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BRIGADE OF GENTLEMEN CADETS.
Florence, 2711s April 1855. Sra—The proposition for embodying as an armed military force men be- longing to the very dregs of the population—namely, those who may have obtained "tickets of leave" from the convict prisons—will be rejected, it is to be hoped, by Parliament, as an insult to the British nation : nevertheless, the proposition itself suggests a contrary one—namely, that of the military organization of young men belonging to the upper stra- tum of society ; such, for instance as of those who may be now disappointed applicants for commissions in the Artily; many of whom probably, were they sure of associating with young men of education and of their own position ifs life might be willing to enlist as private soldiers in a corps which I will designate as the "Brigade of Gentlemen Cadets," to be composed of cavalry as well as of infantry.
It would be necessary for the perfect organization and discipline of such a eorps, that the Secretary for War should refuse to accept any young gen- tleman as a recruit who might not possess a private income or allowance from his friends of a certain amount, as may be deemed advisable to fix; stnd also that the regulated sum necessary for the purchase of his discharge should be lodged, in anticipation of such being required, with an agent of the Government, to the end that, if he should at any time during his period of service seriously misbehave as a soldier, he may at once be discharged by purchase; the said sum being thus forfeited to the country as compensation for the expense fruitlessly incurred in having trained him to the use of arias.
- I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient humble servant, W. BRYAN COOKE.