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quality the longer it would last. Moreover, the
formed British soldier costs the state a
considerable amount of money, and for that, if
for no other reason, he ought to be well taken
care of.

Next after the British soldier's great-coat,
the knapsack is, perhaps, the most useless thing
he possesses, and is certainly the most useless
thing of its kind to be found in any European
army. With all other troops, the knapsack, or
pack, is a small, handy cover, in which an
infantry soldier carries what is absolutely necessary
for his comfort and health on the march.
What he can want with more than a change of
shirt, socks, and shoes, a brush, a piece of soap,
and a towel, has only been discovered in the
English service. In our army the soldiers are
made to carry small portmanteaus on their
backs, and so awkwardly is the encumbrance
fastened on them, that after a few years'
service few men are free from chest complaints.
What with razors, pipeclay, brushes, cotton
shirts, cotton socks, and a number of things
which look very well at "inspection of kits,"
but are utterly useless on service, our infantry
have to carry on their backs at least one-fourth
more weight than there is really any need for,
and when even the minimum quantity of clothes,
ammunition, pack, provisions, and haversack, is
taken into consideration, the reduction of only
a pound of this would be an act of mercy. By
substituting for the present absurdly large
knapsack, a small, convenient pack, like that
worn by the Italian Bersigliere (rifle corps);
by doing away with all that is not positively
necessary in a soldier's kit; by abolishing
pipeclay, razors, and all such absurdities; by
substituting one flannel shirt off and one on,
for three cotton shirts, the same number of
worsted-socks for three pairs of cotton; the
weight carried by the soldier could be reduced,
not by a fourth, but by a half; and I feel
convinced that the wear and tear of human life
would be reduced in no trifling proportion.
When General Nott's army advanced from
Candahar to Cabool, the only two European
corps with this forceher Majesty's Fortieth
and Forty-first Regimentscarried no knapsacks,
nor could the commissariat department provide
more camels than were enough to carry the
men's bedding. Every soldier had his great-
coat folded square and strapped on his back,
and in it carried a single change of each
article of clothing. With this outfit the troop
went through several months of very hard
work, and, when they reached British India, at
the end of the campaign, had a remarkably
small number of men in hospital. If such an
outfit be enough for Affghanistan, it is enough
for England.

There is one article of dress I would strongly
recommend for infantry, cavalry, and every
branch of the service: that is, the large sash,
or shawl, with which all men in Eastern lands
"gird up their loins," and which is
generally worn even by Western travellers in those
countries. This sash is about two feet broad,
and long enough to go three or four times round
the body. Nearly all our officers who spent
that fearful winter of 1854-55 before Sebastopol,
must have grateful recollections of the
comfort of the Eastern sash; and many an
attack of cholera, or of scarcely less fatal chills
of stomach, did it prevent. Few who have
sojourned in Egypt, Syria, or any other part
of the Levant, can be ignorant of the great
support to be derived from wearing this sash,
In the French army it has been introduced for
all troops going on service, and is, I believe,
universally worn by regiments stationed in
Algeria. Last year, I observed that all the men
of the Syrian expedition wore it; it was made
of blue merino, very wide, and long enough to
go several times round the waist. I have more
than once seen strong symptoms of cholera
dispersed, and a sick man restored to health, by
the mere winding of this warm sash round and
round his loins.

NEW WORK BY THE AUTHOR OF
THE WOMAN IN WHITE.
Next week will be commenced, with the New
Volume,
NO NAME.
BY WILKIE COLLINS.

THE SIXTH VOLUME,
Price 5s. 6d., will be published on the 15th instant.

A STRANGE STORY,
BY THE AUTHOR OF "RIENZI," "MY NOVEL," &c.,
Is now ready, in two volumes, price 24s.
SAMPSON LOW, SON, AND CO., LUDGATE-HILL.

MR. CHARLES DICKENS'S NEW READINGS
On Thursday, 13th instant, at ST. JAMES'S HALL, Piccadilly,
at 8 o'clock precisely, Mr. CHARLES DICKENS
will read
DAVID COPPERFIELD
(In Six Chapters),
AND MR. BOB SAWYER'S PARTY,
FROM PICKWICK.

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