ence, as to the injurious treatment of having delivered the island from of the republic; and appeared firin oppression. in the hopes of victory.

The Corsicans now talk differently - The Genoese minister at London, of King Theodore. Some of them, made strong interest against the Cor: who had most faith in his finespeeches, sicans; and, on the, 24th of July, still extol him to the skies, to supe 1736, her Majesty, the Queep-regent port their own judgment; others, of Great Britain, issued out her who looked upon him as an impose royal proclamation, prohibiting any tor, and never joined heartily in his of his Majesty's subjects from fur measures, represent him as a kind nishing provisions or assistance to of Wat Tyler, a King of a rabble; the malcontents of Corsica.

but the most knowing and judicious, After having been about eight and the general himself, consider months in Corsica, Theodore per him in the moderate light in which ceived, that the people began to cool he has now been represented ; and in their affections towards him, and own, that he was of great service in did not act with the same resolution reviving the spirit of the nation, as before. He therefore wisely deter- which, after a good many years of mined to leave them for a little, and try constant war, was beginning to his fortune again upon the continent. droop, hut which Theodore restored, So, after having laid down a plan of while he rekindled the sacred fire of administration, to be observed in his liberty. absence, he quitted the island, in the The Genoese, eager to repress the month of November.

rise in 1734, hired some Swiss and He went to Holland, and there Grisons, who, from being accus. he was successful enough to get cre- tomed to such a country at home dit to a great extent from several might scour the mountain of Corrich merchants, particularly Jews, sica. But these soldiers found it no who trusted him with cannon, and easy matter to scour mountains, other warlike stores, to a great value, where the natives were continually under the charge of a supercargo. firing upon them, and had number. With these, he returned to Corsica, less ways of escaping. They soon in 1739; and, on his arrival, he put saw that they had made a bad bar. to death the supercargo, that he might gain, and that they gave the Genot have any trouble frum demands noese too much blood for their money. being made upon him.

But France, who has ever had an By, this time, as shall be after- eye to this island, now began to be wards shewn, the French had become apprehensive, that the Corsicans so powerful in the island, that, als might intirely throw off the yoke of though Theodore threw in bis supply Genoa; in which case they would of warlike stores, he did not incline either become a free state, which the to venture his person, the Genoese powers of Europe would, from a having set a high price upon his head. mutual jealously, protect; or, per

He therefore chose to relinquish haps, would put themselves under his throne, and give up his views of the sovereignty of some great naambition for safety, furnishing a re- tion. She resolved then to force them markable example, how far a daring back under the dominion of Genoa, and desperate spirit may go; for, had which she has since, from time to Theodore had a little more prudence, time, endeavoured to do; for, by and some better fortune, he and his constant negociations with that reposterity might have worn the crown public, France has such an ascen. of Corsica, upon the generous title dancy, that she may command, when

she pleases, whatever belongs to it; bers would enlist who are now reas fully appears from the last treaty strained by the apprehension of befor taking possession of Corsica. ing fixed for life to a particular ser

vice, which at one period might be

desirable, but at the expiration of REMARKS ON THE METHODS OF six or seven years may, from a vae RECRUITING, AND ON THE riety of causes, cease to possess the

SYSTEM OF FLOGGING, same inducements. The chief alarm AS PRACTISED IN THE BRITISH of parents would subside, and cu. ARMY.

riosity, pride, and an aversion to [By Colonel Sir Rob. Wilson.] servile labour would almost super

sede the necessity of any bounty. In order to appreciate the pro- A better class of men would em. posed plan duly, the checks to re- brace the profession: and those who eruiting must be first ascertained, quitted at the expiration of their and I have no doubt that they are capitulation would not only be rea. comprised in the present system of dy and capable to assist in the home EN LISTING FOR LIFE, AND THE defence, but virtually act as so maFREQUENCY OF CORPORAL PUNISH- ny recruiting serjeants for the army. MENT.

The independence of an EnglishIt is strange, that in a free coun- man naturally recoils at the prostry a custom so repugnant to frec- pect of bondage, which gradually dom-as enlisting for life and the produces discontent against the bent particular character of the British even of inclination. How many men constitution, should ever have been are there who have now not the introduced, but more singular that faintest wish to leave their own esthe practice should have been con. tates, even for a journey into anotinued after every other nation in ther country, but who, if restrained Europe had abandoned it as impoli- by any edict from quitting England, tic, and as too severe an imposition would find this island too narrow upon the subject.

to contain them, would draw their If in those countries, where the breath convulsively as if they craved inferior order of society are born in free air, and feel all the mental anvassalage, and where the will of the guish of the prisoner in a dungeon. Sovereign is immediate law, this What is the inference to be now power has been relinquished in order fairly drawn from the perseverance to incline men voluntarily to enlist; in the system of enlisting for life? surely there is strong presumptive Is it not that the British service is evidence that the general interests so obnoxious and little conciliating, of the service are improved instead that if the permission to retire were of being injured by this more liberal accorded, the ranks would be alton consideration. For however requi. gether abandoned, and the skeleton site such an amendment is upon the only remain as an elernal and principle of due attention to the mournful monument of the wretchrights of men, still, unless the ef- edness of a soldier's condition ? Is fects were not more directly benefi- it not a declaration to the world that cial to the government, there is no the service is so ungrateful to the ground to suppose that in many feelings of the soldiery, that when states the experiment of reformation once the unfortunate victim is entrap would have been hazarded. The ped it is necessary to secure his alle. advantages which would accrue to giance by a perpetual state of confine the British army are obvious ; num- ment ? Such must be the conclu.

sion which the present system would It is however to be hoped, that sanction, if the desire of enlisting the day is not remote when our com even under the present discouraging lonies shall cease to be such a claim circumstances did not offer positive upon the active population of this counter evidence.* I feel confident country: That charnel house must in the assertion, that nine-tenths of be closed for ever against British the chief officers of the army would troops !--The soldier who dies in the recommend the limitation of service field is wrapped in the mantle of hoas to time, and equally so, that in nour, and the pall of glory is extenthis case the want of men would ne- ded over his relatives ; but in a warver embarrass the government, whose fare against, climates, the energy of sole attention would then be re- the man is destroyed before life is quired to provide the means of pay- extinguished; he wastes into an inment.

glorious grave, and the calamitous The only objection which is ever termination of his existence offers no advanced against the alteration, is cheering recollections to relieve the founded upon the difficulty of ar- affliction of his loss. ranging the army in our colonies. But even if this destructive serBut in time of war this inconvenio vice should be prolonged, there is ence would cease; and in peace the greater necessity for adopting surely there is no difficulty to make that system which may be a couns perpetual changes if necessary, since terpoise to the havock. If hope, the our large fleets are continually pas- most durable and fascinating pasa sing and repassing. But if the in- sion of the mind be but restored to convenience should be still greater, the soldier, the youth of the counit never can be of sufficient magnitry will flock in crowds to their tude to counteract the benefits of standards. It is not that a soldier the measure. The officers of govern- expects a long duration of life, but ment may have additional trouble human nature is not so servile as to and business, but the redundant bear with resignation the thought of supply to the army, its tribute to being for ever deprived of the rights justice, and the brave efficient ser- of civil liberty ; and the idea of pervants of the public, will ensure re- petual servitude should be intolera. turns more than equivalent to any ble to Englishmen. expence or augmented employment. The second and equally strong check * The enlisting of the nulitia last war,

to the recruiting of the army, is the the disposition of the army of reserve,

FREQUENCY OF CORPORAL PUNISH, all of whom would have entered into MENT. This is truly a most delithe army, if the same allowances for cate subject, but when the new ortheir families could have been conti ganization of the whole military sysnued, and the present desire of the ini

tem is under consideration, and has litia, are proofs that in.nale spirit coun- so much excited the public attenteracts in a strong degree the resistance

tion, a fair investigation of all the which the system opposes. The expe-' riment of limiting the time of service

impediments, and an enquiry into would by no means lessen the supply

asen the supply the abuses which operate to the which the present mode furnished to prejudice of the service, becomes the army, because men who are dis- no longer an unwarrantable interposed to enlist for life would gladly en- ference. list for a shorter period. The chances

I feel convinced that I have no are therefore in favour of the alteration; nor would the prospect of soon quitting

object but ihe good of the service, the service cause an indifference to cha

and consequently to proinote the racter, but, on the contrary, increase commander in chief's views, and that the value of a good name,

iny feelings are solely influenced by

a love of humanity, a grateful sense There is no mode of punishment só of duty to brave men, and not by a disgraceful as flogging, and none false ambition of acquiring popula. more inconsistent with the military rity. If I did not think the subject character, which should be esteemed of the most essential importance, no as the essence of honour and the motive should induce me to bring pride of manhood; but when what it forwards; if I was not aware, that should be used but in very extreme however eager the commander in cases as the ultimum supplicium, prochief was to interpose 'his authority, ducing the moral death of the cri. that the correction of the abuse does minal, becomes the common penalty not altogether depend upon his veto, for offences in which there is no and cannot, with due regard to the moral turpitude, or but a petty viopeculiar circumstances of his situa. lation of martial law, the evil retion, be required to emanate ab- quires serious attention. ruptly from him. My appeal is How many soldiers, whose prime made to the officers of the army and of life has been passed in the sermilitia, for there must be no marked vice, and who have behaved with discrimination between these two unexceptionable conduct, hare heen services, notwithstanding there may whipt eventually for an accidental be a great difference, in their dif- indiscretion; an absence from tatferent modes of treating the soldiery. ton-beating, or even a dirty shirt.

I shall sedulously avoid all per. Intoxication is an odious vice, and sonal allusions.--The object in view since the Duke of York has been at is of greater magnitude than the ac- the head of the army, officers have cusation of individual malefactors. ceased to pride themselves upon the -I shall vot enter into particulars insensate capability of drinking; but, of that excess of punishment which nevertheless, flogging is too severe has in many instances been attended as a general punishment, for what with the most fatal consequences !-I has been the practice of officers, will not by quoting examples, re- and also inost decidedly fails in corpresent a picture in too frightful a recting the disposition to drink.-colouring for patient examination; Cleanliness is a virtue, and highly but, nevertheless, having passed the essential for the health of the sol. Rubicon, I cannot recede from the dier; but surely there are a thousand enterprize, and the cause inust be ways of enforcing attention to dress, advocated with resolution tempered and producing a love of decent apby discretion.

pearance, without having recourse The present age is a remarkable to such rigor as corporal punish. epoch in the history of the world. ment. Absence from quarters is a Civilization is daily making the most great fault, and must be checked ; rapid progress, and humanity is tri- but is there no allowance to be made umphing hourly over the last ene- for young men, and the temptations mies of mankind, the slave merchants. wbich may occur to seduce such an But whilst the African excites the occasional neglect of duty: would compassion of the nation, and en- not confinement for an evening or gages the attention of the British two afterwards be a sufficient morlegislature, the British soldier, their tification ? fellow countryman, the gallant faith- Officers are too familiarized to confül protector of their liberties and sider soldiers as mere machines who champion of their hunour, is daily are insensible to kind treatment, and exposed to suffer under the abuse of on whose minds no reasoning can opethat power with which ignorance or rate ; but if they would remember a bad disposition may be armed. that man is an intellectual being,

susceptible of reflection and endowed and then the impression would be with faculties, they should at least advantageous; but the eye is now try the experiment fairly, and en- 30 familiarized to such spectacles, deavour to ascertain whether those that the sight is no longer sickening vicious habits to which the lower or disgusting, and consequently, as classes are often addicted, may not indifference gains ground, hope of be corrected by lenient measures, improvement by example must reand a frequent appeal to their cha- cede. There is no maxim more true racter as soldiers. I am positive than that cruelty is generated in that the amour propre of man, ex- cowardice, and that humanity is incept in very bad subjects indeed, is separable from courage. The ingealways to be excited ; that the es nuity of officers should be exercised prit du corps of regiments may al. 10 devise modes of mitigating the ways be formed, and that every solo punishment and yet maintaining dier may be rendered proud of his discipline. If the heart be well disprofession, interested in the preser posed, a thousand different methods vation of its honour, and be sense of treating offences will suggest bly affected by its disgrace. Edu. themselves, but to prescribe positive cated in the 15th light dragoons, I penalties for breaches of duty is im. was early instructed to respect the possible, since no two cases are ever soldier; that was a corps before esactly similar. which the tri igles were never plan- Qui fruitur poena ferus est; legumque ted, where each man felt an indi


Vindictam praestare sibi. Diis proxividual spirit of independence, walk

{mus ille est ed erect as if conscious of his value

Quem ratio non ira movet ; qui facta as a man and a soldier; where af.

rependens fection for his officer and pride in Consilio punire potest. his corps were so blended, that du- Unfortunately many officers will not ty became a satisfactory employgive themselves the trouble to consi. ment, and to acquire for each new der how they can be merciful; and if distinction the chief object of their a return was published of all regia wishes. With such men every en mental punishments within the last terprize was to be attempted which two years, the number would be as could be executed by courage and much a subject of astonishment as rea devotion, and there was a satisfac- gret. I knew a colonel of Irish mition in commanding them, which litia, happily now dead, who flogged could never have been derived from in one day seventy of his men, and. a system of severity.

I believe, punished several more the The sense of shame is the feeling next morning; but notwithstanding which should be worked upon unto this extensive correction, the regi. less the subject is incorrigibly de- ment was by no means improved. praved, and then he is unfit to en- Corporal punishments never yet joy the advantages of a soldier's slo reformed a corps, but they have tuation, but should be sent to soine totally ruined many a man who station where he could do no mis. would have proved, under milder chief by the influence of his evil treatment, a meritorious soldier. communication, and where he might They break the spirit without amenbe employed in coustant laborious ding the disposition.-Whilst the duties.

lash strips the back, despair writhes Corporal punishment ought to be round the heart, and the miserable so rare in the British service, that : culprit, viewing himself as fallen whenever inflicted, such an event below the rank of his fellow species, should be considered as remarkable, can no longer attempt the recovery VOL. IX.

2 %

« VorigeDoorgaan »