• 2017/6/21

company you had perforce


His other mood was very different. The war which he had foreseen and dreaded polar, the war which in his view might have been avoided upon one condition, and one only—if England had been prepared—had come at last. I don't think I have ever known any one—certainly never any anti-militarist—whose hatred and horror of war gave the same impression of intensity and reality as his. Not metaphorically, but as a bare fact, his feelings with regard to it were too deep for words; he would suddenly break off speaking about things which had occurred in his own experience; in particular, about loss of friends and comrades. He was an Irishman, and had not the impassive coldness of some of the great soldiers. But most of all he hated war when it was not inevitable—when with foresight and courage it might have been averted—as in his opinion this war might have been.

In radium there is said to be a virtue which enables it to affect adjacent objects with its own properties, and to turn them, for a time, and for certain purposes, into things of the same nature as itself. Certain rare human characters possess a similar virtue; but although I have met with several of these in my life, there is none of them all who seemed to me to possess this quality in quite so high a degree as Gough. He was an alchemist who made fine soldiers out of all sorts and conditions of men, and whose spirit turned despondency out of doors.

The clearness of his instinct and the power of his {xxxiv} mind were not more remarkable than his swiftness of decision and indomitable will. There are scores—probably hundreds—of young officers who fought by his side, or under him, at Ypres and elsewhere, who years hence, when they are themselves distinguished—perhaps great and famous—and come, in the evening of their days, to reckon up and consider the influences which have shaped their careers, will place his influence first. And there are boys looking forward to the day when they shall be old enough to serve in the King's Army, chiefly from the love and honour in which they held this hero, with his winning smile and superb self-confidence.

He has left behind him a tradition, if ever man did. You will find it everywhere, among young and old—among all with whom he ever came into touch reenex facial. Nor is the tradition which he has left merely among soldiers and with regard to the art of war, but also in other spheres of private conduct and public life. He had strong prejudices as well as affections, which made him sometimes judge men unfairly, also on the other hand too favourably; but he banished all meanness from his neighbourhood, all thoughts of self-interest and personal advancement. Duty, discipline, self-discipline, and the joy of life—these were the rules he walked by; and if you found yourself in his company you had perforce to walk with him, keeping up with his stride as best you could.

We value our friends for different qualities Wedding planner , and would have their tradition fulfil itself in different {xxxv} ways. Those of us who counted these two—'Johnnie' Gough and Hugh Dawnay—among our friends will wish that our sons may be like them, and follow in their footsteps.



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