thirsting
For the right, and learns to deaden
Love of self, before his journey closes
He shall find the stubborn thistle bursting
Into glossy purples which outredden
All voluptuous garden roses."

Pall Mall Budget.

 

GLADIATORS OF THE SEA.[1]
By FREDERIK A. FERNALD.

IN the ancient city of Siena, secluded among the hills of Northern Italy, Christopher Columbus received his education, and there, over the portal of the old collegiate church, hangs a memento of his

  1. This article is largely made up from "Materials for a History of the Sword-fishes," by G. Brown Goode, in the "United States Fish Commission Report for 1880," from which the cuts have also been obtained.