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CONSTABLE & CO., WATERLOO PLACE, EDINBURGH ;
YATES, GRAFTON STREET, DUBLIN;
AND ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS,
NAVAL AND MILITARY
No. V.-MARCH, 1828.
The Old Major.
“ this was a man."-Shak speare. IF our nature mixed up a double dose of all the suavities which humanity can possess, it must have been in the person of the Old Major; brave without vanity, charitable without ostentation, kind without ceremony, and comely without conceit. He entered the army at the age of sixteen, and appeared on his last parade at sixty, but so broken in constitution, climate-struck, and truly veteran in appearance, that he had borne the title of the Oid Major for twenty years.
He was descended from an old English family. His father was a prototype for a complete country squire; but Edward (delicacy towards certain parties renders it necessary to conceal his name) had the rage militaire almost in
nursery, and accordingly he purchased his ensigncy as soon as he was able to serve. During the first ten years of his military life, his father paid the debt of nature, leaving his estate, which was not an entailed one, heavily encumbered, and his widow and four daughters ill provided for. The then captain sold his lands, and
divided the property equally amongst his sisters and himself; sinking at the same time in an annuity what sufficed to double the income which his mother could otherwise have claimed as her portion. Having made this arrangement, he had no home but his regiment; and no military man ever had such short and unfrequent leaves of absence; in fact he lived with the regiment: the officers were, to him, his brothers; the private men his children; he had all his clothes made by the regimental tailor, his linen made up by a soldier's wife; his servant was a soldier, and his faithful Trim (a spaniel) was pupped in camp; he never had but two chargers, the one was taken from the enemy, and named Plunder, by him, and another, which was twenty years old at the period of his de