own opinion, as you know, is that they are equally fatal for a country, but that is a matter of opinion, only; but of the fact that a good Radical makes an extremely bad soldier, I am quite clear, and the spread of Radical opinion among the French army has been very great. Then, too, the officers have been much to blame. They think of pleasure far more than duty. They spend four times as much time in the cafes and billiard rooms as they do in the drill ground. Altogether, in my opinion, the French army has greatly gone off in all points--except in courage which, being a matter of nationality, is probably as high as ever. It is a bad lookout, boys--a very bad lookout.
"There, don't talk about it any more. I do not want to make your mother unhappy. Remember not to express--either as my or your own opinion--anything I have said, in the town. It would only render you obnoxious, and might even cause serious mischief. If things go wrong, French mobs are liable to wreak their bad temper on the first comer."