16 SEPTEMBER 1871, Page 3

The Pall Mall's Bonn correspondent tells an admirable story of

a German General who, on inspecting his troops not long ago, addressed them thus,—" Now, my children, we can once more get seriously to work. The past one of war is at an end, and drill must go on regularly as heretotbre." The great Hohenzollern drill. serjeant must have got his system well into the very heart of the people, before that speech could have been even imagined. It is too much the German weakness, even in purely intellectual depart- ments of thought, to make a thorough and elaborate mastery of the preliminaries so much an end in itself, that when the moment for practical application comes, it almost seems to be unworthy of the preparation, to be an inadequate occasion for the display of the powers gained. The prolegomena bring the book to shame ; the drill is more scientific than the battle ; the actual enemy is a disappointment after the theoretic enemy for whom preparation was made. The German finds School bigger and completer than Life, it teaches him so much more than he can ever make use of in life. This is his strength, but also his weakness. If he cannot use his elaborated methods, he is in danger of collapse.