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A LESSON LOST UPON US.

OFFICIAL in a subterranean Downing Street,
there is a certain Morpheus to whom, once
upon a time in the days of the Faery Queene,
were brought tidings of work that must be
done:
"The messenger approaching, to him spake,
   But his waste words return'd to him in vain:
   So sound he slept, that nought mought him awake.
   Then rudely he him thrust, and push'd with pain,
   Whereat he 'gan to stretch: but he again
Shook him so hard, that forc├ęd him to speak."

Once on a time, in the days of Queen
Victoria, there were brought tidings to the
Somnus of our own dearly beloved Downing
Street, concerning work that must be done at
once with energy in the Crimea. An army
sent but lately from our shores was perishing
for want of proper shelter, clothing, food, and
rest. The messenger was the newspaper
correspondent, whose waste words returned to
him in vain, until he thrust rudely with home
truths more painful than Englishmen can
bear, even though they be set apart and shut
off from the vulgar toil and moil of men by
official doors, with drugget over-cast, and
blessed with clerks who
    " Wakeful dogs, before them far do lie,
       Watching to banish care, their enemy."

The state sleeper then stirred in his bed,
and, being further shaken, spoke and said,
Let all be done that should be done. Let the
troops have proper shelter, clothing, food,
and rest. Let filth be cleared out from
among them. Let them live.—And they did
live. Never was there a more conspicuous
example furnished of what a great nation
can do if it tries. An army, managed in
defiance of the laws of health, was perishing.
The laws of health were obeyed, and, as the
immediate consequence of this obedience,
Death gathered his black skirts about him
and stepped out of camp. The troops in the
East became absolutely healthier than the
men of the household brigade living in
English garrison; there was less death among
them than there usually is among the quiet
citizens who stay at home.

But, when the Morpheus of the days of
Gloriana, Queene of Faerie, had done the bit
of work he was constrained to do, what was
his next proceeding? It is recorded of him
that he
                              " down did lay
His heavy head, devoid of careful cark,
Whose senses all were straight benumb'd and stark."

Precisely the same course was taken by
the Official Somnus. Having allowed the
world to see that pestilence can be checked
in mid career; that an army encamped far
away from England can have sickness
banished from its huts; that soldiers on the
tented field can be made more robust than
English ploughmen, if only there be due
attention paid to the requirements of man's
body; having allowed, during one moment of
trial, use to be made of that knowledge of the
day which should be brought to bear upon
the whole day's work; our government fell
fast asleep again. It has been said, If any
man compel you to walk a mile, go with him
twain. The government of England having
been compelled forward a mile, considers
itself bound in honour to go back a mile as
soon as the constraint is at an end. The
soldier, whom it was found possible to care
for properly when he was stationed thousands
of miles away from the supplies required for
him, has come home to his old wallow in
English barracks, where he lives next door to
the supplies that never come; deprived of
half the necessaries, and all the decencies,
of life. Bands of men, without whose aid
in the commissariat and in the field-works
an army could not thrive when in the field,
were called into existence, trained by strict
experience of war, and then dispersed. The
very next men sent from England to a
distant shore are welcomed by disease and
hunger at the landing-place. The first four
thousand of the troops coming as reinforcements
into Indiatroops intercepted on their
way to Chinawere for many days, because
there was no house-room provided for them,
left on board crowded transports, moored in
the river at Calcutta, during the most
unhealthy month of the year. Even the men
of the Fifty-third regiment, that had been
for some time at Calcutta and Barrackpore,
went forty-eight hours without food when
upon guard during the Mohurrum. Steamer
after steamer broke down with the Marine
Brigade under Captain Peel. There was not