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Bowers bad been especially doleful, and poor Max especially miserable. There was no denying that Mrs Bowers had a great deal to vex ber. Her husband was coarse, indolent, sordid, and it was a struggle to make both ends meet with the little farm that was never managed to good advantage.

Max wondered, as be plodded on his way to school that morning, with the cloud on his brow and the gloom in his heart, whether he was what his mother had said, "the worst boy in the wide .world—a perpetual trouble, vexation, misery to her; she could not understand why such an affliction should have fallen to her life." Max felt wretched, and almost as though be was guilty of a great sin in having been born at all. His mother never seemed to find anything but the evil side in him, and he drew up more thin one sigh from that little brimful heart of nil, and sent it out on the sweet spring air.

With all his homeliness and clumsiness, those who knew Max well, said, "there was the making of more than an ordinary man in him." He had a bright, swift, prompt intellect, which wis slaking its young thirst as well as it could at the small fountain of the district school; and he had energy, courage, persistency, which were sure to make themselves known and felt in time, only it takes growth and years to mature such qualities.

As Max moved up the lane in the spring brightness and life, with the gloom in the boy's face and the chill on his soul, a little brown sparrow dropped from a hawthorn bough overhead, and hung fluttering and swinging on a tuft of grass in the roadside at his feet. The thrushes and blackbirds were singing around, the air was one grand burst of bird joy and melody; but Max's soul had sat in darkness, and for once he bad not heard the sweet May singing. But that lttttle sparrow, fluttering at his feet, brought to his thoughts the dear oid Bible words: "Not one of them falleth to the ground without your Father."

Clear as a bell, sweet as a hymn, the words floated into the boy's soul, and the warmth and the light came with them. His thoughts burst 'heir chains and went out, like Christian, from the dungeon in which they were bound. "After all, God knew, and He who loved the

little sparrow, who watched over its flight, and made tender its fall, would have pity upon him, who was of more value than many of these."

Doubt, perplexity, fear, slipped away; a new softness came into the boy's face, his whole nature opened to all the sweet influences and voices of the spring morning, and Max felt, as the small brown bird floated away, that God had sent to his tried, troubled, and perplexed soul a witness of His own loving kindness and tender mercies.

He will never forget that morning, nor how things seemed to clear up to his childish vision, and how he felt that God knew, understood, and pitied all his blindness and bewilderment, and yearnings—yearnings to do right, that seemed baffled on every side, until he felt just like letting every thing good go, and giving himself up, and being just as bad as his mother was always insisting he was.

But Max felt that God had sent him a message in the bird that came and went at his feet, and that, in substance, it was—" I know it all, my child—the groping, the faint-heartedness, the sinking of soul and body. But I am strong, and greater than my strength is my tenderness. Trust the trouble to me. I, who take care of the sparrow, watch over you too, of more value than many sparrows."

As I said, Max will never forget that morning—never!

Dear children, I know that you, too, have your sorrows to bear, your dark, groping moods —that your home lives and loves are not always and altogether happy, and that your poor little souls have too often to struggle silently with your griefs. And, as with older souls, Bo I know it must be with yours, that the things which God has made will often help and comfort you beyond all human voices. His skies, with all their beauty of sun and stars—His earth, with its glory of trees and flowers—His waters, singing in brooks, and rushing in rivers, and rolling back and forth in the strong joy of ocean tides, all have a witness to bear of Himself.

Go out with your tired, troubled hearts, and listen to the singing of the birds, and search for flowers among the grasses, and behold the warm, blessed sunlight, and take courage and be of good cheer.

OUR LIBRARY TABLE.

Thk Purchase System In The British Army. By Sir Charles E. Trevelyan, K.C.B. \Ijondon.- Longman, Green, and Co.)—The contents of this pamphlet have already appeared, in a series of letters in the columns of the Daily Aeiai, but they are of a sufficiently important nature to be reiterated in other channels. 'heir origin, the author tells us, was as follows:

Lord Clyde, Lord West, Sir Thomas Franks, and Sir Augustus Spcnce had strongly condemned the purchase system before the Iloyal Commission of 1846, but had not suggested any plan of promotion and retirement to be substituted for it. "1 found the system of purchase established," Lord Clyde said, "when I entered as a boy at fifteen. I am now in my sixty-third year. I was present at the battles of Vimicra and Corunna, and on the expedition to Walchereu, and came home again before I was sixteen; and finding that, and living always with troops under the system that has gone on, I had ceased to think of it until now, and I have not thought it out."

In this state of the questionSir CharlesTrevelyan, who had conducted the military correspondence of the Treasury, and superintended the Commissariat for many years, was asked to assist; and with the aid of ten years' further experience, the arguments and proposals which he laid before the commission, and maintained in discussion with a War Office committee, are here set before the reader. But it is not simply with the question of purchase that the writer deals. He begins at the beginning, and shows that the whole system as it stands at present is defective—nay vicious—and that an alteration of the principle upon which the army is constituted must take place to make the service popular and attractive to all classes of the community. At present the army forms an exception to the rest of the English political and social system, in which the upper, middle, and lower classes cooperate for the public good. The system of purchase confines advancement to men of fortune; the recruiting system, and the penal system attached to it, excludes from the ranks all but the "lowest stratum of the lowest class, the waifs and strays of society." The following passage shows the character of the recruiting system, and will urge on every reflective mind the necessity of a decided change, before men of a different moral or social grade will be induced to enlist:

The recruiting of the army is conducted entirely in public-houses, to which the recruits are inveigled by "bringers," who are crimps of the worst description, touting about in all the lowest haunts of a town. The recruits are habitually plied with drink, and they are generally under the influence of liquor when they are enlisted. They are also deceived by false expectations as to the amount of their remuneration, and are induced to make false representations as to their age, unmarried state, &c. The recruiters are paid by head money, and they have therefore a personal interest in these objectionable practices.

Further on (page 36), after referring to various improvements that have and are being made for the comfort and respectability of the noncommissioned officers and privates, as recommended by the Recruiting Commission, we learn that, as yet, no change has been made in these two glaring wrongs of the system; no proper places wholly disconnected with the public-houses, and consequent drunkenness, have been provided where recruits might be received till forwarded to the depot battalions; neither are men enlisting protected from the delusion of the " shilling a day and one penny beer-money," and made to thoroughly understand that "the real terms of service are free lodgings, free clothing, free rations, free education, free medical attendance, with a net rate of pay which amounts at present to three-pence or four-pence a day."

A reference [adds the author] to the evidence taken by the Recruiting Commission of 1860, under the heads of "Public-houses" and "Kemdejvous," will show how open we are to the reproach of tainting our soldiers, at the outset of their career, with that vice which is the cause of all crimes in the army, and of the flogging, branding, and other punishments which too often complete their demoralization. Even steady non-commissioned officers, detached from regiment* for the purpose of recruiting, become deteriorated in character and morals before they join again.

In reference to these abuses, Sir Charles-quotes the following emphatic observations of Mr. Godley's, appended in a memorandum to the report of the commission:

I believe that system to be essentially evil, based on falsehood and fraud, and tending directly to infinite immorality. I believe that no thoughtful man can have observed the scenes that take place daily and nightly at the taverns frequented by our recruiting staff, or the head-quarters of a militia regiment, on the day that the volunteers for the line are called for, without a feeling of shame and disgust that such proceedings should form part of the recogniied machinery of tho British military service. I believe that a fearful responsibility lies upon a government which deliberately scatters suoh temptations amongst the poorest and most helpless classes of its people, and which, for its own political ends, takes advantage of their weaknesses and feeds their vices.

No wonder that we are told that persons in a high position connected with the recruiting service are ashamed of it, and persons in an inferior position corrupted by it. The system cries aloud to our common sense of justice and humanity for alteration. Such practices are not only inconsistent with morality, but repugnant and odious to a Christian people; yet, though a change in these matters has been recommended, none has yet taken place, but certain proposals, on the other hand, Sir Charles thinks calculated to make bad worse:

The commission report that the " bounty money" is usually spent in riot and dissipation; and any increase is that direction would tend to demoralue the army and encourage desertion.

Yet it is proposed largely to increase the bounty ■money, that is, from 15s. to 20s. and 25s. The chronic cause of discontent and misunderstanding is the difference between the nominal and real amount of the soldier's pay, and yet ij is proposed to add 2d. a day to the nominal pay, instead of deducting it from the stoppages' The soldier is not even to be encouraged to profitable industry by giving him his fatigue jacket and forage cap. Speaking of the loss to Government by desertion—every trained soldier who deserts and is not recovered costs the country at least one hundred pounds, beside* the services of the soldiers employed in appre* hending and guarding him. The cost of recovering and punishing deserters costs »l»"3e additional sum—

Why, in this case alone [says the writer] do « iteal our hearta against the commonest humanity, and shut our eyes to the most obvious dictates of morality? We pick out of the streets persons for whom we are not specially responsible, to reclaim them in reformatories and penitentiaries; and ourselves, through our paid agents, corrupt our own young soldiers, who have the most affecting claims upon us for protection and help. Even our army reformers, who have done so much for the soldier after he has enlisted, avert their eyes from the flagrant scandals of the recruiting sritem—a system that panders to the very vices for which the man is subsequently punished.

The following remarks appear to reach the fond of the matter, and are the basis of Sir Charles's scheme for the reorganization of the British

army:

There are but two sets of motives by which mankind are influenced. One set appeals to their animal nature and their fears; the other to their human nature and their hopes. By giving soldiers who enter through the ranks a share of the military, and nearly the whole of the administrative promotion, we could make the army an object of desire to the whole of our population, including that largest and best portion of it which has been practically excluded for more than two hundred years. The only bitter thing which the mildest of men (the late Sir Kobert Inglis) ever said in Parliament was during the reign of the railway king: "I can admire an aristocracy of talent, I can respect an aristocracy of rank; bnt an aristocracy of wealth is not to be endured." The army is the last place where this principle should be in the ascendant. How much longer will it be permitted to obstruct every kind of improvement in that branch of the publio service upon which the preservation of all interests depends?

Again:

In former days the middle class was trained to the nse of arms, with a view to national defence, and they showed on many memorable occasions what they were capable of, for the honour and safety of England.

Crecy, Poictiers, and Agincourt were won by the yeomen archers—a middle-class element, wanting in the French arms of that age:

"And you, good yeomen, Whose limbs were made in England, show us here The mettle of your pasture."

tinder Cromwell [continues the writer] they held all England, Ireland, and Scotland in subjection; but «iace the Restoration it has been the practice to exdude them from our military system, and to base the defence of the country on the highest and lowest claues.

That the middle class, to whose successful exertions in every branch of enterprize and industry, at home and abroad, the present greatness of England is mainly due, have not lost a particle of their military spirit, is proved by the wanner in which they responded to the volunteer movement in our fathers' time and our own. To allow no place to this portion of our popu

lation in the army is like fighting with one hand tied. Sir Charles believes that if the English army could be brought into harmony with the rest of the English political and social system, and our military arrangements based upon moral and intellectual qualification instead of money, every rank in the army would be elevated in character and position. * * * *' To open to the soldier the career of his own profession is the only possible course: this will solve the recruiting difficulty, by making admission to the ranks a privilege and dismissal from them a punishment, by restoring to the army important classes which are at present practically excluded from it, and by making the army a highly popular institution, common to every portion of English society." The author thinks "it is a mistake to suppose that, if our army were resuscitated on professional principles, it would no longer furnish suitable occupation to young men who are heirs to considerable properties. On the contrary, this object would be more completely obtained than before. The army would be a school as well as a playground; while in the army our young men of fortune would have to work as if they depended upon it for their subsistence, and they would be the better all their lives for having belonged for a time to a really liberal profession. Only the idle and incompetent, who ought under any circumstances to be excluded, would fail to obtain admission; and many who now depend upon money and connexion for advancement would be stimulated to acquire the personal qualification necessary for success. * * * The motive which induces our upper classes to enter the army is not the privilege of exhausting their patrimony, and incurring debt in the purchase of commissions, but the cheerful, out-ofdoor, adventurous life, the prestige, the hope of attaining early distinction—all of which will remain as before." Our author goes on to say, that "an officer who enters without paying, and resigns without receiving anything, is better off than one who pays for his commission and gets his money back on quitting the army, by the full amount of the interest and life-assurance on the purchase-money, which is often greater than the pay he receives." * * * "The peculiar vice of the English system of purchase consists in what is popularly called the leap-frog principle, by which officers of inferior claims of service and qualification pass over the heads of more deserving and better qualified officers." Such » system must of course act disadvantageously to the service, and help to sour and render men indifferent to it. Another grievance is the inefficiency of the remuneration in comparison with the cost of commissions. The author very justly observes that "the first condition of professional efficiency is that there should be full professional remuneration 5 whereas the army-system deeply offends against this principle. Another practice is the selling of commissions for more than their regulated value—a misdemeanour, according to Act of Parliament, which subjects an officer so doing to be cashiered; but which Act, though reprinted in every new edition of the 'Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army,' is daily outraged with the full knowledge and acquiescence of those who are charged with the enforcement of the law—a system which must destroy all feeling of respect for law and authority, and exert a depressing moral influence. Sir Charles's panacea for these and other abuses in the present army system lies in the abolition of purchase, which would enable "the best class of young men who now enter the artillery and engineers, the Indian Civil Service, the law, &c, &c, to enter the army, and

promotion from the ranks at least to as high a grade as that permitted in the French army— that of captain." We have not space to follow all the author's arguments in favour of theBe projected amendments, or his proposals for their accomplishment, for which we refer our readers to his pages. His exposition of the evils and abuses of the present system in the British Army is masterly, his suggestions for their removal replete with careful study of the subject and matured reflection as to the means. The statements, from the prospect it opens of the army as a career for middle-class men of spirit and capacity, will be found interesting to a wide circle of readers.

THE TOILET.

{Specially from Paru.)

First Figure.Indoor And Visiting Toilet.—Dress of Spa-grey pou-de-soie: The skirt is trimmed down the seams, and finished at bottom with a plaited ornament. Body round at the waist, sleeves tight. Short in-door jacket, made of black velvet, without sleeves; it is ornamented by means of one of Wilson and Wheeler's sewing machines, with elaborate embroidery and jet-bead fringes. The basque is cut in rounded points. Linen collar and undersleeves of the pointed form.

Second Figure.—Dress of blue pou-de-soie, or poplin, with two skirts: the first trimmed with six bias-pieces of the material, each of the same depth ; the second skirt has the sides hollowed out, and is trimmed with three similar bias-pieces, finished at the point formed by the meeting of the trimming at the head of the part; that is cut out by an ornament of clustered leaves made of the material of the dress. Body with long basque, trimmed en suite. Tight sleeves, with epaulet. Collar and sleeves of Venetian lace, and round the neck a velvet with long ends, finished with crystal beads, and supporting a large gold medallion in front.

Efforts are still being made to introduce short dresses for walking costumes, and as every lady, we believe, aspires to be well dressed, and to follow, to a moderate extent, the prevailing modes—although we do not advocate extremes, and would not advise any one to follow blindly every foible that appears—when a desirable fashion is introduced, it is well that it should be adopted. One thing, however, should always be remembered, that every new fashion be modified to suit the years and style of the wearer.

Ry following our directions, we think there yill be little difficulty in cnttinpr one pf these

dresses. The measures we give are for a medium-sized person, and will be found a good guide, but, of course, must be varied to suit the size of the wearer. Garments old in the service may thus be brought out and remodelled into fashionable costumes.

The lower skirt must by no means touch the ground, but should be of sufficient length to appear well when walking. It is composed of eight breadths, the back and front being without seam down the centre. The front width measures thirty-nine inches in length, is twentyfour inches wide at the lower edge, and slopes on each side up to the waist, where it only measures six inches. The back breadth is precisely the same width, but is 41 inches long. The three intermediate ones are alike, being twenty-two inches wide at the lower part, and slope on one side up to three inches. The breadths are sewed together, so that the gored side is always nearest the back of the dress.

The upper skirt is composed of eight smaller gores, and, as in the lower skirt, the front and back widths are without seam down the centre. These breadths are the same in width, sloping on each side from nineteen inches to the waist, which is but six inches. The front breadth is thirty-one inches long and the back thirty-three. The other widths are thirty-three inches long, and slope from eighteen to three inches. The edge of the upper skirt is notched or dentatea in fancy motifs or designs. For instance, point* with the ends cut off forming squares, turrets, slanting teeth, scallops, lozenge-shaped ends. graduated steps, the sharp points known as folies, and many other inexplicable designs, that fancy alone diotates. The tips of the points ar en<i« are generally fipiarted with frinfre or H

trimming made on the material, with bugles and beads.

The lower skirt generally has a plain edge trimmed with a fold of velvet or satin studded with beads, or else it is finished with a Marie Antoinette ruffle a quarter of a yard deep, sewed on in overlapping single plaits. In Paris the latter style is the one most generally preferred.

We have no salient novelty to record in the way of corsages: they are made round to wear with a fancy belt or basque. Sleeves, with very few exceptions, are made very close at the wrist.

For full toilets long trains are indispensable: the latest model we have seen measures two yards in the skirt behind, and is nine yards round at the bottom.

A heresy is at present gaining ground as to the orthodox nature of the taste of Parisian fashionists. It is said that invention has failed them, and tbat, judging from appearances, we shall shortly return to the fashion of four hundred years ago. Certain it is that there are in high quarters symptoms of a reversion to high heads, and instead of the chignon being protruded a quarter of a yard from the back of the head, its material will probably be worn on the crown.

All the breadths of the long dresses, with the exception of the back, are gored. The back width is straight, and laid in a large box-plait at the waist, and the dress should be made to fatten under this plait, to save the ugly opening at the side, which very often exhibits the petticoat. A cording or piping, sometimes double, of two colours (if the material is striped), is run on the seams; this is also carried round the edge of the skirt, which is frequently waved or scalloped. Satin is much used for trimming, and beads and buttons abound.

In bonnets, one of the prettiest I have seen was of the round form, posed on the summit of the head, and composed of rosecoloured tulle, shaded with white tulle, on which lay a, star of lace, and between its points sprays of spring-roses, with foliage. Brides, barbes of tulle, upon which, on each side, fell cordons of the same flowers. The brides may either be thrown behind or fastened in a knot before.

We have seen nothing new in the trimming of under-skirts since we replied to our correspondents in this article last month. Upon the receipt of Messrs. Jannings' Spring Models, we are kindly promised an exposition of them, a description of which shall appear for the benefit of our lady subscribers.

GREENWICH THEATRE.

In our last number we intimated that Miss Sallie Booth was about to appear as Lady Macbeth. We extract the following account of the performance from the Borough of Greenwich Standard ,^« The manager of this theatre pare

not be accused of want of liberality and enter, prise in catering for the amusement of the public. Macbeth, The Colleen Bawn, and two screaming farces produced in one week, are surely sufficient to satisfy the appetite of the most craving play-goer. Mr. Sidney has once more got bis company into good working order after the late inclement season, and the cheerfulness and improvement in all they do are manifest. On Thursday, Shakespeare's majestic and fiery tragedy of Macbeth was produced, with all Locke's music, and, considering the ambitious character of the work and the resources of a small theatre, the success was triumphant. Miss Sallie Booth's personation of Lady Macbeth will not be forgotten by those who witnessed it. It was a specimen of the greatest power and finish. It generally happens that the actress who can satisfy us in Juliet fails in Lady Macbeth, and vice versa, thus indicating, and very naturally, some want of completeness in histrionic ability. Juliet is a girl, loving, tender, and earnest, harmonising with the humanity of a woman's nature; Lady Macbeth is an outrage upon her sex, and yet she is a human being in her stricken conscience. Nothing can be a greater proof that Miss Booth possesses real genius, than the fact that she grappled with both these Shakesperian creations with almost equal intensity and effect. The amiable lines of her face and the mellow tones of her voice are not altogether calculated for expressing the demoniac and gloomy passions of Lady Macbeth, but her mastery over the forces of the soul belongs to the highest sphere of mental endowment. Nothing could be more impressive than her sleepwalking scene, or more solemnly pathetic than her delivery of the words 'Not all the perfumes of Araby can sweeten this little hand.' Mr. Roberts acted Macbeth with great ability. We have carefully watched the progress of this gentleman, and it is worth watching. He is essentially a good melodramatic actor. Melodrama demands a coarse breadth and power of treatment, which are distinctly within his grasp. We were, therefore, taken by surprise in the subtlety and effectiveness of his performance, although his vocal powers are not perfectly organised and cultivated. Mr. McFayden, as Macduff, shared the honours of the evening with Macbeth, and performed his part in a manner which justifies the high opinion we have formed of this gentleman's talents. We cannot mention all those who did their duty on this occasion; but we must single out Miss Lotti Moreton's performance of Hecate as something quite distinguished, and we must not pass by Mr. Thompson, as Malcolm, without a hearty word of commendation. Having now too briefly noticed the

production of Macbeth, we must proceed to record, with much pleasure, the unqualified success of The Colleen Bawn. Nothing could be more happy and delightful than the acting of Mr. Sidney, as Miles-na-Coppaleen, and of Miss Booth as Ann Chute (Tie Colleen Ruadh). This lady's Irish brogue'

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