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The Mercenary

The Mercenary image
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The mercenary flghting man is a perion who seldom receives his due reward during bis lifetime or bis just meed of fame after his deatb. The character Í8 one so alien (o the age in which we live, it bolongs so entirely to the days when fighting was the only occupation for a gentlemaD, that it bas forfeited alike our Btndy and our syrnpathy. Volunteers we nnderstaud, but mercenaries we do not. The world apparently bas grown to think that fighting as a professiou - the bare trade of .anus uuconsecrated by any sentiment of cause or country - is uot a noble thing and should not, however ably and gallantly followed, be adjudged the highest praise. Possibly the world is right, but we suspect that change of systern in the training of fighting men has had far more influence tban rnere abstract humanity in creating this opinión. In these days of short service and swift wars the old type of professional fightiug man has become extinct. In every oountry the reoruit is forced through a Boldier's education at high pressure and returned to civil life as speedily as poseible that he may earn money to pay for the educatiouof others. No man, unless he be an officer, devotes his whole lifetime to the military calling, and consequently the few mercenarios - the name is too ignoble for tbem - who are known to us in these later times are without exception officers - Gordon, forinstance, Valentino Baker and Hobart. It was not so of old, when the rule was once a soldier always a soldier, and the only school was -war. Then few men dreamed of rising to command except through the ranks, and many gentlemen preferred to stay all tbeir lives in the ranks or at highest to carry the ensigns of their companies. Veteran soldiers were worth their weight in gold, and though by no laeaus innocent of rapacity followed their calling from sheer devotion to it and thonght themselves unlucky if they


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