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culous superstitions, of which a great number of curious illustrative instances are related.
The chief fault of this work is prolixity, occasioned by a uniform minuteness of detail. On some subjects great minuteness may be essential to the requisite precision; but in many of the matters of a book of travels, the writer should make an earnest effort to put himself in the reader's place, and subject his work to a severe process of selection and exclusion. The work is, nevertheless, of very considerable merit for the information it brings, and for the principles of justice and humanity it serves to confirm
The eight coloured plates, combining costume with scenery, are well executed, and contribute materially to the purpose of information.
IX A LETTER TO A FRIEND. Dear Fugey,
I happened not long since to be present at the muster of a captain's company in a remote part of one of the counties, and as no general description could convey an accurate idea of the achievements of that day, I must be permitted to go a little into the detail, as well as my recollection will serve me.
The men had been notified to meet at nine o'clock, armed and equiped as the law directs,' that is to say, with a gun and cartridge box at least, but, as directed by a law of the United States, “with a good firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, and a pouch with a box to contain not less than twenty-four sufficient cartridges of powder and ball.' At twelve, about one third, perhaps one half, of the men had collected, and an inspector's return of the number present, and of their arms would have stood nearly thus; 1 captain, 1 lieutenant; ensign, none; fifers none; privates, present, 23; ditto absent, 50; guns, 15; gunlocks, 12; ramrods, 10; rifle pouches 3; bayoncts, none; horsewhips, walking canes, and umbrellas, 22. A little before one, the captain, whom I shall distinguish by the name of Clodpole, gave directions for forming the line of parade. In obedience to this order, one of the sergeants, whose lungs had long supplied the place of a drum and fife, placed himself in front of the house, and began to bawl with great vehemence, “All captain Clodpoie's company to parade here! come GENTLEMEN, parade here! and all you that hasn't guns fall into the lower eend.' He might have bawled till this time with as little success as the Syrens sung to Ulysses, had he not changed his post to a neighbouring shade. There he was immediately joined by all who were then at leisure: the others were at that time engaged, either as parties or spectaLors, at a game of fives, and could not just then attend. However,
in less than half an hour the game was finished, and the captain enabled to form his company and proceed in the duties of the day.
Look to the right, and dress! They were soon, by the help of the non-commissioned officers, placed in a strait line, but as every man was anxious to see how the rest stood, those on the wings pressed forward for the purpose, till the whole line assumed nearly the form of a crescent.
i Why look at 'em,' says the captain why gentlemen you are all a crooking here at both eends, so that you will get on to me by and by-come gentlemen, dre88! dress!
This was accordingly done; but impelled by the same motive as before, they soon resumed their former figure, and so they were permitted to remain.
Now gentlemen, says the captain, I am going to carry you through the revolutions of the manual exercise, and I want you gentlemen, to pay particular attention to the word of command, jist exactly as I give it out to you. I hope you will have a little patience, gentlemen, if you please, and I'll be as short as possible, and if I be a going wrong, I will be much obliged to any of you gentlemen, to put me right again, for I mean all for the best, and I hope you will excuse me, if you please. And one thing, gentlemen, I must caution you against, in particular, and that is this, not to make any mistakes if you can possibly help it; and the best way to do this, will be to do all the motions right at first and that will also help us to get along so much the faster, and we'll try to have it over as soon as possible. Come, boys, come to the shoulder.
Rum down cattridge! No! no! Fire! I recollect now that firing comes next after taking aim, according to Steuben; but with your permission gentlemen, l’ll read the words just exactly as they are printed in the book, and then I shall be sure to be right. O yes! read it captain, read it (exclaimed twenty voices at once) that will save time.'
'Tention the whole then; please to observe, gentlemen, that at the word of fire! you must fire, that is, if any of your guns are loaden'd, you must not shoot in year'nest, but only make pretence like, and you gentlemen fellow-soldiers, who's armed with nothing but sticks, riding-switches, and corn-stalks, need'nt go through the firings, but stand as you are, and keep yourselves to yourselves.
Half cock, foulk! Very well done. S, h, u, t, (spelling) Shet pan! That too would have been very handsomely done, if you had'nt handled cartridge instead of shettin pan, but I suppose you want noticing. Now 'tention one and all gentlemen, and do that motion again.
Shet pan! Very good, very well indeed, you did that motion equal to any old soldier...you improve 'stonishingly.
Handle catridge! Pretty well, considering you did it wrong end foremost, as if you took the catridge out of your mouth and bit off the twist with the catridge-box.
Draw rammer! Those that havn't no rammer to their guns need ? not draw, but only make the motion; it will do just as well, and save a great deal of time.
Return rammer! Very well again! But that would have been done, I think, with greater expertness, if you had performed the motion with a little more dexterity.
S, n, o, u, le-Shoulder foolk! Very handsomely done indeed! Put your guns on the other shoulder, gentlemen.
Order foolk! Not quite so well, gentlemen-not quite altogether, but perhaps I did not speak loud enough for you to hear me all at once. Try once more if you please; I hope you will be patient gentlemen, we will soon be through. .
Order, foolk! Handsomely done, gentlemen! very handsomely done! and altogether too, except that a few of you were a leetle too soon, and some others a leetle too late.
In laying down your guns, gentlemen, take care to lay the locks up and the other sides down. ''Tention the whole! Ground foolk! Very well.
Charge, bayonet! (some of the men)-That can't be right, cap. tain; pray look again, for how can we charge bayonet without our guns?
(Captain.) I don't know as to that, but I know I'm right, for here 'tis printed in the book c, h, a, r, yes, charge bayonet, that's right, that's the word, if I know how to read; come gentlemen, do pray charge bayonet! Charge, I say! Why don't you charge? Do you think it an't so? Do you think I have lived to this time o’day and don't know what charge bayonet is? Here, come and see for yourselves; it's plane as the nose on your fa- stopstay-no! halt! no! no! Faith I'm wrong! I turned over two leaves at once, but I beg your pardon; gentlemen we will not stay out long, and we'll have something to drink as soon as we have done, Come boys, get up off the stumps and logs and take up your guns, we'll soon be done; excuse me if you please.
Advance, arms! Very well done, turn the stocks of your guns in front gentleman, and that will bring the barrels behind; and hold them strait up and down if you please. Let go with your left hand and take hold with your right just below the guard. Steuben says the gun must be held p, e, r, partic'lar-yes, you must always mind and hold your guns very pertic'lar. Now boys-'tention the whole!
Present, arms! Very handsomely done! hold the guns over t'other knee; t'other hand up-turn your hands round a little, and raise them up higher-draw the other foot back! Now you are .nearly right- very well done, GENTLEMEN; you have improved
vastly since I first saw you; you are getting too slick for taller! What a charming thing it is to see men under good' discipline! Now, GENTLEMEN, we come to the revolutions-but, lord, men, you have got all in a sort of a snarl, as I may say: how did you get all into such a higglety pigglety?
The fact was, the shade had moved considerably to the eastward and liad exposed the right wing of these hardy veterans to a galling fire of the sun. Being but poorly provided with umbrellas at this end of the line, they found it convenient to follow the shade and in huddling to the left for this purpose, they had changed the figure of their line from that of a crescent to one which more nearly resembled a pair of pot-hooks.
“Come gentlemen,” (says the captain) “spread yourselves out again into a straight line, and let us get into the wheelings and other matters as soon as possible.”
But this was strenuously opposed by the soldiers. They objected to going into these revolutions at all, inasmuch as the weather was extremely hot, and they already had been kept in the field upwards of three quarters of an hour. They reminded the captain of his repeated promise to be as short as he possibly could, and it was clear he could dispense with all this same wheeling and flourishing if he chose. They were already very thirsty, and if he would not dismiss them, they declared they would go off without dismission and get something to drink, and he might fine them if that would do him any good; they were able to pay their fine, but could not go without drink to please any body; and they swore they would never vote for another captain who wished to be so unreasonably strict. One of the men was so insolent as to ex. claim, “l'll not be dragged about here any longer. You know I'm as good as you any day. I can buy two of you."
The captain behared with great spirit on this occasion, and a smart colloquy ensued; when at length becoming exasperated to the last degree, he roundly asserted that no soldier ought never to think hard of the orders of his officer; and finally he went so far as to say that he did not think any gentleman on that ground had any just cause to be offended with him: The dispute was finally settled by the captain's sending for some grog for their present accommodation, and agreeing to omit reading the military law, as directed by a late act, and also all the military maneuvres, except two or three such easy and simple ones as could be performed within the compass of the shade. After they had drank their grog, and had spread themselves, they were divided into platoons.
"Tention the whole! To the right wheel! Each man faced to the right about.
Why, Gentlemen! I didn't mean for every man to stand still and turn himself naylurally right round; but when I told you to the right I intended for you. to wheel round to the right as it were.- Please to try that again, gentleman; every right hand must stand fast, and only the others turn round.
In a previous part of the exercise, it had, for the purpose of sizing, been necessary to denominate every second person a right hand man. A very natural consequence was, that on the present occasion those right hand men maintained their position, all the intermediate ones facing about as before.
Why look at'em now! exclaimed the captain, in extreme vexa. tion; I'll be darned if you can understand a word I say. Excuse me gentlemen, but it rayly seems as if you could not come at it exactly. In wheeling to the right, the right hand eend of the platoon stand fast, and the other eend comes round like a swingletree; them on the outside, must march faster than them on the inside, and them on the inside not near so fast as them on the outside. You sartanly must understand me now gentlemen, and now please to try ons more.
In this, they were somewhat more successful.
'Tention the whole! To the left left, no-right-that is, the lefia- I mean the right left wheel! march!
In this he was strictly obeyed some wheeled to the right, left, or both ways.
“Stop! halt! let us try again! I could not jist then tell my right hand from my left! you must excuse me gentlemen, if you please, experience makes parfect, as the saying is; long as I have served, I find something new to learn every day: but all's one for that. Now gentlemen, do that motion once more.”
By the help of a non-commissioned officer in front of each platoon, they wheeled this time with tolerable regularity. · "Now boys you must try to wheel by divisions; and there is one thing in perticlar which I have to request of you gentlemen, and it is this, not to make any blunder in your wheeling. You must mind and keep at a wheeling distance, and not talk in the ranks nor get out of size again; for I want you to do this motion well, and not to make any blunder now.
"Tention the whole! By divisions to the right wheel! march!
In doing this it seemed as if bedlam had broke loose; every man took the command. Not so fast on the right! Slow now, slow now! Haul down them umbrellurs! Faster on the left! Keep back a little there! Don't crowd so! Hold up your gun Sam! Go faster there! faster! Who trod on my
your huffs! Keep back, keep back! Stop us captain, do stop us! Go faster there! I've lost my shoe! Get up again, Ned! halt! halt! halt! stop gentlemen! stop, stop! d-nit, I say can't you stop!
By this time they got into utter and inexplicable confusion, and so I left them.