26 OCTOBER 1833, Page 12


IT is amusing to observe how soon the most contemptible of man- kind become puffed up after entering upon " the military profes- sion." It is called emphatically the profession of a man of spirit. A man who becomes a private soldier is liable to be abused, caned, and flogged, every day of his life, for the most trifling faults,—for an unguarded word to his: officer, a dirty pair of shoes, or disobedience of that important word of command " eyes right." Even if he belongs to the higher classes and is able to purchase a commission, his situation—especially if his commanding officer be ill-tempered, or a martinet—is excessively galling. It is needless to mention the ill-feel- ing generated at the mess-table, when civil sneers, if not di- rect insults, are so often levelled against an unlucky Cornet or Lieutenant, whose tongue is tied by the fear of a court-martial and the loss of his commission, while his blood is all on fire with eagerness to run his unmanly assailant through the body. The duty to which military men are frequently subjected is degrading in the extreme,—such, for instance, as cutting down Manchester mobs, or acting the part of Irish tithe-proctors. All this and much more have they to endure. Still we are told, that the military profession is that of a man of spiritpar excellence ! Of course we are aware that there are multitudes of high-minded, gallant gentlemen in the Army and Navy; but it is not these habits of their profession that have made them such.

It is not unusual, among military men of education, to observe the outbreaking of the innate persuasion of their superiority to men who wear plain clothes, and have the misfortune to be lawyers, merchants, or plain country gentlemen. Two or three instances of it occurred during the last session of Parliament, which we no- ticed at the time. They were certainly very amusing; but the thing becomes too ridiculous when we see a poor devil of a private taking upon himself the airs of his superior officers, and "coming the Colonel" over his fellow-subjects and paymas- ters. Thus, at the Hatton Garden Office yesterday, a private of the First Life thiards was charged with bintally assaulting a Police-officer, who attempted to take him into custody for creating a disturbance in the street. The fellow was very drunk, and flourished his cane aboutamono some women and children, like a sergeant drilling an awkward squad of recruits. When lie was asked by the Magistrates for his defence against the charge of assault, he said—" A civilian called me a vulgar name, and I was irritated ;" and when asked whom he called a civilian, he replied—" Not a military man." Had he been a military man, the vulgarity would not have been offensive, but from a civilian it was intolerable; so be kicked the Policeman— in a way probably to disable him for life. The hot " spirit" of this drunken ruffian will have time to' cool in prison; and he will be tried by " civilians" at the Sessions.