chief; and for my part, I am determined in case of the worst, not to have my portion of the general woe aggravated by the reproaches of my own conscience, but to secure to myself the consolatory reflection of having omitted nothing, within the scope of my humble powers, to avert so shocking a catastrophe.'


MILITARY DISCIPLINE. THE determined perseverance of the American nation in the old system of military tacticks, which was practiced upon during the revolutionary war, would have a greater tendency to subvert the liberties of this country, on the supposition of an invasion by a foreign force, than perhaps any other defect in our system which can be imagined. Even our volunteers, at the best, are no better than men of lath; they are undoubtedly dressed in very smart uniforms, and perhaps their manæuvres are performed with considerable accuracy and adroitness. But they are not only radically defective in all the general principles of the system of modern tacticks, which has been introduced since the French revolution, but they seem essentially to depend upon mere excellence in show and outward forms, without possessing any quality which renders a soldier powerful in the field.

• It is easy for a person to fancy himself a soldier, by scrupu. lously attending, during peace, to those minutia which are really insignificant in war ; and it has been generally observed, that officers who make the most distinguished figure in time of peace, do not, in actual service, answer the expectations which they have raised. • An officer of this class, who having served twenty or thirty years, has great difficulty in changing his pa. cifick habits : he hates war : and where there is a want of taste for an undertaking, it must be badly executed.' Nothing can appear more astonishing to those who have not reflected upon it, than the extreme zeal which many officers of that descriprtion show for the subordinate minutia of parade. It is however the case with this, as with most other frivolous pursuits, that where they occupy the mind, they engross it more exclusively than those objects which require a higher exertion of the understanding. A collector of butterflies or tulips shows more zeal in his favourite studies, than a mathematician; and a mountebank

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quack-doctor annexes higher importance to his infallible prescrip-
tions than a regular physician. Officers who have been long
accustomed to actual service, are fully aware of the relative im.
portance of the subordinate parts of discipline ; but it is not ea.
sy to describe the absurd importance which parade officers, who
have never heard a gun fired upon service, ascribe to the small-
est minutie of dress. It appears to them of greater consequence
to have their troops smart upon parade, than active in their ma-
neuvres ; and they seem to think that nothing renders a soldier
so fit to meet an enemy, as fixing his cap upon one corner of his
head, and exposing as much of it as they possibly can, bedaub-
ed with soap and four, to the wet and cold of a northern climate..
No doubt, those officers must be very unfit to meet an enemy,
who will not stay to examine whether the accoutrements of their
men are well lackered, or their queues tied with singular regularity
and precision. The height to which this attention to dress is rais-
ed in some individuals, exceeds all bounds of belief. We have
heard an anecdote of a general officer (in what service we for-
bear to mention) who went with some of his friends to see the
Consular troops reviewed at Paris. After inspecting the lines
very narrowly, he was observed to return to his countrymen with
a look of great satisfaction and importance. One of them whe
was anxious to know the result of his observations, was at length
informed, that he could assure him as a military man, that af-
ter looking at the whole line, he had not been able to find two
neckcloths together, tied in the same manner.**
very moderate instance of the disposition above alluded to :
many more striking ones are well known.'

* A certain degree of attention to the clothing and equipment of troops is necessary; and even an excess of it may appear a very harmless foible. It would certainly be so, if it did not conveit what ought to be a secondary object, into a principal one. When it is proposed to form the soldier for the different kinds of service which may be required, and to accustom him to such exercises as will inure him to fatigue, it is said that he is already sufficiently employed. This objection has long ago been answered by Guibert. “Si l'on me dit,' says that enlightened author, ' que nos exerceses actuels les occupent déjà assez, je réqondrei que c'est parce que nos manœuvres sont trop compliquées, nos méthodes d'instruction mal entendues, notre prétention de précision et de perfection sur beaucoup de points, minutieuse et ridicule. Je répondrai que la preuve que nos soldats ne sont pas assez occupés, c'est que pour remplir, dit-on, leur temps, on les surcharge de régles de discipline, inquiétantes et odieuses. C'est qu'on a créé une tenue qui leur fait passer trois heures par jour à leur toilette, qui en fait des perruquiers, des polisseurs, des vernisseurs, tout en un mot, hormis des gens

de gurre.'-Essai General de Tactique.

This was a

SILVA-No. 52.
Anticipated from the Monthly Anthology for June 1809.

If I indulge myself in a smile at such trifling follies, must I of necessity be an envious and malicious tempered man?"


A WITTY ANSWER TO A CIVIL INVITATION. Mr. a celebrated gamester, was suddenly removed from the billiard table to the county gaol. On his arrival there he found in his pocket an invitation to sup the next evening at Julien's, with a whist party, which he would gladly have accepted ; he however requested the officer who attended him to present his compliments to his friends and tell them that as he had received another invitation, in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it was out of his power to accept theirs.

MISS ANN THOLOGY. This celebrated literary female, who was born under the rigorous climate of the metropolis of New England, in 1804, was deserted by her only parent at the tender age of three months. She was taken up and sent to explore the hidden sources of publick munificence, by three friends, who for several years fed and clothed her gratis. These were Law, Physick and Divinity.

EPITAPH, On an old lady, of whom, with her husband and son, it was said, that they lived in a vinegar bottle all the days of their lives.'

Here lies Goody Purslain who liv'd in a pen,
And brew'd good beer for gentlemen :
The beer turn'd so sour that man could not drink it:
Goody Purslain she died, aląs! who would think it ?

APOLOGUE. The Cabbage said to the Potatoe : Look how much handsomer I am than you, how I draw together and consolidate my rich curling leaves and almost vie in size and solidity with the terrestrial globe ; you are not fit to share the same garden with those feeble stalks that support only a few useless balls. True said the potatoe, my stalks are not so sturdy as yours, nor my leaves so rough and large ; but I am not the less belov. ed by the farmers : they call me by many names, and all expressive of my utility; sometimes Spanish White, and Irish beef, and Carolina, and Rusty-coat, and Blue-nose. I am planted early in May, and in one small hillock, do not cease to propagate and multiply till I am dug up and housed in November. I see almost all our fellows gathered in before me; and when I reflect how much I am beloved, and how much longer I live without the attention of man, than the Turnip, the Beet, and the Onion, I do not envy them the pains bestowed upon their cultivation.

The Cabbage was about to reply, but Betty, with a huge knife, at one stroke, cropped its leaves to boil, and left the headless trunk standing erect, and bleaching with the northern blast.'

Said the Kidney-Bean to the Pumpion-vine : Your orange coloured fruit is large and splendid ; but you do not tower above the ground; rise like me, to the top of this pole, and your riches and magnificence will be seen. My fruits, said the other, may be less aspiring than yours, but the bosom of the earth is proud to support them.

A WISE MAGISTRATE. A justice of the peace in Hampshire county, on hearing some years ago that Bonaparte intended to invade England, expressed considerable apprehension for the fate of himself and family, and requested to be told in what part of Massachusetts Old England was situated. "Why, father, Old England is on the eastern continent, at an immense distance from Massachusetts. “Well, all the eastern country, the District and of Maine, is in Massachusetts. “Why, sir, only look at the map; I will shew you that it is not.' The map was produced, and the son pointed out Massachusetts and then shewed him the British Isles. The justice placing his thumb on Massachusetts, and stretching his fore finger to Great-Britain, exclaimed, “Well, well, I see that it is not in Massachusetts, but they are so close together, that Bonaparte's cannon balls can easily reach us.'

MAD MEN. It was told to a celebrated literary club in the wise city of Gotham, that a certain man had slandered their censorship’s work. It was a man whom they had never known, nor had any connection with. 'Let him alone said they, he must be a mad man; no one in his senses would speak ill of a book that had done him no injury.”

Query. How many mad men would those wits have found among the readers of the Monthly Anthology?

The two following articles are not for black-letter dogs, nor prowl, ers after Greek and Latin. The Silva has thickets and brakes enough for them to wander and scrabble in. They are designed exclusively to affect that part of creation that has 90 often affected me.

During the time that Thomas Jefferson governed the United States, a young lady of New-Hampshire, whose lover resided in Boston, was much surprized at receiving no letters from him, though she had often written to him. At length one of her neighbours being destined for Boston with a load of marketing, she requested him to call on the young Adonis, and enquire the reason of his silence. The youth was much surprised, said he had written regularly once a week; he went, in consequence, with the market man to the post-office, to know why they had not been forwarded. The post master knew nothing about it, but said he always sent forward all letters. He told them, however, he had a number of letters, which he had not been able to forward, be. cause he could not discover the direction. Taking them into another room, he showed the packets which proved be the young lover's, and which for greater security, were directed as well as written in his eroglyphicks.

Cross patch, draw the latch,

Sit by the fire and spin,
Take the cup and drink it up,

Then call your neighbours in.? Though I do not recollect, and it is perhaps of little moment to know on what particular person the poet bestows such severe sarcasm, I am ready to confess, that the elegance of his satire does not force upon my mind the conclusion which he intended to extort from

every reader. Far from thinking the gibe true, because elegant, I deduce a directly opposite inference; and because it is finished to such brilliant ele. gance, I am obliged to consider it as extravagant, and therefore false. It is a downright absurdity to say of any woman that she takes a cup,' or even to say simply that she is a cross patch.' We know, and from their own lips too, that the solitary hours of females are spent either in the most harmless, good natured apathy, or the most exalted devotion. When they are not singing to themselves and thinking of nothing.' they are rapt in the most enchanting visions of saints and angels. Not are the industrious hours of any woman I ever knew so mighty gloomy, for what in the world can charm together such a squad of blue, green, pink, coplico, orange, and white, in short omnicoloured celestials, as the sight of an old maid, or a young one either, when she . sits by the fire and spins.' And if others are so possessed with the sight, must not the holy light which plays round the spinning wheel of her who is thus employed, be the meridian blaze, the very region and home, the lurking place, the revel room, yea, the very dancing hall of all the celestial spirits aforesaid.

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