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lipped mouth, and a square, determinedbut
not massive, chin, and bushy whiskers.  He
performs even his most trivial duties, as if they
were divine laws.  He was moulded in the
stern old school.  He dresses himself more
carefully than ever on Sunday, and with natty walking
cane in hand, sallies forth on that afternoon,
when not engrossed by duty, to slaughter
rambling cooks and housemaids by the score.  He
walks in a fine drill-book style, based on the
balance step gaining ground, chest advanced
boldly, shoulders well back, and epigastric
imperceptible under the pressure of tight waist-belt.
He wears neat-fitting shiny boots, and well
creased trousers which he invariably calls
"pajamas," with a small forage cap set on
three hairs, as the wits have it, which he
characterises as his "topee."  He is the subject
of much innocent tenderness from several
serving maids and one washerwoman; but his
own truest and best tenderness is that which
binds him to a little drummer-boy, on whom he
lavishes all the kindness at his callnotably in
the way of brandy-balls and cakes.  The little
urchin was born on board ship, and afterwards
lost his mother.  The poor boy's father also died
soon afterwards of cholera.  This touched our
sergeant's heart, and the child was adopted by a
married woman of the regiment, who received
the cost of his sustenance from our dear old
bushywhiskered disciplinarian.  Time rolled
on and the child went to the regimental school
and so became a veritable drummer-boy.

The boy is full of boyish antics, but in the
matter of "soldiering" is as neat and almost as
methodical as his benefactor, the model upon
which he has formed himself.  This is a never
failing source of pride to our outwardly grim
Sergeant Cropper.  The banter that goes on
between the man and the boy is pleasant to
hear, for it never exceeds the bounds of respectful
playfulness on the one side, and of charming
though staid complaisance on the other.
The drummer boy is eager to go abroad to his
regiment, and I fervently hope that if he do
not tread exactly in the steps of his tutor, he
may adopt many of his best and most worthy
characteristics. By-and-by Cropper may be in
the militia or the volunteers, or perhaps a tough
old barrack sergeant with the sympathising
washerwoman to keep house.  May he see his
boy come home a man with medals on his
breast, to break bread with him again for the
sake of the gentle old times!

Dobbs is our shoemaker, a very feeble
consumptive little creature with a small wife and
an excessively large family.  He visits the
Barrack Room only to answer to his name at the
tattoo roll-call, or on special occasions, as
kit-inspection or muster-parade.  Dobbs is a very
genial andwithin certain limits, imposed
conjugally, a decidedly wet soul.  He is a gossip of
the first water, and retails unheard of canards.
He has a very professional appearance as I
see him now, stirrup on foot passed over
the sole of the ammunition boot on his knee
ready for nailing, greasy leather apron, and
sleeves tucked up to the elbow, revealing a
pair of bony arms, painfully suggestive of
chronic atrophy.

Ah!  Our congress of worthies in this and
other Barrack Rooms in these Barracks, is a
motley one; we have old haggard men who
have served in nearly every part of the globe,
and have periodical twinges of liver complaint,
heart disease, or consumption; we have young
men with an ardent longing for foreign service,
which is speedily and frequently gratified; we
have men who are midway in their service,
and are undecided whether to return to their
former callings in civil life, or go on manfully
to the distant goal of a life pension to sustain
them when they are too helpless to work.  We
are a motley collection of poor fellows, not over
well taught, and with but a poor little stake
in life.  Still we are a bit of life after all, and
the world outside the Barrack Room might
like us better if it knew us better.



WE three
Old fogies be;
The crow's foot crawls, the wrinkle comes,
Our heads grow bare
Of the bonnie brown hair,
Our teeth grow shaky in our gums.
Gone are the joys that once we knew,
Over the green, and under the blue,
Our blood runs calm, as calm can be,
And we're old fogiesfogies three.

Yet if we be
Old fogies three,
The life still pulses in our veins;
And if the heart
Be dulled in part,
There's sober wisdom in our brains.
We may have heard that Hope's a knave,
And Fame a breath beyond the grave.
But what of thatif wiser grown,
We make the passing day our own,
And find true joy where joy can be,
And live our lives, though fogies three?

Ayethough we be
Old fogies three,
We're not so dulled as not to dine;
And not so old
As to be cold
To wit, to beauty, and to wine.
Our hope is less, our memory more,
Our sunshine brilliant as of yore.
At four o'clock i' th' afternoon
'Tis warm as morning and as boon.
And every age bears blessings free,
Though we're old fogiesfogies three.


When happy skylarks soar and sing,
To welcome back the tardy spring,
And daisies peep and roses blow,
Give, oh give me, Clos Vougeot.

When summers breathe the promise free
Of bounteous vines and grapes to be,
And autumns pay what summers owe,
Give, oh give us, Clos Vougeot.