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But the case 'goes much beyond on to the same central destination, to camps of exercise. If ever the British form part of an audit ineffective because Army is to be organized on an efficient distant from the scene of outlay. And and yet economical footing, it must all this is not to satisfy the demands of be by a
of decen some great administrator with an untralization. Some War Minister must be limited capacity for govorning, some found with sense and firmness enough Napoleon or Frederick who holds all the to carry out a self-denying ordinance, business of the army in his grasp, for and to transform the overgrown depart whom no combination is too large, and ment he rules over, from an office over no detail too small. Our army is governed burdened with executive details, to one by a civilian generally of commonplace of manageable dimensions, charged only ability, who comes and goes as the exiwith duties of supervision. We pride gencies of party determine, who never ourselves on being a practical nation understands and seldorn pretends to and adepts at business, but our army concern himself with details; all this administration, when contrasted with controlling and centralizing and overwhat has been accomplished in other governing is to satisfy the demands of a countries, may well tempt us to ask number of irresponsible officials, who whether our common sense and aptitude never issue an order in their own name, for business have not passed over to and are, as often as not, at loggerheads some other nation.
with each other. And all this waste of have gone by since the Crimean war, power and waste of money-for the and we are really no nearer than we cost of the controlling departments is were then towards proper military out of all proportion to the size of the organization ; the first principles of the army they have to deal with—are merely art have yet to be introduced. And it for administration during peace. Let is curious to remark that while army war break out, and the army be deaffairs have been criticised to weariness spatched to foreign soil, and all this in Parliament, and reforms of all kinds cumbrous machine at once collapses. propounded, the greatest defect of all The War Office officials sink into obhas remained almost unnoticed. The cost scurity ; the Generals emerge from their of the household cavalry, the bloated bondage to the exercise of an unlimited list of Generals, the wrongs of the artil- power and responsibility for which their lery—these and other defects are dwelt antecedents and training render them on with nauseating frequency; but, wholly unprepared ; rules and regulastrangely enough, no reformer has raised tions are thrown to the winds; and the cry for that decentralization which unless a Wellington or a Marlborough is the real want of the army. Merchants comes on the scene, the confusion and and manufacturers accustomed to do mismanagement which arise are even business on the principle of employing worse than the circumlocution which good agents and then trusting them, they succeed. This is what happened have probably no conception of the in 1854; there is little reason to hope degree to which over-centralization has that it would not occur again. been carried in the British Army. Engi The true aim of army reformers neers can hardly drive in a nail, nor com should be, then, we conceive, to secure missaries issue a wisp of straw,
Generals a thorough decentralization of our milican scarcely move a corporal's guard, tary system; and, paradoxical as it may without previous reference to the rabbit appear, we believe that if an Act of warren in Pall Mall ; quires of foolscap Parliament were passed to limit the may be expended in discussing the War Office establishment to a couple of momentous question, whether a brigadier dozen clerks, the first step would be is entitled to an extra barrack-table for taken towards effective army reform. his office ; every voucher recorded for But this is not the place to indicate payment throughout the empire is passed the exact mode in which reforms may
best be effected; it is sufficient here to would be under such conditions, before indicate the want; and provided the an army has settled down to the true principle be distinctly kept in view, realities of campaigning, and when the and all detailed arrangement made sub- attention is strained to catch every inordinate to it, the result cannot be dication of coming events. But nothing otherwise than satisfactory. We may of the kind was visible here. Our just notice that the Prussians have hit informant occupied the same room in upon a system in which the principle which the commander of the army corps contended for may be discerned at every marching through Saarbrücken was point. The system may not be appli taking his luncheon, and the old gentlecable to us, but the leading idea should man was seated there quietly discussing be the same. In Prussia, side by his meal, as if there were no thought of side with the principle of decentraliza- the largest army the world has ever seen tion is that of maintaining a complete moving on outside. Officers came in chain of responsibility throughout all and made their reports, and the General grades. The corps commander has his now and then wrote a brief pencil-note specific powers, which are not en- in reply, but the whole proceeding was croached upon by his superiors, and so done in as calm a fashion as if he were on with the division and brigade generals. answering a dinner invitation. Outside Even the captain of a company in it was just the same. There was little Prussia possesses a degree of independ- or no galloping about of staff officers, no ence in his command which is quite shouting of orders; everybody seemed unknown in our service. The chain of to know what his orders were, and how responsibility extends throughout the to carry them out without interference army, from the Emperor at the head from any one else. Contrast such a picdown to the subaltern with his company- ture with the scene presented by our late section. With us the only chain recog- manoeuvres, ushered in by the pompous nized is of a sort of which all the links announcement that the War Department are fastened to one staple.
officials were working night and day Everybody has heard how Von Roon, upon the preparations-preparations the Prussian War Minister, was found with which properly they should have smoking a leisurely cigar the day after had no concern; officers arriving from war was declared, because, as he ex- all parts of the kingdom to take up some plained, all necessary orders had been duty, the very nature of which was given, and everybody throughout the unknown either to themselves or the army knew what had to be done. The troops they were associated with ; still story embodies in epigrammatic fashion more, contrast it with the state of things the success of a thoroughly decentralized when the manceuvres commenced, the organization; and as another illustra transport department not knowing from tion of the sort of difference produced one hour to another what'they meant to by working an army on common-sense do or how they meant to do it, the principles in peace time, we may cite troops always holding well-justified the account given by an officer, himself doubts whether at the end of a few distinguished in arms, and a most com- miles' march there would be anything petent judge, who was present with the available to eat; still more again, the German army at the outbreak of the late spectacle presented by staff officers war. What most struck him, he said, riding about in a helpless state, was the entire absence of fuss. He inquiring of every passing stranger joined the troops just after the battle where their General was to be foundof Spicheren, when they were hurrying the General himself, on one notable day, through Saarbrücken, pressing on to the riding about in an equally helpless state, front, flushed with the exciting news of asking where was to be found the enemy. a first victory. If ever there be a time The cause of the difference is plain : in
when a certain amount of over-activity the one case people were acting with the į would be natural and excusable, it coolness that is born of habit; in the
other everyone was under the exciting upon sound principles. Indeed, that influence of novelty. And if it be said sort of localization of all branches of that the comparison is not a fair one, our forces which is involved in any because the Prussian army corps are comprehensive system for forming army permanent organizations, and General, reserves, would naturally flow out of staff, and troops are all well acquainted any thorough plan of administrative and accustomed to work with each decentralization. other, whereas in our case, staff, regi We would add one word more. Any ments, and departments were all one who watched the troops under brought hurriedly together—this ad canvas during this late exercise might mission is just the very point con have satisfied himself, had he any tended for. The scene lately enacted doubts on the subject before, that round Aldershot faithfully represents whatever
may be our faults of organiwhat would take place on a larger zation, the military unit—the regiment scale were the army suddenly called on —and the fighting elements are as to take part in a European war—an im sound as ever; and those who watched possible contingency, according to our how the troops were cared for by their present Premier, but still one which officers will probably have discovered the rest of the nation are resolved that in the British regimental officer should be worth providing against ; the nation has got an uncommonly good and the confusion which occurred at article for its money.
Even in the Aldershot, the want of mutual under matter of education, which is supposed standing between the staff and the to be their main deficiency, we believe troops, and, above all, the inefficiency our officers have kept more abreast with of the great civil department without the times than people generally give which the fighting part is helpless, them credit for. Indeed in some most show with perfect significance that the important respects it has gone furreal work of organization has yet to be ther than most armies. In all physical undertaken. We cannot, and need not, respects—in the use of their eyesight imitate servilely the Prussian system, and limbs, as riders across country, which is unsuitable to the conditions we venture to believe that the offiinvolved in our Colonial and Indian cers of the British Army are unriservice, but the principles which under- valled, while for gaining knowledge lie it are applicable to all armies. of country there is no training equal Meanwhile, till some radical change is to fox-hunting. Depressed and supermade, our military administration must seded by the relative rank so probe regarded as on its trial, and it re fusely bestowed on the non-combatant mains to be seen whether the nation branches, the British captain and still possesses force enough to carry out subaltern, although reduced to coma plain reform essential for the mainte parative nobodies, perform their duties, nance of its position among the great often tedious and always monotonous, European Powers, or whether, as some with a zeal and thoroughness that leave declare, our efforts can only culminate nothing to be desired. It is this high in talk, and we are good only for spend- standard of duty, extending through ing money blindly, without knowing every part of the regimental system, how to get a return for it.
which renders our battalions model units, We have made no reference here to and the only complete specimens of good the question of reserves, and to the organization to be found in the army. fusion of the militia with the line, What we now need is statesmanship because, although these are matters of adequate to do justice to the excellent great importance, they are still, in truth, materials at its disposal ; sagacity and matters of detail, which will not be determination of a kind sufficient for difficult of settlement when once army welding them into one harmonious administration has been established
CHRISTINA NORT H.
BY E. M. ARCHER.
“ His life is as a woven rope,
A single strand may lightly part :
Which breaking, breaks her heart."
fashioned, whitewashed kitchen looking
out on the road, where his granddaughter It was early in March, but the winter Christina was standing this afternoon, had been a mild one. The snows had close by the window, with her knitting melted, leaving the snowdrop and the in her hands to catch the last gleam of crocus to show their heads above the soft sunlight; for the twilight was deepening damp earth, and the lilac buds were in the further recesses of the room, and growing larger every day. Even the the glow of the fire was lost in the large White House was not unvisited by grate and wide chimney.corner. tokens of spring; there were a few Even seen by the charm of the flickerdaisies in the grass-plot before the win ing, uncertain light, there was nothing picdows, and the sunshine had crept into turesque or attractive in the bare red-tiled the darkened rooms. It was not a kitchen : nothing, except the figure of cheerful dwelling-place. The brown the girl; a tall, slight figure, in a dark hills surrounded it on all sides but one; blue gown, leaning against the side of a stony, winding road in front divided the window. it from the woods and park enclosures Though her face was in shadow, of Cranford Manor, and the wooded you
could see that she was very pretty ; hill overshadowed it on the south, while beautiful, some people would have said, to the north another hill rose up in the if they had seen her in a passing flush of distance bounding the moor. The gate happiness or excitement. Her eyes were was swinging in the wind, for no one cast down at this moment, but they were had cared to fasten it; and the creepers dark, quick gleaming eyes, which could were hanging down from the wall, for light up at times ; and her mouth was no one had thought of nailing them up. grave, and her face had a cloud upon it; Inside there were long stone passages,
but it was a face across which smiles and large low rooms ;
a wainscotted were driven with the suddenness and study at the back of the house where rapidity which belong only to the time old Mr. North sat with his books, the when sorrow is a stranger and hope is telics of happier days; and an old young
No. 146.- VOL. XXV.
She lived in the midst of poverty and died within Christina. Sooner or later all regret and disappointment, but as yet must end in misery or disappointment. she had not by experience made these Hope was a snare, a folly, a vision to be things her own. As to poverty, she had thrust aside ;-80 she went on singing been used to it nearly all her life, and its dirge, singing it in Christina's ears; made no account of personal privations; but Christina laughed, and shook her she could not remember happier days, head, and would not listen. and hope was still strong within her; She would not listen even this afteryet, insensibly, the atmosphere in which noon, when there seemed to be no escape she lived oppressed her, and she grew from the vexations and household cares : sad and impatient at times, striving to though bitterness and anger were surging free herself from the oppression, and up in her heart, she would not acbelieving, with the strange unquenchable quiesce. ardour of youth, in something higher “There is no end to it, Christina,” and more beautiful which she should her mother had said ; “why will you find some day: looking to the future expect anything else ? Our life must with that half-conscious longing after be a struggle,- it is always so in this change and happiness which belongs to world. Everything ends in disappointa life spent as hers had been, in solitude ment. Be thankful that you have a and narrowness and petty cares.
home, and that nothing worse is likely Her grandfather spoke with a linger- to befall you: you have much to be ing regret, and yet with pride and thankful for.” pleasure, of his earlier days ; days when Then she had answered that she he was the Squire of “the Park ;" when would not believe it—that a change his son had not deceived him and must come some day—that it could not squandered his property; when his be always the same succession of small friends had not turned from him and duties and grievances—that there must his servants deserted him. Her mother, be something higher and happier and too, lived in the remembrance of what more exciting in store for her. What it had been. Her husband had reduced should be she did not know, she did not her to poverty, and died miserably in a even care to imagine ; but she knew foreign land ; but she could still look that it would come. back to the time when she had believed “I cannot grow old like this, and in him, when he had been kind and never have anything, and never see anyloving, and she had thought him heroic; thing, and never know anything. I when his pride in his little daughter had must do something else before I grow called out all the softness of his nature ; into a sad woman like you, mother, who when she had leant upon his strength think only of what is past : and even and thought him true. Yes, these were you have something to look back to." memories even for her, though life had So Christina had said; and her mother taught her a hard lesson, and she had had only sighed in answer, and then she not learnt peace or submission. Now had gone back to her account-books; she was a middle-aged, discontented and Christina had snatched up her woman, and could no longer hope either knitting, and was hanging her head disfor herself or for her child. She had contentedly over it, impatiently moving seen Christina grow up free and frank, her needles, as she stood by the window and beautiful and happy, even in her in the twilight. unsatisfied longing for the glories which Suddenly she looked up at the sound must await her somewhere ; and the of a footstep on the pebbled garden path, mother knew, or thought she knew, that and saw a young man coming towards disappointment and sorrow, and death the house with a basket slung over his in life, were creeping over her girlhood. shoulder. This was Bernard Oswestry, Hope had died within herself, and she her cousin, a near neighbour and conwould have liked that it should have stant visitor at the house. People said