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of ancient or modern warriors, no pictures of battles or other warscenes ? Almost the only pictures I ever saw in my childhood; and, should you go through the land, you would, I fear, find a hundred or a thousand portraits of Napoleon to one of such a man as Brainard, Schwartz or Howard.
No wonder, then, that this custom still continues; and never can it cease so long as pious mothers persist in thus training their own children to a love of war. It is all wrong, utterly wrong ; and I would to God I could peal a note of warning and remonstrance in the ear of all the mothers in Christendom. I would say, guard your children against the manifold delusions of war, and let them sport with no more of its toys, and listen to no more of its songs, and gaze at no more of its pictures or glittering armor, and be present at none of its fascinating displays, and witness no more of its pomp, parade or splendor, but honestly teach them to regard every shred of this custom as reeking with pollution, blood and tears.
Such a training is possible, and would prove successful. I know the propensities of children ; but these propensities may all be restrained from the love of war, and moulded into a settled preference of peace. “ A distinguished instructer of youth,” says the late William Ladd, “ told me his sons were so taken up with military notions, that he could not reason with them; and he asked me to talk to them. I took the oldest boy, aged about seven years, between my knees, and something like the following conversation ensued : Do you love to see the soldiers ?' 'Yes, I love to see the rub-a-dubs. • Would you like to be one yourself?' 'O, yes!' 'Well, but do you know what these soldiers are for ? • No.' Why, they are learning to kill people. Those bright guns are made to kill people with, and those bright bayonets to stab them with. The boy turned pale; such a thought never before entered his head. Do you know who killed the little babes in Bethlehem, because a wicked man told them to ?' No.' "They were soldiers. Do you know who crucified our Lord, and drove the spikes through his hands and feet ?' The boy was silent. They were soldiers; and soldiers would burn yow house, and cut down your fruit-trees, and kill your pa, if they were told to. Both the boys were astonished; tears stood in their eyes. "Do you want to be a soldier ?' *No. Do you want to see the rub-a-dubs?' No.'" How easy for a mother or teacher to impress such artless, susceptible minds with the horrors of war, and cast their views and feelings in the mould of peace!
There is hardly a relation in life where a woman cannot serve the cause of peace. Are you a wife? You may, if you will, mould your husband's habits of thinking on this subject. Are you a mother? You can train your children to a love of peace, and a deep, habitual, undying abhorrence of war. Have you a father, brothers, or other near relatives? You can influence them all in favor of this blessed cause, and diffuse the principles of peace more or less through the whole circle of your acquaintances. Are you a teacher in a Sabbath or any other school ? ' You can impress
your own views of peace upon the minds of your pupils, and infuse your spirit into their hearts. Do you write for the press? You can there plead this cause with an eloquence all your own.
Do you ask for still further specifications of what you can and should do for peace? First examine the subject until you have made it a part of your moral being. Catch its spirit, appreciate its importance, and familiarize its main principles, arguments and facts. Thus have you done to every other cause in which you now take an active interest; and thus ought you to do for the cause of peace. Nor keep this information to yourself
, but diffuse it as widely as possible. Write, if you can, for the press; converse with those around you; take a periodical on peace, and circulate it among your neighbors; have something of the kind occasionally read at your sewing and other circles ; get peace tracts into circulation through your village, your town or city; persuade your minister to preach on the subject, and prompt the brethren and sisters of your church to examine it for themselves. Do what you can also to raise funds for this cause. Give from your own purse, and solicit contributions from others. Purchase tracts for gratuitous distribution, and constitute your pastor and his wife ($20 each) life members of the Peace Society. Money is just as necessary for this cause as for any other; nor do I see why women should not help procure funds for peace as well as for temperance or missions. At all events, forget not to pray for this cause. Never can it triumph without the blessing of the Almighty; but that blessing he will bestow only in answer to the prayers of his people; and they are aš truly bound to pray for the world's pacification as for its conversion to God. Both are alike promised in his word; and for both are all Christians equally required to use the means of his appointment, and then look to him in faith for the blessing requisite to full success.
I know that the chief responsibility for this cause, as for every other, rests on men; but I believe it is in the power of women, if we will, to prevent the recurrence of war, and undermine ere long the entire war-system. Let us as Christians, as members of society, as sisters and daughters, as wives, mothers and teachers, array against it our utmost influence; let us chant no more songs in its praise, nor lavish any more favors on its epauletted agents, but look
their trade of blood with disgust and horror; let us unite to bring it under the perpetưal ban of our whole sex as a deadly foe to ourselves and the world ; let us loathe and abhor it as we do robbery or murder, and regard its instruments of death as we should a gallows or guillotine, and shun its myrmidons as we would so many executioners; let all women do this, and war would soon cease from every land.
There is no end to the motives which should constrain women especially to such efforts as these against war. It has inflicted on them a world of evils. I know we are required to take no active part in its prosecution; yet are we still among its deepest sufferers. It seems to take little of our money; but its enorinous taxes keep
millions of our sisters on the brink of starvation from year to year. True, we go not forth to its battles ; but our fathers and brothers, our husbands and sons are compelled to go, and leave not a few of us to want and grief. The sufferings of war are not all heaped upon the battle-field; but for every victim there many a female heart at home must writhe in anguish. Not a battle can be fought, not the slightest victory won, without sending grief through hundreds, if not thousands of domestic circles. Alas! how many mothers must lose a son; how many wives a husband; how many daughters a father; how many sisters a brother beloved! Here is anguish which no historian records; but, if you would learn the widest, keenest, most incurable sufferings of war, you must go through the land, enter its humblest dwellings, and there behold the disconsolate mother, the heart-broken widow, the lonely, helpless orphan, doomed to want and sorrow that can end only in the grave.
I will not attempt to sketch a tithe of the peculiar evils inflicted by war upon our sex. Look at the siege of Magdeburg, at the occupation of Moscow by the French, at their career in Spain and Portugal—babes stabbed at their mothers' breasts ; little infants not a year old lying in the mud of the road, transfixed with wounds; women beheaded or bayonetted on the very spot where they had been violated; daughters dishonored at the feet of their parents, wives in the arms of their husbands, and multitudes destroyed either by themselves or their friends solely to escape indignities deemed worse than death itself! Nor is all this the worst of their outrages; but decency blushes to record, language itself would fail to describe, the horrid brutalities often perpetrated on women during the late wars in the very heart of Christendom by men calling themselves Christians !!
Take one of the mildest specimens in the maid of Moscow. That ancient capital of Russia was in ruins; and the French soldiers, while eagerly searching every part of a ruined church, perceived a lamp at the end of a dark gallery, glimmering on a small altar. They immediately proceeded towards it, and found there a young female elegantly dressed, and kneeling in the attitude of devotion. At the noise of the soldiers, she screamed, and fell into a swoon, in which condition she was carried before a French general. Her countenance, in which grief and despair were equally blended, was irresistibly interesting. As her recollection returned, she seemed to deprecate the care taken in recalling her to life; but the general begged her to relate her misfortunes.
“ Alas!” said she, “ of what use to mention the wealth of a house that will soon be annihilated ? Suffice it that the name of my father is celebrated in the history of our empire; and he is now serving with distinction in the army which is fighting in our defence. My name is Paulowna. On the day preceding your entrance into Moscow, I was to have been united to one of the young warriors who had distinguished himself at the battle of Majaisk; but, in the midst of the nuptial solemnities, my father was informed that the French were at the gates of the city, and, suspending our marriage, he hastened, in company with my husband, to join the army. Our anxieties grew apace. The next morning, as I sat with our afflicted family, we heard the roar of cannon. The noise evidently came nearer; and we no longer doubted we must leave Moscow. We instantly fled; but, when arrived near the Kremlin, an immense crowd met us, and, rushing hastily by, parted me from my mother and sisters. I endeavored to call them by my cries; but the noise of arms, and the shouts of an infuriated populace, entirely overpowered' my feeble voice. Meanwhile the French penetrated into the town, and, driving all before them, advanced towards the Kremlin. To find a shelter from their excesses, I ran with many others into the citadel, which was considered a place of security; and, as I could not mix with the combatants, I retired to the church of St. Michael, seeking refuge among the graves of the Czars. Kneeling near their sepulchres, I was invoking the spirits of those illustrious founders of our country, when on a sudden some brutal soldiers broke in upon my retreat, and dragged mę from a sacred and inviolable asylum.”
When the wretched girl had finished her story,' continues Labaume, she burst into a flood of tears, and, throwing herself at the general's feet, implored him to respect her virtue, and restore her to her relatives. The general, pretending, to pity her misfortunes, pledged himself to relieve them. He offered her his house as a protection, and promised his best endeavors to discover her father and distressed mother; but this apparent generosity was only a lure to deceive the innocent Paulowna, and make her an easier victim of his treachery and lusts. Young, artless and confiding, she trusted his word; and the general, by feigning sentiments he never knew, and persuading her that it was impossible to discover her parents or her lover, brought her at length to regard him as her friend and protector. He offered her his hand in marriage; and, on the faith of repeated promises, the poor helpless girl became the victim of a base seducer. Alas! the general was already married ; and she who had expected to be his wife, found herself only a dishonored glave.'
Let me quote here a few cases somewhat different from that of Paulowna. “ The French women,” says Labaume, “who followed us from Moscow to escape the vengeance of the Russians, hoped to find with us certain protection. Most of those on foot, with shoes of stuff little fitted to defend them from the frozen snow, and clad in robes of silk or the thinnest muslin, were glad to cover themselves with tattered pieces of military cloaks torn from the bodies of dead soldiers. But of all these victims, none excited a warmer pity than the young and interesting Fanny. Beautiful and affectionate, amiable and sprightly, speaking many different languages, and possessing every quality calculated to win the most insensible heart, she now begged for the most menial employment; and the morsel of bread she obtained, drew from her the strongest expressions of gratitude. Imploring succor from us all, she was compelled to submit to the vilest abuse; and, though her soul loathed the prostitution, she belonged every night to him who
would charge himself with her support. I saw her when we quitted Smolensko. She was no longer able to walk. She was clinging to the tail of a horse, and was thus dragged along! At length her powers were quite exhausted ; she fell on the snow, and there remained unburied, without exciting one emotion of pity, or obtaining one look of compassion !!”
Nor does peace secure women from the soldier's abuse. After the old French war, an English regiment came to Albany. The flash and finery of the officers quite turned the heads of the young; and, ingratiating themselves by degrees, they corrupted at length the morals of both sexes by balls and dances, masquerades, temporary theatres, and other arts of seduction. The good old minister early took the alarm, and preached boldly against these demoralizing innovations ; but, though sustained by the aged and the wise, the influence of the army, rallying the young on their side, prevailed, and drove the preacher from his pulpit, from the city, and even the country. They silenced his voice, but could not falsify his predictions, which soon began to be visibly fulfilled. More than a dozen of the most ancient and respectable families were disgraced, and a multitude of the common people.
“The fall of one female was too deplorable to be soon forgotten. She was the favorite grand-daughter of an ancient, superannuated domine of great respectability and wealth, by the name of Lydius, at whose house Col. Schuyler, commander of the regiment, was billeted. In vain did the wife of Col. Schuyler warn the young lady of her danger. She fell a victim to seduction. The poor old grand-father offered her seducer, a Capt. Rogers, all his property, if he would marry his grand-daughter, and thus remove the disgrace from his family. He offered in vain; perhaps the villain was already married. Proud and high-spirited, of great pretensions from her birth and fortune, the disgrace bereft the young lady of her reason; and for thirty years after the birth of her child, did the maniac mother constantly sit at the garret window of the house in which she was born, anxiously looking down the river for the return of her seducer, who had told her he was going to Ireland, his native country, and would soon return and marry her. She believed it all; and, when the south wind blew, the
poor lunatic was in ecstasies, expecting every moment to see him coming up to fulfil his promise ; and then she would clap her hands in a rapture of delight, and tears of joy would flow down her cheeks. Her deceiver never came; instead of going to Ireland, he merely got transferred to a regiment in Quebec.
When the brother of his victim learned the truth of the case, he publicly vowed revenge, and followed him to Quebec;'but á friend of Rogers, hastening to inform him of his danger, arrived three days before the avenger, and thus gave the villain tiine to apply for a furlough. The cause of it got wind, and drew so many gibes and jeers from his brother officers, that he challenged them all, and wounded three of them in duels; but the seducer, however brave, dared not meet the exasperated brother of his victim, and embarked the very day on which Lydius arrived. The latter