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appeared to be founded, was, in fact, relinquished by the admiffion of fine and fubftitution. The burden ought, therefore, to have been extended, not only to thofe who were able to ferve, but to those who were able to pay. The quota of each county might have been fixed by government, but the expenfe of raifing the men ought to have been equally defrayed by the whole community; or, indeed, the bufinefs might have been more eafily, as well as more expeditiously, accomplished, if men, practifed in recruiting, had been employed to procure for the counties their respective quotas, and the expenfe had been charged upon them as a tax by government. But where is the neceffity or utility of apportioning a certain quota of men to each county? Would it not have been -as eligible for government to have raifed the required number of men, and to have defrayed the expenfe out of the general fund raised by taxes? This naturally brings us back to the principle from which we fet out, namely, that government ought to raise an army perfectly adequate to the defence of the country, whatever it may coft; and the expenfe or hardship ought to be borne by the community at large, and not by individuals, capriciously felected for the purpofe. There is no doubt that men may be raised by means of money judicioufly applied. It is both unjust and cruel, therefore, to force individuals into a fervice, into which, for a little better encouragement, they might be perfuaded to enter voluntarily; and this, too, for the purpose of faving the rich from a very flight addition to the load of taxes which they already bear.
The necefity of the cafe-the urgency of the crifis-was conftantly brought forward as an apology for the partiality and feverity of the meafure. The number of men wanted could not, it was faid, be raised by voluntary inliftment; it was neceffary, therefore, to refort to extraordinary means. Now, though neceffity is certainly a complete juftification of the feverity of a meafure, it is no excufe at all for its partiality. But, fo far is it from being true that the men could not be raised by voluntary inlistment, that this, after all, was the way in which they were actually raised. The lot generally fell on those whofe habits rend red them completely averfe to a military life; or whofe avocations rendered it impoffible for them to ferve perfonally. They were forced, therefore, either to pay the fine or to provide a fubititute. The confequence of which was, that nine tenths of the army of referve were fubititutes. They were raifed, therefore, at lait, by voluntary enliftment; and they were raifed by individuals totally unpractifed in the bufinefs of recruiting. The bounties giver were accordingly enormous; and they at laft rofe fo high, that a final ftop was put to every fort of recruiting; fo that the number of men propofed to be raised by this plan were never completed.
completed. Its efficiency was, however, greatly boasted of by its authors and fupporters. To us it appears, that all that it effected might have been much more easily brought about, and with far lefs oppreffion to the country, by other means. It is to be confidered alfo, that the force raifed by this measure was, by its conftitution, rendered ftationary in the country ;-that it could not protect our distant poffeffions, or be rendered the source of active annoyance to our enemy;-it could not therefore increase our refpect abroad, nor could it add to our influence in the counfels of the continental powers. The confequence accordingly was, that, having thus ftudiously crippled our force, and adapted it to one folitary mode of annoyance, when we at laft fucceeded in kindling a continental war, we were disabled by our own blind improvidence from interfering with the weight of our resources in that conteft which irrevocably decided the fate of Europe.
The disorder and mischief which the operation of the ballot began to produce, became at length too notorious to be concealed. Bounties rose to 50%. and 60/.; and substitutes could not be procured at any price. The recruiting for the army was also completely stopped. It was asserted, to be sure, that although a bounty of 40%. and 501. was given for substitutes for the army of reserve, the recruiting for the army went on as successfully as ever; which involved the following extraordinary assertion, that men preferred a bounty of 15/. to a bounty of 401. Now that the support of the measure is no longer an article of ministerial faith, it appears inconceivable to every one how so monstrous a proposition could ever have been ventured upon. Although the ballot, however, was thus satisfactorily shown not to retard the recruiting of the army, yet it was thought necessary, for reasons which state policy no doubt prevented from being disclosed, to suspend its operation; and it was afterwards repealed. It was hooted and exploded indeed by all parties for its evident iniquity, and for the actual misery which it had `occa
After such recent experience of the mischiefs of projects rashly adopted, and hastily abandoned, it might naturally have been expected, that we would have resorted to some sound and obvious principle of common sense, for the future regulation of our military policy; that, afraid of blindly trusting the success of such important arrangements to chance, we would have checked our rage for device and experiment, and have considered, whether it might not be practicable to recommend a military life to the voluntary choice of the people, by connecting with it such substantial advantages as could not be hoped for in any other profession. Such at least appears to us to be the most obvious and rational
rational method of recruiting the army; and we cannot help thinking, that if a system, founded on this principle, had been adopted, instead of being exhausted by a sudden effort, it would have grown more efficient the more generally it was known; and might, at length, have freed us from that constant fluctuation of counsel, from which it is impossible that substantial strength of any kind can result. The plan proposed was unfortunately very ill calculated to remove any of the evils complained of. Its principal object was to put an end to the obstacles which arose from the competition of high bounties, and to make good the existing deficiencies in the army of reserve, and in the militia, amounting in the former to 9000 men, and in the latter to 7000. For this purpose, the recruiting service was to be entrusted to parish officers, who were prohibited by act of parliament from giving a higher bounty than 15. In case the efforts of these worthy persons should prove unsuccessful, the counties were to be fined 201. for each man deficient. Upon what principle of common sense it was imagined, that parish officers with a bounty of 15/ could persuade men to enlist who had refused a bounty of 30%. or 401. from a recruiting sergeant, we are at a loss to discover. As little can we conceive, by what rule of policy, or of justice, the counties were to be fined for the bad success of their parish officers. This provision, though extremely oppressive to the counties, could not be expected to operate as a stimulus to the zeal of parish officers. But the whole plan was indeed an outrage against the most obvious maxims of policy and of reason. We never could discover upon what rational principle it was founded. It always appeared to us to be a collection of conceits and devices, arbitrarily and carelessly patched together.
In apologizing for the failure of the measure, Mr Pitt only accounted for it; he pointed out the reasons why it had failed; but his statements clearly showed that it was impossible it could have succeeded. Such, however, is the inordinate complacency of mankind for their own schemes, that Mr Pitt was very far from attributing the miscarriage of his measure to any defect in its principle or contrivance; he rather chose to imagine a want of zeal and patriotism in the people of England ; and boldly asserted, that it was entirely owing to a misconception which had gone abroad, that the penalties leviable on the counties in case the provisions of the act were not complied with, would not be exacted, that the number of men required were not procured; and, after declaring that these penalties would be rigorously exacted, he expressed the most perfect confidence respecting the ultimate success of his project. It was no doubt true, that very little activity had been displayed in carrying this VOL. XI. NO 21.
scheme into effect, because it was universally believed to be absurd and impracticable; nor was it very gratifying to observe the people deriding the folly and weakness of the government, and the government, on the other hand, charging the people with a want of zeal in their own cause; and hinting to them, that it would be much for their benefit to have their patriotic efforts stimulated by fines and penalties. It is certainly very unaccountable, how a statesman of Mr Pitt's acknowledged abilities should have given his sanction to so mean and foolish a project.
The parish-bill, as it was generally termed, was repealed very soon after the accession of the last ministry, and another measure substituted in its place. By that measure, the term of military service was divided into three periods, of seven years each. At the end of every period the soldier might claim his discharge ; if he left the army after the first period, he was entitled to exercise his trade in any town in Britain; at the end of the second period, he was besides entitled to a pension of 3s. 6d. per week; and he was dismissed from the army, after having served twentyone years, with a pension of 7s. per week. If he was wounded or disabled in the service, he was to receive the same pension as if he had served out the full term. During the second and third period of his service, he received a small advance of pay.
This is undoubtedly the first measure for recruiting the army in which we can discern any thing like an appeal to the principles of common sense. The object is to raise men by voluntary enlistment; and accordingly, it proceeds upon the principle of recommending the military profession to the attention of the people by the solid advantages which it holds out to them. It endeavours to place the calling of the soldier on a level with alf other callings, in order that the number of men which is required for the defence of the state may be naturally drawn from the population of the country. We can conceive no other way in which this object can be attained; and, as far as we have had access to observe the operation of this measure, its success has been very conspicuous. A great number of young men, from about seventeen to twenty-five years of age, have been induced to enter into the army from the comparatively great encouragements now held out to them. The short term of service is a regulation peculiarly acceptable. The objections which were urged against this measure scarcely deserve notice; they were such as might have been expected from those who could wrangle with such plodding perseverance in defence of the folly and absurdity of the parish-bill. The additional expense was grudged, although it would be difficult to show in what way money could be expended with such sure and ample returns of advantage, as in ameliorat
ing the condition of the soldier: there is no way of procuring military service but by paying the just price for it, unless, indeed, it be wrung from the misery and oppression of the poor. The inconvenience arising from men claiming their discharge at the expiration of their several terms of service, was strongly urged; and some inconvenience may no doubt result from this regulation; but, with a very little foresight, it appears to us, that it may be easily provided for. Our choice, it must be recollected, lies between opposite evils; and we can scarcely conceive one greater than the general aversion which the indefinite term of service created to a military life. It was argued, indeed, that men would as soon enlist for life as for seven years; which may serve to show the straits to which those who opposed the measure were reduced. It appears to us, that the principle of the plan was quite invulnerable, and that its particular provisions furnished the only plausible ground of attack. It might have been urged, that the additions of pay in the two different periods of service were too small; that, considering the high wages of common and manufacturing labour, the weekly pensions as a reward for service were not sufficiently liberal. And it must be confessed, indeed, that it would have been better to have erred on the side of liberality than on that of economy. We have always been too niggardly in rewarding both military and naval service. It will be recollected; that the last rise both in the pay of the army and navy, was procured, not from the thoughtful liberality of government, but by means of the mutiny in the fleet. As that matter, however, is regulated by government, the pay both of the seamen and soldiers, ought from time to time to be taken under their consideration, and to be augmented according as the wages in other employments rise. The pay of the seamen ought evidently to be mea sured by the wages given in the merchant service, and the pay of the army by the wages of common labour. To force men into an employment which they dislike, and to pay them too little for their service, is to add fraud to violence.
Notwithstanding, however, all the encouragements offered to voluntary enlistment, it was said to be impossible, without adopting more efficient measures, even to keep up the army to its present numbers. No proof was indeed offered of the truth of this assertion. But, allowing it to be true, what did it prove? Not that the principle of the measure already adopted was wrong, but merely that the encouragements which it held out to enter into the army were still insufficient. The details of the plan might therefore have been improved without varying from the principle; as it is evident that nothing tends to produce greater confusion and weakness than continual alteration; and nothing also more clearly