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public to request that in all pending arrangements
for the lodging of our soldiers some
consideration may be shown to the common
soldier's wife who is admitted into barracks;
a consideration to be conceded without wicked
extravagance, we humbly trust, since it is
one of common decency alone. According to
regulation, only five out of every ninety-five
soldiers are allowed to marry; consequently,
no more than that proportion of wives are
allowed residence with their husbands in
barracks. But to suppose that the rule is
adhered to; to suppose that clandestine
marriages do not infinitely outnumber the
prescribed proportion; and to suppose that
the authorities are not fully aware of this
general breach of rule, would be supposing
that the soldier is not a human being,
and that his officers are blind. In this case
as in every other round which routine
tightens its red tape or plasters on its
pipe-claythe law is always being broken,
with the connivance of those to whom the
responsibility of enforcing it is confided; and
broken because it cannot be kept. It is a
fiction and a snare. If the soldier knew he
could marry with leave and allowance, and
that his wife would be permitted to take care
of herself and of him, like the wives of other
men, he would be much better worth his
money (to adhere to the economical view of
the subject) than he is. Desertion,
drunkenness, and all sorts of insubordination must
be caused by the present system. Soldiers
whose wives live out of barracks are attracted
to spend their time out of barracks more than
is good for the performance of their
professional duties within barracks, and thus are
constantly offending. Their married life is
marred by continual absence from what
ought to be their home, and their professional
life is ruined by constant transgression of
barrack rules; which would not be broken
if the two were combined. Soldiers'
children, again, are often, not only brought
into the world with a shameless want of
privacy; but, as they grow up, the lessons
they imbibe are not of the most wholesome

Even the small proportion of wives allowed
to each regiment are not only not cared lor,
but are surrounded by such circumstances
as allow them to escape demoralisation only
by a miracle. Surely the present war has
shown that there are duties connected with
the army, as imperative as drill, which women
ought to perform. There is a small staff of
surgeons to each regiment: why should there
not also be a staff of nurses? And who so fit
to nurse as the soldier's wife? Washing and
needlework might also be put under some
sort of regulation, and soldiers' wives
employed in those useful occupations "by
authority." Routine is rigid about heel-ball,
the form of a whisker, or the stiffness of
a cravat, bat it seldom regulates where
regulation is required.

Shall the present system be continued in
spite of the horrors it has bred? Or is our
army really to be managed at all points in
such a way that, from the noble general down
to the poor soldier's wife, every one connected
with it maybe put officially upon the shortest
road to shame?


A man will grow tired, in the long run, of
every amusement or occupation in the world,
except oneGambling. Fickle, inconstant,
and capricious human straws that we are,
blown about from side to side by the wind
of levity, we often think we have had enough
of a bad as of a good thing. Many a one
leaves off vicious practices, not because he
feels an inclination towards virtue, but because
he is tired with vice. We become a-weary,
a-weary of rich meats and potent wines, of
blood-horses and fair women; of jewels and
pictures; of our mansion in Belgravia, and
our palace in Hampshireconservatories,
fallow-deer, pheasant preserves, large footmen,
bowing tenantry, and all. Among the many
causes I have for thanking heaven that I am
not a duke, one of the chiefest is the certitude
I feel that at least five out of every half-dozen
dukes are desperately bored with their state
of dukedom: that their gorge rises at their
stars, that they loathe their garters; and
that they are heartily sick of being called
your grace all day long. Yes, everything
here below will pall upon us and find us used
up at last. To every tragedy the sublimest
to every comedy the wittiestthere is an
unfailing anti-strophe, long after the epilogue
has been spokena yawn. To the Sir
Charles Coldstream complexion we must
come eventually; we must sicken of the
Italian Opera, the Lord Mayor's dinner,
Dod's Peerage and Baronetage, the Sacred
Harmonic Society, the House of Peers, the
Court Circular, the Freedom of the Chicken-
butchers Company in a golden box, and the
Council of the Royal Academy; topmost
pinnacles of human felicity and grandeur as
those institutions are thought to be. It is
dreadful to reflect upon the vanity of mundane
things, and it is enough to cause a shudder
to every well regulated mind to have to
remember that the water bailiff's young man
will one day feel a disgustful fatigue for his
proud position; that the gold-stick will become
satiated with the possession of his auriferous
b√Ęton, and that his uncle, the marquis, will no
longer feel any pleasure in being an Elder
Brother of the Trinity House. There will
come a time too, I think Mr. Chairman, when
we shall all grow a-weary even of the day and
night, and wish in the evening that it were
morning, and in the morning that the night
were come. Then we shall draw the curtains
at the bed's foot, and shut out the bright
sunlight, and turn the gay pictures with their