The last three lectures oh Soldier's and Sailor's Life were given in Sanders Theartre, last evening, before a large and enthusiastic audience. Dr. Herbert L. Burrell, lately Surgeon General in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia spoke first on "The Medical Examination." The requirements for admission to the United States Army are very rigorous, especiall in time of peace. No minor can enter the army without the written consent of his parents. The recruit must weigh under 190 pounds and must be less than 5 ft. 10 in. tall. He is carefully examined by the army surgeon and is rejected if found at all defective in body. He may wear glasses, must have no internal defects, nor defects in ears or teeth. Then if passed, after a week's probation he is enlisted in the army.
Professor Hollis spoke next on "Life in Modern Naval Vessels." Many believe that since steam has superseded sail "jack tar" has lost his peculiar characteristics. Not so. The sailor gets his character from the salt sea. He is a growler, yet when he must he does his work cheerfully. He despises the marine as a landlubber. He is a creature of tradition and fond of queer pets.
President Eliot spoke in part as follows: War for the private soldier or sailor is at best a dull, coarse, squalid business It can not have any attraction for you, and yet the question-Shall I volunteer?- may become a pressing one within a few weeks or months. I shall discuss that question from the student's point of view.
Let us first eliminate some of the illegitimate motives for enlistment. The love of adventure is the first. The motive of the hunter is the second. Again, the hope of gaining "martial glory" can have no weight with a rational man. The common soldier and the ordinary line officer get little glory out of the war. No more legitimate is enlistment with the selfish hope of gaining political preferment in the future.
The two fundamental and legitimate motives for enlistment are the desire to be serviceable to one's country, and of devotion to those ideals which one's country represents. Our country represents for us two distinct ideals-an increasing liberty and an increasing well being for all men. Beyond the exemption of physical infirmity many cases of conflict of duties arise. In France the limits which legislation sets to the citizen's declared duty of bearing arms, recognize under various conditions the supremacy of duty to the family over duty to the state, the permanence of the family being a supreme object in the state. Under our own conditions then, it is clear that no one is justified in enlisting whose family is, or may become dependent on him for support.
The military drill here has been organized with a very serious purpose. Do not look upon it as an amusement or as a mere temporary thing. The corporation has long desired and hopes soon to have a permanent military organization here.
There are different fields of serviceableness to one's country. Enlist for only one motive,- the desire to serve your country at whatever sacrifice of self. Weigh well comparative duty to family and the comparative utility of the profession or occupation to which you have been accustomed to look for ward.