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ever heard, of an instance of the common Highlander, of either pastoral or agricultural districts, being affected with this complaint. Is it from similar causes that I have never seen a fat or gouty soldier?
Soon after the review the regiment marched for Edinburgh, exciting on the road less curiosity and surprise at their garb and appearance than on former occasions, when the Highland dress was rarely seen. But although less curiosity was displayed, they experienced increased kindness and hospitality, and received such marked attention in every town through which they passed, that to repeat the particulars would be tiresome. But in the town of Peebles a circumstance occurred that deserves to be noticed. Here, as in many other places, the magistrates entertained the officers, at the same time not neglecting the soldiers. Colonel Dickson of KUbucho, the commanding officer, was a native of the county, which had been represented in Parliament by his family for many years before and after the Union. In the course of the evening the hearts of the provost, bailies, and deacons, began to warm and expand. They seemed delighted to have their countryman back again among them in his then respectable situation,' and being jovial and good tempered, before they separated they made him an offer of their suffrages to represent their burgh at the next general election. Following up this ebullition of friendship, they canvassed the towns united with theirs in returning a member of parliament, and three out of the five were secured for Colonel Dickson, who was accordingly returned
• Sir Ralph Abercromby, Lord Lynedocb, and such men, may enter on the active duties of a soldier at an advanced period of life, and rise to the highest honours of the profession. But these must be remarkable men, and their example is not for general adoption. Next to moral principles early infused into the minds of soldiers, nothing contributes more to render them perfect than a good commanding officer: and, on the other hand, few things sooner subvert discipline, and ruin a soldier, than being commanded by oue of a different character, however good he may be as a man or a private individual. The Highlanders have, at different periods, been unfortunate in this respect.
ill the month of August 1802, and sat in the ensuing parliament. The enthusiasm of his townsmen, however, was too warm to be lasting, and at the following election he lost his seat.
The regiment having been received with so much respect and attention in their march through England and the south of Scotland, a similar reception was to be expected in the capital of their native country. As it was previously known that they were to march into the Castle, thousands of the inhabitants met them at some distance from the town, and with acclamations congratulated them on their return to their native country.
Some men are unable to bear good fortune or applause, and forget the true end of the approbation of their countrymen; while others are excited and animated by it to persevere in those exertions which obtained the distinction. I know not how this matter stood with the majority of the regiment; but, from the kindness generally shown them, many did indulge themselves in a greater degree of latitude. Several fell under the notice of the police, and helped in no small degree to lower the corps in the esteem of the inhabitants, who expected to find them as quiet and regular in quarters as formerly. But however incompatible these deviations might be with the high notions entertained of this corps by their partial countrymen, and however derogatory from the character of good soldiers in quarters, there was no actual moral turpitude, no offence evincing unprincipled depravity, nothing, in short, which might not soon be remedied by discipline, and a removal from the scene in which the evil had originated. Fortunately for the reputation of the regiment, this change of quarters took place early. The peace was soon interrupted, and the regiment embarked at Leith in spring 1803, and landing at Harwich, marched to the camp at Weeley in Essex, where it was placed in Major-General the Honourable Sir John Hope's brigade. Under his command all the bad effects of the festivity and hospitality of Edinburgh disappeared.
Vol. i. 2 I
The regiment was at this time low in numbers, not exceeding 400 men, which was, in a great measure, occasioned by the numerous discharges in 1802, amounting to 475 men. Many of those, though still fit for service, had got pensions; but this generosity, which was well intended, failed in its effect. They had hardly reached their homes, (where, as they expected, they were to end their days in the enjoyment of their country's reward,) when two-thirds of them were called out again to serve in the Veteran corps. This call they obeyed with considerable reluctance, complaining as if they had suffered from a breach of faith. In the close communication and confined societies of the Highlands, every circumstance spreads with great rapidity. These men complained that they were allowed no rest; and to be called to the field again after their minds had been turned to other objects, they considered as oppressive and unjust. Their complaints made an impression in the Highlands, and afforded an argument to those who wished to prevent the young men from enlisting, by representing to them that they needed never expect to be allowed to rest in their native country. The Highland people reason and calculate, and do not enter the army from a frolic or heedless and momentary impulse; consequently, the complaints of these veterans, who thus unwillingly resumed their arms, certainly destroyed, in a considerable degree, the facility of recruiting.—It is hardly necessary to notice another recent cause, which has made a great impression in the Highlands, as it will probably be forgotten before recruit- ing on any extensive scale is again required. I allude to the number of men discharged without the pension, after a service of fourteen or fifteen years, and sent to their homes without money, and, perhaps, from their late habits, unwilling and unable to work; or, if they attempt to return to their ancient homes in the improved and desolate districts, without a house or friend to receive them. But where old soldiers, after a long service, have retired on the liberal pensions granted by Mr Wyndham's bill, they live in great
comfort, and their regular and well-paid incomes offer great encouragement to the youth of the country to enter the army. q
In 180S the regiment was recruited in a new manner. An act had been passed to raise men by ballot, to be called «« The Army of Reserve," on condition of their serving only in Great Britain and Ireland, with liberty to volunteer into the regular army on a certain bounty. In Scotland, those men were, in the first instance, formed into second battalions to regiments of the line. The quota of men to be furnished by the counties of Perth, Elgin, Nairn, Cromarty, Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Argyle, and Bute, were ordered to join a second battalion then to be formed for the Royal Highlanders; and the quotas for the counties of Inverness, Banff, Aberdeen, and Kincardine, to join the newly formed second battalion of the Gordon Highlanders; but with liberty to the men, so soon as the battalions were formed, to volunteer into the Royal Artillery, or any other regiment of the line which they might prefer.
I was ordered to Perth, to take charge of the quota of that county, which exceeded 400 men. The young men from the Highland parts of Perthshire showed a marked dislike to the ballot. This feeling was increased by the insurance societies, established to protect men from that new mode of calling them out to serve. When young men saw these protecting establishments, they began to think that there must be something very terrible in the nature of the service; otherwise, why should they see advertisements for protection posted up in all parts of the country? Under this impression, many hundred youths in each district insured themselves, who would have readily entered in person, had it not been for these societies. In this manner, large sums of money were drawn out of the districts, and the nation lost the personal services of numbers of that part of the population best calculated for the purpose intended. However, this did not always happen; for many who had insured themselves voluntarily enlisted afterwards, when they understood properly the nature of the duty required of them. In the more distant districts of the North, where insurance was never heard of, the men came forward in person when the ballot fell upon them. Should men ever be raised by ballot on any future occasion, it would be well to make all insurance illegal. While so much dislike was shown to the ballot, although foreign service was excluded, I found many young men willing to serve the following year, when I recruited for men to go to any part of the world to which they might be ordered. A Highlander does not like to be forced into the service; at the same time, if attention be paid to his habits, and if his disposition be humoured, he will readily enter. *
* If one of these were in each district, they might exhibit such an example as an old military friend of mine, who was many years a soldier in my company, and who is now living on a pension as the reward of twentyeight years' service. I met this man two years ago, when riding through a glen, where, if the people are to be credited, the rents are higher than the produce of the lands can pay. After the first salutation, I asked him how he lived. "lam perfectly comfortable," said he," and, if it was not for the complaints I hear about me in this poor country, I would be happy. I vow to God, I believe I am the richest man among them; and, instead of having thirty-four pounds a-year, as I have, I do not believe a man of them has thirty-four pence after the rents are paid. Times are sadly changed since I left this country to join the 42d. We had then no complaints of lords or lairds; indeed, nobody dared speak ill of them, as they were kind to us all; we had no banning and cursing of great folks, and were all merry and happy, and had plenty of piping, and dancing, and fiddling, at all the weddings. Many of the good folks say they are sorry they did not go with me to the army; and the young men say, that, if they were to be as well used as I have been, they would turn soldiers: so, Colonel, when you raise a regiment, come here, and I will be your recruiting serjeant."
Fort George was the head-quarters of the second battalion. I marched the men northward, and received from
• It must probably have been some feeling of this kind, that, in the following year, (1804,) when I raised men for promotion in the 7Sth regiment, numbers engaged with me, as I have already observed, to serve abroad for a bounty of twelve guineas, while they could have got twenty-five guineas and upwards as substitutes for the militia.