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ginal performance. Through the want of this essential aid and stimulus, the public loses the opportunity of forming correet judgments, the artist wanders in darkness, though little is expected yet less is produced, dulness and mediocrity sup-tsede the higher attainments, the shadow is embraced for the substance, and all is deemed right that gives currency to commercial advantages,
We say nothing of the outline plates at the end of this volume, which are merely keys to paintings and engravings that we have not seen; and of the biographical part, it may suffice to observe that it is a neat and concise compilation, sufficient for the purpose of illustration which it was here designed to fulfi.
Art. XIII. An Enquiry into the Principles of Civil and Military Sub
ordination. By John Macdiarmid, Esq. 8vo. los. 6d. Boards.
C. and R. Baldwin. 1806. IT. T is the purport of this work to submit our administrative
systems to the test of original principles; and to compare them with those laws by which the human mind is governed, and human actions are determined. If this be here done less profoundly than it might have been effected in the present ad, vanced state of our knowlege in this department, we doubt much whether the work suffers materially from this circumstance on the score of practical utility. The inquiry is pursued in four parts; the first treating of natural subordination, or that subordination which prevails among mankind in their more rude state, previously to the introduction of positive institutions : in the second are considered the effects of this species of subordination : in the third, a view is taken of the subordination which is created by positive institutions; and in the fourth, a detached branch of this artificial subordination, namely the military, is investigated. As this latter division refers to a subject which derives peculiar interest from the cir. cumstances of the moment, we shall borrow from it a few extracts, which we shall submit to our readers as specimens of the author's sentiments and manner.
One great defect in our military system, it is here cons tended, respects the appointment of officers of our army:
· This election (Mr. M. observes) is nominally vested in the King, but virtually in the Commander in Chief, who must be supposed to be well conversant with military affairs. But unfortunately Other circumstances render this provision of no avail. Although the Commander in Chief may be very well qualified to appreciate the qualifications of candidates for commissions, yet he cannot possibly
turn liis discriminating talents to any good account, if he can command no leisure to examine into the qualifications of the candidates, The British Commander in Chief, however, is necessarily immersed in a mass of business which has no connection with the election of officers : but had he no other duty but this to perform, the talents and activity of no one inan upon earth are capable of executing it to that perfection which the good of the public service requires. No one individual could possibly undertake to examine into the qualifications of the number of officers, which the present state of the British force requires to be continually appointed.
• But the Commander in Chief is subjected to none of these uncasinesses. Neither law nor usage calls upon him to examine into the qualifications of those on whom he bestows commissions ; and consequently no such examination ever takes place:
• Although the laws direct no enquiry to be made into the qualifications of the candidates, were it the practice to cast lots among them, the public might sometimes have an equal chance of having properly qualified officers appointed. But by means of the tests usually employed to guide the choice of the electors, even this chance is removed; and while there are many public offices which men murmur to see filled by ill qualified persons, no one expects a military officer, on first receiving his commission, to be competent to the duties of his station.
• The Commander in Chief, as any other man would do in his situation, gives away the commissions to those, or the friends of those who have formed some claim on his favour. At other times he al. lows the commissions to be sold to such as are desirous and able to purchase them. That the possession of money or interest affords uo probability that the owner also possesses either one description of skill and dexerity or another, we have already seen : but from the consequences of this mode of election there are many chances against the military officers thus chosen being properly qualified. Those who have neither interest nor money, and who have to make their way in the world by their own exertions, qualify themselves for other professions in which their talents may give them some chance of succeeding : while those who have interest or money save themselves the labour of acquiring qualifications, which they know to be altogetber unnecessary to their success. A selection of properly qualified persons cannot therefore be made from among the candidates who present themselves.
Among other marvellous statements made respecting the extraordinary person who at this time controuls the destinies of Europe, we have heard it said that not a subaltern is employed in his immense armed force, with whose abilities and character he is not accurately acquainted.--On the qualifications of privates, the author thus remarks :
• The peculiar skill and dexterity requisite in the privates of an army is in some respects different from that of the superior officers, and perhaps of less difficult acquisition. Some prejudices, however, of a very pernicious tendency, liave caused the degree of skill and
dexterity dexterity which is requisite in the private to be accounted much less than in reality it ought. The private must, in truth, know every part of military duty which the officer does, and must not only know it but be able to carry it into execution, otherwise the knowledge of the officer is in vain. Unless the private is as perfectly skilled in any evolution as the officer who cominands it to be done, and is besides able to carry this skill into practice, the evolution cannot be skilfully performed whatever may be the abilities of the officer. The same holds good of every dury which the private may be called upon to execute. The private has also occasion for coolness, intrepidity, presence of mind, and sagacity to enable him to execute the commands of his officer with precision and effect. It is in yain that the officer is intelligent, active, and brave, if the private be stupid, tardy, and cowardly.
• But there are other circuinstances which render it peculiarly expedient that the privates should be assimilated as much as possible ia professional skill and dexterity to the officers. The business of warfare is, in many respects, widely different from any other business. la any private business, such for instance as particular manufactories, where a number of men must co-operate, and where consequently some must be appointed to direct, the co-operation is seldom in dan. ger of being disorganised by the death of any of the directors. A director is seldom carried off so suddenly as that there is not sufficient time to fill up his place before the business receives any material de. triment. In such cases it is not necessary that those who are directed should be acquainted with the business' of direction. But in warfare, circumstances are extremely different. In the field of battle, when the exertions of the officer are peculiarly necessary, he is every moment in danger of being killed ; and if, on such an event, the privates are incapable of directing themselves, all who were under the command of the slain officer must be thrown into utter confusion, and scattered before the enemy as sheep without a shepherd are before the wolf. The chik ish helplessness, to which privates are habitu. ated by the usual course of military discipline, is the great cause of those terrible headlong routs, in which so many more men perish than while the action is most warmly maintained.'
Mr. Macdiarmid next exposes, in very forcible terms, the old methods of recruiting. Some of the absurd and mischievous practices here censured have been corrected, while others still continue to disgrace our internal policy. With regard to Military Instruction, it is here very justly and truly stated that
• Unfortunately the laws and usages of Great Britain are not less defective in regard to the instruction than the election of our land forees. The officers, on whose instruction the efficacy of military subordination requires particular care to be bestowed, are left to pick up a little professional knowledge in the best way they can. The adjutant is, indeed, commissioned to teach them how to carry their swords, when to step out, how to station and deport themselves ia the wheelings, with some other things of the same sort which are pecessary to prevent them from cxciting the risibility of the bye.
standers. Yet so negligently is their instruction in even these trifles managed, that after twelvemonths apent in the army, an officer is often no great proficient in them. As to the mechanism and use of the various manquvres, with the other mechanical parts of military discipline, it is accounted praise-worthy if an officer has acquired a considerable proficiency in them after several years spent in the army.
• With regard to the higher parts of military duty, those on which the warlike success of nations more particularly depends, there is absolutely not even an attempt at instruction. Are there any steps taken to render our officers conversant with the means of practising or counteracting the stratagems of war; or even with the topography of the countries in which they may be employed ; Yet if the officers are ignorant of these circumstances, how is it possible that an army can act with proper effect against the enemy?
• From this unaccountable ncgligence in the professional instruc. tion of British officers, it is not until after a long course of personal observation, usually termed experience, that an officer at length ac. quires a considerable share of that professional skill and dexterity, which he ought to have possessed when he received his commission. So very scanty, and at the same time so very incorrect, is the information which he picks up in this manner, that unless he has been in several battles, he is not supposed to have any idea of the business of actual warfare ; and even general officers, who have made an excellent figure in the business of the parade, are proverbially inefficient when sent to encounter the enemy. Nothing can be a more cutting satire on the course of military instruction, than that an officer should still be ignorant of the most essential duties of his station, after having been actually placed in it for the better part of a life time. This may excite the ridicule of our enemies; but it ought to excite in us the sincerest alliction, and the most gloomy apprehension, since the State must always calculate upon losing many battles, until these great children are beat into some knowledge of their duty.
• Were our enemies equally careless of the instruction of their officers, this might afford us at least some negative consolation. But, although in general far behind us in civil policy, yet in military affairs, to which they have eagerly applied their attention, they have for the most part greatly surpassed us in improvements. The instruction of their officers is an object on which the French bestow the most unremitting attention. . Besides assiduously attending to the business of the public parade, the officers have a private drill of their own, in which they not only perfect themselves in the mechanical part of their duties, but also discuss the various stratagems and chances of
To render them masters of the topography of the countries in which they may be employed, a circumstance so essentially necessary to success, no pains are spared. Topographical maps, with local surveys and descriptions of all the French frontiers and the adjacent countries, are provided ; and the Depôt de la Guerre at Paris furnishes a ready supply of every species of military information. By such arts do our enemies overthrow ancient empires, while the bravest nation in the universe is made to tremble on its own shores from the miserable inefficiency of its army.'
On this interesting topic, Mr. M. adds his opinion that little or no improvement can be expected from the plans pursued in our recent Military Schools.
Chusing to be rigidly systematic, and treating of his subject on general grounds, the author uses the term election where only that of appointment is applicable, according to our iastitutions.
In prosecuting these inquiries, the penetration, the patient investigation, and the powers of analysis, which Mr. Macdiarmid displays, appear to considerable advantage ; and we are of opinion that his labours deserve the notice of those who are in situations of authority and influence, since they may derive from them useful hints and practical suggestions. If he appears to be a stranger to some celebrated systems, re. specting the branch of knowlege by the application of which he proposes to reform our institutions, he seems to be by no means ignorant of the conclusions which these theories meant to establish, nor of the facts on which they have been founded; and if he has not shewn himself an adept in metaphysics, his pages throughout are characterized by a liberal spirit, by manly sentiments, and by an ardent and enlightened patriotism
ART. XIV. The Anatomy of the Human Ear, illustrated by a Series
of Engravings of the natural Size ; with a Treatise on the Diseases of that Organ, the Causes of Deafness, and their proper Treat
By J. C. Saunders, Surgeon of the London Dispensatory for Diseases of the Eye and the Ear. Folio. il. 58. Boards R. Phillips. 1806. The organ of hearing has not obtained, either from the
anatomist or the pathologist, that attention which the intricacy of its structure and the importance of its functions de
Although the several parts of which it is composed have been occasionally described with considerable minuteness, yet the descriptions are generally obscure, or the works which contain them are difficult of access; so that the young practitioner, who wishes for information on the subject, finds his progress impeded by almost insurmountable difficulties. These obstacles the volume before us must, in a material degree, tend to remove.
Mr. Saunders's work is arranged in four chapters ; in the first three of which, the anatomy of the ear is described, and in the last we have some remarks on its diseases. He divides the complicated mechanism of which the ear consists, into three parts; the external, by which the air is received and Conveyed to the seat of sensation } che internal, which forms