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officers to receive him on a footing of perfect equality. But the parties rarely amalgamate; they have no ideas, pursuits, or subjects of conversation in common; any close intimacy or association is unpleasant on both sides. The newly-raised officer is very frequently married, and consequently would not live at the mess; and the wife may lose for ever old and pleasing associations, without gaining any new ones that can recompense her for their loss. Always with none, or the most trifling means beyond his pay, he is consequently unable, on that account, to be much mixed in the course of life with the other officers. Thus, from being a very superior being in the caste he quits, he becomes of a very low order in that which he enters; and many deserving noncommissioned officers themselves acknowledge, that it is by no means the kind of reward they are at all inclined to court.

Decorations and good-service pensions are far better adapted for rewarding the non-commissioned officer or private soldier than commissions, and would, generally speaking, be much preferred by the recipient. If the order of merit be introduced, it will supply in some measure such means of reward.

It is impossible, while on this subject, to pass over without remark the sentiments, as reported to have been uttered by a well-known statesman of high station, at a mechanics' institute, to the following effect, speaking of the war :

"It was not in courage the enemy has failed, though no doubt their troops in that respect were inferior to our own; nor is it by English skill that they have been overcome, whether by government or generals, or by whomsoever directed because I think that in these respects we have nothing to boast of over other nations (applause); but that in which the great superiority of our armies has consisted has been the intelligence which has penetrated to the very lowest ranks of the service. (Loud applause.) It has not been admirals of our fleets, and generals and superior officers of our ar mies, who have known what they ought to do in those unexpected circumstances which are incidental to a state of warfare, but every man in the army, every brave soldier and sailor in our service, has

shown, when called upon, resources and intelligence which have guided the operations of the whole, and enabled them to produce those great results which you have seen. (Loud applause).”

We would submit for consideration whether the utterance, from such authority, of such sentiments to such an audience, be not catering unduly to popular prejudices, fomenting them, and running the risk of raising class against class, in the very line where it might tend to the most serious results.

The only illustrations- and they are faint enough-that could be given of the superior intelligence shown by the soldiers are, that some sensible letters have been written by soldiers, and some foolish ones by officers; but that might occur in any business, and is not to be made a plea for a general superiority of one over the other; and it is to be observed that the good productions were good for the class of soldier, and the bad were bad for the class of officer. Assume the station of the writer to be reversed, and neither will perhaps appear remarkable.

But, it may be said, these obstacles to raising officers from the ranks do not occur with other nations why should they with us? The fact is, that the military service among the Continental nations is on a totally different footing. It is with them the highest profession any individual can espouse, while it is far from being so with us. Among the Continental nations, the troops are raised by conscription, from all classes: a great number, therefore, of the gentry and aristocracy enter into the ranks, from which they are speedily transferred to be officers, and so many are included in the promotions to commissions from the ranks, while a very great number of the rest of the soldiers are from very superior classes of life, with few exceptions, to those in the British service. It will be easily perceived, then, how much more appropriate it may be to raise soldiers to officers in those other services than in our own.

Another argument is brought forward, as forming an objection to this system with us, and may be worthy of consideration, although many may

be inclined to dispute it which is, that the soldiers do not like to be commanded by officers who have been raised from among themselves. It is said, and with much truth, that there is a strong feeling which pervades the middle, and even lower, orders of Englishmen (and perhaps, more particularly, Irishmen), of respect for the aristocracy; and that they prefer being ruled over by them.

It is observed, that in our country, more than perhaps any other, there is a struggle among the prosperous to get into the society immediately above them: it is an object of pride, although of no other advantage, while those who are left behind decry the "upstarts;" and it is only in the succeeding generation that the position of the family is firmly established. It has been thought that these same impulses act prejudicially to the estimation in which the officer raised from the ranks is held by his late comrades.

It may be said that all these arguments are founded on the description of class now almost universally engaged as soldiers, and that the object is to obtain them from a superior order; but this object will be found, on consideration, to be most difficult of accomplishment, and, if practicable at all, must be done as a whole, or if by parts and degrees, let that be studied and defined with due deliberation; but to commence by assuming our soldiers to be of the superior order, and giving them its advantages, is (to use a vulgar expression)

to put the cart before the horse. In fact, we can hardly conceive the condition in which the common soldiers can be placed, with due regard to the discipline and efficiency of the military service, and with any reasonable degree of economy, which would much raise the class from which they are now levied, considering the opening there is, in other lines of life, of far superior prospects.

The immediate cause of the pressure on the public mind for this advancement of the soldier, has arisen from the occasional acts of great intrepidity performed by individuals during the present war; on which there is at once an exclamation, Why is he not promoted, or, if a sergeant, made an officer? Now, it may be noticed that, although it by no means follows that the person so distinguishing himself may not be a very good character otherwise, it is a melancholy subject for reflection, that very many of the most gallant fellows in the army are given to drink, and sometimes are otherwise of inferior character; and consequently, although their gallantry should be rewarded, it is impossible to recompense them in the particular way advocated. As regards the infusion of spirited blood among the officers, that body has shown that, whatever other accusations may be heaped upon them, it is impossible to deny the gallant devotion they have peculiarly displayed on every occasion, and how little, consequently, the principle is required on that account.

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh.

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"POETS," said the ancient wisdom, "are not made, but born." We have made miraculous progress in all the arts of manufacture since the time of this saying, but we have not been able to controvert the judgment of our forefathers. Education, refinement, taste, and talent, are great things in their way, and men do wonders with them; but we have not fallen yet upon a successful method of bringing down the divine spark into the marble, let us work it ever so curiously. The celestial gift in these new times, as in the old, comes down with divine impartiality, yet seldom into the tenement most specially built and garnished for its reception. We can make critics, connoisseurs," an enlightened audience," but, let us labour at it as we will, we cannot make a poet.

And indeed, to tell the truth, it is but small help we can give, with all our arts and ingenuities, even to the perfecting of the poet born. Science discusses the subject gravely-at one time troubled with apprehensions lest her severe shadow should kill the singer outright, as Reason killed Love -at another, elate with the happier thought of increasing all his conquests, and sending forth as her own esquire, bearing her ponderous lance and helmet, the glorious boy in his perennial youth. It is a vain speculation. The poet glances past this important figure with a calm eye and


a far-shining smile. His vocation is beyond and beyond the range of all the sciences. The heart and soul that were in the first home, ere ever even spade and distaff were invented, when two forlorn hopeful creatures, wistfully looking back to the sunset of Eden, wistfully looking forward to the solemn nightfall of the drear world without, with all its starry promises of another morning and a higher heaven, were all the human race are world and scope enough for the humanest and most divine of arts. That God has made of one blood all the nations and all the generations of this many-peopled earth, is the argument on which he speaks; that heart answers unto heart all the world over, is the secret of his power. The petulant passion of a child, the heroisms and exultations and agonies of that fantastical sweet youth, over whose unconscious mockery of our real conflict we graver people smile and weep, are of more import to the poet than all the secrets of the earth, and all the wonders of the sky; and he turns

it is his vocation-from the discovery of a planet, forgetting all about it, to make the whole world ring with joy over a cottage cradle, or weigh down the very wings of the winds with wailing over some uncommemorated grave.

Yes, it is a humiliating confessionbut in reality we are quite as like to injure as to elevate our poet by all


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But the post, may the poets, needs other training. For him it is safest that we shut him up with himself. Himself, a separated creature, garlanded and crowned for the sacrifice, is, in one noble concentration, all the ethics, the humanity, and the religion with which he has to do; significances, occult and mysterious, are in every breath of wind that whispers

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There ww and goes of angers; VIS Stakester greatest Nacer among men. The yoING WAS a King, a stateSTAR ↑ VETor, and a propost : the lessze † 18 very youth wie the wire of cempation, when the docks were being sue in the green pastures, and by the quiet waters; and even then the dreaming posteve had need to be wary, and sometimes flashed into sudden lightning at sight of the lion which the stripling sew. He sung out of the tumalt and fulness of his heart-out of the labours, wars, and tempests of his most human and most troubled life: his business in this world was to live, and not to make poems. Yet what songs he made! They are Holy Writ, inspired and sacred; yet they are human songs, the lyrics of a struggling and kingly existence-the overflow of the grand primal human emotions to which every living heart resounds. His "heart moved him," his "soul was stirred within him"true poet-heart-true soul of inspiration! and not what other men might endure, glassed in the mirror of his

own profound poetic spirit, a study of mankind; but of what himself was bearing there and at that moment, the royal singer made his outery, suddenly, and in his haste," to God. What cries of distress and agony are these! what bursts of hope amid the heartbreak! what shouts and triumphs of great joy! For David did not live to sing, but sang because he strove and fought, rejoiced and suffered, in the very heart and heat of life. Let us say a word of King David ere we go further. Never crowned head had so many critics as this man has had in these two thousand years; and many a scorner takes occasion by his failings, and religious lips have often faltered to call him "the man after God's own heart;" yet if we would but think of it, how touching is this name! Not the lofty and philosophic Paul, though his tranced eyes beheld the very heaven of heavens; not John, although the human love of the Lord yearned towards that vehement angel-enthusiast, whose very passion was for God's honour; but on this sinning, struggling, repenting David, who fights and falls, and rises only to fall and fight again-who only never will be content to lie still in his overthrow, and acknowledge himself vanquished -who bears about with him every day the traces of some downfall, yet every day is up again, struggling on as he can, now discouraged, now desperate, now exultant; who has a sore fighting life of it all his days, with enemies within and without, his hands full of wars, his soul of ardours, his life of temptations. Upon this man fell the election of Heaven. And small must his knowledge be, of himself or of his race, who is not moved to the very soul to think upon God's choice of this David, as the man after His own heart. Heaven send us all as little content with our sins as had the King of Israel! Amen.

And then there is Shakespeare: never man among men, before or after him, has made so many memorable people; yet amid all the crowding faces on his canvass, we cannot point to one as the portrait of the painter." He had leisure to make lives and histories for all these men and women, but not to leave a


single personal token to us of himself. The chances seem to be, that this multitudinous man, having so many other things to think of, thought marvellously little of William Shakespeare; and that all that grave, noble face would have brightened into mirthfullest laughter had he ever heard, in his own manful days, of the Swan of Avon. His very magnitude, so to speak, lessens him in our eyes; we are all inclined to be apologetic when we find him going home in comfort and good estate, and ending his days neither tragically nor romantically, but in ease and honour. He is the greatest of poets, but he is not what you call a poetical personage. He writes his plays for the Globe, but, once begun upon them, thinks only of his Hamlet or his Lear, and not a whit of his audience; nor, in the flush and fulness of his genius, does a single shadow of himself cross the brilliant stage, where, truth to speak, there is no need of him. The common conception of a poet, the lofty, narrow, dreamy soul, made higher and more abstract still by the glittering crown of light upon his crested forehead, is entirely extinguished in the broad flood of sunshine wherein stands this Shakespeare, a common man, sublimed and radiant in a very deluge and overflow of genial power. Whether it be true or not that these same marvellous gifts of his would have made as great a statesman or as great a philosopher as they made a poet, it does not lie in our way to discover; but to know that the prince of English poets did his work, which no man has equalled, with as much simplicity and as little egotism as any labouring peasant of his time to see him setting out upon it day by day, rejoicing like a strong man to run a race, but never once revealing to us those laborious tokens of difficulties overcome, which of themselves, as Mr Ruskin says, are among the admirable excellences of Art to perceive his ease and speed of progress, and how his occupation constantly is with his story and never with himself,-what a lesson it is! But alas, and alas! we are none of us Shakespeares. Far above his motives, we would scorn to

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