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would without loss of time take the necessary steps to clear up the matter, adding that surely, unless the reproduction and translation of the original document fully justified her published version of it, ‘a very sincere apology to Cardinal Vaughan and myself' would by no means meet the merits, or rather demerits, of the case.
Meanwhile I had received, through the kindness of another correspondent, Mr. Hugo Lang-who had been greatly vexed and distressed by Miss Morant's article-the subjoined accurate copy of the document in question. I gladly publish it in correction of the misleading account of it sent me by Miss Morant. Mr. Lang, who is himself an Ammergauer, had communicated direct with Herr Josef Mayer, the Burgomaster of Oberammergau, who had replied to him as follows:
'The document in question, with a portrait of the Pope, has been hanging in my sitting-room since the year 1890, when I received it. It is there for anybody to see or read who cares to and understands Latin. It is nothing but a special blessing by the Holy Father," which blessing also confers, I believe, what we call an “Ablass”—but a pardon for sins to be committed is simply inconceivable.'
The Indulgence itself is as follows:
Josef Mayr ad pedes Sanctitatis Vestrae provolutus humillime petit Benedictionem Apostolicam cum Indulgentia Plenaria in articulo mortis pro se et pro suis consanguinibus et affinibus usque ad tertium gradum inclusive secundum formam ab Ecclesia praescriptam.
Et Deus etc.
Vigore specialium facultatum a SSmo D. N. P. Leone XIII. tributarum S. Congregatio Indulgentiarum benigne annuit pro gratia iuxta preces absque ulla Brevis expeditione, contrariis quibuscumque non obstantibus.
Datum Romae ex Secretaria ejusdem S. Congregationis die 4 Julii 1890.
Most Blessed Father,
Joseph Mayr, prostrate at the feet of your Holiness, most humbly asks for the Apostolic Blessing with a Plenary Indulgence at the moment of death, for himself and for his relations by consanguinity and affinity to the third degree inclusively, according to the form prescribed by the Church.
And may God, &c.
'The 'L. S.,' meaning Locus Sigilli, indicates where the Seal was in the original.
By virtue of special faculties given by Our Most Holy Lord Pope Leo XIII., the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences has graciously granted the favour as requested, without any issue of Brief, notwithstanding anything to the contrary.
Given at Rome on the 4th day of July, 1890.
It was not until the 21st of December that an identical copy of the Indulgence reached me from Miss Morant, and on the same day I received the subjoined letter from her for publication. I confess that I cannot find in it the 'very sincere apology' which, under the circumstances now established, might, I think, have been expected. And I especially regret her omission, from the quotation of her own words which she professes to give, of all the most offending of those words-(past and present and future,' &c.)—an omission which seems hardly ingenuous. I publish her letter, however, as it stands and must leave the Cardinal's doubt unsettled as to whether the original statement he complained of was a shocking piece of ignorance or of malice.'
To the Editor of the Nineteenth Century'
December 20, 1900.
Dear Sir,-In an article published in the November number of your Review, I stated that the Pope had bestowed on Josef Mayr a pardon, not only for all his own sins, but also for those of all his children.' As this statement was immediately and emphatically denied by authoritative members of the Roman Catholic Church, I procured a copy of the document in question, which in justice to those concerned I gladly forward to you for publication. Instead of the word 'pardon,' I should have used the term 'Plenary Indulgence,' which has, I am informed, nothing to do with the remission of sin, but only remission of certain punishments due to sin.'
It is a matter of great regret to me that this mistake should have occurred, but I was unaware that the significance of a Plenary Indulgence had been materially altered by any Council of the Church since the time of the Reformation. But whatever meaning a Plenary Indulgence may now have for modern enlightened Catholics, it is quite evident that it still conveys, to the ignorant and simple-minded, the original idea of pardon which it formerly carried. In support of this assertion I am able to produce a singularly convincing and apposite piece of evidence.
In forwarding me a copy of the Indulgence in question, Josef Mayr wrote me a brief explanation of how it came into his possession, at the conclusion of which he remarks, I believe that an absolution is pledged with the enclosed.'
I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
LORD ROBERTS ON ARMY REFORM
[THE subjoined article by Lord Roberts (then Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Roberts) was published in this Review for June 1884, and is here reprinted at the urgent request of some who consider every word of it as true and as applicable to-day as it was then.' It has long been out of print, and is now difficult to obtain. The words near the conclusion which I have ventured to italicise have a more serious import for the country at this moment than they can have had at any former time.-ED. NINETEENTH CENTURY.]
FREE TRADE IN THE ARMY
THE Secretary of State for War, when returning thanks for the army at the dinner given by the Lord Mayor to Her Majesty's Ministers on the 9th of August last, is reported to have said, 'While I do not now deprecate that the attention of army reformers should be turned to our army system, and that they should suggest all necessary improvements, I do beseech those interested in the army to look at it with an eye to the future, and not with an eye always turned to the past. It is in that way we shall best correct the deficiencies of our army organisation. To look to the past, and to that which is no longer suited to the day in which we live, is not to promote the cause of army reform.'
I have ventured to address the public twice before on the subject of the army, and on both these occasions I appeared in the somewhat unenviable rôle of a critic. Criticism can only do a certain amount of good, and in my opinion, those who have the welfare of our army at heart ought to be prepared not only to point out defects, but to suggest remedies. Lord Hartington has expressed a hope that all suggestions should be made 'with an eye to the future,' and that the much debated question as to the merits of long and short service should now be considered as definitely settled. It is no doubt very desirable that the subject of our army's future should be approached without any bias towards one system or the other; but before any satisfactory conclusion can be arrived at as to the system most likely VOL. XLIX-No. 287
to produce such an army as England requires, it seems absolutely necessary to inquire into the causes which have prevented all systems hitherto tried from being successful.
While concurring with Lord Hartington that a return to the old long service is impossible, I firmly believe that a continuance of the present short service is equally impossible. If this be the case, it will be readily admitted that the military problem which has to be solved by our War Department is one of no ordinary character.'
Both systems have failed to produce the required number of recruits. Various reasons have been given for this, and various remedies have been suggested; but the true reason has apparently not been discovered, and the proper remedy has certainly not been applied. When a sufficiency of soldiers was not to be had in 1869-70, it was decided that recruits disliked long engagements, and the shortservice system was introduced. The number of men who enlisted after the change was made certainly increased considerably; but whether it was because they preferred short to long engagements, or because the standard of height was reduced at the same time, is open to question. With reference to this, it is instructive to turn to the register of fluctuations in the standard for the infantry, which immediately succeeded the introduction of Lord Cardwell's measure, and to note the successive lowering from 5 feet 8 inches, at which the standard stood under the long-service system early in 1870, to 5 feet 6 inches in July, and 5 feet 5 inches in September of that year, 5 feet 5 inches in July 1871, and 5 feet 4 inches in 1873. Now if any one will take the trouble to calculate the extent of the recruiting field which lies within the compass of these 3 inches-that is, the number of English lads between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 8 inches in height--he will realise that the increase in the number of recruits was not altogether due to a preference for short service. During the last thirteen years, the standard has only twice been up as high as 5 feet 6 inches, and on each of these occasions for a few months only; and notwithstanding the advantages which the present short service system is supposed to offer, the dearth of recruits and the impossibility of keeping men in the army necessitated the standard of recruits being reduced, a few months ago, to an almost dwarfish height (5 feet 4 inches), and to a bounty being offered to soldiers unprecedented in its amount:
It would seem, then, that the problem we have to deal with is not likely to be solved by the adoption of a long or a short service, but by an earnest endeavour to discover the causes which have made the army unpopular with the class on which it depends for its very existence as a voluntary force. The voluntary nature of the contract into which the British soldier enters with the State is, indeed, the allimportant factor in our military system. With a compulsory service, the number of men required to fill the ranks are taken, and they
have got to adapt themselves to the terms of that service, whether they like them or not. With us, if the terms do not suit the wouldbe recruit, he simply declines to accept them. When, therefore, we find that the army has ceased to be attractive, we may be sure that some grievances exist (imaginary or otherwise), which ought to be inquired into, and removed if possible, or that the wants and wishes of the soldier are not sufficiently understood. If we are to have a voluntary army, we must have a contented one. To get recruits, in the first place, we must make military service popular; and to keep a sufficient number of men in the ranks, we must deal fairly and honestly with our soldiers. Such compensation for service abroad must be given as will induce men to put up willingly with its drawbacks; and to those who have no trade or employment to fall back upon, a reasonable prospect must be held out of securing for themselves a provision for life, if they behave themselves properly and choose to continue their career in the army.
To those who care to look below the surface, the disease from which the British army is suffering is most marked. Bacon says, 'Wounds cannot be healed without searching;' it is to be regretted that this maxim has not guided our army reformers, who, instead of probing the sore to the bottom, have been satisfied with mere surface treatment, trusting to theoretical knowledge to enable them to deal with a wound which, in reality, requires all the skill of practical experience. One cannot but marvel at the persistent way in which changes have been made without regard to the wants and wishes of the soldier, and without due weight having been given to the opinions of regimental officers, who are chiefly interested in the contentment and efficiency of the men serving under them, and who, from their practical experience, are in the best position to observe the effects of any change of system. It would seem as if the importance of providing good material for the ranks, and of rendering the army a desirable profession for soldiers, had not been sufficiently considered.
Let us look at the question from the soldiers' and from the regimental officers' point of view, who are (though the fact seems to have been forgotten) the most important element in any given body of troops; we may thus perhaps be able to devise some scheme which will satisfy the soldier, and have the happy result of keeping our army up to its normal strength, while a reserve is gradually being formed without impairing the efficiency of the first line.
By taking the soldier into our confidence, we shall, I think, find that the following two causes have mainly tended to make the army unpopular with him and his younger brothers, the soldiers' in posse' :
(1) That condition of the territorial system which precludes all freedom of will, combined with uncertainty of the future.
(2) An absence of elasticity in the army system, the existence of