Графични страници
PDF файл

There was Mauleverer, who plays at chess
Eternally. His only happiness,
When Death throws wide to him the mystic portals

Into the realms unseen,

Will be, with rook and queen,
Alfyn, and knight, and pawn, to challenge the immortals.
And now, beside the breathless hyaline,
His moves mysterious on the squares entwine ;
While opposite, a creature like a fairy,

White-wristed, golden-tressed,

Whose thoughtful glances rest
Upon the unfathomed game, in a profound quandary.
But far more numerous they, whose merriment
Is 'mid the odorous hay. In swift descent
Their many-twinkling feet along the turf

Pass merrily; their glee,

If boisterous were the sea,
Would drown the ceaseless surges of the sinuous surf.
They toss the hay-wreaths in the liquid air ;
They chase each other ; merry children, fair
As if this earth had never known a stain,

Sing many a pleasant carol,

Weave ruddy flower-apparel :
Surely the days return of Saturn's peaceful reign.
Amid the revellers, lo there stood the greyest
Old wrinkled dreamy leathern algebraist
That ever pondered subjects half absurd ;

These wild sports got the start of his

Quaint subtilty and artifice,
And there he stood amazed, like some shy alien bird.
He knew the courses of the planets well ;
An absolute and perfect oracle
Concerning Ophiuchus and Orion :

But human nature seems

To him a thing of dreams-
Him 'twould befit to dwell in Alpha of the Lion.
Here comes the Rector. Purple stars of clematis
O'erhang the rectory's mullioned grey extremities,
Close by the river. There of old, while he

Pored o'er Exonian letters,

I strove to link love's fetters,
O happy Ada mine, about myself and thee.
And when were any twain whom smiling May
Chased through the whispering woodlands, day by day,
Strewing sweet violets ankle-deep around,

Blind to the joy which lies

In deep soft loving eyes-, Deaf to the songs wherewith Love makes this earth resound ?




To every earnest politician -- and all which scarcely a weak gleam of hope intelligent members of the community struggles. But we may exaggerate the should be such-the State of the Na- darkness of the prospect, dark though tion at the present time must be mat- it be. It is bad enough to have lost ter of deep concern. We believe that 25,000 men for the gaining of two we only give expression to a solemn triumphs, which were not victories truth when we say that a general feel- at least 20,000 of whom perished of ing of apprehension prevails as to the neglect

neglect (it is literally so !); -- it is bad future of these countries - a sort of enough to be forced to believe that undefined distrust of our ability to hold mal-arrangement, or the total want of our high place among the kingdoms arrangement, involved the flower of with honour for any long time to our armies in a terrible struggle with

This panic— for it is almost a privations, which terminated in unnepanic-exists among all parties. It cessary and ignominious death ;-it is has found utterance in public meet- bad enough to have to confess that, ings — by the pens of pamphleteers -- after a twelvemonth of campaigning, through the press, and bas even been we are little nearer our object, and the burden of remarkable orations little better prepared to advance within the walls of Parliament. Not toward it ;- it is bad enough to find that those speakers and writers think that the alliances we had hoped for the empire has commenced that de- bave failed us ; - but, in addition to cline to which evil prophets have de. this, it is worst of all to discover that signated it; but the country has lost the most venerable and respected leadheart, and is more apprehensive than ers of our national affairs — who hold complaining. If this fear for the future their positions by right of service renbe exaggerated, it is not without dered the State in times past — have justification. The disasters which have manifested their total inadequacy to overtaken our army in the Crimea - the magnitude of their present task ; the mismanagement of the home ad- and that to a foreign potentate, only a ministration the anomalous state of few years raised by popular election to political sects — the apparent absence the precarious throne of an unstable of sagacious statesmanship, and the empire, we are primarily indebted for grave errors lately committed by rulers much of the success we have attained undeniably convicted of incapacity, in the field, as well as much of the all combine to depress the public mind, firmness we have evinced in the buand to open the mouths of those

But, on the other hand, it is to whom the language of discontent is right to remember that there are more genial than effort to remove its signs in the heaven whose import is

The man who is too ready to cheering. Beyond the warring clouds relax the tone of his mind in presence which clash and break upon each other of difficulties never succeeds in life; above our heads, there is a serener the people compelled to acknowledge sky; and, the gloom once riven, its the existence of evils among them- genial peacefulness will glad the naselves should only dwell upon them to tions. Even now there are encouascertain their character and extent, ragements around us. All is not evil that the proper cure may be disco- in the Russian war and its as yet dis vered. At the present moment we mal consequences. Who can tell what are taking the opposite and less wise amount of lasting good may spring

We are desponding, when we from the alliance with France, which need to be up and doing — when has been so deeply baptised in blood, every effort should be put forth to and sealed by the close sympathy of a discover the seat of the disease and its common purpose affecting the interests every ramification, to the end that a of both countries so intimately? Who litting remedy may be found.

can tell what future Providence bas The horizon of our country is, in- prepared for the Lands of the Prophet, deed, wrapt in storm-clouds, through to which the events of to-day are the




avenue? Who can tell what effect Of these defects we may usefully ad. the present disturbance of old com- vance a word. pacts and relations may soon have on That the appointment of the Sebasthe central kingdoms of Europe ? topol Committee was a wise step, its Whatever changes occur, as the re- proceedings have fully proved. We sults of the existing struggle - either place little value on their Report. The in France, or in Turkey, or in Ger- Evidence is of chief interest. The facts many, or even in Britain-there must elicited are important in the highest debe progression, there must be the gree. They will yet be, we may add more intimate union of the kingdoms, they will soon be, the basis of extensive by the weakening of despotisin and reforms. They are, as it were, the the extension of that genial sympathy diagnosis of the national disease. It is among agreeing peoples which is the à mistake to suppose the inquiry to be only valuable basis and bond of alli- strictly a Sebastopol Inquiry. It takes ances. Such considerations are fraught a wider range. Beyond its revelations with hope, and go far to diminish our respecting the mismanagement of the regrets for past misfortune. But it is earlier months of the war, it has enfurther to be borne in mind that we tered upon a survey of the entire sys. contend for triumph in the cause of tem of our military departments, and humanity; we labour to overleap the in this view we must especially regard fences of a barbaric autocracy; and if it valuable. To investigate why the we succeed, as ultimately we shall, the army did not receive reinforcement till death-blow will be given to the most after Inkermann, and then only 6,500 elaborately established tyranny the men—why huts necessary six weeks world has ever seen. History, indeed, before had not arrived in the Crimea affords no parallel to the present war, in at the middle of December-why the its object, in the extent of its influence, cavalry perished by a blunder at Bala. or the momentousness of the issues in. klava—why that town became a chaos volved in its success. Russia subdued, under the disorganising talents of its there never will be another Russia. commandant-why the Turkish hospiThe ambitious designs of Russia effec- tals were pest-houses, places to propatually checked, Muscovite tyranny gate disease rather than sanitaria, is of must keep within its old barriers, and little comparative moment, since we the empire of the great Peter cease to cannot bring back the thousands sadomineer in European counsels. With crificed to incompetency, and can this consummation of the existing con. scarcely hope to punish the guilty offlict, oppression of the kind existing ficials by whose fault they perished. ụnder Nicholas, and transferred to We know all the cause, all the conseAlexander, cannot pass beyond its quence, in its bitter aggravatedness ; limit, and no iron will can ever bid it our question now is-What really were advance again, either to the billows of the various sources of the mischief, and the northern ocean, which proclaim how best may they be approached so as man's freedom as they are shattered to be removed ? against the coast of the Sea-Kings, or It is contended, on the one han tie rippling waves of the Mediterra- that men have been to blame; on the nean, as, calmed beneath a glowing other, the onus is laid upon systems. sun, they expand peacefully on the Truth requires us to say—both. Iushores of the South.

competent officials and imperfect plans The last cheering aspect of the time constitute the fertile source of all nais that one to which, in these para- tional evil. Unfortunately this is graphs, we bave to devote more particu- proved amply enough in our far attention. The experience of war we bave had this past eventful year has Take the systems first. Our eyes undeniably discovered to us

have been opened to serious blemishes what rudely, but wholesomely — the in our military and civil administration. weak points in our national character, No doubt one cardinal error, of which in our military and civil administration, we are now convinced is, the insane in the hereditary accidents if we may reduction, for it was little else, made so say - of our Government. Those in our resources for war, year after defects made patent, we may learn to year, for the last decade. When it apply a remedy, and reap

such amount came, we were, indeed, a nation of of profit from our chastisements as to shopkeepers, and not a military people. transmute them into blessings. What has Lord Hardinge told us?




We pro

When hostilities commenced he sent ners, and conversation, is, by virtue of ten thousand men to the East, and that his good guineas, an ensign, a lieutenant, number exhausted the troops this great perhaps a captain in her Majesty's ser. empire had at immediate command for vice. He may have this character, and its purposes of defence! Subsequently, be a colonel or more, for in the army (to by great exertion, a second draft of

reverse a common saying) we have the same strength was procured, and often young heads on old shoulders. only after the battles of Alma and In- Of military education, in the enlarged kermann did a third army of six thou- sense of the term, he is as well informed sand five hundred men arrive at the as his Boots. He knows a few of the scene of conflict. Thus, after the con. technicalities of his art : of the science test had been waged fully four months, of war, nothing. He is sent into the we contrived, by bringing regiments field-we admit bis valour. Good blood from the Colonies, by recruiting, and flows in his veins; a sense of honour other means, to send out twenty-six inspires him ; the excitement of battle thousand men a fifth of whom, or brings out any latent chivalry he may more, were raw levies ! Such was the

possess; he shouts to his steady band; state of preparedness for war to which they rush forward at his bidding. If Manchester economists brought us. It impetuous courage can win what he would seem that their undue desire for hopes to gain, there is a victory, and peace, under every circumstance, was we laud the heroism of the brave, as it then on the point of unavoidable gratifi. deserves to be lauded; but, after all, cation, for we might soon, by their po- we have seen the soldier but in one, licy, be precluded from war, because and that the simplest, phase of his chatotally imbecile, a ready prey to the racter. Place our friend Bobadil on most unscrupulous. What would have the plateau overlooking Sebastapol. been our condition were our foe an in- Bid him take measures to sustain bis vading one, or were the contest nearer men during an inclement winter, on our shores, and more intimately con- those heights. Tell bim that their nected with our interests ?

health, their efficiency, their lives deceeded to fight Russia-it might have pend on his exertions. He is quite at been France and Germany to boot - sea and rudderless. This is not his with twenty-thousand men ! With

notion of war. He always thought of such a force we could, acting alone, it, if he thought at all, as the poet, be expected to effect little more than

"Concurritur, the hero who

Momento cita mors venit, aut victoria læta." * With twice ten thousand men, Marched up the hill, and then marched down again."

Place him in the field, and the same

want of training is evident. Neither We hope the error of not maintain- he, nor the men he leads — for, unining our standing army at a proper structed himself, he could not instruct strength, and in a proper state of them-know more than the first ele. efficiency, is now fully known, and that ments of military education. Courage when the present war ceases, we shall they have among the soldiery of no have no cheese-paring economy, no country is there greater. Loyalty they suicidal parsimony, in voting the army have- no man on God's earth is more estimates. It will be time enough to loyal than a Briton, for he has institubeat our swords into ploughshares tions which claim his intensest love. when men “ learn war no more;” but Desire of triumph they have — for we so long as our neighbours, friendly are an ambitious race, ever striving to or unfriendly, sustain their military be foremost. But training in arms strength, the most vulgar wisdom dica they have not. In spirit they are Rotates the same course to us.

mans, but rude in the arts of war. We Another remarkable defect in our mi. are not about to declaim generally and litary system, exposed to general view without consideration against the sys. of late, is the want of education among tem of purchase which admits to posiour troops and their officers-scientific tions of military trust men unfitted for training we mean. Young Bobadil, command, nor to censure the ludicrous who is a fast man, a great boaster, very system of promotion which puts a man proud of his red coat and epaulets, a in authority when he has perhaps favourite with the ladies, the gallant reached the utmost verge of human gentleman at parties, and a complete life--at least of the years of activity ; master of the frivolous in dress, man- but we do say that another great error now discovered to us is the want of of Forth; they will withstand the pri. military education among our officers vations of a warrior's life a day, a and men. The regimental system, as week, a month – the first severity far as it goes, is excellent. It trains makes them worthless. This being so, good soldiers and good commanders ; why should we not keep the Militia, but it will never organise an army, in

the constitutional force of the country, the full panoply of its might for effec- in a state of semi-preparedness ? Had tive warfare, since it fails to provide we done this two years ago, we could for the acting together of more than a have sent to the Crimea 70,000 trained comparatively small fraction of such a soldiers, and while Prince Menschikoff body. Nor will it ever guarantee, as was panic-stricken by the loss of Alma, at present constituted, the proper in- have marched into the now giganticallystruction of officers or men in camp defended Sebastopol with little diffiduties. Their education will be left culty. We had, on the contrary, no very much to chance. Unless reform Militia when the war broke out, and take place in this respect, the British what is the consequence? Why, at soldier will still be helpless taken the present moment, our good Governout of his mechanical routine, as un. ment deem they have done a great deal able to cook his rations in the field as in raising a home and colonial Militia to meet an enemy in untoward circum- force of about 50,000—just one-third stances. The war has taught us this of its strength, properly embodied ! deficiency — this grave error. Other But turn we from the Army to the nations are not so foolish in military Departments connected with military matters; for what is the present fact? administration. Here a stupid division At this moment we are, by permission, of authority and a practical irresponinvestigating the arrangements in the sibility in some quarters has worked French army for the purpose of modi. immense mischief of late. It was a fying our own by them, or ingrafting wise step to provide a Minister of War the Continental on the English plans! last year ; but it was very unwise to Two years ago, or less, we boasted of permit his will to be frustrated, now by our strength, as we talked of supposed the Ordnance, again by the Admiralty, imminent war with France, how again by the Commissariat, and again vainly!

by the Medical Board. A War MinisYet another fact strongly impressed ter must be an autocrat. He must upon us by our late history is the ex- have full powers, and the highest retreme folly of not making due provi- sponsibilities. This is evident. He is sion for an Army of Reserve. Where required to succeed-to fail is to be had we to look to for men these last disgraced, to be superseded, to lose two years, either for the


of reputation, honour it may be, and redefending our shores or waging foreign spect for ever afterwards. His means, war ? Our 120,000 fighting men of therefore, should be his own; if they the Line was a fiction – a monstrous be not, he is not accountable. The fiction—a phantom, and no more.


Duke of Newcastle was not a War countries where every man who has Minister in the proper sense. reached maturity capable of bearing a kind of clever head clerk, who sat arms has been trained to war, a re- diligently enough, be it confessed serve force is always ready; but in this fourteen hours a day in his office, and country, where such a principle is un- blundered everything notwithstanding. acknowledged, a special effort must be Lord Hardinge pulled one way, he anset afoot to secure that end. Gather a other; Mr. Sidney Herbert frustrated few thousand peasants from the diffe- him unintentionally, but very effecrent States of Germany-arm them- tually; and Sir Thomas Hastings took they are efficient soldiers. Take the his own course in spite of him. All same number from the west of Ireland, this shows how necessary is a consolifrom the northern shores of Scotland, dation of the military departments, from the manufacturing or agricul. and a complete re-organisation of the tural districts of England—arm them- stupid system prevailing in them, which they will not be soldiers, but the rudest is as old as the Peninsular war. In material of soldiers; they will march everything but in military affairs have in the most ludicrous irregularity - we improved these forty years. they will form a line as full of ins and Add to the necessary reforms in the outs as the winding Rbine or the Frith military departments, that some mode

He was

« ПредишнаНапред »