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in requiring the men to carry their prayer-books with them, to kneel when the church requires them to kneel, and to take their own part in all her services. The curate would know his people, and the people would know their curate; for though the persons of both might be continually changed, as one regiment arrived and another went away, the system would everywhere be the same; and both curate and people acting steadily upon it, would become alike familiar with the order of their duty, and alive each to what the other had a right to expect.
We venture to say that, were all this done, and canteens abolished, and athletic sports encouraged, and garrison libraries fostered in the liberal spirit which originated them, the unfavourable impression that prevails throughout the country as to the moral dangers attendant on the soldier's career would be got rid of, and a very superior class of young men would come forward to fill the ranks.
In recommending, not that a commissioned chaplain, but merely that an additional curate should be appointed, at the expense of Government, to every parish within the limits of which a barrack capable of containing two hundred men and upwards may be situated, we have kept in view more than the necessity under which the country is laid, of acting in a spirit of just but not of extravagant liberality, while it provides for the religious wants of the Queen's troops. For their own sakes, and for the sake of the parishes, we do not wish to see these barrack curates placed, in regard to pay and emoluments, on the same footing with chaplains or officiating chaplains to the forces. On foreign stations the Government may be bound to provide clergymen to officiate to the troops, sometimes where less than a battalion composes the garrison, and for this reason, that unless the Government acted thus, the troops would live and die destitute of the Church's ministrations; but at home no such necessity exists. All that the Government can possibly desire here is the first growth, so to speak, of a clergyman's zeal. For neither a depôt nor an entire battalion could make such demands upon a chaplain's time as to engross it; and we do not think that the Government ought to pay for more of his time than is ordinarily expended on the service for the troops. The salary, therefore, may be very moderate, so long as it is fixed: while the curate is left free to dedicate the reversion of his time and his labour to the spiritual improvement of the district. Now we need not point out that to many an overworked incumbent the relief occasioned by some such arrangement would be as great as to his flock. And though on the first blush our curate might appear to be the loser, a little closer examination into the subject will show
that it is not to his wrong. He is not separated by this sort of connexion with the army from the regular line of his profession. He abides still as one of a particular bishop's clergy, and coming under the notice of his diocesan, will have the same claim with other curates upon his lordship's patronage. Whereas, were he paid at the rate of 2007. a-year, or even less, and classed among army chaplains, whether commissioned or otherwise, his worldly hopes must be limited to the point at which he has already attained; for no bishop seems to regard the pastoral care of troops, however tenderly and anxiously bestowed, as creating any claim upon his notice or his preferment. And we are not blaming their lordships for this. Military chaplains are the servants of the Crown, and if rewarded at all for length or excellency of service, ought to receive their rewards from the Crown. But, in point of fact, we do not find that, since the days of Marlborough, the Crown has much regarded them: and so it comes to pass that if the soldier's clergyman be not sustained by a spirit of a hearty devotion towards his people, he is entirely without a motive to exertion; for no eye, save that of God alone, appears to notice it. It leads neither to preferment nor to distinctions among men.
Having thus provided a machinery, neither costly nor gorgeous, but complete within itself, and constructed upon intelligible principles, it remains that we apply to it the sort of controlling and regulating influence, without the presence of which no machine, whether moral or physical, ever continues long to work well. And here again we have all the necessary materials at hand. A principal chaplain-or, as he used to be called, a chaplaingeneral-presides over the clerical department of the army, and conducts such correspondence as the present imperfect arrangements may render necessary. He might do more; and as soon as we shall have begun to re-arrange the department, he ought to be required to do much more. It would then become his duty not only to direct and advise from his apartment in the WarOffice, but to visit, from time to time, every military station within the limits of the United Kingdom to which a chaplain or a barrack curate might be attached. Indeed, we do not see upon what principle visitations of this sort come even under existing circumstances to be omitted. Far be from us to insinuate that, to the extent to which the regulations may be their guide, chaplains and officiating clergymen in general do not adhere to the letter of their engagements: but that their spirits should go with the work seems to be impossible, for there is no one to advise when difficulties occur, or to restrain or animate their zeal effectually; yet, the principal chaplain is the ordinary over all those clergymen
who do duty to the Queen's troops in all parts of the world; and most surely his responsibility is a serious one.
There are other points into which, if we had room, would willingly enter. We allude, first, to the moral-or rather immoral-effects of the existing arrangements that are made in regard to the women admitted into barracks; and next to the state of education in the army, especially in the schools which are maintained in regiments at the public expense for the instruction of the soldiers' children, and, if they desire it, of the soldiers themselves. On the former of these points we must be content to observe, that the more you guard female delicacy and feeling in a barrack the better; and that this cannot be said to be even attempted where married pairs sleep in the same chamber with a dozen of unmarried men at least, without having so much as a curtain wherewith to screen or fence off their couches. With respect to the latter, the value of the system now in force may be judged of when we state that it is, or rather professes to be, that of Dr. Bell; that no provisions are made either for training regimental schoolmasters to their office, or subjecting them, after they enter upon it, to an efficient and regular course of inspection; and that the results, though upon the whole unsatisfactory, are perhaps less so than the defective nature of the plan would lead us to expect. Here and there, indeed, you meet with a regimental school which commands your unqualified approval; for not only are some soldiers, as well as other men, gifted by nature with a rare talent for teaching-but commanding officers, if they take an interest in the moral improvement of their corps, send at their own expense promising young men to training institutions, and appoint them after their return to take charge of the school, and encourage and strengthen their hands by frequent visits. But the latter is a burthen which ought not to be imposed upon individuals; while the former is a contingency on which it is at all times unsafe to calculate-for in truth it is of the rarest occurrence. In France they manage these things better. Yet the annual grant made by Parliament seems to be abundantly sufficient to place our schools at least on a footing of equality with those of our neighbours; and whenever the Government shall think fit to turn a share of its attention to the subject, this truth will probably appear.
To conclude-a fanatical or sectarian spirit in the ranks we do not wish to encourage, and would therefore set our faces against a system of proselytising, whether a clergyman of the Church of England, or a minister of any other class, connected with the army, seemed to adopt it. But we do desire that our soldiers, of whatever church they are members, may become good
members of the same, and therefore good members of society. Let them see that such is our only design; and though some may sneer at first, all will in the end be grateful, as soon as they have felt, and learned to appreciate, the extent of the benefit that has been conferred upon their order.
While this paper is passing through the press, it gives us unspeakable satisfaction to hear that the beginnings of an improved system are made. The order, if we be rightly informed, has gone forth that no new barrack shall be erected without having both a chapel and a school-house attached. The wants of Corfu and Cephalonia are both under consideration: and at home the principal chaplain has entered upon a course of visitations, from which he will never, it is to be hoped, be required to withdraw. Here and there-at Weedon, at Chatham, at Portsmouth, for example-increased spiritual aid is afforded, and a new zeal awakened. May the righteous work proceed; and may honour be to those at the War-Office, at the Board of Ordnance, and not least at the Treasury, who have thus bent themselves to the performance of it. We must not look to reap the benefit of their exertions in a day: such undertakings as these are slow to mature themselves, But if the seed be sown, and carefully nurtured, it must bring forth fruit.
ART. IV. Leaves from a Journal, and other Fragments in Verse. By Lord Robertson. 8vo. London, 1845.
HIS is a very pleasing as well as a beautiful little volume; pleasing because it is a proof that the successful pursuit of a profession little akin to such relaxations has not hardened the heart or perverted, and, as it were, dried up the taste of the learned author; and beautiful because it really abounds in excellent poetry-more than many of the volumes put forth by professed bards. We must add that there is no small novelty in the event of song being heard from the bench; for we have no recollection of this in any former case, unless it be some happy translations and smaller pieces of Sir William Jones, and some celebrated, and justly celebrated, verses of Mr. Justice Blackstone.
Lord Robertson gives in his preface a very simple and modest explanation of the occasion to which we owe the public appearance of these Leaves and Fragments. He had, on his elevation from the Bar, now first an opportunity of gratifying his wish to visit Italy, and he showed some friends the pages of his Journal when he returned. Their commendations rather unexpectedly rewarded
rewarded his labours and his confidence; and this led naturally enough to his extending the circle of his readers. We may truly say that having very often heard the subject mentioned, and mentioned with some surprise, both among those who only had known the professional and the social qualities of the excellent author, and among those who only knew of his judicial rank, we have never heard but one opinion expressed, and that all allowed this ci-devant brilliant advocate and humourist to have been successful in his courtship of the Muses.
When we proceed to our critical task, let it not betoken any faultfinding spirit, but rather, perhaps, a peculiarity of our own nature, which we share, however, with great critics, our predecessors, that we begin by confessing our dislike of blank verse, and our regret that his Lordship should so cautiously have avoided the charms of rhyme. The very great rarity of success in this rugged line seems to sanction our opinion. Milton, of course, at once presents himself to the mind when the question is raised. But then so is there present the multitude of passages which in even Milton are hardly readable; and so, too, is there present the inimitable beauty of his diction, its wondrous picturesque effect, its mingled learning and sweetness, its music and its force, above all, on grand occasions, its unapproachable sublimity. Assuredly Milton's success is rather fitted to create despair than to induce attempts at imitation. Thomson comes next, and much that has been said of Milton may be repeated here; yet as a landscape painter only, a painter of still life, is Thomson known in blank verse, and beyond all comparison his finest poem is that in which he shows himself a master of rhyme. Of Cowper it is difficult to speak too highly; and after Milton he is the only exception to our rule. Akenside alone remains of all our sons of song, excepting the poets of our own day; and of him it may truly be said that, though successful, he is far behind his prede cessor, while of them we may surely be allowed to say that time has not yet been given for ascertaining how the decrees of the great judge-the public-will ultimately and permanently be pronounced. That Mr. Wordsworth himself has shown great powers of versification in rhyme, as did Milton in his sonnets, is a circumstance to be flung into our scale-admitting, as we at once do, that many high authorities are against us, and citing, as we are ready to do, in Lord Robertson's behalf the dictum of his celebrated yoke-fellow of the bench,' so long a brother magistrate in our own literary commonwealth, that he could read any number of lines in blank verse, how easily soever he might be tired with middling rhymes.' However, we have said thus much in fairness towards the subject, and also towards the author;