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than he could bring within the compass of that Memoir. Jeffrey in his essay on Swift, which he twice reprinted from his Review, did his worst to wash on again the party blacking which he thought Scott had been rather too disposed to wash off the character of a Whig convert to Toryism. Macaulay and Thackeray had their own political and literary humours to vent at Swift's expense; and both, as regarded facts, were content with that a-peu-près, which was Sainte-Beuve's special horror, and with which, we may add, Mr. Forster is much too thorough-going in his championship of Swift's good fame to content himself. We must refer our readers to the preface of his present volume for the long list of tributaries, noble, reverend, collegiate, lettered, and bibliopolic from whom Mr. Forster acknowledges aids, or access to aids, in the shape of original documents illustrative of his subject which had hitherto been buried from the public eye in private repositories. Of these a portion only was available for the present volume; enough, however, to whet our appetite for more in the volumes which will complete the work. If finished with the industry and literary discrimination with which it has been begun, this new Life of Swift' will be the most valuable of the many services which Mr. Forster has already rendered to lovers of English literature.

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Swift has undergone the fate of all men whose characters have exhibited very pronounced features, rendered more pronounced, and more unpleasing, by age. He has been viewed

at his worst. After his death, as before it, his genius has suffered sorrowful eclipse in misanthropy and mania. There seems to have been something the matter with his head almost all through his life; and the final autopsy revealed hydrocephalus. But, as inveterate readers of Swift, we are grateful to Mr. Forster for reminding the world that in his better days there was something else than water on his brain, or misanthropy in his heart. Swift, the author, must ever rank amongst the perennial honours of English literature; and the work before us, when completed, will, we are confident, place Swift the man-if not on so lofty a moral pedestal as seems designed for him by his biographer at least in a position to engage a larger share of human sympathy than has hitherto been accorded him by the common run of readers; a generation of whom it may be said, at the present day, that they know not Jonathan.


ART. III.-1. Les Effectives, les Cadres et les Budgets des Armées Européennes. Etude de Statistique Comparée. ParA. Simonneau.

Paris, 1875.

2. The British Army in 1875, with Suggestions on its Adminis tration and Organization. By John Holms, M.P. London, 1875.

3. Report upon Recruiting for the Regular Army for the Year 1874 to the Adjutant-General of H.M. Forces. By the InspectorGeneral of Recruiting.

4. General Annual Return of the British Army for the Year 1873, with Abstracts for the Years 1861 to 1873 inclusive, prepared by order of H.R.H. the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief for the information of the Secretary of State for War. Presented to Parliament by command of Her Majesty. 1875.

THE publications of which we have given a list contain very

full information as to the numbers and organisation of the armies both of the continental nations and of this country, and suggest some reflections to which we would call the attention of our readers. The first in the list, the pamphlet of M. Simonneau, gives a curious and a melancholy picture of the misdirected energy with which the European nations are now competing with each other in striving to turn as many as possible of their subjects into soldiers. From his statements, it appears that arrangements are in progress by which it is intended that in the event of a war, Russia should be able at short notice to command the services of upwards of two millions of soldiers, France, of nearly a million and a half, Germany, of above thirteen hundred thousand, and Austria, of above a million. The other continental nations are generally making similar preparations on a scale proportioned to their population. These enormous numbers of men, whom it is intended to prepare for war, are not as yet available for military service, perhaps they never may be so, since the schemes determined upon for raising them may break down before they can be realized; but in the mean time energetic efforts are being made by all these nations to carry their plans into effect, and with that view very large armies have already been created, and very large sums of money have been spent. Europe is thus converted into a vast camp, and in the midst of peace is subjected to no small part of the burden of Few words can be needed to show how much evil is thus inflicted on the world. The withdrawing of so many men from peaceful industry, while they are being trained as soldiers, and the unproductive expenditure incurred in these Vol. 141.-No. 281. military



military preparations, must of necessity diminish the welfare and the comforts that can be enjoyed by the population of the nations which are pursuing this policy. Nor is the injury confined to them, the whole world must suffer from the check thus given to commerce, to the accumulation of wealth, and to the advance of civilisation. And no real advantage is gained at this heavy cost. As the system of arming almost the whole people is generally adopted, no nation is safer from its neighbours, or relatively stronger than it would be if all were content to abstain from these great warlike preparations. Still less does their existence tend to make the world safer from the calamities of war. On the contrary, as it is natural for a man who, with great labour and expense, has constructed some ingenious machine to desire to use it, so when nations have devoted much energy and much money to creating and perfecting immense armies, a disposition to employ them in war, the purpose for which they were designed, is almost sure to arise, and the permanence of peace is thus endangered.


This unfortunate state of things is the natural consequence of the wars of 1866 and 1870. The complete overthrow in so short a time, first of Austria and then of France, could not fail to create in other nations fears for their own safety, and a desire to copy in their armies the system by which such triumphs had been gained. Nor were they altogether wrong in seeking to do Too large a share in producing the triumphs of Prussia has indeed been attributed to her military system, and too little to the faults committed by the vanquished. In 1866 grievous mistakes are admitted to have been made by Austria; and in 1870 such was the contrast between the mismanagement and incompetence of the French Government and generals on the one side, and the energy and skill displayed by the Germans on the other, that the result of the war would probably have been reversed, though each nation had retained its own military laws and organisation, if the French had had administrators and generals like Moltke and Prince Charles, while the interests of Germany had been entrusted to such men as Leboeuf and Bazaine. Still, after making every allowance of this kind, it is not to be disputed that these wars have afforded clear proof of great merits in the system on which the military power of Prussia was organised. This applies more especially to that part of the Prussian system which consists in retaining the recruits who annually join the army for a comparatively short time in the ranks, and then allowing them to pass into a reserve available at the shortest notice to meet any change which may threaten the State.

In adopting this part of the Prussian military system, the continental nations seem to have acted wisely. The problem how to provide effectually for the defence of a nation at a moderate cost, has as yet received no better solution than the plan of only keeping soldiers in actual service long enough to give them complete instruction in their duties, and then dismissing them to the ordinary occupations of civil life, subject to the obligation of coming back to their colours in time of need. But unfortunately the continental nations have not copied only this part of the Prussian system, they have also adopted the policy of imposing the onerous obligation of military service on the whole, and enforcing it on a majority of the male population as they rise to manhood. There are strong reasons for believing this to have been a mistake. Admitting freely that the conduct of Prussia (now become the new German Empire) during the last ten or twelve years makes it a matter of only ordinary prudence for its neighbours to prepare to defend themselves if necessary against an enormous military power, wielded with consummate skill, the question remains whether they are taking the best course for their own safety by aiming at the formation of such very numerous armies? The military power of nations is not measured by the number of men they can place under arms. Even in ancient times it was perceived that the command of money was an important element of strength in war, and it is far more so now. The cost as well as the power of all kinds of arms, and especially of artillery, and the expense of building ships of war and fortifications have been enormously increased. Fresh demands for money are also arising from the application of the highest mechanical and chemical science to the purposes of war. New and fearful implements of destruction are being invented, and improved modes of using railways, traction engines, and electric telegraphs in the operations of armies are daily suggested. Already it is clear-and it will become more -that in future wars, the nations which can thus most largely avail themselves for their armies of the assistance of science and mechanical skill will possess an immense advantage over others. Wealth, therefore, with the command of material resources which it confers, together with the general diffusion of mechanical skill and industry among the people (of which it is at once the effect and the cause), must prove in the time to come a still more important element of military power in a nation than it has been found heretofore.


Such being the case, a nation is likely in the end to diminish rather than to increase its real military power by calling on the greater part of its male population to serve for a longer or

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shorter time in its armies, since by doing so it must reduce its means both of production and of accumulation. The taxes required to keep up gigantic armies must leave to the people less income from which savings can be made, while withdrawing so many hands from useful industry diminishes still more seriously the productive power of a nation. This diminution is greater than what is due to the mere number of men actually serving at a time in the ranks of the army. Allowance must also be made for the impaired efficiency for many kinds of civil industry of those who have been taken away from it to serve as soldiers just at the age when the habits are formed, and skill in the various arts of life is most easily acquired. Even if this interruption is only for a single year (and it is not usually limited to nearly so short a period), it must tend to reduce the value and efficiency in after life of all those destined to employments that demand a high standard of skill. When the cheapness of the Prussian army is extolled, it would be well to inquire whether a large deduction from its supposed advantage over our own in this respect must not be made, not only for that part of its cost, beyond what is paid from the treasury, which is unjustly thrown on the soldiers by compelling them to serve for less pay than their labour is worth, but also for the obstacle opposed to the improvement of industry by compulsory military service. During the last forty years, Prussia, in spite of the remarkable industry and frugality of its people, and of the economy of its government, seems to have advanced more slowly in wealth and population than our own country, or than some of its neighbours. May not this be, in part at least, accounted for by the too great pressure of its army system on the 'springs of industry'? At all events, it is certain that the desire to escape from the obligation of military service has been the main cause of that strong tide of emigration which, though slackened for the moment by temporary circumstances, has for some time been setting strongly from Germany, draining it of a large number of the best of its young men, who might have found at home an ample field for useful employment, to the great advantage of their country.

By imposing generally on its male population the obligation of being trained to arms, a nation is, in fact, making a step backwards in civilisation. In explaining how the division of labour by increasing its efficiency has promoted the advance of wealth and civilisation, Adam Smith long ago remarked that the formation of standing armies was only an application of this principle, which has been so fruitful in the arts of peace, to the business of war. He has shown that among rude tribes

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