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man dropped a bayonet through his foot; how
another blew two of his fingers off; how a third
was shot in the back; how a marker at a target
was killed last week by a ricochet bullet. Our
sham-fight, he thinks, will be a small Waterloo,
if men like Jones don't take care. Jones, upon
this, flings a joke at the right file, which excites
a laugh! Then Filer, looking more than usually
acid and Don Quixoty, is obliged to growl out,
"No talking, gentlemen, in the ranks!"

There is a slight grumble at this, for
volunteers are volunteers; and who is Filer, that he
should torment us before our time? On we
march, striking up our famous marching tune
written by the celebrated Bononcinian
invigorating tune; and now once through Chickton
we are at Badgerbury, where an adjutant of
Sir Edward Hardstock's charges us, and tells us
our position in the field.

The 14th Downshire Land Marines are behind
us, with the brassiest band I ever suffered from.
Before us, with firm but springy step, march the
20th Downshire Howitzers to certain victory:
their red plumes vibrating in the wind, and their
enormous drum getting beside itself with excitement.
We reach the Downs through a park of
stubby oaks with boughs quite tied in knots; but
we first enter a meadow, and fall violently on
a cask full of ginger-beer, then march on the
grassy plateau, where the fight is to commence.
It is a beautiful elevated down, with far blue
horizon, and long slopes of grass, grizzled with
the heat, speckled black here and there with
clumps of furze, that here and there break into
plantations of small firs, and thorny jungles of
bramble, wild rose, and such poor orphan and
neglected flowers.

We pile armsa most difficult operation
with volunteers, for no one ever knows how
to lock his ramrod, whether below or above.
At last they are stacked, we can " stand clear"
and lie down as we like, and dream over
the blue distance, or look at and covet the
pretty Amazons, who, in tight-breasted riding-
habits and bewitching round hats and pheasants'
feathers, showing all burnished in the sun,
canter about.

The 110th Downshire Foot Dragoons are
approaching, their green feathers dancing in the
wind; then come the Land Marines, folding
up their mackintosh capes, their red-banded caps
moving even and true. The officers, slightly
self-conscious, are marching bravely on the
flanks, their silver whistles and chains shining
pleasantly, their silver lace gleaming in the

On a fiery horse up dashes Captain Bagshot.
In the distance I see Sir Edward Hardstock
riding, surrounded by men in green and scarlet;
the field-day has commenced in earnest. Oh
that we (the rhubarb and green) may be found
equal to the occasion, and escape the sneering
of those dreadful supercilious Land Marines!
"Stand to!" is the cry. We seize our rifles and
unlock them from the stacks. "Eyes right!
dress!" We form two deep. " Right wheel!"
Filer comes round and entreats us to look to the
left, and to keep touching the elbow of our right
hand men. " Halt!— dress!" Those who have
lagged behind or broken the line now scramble
forward, and in an injured way elbow in.

But already while we are doing this the bugles
arc sounding, and the Land Marines are being
thrown out as skirmishers. There they are, five
hundred yards away, on the edge of that stubble-
field, in a long line: two men at every six
yards or so. See how they open fire! Slowly
rolls the smoke from rifle to rifle, one man of
the two always keeping his piece loaded. How
the fire flows from right to left! Now the
Downshire Foot Dragoons race forward at the
double and relieve them, dashing through the
openings, and kneeling beyond them while they
fall back.

Diagonal marches, marching on alignments
in open columns of sub-division, wheeling
forwards by subdivisions, form line, marches in
echelon by sections, are going on all over the
downsall set a going, and kept a going, and
watched by the eagle eye of that wonderful Sir
Edward Hardstock.

Close to us the Land Marines, a great dark
mass of green feathers, have thrown themselves
into a square to receive supposititious cavalry.
Click-click, click-click, go the bayonets, and down
go the front ranks on their knees; the square
is one great geometrical hedgehog bristling with
steel. Now they load, I see the steel ramrods
flicker in the sun, I hear them ring down the
grooved barrels, I hear the hoarse cry of
commanda measured instant, and there is a
tremendous exploding roar as of a mine going up
through the air. It is not as of six hundred
rifles, but as of one enormous cannon.

"Form rallying square!" shouts a voice.
Away pelts the not very swift-footed Bagshot,
and sword perpendicular, plants himself forty
yards off. Away we pelt after him and drop
down into square, fixing bayonets as we run.
Now back into line for " file firing" from
right of companies. The signal to pull the
trigger is the sound of the extreme right-hand
man's gun, the rap of the hammer of his rifle
on the little copper hat of his percussion cap.
Bang. Bang!

"Very well! gentlemen," says Filer, " but a
little too quick; always make a pause of slow
time after coming to the ' present.' " Ah! It is
all very well to preach, Filer, but think of the
sympathetic acceleration of pulse the excitement
produces. Why, I no longer wonder that in the
old war the French grenadiers scarcely used the
ramrod, but rammed the but on the ground
after putting the cartridge in at the muzzle,
and fired. No wonder that that strange
taciturn French Emperor thinks of unsighting the
rifles, since in real fighting the French soldiers
seldom stay to use their sights. It is no use in
firing a volley to try and keep your gun back
off it goes, and you hardly know when you touch
your own trigger.

"Now load and fire in twos, quick as you can,
judging your own time!" Twist off the top of
the blue cartridge, pour in the coarse black