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and officers, and this we have a substitute for in our military schools, and in our best regiments where the drill extends to this duty. We have seen, in the olden time, in Germany, princes en faclion (as sentries), and observed their respect to their superiors.
The last consideration in amalgamating the materials of an army, and the mixing up the soldier of fortune with his titled and fortunehaving comrades, is, that as brethren in arms are not only to combat, but to associate together,--not only to meet on parade and drill-ground, at home and in the battle-field abroad, -not only to march, but to mess together,--the gentleman is as often called into action as the soldier ; and there polish and brilliancy of mind will avail more than pipe-clay and heel-ball; the social and companionable virtues and qualities will be found more necessary than a loud, commanding voice, a sharp, quick, and detecting eye. There, the chief and the campaigner, the martinet and algebraist, will merge into the convivial brother and the man of anecdote and taste. These properties will equally endear brother-soldier to brother-soldier, and promote an inviolable harmony amongst men, who have, on one side, virgin, unsullied honour to direct them, and, on the other, a variety of vicissitudes to share with the corps to which they belong, which thus becomes a noble and united family, respected in quarters, and looked up to in all the scenes of a campaign, of whicla life is a mere picture; for we enlist in its warfare, glitter in the promised advantages of youth, sleep one day in the bed of roses strewed by pleasure, and another, bivouac in adversity's cold and hard field, Our time, our quarters, our existence, are uncertain; climate or common accident, the bullet or the war of the passions, all conduct us alike through the skirmish. Virtue, honour, and glory, ought always to be our aim, and will alone gain us promotion here and hereafter.
We return to the soldier of fortune. To the difficulty of mounting on the scale of promotion, (not being educated for its higher steps,) is superadded the consideration, that such advancement does not always bring with it the comfort which is essential to the happiness of the fortunate individual. Our private is not a conscript, who is as likely to be a gentleman as a peasant; or rather, who has a chance, in the number, of being such; nor is he educated like the soldat Français, so full of pride, conceit, and military romance. He attends no regimental dancing-master and fencing-master, nor can he bear being made free with by his superiors, without being spoiled. There is no talking over battles, and drawing plans of sieges, no familiar conversing speculatively on military events with our men : they are content to obey, satisfied with doing their duty; and although they have their passions, like other men, and though none are braver, yet there is no l'amour et la gloire ever in their mouths, as with the French soldier. In this point, John Bull and Monsieur le Caporal are different beings; and one should as soon think of seeing the former cap in hand, to demand the honour of waltzing with some sprightly brunette, as we should expect an elephant to sing an adagio ; neither do we ever find a private, after rising respectfully to salute an officer, sit down by his side, and continue reading the newspaper or a novel, which we have witnessed at the Chaumière at Paris.' The promoted soldier, highly honourable as his feelings are at receiving the price of his deserts, has been known to regret the companions of his barrack-room and mess, and the humble
pleasures and pastimes of the pot and pipe, and therefore is always more at his ease if promoted in another corps, where a new life and society are chalked out for him. But they manage these matters far otherwise in France; and particularly when the rapid promotion of Napoleon skipped over grades to elevate the daring soldier to the pinnacle in the shortest time; an instance of which existed in a lieutenant-colonel, whose greatest pride was to be called Napoleon's Corporal, from which station he rose. The ex-emperor had, nevertheless, sunie prejudices; to wit, against any one who had battu caisse, (had beat the drum,) or was tinged with the blood of Africa; so that a certain major, long quartered at Calais, and who was decorated with the Legion of Honour's distinction, and the Cross of St. Louis, received this encomium from Napoleon :-“ Vous avez deux fois mérité le prix de votre valeur, je vous le donne (the Legion of Honour's badge), et je vous avoue que votre couleur a été contre vous.” This the major repeated in the presence of the late Lady Hamilton. And here we must remark, that so much is warlike honour the soul of our neighbours, that the battalionman actually thinks himself a cubit higher in society when he becomes a “ gren-a-dier," which he syllables thus. “ Honneur aux braves !" say we; with which ejaculation we shall conclude this imperfect sketch, preferring our own manners and customs, and wishing that the army may neither be made a trade of, nor the rich merchant and trader ever forget what the army has done for them in the hot hour of sanguinary trial; how it has carried the destructive war into the enemy's country, allowing the happy and affluent to repose peacefully in beds of down.
An Old Life-GUARDSMAN.
ON “ LETTING WELL ALONE."
TO THE EDITOR OF THE UNITED SERVICE JOURNAL.
SIR, Having seen the admirable doctrine of " letting well alone” most ably advocated by one of your correspondents, and being myself a great upholder of that respectable old principle, before which all official men, with whom whatever is is right, perform the kotoo nine times a day, I think it right to send you, in an extract from the Rhine Graff Von Felsenstien's Reminiscences of the Thirty Years' War, a most striking illustration of our ancient doctrine, and a proof that it was long since known and acted upon by high military authority. How the valuable Memoirs from which this is taken came into my hands need not at present be told ; let it suffice that they contain many curious and interesting disquisitions on love, war, religion, and politics, some of which I may, perhaps, send you when occasion calls, as the author appears evidently to have been a most acute and observing person.
Speaking of the period that preceded the great battle of Leipzig, he relates the following anecdote ; which, constituting the illustration, I beg to submit to you.
I am, &c.
Dugal Dhu MACDIRK.
EXTRACT. “ It was one day, shortly after the storming of Magdeburgh-which, thanks to the saints! had fallen before our victorious arms—when our worthy general, Count Tilly, of pious memory, had just inspected Falslimer's regiment, and was in the act of listening most mildly and attentively to Count Pappenlieim, who, with his usual impetuosity, was again urging an immediate advance against the Swedes, that an officer of inferior grade stepped forward, and solicited permission to speak to our excellent leader. This man, who was stated by the few cavaliers of rank that knew him to be a mere soldado of fortune, had been present at the onslaught of Werben, and some of the other encounters which had taken place between the Swedes and Imperialists. He was said to have a knowledge of a certain science called tactics, the object of which I pretend not precisely to understand, as it refers to matters below the dignity of men of station and family, who are entitled to military rank and command by their birth alone, and who naturally leave all matters of inferior detail to the care of the trill-meisters and their assistants. This tactician, then, having advanced and made his military obeisance to the general, spoke nearly as follows:- Having served in some of the late onslaughts, I think it right to acquaint your Highnees, before you proceed to meet the Swedes, that these heretic soldiers have adopted a system of tactics entirely different from that of the excellent Count George Basta, according to whose method the Imperial armada has been trained and instructed. The Swedes have intermingled small divisions of pikemen and musketeers in a manner I will not here detain your Highness by explaining, but so contrived that they can move with facility from one place to another; and can, without any change in their order de battala, employ either pike or musket as occasion may require. The men are also, individually, expert in the use of arms,-an advantage that has already cost the lives of many of our soldiers, and one that your Highness may perhaps deem it expedient to communicate to the Imperial armada before proceeding to engage these new adversaries. It was by neglecting to render the Macedonian phalanx more moveable, and the men individually more skilful in the use of arms, that Perseus was defeated by the Roman at
" • Sir Cavalier,' said Count Tilly, taking off his hat, and making a polite reverence, for Tilly was a courteous man, · I also have conned Livy and Polybius, but do not find in either of these writers that the Greeks or Romans knew anything about guns or gunpowder, so I do not see what good we can here derive from their example. As to the other matters you have mentioned, I thank you for the information you have brought me, and laud your zeal in wishing to improve our tactics ; but the system that always made us victorious when contending against the bravest enemies in the world, though commanded by such great generals as Anhalt, Mansfield, the Duke of Brunswick, and Christian of Denmark,—that system, I say, is quite good enough for me, who am always for lelling well alone.'
* The princes, generals, and staff-officers present, taking their tone from the complaisant smile with which Tilly concluded his triumphant reply, were exceedingly facetious at the expense of the obscure soldado.
The Butler jested in Irish, the Campbellos and Campo-bellos in Italian, the Macdonells in Gaelic, the rest in German and Slavonic. The object of these taunts bore himself right calmly, merely saying as he withdrew, that he hoped the valour of the troops and the skill of the officers would amply atone for their tactical deficiency; and that he further trusted the gentlemen present would all be as facetious after their meeting with the Swedes as they were at the present moment; concluding with the French line,
• La raillerie est belle après une victoire.' “Little was thought of the 'matter at the time, and it would most likely have goon been forgotten, had not subsequent events too painfully impressed it on our recollection. The facility, in fact, with which the Swedes moved, and the skill with which they used their arms, enabled them alone to defeat our valiant armada, even after their Saxon allies had been routed. Flight alone saved those of our host who escaped. Amongst the most distressed on this occasion, was naturally our hitherto unconquered commander: having performed wonders of generalship, he was at length obliged to fly the field, closely pursued by a Swedish ritt-meister, known, from his length of limb, by the name of Long-legged Frank. The pursuer had already wounded the noble Tilly by firing a pistol at him, and was endeavouring to despatch our chieftain by striking him on the head with the butt-end of the weapon. At this moment there passed, at full speed, an Irish ensign, a gentleman of ancient family, and who promised to be himself the father of a long line of descendants : his name was Morgan O'Dogherty; and he was well known in our armada for his great discretion, and for the sharpness of his spurs. To him the general applied in his distress, calling upon him for instant aid against the heretic Swede ; but the ensign never allowed his chivalrous feelings to get the better of his discretion : he therefore kept on bis course, merely replying, “Thank your grace, thank you, my own head is quite well, and I am always for following your grace's maxim of- letting well alone; long life to your honour! • A plague of the Irishman,' said Francis, Duke of Luneburgh, who came up at the time, and saved Tilly by shooting the Swedish ritt-meister through the body; "and may the fiend drive his maxims out of his head.' * The butt-end of a Swedish pistol will do that just as well, my dear duke,' answered Tilly; I have just felt its effects, and can answer for its being a knock-down argument-sans réplique.'”
ON TERMS EMPLOYED BY FRACTICAL GUNNERS, AND ON THE
IMPORTANCE OF CORRECT PRACTICE-TABLES, &c. As a confusion of terms in the theory or practice of gunnery is to be deprecated as having a direct tendency to perplex inquirers, it is believed that any attempt to apply new meanings to old terms must be pernicious in the degree in which such attempt prevails ; and it is imagined, that the truth of ihis proposition is so axiomatic, that any deviation from the rule resulting from it must be attributable to inadvertence, since it is not to be supposed that any man taking the trouble, or attempting to elucidate difficulties, would, in the very effort to do so, intentionally and unnecessarily generate others. It is therefore trusted, that the observations which may follow will be attributed, not to captious criticism, but to a desire to assist, in a degree however limited, in promoting the benefit of the United Service.
The term range, in the British service, as applied to the effect of guns, has hitherto, at all elevations, conveyed an idea of the first graze of the shot on the plane which coincides with that tangent to the gun-wheel or truck which would be parallel to the axis of the bore were it laid at 0 elevation.
At page 367 of this Journal, (No. for July) J. H. has inserted a practice. table for 32-pounders, in which range is made to express, at all elevations, what the French term le but en blunc artificiel, at elevations exceeding that of the line of metal ; that is, the point where the trajectory of the shot cuts for the second time the plane coincident with the centre of the mouth of the gun. So long as terms are not apt to be misunderstood, their selection is a matter of no essential consequence : perhaps the sense applied to range by J. H., if universally adopted, or rather, if adopted from the first, might have obviated some difficulties which now present themselves, particularly as the height of the bore of the gun above the plane on which the range is mea, sured, would cease to be an object of consideration ; but it would be difficult, from practice, to establish ranges upon this principle; the shot not telling upon the object aimed at, would afford no criterion, as the height of the trajectory at a particular point, not the amplitude of the curve, would be the subject of enquiry. A series of screens would, therefore, at all times be necessary; and it must be obvious, that the adoption of this change would lead to confusion, for by comparing the table of J. H. with previous practice, a great disparity must appear, particularly at elevations under 3o, since the ranges measured on the plane on which the gun stands, ought to be greater than those measured" by a line supposed to be extended horizontally from the mouth of the piece," exactly to that extent which the shot would pass over in descending the space between the parallel planes.
The naval service, in adopting tables constructed from practice made ashore and according to the ordinary acceptation of the terms range and point-blank, have only to lay their guns at a point in their adversary's side three feet and a half above the water line; then, supposing the results follow which the practice-tables promise, will the shot take effect exactly upon the water-line ?
J. H. has also revived the idea of a right-line range, the limits of which he fixes at one hundred yards, as, he observes, the shot's trajectory at that distance nearly coincides with the horizontal line ; and he asserts, “that the term point-blank conveys, generally, a notion of a right-line projection ; and that most practical gunners understand it to be so much of the first portion of a shot's trajectory as coincides, or nearly coincides with a right line, when the piece is directed horizontally. Now, it is apprehended that, with the present race of practical gunners serving in the artillery, the term point-blank has never conveyed such a notion. The point-blank range is understood by them to be the range ascertained by the point whereat the shot, by its first graze, cuts the plane which coincides with that tangent to the gun-wheel which is parallel to the axis of the gun. If the axis of the bore be horizontal, the point-blank range is defined by the first graze on the horizontal plane on which the gun stands*.
J. H. may probably be a naval officer, and therefore have referred to that respectable body of men, naval gunners, who have hitherto, perhaps, been more remarkable for bravery and seamanship, than for any knowledge of the principles which intluence the trajectory of shot, although the establishment recently instituted for their instruction will, no doubt, speedily anticipate every desire which might be formed for their improvement.
* We have before attempted a definition of point-blank; it may, therefore, be less incumbent on us to enlarge on this term. See Vol. vii. p. 76. At page 78 of that volume, 24th line from the top, for first, read for the second time; and at page 478, 4ih line from the top, for 2384, read 3384,