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and now you have awakened me, and I shall
never, never dream that dream again."

"Anna, my pet, my child, I did not know you
were sleeping so soundly. I did not mean to
disturb you. Don't cry, my dear, don't cry!"
For she was sobbing and moaning fretfully.

"Don't speak to me, Margaret. Get to rest.
Say what you have to say, to-morrow. II
can't understand you now. I am tired, and you
have awakened me, and I was dreaming
pleasantly, and now my dream is gone!"

She pushed me irritably from her. My heart
felt very heavy. It was such a sudden chill after
my glow of joy and tenderness! But with the
habitual yielding to her, which was common to
us all, I rose up from my knees and went to my
own bed. " I ought not to have roused her," I
said to myself as I lay down. " She was tired
and sleepy, and she is such a child!" Once, I
stretched out my hand to touch her, and as she
remained perfectly still, I hoped she was sleeping.
Gradually I grew drowsy, and my eyes
closed, and my ears lost their vigilance, and the

sweetness of Horace's smile, as he had held me in
his arms that day, with the dancing shadows of
the leaves upon his head, faded and faded, and
melted away. But all night long, at intervals, I
had an uneasy sense of disquietude and restlessness,
and a fancy that some one was moving
about the room. Once I dreamed that Anna was
pacing up and down, her bare feet pattering
lightly but distinctly on the polished floor. But
when I started, and sat up and looked around,
everything was still, and I could hear no footstep,
and the moon had set, and it was very dark.


THAT the present state of Soldiers' Law is
old fashioned, unsatisfactory, and perhaps
"unbecoming officers and gentlemen," is pretty
evident to those who have followed the trailing
course of military trials during the last few
years. After surmounting inconceivable obstructions,
and contending against brute inert
opposition on the part of ancient generals at the
Horse Guards, the clumsy Brown Bess, the
strangling stock, and the absurd shako, were
happily got rid of. It was not until yesterday
that old martinets could be brought to
believe, or could be forced to sanction the belief
for they themselves do not believe yet
that a hairy lip and beard are consistent with
order and discipline. The soldier has now his
thighs kept warm, his throat kept free, his
head left unaching, and his shoulders ungalled;
but the system of law which regulates his life
is as old fashioned, and cumbersome, and
inconvenient, as the old condemned shako and ancient
musket. Let us look for a moment at the bad
and good side of this system.

First, what is the source of martial authority?
Every constable who arrests a man in the street,
every judge and magistrate who commit to
prison, are primรข facie guilty of assaults, and
are liable to actions at law. But their justification
is their authority, delegated to them
from the fountain of honour. What title,
then, have a number of officers and gentlemen
(we should never forget the supposed
convertible character of those terms) to seize on
one of their fellow-subjects, try him, commit
him to jail, or shoot him? Their authority is
under an act of parliament, and, curious enough,
expires at the end of a year; but, in every
April, what is called the Mutiny Act is brought
in and passed; and under the Mutiny Act, and
under the orders and by-laws which that act
gives authority to frame, the whole of our army
is governed and kept together. Without that
act, every officer would be liable to action for
assault, for damages, for false imprisonment,
and perhaps for libel and slander; and it has
been speculated if, by any mischance, the act
were delayed or passed by, what would be the
beginning or end of the confusion! This
arrangement will seem strange to those who look
at foreign countries, where a man enlisting in
the army, or being forced into the army,
becomes, as of course, subject to all its regulations,
no matter how those regulations came into
being. But it illustrates the excellent logic of
our law; for the common law is the great guide
of the country, and by no wresting of the common
law could punishment for disobedience to
an officer's order be twisted into an offence.
Such punishment had to be made legal, and the
only way of legalising it was by statute.

There are several kinds of courts-martial
the General, .the Detachment-General, the
District, the Drumhead, and the Regimental.
There are also some minor varieties, which are
unimportant. The Drumhead is seldom heard
of, and is nearly out of fashion. The General
court-martial, the most important of all, which
deals with the highest officers and highest
offences, must consist of thirteen members of
all ranks, though no field-officer can be
tried by any one under the rank of a captain.
The Detachment-General is an exceptional
tribunal, and is usually held to deal with
plunderers and marauders. It consists of three
officers. The District court consists of seven
officers, who may not award the punishment of
death. Offences from all regiments in the
district may be brought before them. The
Regimental court-martial is a purely domestic
tribunal, as may be gathered from its name, and
must consist of five officers. Besides these
regularly constituted courts, some superior
officer sits every day as a magistrate, to deal
with night charges and little irregularities.
There are also Courts of Inquiry, which seem
to have no legal force, and do not go beyond
what their name imports. Officers and
witnesses are only invited to present themselves
before it, but there is a moral force in the
verdict of such a court which no officer could
resist. So far, this organisation seems reasonable
and even nicely logical.

The regular procedure of a court-martial is now
very familiar, from the many recent scandals at
which the public have had to look on. The

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