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sixty and seventy per cent per an- of the cause, and has not been casually num: that is to say, any community, and carelessly dropped by the way. living as our soldiers then lived, would lose between sixty and seven- “To pass, when life her light withdraws, ty out of every hundred of its num
Not void of righteous self-applause, bers in a year. Further, when we
Nor in a merely selfish cause-compare the soldier at home with the In some good cause--not in mine own, ordinary citizen, we find that the To perish, wept for, honour'd, known, deaths per thousand among civil. And like a warrior overthrown : ians in the parish of St Pancras are
Whose eyes are dim with glorious tears, two and a fifth ; among the Life When soil'd with noble dust he hears Guards in the Regent's Park there, His country's war-song thrill his ears, they are ten and two-fifths—five to
Then dying of a mortal stroke, one exactly. The deaths of civilians
What time the foeman's line is broke, in the parish of Kensington are 3.3; And all the war is rolled in smoke." those of the Royal Horse Guards, Knightsbridge, 17.5. Taking all It is but justice to the soldier, that classes of the community between the if he is to die, it should, if possible, ages of twenty and twenty-five, the be thus.
be thus. Since military glory-the
rate of mortality among our soldiers at glory of military service in a good home, taken on a low average, is seven- cause—is the reward he seeks, let him teen in the thousand; while that of at least have it in his death. True, civilians, or the rest of the population, though he find himself sinking is eight and four-fifths-not quite a under the length of an ill-calculated half of the soldiers' mortality. These, march, or freezing to death because with a crowd of like statistics, all a commissary has neglected his duty, tending so clearly in the same direc- or wasting away under the unwholetion that we shall not inflict them some food provided by a knavish on the reader, who probably has al- contractor, a sense of duty may supready gone over them, show us that, port him to the end—but should he let the military commander do what be left no other support? He goes he can to be careful of the lives of to his rest, indeed, to suffer no his men in all those operations which more, and is forgotten with the many are purely military or combative, thousands of others, as time rolls there are other things, not perhaps over their obscure graves; but the strictly of a military character, for debt of injustice is inherited by the the safety of the soldier's life, and in survivors, who in their sorrow should the safety of his life for his preser- have, when it can be justly given, the vation from the misery and torture proud consolation that the husband of disease and a death of hardship, or the father died like a true soldier, which the nation has not yet provided with his back to the field and his for him.
face to the foe. Other forms of death The heroic bargain which the sol- in service require explanations about dier makes with his country is, to accompanying conditions--they may die, if his death will further his be heroic or they may not—but death country's cause. If the cause can be on the field of battle at once tells its duly furthered in any other manner own history to all hearts. and the life can be saved, then it is The art of preserving their own the country's duty to save it without health bas probably been more or counting the cost. The soldier may less considered by men since they first dutifully endure the coming of death began to consider anything, although brought to him by disease or hard- it must be confessed that they have ship when he believes it to be inevit- often made a very bad job of it. The able. But that death which has no inquiries of some very clever and enterrors for him, because his soul thusiastic men have lately developed pants for it as the crown of soldier a sphere of usefulness connected with martyrdom, and his nerves are exult- this end, wbich, for want of a better ingly strung to receive it, is the death name, they have called sanitary in battle, which emphatically pro science. Some of its teachers have claims that the life is lost to the gain doubtless promulgated whims and
fallacies, but they have, on the whole, netism, for people admitted long ago proved, by irresistible facts, that there that the gases from decomposing aniare operations and adjustments of mal and vegetable matter are noxious things which can be counted on for to life, and that wholesome food is as saving lives which would otherwise necessary to health in the railway be lost. The peculiar feature of these store or the mess-table as in the new suggestions, when compared private dining-room. But they have with all previous injunctions for the so fully illustrated the bearings of preservation of health, may be de- general truths on the duties of those scribed thus : Formerly, in all books who have the condition and treator other writings upon health and ment of their fellow-beings in their disease, each individual human being hands, that what was before a diswas appealed to on the best means embodied sentiment or opinion, is of retaining his own health and avoid- now reduced to distinct practical ing disease. The tendency of the precept, illustrated by a crowd of exertions of the sanitarians has been examples. It has been the fate of our to take up the matter at the point army to be among the latest portions where the individual man can do no of the community to reap the harvest more to help himself, since he is sur- of this valuable knowledge. For inrounded by deteriorating conditions stance, when we look at the rules for over which he has no control. The the dietary of our prisoners, wefind the poor workman who finds that his following among them: “A change bread is only to be made in a densely of food being beneficial to health, it populous quarter of a large town, is directed that the dinner, on at where there are no drains and no re- least two days in the week, shall ceptacles for impurity – the sailor be different from the dinner on the sleeping in the hold of a ship impreg- other days.” And as a commennated with poisonous gases--the col- tary on this humane regulation for lier working in an unventilated coal- our thieves and forgers, the Commine, and many others, were inca- mission of Inquiry on the Sanitary pable, by personal exertion, of better- Condition of the Army tells us, ing their own condition, and required that one of the marked peculiarities the intervention of general arrange- of the British soldier is, that he is a ments. However obvious the neces- man who dines every day for twenty sity of considering the position of consecutive years on boiled beef, unsuch persons may seem, yet the world less, of course, when the vicissitudes is full of lamentable instances of the of a campaign relieve the monotony. neglect which they have met with, Then, again, the Surveyor-General of and the history of the whole affair Convict Prisons was examined on venillustrates an often-repeated view, tilation and means of internal purithat general expressions of opinion, fication. Looking on himself as rehowever sound, receive very little sponsible for the health of his conattention, until earnest and enthu- victs, he described the scientific persiastic men work them out to practi- fection of all the internal arrangecal conclusions, and prove, to the ments of his pet prison, Pentonville, amazement of well-meaning but in- of Millbank, -not so perfect a speciactive men, how woefully they have men, since it had been built in the been neglecting their own favourite days of darkness touching sanitary precepts. Such has been the result science, and was not without difficulty of the progress of sanitary labourers. brought within its sphere,--of DartThey have not opened a new object moor, and of Portland. The chairof human inquiry and thought, be- man of the Commission, almost loscause people were taught to keep ing patience at the description of the their feet dry, eat wholesome food, pedantic perfection of the arrangeavoid dissipation, and wash and shave ments for criminals, just after he themselves, before Mr Chadwick was had been sickened with accounts of born. They have not discovered any the filth and unwholesomeness of barnew operation of nature, such as the racks, said to the Surveyor-General, doctrine of chemical equivalents, or
whom he knew to be a military man the affinities of electricity and mag. —“What is your reason; take Portland ; you have to look after those European history, through any other men, and keep them in health, to arrangement but that of lord and execute certain public works for the serf. But even in our own days Government; other engineers build there is a constant tendency in those barracks to keep soldiers in perfect who, in a proprietary or official shape, health to do service for the Govern- are at the head of such aggregate ment; how is it that in the one case collections of human beings, to abuse a man sleeps in a fetid atmosphere, their power, and exhibit, in however and in the other you give him a pure small a shape, the attributes of the one ?” The answer was simple, but despot. Hence all who come in consufficiently emphatic : “ I do not tact with these new forms of power, think that the subject has been suffi- have had to use much vigilance and ciently considered in respect of the pertinacity for their own protection, barracks ; it has been lost sight of.” and sometimes have found it a duty Those edile arrangements for the pre- to hold out the protecting hand to servation of life and health, which are those too weak to protect themselves. deemed so essential that they must So, it has been found necessary to be provided even for the residence of protect children working in manufacthe criminal, are "lost sight of” in tories, and women and children workthe residence of the soldier !
ing in mines. And there is still, if The reason why the food and venti- we mistake not, a conflict going on lation for the criminal must be looked between a combination of great manuto so carefully by others is, because he facturing capitalists and the inspeccannot get out to choose for himself. tors of factories; the former assumBut in truth, though from causes as ing the humble title of “The Millhonourable as those which place the owners' Protection Society," and comthief in custody are disgraceful, the plaining that they are cruelly and soldier is scarcely more helpless and despotically entreated, and are denied more dependent on other people for the rights of British subjects, because the sanitary conditions of the food he it is required of them at some exeats, the clothing he wears, and the pense-amounting, it is said, somehouse he lives in. Whether it is to times to £30 or £10 for a large millbe deemed a wholesome feature or to fence machinery which occasionally, not, one of the tendencies of our very in its unprotected state, wheels some active age is to aggregate human poor fellow round and dashes out his beings together in large masses, where brains, or, catching a pucker in a carethey require to sink individual action less girl's sleeve, sucks in her arm, and in general organisation, and are more tears it from the socket. Passing or less at the mercy of those who from such instances to a matter in have the working out of the organis- which we are all concerned—there ation. It is enough to refer to the are every day some hundreds of thoularge manufactories and mines, the sands of people within the British public works often rapidly carried out Isles at the mercy of railway comin remote places, which become in- panies for personal comfort, for puncstantaneously peopled by thousands tuality in travelling, and for their of persons—to our great systems of safety from mutilation or death. We locomotion by railway and steamboat. all know how tough a contest is conIt is only where the law is both verytinually kept up by the public for strong and very ductile, that civil common justice in such matters liberty and individual rights can be against these lords of the road, alpreserved in these great ganglions of though the greatest people in the human beings. In the feudal ages, land are on the same side of the quesall would have been subject as serfs tion with the poorest. It is a law of to the authority of some despotic nature that bodies of people who are lord, like the workers in the old Ger- put at the mercy of others for the man and Italian mines; and, to speak supply of anything important to their fairly of feudality, it is not easy to wellbeing, will be oppressed or pil. see how order could have been pre- laged by those who serve them, unserved among large bodies of human less they can protect themselver, or beings, during the earlier centuries of are protected by others.
“What has all this to do with the returned. The obligation of quartersoldier ? Armies were embodied, fed, ing the few soldiers kept at home encamped, and went forth to battle was a matter of loud and continuous thousands of years before the in- complaint from time to time. Doubtvention of the railway and the spin- less, under such a fortuitous arning-jenny.” True enough--but it is rangement, the trooper or the pikeequally true that late times have seen man was often ill enough off; but as great a change in the domestic on other occasions, and especially in position-strictly the domestic posi- unsettled times, the extent to which tion of the soldier, as the factory he helped himself, when there was system has created on the position of aught to be helped from, partook of the spinner and weaver, or the rail- the character of pillage. So inveterate way system on that of the traveller. had the practice of appropriation beThere is, in fact, no one more help- come, that in the '45 we find old Hawlessly dependent on the conduct and ley, a thoroughly trained soldier, who the misconduct of others than the sol- was not likely to have done anything dier--no one for whom, in his domes- far astray from the military ideas of tic position, external protection is his age, accused by an old lady of more necessary.
Aberdeen, loyal to the Government, The barrack is an institution com- of carrying off all her china and paratively late among ourselves
, and books, her bedding and table-linen, comparatively unknown to the rest her repeating-clock,, “which stood of the world. The fortresses of the by the bed in which he lay every most extensively fortified countries night," along with "twelve teain Europe seldom contain a large spoons, strainer, and tongs, and the proportion of their armies—the bulk japanned board on which the choof the troops must be dispersed among colate and coffee cups stood.”* the civilian community. The for- When a standing army, embodied tresses in this country have always under the annual Mutiny Act, came been a trifle—the largest of them, so to be a national institution, the far as we understand, stands upon a quartering system would never have small tongue of land stretching into been tolerated, and the barrack systhe Moray Firth, a few miles from tem was a necessary substitute. Of Inverness. Under the old commis- the old arrangement, we have just a sions of array, the country gentry had faint memorial in a trifling billetingto find the troops of their own county tax, which excites great wrath wherin clothing, provisions, and quarters, ever it happens accidentally to rest. and there were certain reciprocal It is a pecuniary alternative for the privileges of quartering when
they actual billeting, which all discreet passed into other counties, fruitful in persons pay; but instances are on disputes, which were generally settled, record where a negligent householder so far as the immediate parties were has been appalled by the vision of concerned, by the soldier taking what three red-coats descending the area be found and wanted, and leaving the stairs in a business-like fashion, as if ultimate incidence of the cost to be they were going home—though we settled by any other powers--higher have generally heard the conclusion or lower. Unfortunately the person of such an incident to be, that "the who suffered under the quartering fellows behaved very well indeed," was generally an enemy, or esteemed and for a reasonable sum took themto be so, and thus there was no neces- selves off to the tavern at the corner. sity for any adjustment of accounts. We question if there is any other It was in civil war only that embod. well-armed country in Europe where ied troops were kept at home by our the billeting system is not in full ancestors. For the defence of the force. In France at the present country they trusted to a sudden levy, day, in the remotest country-house and when an army was raised for or hamlet, at any hour, by day or foreign conflict, it went immediately night, the soldier on duty may appear abroad, and was disbanded when it and demand admission-a dreaded,
but from necessity, an ostensibly wel- non-commissioned, with brown feacomed guest. Wherever this old prac- tures, bushy beard, and a collection of tice is continued, as the citizen lives, pewter decorations, gets an audience so does the soldier-perhaps the latter of his old companions at the corner fares rather above the average of the of a street, or a passing glance of adhouseholder at large. The conscrip- miration from some members of “the tion system has its influence in mak- upper classes.” But the national ing the thing work easily-it is your jealousy of anything like military destiny to carry arms and live with supremacy comes soon, and freezes me to-day-it may be mine to carry the short enthusiasm. arms and live with you to-morrow : The national jealousy is right, so the quartered soldier is but one of a far as it strikes at all attempts to give large and rather miscellaneous circle 'internal political power to the miliof persons, connected by a link which tary institutions. But there are two causes them from time to time for- things which the nation owes to the tuitously to throw themselves on each soldier. Give him first his fame and other's hospitality. The condition of honours in due and permanent meathe whole community where this sure. Since, also, our wealth-born practice holds may be a very low fastidiousness will not tolerate the one, but it is clear that in it we shall disagreeables of war and soldier life not find the ordinary citizen-con- to appear among us, surely we ought vict included-well housed and well to pay the cost of that fastidiousness fed, with occasional wholesome vari- out of that wealth which generates it. ations of diet, while the soldier lives Our requisitions on the soldier's forin quarters destitute of any means bearance are not even limited to what of purification, breathes foul air, and may affect ourselves. We worthily eats the same dinner for twenty suc- desire to mitigate the hardships of war cessive years. The case, therefore, of allover the world—among ourenemies the billeted soldier, among a com- even, as well as among all neutral munity practically acquainted with nations. To this end the object which the system of quartering, does not war is so naturally apt to assumecall forth that amount of sedulous the object of private plunder-has care and attention-of expense, as it been sternly put down. The Duke may be necessary for the barracked of Wellington's great campaign in soldier's protection.
the Peninsula was a long resolute The whole question is, in fact, in a practical lesson against it on land; great measure, a matter of money- the abandonment of letters-of-marque inade so by the proud fastidiousness was the abolition of its last offenof this rich country. Nove of the sive form at sea. Our policy now stains of war are to touch us-none is the true policy of war of its clamours to reach our ears. strike at the heart, where the enemy Away thousands of miles must roll may be paralysed and his power the tide of battle; neither the ap- broken, with the least injury to life palling roar of the conflict itself, nor and property. This, however, is not
, the confused din of misery and agony the method of rewarding and enrichthat follows it, must disturb the dig- ing the soldier after old custom. nified serenity of our island retreat. Descents on unarmed seaports, after Relations and dear friends perhaps the fashion of our sea-king ancestors feel the heart throb when fresh tele
---marauding marches far away from graphic news are announced, or suffer the chief fortresses, among villages, the sickening agony of hope deferred, country mansions, and rich religious in vain expectations; the nation ex- houses—these are the forms of war ults in a victory, or is maddened which enrich the soldier with plunder, if there is anything like a check on as the troops of Wallenstein and of the onward career of our victorious Soult were enriched. Most worthily troops. Some great leader is idolised have we striven to suppress this curse for the day, and gets the thanks of and with a success crossed only Parliament as an august tribute to by few exceptions. But again, why his merits. Young heroes are popular should the soldier be compelled to in ball-rooms, and even a private or pay for our virtue-why not put our